Staying Motivated

I was recently asked by another teacher at my school, how I find the time to workout each day. It is tricky. I can honestly say, I’m probably not the most attentive wife or friend. I would much rather attend a Friday night Pilates class than an after work happy hour. I never cook dinner. Sometimes I forget to feed the cat. I should probably vaccum more. I plan my weekend activities around my workouts. My husband thinks I’m nuts.

To help my social life, I try to get my friends involved in my workouts as much as possible. Since I’d much rather attend a pilates class than an after work happy hour, when people ask me to grab a drink after work, I say, “Sure, but let’s hit a Pilates class first.” Or I tell them to bring their gym shoes, and we can jog to the bar. I am constantly trying to convince my friends to join me for a Saturday morning workout with the lure of having brunch afterwards. Yup, maybe I am nuts.

I make working out a priority. That’s what you need to do to get it done. It’s part of my day just like getting my morning coffee from Robust Coffee Lounge or going to work. It’s a nonnegotiable. I make a point to try to leave work by 5. I mean, I’ve been there since 7:30. That’s not too much to ask right? I save work that I can do from my couch for when I get home, and only work on things at school that need to get done there.

I also try to sign up for 2-3 classes each week. It breaks up the monotony of the gym, and if you’re going to spend your hard earned money on a $30 Pilates class, you are going to show up whether you feel like it or not! And now that the weather is getting nicer, there is no excuse not to throw on your running shoes and go for an easy 3 miler…or even a walk. Just get yourself moving, that’s most important! I love MapMyRun for finding new paths around Chicago. One of my favorite runs takes me through Soldier Field and around the Planetarium down the lake. I avoid this path at dusk though because spiders like it as much as I do.

And it doesn’t hurt to have some cute clothes to do it in. I would live in Zella and Lululemon if I could. I just purchased this, this, this and these thanks to my generous Mother-in-law and husband. If you’re a runner, replace your running shoes every 6 months to avoid shin splints, and foot, knee and ankle pain. I have bad knees and ankles already from years of beating up my joints in Gymnastics. My favorite running shoes are the Asics GEL-Kayano. To me, no other shoe compares.

Make yourself a workout schedule that changes each day. And don’t work so much! If you’ve been at work 10 hours, it’s time to leave. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t make nearly enough money for the amount of hours I work.

Here’s how I mix up my workout week. Give it a try. It will not disappoint.

Sunday: 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace.
Monday: 60 minute sculpt class. Check out local studios for this. My favorites are SixPax and Posture Perfect Pilates.
Tuesday: Treadmill Tuesday interval run. STRETCH!
Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace. Three, 3 min. planks, 40 pushups, 40 squats. Or, a 60 minute Pilates equipment class. I like to switch up these two depending on my energy levels.
Thursday: Treadmill interval run. STRETCH!
Friday: Pilates mat class. RELAX.
Saturday: Kettlebells studio class and an easy 3 mile run.

Don’t forget to fill your IPad with some upbeat tunes. Here are some recent additions to my playlist. Love me some throwbacks.

  • Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson
  • Boyfriend by Ashlee Simpson
  • Bringin’ Da Noise by ‘NSync
  • Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers
  • Hangover by Taio Cruz featuring Flo Rida
  • I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys
  • Titanium by David Guetta & Sia
  • Two Black Cadillacs by Carrie Underwood

How was your Monday?

My car got towed at work today. At least it wasn’t stolen. That was definitely my first thought. Gotta love Chicago.

Sick – Workout or Avoid?


As I posted in SixPax Saturdays, I wasn’t feeling quite myself this weekend. By Sunday, I was running a 101 degree fever which broke sometime Monday afternoon while I was at work. Needless to say, I wasn’t working out. As a general rule of thumb, if you are feeling under the weather and wondering whether or not you should hit the gym, follow the “Neck Rule”. If the symptoms leaving you feeling uncomfortable are contained above the neck – i.e headache and runny nose, then you are good to go. If your symptoms are in your chest, muscles, basically anywhere below the neck, then avoid exercising and rest until you feel better! For me that meant Monday night in bed watching Fashion Police and other quality E! programming.

Tuesday, I dragged myself in the blizzard to a Ballet Barre class at SixPax Chicago with Fayth. It was the perfect class after taking a few days off.

Wednesday, I was ready to run again but I still wanted to take it easy. I planned a run that would keep my heart rate up and burn fat but would also incorporate short bursts of energy and periods of rest to bring down my heart rate. During a run, if you can have a conversation comfortably, your body is working at a pace where you are burning fat. During a sprint, your body burns stored glucose (glycogen) but continues to burn fat and calories after the workout is over. While running for long periods of time can cause muscle atrophy, sprinting actually helps develop muscle in your legs and abs.

Today my run looked like this:

0:00 – 3:00   3.9 MPH

3:00 – 8:00   6.0 MPH

8:00 – 9:00   8.0 MPH

9:00 – 10:00   3.9 MPH

10:00 – 15:00   6.2 MPH

15:00 – 16:00   8.1 MPH

16:00 – 17:00   3.9 MPH

17:00 – 22:00   6.4 MPH

22:00 – 23:00   8.2 MPH

23:00 – 24:00   3.9 MPH

24:00 – 29:00   6.6 MPH

29:00 – 30:00   8.3 MPH

30:00 – 31:00   3.9 MPH

31:00 – 35:00   6.8 MPH

35:00 – 36:00   8.4 MPH

36:00 – 45:00   3.9 MPH @ 3% incline

Then I grabbed some Whole Food’s California Quinoa with a Cara Cara orange on the side…and a few Girl Scout Cookies. My favorite are Tagalongs. How about you?

Happy Hump Day 🙂