Doing Your Thang

Hey guys! How’s your day going?? Mine has been bueno- the pilot hasn’t been called into work yet, so we’ve been chilling. He’s kind of fun 😀

First things first, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Giveaway winner:



Congrats!! Please send me an email (fitnessista at gmail dot com) so I may forward it to the Dick’s Sporting Goods fairy. Enjoy your new sneaks and whatever other goodies you buy!

This morning’s snack was the obvious:

kale chips

The rest of the kale chips I made yesterday. They’re gone now :/ So good while they lasted!

I also made some gluten-free dough from a mix I picked up at Whole Foods.


(Nope, I’m not GF, but tend to eat that way pretty often)

I rolled half out and half-baked it for tonight’s pizza (all I have to do after work is add toppings and bake- wahoo!)

dough (2)

And used the other half to make a sub roll for the pilot’s lunchtime sandwich:


(Canola mayo, organic turkey, greens and havarti)

It’s in the fridge waiting for him 🙂

I’m about to walk the puppers and make a smoothie before work.. methinks it will be a Chocolate Cherry Bomb

cherry bomb

Bomb diggity. Haha.

Before I go, I wanted to ask ya’ll about the following comment I received along with my response:


So my question is, do races or other fitness events (like working out) stress you out?? Why do you do it?

For me, the huge thing is how I feel at the end. After a particularly mentally and physically challenging workout, I feel like a million bucks. That’s what keeps me going back for more: working out and challenging myself keeps me healthy, and motivates me to push towards a goal. If every workout (or race) was lah-di-dah, not only would my results dwindle, I wouldn’t feel much satisfaction when it was over.

Yes, working out should be enjoyable and you shouldn’t punish yourself by working out, but I definitely think there should be sometimes when you feel like you can’t do any more. And then you do. And that’s how you improve. It’s the makings of goal-breaking, ya know??

So talk to me about it.. what keeps you going back for more??

I’m off to train some clients, hop on the elliptical and see how my legs do, then it’s pizza time.



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  1. Jessica @ How Sweet on March 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Totally can relate. Training for fitness competitions is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and extremely time consuming, but the way I feel during and after is just priceless. I love having a goal to achieve, and I love performing!

  2. Kristin on March 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Signing up for races/events keeps me motivated. I never say to my self, “You must finish with this time.” of “You must be number __ in your age category.” I just do them to give me a little added omphh to my workouts, keep me focusesed, and maybe push me just a little more than I would want to go.

  3. Sara @ Activegal on March 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I haven’t ran a half marathon in about a year but even though they are very painful I run them for that feeling when you cross the finish line. You feel as though you can DO anything! I can’t wait to do one again!

  4. Heather (Heather's Dish) on March 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    all the blogs i read are about people doing races (feels like it anyway :)) but i just don’t really care to race at all! i love exercise because of the way it makes me feel, but i know that for a lot of people they need that competition to make them train harder and become stronger. it’s so fun to read about though! there are an incredible number of inspirational, beating-the-odds stories that involve racing, which makes it cool in my book 🙂

  5. Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA on March 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I also get pre-race anxiety. But it’s good anxiety. It reminds me of playing sports in HS and college. I live for the adrenaline.

    Although the anxiety can seem irritating at times, it always makes me perform better. And when the race is through it’s just icing on the cake.

    For me racing is about setting personal goals, facing challenges, and ROCKING them!

    From one runner to another, let me tell you that there is absolutely no better feeling of accomplishment than crossing your first marathon finish line. Even if you run more later in life there’s nothing like your first 😉 (lol)

    I know you’re probably thinking “I’ll never do a marathon” or so it seems because 13.1 feels long, but if you can do 13.1 you can do 26.2. I honestly mean that. Mark my words chica 😉

    Have a great day!!!


    • Lindsey512 on March 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      I agree with your reasons, Lauren! I am new to races and have gotten anxious (have only done 5ks) before them, but I am totally hooked! Training for my first longer race now and I am so excited, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be scared that morning getting ready to start!!

      It is definitely in part about moving through that fear that makes running races so rewarding. I also like the training, though.

  6. Shayna @ Cuts and Curves on March 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    My reasons for challenging myself are the same as yours. I love the feeling it gives me! Even finishing a tough weekday run that really challenged me leaves me with the best feeling! I will usually be in a good mood for the entire day because I accomplished something that I generally struggle with.

