September 24, 2016

City Fit Girls + NTC Chicago


Hey Ladies!
City Fit Girls is having a private session this Wednesday, September 28 at Nike Chicago!

URL: https://www.nike.com/events-registration/event?id=58299
Access Code (Case Sensitive): CITYFITGIRLS

Just so you’re familiar if you’re not already, the session takes place at the Nike+ Chicago Studio (675 N. Michigan Ave.) and begins at 6:30 PM. We urge everyone to arrive 15 minutes prior so you have time to check in, put your bags in the lockers, and switch into shoe trials (if you want).
I hope to see you there!

September 7, 2016

...Because Life

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking in. I know I haven't been posting nearly as much as I want to, but today I wanted to take a moment to discuss life. 


We all have lives. 

Life is okay. 
Life is a friend. 
Sometimes, it's okay to take a long, extended vacation to go visit that friend and leave everything else behind. 

Did that metaphor become too weird and unclear?

Yes?

Well, what I'm trying to say is that I've been slacking. Not slacking in a sense where I don't want to work on this project anymore, but rather I've been making the conscious decision to focus on other facets of my life. 

In the past few months, I started a new job (while keeping a few of the old), moved into an apartment by myself, and dealt with the ongoing stress of finances, relationships and health that everyone in their early 20s faces. 

I've neglected this blog, it's true. I've largely abandoned my fitness goals, you bet I did. I haven't tried to learn how to cook which is something I told myself I would work on if I ever lived on my own, didn't stand a chance. 

But guess what. 
I'm not mad. 
I'm not upset or disappointed in myself. 

I needed that time to work on me, to work on getting my life situated so I can move forward in a healthy and happy manner. My body wouldn't have withstood the added stress of these things, and they were easy to cut out. So, I did just that.

That's the thing about life. Sometimes, you have to prioritize for the present. Things pop up and you have to roll with the punches, abandoning plans and goals for a time to get your life back on track. The most important thing is knowing everything will be okay. You are allowed to take care of yourself, you are allowed to take time for yourself, and you are allowed to put off the unnecessary to do these two things.

Realize that once things settle down, you can return your focus to your goals and what it will take to achieve them. 

You have the power, so go live your life. 

With Love for You, and Love for Me
-J


September 5, 2016

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Started Running

When I first started running, I experienced everything from painful blisters to chafing to an unsupported chest. I was miserable.  I wish someone had sat me down and shared these basic tips and tricks to help smooth my transition from non-runner to runner. If you're just starting out on your own journey pounding the pavement or treadmill belt, here are things you should know about running.

Don't Skimp on Gear


Now, you don't need to spend a fortune on workout gear, but investing in a good pair of running shoes will pay off tenfold. Many speciality running stores offer complimentary fittings to help make this process a breeze. If you're well-endowed, running can be painful, and a cheap cotton sports bra from Target just won't do. You might have to spend $50 or more, but it's worth it when you realize painful bouncing is not necessary.

Find a Motivator

When I first started running, I struggled to get out and log my miles. This changed when I discovered the running community that is City Fit Girls. Now I have the motivation to run at least once a week, and the added determination to compete in races with other girls in the group. Finding a motivator will give you the determination to meet your goals and work towards building your running base. 

Running Outside is Harder than Running on the Treadmill


The real hills, the uneven terrain, the wind, the sun, the heat — it all makes running tougher than it already is. But I'll tell you, once I started running outside, I saw a huge improvement in my strength and endurance. Unlike with the treadmill, you have to pace yourself which means you will likely change the length of your stride and go too fast too soon. This takes some practice, but it get easier.

It  Gets Easier


As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Start off with a doable distance such as one or two miles. Once that distance feels comfortable, gradually increase your mileage. The key is to move at a comfortable pace for a reasonable amount of time. If you do too much too soon, you could end up with an injury and a deep hatred for all things running.

August 2, 2016

4 Healthy Hacks for a Fitter Week

Summer is just around the corner, and you're thinking of ways to get your body in top shape for all of the adventures on which you are about to embark. Luckily, a few small hacks can help you meet your goals and live a little healthier this week.

Lunch Break Adventures
Take a walk around the block. Do lunges while you wait for your lunch to heat up. Squat ten times after using the bathroom. The possibilities to keep moving are nearly endless. No need to have access to a fancy gym or bring along extra clothes to change into. An easy stroll around the neighborhood is enough to raise your heart rate without working up a sweat.

