Looking to 2016

 

2016 goals | Resolutions | Kale and Ale

Flickr user Maurice took the original image, which has been modified.

How can it be 2016 already? 2015 was the year I’d been working toward for many years, so as long as 2016 stays about the same, I’ll be happy. What about you?

To get caught up, I’ve shared my 2015 recaps on food, drink and fitness. Looking forward to 2016, the main theme is to keep bettering and improving myself from within. I’ve never been one for resolutions, but with continuous growth comes evaluation and deciding if one is on the right path, or if the path needs to be adjusted. A new year is a great time for that assessment.

The key things I want to focus on are as follows. What do you hope to accomplish or improve?

Fitness

In 2015 I ran one race and fewer miles than any year since taking up running. I don’t have friends here that run races like I did in Florida. This year I hope to find a running community or make a point to run a longer-distace race (10k or above) to challenge myself.

With that, I want to work on weight training. The past few months I’ve been going to the gym three days a week and hope to devote one of those days to weight training. The goal is to lose some stubborn pounds that cold winters have brought on, and to tone and strengthen my body by adding an element to my workouts that cardio alone isn’t providing.

Food

This big thing here is to grow and expand my garden, both in physical size and what is being grown. Last year I ended up with a lot of tomatoes and peppers and hope to add more variety this year. What might you suggest I grow that works well for the upper Midwest?

Personal Growth

2015 brought me together with the Twin Cities blogging community, and I want to get more involved in 2016. The connections and support this group has is great. I also want to learn one new thing a month I can apply to my blog and communications overall.

Beyond that, I want to foster more in real life connections I have, meeting up with peers, making it a point to set aside time to see friends, and Skype those far away more often. This is where I get a lot of satisfaction, having a few well-developed friendships.

What are your goals/hopes/dreams for 2016? Please leave them in the comments below.

2015 In Review: Fitness

2015 year in review: Fitness | Kale and Ale

This is the second in a series featuring highlights from 2015. Today I take a look at activities and trips I’ve enjoyed this year. Monday we discussed food and Friday looks at drinks I’ve had and made this year. Share your highlights of each topic in the comments below!

Biking

This spring I bought a used bike when my old bike (and I mean old–its the only bike I’ve had since middle school) was damaged beyond repair. This hybrid bike serves my needs and then some, taking me on nice summer bike rides and getting me to and from beer events nearby. I love living near bike paths and having another alternative to a car.

Hiking

This year I took up hiking, in preparation for my summer trip to the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks! I have wanted to visit Zion for a while and go somewhere new, so when Aaron and I were looking for a trip we could fly direct from the Twin Cities and do something different, we decided to go to Vegas and visit the parks, making a big loop.

But first, we had to break in our hiking shoes, so this summer we went to state parks around the Twin Cities, hiking in the morning and stopping at a brewery or winery after. I hope to do more of this in the spring/summer of 2016, as it’s a great day trip and way to explore Minnesota. See write-ups of various day trips.

Back to Zion and Grand Canyon: the trip was amazing. There are no words, so I’ll leave a slideshow right here.

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Running

I only ran one race this year-something I need to change in 2016. The race was fun and unique: a trail run using nature as its obstacle course. It coincided with Oktoberfest, so at the end runners were rewarded with, as you can guess, a beer! Read more about my adventure running the Timber Trek.

Timber Trek end | KaleAndAle.com

A muddy, wet and hay filled mess. It was fun.

As I said, I hope to partake in more races next year. I don’t have the group who runs events here like I do in South Florida, but I want to push myself at a fun event. I think I’m going to run a Spartan Race [note: affiliate link] in 2016, specifically probably the short event in Minnesota next June. Who’s with me!?!? Seriously! To prep, I plan to do some weight training this winter.

If you want to run with me in June or another race in 2016, Spartan Race is giving away a free event to one reader of Kale and Ale! And even if you don’t win the giveaway below, there are deals going on now.

