Working It Out and the Pile on the Miles Challenge

Good morning and happy November!

Exercise and fitness are topics I rarely talk about on this blog.  I mean, anyone interested in exercise or “healthy lifestyle” blogging has a bazillion options to consult before they need to look to a vegan food blog for pointers.

I hope this post isn’t too personal, boring, or off-topic, but it’s important to me to stress that there is much more to my vegan life and my personal goals than just the food.  When I first became vegan, I was very interested in the health benefits of a plant-based diet.  And I still am.   While I don’t necessarily think of my blog as falling into the Healthy Vegan Food Blog category (I just wrote a post about vegan jalapeño poppers, for goodness sake), I do generally feel that I lead a pretty healthy, balanced lifestyle.


Some of that does factor into my writing on this blog.  I often discuss the challenges involved in trying to be the best wife I can be, maintain a home, and cook/bake things that are convenient and cost-effective yet still healthful and nourishing for both of us, while still having a full-time job.  It’s not easy, and this from someone that doesn’t even have kids to contend with.

On top of all of that, I feel pressure to make time for myself.  I enjoy exercising and want to do it, but my fitness goals and levels have fluctuated drastically over the years, and to be honest, lately I just don’t have a lot of time for it.  Currently the best I can do is to fit in 10 – 30 minutes of high intensity activity about 4 days a week, 5 if I’m lucky.  This includes a lot of HIIT workouts (Jillian Michaels DVD’s are amazing for this), tabatas, and CrossFit-inspired routines that can be done at home.  Obviously this amount of activity is better than nothing, and while I have not lost weight (that’s a different battle entirely), I have definitely become markedly stronger in the last 6 months or so.


Although I am physically and mentally capable of working out for longer (I’ve run three half marathons [and trained for four…long story]), these days I face the dilemma that, if I want to do that, I must sacrifice something else.  Exercising for more than 30 minutes means that I either won’t have time to make dinner, or I could make dinner but then won’t have any time to myself to relax on the couch with one of “my” shows on the DVR before H comes home and it switches to “our” shows.

Even though it can be frustrating, I work it out the best I can!

run to remember

H and me right after I finished the 2012 Boston Run to Remember (with my red face and coconut water in hand!)

H and I ran the Cape Cod Ragnar relay back in May.  For those who don’t know, Ragnar is an organization that runs a series of races year-round in different parts of the country.  Teams of 6 or 12 runners work together over 24ish hours to cover approximately 200 miles.  It was an incredible experience but also completely and utterly exhausting (I think I slept a total of 3 hours in two days while running three legs of the race and consuming little besides Gatorade, granola, and bananas.  Also it was freezing!).


[Most of] our team at the Ragnar finish line, with our medals!

Since then (perhaps understandably), I have been totally burnt out on running.  I think I have run maybe 4 times since May.  [Yup, just checked my calendar and I have run outside exactly 3 times and once on the treadmill.]

And here is the point that I’ve been leading up to this whole time, which is that yesterday, just as I was finally starting to miss running, I stumbled upon Run Eat Repeat’s 5th annual Pile on the Miles challenge:

Basically, you sign up for the challenge, enter a number of miles you want to run in November, and then check in every Friday throughout the month with your progress toward meeting that goal.  The aim is to keep participants moving during the calorie bombardment of the holidays, so that we can pile on miles rather than pounds!  The check-ins serve to keep you accountable.  Click on the image above if you would like to register and take on the challenge yourself!

I love this idea and am so excited to be participating!!  It’s given me that little spark I needed in order to recommit to my running and prepare for an even better Ragnar next spring (yes, we’re sadists and are doing it again).  I have committed to run a total of 43 miles in November; 3 tomorrow (no matter how long it takes me!), and then 10 per week for the remainder of the month.  I figure I’ll split it into two 3-mile runs and one 4-miler, but we’ll see.  It probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but my left foot has given me a lot of problems in the past (including during Ragnar 2013) so I’ll have to start slow and ease myself back into it.  But I couldn’t be more excited to do so!

I promise this blog will not become an exercise recap for the month of November, but don’t be surprised to hear me mention Pile on the Miles at least a few times. 🙂

If you have any tips for fitting in weekday workouts, or thoughts about how exercise factors into a healthy vegan lifestyle, please share them in the comments!

ALSO there is still time to enter my giveaway for a free Daiya product voucher!  Click here for details on how enter.  Giveaway closes Wednesday, November 6.

Have a great (and healthy!) weekend!

4 thoughts on “Working It Out and the Pile on the Miles Challenge

  1. I really like that healthy lifestyle wheel. Exercise is something that I need to really work on integrating into my life regularly. I go through bouts of going to the gym hardcore and not. When I don’t go to the gym, I usually walk the dogs or go hiking as much as possible. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do runs like yourself 🙂 I can never get past that running cramp.

    • Same here–even on weeks where it’s basically just impossible to get in an actual workout, I still try to be as active as possible. For some reason to me it doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough though! But I know that’s just a mental thing and I try never to be too hard on myself.

      Also, I am the worst runner ever! For the record 🙂

  2. This is an awesome challenge – and you can totally do it in 30 minutes a day! I like the idea of making a mileage goal – then it’s less critical (or guilt-inducing) if you miss a day or two! I think I’m going to try it on my upcoming vacation!

    • So true! I need something to keep me motivated but not make me feel guilty. Otherwise I’ll never stick with it.

      Hope you enjoy your vacation!

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