  7. Kristina @ MendonPondMusings on March 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I love the challenge of races! It might sound weird – but I really like having a set training schedule – helps me from cheating.

    I can’t wait to have my first marathon under my belt (12 days!) – I might have caught race fever!

  8. whitney @ whitinspired on March 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    It’s just like you said. It’s the feeling of accomplishment once you finish. There have been times where I’ve been saying to myself “You can’t do this, it hurts, just stop” and then I don’t. I keep going. And afterwards I feel amazing. Amazing because I worked out and amazing because I accomplished something that I didn’t think I could do. I also enjoy getting faster, almost everytime I see improvement. Races might stress me out, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

  9. Stephanie on March 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I think anyone who has ever done competitive sports knows that feeling of anxiety right before you step up to the blocks or before a game. It is part of the adrenaline of getting ready to do it. I used to swim and it never failed that before each race I would feel like I was going to pee my pants standing up on the starting blocks!! (I never did though XD)

  10. Lauren @ Eater not a runner on March 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    It’s all about having a goal and working toward it. It is pretty much the best sense of accomplishment when you complete a race (or anything) that you didn’t think you could do before!

  11. Lauren on March 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    While at times it can be stressful, I love the sense of accomplishment after I finish. That in my opinion is worth it.
    I also enjoy challenging myself to see what all I can do.

  12. Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I have absolutely no desire to ever run a race… I’m just not a runner, nor am I at all athletic. Even when i was in the best shape of my life just after high school, I was still not athletic. There’s a difference, I think, between having something hurt (like working out) and something that causes so many people so much injury, like running. I do however, know that anxiety from performing. i was in a lot of plays and concerts, and while the prep was so aggravating, the payoff was amazing.

  13. Jen on March 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I LOVE to run! And, yes, I do complain a little bit abour races, but in all honestly, I completely enjoy every second of them. I am more complaining because I am nervous, not because I hate doing it. I ran a marathon last november – yes, it was hard. yes, i complained before and after the race. but, the overall joy and happiness that came over me upon completing the race was more than all of the complaining. 2 days later, I signed up for another race! I love to work out, but there are also days when I don’t feel like it. But, I have felt myself get so much stronger and faster over the past 2 years and that is what motivates me. I feel good about myself. I am confident and feel awesome! What more could you ask for?!

  14. Shannon on March 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    YOU SAID IT PERFECTLY!!! 🙂 I feel the exact same way! 🙂

    “For me, the huge thing is how I feel at the end. After a particularly mentally and physically challenging workout, I feel like a million bucks. That’s what keeps me going back for more: working out and challenging myself keeps me healthy, and motivates me to push towards a goal. If every workout (or race) was lah-di-dah, not only would my results dwindle, I wouldn’t feel much satisfaction when it was over.”

    • Shelly on March 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      That is so true- and for me, running is the hardest type of workout- so it’s what makes me feel the best!

  15. Bethany (Not Unless I'm Being Chased) on March 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I’m training for my first half marathon and it’s something I never thought I would be doing. I only started running over the summer — but boy, do I know how to pick it when it comes to a challenge. 😉
    I think the fact I’m challenging myself for the first time in 20-something years is what keeps me going even when things get sticky and tough. I remind myself how amazed I’ve been at my own capabilities in the past.
    If I don’t push myself, how will I ever have those moments?

  16. Jen on March 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I’m a triathlete and I’m training for my first Ironman. I’m asked this question all the time. Here’s how I explain it:

    Yes, there are moments of pure torture. However, the moments of total and complete euphoria more than make up for the pain. It’s the moments of blissful euphoria that keep me going back for more races.

  17. Katheryn on March 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I love running races, especially the long ones. I have run 2 half-marathons and will be running my third full marathon in 5 weeks. It’s hard, I guess, but I try to train smart and do it for the enjoyment.

  18. Kelly on March 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I used to get so nervous before races when I ran track that I would throw up. I still get nervous before a race, but I think it’s the feeling of success after that keeps us going back for more.

  19. Britt @ Runnerbelle on March 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I think its like anything that you train for/prepare for, all that hard work is about to go to the proving ground. If you aren’t nervous then you must not really care….. I think.

    The night before & morning of a marathon I get nervous. I ask myself why the heck I am doing this. But once I’m out there and finish…. I remember why. There is NOTHING as sweet as that finish line! Plus marathons give me a goal, a reason to train and motivate me to get out there on days when I’d rather just throw in the towel.