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Clean Your Apartment
Housework is a great calorie burner that can also make you stronger. Between transporting the necessary supplies and all of the scrubbing, cleaning will leave you with more than a spotless house. An average person burns about 3 calories a minute for light, easy cleaning. That's a total of 60 calories for every 20 minutes spent tidying up!


Switch Up Your Commute
Trade your car or public transit pass for a bike or your own two feet. Not only are these options a great way to get moving, but they’re also eco friendly. If you live too far away to reasonably commute via these alternative methods, try parking farther away or get off a stop or two early.

Volunteer
If you have ever volunteered for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity, you know that volunteering can be a serious workout. What’s more, volunteering can help you connect with others, combat depression, and increase self-confidence. You don’t need to be able to build a house to get the most out of your time, even volunteering for a race as a course leader or a social media volunteer can start your day off on the right foot as you will be doing plenty of walking.

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What are some of the ways you stay active during the week? Share your ideas in the comments below and inspire others to lead a healthier life.


Like this blog? Well there's more where that came from. Visit cityfitgirls.com/blog to discover more healthy tips and running hacks to become a fitter you.

July 21, 2016

Running Update + The Glo Run Recap

It’s true. I haven’t consistently run in months. Running is just one of those things that I have such a difficult time motivating myself to do. So, in an attempt to do better, I signed up for a few races spanning from this summer through the fall. My game plan is simple: run for a set amount of time rather than distance. (You can read more about this strategy here: http://www.trainthatbrain.com/2016/06/Running-for-glo-run.html.)


Well, I am about a month in and things have been going fairly well. I’ve been running 2-3 times a week for the past month and averaging 3-4 miles each run. It has still been a challenge to start, but once I do, there’s no stopping me... At least for 30 to 45 minutes.








The Glo Run Race Recap

The second race I participated in this summer was the 80s themed Glo Run, which took place at Soldier Field on July 16. All Community Events, the company that hosts this event, was nice enough to comp my entry.


I can honestly say this is one of the better races in which I have participated. Why? We actually started running on time. If you have ever took part in a race, you know this rarely happens.




Before the event, information regarding packet pick-up was very well communicated. Though I was unable to grab my stuff at packet pick-up which was held at the Fleet Feet in Old Town, getting my stuff before the race was a breeze. The stations to pick up your items were well marked, and the lines moved quickly.


The swag included multiple glow sticks, neon yellow race shirts and a small flashlight for the runners. There was also an option to purchase other light-up accessories so you could be seen from space. To further prepare us for a late night race, there was a paint station which volunteers would apply glow paint to participants for increased visibility.




Once runners completed the race, Lagunitas beer awaited those of us who are 21+. There was only one station, which wasn't the most efficient, but hey, free beer. We had the option to grab a wristband before the race to expedite the process which made this run a little smoother.

Of course, a party isn't truly a party if it lacks an after party. Participants gathered around the DJ for a post-race dance party. 


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Summary: The Glo Run Recap
Pros:

  • Well organized from start to finish
  • Swag on point for night race
  • Flashlights offered to runners added element of safety
  • Beer wristbands could be obtained pre-race to make post-race pick-up more efficient
  • Fun run vibes = non-intimidating race
  • Post Race Dance Party!
Cons:
  • Only one water station on the course
  • Decorations didn't live up to my expectations
  • Race site was located a ways from public transit, especially for a late-night run
*This post is sponsored by All Community Events which provided me with a complimentary race entry in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions contained within this post are my own. 

June 21, 2016

Getting Back into Running for The Glo Run


Guys, I did it again. I signed up for another race. On the bright side, it is only a 5k and doesn't start until 8:55pm. Nothing makes a night runner happier than not having to rise before the sun and run a distance their body is accustomed to running so early in the morning. 

I'll be honest, save for the monthly City Fit Girl runs, I haven't consistently run for months. I know it's good for me, but I can never seem to muster the desire to get out there and do it without my girl gang. So when registration came around, I knew this would be a fun way to motivate myself to lace up my Nikes and get going. 

So how am I preparing? My plan is to run three times a week based upon time and not distance. Hopefully, this will make training more enjoyable. I will report back to soon to share whether or not this is actually the case.

Want to run the 5k with me? Sign up for the Glo Run on July 17, 2016 here. Get ready to experience 6 zones full of 80s fun. Hope to see you soon! 


*This post is sponsored by All Community Events which provided me with a complimentary race entry in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions contained within this post are my own.