Changing Up Exercise: How Often Do You Do It?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 28, 2009

080831_1029 First up and most importantly:


She is beautiful, caring, thoughtful, loving, funny, charming, and very generous. Despite our conflicts when I was a teenager, my mom and I have now grown into best friends. She supports me in whatever I do and she is my probably my biggest Oh She Glows fan, reading every comment and always telling me her thoughts on whatever the topic may be.

She is currently in L.A. about to embark on a wonderful birthday cruise of the French Polynesian…lucky lady!

She will be spreading the Operation Beautiful message everywhere she goes and documenting pictures of it too. I can’t wait to see them.

Love you mom! xo


I completely forgot to mention this, but last week our beloved Canon 30D SLR + Macro lens + external flash was dropped on our hardwood floor.

It was straight out of a horror film. I saw Eric reach for the camera, he fumbled it like a bad pass in football, and then there was a huge smash on the floor. We both uttered a few curse words and stood there in complete shock. I think a single, quivering tear dropped from my face as Eric picked it up and assessed the damage.

I still wasn’t breathing at this point. He tried to turn it on and the screen read ERROR. Still notIMG_7112 breathing.

Being the technology genius that he is, he decided to remove the macro lens and snap it back into place. Once he did this, the error message was gone and it was working again. It has been fine ever since (knock on wood), but boy did that give us a scare! Canon cameras are STRONG.  Whenever I get emails from readers asking me about cameras I always suggest Canon.

I was able to resume my normal blog photos of Sketchie…and he carried on with Project Hibernate.


I have also had my point-and-shoot Canon Powershot SD800 for about 4 years now. It has suffered a ton of hardships- drops, food particles, water, etc. and it still works like a charm! The best part is the price has dropped over $200 since we got ours 4 years ago.



Changing Up Exercise: How Often Do You Do It?

A while back, I did a post asking you how you define a rest day. It was a really interesting topic and I loved reading everyone’s thoughts!

Well, today I wanted to talk about changing up exercise.

After my half marathon a week and a half ago, I told myself that I would give my body as much time as it needed away from running. My legs had one heck of a summer- a 10k, 10 miler, and 2 half marathons within 4 months.

It was a lot to chew and I knew that.

However over the past 1.5 weeks, I have been struggling with a few things:

1) I have been feeling quite sluggish, yet I don’t feel ready to dive into exercise.

2) I have been wondering if I need to change what I am doing for exercise.

Running has taken up a large part of my life and has consumed 100% of my activity over the past 4 months. Training for races takes a lot of time and it did not leave me for any free time to pursue activities like strength training or yoga. It was actually a miracle that I found the time to train despite being so busy with everything.

I have been asking myself- Maybe this is a chance to try out something new and back off running a bit.

Maybe I can try yoga again and just focus on yoga. Or maybe I can do strength training and really stick with a schedule. Maybe I can use my free pass at the gym and do some non-impact stuff. There are so many wonderful activities out there that I have not been doing and I think it may be time to change it up!

I am guessing at this point you are probably asking yourself…so what is the problem, Ange?

Well, the problem is that I have been feeling guilt over it.

I have been feeling guilt about:

1) taking this exercise break, and

2) considering taking a (longer) break from running.

Crazy thoughts have entered my mind like…

  • Maybe I am not a real runner if I take a break from it?
  • What will happen to my training, my endurance, my speed?

In reality, I know that taking a break from running is not the end of the world. I have prior experience of course with my injury last Winter. I also know that my anxiety from taking exercise breaks is in large part due to my disordered eating and compulsive exercising in the past. It is sort of like that voice that never goes away, even though I find that I do a pretty good job silencing it for the most part. It is still there occasionally telling me I need to do this, this, and that or ‘x’ will happen.

Well anyway, last night I did my first 15 minutes of yoga since I-don’t-know-when.

And it felt amazing!!!!

I did the P90X YOGA DVD (first time) and started off slow with just 15 minutes (in the dark!). I actually really enjoyed it.

You know what else this told me?

I have been neglecting my flexibility way too much. My muscles are so stiff it is unbelievable. I have also been having back and shoulder pain from baking and packaging all day. My muscles have been crying out in pain from all the abuse! So I really think it is time that I addressed this aspect of my fitness.

For once in my life, I feel excited about the possibility of practicing yoga and trying something new without the pressures of scheduling a million other exercise goals into my calendar.

I think it may be time for a change- for now anyways!