  20. Heather on March 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I’m not a runner and will probably never run a race, BUT I think life is about a) doing things that scare you and taking risks and b) challenging yourself! I also think there’s a difference between someone who does a race every few months versus someone who does them compulsively (like a few a month and gets freaked out about everyone) …that kind of person might have an issue, but someone who does them sporadically seems to be the kind of person that wants to push themselves, challenge themselves, and switch up their fitness routine. Also, feeling successful in anything you do, ESPECIALLY something that is challenging, is an amazing feeling!

  21. Shelly on March 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I think racing is 100% more fun than training. I really like to run, but in the course of training for a half marathon this past fall, I did find that during some of the longer long runs, I would get kind of sick of it- mainly I would get bored/tired of my music/stressed about everything else I could be doing if running wasn’t taking 2 hours out of my day. BUT I definitely didn’t feel that way during the half marathon- I have a great time when I’m racing and it really reinforces to my just why I run.
    That being said, I definitely don’t sleep well before a race. I also don’t sleep well if I have to get up early or if I’m on a work trip. Basically if I have to be somewhere at a specific time that’s different from my normal routine, I toss and turn. I wouldn’t call it anxiety- I’d say that I am overly alert.
    Sometimes I have a bad run (where I’m slower than I want to be or don’t feel well or have some pain or it’s too darn hot) and I’m usually a little nervous about the next one- but they generally turn out fine.
    For me, the benfits of running definitely outweigh any occasional bouts of nervousness.
    First of all- I think it’s really fun!
    I like working towards a goal and challenging myself.
    It keeps me fit (and helps me further my ultimate goal of being a feisty old lady some day!)
    It encourages me to eat lots of delicious and healthy food (You have to eat enough and you can’t eat too much junk to properly fuel yourself).
    It keeps me sane- my moods have leveled and my overall happiness and outlook on life has really increased since I’ve become a runner.
    It helps me look pretty darn good in my jeans. 🙂
    It’s one of the reasons I feel proud of myself!

  22. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on March 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Racing is all about feeling like a rock-star afterward!! Nothing compares to that rush you get after finishing a HARD race. After my first 10K, I was practically in tears I was so proud of myself!

    My yoga studio has quote posted that reads, “Do something that scares you everyday.” After accomplishing a scary goal, you feel so amazing!! 😀

  23. Maya on March 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I think that we grow as people by going out of our comfort zones, so it makes sense that we would grow as an athlete by challenging ourselves, too. A half and full mary are definitely challenging, but when you finish at the end it’s so exhilarating and one of the few concrete examples you get in life of growth.

  24. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg on March 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Races do stress me out somewhat…but they also pump me up and push me to keep going when I want to quit!

    That dough looks delicious…can’t wait to see the pizza 🙂

  25. bobbileigh on March 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I have never done any races (though I want to at some point this summer) so I cannot speak to that but I get the same satisfaction from other aspects of working out. When I am able to beat a personal record in running it sure wasn’t fun while I was doing it but afterward I feel so accomplished. Same thing for working out with my trainer he challenges me to do things I previously did not think I could and it feels great.

    I look at it like this I may not have 100% control over everything that happened that day at work but from the second I step foot into the gym to the second I leave I have complete control over how that session went and how I feel afterward. That is an amazing feeling.

  26. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on March 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Sense of accomplishment is what gets me through tough workouts. I totally agree with you! I love to challenge myself!

  27. Karissa @ CardioFoodie on March 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I run races because it just feels so good at the end. It is a great accomplishment. I won’t lie, I also run because I love passing people. Being in law school I am surrounded by people that are smarter than me and always fighting to land some thing. It feels good knowing most everyone would be eating my dust in a race. (Sorry law school makes you majorly competitive, I promise I am not an awful person!)

  28. June on March 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    sometimes i get stressed out but more often than not, no. its because i put pressure on myself to do well, or by my standards anyway…i work very hard and i LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE running AND training!!!!!!!!!!!!! so what if its a little bit of stress? its totally worth it!

