“When you expect less, you get more”

 = my Yoda-esque wisdom for the day. 

(Also, can you believe I’ve never seen Star Wars? The Pilot is always teasing me about it. There are a lot of classic movies that have missed my radar.)

Sabino run

This morning I was off on a 10-mile run.  It’s not a personal distance record, and it wasn’t fast in the least, but here’s the most exciting thing about said run: I didn’t have any pain. As you guys know, I injured my knee (and heel, and back..) when I fell down the stairs in our house a while ago.

Stairs thumb


I was training for a half marathon, had to drop out of the race, it sucked, and I took some time off to heal. After 12 weeks san running, the doc gave me the “ok” and I’ve slowly been adding mileage.

My last training run before my “half that wasn’t” was at Sabino Canyon, and my run quickly turned into a painful hobble. I ended up walking back, and the image of one day being able to run the canyon without a throbbing knee was what helped me from turning it into a pity party for one. That’s the thing: I knew I’d be fine eventually and chose to be thankful for that, instead of sad that I was temporarily injured. I was amazing to run the canyon this morning and enjoy the view and music, instead of worrying about my knee.

Since my slow and steady return to running, I’ve done a couple of things differently:

1) I started KT-taping my knee, and then eventually bought some CW-X pants which changed my life.

2) I changed my shoes. 


3) I changed my attitude.

I’ve been pretty low-key with my running lately, and it’s been just what I needed to get back into it. Without the pressure of group training, or to be fast, I was able to make my way back into the game slowly without doing too much too soon. I can do longer distance runs agains, and sometimes that means walking half of it, and sometimes it means running the entire thing, depending on how I’m feeling. I stopped asking for so much out of myself, and in return, I was able to give more. 

I noticed that with self-imposed pressure, I end up coming up short of my lofty expectations. By asking for less, and being patient, I was able to surpass my goal of being able to run 10 miles without pain.

Here’s my current pre-run fuel:

1/2 – 1 banana with Sun Butter 


Banana w ab  1 of 1

and at mile 4 I have 3 of these guys:

Shot blok  1 of 1

and at mile 8, 3 more. 

And song I’m loving:


It’s been a nice combo so far 🙂

One of my favorite things about fitness is that you don’t have to stick to the same things. You can be fully devoted to one activity, or you can enjoy a little bit of everything. It’s just a matter of finding a combination you enjoy and are able to safely participate. The best exercise is the one you’ll do consistently.

For me right now it’s strength, HIIT, Zumba, yoga, running and barre 😉

Any fitness victories lately?! You’re doing such an awesome job with Winter Shape Up. This year’s challenge has been a blast. 

Have a lovely morning! 



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  1. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Funny to me that some folks eat before they run. I am the type of person who cannot eat. I get stomach cramps and just have learned over time to eat after my runs. Swimming has been a major victory for me. Since I injured my foot, I havent been able to run and have been limited to swimming & biking only. I’ve actually started to like it even though I expected I would not.

  2. Brittany on February 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Do you have any remedies for soreness? I’m a seasonal worker at a flower shop and this is the busiest week of the year. I am on my feet for 12 hours straight and my back and neck are in a lot of pain this morning.

    • Deanna on February 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      I used to work long hours in restaurants, and I would recommend getting some gel inserts for your shoes. For exercises, when I’d get home from work I would do this series, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/1-7459-6/8-yoga-poses-to-help-cervical-spine-neck-issues.html I’d also get into a ball and rock and roll back and forth as a spine massage. A supine twist will always feel really good too.

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Massage, stretching, yoga! Hang in there

  3. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on February 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I haven’t seen Starwars either! Too funny. And that sunbutter sounds like the perfect snack! Great job on the running and dedication!

  4. Tory on February 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I LOVE Walk the Moon! One of my friends is actually cousins with the bassist, so I went to one of their concerts with her while only knowing 1 of their songs, Anna Sun. It was such a blast and now I’m a lifelong fan!