Despite my anxieties, I am going to go with it and listen to my body. And right now my body is looking for a different approach to fitness.


Do you go through phases in your exercise or chosen activities? Do you change it up or decide when it is time for something new??

Well, this post was ummm….a bit verbose. I think I am due for a Wordless Wednesday, no??? haha ;)

Happy Hump-day!!!!


Don’t forget this is your last chance to enter the Garmin Forerunner Charity raffle!! It is for a great cause so submit your entry today!! :) They are due by midnight!

Also it is your last chance to vote in the Foodbuzz Nominations! Please vote for your favourite bloggers!!!!

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

megan October 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

I think this is a great idea! Around this time of the year I generally switch up my exercise from running to more indoor type things – elliptical, raquetball, arc trainer, lifting. I think it helps me stay well rounded, and I really don’t notice a huge difference in my endurance when I start running again in the spring. and by then I can’t wait to get out and run! It’s a mental break as much as anything else. This year I really want to try out yoga too. Thanks for the reminder about flexibility…I need that!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 28, 2009 at 9:33 am

I don’t think you should feel guilty at all, Ange. The ways you mentioned on how you are feeling could be signs of over-training. I think it would be great to do yoga and switch it up. I am a huge fan of changing up workouts – I rarely do the same thing twice!


Kate October 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

I’m so glad you posted this! I was just telling my boyfriend the other night that I go through exercise phases!!! I just got out of a 5-month yoga phase and prior to that, I did 1.5 years of the P90X program. I think part of it is that I get really excited about doing one thing and go all out, then once I reach whatever “goal” I had set, I’m ready to start something else and create a new “goal”. I’m back into running now and plan on running a half in the spring (I better do it now before I start a family!). But I’m sure after that I’ll be back into yoga and wanting something that’s less of an impact on my joints – when I did yoga I didn’t have any blisters on my feet! Ouch! Best part was how I felt! It was such an amazing feeling when I could do the splits or run 8 miles without being too winded or do a set of bicep curls with 25lb weights. I love challenging my body!! Good luck to you and keep us posted on what you end up doing! :)


rhodeygirl October 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

Happy birthday to your mom! Make sure, if they stop at the St. Regis Bora Bora, that they eat at the Lagoon restaurant!!!

I know it is hard to not feel guilty, but think about your purpose for exercising. If your purpose is to run faster races, then ok you need to keep up a running schedule. If, however, your purpose for exercise is to stay in shape/relieve stress/be healthy etc, then you should do what FEELS good!


Kristine October 28, 2009 at 9:43 am

Gahh! Yes, I know how you feel. I am someone that has never taken a break from running in over 2 years! Granted, I don’t run many miles (about 4 to 5), I couldn’t tell you the last time I took more than 2 days off from running!! Am I crazy? Possibly. With the winter coming up, I have been thinking about trying to incorporate yoga into my life, but I am just so USED to and COMFORTABLE with running, that it is hard to change things up. Thanks for this post. It’s been on my mind a lot lately!


Paige @ Running Around Normal October 28, 2009 at 9:44 am

I just wrote about taking a break from running to take on other forms of exercise a couple weeks ago – check it out!:)

I completely hear you. I’m so excited to take on new activities like yoga, classes, more strength training, etc..

Oh, and Happy Bday OSG mom!! :D


Joanna October 28, 2009 at 9:53 am

You should also consider the effect of the seasonal change – with winter approaching, our bodies want to join Sketchie for Project Hibernate! The days are shorter, the weather colder, and most people gain a little weight in preparation for the freeze – our natural thermal insulation. You might be feeling sluggish because your body is trying to use less energy in an attempt to convert your fuel into a) heat and b) an bit of padding to keep you cosy. So if you eat a little more, you may feel your excercise drive coming back. Alternatively, just exercise less and curl up with a hot tea, good book and Sketchie!


Jil October 28, 2009 at 9:55 am

I have the same Canon point and shoot, and boyy has it taken abuse! I always recommend Canon, they’re just so good! I think I need to change up my routine, too. I’ve got a yoga DVD just sitting on the shelf…I think it’s time to dust it off.


Leah @ Simply fabulous October 28, 2009 at 9:55 am

I couldn’t agree more with Sabrina (rhodeygirl)… I like her comment and want to echo it! I definitely think that your inner voice is trying to tell you something. Maybe you have burnt yourself out and just need a few weeks to do other things until you get the running bug again. I know for me, after I ran my half and had an unbelievably crazy summer the last thing i’ve wanted to do was run. Doing other things (like walking, yoga) has helped me so much. I struggle with the guilt too, and wonder if i’ll put on weight or something. Have you read Heather’s posts over at heathereatsalmondbutter? She went from running to yoga and has never looked back.

