Starting from scratch

Hi! We’re enjoying a wonderful family vacay. I’ll be posting a full recap of our travels, but in the meantime I have a few fun posts planned here on the blog (fashion, family, a dance cardio video and a giveaway!). Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Oh friends, I’ve been quite the running slacker lately. Just when I was really starting to get into my groove, summer happened. And I don’t just mean “summer” as in the blazing Tucson heat -because man, that’s enough to set you back if you let it- but I also mean all of the fun stuff that’s been more important to me than running. Like sleeping. And BBQs.

Bbq dinner  1 of 1

Now, it’s time to get my game face on. As you guys know, I really want to PR for my next half. At this point, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything and played the “I just want to have fun and finish!” card, but in reality, I still would love to PR. Here’s the thing: I’ll have to work for it.ย 

I’ve done a lot of things toย prepare myself for the upcoming running season. I’ve been pretty consistent about lifting weights, watching the cardio with my teaching schedule -when I have intense teaching days, I have to be sure to sandwich enough rest time and avoid doing too much outside cardio- and fueling myself appropriately. I feel stronger from the heavy leg work I’ve been doing, faster from the HIIT training, and now it’s time to put all of the pieces together into a solid training plan.

Renegade pushup row  1 of 1 2

When I first agreed to do the half in November, I thought that July would be the perfect time to *really* start training. Welp, July is here and save for a few HIIT sessions on the treadmill, I haven’t done much running. In Tucson, you have to wake up early if you want to beat the heat. If I want to get in a long run, I’m going to have to be a bit of an early bird (and, thanks to your awesome tips, I’m determined to make it happen).

As horrible as it can be to run when it’s hot, I can also use it to my advantage when training for upcoming races. Heat makes you sloooooooow, so when the weather finally does cool down, it feels amazing and you can run faster.

Unless you’re miss Liv– she’s always fast ๐Ÿ˜‰


I think one of my main problems with running -and we have an iffy relationship- is that it’s stop and go depending on the weather, how I’m feeling, if the stars are aligned, etc. I wonder how much faster/stronger I’d be and how much better it would feel if I stuck with it consistently. It seems like in the summer and winter I let it fall by the wayside, while every fall and spring, I’m itching to do races. I’m thinking, just like everything else, consistency is the key to SUCCESS.

I’m making a goal right now to just get in ONE run each week until my structured training plans begins (in August now). It may be 1 mile or 6 miles, who knows, but I’m going to start being consistent to see if it helps!

Does anyone else do this? Frequent runners, how do you make it a part of your lifestyle? Do you fit runs in when you can, or is it something that happens no matter what at the same time each week?

For all of my fellow Arizona runners out there, check out the Women’s Running Series Half in November! You can use the code “FITAZGINA” to get $10 off your registration. If you’d like to tweet your training progress along with us, we’re using the hashtag #beamazing .



This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Fitfluential. As always, all opinions are my own. I’m really excited for some extra motivation to hit the fall race season HARD ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Julie @ Better Life with Burgers on July 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I totally agree that consistency is key. For me, taking a long break from running makes me so nervous the next time I run (so weird). But when I’ve been running consistently, I’m much more confident; I just think, “Okay, I did four miles last week, so I can totally do five miles this week! No problem!”

    I love that you’re aiming to PR–I can’t wait to hear how the rest of your training goes! Good luck!

    • Tom T. on July 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Consistency does breed confidence you are correct. I believe having a serious goal gives you motivation to work as well. Good luck.

  2. Amber on July 15, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I am in the SAME predicament that you are!!! I used to be BIG into running before I got pregnant with my daughter (best shape of my life, in fact). And now I feel I am lightyears away from obtaining that point again. The heat here in Sacramento is pretty brutal too (but it’s no Arizona!), so I find myself making the same excuses. Plus I work full time and my husband travels about 2-3 weeks out of the month, so subjecting her to whatever run I SHOULD be doing isn’t always an option. I’m hoping to gain some motivation too!!! *fingers crossed*

  3. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on July 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Oh my gosh I have he exact same problem with running. My attitude and enjoyment level completely depends on the weather. I’m not too consistent, but I try to get at least one run in a week. I have noticed that, if I run consistently, it becomes a habit and I actually am yearning to go out and run! Funny how that works!

