I’ve set my 2016 resolutions, have you?

Behold my 2016 New Year's resolutions ... What are yours?
Behold my 2016 New Year’s resolutions … What are yours?

I’m a little late this year, but here goes – my 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

1. Swim a straight 200-yard butterfly. Three years ago I couldn’t swim a 100 fly. Now I’m doing one just about every day, so I’m upping the ante.

2. Hike. This year I’m taking three weeks to backpack the entire John Muir trail, from Yosemite to Mount Whitney.

3. Heal. I’ve got plantar fasciitis. I haven’t been able to run for five weeks, and for the first time ever, I have to skip a race I’d planned to do. But I want it to heal properly, so I’m taking a break.

4. Travel. I love to explore, and I’ve got a bunch of adventures planned, including a girls-only back country hut ski trip, a running trip to Oregon, and a summertime beer- and bike-themed adventure in Colorado.

5. Eat well and hydrate. Less junk, more fruit and veggies. Lots of water.

6. Bike to work. I’m a big believer in getting cars off the road, sneaking in a little extra exercise and making a smaller environmental footprint. That means I’ll continue biking to work as often as I can.

7. Chill. This one makes my list every year, and it’s a toughie. Sometimes it feels like every moment in my life is booked. I’m going to set aside some time to do nothing. Or color. Really.

8. Burn wood. Last year my husband got me a wood burning kit. I’m going to wear it out.

9. Participate. My schedule’s in flux, but I want to do at least a dozen fitness events this year. Hopefully it’ll include RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), the Cap2K Open Water Swim Race and, if my foot allows it, a few running races.

10. Enjoy life. This one goes without saying, but I’m going to treasure every moment with family and friends. You never know when they’ll be gone.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

What do runners think about?

Paul Perrone Photo courtesy Paul Perrone.
Paul Perrone says he thinks about how great it is to be doing something healthy when he runs. Photo courtesy Paul Perrone.

 

When I was training for a marathon a few years ago, it seemed like at some point in every run my running buddies and I wound up discussing our digestive systems.

I guess that’s natural for folks who spend hours together, eating up miles. Runners, it seems, share the most intimate details of their lives, and if you run long distances with someone, you get to know them like you know no other people.

Some runners focus on pace. Others try to distract themselves, thinking about anything but what they’re doing. Some ricochet from topic to topic. Others do their best to zone out.

In today’s Fit City column, I polled dozens of runners to find out what goes through their minds when they lace up their shoes and hit the road.

David Peters thinks about what he's going to say in upcoming sermons when he runs. Photo courtesy David Peters
David Peters thinks about what he’s going to say in upcoming sermons when he runs. Photo courtesy David Peters

David W. Peters, assistant to the rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, told me he plans upcoming sermons. Gilbert Tuhabonye, head of Gilbert’s Gazelles, says he sings songs and enjoys the journey.

Some runners told me they focus on not tripping, crossing the finish line of the next big race, what to cook for dinner or the prices of homes that are for sale. More than one said they think about how lucky they are just to be able to run.

Gilbert Tuhabonye sings with joy as he runs. Photo courtesy Gilbert Tuhabonye.
Gilbert Tuhabonye sings with joy as he runs. Photo courtesy Gilbert Tuhabonye.

“I like to think about how great it is to be outside and doing something healthy and positive that I know will allow me to focus on my work, my relationships and other life goals,” Paul Perrone, organizer of the Zilker Relays, said. “This usually comes to me after the first third of a workout is done. Before that I’m usually thinking, ‘Ouch. This hurts. Getting old sucks.’”

Want to read more? Check out my full article here.

Prevention Magazine’s R3 Summit returns to Austin Jan. 15-16

Prevention Magazine presents its R3 Summit Jan. 15-16 in Austin. Photo courtesy Prevention Magazine
Prevention Magazine presents its R3 Summit Jan. 15-16 in Austin. Photo courtesy Prevention Magazine

 

Meditation, yoga, nutrition tips and plenty of motivation are on tap at Prevention Magazine’s R3 Summit – think revive, refresh and reinvent – this month.

Participants in the two-day event, set for Jan. 15 and 16, can attend wellness workshops, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and tastings, and pampering mind and body experiences.