  29. Kalli@fitandfortysomething on March 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I think anything that pushed you out of your comfort zone causes some stress but I agree with you it is totally worth it when you have pushed yourself and you are done. That is when you grow……

  30. Karen w on March 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    For me, it is all about the feeling of accomplishment. Some of my races I recall tearing up or almost hyperventilating over the sense of pride that I did something I thought I never would! Yeah, races can be tough but if they were easy what would be the point in even doing them? It is all about challenging myself.

  31. Kat on March 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I think running races (esp long ones) is all about proving to yourself that you can take on a serious challenge and succeed at it. Something I think during all the miles and miles of training its easy to start doubting outselves or wondering what in the world we got ourselves into. But just like most tough things in life when you actually get out there and accomplish the thing you’ve been working SO hard on, it feels amazing. I think running races is a great way to keep that feeling coming over and over again 🙂

  32. Vicki on March 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    That’s like asking why anyone would do anything that was hard. The hardest things are usually the most rewarding. My first half marathon was less than ideal but that feeling at the end is amazing! Can’t wait for my next one.

  33. Leslie on March 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I completely agree with your reasoning for running a half-marathon. I have run four so far. Each has been spaced over a year from each other so I pretty much have to start from scratch every time I have trained. During each one I have pretty much hated myself for doing another one for the middle miles, but then by the end I remember why I have kept going back for more. It also helps to do them for a great cause. Three of the half-marathons I have run have been for St.Jude in Memphis, TN. Some St.Jude patients (children suffering from life-threatening childhood diseases and cancers) and many of their families come line the streets to cheer for the racers. I have always loved running by and giving the kids a high-five! Now, if that can’t keep you moving I don’t know what can!

  34. Danielle (Coffee Run) on March 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I absolutely love running. Everything about it: before, during, and after. I don’t associate the feeling of breathing hard, sweating, and your heart pumping with pain. Pain is a separate, different feeling (for me).

    Events like marathons don’t stress me out- they make me excited! I hope it never gets to the point where it stresses me out 😕

  35. Becca on March 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Definitely not able to run (knees), but definitely agree with your perspective. Working out is so much fun for me, just because it’s an opportunity to challenge myself (while doing something great for my body). Maybe I can’t run a half-marathon, but even the small improvements make such a big difference.
    I feel that it transcends into every area of your life, so you tend to be more disciplined, hardworking, and ready to challenge yourself ith other things.
    It’s worth more than one might think!

  36. Allison @ Food For Healing on March 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I have yet to run in a race. I plan to run a 10k in April and May, not positive about April yet, but definitly in May. I can’t imagine running a half or a full marathon! AHH. But i think it would be great one day, but ill start a little smaller with 6.2 miles instead!

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      exactly- baby steps!

  37. Tyler Ramey on March 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I run because quite frankly…if I don’t, I get extremely crabby. Plus, it’s like free therapy for me. Nothing like a nice long run to calm me down.

    Races and running in general are addicting to me….every time I finish one I am waiting for another. Next stop marathon, you with me Gina?!?! I swear we can stop at all the hat shops and take a bazillion pictures. 😉

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      i told myself i would NEVER run a marathon. however, if it were with you, i’d do it 🙂

  38. Ashley (whole-ier) on March 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Great question! I HATE the Body Pump classes. They are so hard for me. But every time I finish one I feel so awesome. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that feeling when I’m thinking about skipping a class. I can’t wait read what advice others have.

  39. Lindsey on March 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I run for the thrill of waiting at the starting line in anticipation, and the bigger thrill of crossing the finish line and seeing your time flash as you go by. I don’t think any runner would say it is easy, runners are great at pushing themselves for faster times and longer distances so ‘easy’ is not really part of it. But there is something to be said for the familiar faces you see at races and the post race sweaty reception with orange slices and cookies and smiles on all the runners that crossed that line. In sum, I think it is more about being part of something a little bigger than the everyday and getting those little achivements that encourage you and keep you pushing on : )

  40. Ashle on March 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I completely agree with you. I love to push myself and meet new fitness goals. I love to see the strength my body has when it can go the extra mile. I don’t always want to get my bum off the couch, but I know I will feel better after it is done.

  41. Cat on March 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve thought about this a lot too. I’m not a big “racer”, I’ve only done one half-marathon in my life and I remember thinking at about Mile 11 of that one: “I’m glad I’m doing this, but I will never do it again.”

    I haven’t done one since (knee issues mostly and trying to preserve them), but I’ve engaged in other athletic challenges since then, some of which have been very difficult.

