A simple idea to make running fun

Regardless of why we run or how long we’ve been doing it, there are days when we can’t get ourselves out the door for a run. The urge to be unproductive and lazy is strong to the core and we find every possible excuse to refrain from running. More often than not, it is easier to say ‘no’ than it is to say ‘yes’. Well, at least that’s the case for me on those days. There are tips and tricks out there to overcome this, but my favorite way to say ‘yes’ to running is by making it fun.

Create a running game

When I create a running game for myself, I think of what I love – in this case, pretty photos – and incorporate them into my run. When I do this, it gets me more excited to run and play the game.  The objective is to create an image I love to look at. To achieve this, I run routes in and around my neighborhood looking for photo-worthy spots or abstract gems I could use to create an interesting photo. At the same time, I am exploring and familiarizing myself in places from a different perspective.

Set your own rules

Whatever the objective – distance, duration, speedyou set the rules. For my exploration runs, I don’t stop running unless I’ve found a photo worth taking. In addition, I switch up the amount of photos I need to collect during my runs.

Reward yourself

Give yourself more reasons to get out there. It could be as simple as that ice cream you were craving last week or a much-needed massage. I personally like to squeeze in a little coffee or donut stop toward the end of my run. Why not?

Share your results

There’s a giant community of runners out there who want to support you. I know I’d love to hear about your tough days, how you overcame it, and what cool fun-run games you’ve played. Be proud of the work you’ve put in and share the love. Someone out there may need your motivation. Pay it forward.

And there you have it. A quick recap on how to make running fun:

  • Turn your run into a game.
  • Set your own rules.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Share your results.

Photos by Kyle Miyamoto.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post although imagery was in collaboration with PUMA Running featuring their Ignite 3 running shoe.

3 Reasons to start running

In 2016, my new year resolution was basic – to do more of the things I love and less of the things I don’t. Sadly, it was that same year I fell out of love with running.

As with anything I’m passionate about, I become fully invested. When it comes to running, I was heavily involved with my local running community, ran as many races as my schedule would allow, and even travelled to new countries for the sake of running. But somewhere along the way, the fire stopped burning. The notion that runners must be fast ate at my love for the sport. Over time, I felt pressured being surrounded by runners who ran for speed, which made me lose sight of the reason I started running in the first place.

Running is my way of learning more about myself, discovering new cultures and locations, and meeting new people. To be honest, I’m not a fast runner and I never intend to be one. I run to explore.

For 2017, my new theme is to rediscover my love for running– to dig deep and have a better understanding of why I started back in 2014 and embrace it. A close friend of mine introduced the sport to me, but the reasons below are what kept me running. If you’re looking for reasons to finally start running, here are a few of mine.

3 Reasons to start running

  • Running makes you feel good physically and mentally.
  • The process teaches you important life lessons such as accountability, perseverance, challenge, and discovery.
  • You’ll meet incredibly driven people with various run levels, who may very well be worth keeping in your life.

Photos by Kyle Miyamoto.

Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with PUMA Running to share my run story with you this month. This post is not sponsored although the imagery and product were in collaboration with PUMA Running. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine.

I’m never going to be perfect

and I’m completely okay with that.

I now live in a world where complacency is viewed negatively. Success is about moving forward– having the drive and hunger to do more, be more, and achieve more. It’s about more money, more responsibilities, more credibility, more of this, more of that, more, more, and more. When does it end? “More” becomes the new norm then I’m back at square one feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.

A year ago today, I was 10 lbs lighter. Whenever I look back at my old photos, I think to myself, “Wow, I was so skinny then.” I clearly remember in that moment when I first took the photo, I truly believed I was fat. The feeling was different then. I wanted to be skinnier; I wanted a better looking ass; I wanted a flatter stomach. I don’t think it’s ever going to end with only setting goals and achieving them.

More isn’t necessarily a bad thing but we need to be happy with who we are in the moment. I’m never going to be perfect because I’m human. There’s always room for improvements and I’m always going to want more. Understanding and believing that we are already more and we are enough is the key. We come to this mindset through acceptance and gratitude.

Simple steps to become more grateful:

  • Always find a reason to be thankful even in the negative moments; appreciate all opportunities big and small
  • Say thank you more often and really mean it
  • Give yourself a daily motivational speech
  • Follow your favorite influencers on social media for the extra inspiration
  • Action leads to motivation. Do something, anything

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. How do you practice gratitude?

Photos by Bruno Alvares.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post although the imagery was funded by Finish Line Women in collaboration with Reebok for their recent Perfect Never campaign. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine.

