07-23-2014

8 Ways To Reward Yourself For Working Hard

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation to push us towards our goals. For me, in a time where I’m not really training for anything, this is especially true! Or even if you are working towards something, a little treat always feels good.

I like to reward myself when I complete a goal, like finishing a marathon, or setting a PR. My favorite way to do so is adding in an extra rest day so I can truly relax ;) But here are 8 other ways you can reward yourself for working hard in the gym & out:

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Photo Credit: kaneda99 via Compfight cc

1. Buy new workout clothes, sneakers, etc. Who doesn’t love going to the gym in new gear? I love splurging on some items (hello lululemon), but also find great things regularly at T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Target and Old Navy. I think buying clothes is great for when you hit mini-goals…or basically, at any time ;)

2. Pamper yourself. If you’re like me, you don’t pamper yourself enough. I get manis and pedis occasionally but not that often. Whenever I do this, or get a new haircut, I always leave the salon feeling confident and well-manicured. Don’t get massages often? Save it for after your longest run ever, or after a tough race…what a great way to relax and work out those knots.

3. Save up. Pampering yourself costs money. A great idea I saw on Pinterest a while ago was to put $1 in a jar every time you hit the gym. If you go 5 days a week for a month, you’ll have about $20 at the end (thank you captain obvious, I know). $20 = two manicures! Or save up for a big workout clothes shopping spree…or a massage…or a blowout…or new running shoes (that’s what I splurge most on).

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4. Eat dinner somewhere new. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog.” That’s not what I mean. Find somewhere with a great, healthy selection and go out on a dinner date. Nothing better than a delicious salad or a good chicken dish after a hard workout.

5. Be a tourist in your own town. Visit a new museum, park, etc. in your town. I can name probably 10 places in my area that I haven’t been to in all the time I’ve been here. Hey, I’m 45 min outside of the city and I, myself, haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty yet. Also, check out your library for special coupons or deals. I just found out my library gives away passes/tickets to the Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I need to do this before the summer ends!

6. Take a new fitness class. After training for a race for months, I need a break from running. Same with lifting. Taking a new fitness can help reignite your passion for fitness, and you may also find your new favorite way to exercise. If you’re in a plateau, either physically or mentally, find a new class or club (like a running club), to try out.

7. Get someone else to reward you. Hey, massages are expensive…so why not get someone else to buy one for you ;) This is a good incentive for couples. Perhaps you and your significant other (or you could also do it with your best friend) make bets based on your goals…winner gets the reward! Who else is competitive? ;)

8. Buy something you’ve wanted for a while. Recently, I splurged on a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. I’ve wanted them for so long but never bought them because I rarely spend a lot on myself. I always tell myself that money is put to better use. Well, this time I got the sunglasses I’ve been wanting for years. I bought them to reward myself to getting new clients for my business, and you can do the same for any big goal you set and achieve.

What’s the last thing you splurged on for yourself?

Do you like to splurge or are you like me?

What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!

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04-03-2014

Dear Kate Underwear Review

Disclaimer: Dear Kate provided me with product to review for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Attention males: You probably will want to skip this post :) Or not, if you’re looking for a good gift for a lady friend…

I found Dear Kate through another blogger, and was instantly intrigued. I’m sure I can’t explain this as well as they can, so here is the description from their website:

Recognizing that most lingerie cannot keep up with a woman’s body, chemical engineer Julie Sygiel knew there had to be a better alternative to “period panties” and embarrassing mishaps.  So she hit the lab and developed the silky-soft, patent-pending fabric behind each pair of Dear Kates.  Made in NYC, each pair is wicking, stain releasing, and leak-resistant—preparing you for everything from cardio to just another day hanging out with aunt flo.

The founder, Julie, came up with this idea in a college entrepreneurship class. How awesome is that? As an entrepreneur myself, I love her story and think it’s amazing when someone has an idea and makes it happen.

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What intrigued me about the underwear was that it was waterproof…which would be perfect for running and working out. As I have mentioned before, I sweat a ton. They actually also make a sports line of underwear for athletes as well.

DKxBIA_Fall_2013_Lookbook

Anyway, I wanted to try a pair because of how much I sweat. During workouts (and after obviously), my underwear is usually pretty sweaty…TMI I know, but I figure I need to write about this to properly explain why I love Dear Kates :)

As mentioned in the description, they are also great for that “time of the month” when you might have an accident. How many times has that happened to you? Blegh…the worst.

Dear Kate was generous enough to send me the “Amelia” and the “Ella.” They were out of the “hipster” style, so they sent me “full” and I was kind of nervous about that. I didn’t want to look like I was wearing granny panties or anything!

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The Ella

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The Amelia

When I opened the package, I loved the silky feel of the underwear. Random side note: I’m calling it underwear because I hate the word panty….anyone else?