  4. Anna on July 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Yay to PRs! Sometimes, I have to tell people I want to PR, that way I am held accountable and train harder. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My run schedule is not very consistent, I do a lot of my running on the weekends because I have more time or right when I get off of work at 5 p.m. I HAVE to do it right after work during the week or it won’t get done. It helps to go from one thing to the next for me.

  5. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie on July 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Great post – I’m a BIG fan of FitFluential! <3

  6. Jean on July 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I’m really bad at keeping up with running too. I have a pretty bad track record of pushing myself too hard too soon and getting injured, so I’ve been afraid to run consistently. I think the trick is to start slow and build yourself up.

  7. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on July 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I have a funny relationship with running. It’s not my favorite but I can do pretty well when I train. Like you said, I stop and go based on how I’m feeling and heat does not help. Last year I had to train for a sprint triathlon and granted it is a much shorter distance than you are covering but I wanted to focus on getting up some speed. When I first started out training, it was soooo painful. I hated it. I have to say, as I trained more and more, it got easier and it was a little less terrible. I can’t say I’ll ever love running, but the proof is in the pudding. The more I work at it, the easier it becomes. Good luck training! You’ll do great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Megan on July 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    When I trained for a half I did it with a friend and that helped because we would schedule a day and time and I would have to show up even if I didn’t feel like it.
    Also, I find running first thing in the morning is nice because it is out of the way and you feel good for the rest of the day. Sometimes I literally roll out of bed and into my sneakers, before I even comb my hair or brush my teeth:)

  9. Sydney on July 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I agree that consistency is definitely important, especially when getting back into “the hang” of running. Over the winter I’d run 2-3 times a week on the dreadmill, and a huge part of transitioning back into outdoor running this spring was keeping my runs consistent. It took a few weeks, but now my nearly-daily runs feel second-nature. Whereas before I would have to actually tell (and mentally force, coerce, etc.) myself to get out there and run, now it’s not even much of a decision.

    On the other hand, there’s also certainly a benefit to taking a break when you need to. I’ve been training for a half-marathon the past few months (it’s this Sunday!), and just this past week I started to feel burned out. Lacing up my sneaks started to feel less like a habit and more like a forced obligation, so I took a few days off. Instead I focused on doing fun, non run-related things like biking and walking, without putting emphasis on the “working out” part of it. Today I finally laced my shoes back up and headed out for a leisurely run–without a stopwatch or music. It was solely for the enjoyment of running, and it felt incredible.

    My tip would be just to take the time before your training plan begins to run just for the enjoyment of it. If you run without trying to beat the clock or logging in a certain number of miles, you might remember why you loved it in the first place. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of luck on your half, and I really hope you get your PR! You’re such an inspiration, and however well you do will be amazing!

  10. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on July 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Sometimes I love running other times I hate it. It all depends on my mood that day. 3 miles is my max, I get way too bored doing longer distances.

  11. Lisa on July 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Can’t call myself a frequent runner yet as I just started running.
    My solution is to run to and from work.I have the possibility to shower at work so I every other day I ride my bike to work, and the run home. The next day I run to work and ride my bike home. That way I don’t have to run twice a day. I also select the days without to many meeting and other “dress nice” occasions to run to work.

  12. Kelly @ KellyRunsforFood on July 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I’m really dependent on the weather too! If I’m not feeling the weather, it can be awful for my pace. I incorporate treadmill runs a lot when I’m at the gym so I don’t get completely out of it. I know a lot of people knock the treadmill, but I love it for intervals, hills, and just being able to run in a climate-controlled environment.

  13. hyedi on July 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I have to tell you that running used to feel the same way for me (like it only went well if all conditions were just right). Now, it is so much easier now that I’m consistent with it. And I have to fit runs in when I can, but I make it a priority!

  14. Cassie Vaughn on July 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I am the exact same way! Spring and fall, I itch to run. But winter and summer, I leave it alone. Since I started life hating runner, I find it a success that there are actually times that I enjoy running and actually want to do it. So I don’t push it. I just do it when I enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Lindsey @ Indiana Hearts on July 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I feel like the stars have to be aligned for me to run consistently too! My goal has been running once a week lately, since the humidity here is wicked this summer. I really want to do a race in the fall, so I know I’m going to need to step up my game soon!