Happy Birthday to your beautiful Mom!! Wowee she will love her vacation! Lucky lady indeed!!


kelly October 28, 2009 at 10:02 am

Your mom and I share a birthday! Happy Birthday OSGM!!!

Great post, as usual.


*Andrea* October 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

happy bday to your beautiful mom!!! i also have that annoying voice that tells me to do x instead of y because of a similar disordered eating/wayyy overexercising past. someone once posted about how if you miss a workout one day or don’t eat enough fruits you can make it up the next day because thinking sooo short term aka by day is silly for long-run health! time is just arbitrary. also, i love getting in 10 min of yoga or mediation if i can’t workout one day


Clare October 28, 2009 at 10:07 am

Hi Angela-
I just want to thank you again for your positive presence here. And, as a vegetarian for the last 17 years, I so appreciate your sweet and reasonable voice for animals. I am a yoga teacher here in Northern California-and I would just reccomend listening to your body here. When your body wated to run-you let it. Now it wants to rest-and stretch. Sounds like a plan! You can download free 20 minute yoga classes from!-or download Elsie Escobar’s free whol hour yoga class podcast on itunes. You may even want to reset your clock with her yoganidra. A 65 minute guided “sleep” meditation. I know-for a go machine like you that sounds like alot-but you can lay on the floor and do it before bed and ahhh… Pronto Relaxo! Good Luck, Clare


NySoonerGirl October 28, 2009 at 10:11 am

This is a great post! I’ve had to stop running for the past couple of months as my knees and ankles have had it. I’ve been doing some of the P90X DVDs just to switch things up. I really want to do the yoga one, but I know it’s an hour and a half long and I just can’t fathom that! Reading this post made me realize my duh! moment. Why don’t I just do part of the yoga?! I can’t believe that idea didn’t occur to me. Thanks!


Kristin October 28, 2009 at 10:12 am

The best thing about running is that it’s always right there – it’s not going to go anywhere while you do other things. Becoming a better runner sometimes means placing your focus somewhere else. Every competitive sport uses cross training to build strength, flexibility and endurance. Spend some time with yoga, your body and mental state will both benefit and you can find a better inner place to make these kinds of decisions from. Then play with strength training, non-impact etc. What about totally mixing things up? Try cycling, group sports through your gym, swimming, whatever. There is no limit to the things you can try, the important thing is to play, play, play, and find the enjoyment in exercise again :-) Re-find your Glo, lady!



Britt (runnerbelle) October 28, 2009 at 10:13 am

Happy b-day to your mom! :-)

I do like to mix up my workouts, although I have found that my base exercise is running. I just don’t have to do it every day.

If I’m not running I’m usually doing Kettlebell, which I LOVE! Its a group style class, some days you compete with yourself for time other days its testing your strength with how much you can lift. Its definitely firmed me up all over and challenged my body in new ways.

Once in a blue moon I do yoga…. I really want to go more. I’m thinking after the marathon I’ll try to get back to going at least once a week. I found one class that involves a lot of visualization and relaxation techniques, it is perfect for me with all the hard workouts I do.


Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) October 28, 2009 at 10:16 am

Happy birthday OSG mom!

Funny you should mention cameras today…I’m in the process of finding a new one, and everyone I’ve spoken to has recommended Canon! I am sold. :)


Kate October 28, 2009 at 10:20 am

Forgot to add this – there is such a variety of yoga out there, too. :) I did Bikram yoga which gave you more of a cardio workout as well. Not all forms of yoga are for everyone. I personally enjoy the ones where I can feel a DEEP stretch. That’s what relaxes me. I suggest trying a few types out and see if there are any that fit your style and what you’re looking to get out of yoga itself. :)


Morgan October 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

P90X yoga is a surprisingly good workout!
You shouldn’t feel guilty about doing what’s right for you and what feels best for your mind, body and soul. Who’s to say what makes someone a true runner anyway? Is someone like Lance Armstrong, who runs a fast marathon a runner? I don’t know, I think the definition is whatever you want it to be. You need to do whatever keeps you happy and ‘glowing’!