  5. Cady @ This Is The Moment on February 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I haven’t seen Star Wars or Lord of the Rings…I feel like I need to watch them eventually. Or maybe not 🙂 And congrats on the 10 miles…I’m doing my first half in Prescott in May so I’ll hopefully be running that distance in a couple of months!

  6. Tracy on February 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I recently held a 5 minute plank!! I’ve been working up to it and…ta-da! Did it!

  7. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on February 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I’m training for my first ever half marathon, and last weekend I ran my PDR of 8 miles. This weekend, I have 9 miles on my schedule. I suppose I should start taking some sort of fuel every few miles… Glad you mentioned that. Are the Clif Shot Bloks your favorite?

  8. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on February 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Yay for no pain!

    Also, I’m impressed you can eat 3 shot bloks back to back, I have a hard time getting one down they are so sticky in my mouth!

  9. Kristen on February 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I haven’t seen Starwars and probably never will. I know all I need to know about it from watching The Big Bang Theory. 😉

    Glad you’re back to running pain free again. Do you think you’ll do another half in the near future?

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      I’ve never seen Big Bang theory!
      Yeah, definitely want to get back in the game

      • Kara on February 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        OMG! You have to watch BBT. Hilarious!

  10. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I started the 28 Day Barre 3 challenge and am successfully (and happily!) on day 9! I love the workouts and especially love all the variations they give. Working out nearly every day, I have found that some days I just can’t go balls-to-the-wall and need some gentler modifications. It’s been a great 9 days!

  11. Erin @ The Almond Eater on February 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Yay for no knee pain! That’s exciting. Recent fitness victory is being able to do mild HIIT workouts without back pain! …which I’ve been struggling with for awhile now. Turns out, time off is definitely necessary sometimes.

  12. Megan on February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    There are a lot of coming of age movies that I totally missed growing up. I’ve never seen Star Wars, or The Godfather (which is a huge sin in my Italian family!), or all of Ferris Buhler, and I just recently watched Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. And the Goonies, which I thought was really not good, but it’s apparently pretty blasphemous to say that out loud. People love that movie for some reason. Maybe you had to see it as a kid to see the appeal.

  13. Whitney @ Yoga All the Time on February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I love that quote! I think attitude is everything when it comes to fitness, health, and life in general. I’m a little jealous that you got to get out for a run. We’re currently covered in snow and ice and I’ve barely exercised this week 🙁 I also haven’t seen Star Wars. I know that it shocks most people but I think I’ll stick with my romantic comedies and chick movies 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Amen to that 🙂

  14. Alissa @ Eat Clean Beauty Queen on February 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    There are a bunch of “classic” movies that have missed my radar too including Star Wars! I have also been nursing a stress fracture in my foot and have backed off my running. My fitness victory has been exploring other exercises (like Spinning or the rotating Stair Master) that I didn’t use before. I’ve missed running but mixing it up has been fun.

  15. Amber Schumann on February 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    That must be an amazing feeling!!!! GOOD JOB!!!

    I’m just now training for my first half marathon. Before I had my daughter, the max distance I could do was 6mi (pre-baby = best shape of my life. post-baby = still look 4mo preggers). I practice the same thing you’re preaching here–small goals and keep the expectation bar pretty moderate. I hate failure, and I get very discouraged if I don’t succeed at something. So, now I’m taking my runs very easy–what’s the rush?

    The long run in my current training program recently went from 5mi to 8mi in one week. It seemed COMPLETELY out of reach to run a max of 5mi then take it up to 8. My cousin (who is a personal trainer) sent me off to the trails with this don’t-stress advice: “Run 4 miles….then run back!” Thinking of it that way made it less scary, and I chanted that during my run. Before I knew it, I FINISHED without having to take any walking breaks!!! Well, except fro one pee break at mile 5 (damn you post-baby bladder).

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      That is amazing!!! That’s how I think of my long runs, too. Much less daunting to split it up

  16. Angelica on February 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I’m taking a weight training class Tuesdays and thursdays. Today, when I reached for the weights that I usually grab, they felt lighter! It’s the small victories 😀

  17. RunEatRepeat on February 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    You rock! Keep up the good work 🙂

  18. Shari on February 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I have a problem with my knees that flares up with repetitive motion so my cardio had to go down to nothing for about a month. I bought the CW-X pants and I recently got back to 25 minutes on the rowing machine with out pain and I’m pushing for 30 next week!