  16. Sam on July 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    For me, I need to tell myself “when you wake up you will be running” it helps. I ran 6.9 miles last week in total. Try using runkeeper app. It really motivates me to go.

  17. Morgan {The Gym Bunny} on July 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I am so with you! I’ve got humid Charleston, SC heat to beat and I too am trying to train for my first half. Running is hit or miss for me and I hate that I really have to wake up early to accomplish some good mileage!

  18. Kristen on July 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I used to run 4-6 days a week when I was a teenager and into my early 20’s. I lived and breathed it.
    Fast forward a few years and I now dread running. I’m not even sure why. It’s hard for me to understand since I used to love it so much. I’ve decided not to force it anymore. If I do get an itch to run these days, I take full advantage of it.

    I think you should definitely be consistent with it. Also, just know that if you really want something bad enough, you’ll MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  19. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats on July 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Consistency is absolutely key. I fit in 3 runs per week whether they are slow, fast, short, long, etc. I just need to get them in so I don’t fall out of the habit!

  20. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on July 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I know what you mean.. consistency is key for sure, although I definitely have “off” days or weeks even when I am running consistently (like now), courtesy of weather or fatigue or stuff at work.. I try to run at least three times a week generally, and esp now since I’m training for my own half in August. Crunch time!

  21. Victoria @ Reluctantly Skinny on July 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I’ve been spending too much time with important things (sleep and barbecue) as well. BUT I have tried to keep running consistent – probably 3 times a week, even if it’s low mileage, usually around 3 miles and I have noticed significant improvement!

  22. Amanda on July 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I think the most important thing at the beginning is to just get out there! Unless you’re really trying to stick to a plan, give yourself a few options. I like to do something like – I’ll go out for 3-6 miles, depending on how I feel. No worries about pace, etc. it’s just more about getting back into the running mentality. I bet you’ll surprise yourself, too!

  23. Traci B on July 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I may have to reschedule a day during the week based on rain but for the most part I know I’m getting up at 4:45 & running on certain days of the week.

  24. Hannah @ Sprints and Scones on July 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I’m so excited for your half & PR! I’m in the middle of training for my second full marathon in the Houston heat & humidity, so I feel you ๐Ÿ™‚ I ran at 5am today in the rain (ugh).

    I think you have to run until it feels like habit. I always run the same days each week (unless something crazy happens), and I set weekly mileage goals. If I miss a run, I make up the miles that week in order to keep my momentum.

    I also think it’s important to have those hard runs that you don’t want to do. Those are the runs you learn from, grow from, and feel the most proud of ๐Ÿ™‚ if it’s your body that can’t run, listen to it. If its your mind that doesn’t WANT to run, push past it!

    Happy training!
    Hannah @

  25. Laura @losingrace on July 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    My run schedule is anything but consistent. Some days I’m good about dragging my rear out of bed before work, other days it happens on way home from work and some nights it’s a 9pm workout. I guess that is what happens when you hold a hectic schedule. I know it’s better to workout at same time each day but I also think there is something to be said about being flexible and able to workout at different times of day.

  26. Claire @ Health Nut Claire on July 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Best of luck with your goals!

  27. lucie on July 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Your arms!!! wow.
    I love running. I surely don’t feel it sometimes and then I switch to the spinning bike or Elliptical or a class, but there is nothing like a run outside.
    I try to plan it by ear – I go when I feel like it. And since I love being outdoors, I feel like it a lot. Though I never pressure myself, I did this in my past years of my ED and I had HORRIBLE runs.
    I run about 3 times a week and I just go with the flow – morning, evening, lunchtime; a long run, a slow run, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 90 minutes (that happens rarely to be honest). This way, it is always an enjoyment, yet I stay consistent.
    The advantage here is, that I am a morning person and we do not have crazy temps like you in Tucson. My opinion is, that when you start forcing yourself to run, you lose fun – that happens to me and like I said – it’s not fun. I realized, that even if I don’t do long runs each week, but staying consistent with running and HIIT, I am still fit enough to run a half.
    Good luck with your goals, can’t wait to hear more!

