New Years Resolutions with Athleta

Happy February! I'm sorry about the long absences in between posts lately, but I've been really busy at other goals lately. I'm excited to bring some of those goals into the blog this week! I'm declaring this "fit" week on Selective Potential. ;) Since most of us "resolutioners" have died off by now, I'm hoping to inspire you to stick with any goals you had set for yourself. Remember why you started. Today, I'm going to share my running routine and some of my tips in collaboration with Athleta. I also have a fun inspiration post and giveaway from Sweaty Wisdom, a post on my new cooking/eating healthy habits and my favorite workout playlist. I hope you guys enjoy!

As many of you know that follow me on Twitter and Instagram, I've been a running machine lately! Running all began for me when I lost 35 pounds five years ago. Back then, I was a die-hard elliptical machine lover. I thought it was doing wonders for me until I suffered a severe pinched nerve. I could barely walk for weeks, and had to slowly get back into working out. I tried the elliptical again, but my leg continued to hurt. So I started walking around the track. I felt like I was doing nothing, and was so bummed. But eventually walking led to speed walking and that led to jogging and running. I ran my first 5K almost five years ago, and it was a huge and exciting moment for me! I'd never go back to the elliptical machine. Plus, running has such an amazing support group of people and a social aspect to it that I love.

This year, one of my big new year's resolutions was to run a 10K. What!? I know. My first thought was… let's do a 5K. But once I got to the gym and started running, I realized how easy 1 mile felt to me. And I thought doing a 5K wouldn't be enough of a challenge. So I officially signed up and paid for a 10K race in May. That gave me 16 weeks to be able to run 6.2 miles. Um… I've never ran that far before in my life. Unfortunately my first week in, I suffered a shin splint. I know it was overuse, and "too much, too soon". So I took a (sad) week off, and started off slow again. I joined a free 10K training program on RunKeeper. That is my favorite app ever. I'm constantly looking at it on my phone… just feeling so proud of myself. You can track your runs through the app, sign up for training schedules, set "goals" for yourself. I love the goals part! If any of you have a RunKeeper account, be sure to add me as a friend!

As for my shin splint, I took several measures to help correct the issue. I purchased a stretching app (lolo Performance Stretching) and follow the "Running Warm Up" routine every time before I run. I tape my shin using KT Tape. And after every run, I ice my shin with an ice pack. Also, if it started really hurting while running, I would stop immediately. One helpful stretch I'm showing above in the photo... I sit against the wall and do 20 toe taps in a row. I'm so thankful my shin is now healed and feeling back to normal… and I'm running up to 4 miles! I couldn't be more excited.

For workout style, I like tighter fitting pants. I tried a pair of baggier workout pants early in the year, and I felt so uncomfortable and sloppy at the gym. Honestly, these relay tights are the best pants I've ever worked out in. I feel comfortable in them, and they are super form fitting. I also love the long tanks and tees - ones that almost cover my butt. That way when I'm doing my crazy stretches, I'm not worried about my shirt riding up at the gym. Also for gals with bangs, I'd totally recommend a little headband to keep your hair out of your face. I always wear this when I'm running. Also! Be sure to change your shoes every 400-600 miles. I think that was a large reason why I suffered a shin splint was because of my old running shoes. My new shoes have made my shins super happy!

Disclosure: Athleta provided me with apparel in exchange to participate in the Athleta Fit Style Challenge.