EncouragementI cannot believe that we are SMACK DAB (it’s a southern term to some) in the middle of April already!  Cool and even cold temps are lingering in some states and we had a chilly 30+ degree morning here in North Florida this morning, but I relished in the coolness as the super sticky humid dog days of Florida Summer will soon be upon us!  As I am gearing up for that I thought it was the perfect time to check in on what I am doing as I begin to enter the “off-season” from distance running and keeping myself in shape and motivated to keep on pushing!

Food for the Foodie in me –

Organic StrawberriesThough I may loathe the heat and humidity of the normal spring and summer months, I do enjoy the fruits of those dog days, quite literally!  In April, we were so excited, that a local organic farm that we have shopped through before was opening their strawberry fields to the public for picking every Saturday.  A very reasonable priced little gem of goodness, which for me creates opportunity for venturing into the strawberry side of my jam and jelly line.

Annie's Organic Buying ClubBut I don’t stop there, I have also continued my bi-weekly produce share through Annie’s Organic Buying Club, which I LOVE because there is no obligation or huge commitment fee.  You shop and/or pick-up when you choose and you can put it on hold at any time.  Perfect for our household that is traveling all the time.  It’s a great means of fresh organic produce for the busy health conscious food consumer.  They also offer dairy and meat products, which we do not get, but it is nice to have the option if the need ever arises.  I also love that some weeks I get produce items that I have never tried or maybe would have never purchased before that give me new Meatless Monday recipe ideas to share.  It’s totally a Win-Win!

Shoes for my healing feet –

As I ended this season’s half marathon schedule, I was left with horribly torn up feet from my running shoes.  I had tried several different models and/or brands and none of them seemed to work for me.  I finally had the chance to get a reasonably priced Newton Running brand shoes and sized up to a full size bigger than my normal shoe size and viola, AN AMAZING run again.  I could not be happier with these shoes and the support and guidance they give.  If you have the chance (or the extra money) to give these a try, I would certainly recommend it if you just can’t seem to find “that” shoe for you.  I purchased the Lady Isaac and I am already a little on edge about wearing them out because I love them that much.

Running for my weary soul –

MRTT Tallahassee Springtime 10KI do really miss half marathon race season.  Long distance runs on Sunday’s and traveling to amazing cities to run, BUT I also love the switch to local races with less mileage and getting to run with some of my favorite Mamas from our Chapter and most of all my running partner!  I have ran several local races so far since my last half marathon in Georgia in March and it already seems like months ago.  But I am excited to be signing up for the Summer Trail Series this year and stepping outside my “street runner” comfort zone and embracing the challenge.  It’s gonna be hot and it’s gonna be buggy, BUT it’s gonna be worth it!

Krav Maga, because it’s always better to be your own weapon –

I am beyond excited to have finally started my Krav Maga classes, which I have looked to start for the past year.  Nothing like getting to spend time with a couple of great friends while learning full contact defense moves to protect myself on those mornings or evenings that I may find myself on the road alone and may find myself  with the need to defend myself.  I am a firm believer that you should always be prepared for anything and I am very excited that I have already learned 3 different series of techniques.  I got my first defensive injury at class last night and it is so crazy that I am actually excited about it.  It shows that I was really working on my create injury blows.

Tabata Bootcamp to build me up when I am feeling weak –

Tabata Bootcamp 2nd AssessmentLast, but certainly not least, I am almost half way through my 8 week Tabata Bootcamp series and I am loving it.  It is truly a lot of work and commitment, but the payoff is showing.  I already am feeling stronger in my shoulders, which is an area that I have struggled with for more than a year.  Push ups are getting easier, not 100% yet, but easier.  I love that each week your strength shows as the moves become harder with efficient and precise movement.  My posture is also improving which I am so excited about.  I use my standing desk all day at work, but having a strong core and upper body to keep you in the correct position is equally as important, in my opinion and this is helping with that.  I am even more excited that this weekend I will add this certification to my fitness resume and become a certified instructor.  We have our next assessment on Monday, so stay tuned for a progress update on that!

How are your goals and fitness checklists going so far for April?  I’d love to hear the new things you are trying and even the new foods you are experimenting with!  Share in the comments!