  28. McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped on July 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve secretly always wanted to be a runner (well not so much secret anymore), but I get super bored and feel like time is inching by. I love your circuit workouts you post though!

  29. Caitie @ twentytwofit on July 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    you are so toned! I know from following you that you do zumba, yoga, running, and plain ol’ time in the gym. Have you found that one tones you/gives you a better workout than others? How frequently do any of those different types of working out? You look incredible!

    • Fitnessista on July 16, 2013 at 12:36 am

      wow, thank you! i post my fitness plans each week, but i think the main things that help me lean out are: diet (when i eat clean, i can see it), yoga, strength training, not doing too much cardio (which is easy to do with work, so if i’m teaching a lot, i minimize outside cardio)

  30. Andrea @ The Fit Scoop on July 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Way to go on putting your PR goal out there! I find it easiest to make running a part of my life by getting my runs done before I start the day – even if that means getting up at 5:30 some days. I find I never skip it if I do it first thing and though it is sometimes painful to get up that early, I never regret it once the run is done ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, as a certified running coach, I want to give you props on building a strong body before increasing the miles. I wish more runners would do this! A lot of times runners get injured because their body wasn’t strong enough to handle adding miles. You are off to a great start for your training!

  31. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on July 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I am totally with you when it comes to on and off again running. I LOVE running, but down here in Texas (like Tucson), it is so dang hot in the summer it zaps my running motivation! I am trying to stay at least semi consistent with 2-3, 3-5 mile runs every week, but like you, that means waking up at the butt crack of dawn! I just keep reminding myself how much better I feel (physically and mentally) when I am running consistently!

    Good Luck on your race!

  32. Carolyn on July 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Really loved this post! I have run cross country competitively with both my high school, and now am looking forward to continuing it in college at Cal.

    I run every day. And I find consistency is key. When I am off season, my mileage is MY responsibility. So I go every morning at the same time, and every afternoon (if I’m doubling) at the same time. Otherwise, I put it off and it doesn’t happen. I also find that when I run at the same time every day, it gets easier; it’s like my legs get used to running at that time and it is no longer as hard!

    Of course, life happens, and things do conflict with my “running time”, and then you just let it go. You tell yourself “Okay. I can’t run at this time today, so I will (a) fit it in some other time in the day or (b) make today a cross training day and do something other than running.”

    It all works out in the end.

  33. Jess on July 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I just did my first half on the Gold Coast Australia. When I first started I ran like crazy and fell out of love with running. I think consistency is the key but how little or much you train I think depends on you. I’ve cut back to two short runs and one long run in between CrossFit and I find that works for me. Any more than that and I can get bored and injured!!

    Good luck!! Build up your long runs and you’ll be fine!

  34. Anna @ Your Healthy Place on July 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I’m not nearly as much of a runner as you (the longest race I’ve ever done is a 10K and I had never actually managed to do 10K straight in training – it was only the adrenaline and crowds that kept me going the whole time on the actual day!) but I’m totally the same way in that the stars have to mysteriously align for my running – there’s not much rhyme or reason. I usually hit the treadmill in the gym to warm up before weight training and usually if I’m feeling so-so I’ll do an incline hill walk as my warm up, but some days if I have extra energy I’ll run. My aim is to do a 15-20 minute warm up but then some days I will just keep going and going and then turn the treadmill off after 45 minutes or even an hour and I’ll be like “Where did THAT come from?” It’s so bizarre!

    Having said that you’ve got much more discipline and training in running than I do, so I’m sure you will hit your PR in your half!

  35. Jenna on July 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I definitely struggle with consistent running! Especially in the summer. I will have a couple good weeks where I can get 2-3 runs in, then life happens and I’m off track for a week..then two..then it’s been a month since I’ve ran! Haha definitely something I need to work on ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Ashley @ Run In High Heels on July 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I go through the same thing as you! I’m running a half in September and said i would start training at the end of may… didn’t happen. Finally at the beginning of this month i set into a 12 week training plan, force yourself to do everyday of it in the first week and you’ll feel so great you’ll wanna keep going (at least i did)! Plus i feel extra great because of the heat, i tell myself if i’m running in this summer humidity, come september it’ll be a cake walk! good luck and happy training!