Chelsa October 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

I don’t get why you have to completely take a break from running. Why can’t you just run for fun some days and not for time or speed. I’m not a very advanced runner at all but I like to go running a few times a week and on other days do yoga or pilates or a cardio class. I like to mix it up and it works really well for me. I’ve also had eating/exercise issues in the past and I find that enjoying a variety of exercising from day to day keeps me from competeing with myself. You should give it a try.


lora October 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

i agree with the exercise topic! I ran so much and ever since my half (a month ago) all Ive wanted to do was strength train, swim and ellliptical…running only 10 miles a so a week. I feel I love running when I don’t force myself to do miles. When I can just run outside, then its more enjoyable…I go back and forth with exercise tho. I am sure next month I will only want to run :)

p.s happy birthday OSG momma !!!



Diana October 28, 2009 at 10:26 am

Happy birthday to your mom! :)

Well, right now I do a bit of cardio and my PT and I focus more on strength training because honestly.. I need it. I’m very weak and I also have a high percentage of body fat, even though I’m at a average weight. It is pretty normal though, when one loses as much weight as I did without strength training (for real). So we focus on that, we just keep adding weight and he always teaches me new exercises because that way it’s not boring for me (or my muscles!).

I may try some yoga, pilates, etc, in the future, but for now I’m focusing on this. :)


Courtney October 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

I have been trying to lose some weight and been stuck at a plateau even though I was exercising like crazy and carefully watching my calories. I spoke with my trainer as I was frustrated with the lack of progress and we decided to cool it a little. I haven’t worked out in a few days and although I am still tracking my calories, I’m pretty much eating what I want. Well, I’m down a few pounds already. My body was screaming for a break and for some fuel..and by honoring that I made progress.
You should honor your body as well and you will see progress!!
Adventures in Tri-ing


Mellissa October 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

I change up my exercise plan every few months and take a week off about every 2-3 months and just let my body rest. It needs it!


Kristie Lynn October 28, 2009 at 10:30 am

You know, I was wondering the other day if you were keeping up on the strength training at all – I was just remembering the challenge you had in the spring and wondering if you would still take little breaks to do planks, pushups, lunges and stuff. So thanks for reading my mind :)

Happy birthday to your Mom – and hooray for shared birthdays (mine is today too!)!! :-D


Katie O. October 28, 2009 at 10:37 am

Hi Ange- love this post! I too have had the same thoughts when thinking about easing up on running after having IT band issues… will I lose my endurance that I’ve worked so hard for? I think that the previous commenters have it right- your body is trying to tell you something, and there are just as effective lower impact exercises out there! I switch things up often just to keep my interest piqued- typically running 2-3x a week coupled with yoga and/or strength training 2x a week. I love doing yoga on my off days of running; it’s the perfect complement for me. has great free 20 minutes sessions, which I highly recommend! I just finished reading the New Rules of Lifting for Women- it’s an interesting read and I plan on starting this workout plan in November.

As long as you are treating your body well (which you clearly are), there is no need to feel guilty!

btw Sketchie is so cute- I love all of the pics you post of him. Happy birthday to OSG Mom!


Small Town Runner October 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

I always wonder about changing up exercise, too. If I do things besides run, will I miss running too much? Is that such a bad thing, since maybe it will make me more likely to run the next time? Is it better for my muscles to scale back on running for a few months and do something else? And, as you said, am I not a truly committed runner if I take a break from running? But I’ll never be a professional runner, so as long as I’m keeping fit, I think it doesn’t really matter how I choose to do it. In fact, I’m going to the YMCA today at lunch, and was planning to just run… but after reading this post, maybe I’ll use the bike or the elliptical, too! Thanks for your thoughts.


Nicole October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

I have been having the workout blues as well! It might just be that it is getting colder out, and you have a hard time leaving the warmth of your house!! I know I do!! What about some yoga to help with your muscle flexibility?

I recently took about a month and a half off from all things triathlon to refresh my mind. I was allowed to do yoga if I wanted, but I was also traveling (and I like taking it in a class like atmosphere). I used the elliptical, stairstepper, and row machine. They were all great at first, but they lost their luster last week. I’m starting my new marathon training program this week just in time which includes yoga and triathlon off season training!

Maybe you just need to do your own thing (Besides running) for a while!


The Voracious Vegan October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

I have been neglecting my flexibility and stretching TOO! I need to be a lot more diligent with that starting NOW.

Actually, I don’t change up my work out too much, I am a creature of habit, I suppose. I do at least an hour of cardio on an elliptical/summit climber/bike/treadmill 4 days a week. 2 days a week I do a light 20 minute cardio workout and then do a full body weight training workout. About 4 days a week I ride my horse which is definitely the absolute hardest workout of all, full body and cardio, it is killer. And ever day we take our dogs walking or hiking for an hour or so.

