The Gear You Need and How to Layer to Run Outside in the Winter

Special post: Winter running tips: What you need to run outside

“There is no bad weather, just bad layering.”

Layer-up-for-winter-running

Layer up & get out there!

I am sure someone said this long before me but I’m not here to take credit for the quote. Rather, it’s my way to introduce something I can’t get enough of: winter running.

Yes, it can be enjoyable to run outside all winter long. All you need is the right gear and a good layering strategy.

In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I break down all the winter temps – including below zero – and share my top gear must-haves, as well as a layering strategy for every occasion. Click and read the full post to learn what gear to get and how to layer to run outside in the winter.

What are your running tips and must-haves for getting outside in the winter? Is there anything you especially love about winter running? Please share a comment here or on the Fargo Mom blog.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

Is Your New Year’s Resolution Doomed to Fail?

Special post: New Year’s Resolutions: Are You Setting Up for Failure?

Not one, but TWO posts dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions? And both positive ones to boot? Who is this writer and what has she done with NYR-hater, Lindsay??

Lins and her oldest son doing stretches together

Make a resolution because of something you want to do that will improve your life – not something you “need” to fix.

Still me, folks. This holiday season, I wrote two blogs about achieving New Year’s Resolutions – one for wellirl.com about a New Year’s Resolution you can achieve, and one for Fargo Mom. You can check out the one for Fargo Mom, a different way to approach New Year’s Resolutions, which looks at one, key factor that is often missing from them: positivity.

Whether you’re still thinking about making a New Year’s Resolution or you’re already guns blazin on yours, take a pause. Step back. Consider the change you’re making and look at it thru a positive lens.

Read the full post on Fargo Mom and please let me know what you think! Also, if you made a positive New Year’s Resolution, please share it.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

How About This: Make a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Something

“Instead of starting, try stopping.”

New Year’s Resolutions are the worst. People make a New Year’s Resolution, get so amped up, maybe even spend money, put in an enthusiastic effort…and then quit.

The stats are mixed on exactly how many people quit their resolutions vs. actually adopt them as a new way of life but, overall, the research does not tell an uplifting story of success.

Why is it hard to keep New Year’s Resolutions? I have a multi-fold theory. If you are interested in more on this, specific to health and fitness New Year’s Resolutions, please read my previous blog.

Journaling-Habit

Something to start? Journaling is a great resolution – just remember it adds one more thing to do.

The other part is what I want to talk about today. At its most basic level, the root of a resolution is about making a change. And change is hard.

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
My resolution is to work out more. My resolution is to be more organized. My resolution is to start a morning routine. My resolution is to meal prep.

All of those are popular New Year’s Resolutions and all require a change in behavior to achieve. Depending on where you’re at, that change may be small or it may be huge.

More than the difficult act of making a change, these popular resolutions have one more commonality that makes them tricky to achieve. All are about proactively doing something that wasn’t being done before, adding one more thing to your day, your life.

We already know change is hard. Guess what else is hard? Doing more is hard. We live in a world where most people are already over-committed and stretched too thin with all the things.

Yet every year, people still make New Year’s Resolutions with the hope that, this year, this time, things will be different.

What Kind of New Year’s Resolution Should I Make?
I have an idea. We know doing more is hard. How about New Year’s Resolution that is all about doing less?

Snowboarding-Kids

Something to stop? STOP spending time with tech & get out to make memories.

Resolving to stop doing something, that should be the new trend in New Year’s Resolutions. And it’s a trend that could catch on because it could work.

Resolve to stop negative self-talk. Resolve to stop spending so much time on your phone. Resolve to stop saying yes to every committee, event, and work assignment. Resolve to stop worrying about things you cannot control.

Is that still hard? Of course. In a way, we are kind of right back to where we started and not really that different than a typical resolution. It is all about making a change. And change is hard.

However, I believe it is easier to stop doing something that to add more. And stopping something that is causing distress in life is the absolute best kind of change to be made. So if you’re going to go all-in on a resolution, and you really want to succeed at your New Year’s Resolution, consider the idea of stopping something vs. trying to start.

What do you think about this idea for a New Year’s Resolutions? What could you stop doing that might not be too hard, yet could bring major positivity into your life?

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

5 Tips to Stay Mentally and Physically Well During the Holidays

Special post: Simple Tips to Take Care of Yourself During the Busy Holidays

Ah, the holiday season. It often evokes thoughts of sitting around a warm fire, putting up decorations, spending time with loved ones, and general feelings of joy.