    Your not missing anything with Star Wars, my dad was obsessed so I’ve seen them all and those are hours I will never get back….

  19. Jade on February 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    That saying is a really good saying. This weekend I have a half I’ve signed up for, I’m really not physically prepared for it as I should be and have in the past. I know this going in so I am not expecting stellar results and that is okay! If I use that to put to a movie comparison, sometimes when you go in with poorer expectations (like the movie could be a bore) it turns out amazing but if someone oversells it, you find it wasn’t that good of a movie.

  20. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on February 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Yay for no pain! Great job 🙂

    I recently got my first kipping pull up at CrossFit!

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      That’s awesome!!

  21. Elizabeth @ Positive Change on February 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Great job on the 10 miler!
    I am slowly getting my speed back after training for 2 marathons back to back! Yesterday I ran one o my fastest miles and it felt great.

  22. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on February 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I spy some Essie Mint Candy Apple on those nails. Am I right!?

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      yeah! you’re good! 🙂

      • Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on February 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        I’m a total sucker for cosmetics, namely nail polish. I could spot that shade from 10 miles away 🙂

  23. Molly on February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I remember when I first started reading your blog, you would eat bananas and almond butter all the time! This brings me full circle! 🙂 (even with the substitution of the almond butter for sun butter!)

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      They’ve been back in my life in full force 🙂

  24. Abi@AbsofSteel on February 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    glad you had a good run!!! I’m having a mini victory with my pull-ups this week. I’m slowly getting rid of a little left over holiday weight and have noticed that the small difference in weight makes a big difference in my pull-ups.

  25. Ashley @ Sweet carolina belle on February 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I love the statement the best exercise is the one you will do consistently! Thanks for always keeping it honest!

  26. Heather on February 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Hi! I struggle with knee pain from running. Can you tell me more about the pants you mentioned? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      They provide the same benefits as kt-taping and help support the joints. I notice a huge difference! Also, I’m not sore the day after when I run in them

  27. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit on February 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Totally agree about the best workout is the one you do consistently. I always wanted to force myself to be a runner, although, I hate running, but the sound of it was awesome…like ‘Yes! I run marathons’. Well, turns out, that’s just not me. Circuit/hiit training is my love and I could do that all day everyday!

  28. erica on February 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I just did my first ever half marathon! (tinkerbell half)
    I wasn’t breaking any records for speed, but considering I used to hate running and thought a 5k was impossible, I consider the half marathon a huge personal accomplishment!

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Wow, what a great accomplishment!! Congratulations 🙂

  29. Alex @ Kenzie Life on February 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Congrats on the 10 mile run! My fitness achievement is going to Pure Barre 4x last week. I usually average 3 per week and run on the other days, but I’ve been struggling with breathing/lung problems the last few months and with the cold weather, I’ve cut back and have only run once in the last two months. It was really frustrating but I’m hoping that if I can be gentle with myself and focus on enjoying it, I’ll be able to get back into my old running groove. That being said, I’m close to my Pure Barre 100 so things are coming along 🙂

  30. Alicia on February 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    A fitness victory for me will be running outside. Due to an extremely cold and icy winter, it’s been all inside running. For me, that means 3 miles or less and HIIT. I miss my long distance outside runs!

  31. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on February 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I love this. After my 2012 running season of massive PR’s on no coaching, I went full in 2013 ran multiple marathons. Ran an ultra marathon and a million half’s and others to boot. After 17 weeks of training with a coach to sub 4 in the marathon in the fall, I had a DNF then ran another with a 100 degree fever in 4:29. After that I was physically and mentally burned out. Took time off. Took a ton of flywheel classes and finally got myself back in the running groove in January. This year or at least spring is about no pressure…I totally took the fun out and lost my love for it all. So that is what I am looking to regain. Run for me for a while and remember why I fell in love. I think that is oh so important.