Anyway, here is their fabric content breakdown:

Body: 76% Nylon, 24% Lycra.  Lining: 100% Micropolyester. Lace: 81% Nylon, 19% Spandex

I decided to try them out at my most recent 5K. I wanted to test out the water resistance, but also whether they were comfortable or not. Sometimes underwear in tight, spandex shorts rides up or give you wedgies. No good.

dear kate ella

They felt silky smooth when I put them on, and when I put on my spandex shorts, they stayed put. My shorts rolled right on! Has anyone else had the experience of putting on spandex and your underwear rolling all up in a bunch? It happens to me more often than not because I don’t wear thongs, so I have to deal with all that material. But yeah, the Dear Kates stayed put!

As I said earlier, I was sent the “full” so it did have a higher waistband. But I actually liked it because it didn’t dig into your stomach.

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During the race, I didn’t even notice them. Not once did I have to pick a wedgie, like I have with certain underwear in the past. Sorry, I love Victoria’s Secret PINK underwear, but some are just not great for racing!

After my workouts, my underwear is usually pretty sweat…attractive I know. These really did do what they say they would, in terms of being leak resistant. They weren’t wet at all. After my race, I had to keep running to my car in order to drive 1.5 hours to my brother’s soccer game. I was totally comfortable sitting in the car, as opposed to what would have happened had I been wearing cotton underwear.

I really loved the Ella!

I really loved the Ella!

All in all, if you’re active and have my sweating issue, or if you have had your fair share of “leaks” during that time of the month, then you’d love these. They are stylish while also being extremely practical. Here are my pros and cons:

PROS

  • A lot of different styles and patterns
  • Leak resistant and stain releasing
  • Very comfortable and smooth material
  • No wedgies or riding up while you exercise
  • Full coverage (if you get the styles I got at least), so no panty lines in tight shorts or pants

CONS

  • The plain color, like the black one I pictured, can look kind of “granny panty-ish” but other styles such as the Ella are really cute.
  • More expensive than other underwear, but I think it’s worth it if you want a higher-end, comfortable panty (ugh, had to use it here), that is also extremely useful to have.

As you can see, I think the pros outweigh the cons here. Definitely check out their website to read more about the technology they use, and look through their styles!

And guess what? Thanks to Dear Kate, you all can get a 25% discount through April 30th! Just use the code ‘reachyourpeak’ upon checkout.

What do you think of leak resistant underwear? Which style do you like?

Do you sweat a ton like me?

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01-21-2014

Are You “Crazy?”

How many times has someone said to you:

  • “You’re running how much? You’re crazy!”
  • “You’re not going out Friday because you have to get up to workout on Saturday? You’re crazy!”
  • “You really aren’t going to eat that because you’re eating healthy? You’re crazy OR Yeah, I can’t do that.”

Since when is living a healthy lifestyle something that is “crazy” or something we may get a hard time about?

This happened a few times to me during marathon training. I wouldn’t be able to go out the day before a long run (weekends), so people would always say, “you never come out anymore!” or “This is why I’d never train for a marathon-it takes over your life.”

But it’s a choice. It was my choice and one I really enjoyed doing. Why should we be made to feel bad about our choices?

Same thing goes for healthy eating. I’ve been in situations where I won’t eat something because I try to stay away from processed foods. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t splurge or treat myself sometimes. But if I say I don’t want a huge deli sandwich, or don’t want that slice of pizza, why should I feel bad?

Friends have told me they experience this mainly in a work setting, where bringing in snacks for everyone or office parties are the norm. People will say, “come onnnn just have one-it won’t kill you!” Or they call you crazy (or any other number of derivatives) for eating so healthy.

People have called me obsessed, and some close friends don’t understand why I can’t just skip runs or gym days.

It’s hard to understand people these days. On one hand, we want to reduce obesity, and encourage others to live an active healthy lifestyle, but on the other hand, we call people who DO live an active lifestyle crazy or say they’re too obsessed with health and fitness. Why is that?

I’ll leave you with this quote that I love:

difference between interest and commitment

What do you think of all of this?

Has anyone ever called you crazy or criticized you for any of this? How did you respond?

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03-14-2013

When You Just Don’t Feel Like Working Out

I had one of those days on Tuesday. My half marathon training class was cancelled, so a long run wasn’t happening, but I knew I had to get a 3 miler in. My mom and I headed to the gym to run on the treadmills, but I had no desire to do so. Sometimes, it’s just one of those days where you’re tired and unmotivated. It’s ok…we all have them!

But I got in the run anyway. Here’s how I trick myself into getting workouts in when I don’t want to. I simply break the workout into smaller pieces. I hadn’t slept well the night before and was really tired…I knew a continuos 3 mile run at a normal pace was just not in the books.