Occasionally I do some yoga, or swimming, or some pilates. But basically I stick to the same thing!


Nicole October 28, 2009 at 10:54 am

I forgot to add: ALL REAL ATHLETES take a break from their sport for mental and physical rejuvenation!! (or at least in the tri community they do! Yes, you are a little out of shape when you get back into it, but you are still way ahead of where you started last year!!! And, you won’t run the risk of being mentally burnt out from it!


Janna (Just Flourishing) October 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

Happy Birthday OSGMOM!

I think you always need to go with your gut. Don’t force yourself to run just because you think you have to. I was running a lot over the past 6 months and then… I just didn’t want to anymore.

I started doing more fun exercise classes and yoga and it just felt right. I might get back into running eventually… but for now, I’m taking it easy and that is just fine with me.


Kim October 28, 2009 at 11:02 am

I think it’s always best to just listen to your body – if it’s not wanting to run, don’t push it – you’ll just burn yourself out on running entirely by forcing it. Try other stuff – you might like them better for now, or you might find that they make you want to run. And if you’re really worried about losing some of your running mojo you could add one run in a week just to keep yourself in it?


Leah @ L4L October 28, 2009 at 11:07 am

I like to make sure my weeks are balanced overall so that I don’t go through huge phases. I like to incorporate a cardio + stretching + strength training in EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT, excluding when I just do a session of yoga, which I consider stretching + strength training for the more challenging sessions.


Estela @ Weekly Bite October 28, 2009 at 11:08 am

Never feel guilt about taking a rest day! Your body is trying to tell you something.

Give yoga a shot! I’m an avid runner, and like you, I knew my body needed a break… 4 1/2 years ago I decided to give Bikram Yoga a try… I never looked back… it’s just what my body needed! Running w/ yoga is the perfect balance in my opinion!


Jennifer October 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

I think everybody needs to switch it up every now and then. Variety is the spice of life! You will appreciate the running so much more when you get back to it. Heck, I love my kids but it doesn’t make me any less of a mother when I get a break from them. You are no less of a runner if you take a break. In fact the break makes us both better. :)


Kirsten October 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

Great post-I have been going through the same thing lately after my half. I am pretty busy too, I miss yoga, and training was time consuming, but I am still feeling ‘guilt’ and worry about my body dropping back from that fitness level.


Jennifer October 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

Ps Happy Birthday OSG MOM!! She definitely glows.

PPS I was wondering what you thought of pilates? I have heard so much in the past of how popular it was…I haven’t heard much about lately. Have you done it? Do you think it is beneficial or was it just one of those “Fads”? Thanks!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty October 28, 2009 at 11:15 am

Happy Birthday OSGM – Wow there are so many people born on this day!!

Why not try something totally different. Rock climbing maybe? Climbing is just fun, doesn’t feel like working out, and it’s a mental challenge too!!

I’m not one to speak about this stuff though, as I have completely given up on running… and I loved it so much, I just can seem to take the first step!

Good luck and we’re all sending you good running vibes!!!


Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSG MOM!!!!!!

I definitely change up my exercise. I actually just realized yesterday how beneficial that has been for me too. There was a period where due to some shin and knee issues I couldn’t run. I’d jog for a minute and want to start crying because the pain was so bad. Well, long story short, during that time I varied up my exercise (still 5-6 days a week, strength training 4-5) with stair master, walking, elliptical, bike, etc. Just last week I was finally able to start running again. I thought I’d have to slowly build my way up from the bottom again, but I started at 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, and yesterday I went for a 35 minute jog. Totally unexpected and proof to me that I don’t need to run for my only exercise to stay in shape. I actually feel as though variety in my fitness improved my overall fitness in all areas. :)

Ok, all that to say yes, variety is good for my brain and my body. :)


Morgan @ Life After Bagels October 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

I’m starting to think about getting into yoga. I tried doing hot yoga before but I had injured my hip at the same time I started. My doctor didn’t think it had to do with the yoga but couldn’t be sure and in my head it’s all tied together. 3 years later and I haven’t done yoga again since. I’m sure I could ease into some nice 15 minutes sessions though, nothing too intense. I think I need it for the whole relaxation part of it. My bf always goes to yoga when he needs to clear his head.