Bell-Ringing

Stay merry and bright, friends.

That is the fantasy. The reality is that the holiday season often brings stress, overwhelm, exhaustion, and feelings that are anything but joyful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Surviving the holiday season, even thriving during it, is possible. How? By prioritizing mental and physical wellness.

In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I give you my 5 easy tips for staying well during the holidays. Highlights are below, click the link above to read the entire post on Fargo Mom. And it’s not just the tips; I share advice for how to achieve each wellness goal.

1. Just say no – to all the things
2. Drink water – lots of water
3. Exercise – all movement matters
4. Eat intentionally – emphasis on EAT
5. Practice gratitude – every day

How do you prioritize yourself and your wellness during the hectic holiday season? Please share a comment here or on the Fargo Mom blog.

Connect with me at lindsayinreallife on Instagram or LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

The Work and the Rewards of Running

“What you put in, you get back.”

Another Fargo Marathon has come and gone. It feels strange writing about the Fargo Marathon with fall feels and scenes all around. This race, my favorite race, typically takes place in May.

While hopefully temporary, this changing of seasons was wonderful. Adding another race to the fall calendar certainly was welcome by me. But it appeared to be a good thing in several ways. And I walked away with a few reminders about what running and race days are all about.

First, I have to give a few shoutouts to some friends who tackled some major goals. A close friend has been working hard on speed and strength. Her goal was a 10k in around 47 minutes. She ran it under 45 minutes. And she placed in the top 10 for women. Amazing.

Another friend took up running a couple years ago. Last year, his goal was a sub 2-hour half marathon. This year, he went even bigger, setting the goal to run his first full marathon. He put in the work, ran lots of miles, and did it – and in an impressive 4:30 and change. Awesome.

A third has been training for her first half marathon for months. She has weathered setbacks and been completely honest about how much it can suck sometimes having a goal so big. But she never gave up and she crossed the finish line well under her goal time – and, best of all, with a huge smile on her face.

Fargo-Marathon

Those finish line feels.

These stories reminded me about what race day really is. They reminded me about the work and rewards of running.

Race day, while hard work, isn’t the really hard work. Race day, while an achievement, isn’t the real achievement. Stay with me.

The Work Behind Running
The most common thing people say when they find out I run marathons is, “I could never run 26 miles.” The most common thing people realize when training for a marathon (at least in my experience) is just how much work and time and sacrifice goes into it.

The hard part about running a marathon isn’t that 26.2 on race day. The hard part about running a 7:15 pace for 6.2 miles isn’t actually doing it that one time. The hard part is everything that goes in leading up to that day, that moment.

Performing on race day isn’t the hard part. Performing on race day is the reward.

I think people forget what’s behind all the running. People see you cross the finish line and achieve your goal. They don’t see all the blisters, the awful runs, the early mornings, the foam rolling, the exhaustion, and all the grit and work, the discipline and dedication that got you there.

To all you runners who put in the time and hard work to achieve your goal, high fives to you. I see you. I know you are already proud of yourself. I know you don’t need me, a total stranger, to be proud of you. But I am.

The Reward Behind Running
Running is easy and it is not easy. Running can be something you love one day and loathe the next. So why do we run? Why do we embrace the black toenails, skip out on happy hours, wake up earlier on weekends than we do on weekdays, and put our bodies and minds through it all?

Whether you are training for a race or just doing it for health, running is about giving what you have and getting back so much more in return. And that return is different for everyone. But I can say that I get as much back from running as I put into it.

As for my first (and hopefully last) September Fargo Marathon experience, it was great. The weather was perfection. Upper 40s, cloudy, minimal wind. I could not have chosen more ideal conditions for a race day. I got to co-pace the 2:00 half marathon group alongside a great runner and great friend. There were so many great people running alongside us and cheering from the sidelines. The miles flew by and as soon as I crossed the finish line, I wanted to do it all over again.

For me, running is about health, stress relief, and being the best version of myself. And, of course, a perfect race day is always a great reward.

What’s why I run – how about you? What do you get back from it? Did you run a Fargo Marathon race or have a recent race day victory? The comments are all yours so please share.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more about running, wellness, and keeping it real.

A Guide to the Best Running Paths in Fargo, North Dakota

Special post: Top 5 Running Paths in Fargo

When it comes to having the best run, I am all about finding the best route. Some days that mean I can just head out my front door, other times that means taking the extra time to hit one of my favorite paths.