  32. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on February 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    When I’ve had knee pain in the past, my chiropractor has been a lifesaver. We go through the list of when exactly does it hurt, where the pain comes from, etc. and he’s always been able to help me find fixes. I’m glad you’re back on track! And I’ve never seen Star Wars either. It seems like so much time to devote to a movie I’m not sure I could get into, lol.

  33. Hayley@healthyregardshayley on February 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Yay! I am so happy for you! I started running this week after 6 weeks off, also trying to keep it “low-key” but it is my fitness victory!

  34. Amber on February 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Ran my fastest 5K the other night! Then half an hour later my knee promptly started throbbing 🙁 CW-X pants are an investment, but I’m thinking they’re likely worth it for me. Been having knee issues on and off for almost 10 years…and I’m not even 25!

  35. Liesl @ Fitnessinthekitchen on February 13, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I’m so in the same place with running right now…or trying to be at least. I used to be a “runner” did several half marathons and other races and was decently fast…but that’s all changed, due to where I live, and my lifestyle now.

    I’m trying to get back into running mentally, but it’s hard when you are used to being something that you just aren’t anymore. 🙂 Plus, like you I put way to much pressure on myself, which doesn’t make it fun anymore. Slowly I think I’m getting to that point again. 10 miles, is still quite a ways off, but someday. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

  36. Susan on February 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Totally no running or fitness-related, but your Yoda motivation was just what I needed after my prenatal appointment this morning. I had my first in Canada, with awesome midwifes that were exactly my holistic, treehugger-type cup of tea. Now, after moving to the States (San Diego 😉 ) our insurance only covers their own, clinic-based, much more conventional midwifes, and I have a feeling I won’t get the labor and delivery I want (which can’t be guaranteed to me anyway, but still…). Maybe I should simply embrace the fact that we actually have insurance, even when I have less choice, less welcoming midwifes and less of the holistic birth I envisioned with #2. Sorry for rambling, just liked your Yoda-ism. 😉

  37. Mia on February 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I also have never seen Star Wars. And many other cultural classics. usually i just smile and nod when people start talking about Star Wars, explaining that you’ve never seen it usually gets a crazy reaction, so i just nod and stay silent…
    So i have bad knees and have switched back and forth between using a brace and using KT tape. I really like KT tape, but often have trouble with it staying on. I know it can stay on for several days, but this has never been the case for me. Which means it ends up being really expensive, especially if you use more then one piece to wrap your knee. Did your tape stay on? What method did you use for your knee? Any tips? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Do you wash your knee first?? That’s what finally helped it stick for me. I’d wash my leg with a yes to carrots facial wipe, let it dry, then kt tape. It would last a full day!

      • Fitnessista on February 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

        Also, I used the full knee support method (2 big pieces + 1 cut in half)

        • Mia on February 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

          Thanks Gina I’ll try that. I would love if i could get the KT tape to last. Thank you so much for always taking the time to answer your readers comments and questions. It really makes me appreciate your blog that much more.

  38. Rachel on February 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Gina, congrats!! No pain is awesome! And amazing that it comes when you’ve put less pressure on yourself–our bodies are so incredible, aren’t they?! Also, I have the EXACT SAME pre run and during run fuel (love those black cherry bloke!!). Run on, lady! xo

  39. Lucie@FitSwissChick on February 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Great job on the run and happy you are back fully healed! Patience is key.
    My victories lay in Crossfit lately since I am back at it since mid January – and I’m obsessed. Monday I lifted 70kg sumo deadlifts and did my very first elbows to knee on the bar – 10 reps!!

  40. Rachel on February 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Congrats on 10 miles!

    I really wish we had your weather here in Virginia instead of this dumb snow.

    What kind of running shoes do you use? I have used Brooks and Aasics for years. I have trouble with blisters. I have wide Fred Flinstone feet haha. I get the good shoes (the ones where they watch me walk and run and then suggest a pair), expensive socks, and rub stuff on my feet. Still get blisters. Ugh.. So annoying!