Fitness Gifts for Her 2016

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for fitness fanatics, look no further. I got you covered. I’ve put together a simple holiday gift guide including some of my favorites this year.

Even better, I want to share these gifts with you so be sure to check out @rarax3 on Instagram from December 20 to 24 for a chance to claim the gifts in this guide.

Fitness gifts for her

ALALA Custom Captain Tights
ALALA’s Captain Tights are made for the gym and streets. This is the perfect pair for someone who values comfort, style, and personalization.

Flywheel Sports
Do your friends’ booty a favor and grab a few rides at Flywheel Sports. This type of spinning is a little less soulful and a little more competitive. Flywheel has a holiday gift card promotion through December 31. Earn complimentary rides for yourself when you gift classes to others. More details here.

RoadID
Give the gift of safety or motivation. With RoadID, your friends can wear their emergency contact and health information or a simple motivational phrase on their wrist.

Brilliant Reflective
Help a friend be seen. Brilliant Reflective can stick or iron on to anything for night time visibility. It’s as simple as that.

LUSH Bath Bombs
A seriously fizzy fun explosion of colors, scents, and textures. Anyone can use some relaxation after a race or workout so you can’t go wrong with bath bombs. Your fit friends will love you.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post although I reached out to some of the mentioned brands for giveaway contributions. I’ve also spent some of my own money for the gifts.

Losing weight while traveling: 10 lbs in 1 month

Losing weight while traveling is no breeze. I am so damn proud of myself. I lost 10 lbs while traveling for a month although it took me 3 attempts in 3 years.

Starting in 2014, I’ve traveled for 4-5 weeks every October for work. Every year since, I’ve gained about 10 lbs on the road and another 5 or so lbs during the holiday season.

In 2014, I had zero control. I ate all the guavas in Singapore and couldn’t resist my daily boba milk tea in South Korea. I was running and training during this time but ate way more calories than I burned.

In 2015, off I went to Europe. Although still running, I felt the need to eat all the pastries in Paris and drink all the beers in Berlin. That same mindset tagged along with me to Amsterdam and London.

In 2016 now 20 lbs heavier, I needed change. The goal was never to lose weight but rather to not gain another 10 lbs. In the end, I actually lost weight.

How to lose weight while traveling

  • Make time for fitness
  • Indulge in moderation
  • Limit drinking calories
  • Say no
  • Be consistent

Making time for fitness
Every other day and sometimes every day, I would wake up at 6am to take a Flywheel class before going to work. It’s not easy waking up early, but it was the only time I had for a workout. Also incorporating small things like walking instead of Ubering and opting for stairs helps a lot.

Indulging in moderation
I love eating new food and I was still able to do this. I made sure that I was eating smaller portions and sharing whenever possible. Rule of thumb is always order a size small. Another trick for eating out is taking half your meal home and boxing it before you start eating.

Limit drinking calories
If you’re anything like me, I’m always hungry. I minimized drinking my calories and saved them for snacking. I stuck to sparkling water or sugar-free coffee.

Saying no
It’s way too easy to go out for a drink every night especially when others are treating. This was very difficult for me because I love being social but I had to learn to say no. Also, you don’t always need dessert or snacks. And if you have strong willpower (I don’t, so I just avoid situations), you can still be social and not make poor decisions.

Be consistent
This is probably the most important. Making change for a day won’t do much but keeping at it for a long duration will. I took it one day at a time and the next thing I knew, I was back home a month later.

To be fair it was a lot easier this year partly because I was traveling within the USA (2 weeks in SF, 1 week in CHI, and 1 week in NY). I wasn’t as compelled to splurge on food and it was more convenient to find workout partners or classes.

Regardless, I’m still super proud of myself. Now that I’ve done it, I know I can do it again. I’m not yet sure where I’ll be traveling to next year, but wherever it is, I know I’m ready for the challenge.

Photos by Colin Young-Wolff.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Active recovery: Redux 1

It’s week 2 of training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles. I caught a cold while traveling to Toronto. I feel exhausted, sluggish, and unmotivated but I’m pushing through with training. Between early morning spin at Flywheel and late evening gym sessions, I need to slow down.
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Tips for training while traveling

It’s fairly difficult to train while traveling. Your routine becomes disrupted; you may not have your accountability workout partner to motivate you; and there’s a million more “reasons” I can add to this laundry list of excuses.

The bottom line: If it’s a priority to you, you will find any means to make it happen.
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