The weekend opens with a dinner Friday night. Journalist, author and mother of seven Joan Lunden will give a keynote address, and Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a gynecologist and co-host of “The Doctors,” will serve as master of ceremonies.

The lineup includes cooking demonstrations, fitness classes and book signings. Photo courtesy Prevention Magazine
The lineup includes cooking demonstrations, fitness classes and book signings. Photo courtesy Prevention Magazine

The lineup of panelists on Saturday includes physicians, a meditation expert, yogis, personal trainers, a sexual health expert, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, chefs and motivational speaker Lizzie Velásquez, who has a syndrome that doesn’t allow her to gain weight. A rap musician from Houston will even perform.

Friday’s dinner begins at 6:30. Saturday’s activities run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All activities take place at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater, 310 Willie Nelson Boulevard.

Tickets start at $75 for Friday;$150 for Saturday; and $180 for both days. For more information go here.

Austin challenges San Antonio as It’s Time Texas Community Challenge gets under way

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This year's It's Time Texas community challenge runs through March 31. Photo courtesy It's Time Texas
This year’s It’s Time Texas community challenge runs through March 31. Photo courtesy It’s Time Texas

 

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Look out, San Antonio. Austin’s taking you down.

That from Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who’s been talking some fitness smack as the fourth annual It’s Time Texas Community Challenge gets under way.

Cities and communities across the state are competing in the three-month event, presented by HEB. The contest is divided into five population categories – metro, large, mid-sized, small and extra small. Winning communities get $1,200 in grant money to fund a healthy project at a school, a trophy and bragging rights as the healthiest community of its size in Texas.

And we need the encouragement. Texas currently ranks as the 11th fattest state in the country.

Participants earn points in the contest by registering, taking healthy pledges, tracking physical activities, uploading photos and tracking weight. People can join teams through schools, churches, businesses or sign up as individuals.

San Antonio has won the metro division the past two years. In the video above, Adler tells San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor that streak is about to end. Taylor, for the record, doesn’t think so. Neither do the mayors of Corpus Christi or Fort Worth, who also make an appearance.

The contest wraps up March 31. Winners will be announced on the It’s Time Texas Facebook page. For more information go here.

No Excuse Mom offers free workouts, motivation

It doesn’t take a lot of money to get fit.

No Excuse Mom offers free workouts in Austin. A special event is planned for Jan. 16 at Zilker Park. Photo courtesy No Excuse Mom, Austin chapter
No Excuse Mom offers free workouts in Austin. A special event is planned for Jan. 16 at Zilker Park. Photo courtesy No Excuse Mom, Austin chapter

The local chapter of No Excuse Mom, a group of women who meet regularly to exercise, swap healthy recipes and motivate one another, will host a free workout Jan. 16 near the volleyball courts on the north side of Zilker Park.

Better yet, the group offers ongoing free workouts, an online support community and recipes, all served up to busy women looking for camaraderie, motivation and balance in their lives.

Maria Kang-Casler, who founded the No Excuse Mom movement in California in 2013, will lead the Jan. 16 session in Austin and join the group for dinner afterward. (Cost of dinner is $20; register here.). The workout begins at 4 p.m. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. at the Texican Cafe, 4141 S. Capitol of Texas Highway.

All women are welcome at No Excuse Mom events, including those who don’t have children, says Edith Salazar, who started the Austin chapter in 2014.

“We are a group of moms who motivate each other, but we can take our motivation to any woman. If they can get inspired by moms, we welcome them to our group as long as they want to be healthier,” Salazar says.

The Austin chapter, which includes a north and south group, offers regularly scheduled free workouts at various locations. Most take place outdoors, but the group also teams with local fitness studios like Orange Theory Fitness and Tetra Fitness, which invite the women into their gyms.

The Austin group has more than 800 members. They exercise together, share recipes and participate in home fitness challenges. For Christmas, for example, they tackled something called the 25 Days of Fitmas, a progressive workout that wrapped up with 25 repetitions of 25 different exercises.

“Everything is free – workouts, meetups, challenges and recipes. It’s all free,” Salazar says.

The No Excuse Mom Group is funded by the nonprofit Fitness Without Borders. For more information, go here. For more information about the Jan. 16 event go here. Salazar, along with Andrea Glick, who now serves as the North Austin leader, will be on hand.