    That quote was exactly what I needed by the way. I put so much pressure on myself and sometimes I just burn out and do nothing. It’s like a mini rebellion. Instead, I should just do what I can and enjoy life more. Sounds like your run was as emotional/mental/spiritual as it was physical.

  41. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on February 13, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    There are A LOT of movies I haven’t seen, including Star Wars. Basically, if it is a cult classic, I haven’t seen it. But give me a pop culture quiz and I’m good!

  42. Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves on February 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Yay! So glad to hear that you had a pain-free run.
    I’ve definitely found this quote to be so true in the past year. I’ve been trying to slow down my exercises (less cardio, only bodyweight strength exercises, still dancing though!) in an effort to give my body some rest so it can grow and develop like it should at my age. As a result of resting more, I actually feel stronger than ever before!
    I love that sentence you included at the end: “the best exercise is the one you’ll do consistently.” Amen!

  43. Sarah on February 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Gina, just wanted to encourage you that I like your lifestyle (philosophical?) posts most of all. Even more than the work outs or what you eat (although, obviously I like those too, or I wouldn’t read your blog). Thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts with your readers. It is very refreshing and really reminds me others have struggles, too. Common humanity – we are all in this together, and all have ups and downs. It’s just life!

  44. Lauren on February 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    What a great mantra – I definitely needed to hear that today, thanks!

  45. kathy on February 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    How many days a week do you run when training for the half marathon. I printed up a guide and it said to run 5 days a week, most runs are 3 and 4 miles so far with one long run a week. But I also do crossfit type training too, they are usually only 30-40 min. workouts, so I run 3-4 miles on those days. I was thinking of cutting down the running though to 3-4 days a week, is that an okay thing to do? Congradulations on the running. I hurt my back a few years ago and was out for 6 weeks, I had to wean myself back into excercise. I am doing so much better now.

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      i’ve done it a few different ways. i’ve trained running one long run per week and up to three times a week. right now i usually run 2-3 times a week. i totally think it would be fine to cut down the running time, but then again, i’m not really an expert at the whole run thing 😉

  46. Runner Girl Eats on February 14, 2014 at 5:31 am

    My fitness victory was going to work out at 6am the morning of my bachelorette party when it would have been much easier to sleep in and rest up for a weekend of fun 🙂 Glad you are running pain free!!

  47. Taylee @ twist me fit on February 14, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I’m glad your knee is better! I’d love to run a half marathon someday.

  48. Katherine on February 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

    This was just what I needed to read this morning! I hurt my foot in an accident last October and when my doc said I was cleared to run, I jumped back in way too fast – now I’ve been saddled with an unpleasant case of piriformis syndrome (or “Runner’s Butt,” as I like to call it 🙂 ) for the past few months. Funny how one injury tends to lead to another, huh? It’s frustrating not being able to run, particularly in the dead of a Chicago winter, but I’m grateful to know that with continued PT and strengthening, I will get better. The thought of enjoying a glorious run like the one you had today is wonderful motivation to keep at it!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      hang in there! and yes, runner’s butt is the worst :/ sending healing wishes to you! before you know it, you’ll be back in the game. xo

  49. Mandi on February 14, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I just recently got back into weight training and running. I love this concept of not putting pressure on yourself and just trying your best. Sometimes I stress myself out trying to fit in my work-out and I’ve recently changed my mind set. I’ve realized that right now I need to make my gym time a priority and relax in a few other areas of life. Somehow I’ve been able to get everything else done and without stressing myself out. My gym time has really become my “me time”. I would love to run faster and longer but for right now I’m just doing the best that I can. Thanks for re-affirming this for me!

  50. char eats greens on February 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

    So sorry you had to change your plan!! If it helps, I really need new running shoes because mine are NOT doing me any favours for training for any races!! I’m the hunt for a new pair as we speak (I want to buy some offline, but is it stupid to switch brands and buy if I’ve never tried any on??)

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      i probably wouldn’t. it helps a lot to go to the running store and get your feet and stride analyzed. it’s helpful to get a feel for shoes before buying… i thought i would love a certain pair and ended up hating them

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