    Why race or engage in other athletic challenges? My 6 reasons:

    1. Because of the thrill afterwards (like Gina)
    2. Because the 13th mile may feel like hell, the previous 12 felt AWESOME
    3. Because our bodies weren’t built to sit in front of computers 18 hours a day (ahem!)
    4. Because I want to live a VERY long life and staying active will help this
    5. Because training for an event is incredibly motivational and gives you purpose to your workouts
    6. Because he aches and pains go away, but the mental rewards last a lifetime.

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      amen!! i’m cracking up at #3 😉

  42. Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place on March 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I use to race competitively at least twice a week. It wasn’t fun towards the end and that’s why I stopped. I’d rather just exercise at my own leisure. I hate the stress of racing, especially when you’re doing it to win!

  43. Stephanie @ See Stephanie Run on March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Racing is hard work, and physically it is not fun. As a hard core race addict I can tell you why people do it: It’s Awesome!

    Even though it can be painful, I you can be anxious about your performance, I don’t think it’s stressful in a sense like money problems or work stress. You are thinking about strategy, not getting injured, beating your previous times, and exceeding your goals.

    If you are not a goal-driven and competitive person you will not understand the High that comes from crossing the finish line knowing that you far exceeded your expectations, and your body surpassed the limits you thought it had. You are motivated by improving and doing better and thats what keeps people (even the complainers) coming back.
    At the same time, when you don’t hit your goal…it Sucks!!!!!! Knowing that you put forth all your effort and trained hard and for one reason or another didn’t execute what you are capable of- it’s frustrating.

    I think anyone who takes the time to run even one race can understand the excitement and let-downs that come with it, there is always a negative for every positive.

  44. Karyn on March 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    i get stressed because i get scared i’m not going to be able to finish or run to the best of my ability. luckily i have great friends who poo-poo that. so i think a support system is the best thing to have!

  45. Elizabeth on March 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    have you ever cooked kale chips in anything other than a dehydrator? or have any recipes you would reccomend? i saw some at whole foods- they were a pretty penny though. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      no i haven’t but heard they come out well in an oven, too

  46. Rhoni on March 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t think anyone loves every single workout they do. Working out 5-7 days a week can’t always be fun and exciting! But knowing that you’re giving your body strength is a true reward. And nothing feels better than conquering your fears and worries and pains!!! Giving our body and our mind a challenge is an opportunity to grow as a person. It is a powerful feeling. I think Jenna needs to start working out! Because even if she ran 1 or 2 miles every day, she would know how good it feels to push her body and control and battle her emotions to the finish line. It’s a pretty incredible experience.

  47. Ashley on March 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I actually run races because they scare me. I went through a time in my life where I never really completed anything I started out of fear of failure. I feel like running has forced me to confront my demons. Yes, the months of training into marathons/half marathons are grueling and sometimes miserable, but there is nothing like that feeling of completing a long training run and then eventually the race itself. Running instills in me the belief that I truly can do anything I set my mind too and I feel like that motivation/confidence spills into all areas of my life.

  48. Jess on March 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I do a lot of rock, ice, and alpine climbing, and there’s a common saying among alpine climbers (who are often on the move in adverse weather conditions for upwards of 20 hours straight): “Fun isn’t always fun.” The idea is that there may be parts of an experience–the stressful lead up to an anticipated climb or times during the climb itself–that don’t much feel like a whole lot of fun in the moment. You’re cold, wet, scared, confronting the challenge of pushing yourself beyond where you’ve gone before or beyond what you think you’re capable of in that moment. And it can suck. But you keep pushing and you keep coming back to it and doing it again, eagerly and with pleasure, because when it’s all over, you look back and think, “That ROCKED!”

    I think you captured the idea very well when you said you do it because you “feel like a champion when it’s over.” If it [long races, long climbs, whatever] was always easy, I don’t think it would be nearly as satisfying overall.

  49. Kilee on March 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I use races as motivation to get me moving. I LOVE to run and sometimes, I get in a rut. I need that something extra to push me through it. I spend the whole hour before and even during the race thinking “I am not doing this again” only to sign up for another race down the road. BTW all of your meals always look so good!

  50. Melissa S. on March 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I get stressed out about certain races but not actually for the race itself, but everything leading up to it, like getting to the start line, in my coral, have my badge, etc. i could care less what my time or place is for a race; I just want to finish!

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