AGS October 28, 2009 at 11:34 am

That is a lovely write-up for your mother’s birthday. Happy Birthday to OSG Mom!

I have had some of my best exercise/fitness break-throughs when I have been forced to switch things up. Running is a friend. It will understand if you need a break or at least a little space. You will be stronger and happier as a runner if you incorporate something new into your “running relationship”. Good luck with yoga! Look forward to hearing about whatever it is you try!


jen October 28, 2009 at 11:35 am

i just recently finished training and racing my last 22km run of the year in september with a personal best record of 1:45, it did not come without a lot of hard work and pain. i’ve had plantar faciitis for about 6 months now, and its been a month since i’ve stopped running, and the pain is completely gone! i had promised myself months ago that after i finished my last race of the year i would take a good 2 month break from running for both physical and mental rest. i still do cardio 6 days a week, but i’ve been doing high intensity cardio classes at the gym and 2 yoga classes a week. Don’t get me wrong, i LOVE running and racing, but i think taking a break once in awhile and changing it up and then getting back into it (i start training for a full marathon in january) will make me appreciate it more! plus you’d be surprised how much more motivating it is to change up the routine, i’ve really been looking forward to my classes and realizing how much i missed yoga! i think all working all these other muscles will really help prepare me and make a me a stronger runner once i get back into it.


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries October 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

Have you ever tried Bikram? It was one of the first things I tried when I had to stop running bc of my hip injury–and it was one of the only forms of exercise that made me feel as good (though in an entirely different way) as running did. I felt the same guilt in the past when I’d take time off to do more low-key elliptical training–but I think ultimately if you push yourself too hard with running, you’ll fall out of love with it. The best runs are always those that you’re eager to get out and do–so why not switch up your exercise and run when you crave it?


Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion October 28, 2009 at 11:46 am

First of all, Happy B-day OSG mom!!!!!

In response to your exercise question, I know the feeling. When I take breaks (which are not often) I get a revisit of that voice too. I would say if you want a break from running, it is probably good to do that for a while. If you feel the need to exercise in other ways try yoga, strength training or boxing (I am starting boxing classes with some of my girlfriends!!!)


Anais October 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Happy Birthday to your mom!

Your cat is so beautiful btw… I love that picture :)

I definitely get bored if all I do is run and do strength training. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to do anything else and it definitely makes it harder for me to motivate myself to exercise.

Last year I was able to do bikram yoga once a week, spinning once a week, run 2 times a week and do the shred 1-2 times a week as well, and I was always looking forward to exercising!


Katie October 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I never switch unfortunately. I keep saying I’m going to do yoga or spinning, but running is SO Easy and my first love. I know my body could use a break though. I almost went to the gym this am and didn’t. So will be another 3 or 4 mile run day can’t remember the last workout day I did something except run. I did get a walk in does that count? LOL


Kristin October 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I have been an on again off again runner for about 9 years. Every time I take a break I feel okay with it. I can usually convince myself that other activites are just as good as running and I truly believe that as long as you are doin SOMETHING it’s all good. ButI get what I call a runner’s itch. I just want to run or train for something again. So I end up building my milage back to a 5k and go from there. Find what works for you, it’s the only way you’ll stick with it!


angela October 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I totally know what you mean about feeling “guilty”. Whenever I rest or do yoga, I feel like I haven’t done anything. Recently, I am switching up my routine and adding in yoga. I hate it, but am trying to learn to love it…or at least do it without “the dread”. I love the P90X yoga, it’s so tough!!


Chrysta October 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Its a great idea to take a break from your usual routine once in awhile. I think not only does this let your overworked muscles a rest but it gives you a chance to try something new which in part also will start training and working out different muscles that maybe haven’t been used in awhile. Taking a small break from running will let ya try something new and fun and then your body can rest and be super energized and ready to get back into running whenever you want to! Taking a break is just temporary so no harm=) Plus in training for long distance events they will say its good to train hard for 5 weeks or so and just take the 6th week off to recover, then start your training again. So just listen to your body, have fun, work hard, rest up and keep on rocking girl!!! Enjoy yoga! its a blast=)


Courtney October 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm

It is great to change it up! I got really tired of walk/running and kickboxing so I dove into 90 minute hot yoga. Boy that woke me up and now my arm muscles are popping out! Just because you take a break from running doesn’t mean you aren’t hard core. Your knees will thank you for the break! My favorite Ayurveda practitioner told me “if you want to keep your knees young, stop running so much.”


