Hopping Back into Fitness

Running and working out have always been such a huge part of my life, but the second half of 2022 was such a doozy for me.  I felt like I was in a fog (or hamster wheel?) and many of my priorities got shaken up a bit.  Workouts were practically nonexistent and meal planning went out the window.  Practically everything that physically makes a person feel good in their body stopped happening for me.  I was so overwhelmed with our move and having the kids at home with me all summer.  I know I feel better when I get my workouts in but truth be told, I’m not crazy about trying to squeeze them in while also watching the kids.  I tend to get frustrated if I have to stop, and I like workouts to be my “me time” where I’m alone.  That became my excuse and I just kind of quit working out completely other than the occasional run that Tom would encourage me to go on because he knew how much better it would make me feel.  Then once we were in the house and most of the furniture was where it belonged I started focusing on all the DIY projects to turn it from a house into our home.  Then school started back and I just never resumed workouts because I only get 3 hours a day without a child at home and how does one do it all????

We all go through seasons of our lives where priorities ebb and flow, and I feel like I’m finally coming out of the thick fog and able to refocus priorities a bit.  I know I need to set the groundwork now because I need to have a real plan for having the kids at home this summer while still maintaining some sort of structure (and level of fitness).  Running has always brought me so much joy and it’s such an efficient way to get a good workout in, but in 2022 it just went by the wayside.  I looked back at my mileage totals by month and I had one month where I ran a grand total of 6 miles.  SIX!  In an ideal world I’d average 20 or so miles a week if I’m not training for a longer race, so seeing that single digit number in one month was quite a shock.  I also didn’t lift weights more than 3 or 4 times in a period of 6 months (something I really enjoy), so overall I was just in a bit of a funk.  I’m not disappointed in myself or anything, and have learned to give myself grace rather than beat myself up about things like this, I just know that I’ve been in an intense season of motherhood and life and I chose to put myself last.  Reflecting on the past 6-7 months, I do realize that I missed the discipline of a routine and the endorphin high that comes along with exercising.  Not to mention, my favorite jeans from a year ago are too uncomfortable to wear at this point, so I knew that something had to change.

Getting Back on Track

Over Christmas break I decided that I needed a way to jump start my motivation, so I committed to running at least 3 miles a day for a week.  Nothing crazy, you could even do this with one mile a day.  Consistency is the goal!  Getting back into running requires a “no room for excuses” method for me, and within just a few days of consistent workouts I felt so much better and didn’t dread a run like I had for a while.  I was able to stick to this plan and ended up with 27 miles for the week.  6 miles over what the goal was!  Most of my running happens on the treadmill, out of necessity because I’m a mom and sometimes it’s just easier, especially in the winter.  We’ve had this Nordic Track treadmill for 2 years and I absolutely love it.  I typically watch Netflix on my phone while running or listen to a podcast.  I also play with the speed because that keeps things interesting.

For the second week I planned to keep up the “3 miles a day” thing, but one day I got just one mile run in but also went on a 10 mile bike ride with my brother while he was in town, so that kind of balanced itself out.  I also missed a day when I was a little under the weather, but I still ended up with 18 miles of running (+ 10 biking) for the week (only 3 miles under my running goal of 21).  A significant improvement over the past 6 months!

Now that I’m on week 3 of prioritizing my fitness again I’ve decided to redo the Glowbody PT 10 Minute Plan (Advanced 5K option).  I blogged about my experience doing this 8 week plan in December 2021 and am excited to do it again.  5 days a week of working out (a mix of running and strength training) is so good for me mentally and physically and I look forward to (hopefully) feeling like the old Katie again soon.  Weight isn’t a big deal to me (though I’m currently 7 or 8 pounds heavier than my starting weight the last time I did the plan), but fitting into my clothes and feeling strong and like an athlete again is important and I hope that this is the way back to that for me.  I’ll be sure to share my journey along the way, probably mostly on Instagram Stories.

I realize that all of this was a bit of a ramble, I just wanted to open up and share a bit.  I’m kind of impartial when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions but I do like goals and the feeling of getting back on track.  Does anyone else struggle with balancing life and workouts?  It can be so hard when you’re a mom and busy with a job (yep, my blog and Instagram are a business!) and juggling extra-curricular activities and feeling like a chauffeur all the time.  Intentionality is so important and I hope I don’t lose myself again like I did this past year.  Cheers to 2023!

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. Laura Thibault
    January 14, 2023 / 8:08 pm

    Love love like this post! So wonderful to hear your story, and you’re certainly not alone in terms of struggling to prioritize yourself when in the thick of career/mom life. I’m right there with you! Every time I start to get back into working out, one of my kids gets horribly sick and things get all whacky again.

    • January 15, 2023 / 12:13 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read! It’s such a juggling act and so easy to find yourself at the bottom of the priority list. Thankfully now that I’m 3 weeks “back” to working out consistently it feels much easier and is high up on the list of important things again.

  2. Jennifer W
    January 21, 2023 / 7:51 am

    I have to say reading your post motivated me to get back to working out too. When the weather shifts and it’s darker earlier, I find I don’t have the energy once I pick my daughter up from school. We have dinner and all bets are off. My husband is encouraging but he works from home and has that “me time” during the day. Much like your husband, I commute and go into the office everyday. So it’s harder for me to prioritize ME! So thank you for sharing, I started with 2 miles and continue to add miles every week!

    I love watching your stories to see how you’re doing!

    • January 22, 2023 / 1:22 pm

      Hi Jennifer, it is so tough especially if you’re commuting to an office. When I was in the Army I had such trouble finding motivation after a long day in an office so I totally get what you mean. It was always easier (though getting out of bed early was never easy) to get a workout in in the morning.
      At least it actually happened that way! It takes so much discipline getting out of a warm bed and I struggle with it so much. Tom has made it a non-negotiable for him though, and he’s out of bed at 5:30 AM like clockwork. I think once it becomes habitual it gets easier? I need to be more like him so I don’t have to figure out how to fit it in during the day. Great job deciding to prioritize yourself again! You’re doing a great job!

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