Running-in-Fargo

One of the best – Lindenwood Park

Throughout my years of running in Fargo, I have found myself on various running paths, some better than others. Scenery, adequate snow removal in the winter, quick access to a bathroom, all of these add to the enjoyment of a path. In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I take you on trek of my top five running paths in Fargo.

Grab some water, lace up your sneaks, and join me to run Fargo! As an added bonus, we are going to hop over to Moorhead and West Fargo for a few extra miles.

Do you have more great places to run in Fargo? Are you in need of motivation or help to get out and hit any of these paths? Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter. Subscribe to Wellness in Real Life for more on running, health, and wellness.

Summer Running = Fall Races – 3 of My Favorite for Moms Who Run

Special post: A Running Mom’s Guide to 3 Races in Fargo

Races are baaaacccckkkk!!

Whew, sorry just a moment of pure joy from a runner who had a hard time giving up races last year.

Fargo _Half_Marathon

One of my favorites – Go Far Woman (photo used with permission from Go Far Woman)

As much as I prefer running in the winter, I have to acknowledge why summer is a great time to run. The days are longer. The only layering to worry about is sunscreen. The Vitamin D and sunlight are great for the body and mind. And you get those sweet shorts, tank top and sock tan lines. Wait, no not that, but the other reasons are great.

One of the other reasons I love summer running is because there are so many late summer and early fall races. In my latest post for Fargo Mom, I break down three of my favorite local, upcoming races – and I do it thru a special lens: a mom’s perspective.

For those looking to take the plunge and sign up for your first race or you seasoned racers who are eager to get back on the start line, have a read: A Running Mom’s Guide to 3 Races in Fargo.

I hope to see you out there on the start line!

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @lindsayIRL on Twitter. Please subscribe to Wellness in Real Life if you like what you are reading and want to read more articles on running, fitness, occasional thoughts on parenting, and overall wellness.

Tips to Make it Work as a Runner and Breastfeeding Mom

Special post: A How-To for Running Moms, from Fargo Mom

Running-Mom

Feed your needs, feed your babe. You can do both.

I recently began a new writing adventure, joining the team of writers at Fargo Mom. It is locally-focused site dedicated to moms, with content written by moms.

For my first post, I approached a very specific, very personal topic: Breastfeeding and Running – Tips to Make it Work

I chose this topic because it is one that I believe affects a lot of new moms and one that I believe my firsthand experience can help. If this is one for you, please have a read and let me know about your challenges and victories as a running mom! If it is not, ’til next time.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @lindsayIRL on Twitter. Please subscribe to Wellness in Real Life if you like what you are reading and want to read more articles on running, fitness, occasional thoughts on parenting, and overall wellness.

Spring Cleaning for the Mind, the Soul, and the Blog

“The best way to find out what we need is to get rid of what we don’t.”

The idea of spring cleaning has been on my mind lately. But not typical cleaning the house. I mean, I have two little boys. The second my husband and I finish cleaning and take in that moment of pride, ahhh the house is cle….damn it, the toddler just dumped out all his cars, the baby blew out through another outfit, and somehow the sink is full of dishes again.

While the dream of maintaining a spotless house is on the back burner for, well, at least several years now, the spring cleaning I’ve been working on is me.

Professionally, I’m trying to clear out ideas and think of fresh, new ways to approach projects and my work in general. I’m working on decluttering my brain from negativity and staying focused on what I can control. Camelback-Hiking-Heisman

Personally, I’m working on having a clean, uncluttered mind as well. This includes more mindfulness and being fully present in moments vs. scatterbrained multitasking and losing sight of what really matters.

Another area of my personal efforts of spring cleaning is this blog. I haven’t gone thru and cleaned out old posts since before I switched over from my old blog (which was a few years ago – not months, years, yikes). So it was time.

Time to clean up and clean out older posts that are no longer reflective of me and this blog. Time to get rid of posts with negative tone. Time to ditch posts that don’t showcase my best writing efforts.

Within the past couple of years, I’ve really tried to shift my writing to be positive and uplifting, while still approaching topics that are tough and not sugarcoating. It is a tricky balance that I’m really trying to strike, one that stays true to who I am today and also who I have been up until this point.

Have you taken a spring cleaning approach to anything in your life? Straight up cleaning and decluttering the house, the garage, the car, or in a different, less tangible sense like mine? The comments are all yours so please share.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @lindsayIRL on Twitter. Please subscribe to Wellness in Real Life if you like what you are reading and want to read more articles on running, fitness, occasional thoughts on parenting, and overall wellness. Also, if you ever need to feel better about yourself because you love to eat, I’m here for you – I LOVE to eat 🙂

Is it Best to Run Solo or Have a Running Buddy?