Michelle Gay October 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I have decided to spice up my fitness by training for triathlons and getting my family involved in a race when I go and visit in Nov.


Jessie (Vegan-minded) October 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm

That P90X yoga is so hard! I have been doing it once a week for the past month and I have felt myself getting a bit stronger and more flexible each time. I am usually completely wiped out by the end of the 90 minutes. :)


Heather October 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Ange, you are speaking my mind. It is crazy.

Like yourself, I suffered from disordered eating and exercise compulsion. Although making the decision to listen to my body, mind, and soul (in regards to food and exercise) was one of the best decisions to make, it is also the hardest.

Figuring out how to balance exercise without overdoing and how to eat without counting every last calorie is a struggle. Turning that OFF switch to off is HARD WORK. But hooray for us! We have come so far.

Having said that, YES I go through phases. Right now, I’m in college and am very fortunate to have exercise classes free at my disposal so mixing it up isn’t hard. I do spinning, kickboxing, yoga, etc.

Right now, I am in love with Physique 57. Kelly Ripa does that workout and I totally admire her STRENGTH. Physique 57 is amazing. It targets every spot on your body using a ballet bar, playground ball, exercise mat, and weights. Definitely look into it if you’re looking for something new. I feel so strong and ABLE every time I finish.

Good luck, Ange. Hope to hear from you! It’s amazing to read a fellow recoveree; you keep me going!


P.S. – Mama OSG is gorgeous inside and out!


Cynthia (It All Changes) October 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I had a hold my breath camera moment while in Colorado. Hunni lost it and it had all our pics from the trip plus old ones we had not uploaded yet. I was so mad and we searched everywhere for it in the park we were walking in to no avail. We were upset and were trying to figure out how to purchase another. Then we got in our car and it was on the back seat. We know he had it with him in the park because he was getting read to take a pic at one point. But by God’s grace it appeared in our car. Big sighs of relief all around.

I have a hard time changing up my workouts. I like to get into a grove and then keep doing it. But i really need to change it up because all the running I was doing was not good for my body. Now I just need to convince my brain of the same thing.


Kristy October 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

You are off to a great start with an amazing conscious mind that seems to be very honest. I personally have changed my routine after 6 months of being a gym rat. It was so damn boring. I signed up for three 1-day a week classes this season  Monday-Belly Dancing, Wednesday – Low Impact Aerobics & Thursday – Yoga. I chose 2 other days to do 30 minutes of cardio and 30min of strength training. This is what is keeping me sane these days, hope it helps 


carolinebee October 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Happy bday to yo momma!!!! You two are so gorg :D I had mayja anxiety about switching up my workout in Boston, like not being able to go to my old fave gym and tkb classes! Even though i still miss that, I think the switch up has been really good for me, in terms of listening to my body, going for walks, doing strength training, and being all around easier on myself.


natalie October 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I just had this exact same thing happen. I had committed to 30 days of crossfit workouts. I was loving them and felt great, but after 40 days and 17 workouts, I was not feeling it. Although I had committed to 30 days, I knew it was time for a change in order to stay motivated. I think you are wise to do exactly what you are doing! xoxo


Betherann October 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Angela, we share some of the same struggles. You are farther along in your battles, though, or it seems that way. I am in treatment (and recovery!) from anorexia with some tints of bulimia. I was a hugely compulsive exerciser, and taking a break is HARD. In the past year (which also was very healthy in terms of breaking the hold of ED on me) I ran 2 5ks, 2 10ks, and a sprint triathlon. I have/had my sights set on a half…but I may need to rethink things. I tweaked one of my hips while training for the tri, and now am off of running. I hate it…and yet, the idea of limping through the second half of a run is not an alluring one. My body is forcing me to listen to it, and when I listen, I never regret it.

Also, if you’re worried about a performance decline, maybe this will encourage you — because I do other forms of cardio and sculpting in addition to running, I was far more fit than my competitors in the triathlon. So much so that I was able to fly by my competitors on my MOUNTAIN BIKE (they were using much speedier road bikes) ON AN UPHILL INCLINE. I count that accomplishment as the result of cross-training and shaking things up.

You are so brave! Isn’t is strange to think that for some of us taking a break is so much more scary than doing a marathon/triathlon/pick-your-own-extreme-adventure?? Thanks for sharing this today. It was just what I needed.


Liz October 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Do not feel guilty about easing off your running routine. If your goal is to run a marathon, then, yes, running is a necessity. If, however, your goal is to stay in shape and feel good, then you should do whatever it is that allows you to do so. If you are fit, once you decide to return to running you will find that can return to your previous level much sooner than you think. Your muscles will remember!


