This year, I've been pretty regimented in training - mostly where it concerns running - but I've let weight lifting fall to the wayside in a big way. A year ago I was able to lift pretty heavy weights, and was on track to deadlift pretty close to twice my body weight. When I made the decision to run the half marathon, I ended up putting weight-training onto the back burner to focus heavily on running.
As we moved into fall, I found that I wanted to do more than just run all the time. I missed my defined biceps and ability to lift boxes of kitty litter with ease. Mostly, I wanted to satisfy my hunger for change, and to do so, I've been working pretty hard at balancing running with weight lifting, along with healthy, higher-protein meals.
What this has meant is preparation. I noticed on days I was prepared to go to the gym and lift weights I was getting there. I finally decided to stream line my process by packing a gym bag every night to keep in my car. When I know I have a change of clothes, a written out plan, and a true plan to get to the gym, I actually end up going. In fact, every day I have my gym bag in the car I am there, whether it is a lifting workout or running on a treadmill.
The preparation has been aided by my digging out my copy of The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I actually went through this book once in 2008, and went through several of the plans in the New Rules of Lifting, too. When I want to do something fun in the weight room, those books are typically where I start, primarily for motivation. I've been doing this for just a few weeks and I've already noticed marked gains in strength and stamina.
Additionally, I've been working on eating better - less junk and carbs and more protein. This has meant changing it up, but not by much. I actually got into the habit of eating more protein while lifting weights a few years ago, and it was easier to slide back into that habit when I started training for the half-marathon earlier this year. I haven't really stopped eating the higher protein meals, having Greek yogurt as part of breakfast or for snacks, enjoying more leftover chicken and beef dishes, or my favorite lately: breakfast tacos.
I am not going to lie, I have had these for breakfast and lunch, and even once for dinner. They're full of protein, and the corn tortillas add fiber and carbs. In place of sour cream? Greek yogurt of course!
Some of this is because I want to look toned in my wedding dress, but most of it has to do with how I feel. I feel better when working out regularly and when eating healthy, higher protein foods. This may not work for everyone, but it's what works for me.
What are your favorite foods or workouts that keep you motivated?