So I told myself I could run at a little bit faster pace than usual (6.3 instead of 6.0) for 3 minutes, and then do a brisk walk for 1 minute, and repeat until I hit 3 miles. This made the run a lot easier for me. I also do this at the end of long runs or in races…I just visualize the last mile to be an easy 4 laps around a track. It’s all about playing tricks on your brain!

You can do this while strength training too. Just focus on the first group of exercises and the fact that it’s only 3 sets, then move on. By the end of the first 3 sets, guarantee you will feel ready to tackle the next set of exercises, and if not, just simply do 2 sets of them.

We all have our off days, and it’s ok to take it easy when you aren’t feeling 100%.

What do you do when you are feeling unmotivated?

01-07-2013

Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday! I have been sick for the past 3 days ugh. Thankfully, I only had to run 2 miles, which I didn’t because I have been in bed. Sigh.

Today I am supposed to lift, but I will try to run and then lift tomorrow when I am hopefully feeling better. I am so congested I haven’t been able to sleep!

Anyway, besides when I’m sick and need the time off, on regular days when I don’t want to work out, I gather up my motivation and head to the gym anyway. Some days (when my mom drives), I literally fall asleep on the way there from being tired! But once I start working out I immediately feel energized and pumped.

Just getting to the gym is the hardest part. Trust me, once you are there you will feel great and ready to do. You will also feel awesome walking out afterwards, knowing you got your workout in!

How do you motivate yourself to exercise on the days you really don’t want to?

09-16-2012

What I’ve been up to this weekend

It’s been a busy weekend! I had a few things planned, but still got in some good workouts.

Since Friday was my off day, my mom and I ran 4 miles on Thursday, and then hit the gym for an awesome lifting session. After the run we were so close to not going to the gym because we were already tired…but I convinced her to go!

My legs were STILL sore from lifting on Monday, which I guess is expected when you don’t lift for a few weeks.

On Saturday, we went to a bridal shower. I meant to wake up and run but I am definitely not a morning person, so that just did not happen. We got back around 7 pm so I decided to go for a short, 3.5 mile run. I did not regret that at all! The weather was perfect, and I felt really good. I ran it in an average pace of 9:50 minute per mile, which rarely happens for me in training runs.

I gotta say…my town is a really good “running town.” Very scenic :)

Today was just a day to relax, nap, and get homework done. I’ll be back in action tomorrow with some lifting on the schedule. Tuesday is my second running class that I am an assistant coach for! I believe we are doing 3-5 miles. I love that I can help motivate others to run, and it forces me to get a run in regardless of how I’m feeling that day ;)

How were your weekend workouts? Do you find it easier to get workouts in on the weekends, or harder?

09-11-2012

Getting Back on Track

Throughout the summer, I did workout regularly…but I definitely was not as consistent as I had been previously. I guess I got into the “summer break” mentality for my workouts, along with my school work!

Today I decided to get back on track. I didn’t log one workout (aside from my running workouts) all summer. I used to be meticulous about logging lifting exercises, weights, sets and reps, tempo, etc. Today I hit the gym, and wrote it all down so I can track my progress again!

Let’s talk about those squats for a minute. I haven’t done barbell squats in probably close to 2 months. I warmed up a bit, did some bodyweight squats, then decided to keep it at 55 lbs. since it had been a while. By the second set, my quads were tightening up, and by the time I finished, they were already sore! Note to self: don’t forget about squats because it will come back to bite you in the @$$…no pun intended ;) So now I can’t go down the stairs, and I honestly don’t think I’ve been this sore since the New York City Marathon. Crazy!

Anyways, I’m starting fresh today, and hope to keep this going! I ate pretty clean today. If you want an idea of my daily intake, here it is:

Breakfast: Protein shake mixed with my coffee, and a tablespoon of peanut butter (YUM). Today I also had a 2 egg omelette with spinach that my mom made for me. Perks of living at home.

Snack: I discovered this DELICIOUS canned tuna…way better than the plain kind. It’s chunk light tuna in olive oil with dried tomatoes. Seriously delicious. I had this with 1 cup of broccoli. Very filling.

Lunch: Chicken with mixed greens and cherry tomatoes.

Pre-workout snack: This isn’t a daily thing, but since I had no bananas around I needed something before my workout, so I had a small bowl of honey nut cheerios. Favorite cereal in the world.

Dinner: Chicken with sweet potato

Snack: 70 calorie pack of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt (has stevia instead of sugar) and a protein shake

That adds up to about 1500 calories.

Now I just need to keep it up! I find that for some reason, when I’m more busy, it’s easier for me to schedule in my workouts. I think when I’m not busy or have days off I end up not working out because I wake up late, say I’ll do it later, and then when “later” comes, I’m too lazy or have plans to hang out with a friend or something.

Do you schedule time in your calendar for your workouts? Do you log your workouts and food?