“The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The next best time is today.”

There were days I used to be really organized. I was on the ball with everything. I would look ahead and plan for things that were coming. Back in the day, I used to do those things. How I fondly remember those days.

And then I had children.

National Workout Buddy Day – Ahem, Belated
Okay, I should give myself more credit. I’m still pretty organized and on the ball; still a planner and work ahead on things. I mean, I started planning my oldest son’s Valentines Day box in late January. I have all my youngest son’s milk organized and portioned out days in advance. I schedule all their appointments and get them on the calendar…I’m starting to see a pattern.

Yep, it’s all about them now. While I do make time for myself and my husband, it’s definitely not the same.

Take my blog in general, even this entry, for example. I no longer blog every Sunday morning. I no longer plan ahead to have series of posts or clever real-world tie-ins. Like today, I’m here to talk about workout buddies and, as I write this, I just missed National Workout Buddy Day.

But there’s a saying out there, the one I used to kick off this blog. Sure it would have been better to talk about workout buddies ahead of the national day but the next best time is now. So let’s talk about workout buddies – specifically, running buddies.

Running_Buddies

One of my favorites to bring on a run

Run Solo or With a Running Buddy
Do you have a workout buddy? Do you like to run with others, just one or a big group? Or do you find you run better alone?

There are plenty of runners who are very strict and loyal to their method of running. They always run solo. They must run with their training group for long runs. They only run with their dog on non-speed work days.

While some swear that running is only fun with friends, others believe if you’re going to do it right, you have to do it alone. So what should you do? What is the best way to run – solo or with others?

There’s No Wrong Way to Run
Introverts and extroverts, rejoice. The answer is, there is no answer – at least, no right or wrong answer. The best way to run is the best way that works for you. And it doesn’t always have to be the same.

Think about it, there are plenty of different ways to run. That’s one of the things I most love about the sport. Depending on the day and what works best for you, there are different ways to do the “same” workout, aka, get in a run.

You can run fast or slow. Run a short distance or long run. Run outside or on the treadmill.

Same goes for a running partner. You can hit the pavement with a friend – human or furry. You can find a local running group – for weekday runs or just long runs. You can join a pace group on race day – and stick with it the whole way or break away if the mood strikes.

That’s the best part of all, you don’t have to be locked into your choice. You can do whatever works for you at the time.

A Mix of Running Buddies
When I first began running, I did all my long runs with a friend. We were training towards a common goal and were absolutely essential to keeping each other on track and positive.

Workout_Buddy

Love running races with my cuz, Jordan

When I started training for my first marathon, I did all my long runs with my former boyfriend. He was faster than me so a great pacer, plus he was experienced to help me with things like route planning and mid-run fuel.

When my dog, Burton, was old enough to start running, he became my go-to running buddy, whether I was going two miles or ten. On a related note, here’s an older post about the pros and cons of running with dogs.

Then my goals became bigger and I opted to run alone. In addition to being able to selfishly focus on just me, I found I loved the peace and solitude that came with running alone (and I’m a headphones-free runner so it quite literally is just me out there).

I still love the peace and “me” time of solo runs. But in recent years, I have also come back to a love of running with others.

I became a pacer and love running in groups. I wrote a blog awhile back about why to run with a pacer and why not to run with a pacer. I became a mother and love taking my son with me in the stroller. And I became less concerned with my time and distance and more concerned with just running to run. I’ve run with a friend for her first marathon, my aunt when she wanted to place top 10 in the local 5k, and my cousin and I just signed up for our next race together.

Yet, I still crave those solo days, the ones where it’s just me. Sometimes that means I’m outside, taking in the peace of my quiet neighborhood. Other days that means I’m on the treadmill, rewatching New Girl and trying not to faceplant whenever Winston says something hilarious.

The point is, run with others, run solo, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is the run. However you do it, however it works best for you, keep on running.

Runners, now it’s your turn to share. Do you prefer to run solo or with others? Does it depend on if it’s a weekday run, long run, or race day? The comments are all yours so please share.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @lindsayIRL on Twitter. And please subscribe to Wellness in Real Life so you get every new blog post right to your inbox – bonus, I haven’t been blogging as much lately so don’t worry, you won’t get a ton from me ☺

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