Buddies Boost Motivation – Back to the Basics (Recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting)

I’m sure we have all experienced it.  We don’t feel motivated to go out for that run or ride:  low motivation.  However, running with a friend or group can hold you more accountable.  Since moving to Raleigh, Shawn has become my running buddy.  We usually plan to run 2 days a week and we “make appointments” in our calendar so that we don’t miss them or make an excuse.  It’s like a doctor’s appointment or a meeting for work.

I am taking the 6 weeks after the San Diego Marathon to build a foundation.  I bought a new swim suit (to hopefully build motivation to go to the pool–it hasn’t happened yet but hopefully this week!).  My bike is being serviced at REI since it made a cross-country move.  I bought Groupons for Bikram Yoga (with Shawn) and Insanity (with Tanisha)–there will be more posts on these later.  I have started weight lifting 3-4 days a week.  I’m going to start getting a sports massage once or twice a month.  I’ve been doing the elliptical for additional cross training and running with my dogs and Shawn (we are slowly building our mileage).  I’m trying to clean up my diet without being completely restrictive (I am a firm believer that being too restrictive is not sustainable).  I want to lose some weight I’ve put on since my dissertation.  So, yeah.  That’s what I’m doing.

But Shawn has been an awesome motivator!  I truly believe if I keep this up, I will be ready to begin training for NYC seriously and have a very successful marathon.  Tonight our plan is to do sprints!  Gotta incorporate that speed work!  Tomorrow we have a run on the docket and Thursday is Bikram Yoga!  (I also like having workouts planned about a week in advance.)

Anyway, here are some suggestions from Runner’s World about who to choose for your company if you need a buddy as a motivator:

1.  A friend.  When you know that you’ll leave someone hanging if you skip a run, the guilt can help get you out the door.  And once you’re running, you’ll find that conversation makes the miles fly by.  The right running buddy–that is, one who’s about your speed–can inspire you to forge on when you’re struggling and keep you in check if you’re going to fast.  Working out with a faster friend is okay, but don’t try to keep up on your recovery days.

2.  A group.  Running with a group of fun people who travel at the right pace for you can be a major source of motivation.  After all, staying on the couch seems less appealing when you’d be missing out on a gathering of your friends.  Try to find a group that matches your ability level–getting left behind, or leaving others behind, ruins the fun.

3.  A dog.  Canine companionship adds variety to your running routine and can help your dog become fitter and healthier.  First, make sure your dog is the running type.  If he/she is, take him on a test run.  Many dogs tend to use a version of the run/walk/run method–jog/sniff/jog or sprint/sniff/spring–so plan your workouts accordingly.

4.  A podcast.  This isn’t quite the same as having living, breathing company, but listening to podcasts can engage your brain in a way that’s similar to listening to the chatter of running companions.  Except with podcasts, you choose the topic, which guarantees you’ll be interested.  As you should whenever you use headphone, keep the volume low enough to be fully aware of your surroundings.

So, find yourself a buddy!

Food for Thought:  Kale is ranked as excellent, very good, or good for 20 different nutrients, which is why it’s often referred to as a superfood. More than 45 different flavonoids serve as powerful combatants against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation and its strong anti-inflammatory properties may reduce the risk of chronic muscle soreness as well.  Kale also helps lower cholesterol thanks to high fiber content. Not to mention, it’s a top source of vitamin K (1 cup provides over 1,000 percent of your daily value), which is important for bone health and blood clot regulation.

Quote of the Day:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscaglia

So, I had my first NC BBQ today!  Our department at the office tries to go to lunch once a month, and today was the day!  Which actually worked out really well because I didn’t have anything prepared for lunch after being out of town all weekend.  Definitely tasty!

And speaking of restaurants, last weekend 5 of us had a girls’ night at a restaurant called Unvined in Cary.  Super tasty!  Great wine!  And I loved the atmosphere!  We had a blast and so many laughs!  I like that this is a monthly rendezvous!

Anyway, remember how I posted those Cinnamon Cupcakes for Envy’s birthday?  Well, I used a different Cream Cheese frosting recipe.  It is one that has also made it into ‘THE Cookbook’, but I don’t make this version as often because it makes so much more than The Best Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that I have already posted.  But still super tasty!  You should try it!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

– 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

– 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

– 1 pound confectioners sugar

– 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

– pinch of salt

Directions

– Beat the cream cheese and butter (both softened) together in a stand mixer until fluffy.

– Add confectioners sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt.

– Beat until smooth.

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