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Giveaway: Now closed

Spartan Race is giving one reader of Kale and Ale entry to a 2016 Spartan Race in the continental U.S., valued between $75 and $225, depending on the style and length of the race. The giveaway is good for open heats only, which is a non-confirmed start time.

You must be 18 or older to enter. The contest starts at midnight Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, and runs until the end of Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Central U.S. time. Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter. Learn more about Spartan Races [affiliate link] including styles, location and what to expect.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Running update: It’s hot

Dreher Park Dash 5k

Dreher Park Dash 5k: Smiling because I can hear the music at the finish line.

Last night I ran a 5k. It was about 90° and humid when the race started. 3.1 miles felt like 6.2 miles. To say it was rough would be putting it mildly. But a running buddy talked me into it, I didn’t have much reason to say no and I figured it would be a new challenge with the heat.

I haven’t been running much lately, really any time I’ve gotten out there since my 8k about six weeks ago has been a bonus. It’s that uncomfortable-at-all-hours time of year in Florida. But it’s always fun to run with my running buddies. My time wasn’t great but, considering the conditions and how little I’ve been running, I was proud of my time.

And this week marks two years since I’ve been running. I can’t believe it’s been two years already and it’s turned into this much a hobby. I have always been kind of active, but nothing has stuck very seriously long-term. So I love that I’m having such interest and luck with running, and I have found people around me who are also into running.

Looking ahead

There was a flier on my car after the race for a half marathon, so this intrigued me. I am interested in a new distance race or challenge, as I haven’t done more than a 10k this year. The race is in 10 weeks, which people on Facebook say is doable if I train now. I want to push myself, but am worried it might be too much a push. And it’s still very hot out, so my training isn’t consistent. But I would love a challenge. I think I might start training and see how it goes. (Any advice for a training plan or if I’m crazy for taking this on is welcome.) Then after doing hot yoga this morning after running in such heat last night, my legs are worn out and just want to rest for a long time!

First yoga class

kaleandale.com hotyoga

I survived my first hot yoga class

Today I took my first yoga class. Ever. And it was a hot yoga class. And I kinda liked it a good amount. Crazy, right? I have vinyasa’d to yoga videos and the Wii fit in the comfort of my own home. I’ve always been very flexible. But for some reason or another (lack of confidence, somewhat laziness) I never took a class.

Yesterday, my friend Kim, who had a Groupon, invited me to her studio. I have wanted to start going to yoga classes so, even though it was hot yoga a ways from my house, I said yes to get myself out there.  I was uncertain for many reasons. Could I handle hot yoga if I am not a fan of working out in the heat? Would I know the poses and be able to keep up? Would I like it? The answer to all of these, thankfully, was yes, and I am really glad I went. I pushed myself to start something I have wanted to do and was more successful than I imagined.

This was not to say it was all a cake walk. But I went to be pushed and get a workout. And although I have always known this, being in a class setting made me really aware that I am very flexible and not great with balance. That is something I want to improve at. In fact, the two main draws of taking a yoga class as opposed to doing it in my living room are to get better at the balance poses (as opposed to, say, skipping over them on a video) and making sure with an instructor that I am doing the poses the right way. I did get some guidance on a pose today, and that was great.

I plan to continue yoga classes. Maybe not at this studio only because the location is not convenient, but in general. I know a few places that are better for my location and schedule and I look forward to getting into a yoga routine.

DIY racerback tank

I often feature recipes on this blog that I find on Pinterest. This time I made the very popular do-it-yourself, no-sew racerback tank top. If you are on Pinterest and follow craft or fitness boards, you may have seen these yourself.

I took a too-large long-sleeved race shirt (Race for the Cure work team!) and made it into a fitting tank, which is perfect for the South Florida summer that is already here. This took about 30 minutes start to finish, as I adjusted the cuts I made around the arms and neck a few times. I was conservative at first as I didn’t want to take too much off. I’m really happy with the results.

The best steps I’ve found on how to make this DIY racerback tank are over at Blogilates. Enjoy!