2016 - A year of no excuses, inner strength, and more awesomeness!

Disclaimer: I received 2XU product to be apart of a 2XU Resolution Campaign because I'm a BibRave Pro. All thoughts, opinions, and product suggestions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

HELLO RUNNERS!

Today I get to kicking off a week long BibRave Pro series talking about New Year's Resolutions with 2XU! Each day a different BibRave Pro will be talking about acheiving those 2016 goals! 2XU has been great and letting me test out 2 jackets (detailed reviews on those later) but today we are here to talk about achieving those 2016 goals!

Time to tackle some goals - good thing I've got my 2XU HYOPTIK Jacket and Thermal Tights!

Time to tackle some goals - good thing I've got my 2XU HYOPTIK Jacket and Thermal Tights!

Soooo we are almost a month into January and... how are those 2016 goals going? Ahead? Behind? Right on track?

Woots for on track goals! Crushing it!

Woots for on track goals! Crushing it!

I personally had a bit of a set back this week since I came down with something flu-like which knocked me out this weekend. Blerg. And for those of you that just got buried under record setting snow in the east and midwest, I hope they clear those sidewalks off for you so you can get back out there. Be smart, be safe. Life happens. Learn and adapt.

However, there is a big blocker to overcome - excuses.

If it's not affecting your health or your safety, it's an excuse. Excuses are goal killers and winter is riddled with excuses. Since summer is still but a distant dream so let's focus on getting through these next couple of months and stay on track.

I categorize most excuses into 3 main categories, schedule excuses, motivation excuses and weather excuses. Don't let these beat your resolution goals!

SCHEDULE EXCUSES

This category tends to be the semi-controllable. Do unexpected things come up in our day-to-day lives? Yep, you bet, but by identifying when these tend to come up it'll help you figure out when you generally have the ability to carve out some "me" time.

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For me it's in the morning. I tend to get wrapped up in work and it's hard for me to turn down drinks with coworkers. Combine that with a love for going to bed by 10pm and a 1 hour commute that means my motivation hits a low point for afterwork workouts. So I make sure to set my alarm clock for zero-dark-thirty and get myself going in the morning.

I know that if I don't get it done in the morning, I'm probably not going to fit it in later in the day.

So when can you make the most dependable "me" time? Morning? Evening? After you put some kiddos to bed? Find your time and make it regular because we all know habit forming is the most important to meeting your goals!

MOTIVATION EXCUSES

When starting any new routine or trying to reach that next goal, we all can get complacent or lose sight of the goal. When it comes to running, we start tackling a new goal MONTHS away from the end. It makes the end that much more rewarding but the end goal can start to feel more like a distant dream rather than a nearing reality some days.

Here are some tips to keep you on track:

  • Know your goal - put up motivating quotes or pictures of medals that you hope to earn. Put them in places you see regularly to keep your goals and motivation at the top of mind. Journaling is also a great way to track your ups and downs and to reassure you that the lows happen and that you bounce back! (New Runner: Why You Should Keep A Running Log)
  • Keep it fresh - Find a new running route, sign up for a race (join me for the Platte River Half Marathon in Denver, use code bibrave10 for 10% off!) or try some cross-training. Getting some new gear is also a great way to find some new motivation. Try a fun running skirt/shorts or some new compression socks! Keeping your workouts feeling new helps to keep you motivated instead of settling into a rut.

  • Find a running buddy - Having a running buddy or group to run with makes the training runs feel less... lonely. We all know those long runs can be a great time for reflection but other times it can just be too much "me time".
Finding the right running friend can be hard though...

Finding the right running friend can be hard though...

So find your tools and have them at the ready to beat those days of "Augh, my heads just not in the game and I want to binge watch a show on Netflix" or "Grrr.... I'm just not feeling it today and my friend wants to get ice cream with me" or "I'm tired and my cat has fallen asleep on me so clearly I can't move". Keep your eye on the prize and figure out how to beat the "I don't want to" blues!

WEATHER EXCUSES

This one is hard to control but here's a dirty little running secret - you won't be able to control the weather race day either!

Use days with incliment weather to try out your gear and figure out what works for you. These are not detrimental days these are learning day! (See what I did there? Turning negatives into positives, yeah I'm that good)

In the winter, most of the US is dealing with cold weather, snow and rain. Not fun. But with the right gear you can be ready! And guess who has awesome gear to beat those too cold, too rainy, too gross out to run blues? 2XU of course!

2XU Hyoptik Jacket & Thermal Leggings, looking good & keeping me warm!

2XU Hyoptik Jacket & Thermal Leggings, looking good & keeping me warm!

  • Running Tights - I have said it before and I'll say it again 2XU makes amazing gear that motivates me to go. I've fallen in love with their HYOPTIK Thermal Tights and their other compression gear. It has the get up and go that you need to beat chilly runs!
  • Outer Shell/Rain Jacket - If you are running in snow or rain, a proper outer shell is important.  Thanks to 2XU I got to try out 2 new jackets - their MULTI-SPORT Jacket (no longer available but I'm hoping it does because it's the bomb!) and their HYOPTIK Jacket. I layered my HYOPTIK Jacket with my Dopey Challenge long sleeve tee and it was perfect for my 30 degree pre-dawn run. These jackets are awesome, breathable yet warm, and GREAT at repelling water! I foresee many runs, hikes, and other outdoor adventures in these jackets. There is no stopping me!
    • What to look for in a good winter/rain jacket? Breathable, water repellent (if it says resistant it might not keep you completely dry), and preferrable a wicking layer. Check out all of 2XU's jacket's here: Women's or Men's
  • Shoe Traction - Snow and ice got you nervous? Worry no more! Grab some Yaktraxs or running spikes and get out there. Check out Yaktrax's running model or you can also do some DIY ice spikes!
  • Reflective Gear - Winter means shorter days and more running in the dark. Not great. But with some awesome reflective gear, again 2XU is killing it with their awesome 2XU HYOPTIK line.  Some other favorites include Nathan's Cycling Ankleband, ShoeLits, and a great headlamp (I've been rocking this Black Diamond headlamp
  • Other Layering Items - Winter is all about layering. It may take you a couple miles to warm up so having layers you can pack away or readjust is always great. Some of my top picks:
    • Grab a vest! Vests are great because they keep your core warm but you can layer over items appropriately. 2XU makes a vest that I definitely have my eye on, the HYOPTIK Vest, it looks light-weight and great for layering!
    • Grab a Buff! These simple tubes of fabric (check out the wool for winter) are great because you can transition them from neck warmer to hat to wrist accessory very easily. (video: How To Wear a Buff)
    • Grab some gloves! Simple cotton gloves layered under a wind protection glove outer lyer can do great in those sub-freezing temps!
    • Grab some wool socks! Learn to love a great pair of thin wool socks. I've been rocking some REI wool socks and they keep my toes toasty and warm. I don't look the most fashionable but I really don't care when it's 20 degrees out.
Multi-sport jacket, 2XU Thermal Tights, wool socks, and headlamp. Yep this is my running regular!

Multi-sport jacket, 2XU Thermal Tights, wool socks, and headlamp. Yep this is my running regular!

Okay so I know I've run a bit long on this blog but I want you to achieve your goals. Running is the most magical when you can transcend to the next running level and you can't do that if you are making excuses at every step.

Make no excuse. Find your inner strength. Become a more awesome runner.

No excuses, inner strength, more awesomeness!

This is your year, go get it!

What are you tackling in 2016? Tell me in the comments so I can cheer you on!

See how my fellow BibRave Pro is resolving to come back from injury safely: RESOLVING TO RETURN TO RUNNING...SAFELY