  37. Courtney @ Star Systemz on July 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Stick to the consistency its so true with anything its all about doing it as much s you can and sticking with it. A little not everyday or once a week goes a long way when you have all of those weeks! Hope you have a great night and get running ๐Ÿ™‚ love + shine Courtstar

  38. Alissa on July 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I just started my second day of training for the Disney Tinkerbell & Princess Half Marathons. I did a half about 3 years, and I haven’t run since. I am still working on my training plan, but I love the knowing that i need to add HITT.

  39. Kaycee St. Pierre on July 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I think your right with consistency being key, if you’re able to be consistence, time wise, I’m sure you’ll have a great PR come race time!

  40. mi-an dela cruz on July 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    i feel the same about running… are the stars aligned to provide me the perfect weather?? or else i end up not running…gahhh.. lol

  41. Brittani on July 16, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I run pretty much every day, but it’s never the same time. I play it all by ear, and if I know I can get up early then I go then before work. If I have an early work morning, then I fit it in when I get home or at night before I go to bed. I try not to stress too much about the distance – I feel like as long as I’m getting out the door and a couple miles in I’m good! Lately I’ve realized this approach has made me re-love running, as opposed to when I HAD to run when I was training for a marathon. I couldn’t imagine running in the Tucson heat, though!

  42. Elle @ The Clean Project on July 16, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I can relate. I DESPISE running on the treadmill so I feel like I have to start over every spring. Then it seems like whenever I get into a good routine, life gets crazy. I try to run two days a week because I feel like that’s manageable and realistic right now.

  43. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run on July 16, 2013 at 8:36 am

    The only way I can be SURE to get it in is if I get up early. Right now, Philadelphia is in the middle of a heat wave (over 100 degrees with the heat index…I know that’s probably nothing compared to AZ!) so it’s either the treadmill or 5AM for me. I think your goal of once per week is great! Once you get into the groove again, you’ll probably want to do it more anyway. Run hard, Gina! ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Lauren on July 16, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I completely understand what you mean about how difficult it is running in the heat. I live in Texas and summer running can be daunting. I too am in training for the Rock n Roll half in San Antonio. To beat the heat and try to have a good run I have decided it’s best to just bite the bullet and run early before it’s an absolute sauna outside. I also fuel up with a nice cold smoothie before hand. Good luck training!!


  45. Stephanie on July 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I have the same relationship with running…I love the races but the training not so much. A few of my friends and myself entered in the lottery for the Nike Women’s Half in SF and we actually got in! It’s exciting but I’m feeling that dread that comes with training. Making a training schedule doesn’t seem to help me stay consistent enough, but having a running buddy does! I’m planning to do my longer training runs with my friends but it’s up to me to get those week day shorter runs in. I have the same problem with the heat too…I live in Sacramento and I also get up for work at 5am. It’s too hot after work and getting up even earlier is just not gonna happen. I have to make myself hit the treadmill to keep up the consistency! Any tips for motivating? I’m not a big fan of running at the gym…

  46. Mollie on July 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Gina,

    The best thing that helped me run consistently was finding a running buddy. We don’t have a regular time but we go out together a few times a week and if I don’t contact her she will text me about a time to go. Not only is it great motivation it also makes the runs more fun when I don’t feel like going. Other times I go alone and running is my “me time” or my time outside or to enjoy a beautiful place or just think. It’s what I do to de-stress. When I’m alone I consider it my meditation.

    Now I’m training for a marathon and I love planning routes to new places and exploring as I go. So for me, running is always something else too. I recently hurt myself and had to take a break and realized how much I would miss running if it was no longer a part of my life. I had thought it was just convenient exercise but realized how much more it is to me.

  47. Ashley on July 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Any chance you could share your half training secrets? =]

  48. char eats greens on July 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

    GINA! What style of lulu crops are those that you’re wearing in the above plank pic?! I love the length of them. I have some that are shorter than that and also longer, but I would love some that length!!!!

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