Amanda October 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I know just how you feel! Last year I ran a half marathon at the end of November, and afterwards my body was begging for a break from running! I live in Pennsylvania and it was cold and dark, and the thought of going outside was enough to make running unenjoyable! I took a hiatus until the beginning of March when I started training for a 10 miler. It was a GREAT decision because it allowed me to run when I FELT like it. You don’t have to altogether stop running, but give yourself permission to only do it when you WANT to!!

In the meantime, you will be amazed at how much your body can be affected by a few different exercises! Yoga is my favorite! (check out and for a little inspiration) I also rely on Jillian Michaels dvds for those days that I don’t want to leave the house, or I will hop on an elliptical to just break a sweat. Have fun mixing it up!!


Jenny @JennyLikesToRun, on a mission to run a marathon to fundraise for the Breast Cancer Foundation October 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Happy birthday to your mum!! I hope she has an AMAZING day, filled with love and happiness :)

You shouldn’t feel bad about taking a running break. Your body calls for it, so you’re right in feeling you should listen to it.
Maybe you could try something like swimming? I personally hate swimming, but if I couldn’t run for a while, this would be my exercise of choice. Yoga IS very very good. So is Pilates.
You could do some Jillian Michaels workouts 3-4 days a week?
Or do some fun classes at the gym? My most enjoyable workouts have been the ones they offer in classes at the gym.


mohina October 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm

have you thought of doing pilates? really good for rehab and core.
on a slightly different note, what about taking up a martial art? really great for mind and body. i know as a runner there is the fear of getting injured, so you would have to risk assess and maybe pick thai- chi , to get you into the amazing world of martial arts.


Carrie October 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Yes! I totally go through phases – one day I love running, the next day I hate it. Lifting weights is SO easy to go through phases with those – change the reps you do, the length of the rep, the amount of sets, the type of move, etc. It’s hard not to get bored! Ha ha

Angela – my post on my blog is SOMEWHAT related to fitness today (ha ha, it’s hard to link personal finance to fitness). LOL If you have time, check it out!


Anne Marie @ New Weigh of Life October 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Hope your mom has a great birthday!!


Amy October 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Happy Birthday to Momma OSG!

I definitely struggle with switching up my routines.

I recently started doing Booty Camp Fitness classes, and LOOOVE them. Each workout is completely different!

Its a great way to break up my running/spinning addiction.

Speaking of taking a break, REAL runners take breaks! ;)


Marcia October 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

You are so well-grounded. I like reading your take on things.

Exercise and boredom…that is something I know a lot about. Even in my work life, I’m a “jack of all trades, master of none”.

I’ve been exercising regularly as an adult for over 20 years now.

Running: I’m not a fast runner. I would say that now, I consider myself a runner. Even though my best 5k time is “only” just under 9:00 mile and my 1/2 marathon is TBD.

Several years ago, I decided to try a book to become a “1 hour runner”. And I did. And I ran an hour twice. And got bored and stopped.

Then last year, I ran a 10k and a few 5k’s. And then I stopped running. And I hired a personal trainer for 10 weeks, and boy did I work out hard and get buff! I think my 18 year old trainer took lessons from Jillian.

Then this year, I started running, ran a few 5k’s, and lost my mind and now I’m training for a half (10 days!!) I’m learning that training for a half is hard on my 39-year old body and hard on my life (not a lot of time…) But I’m also discovering how amazingly healthy I am – what great shape I am in. My resting heart rate is really low, and I feel GREAT! But i really hate running on the treamill at 5:30 am. It’s making me cranky.

So quitting, doesn’t mean you can’t start again. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a “runner”, except for maybe the real “runners” who run 5x a week. Even training for my marathon, I run only 3x a week.

I really like the sense of balance that you have. I love that you do hill treadmill walking, and I want to incorporate that into my workout. I am missing my 2x weekly weight lifting workout right now. I have to spend too much time on the treadmill and at work. I miss my bike rides to work.

I just a few weeks ago discovered yoga, and it’s awesome!! I am one of those people who will change stuff around…focus on running, then focus on walking, then focus on taking a spin class every week, then switch to a step class…

My goal after the 1/2 is to continue running distance…maybe Sat runs of 6-8-10-6-8-10. And maybe run 1 day a week on speedwork. And then start enjoying more bike rides to work, walks on the weekend, yoga. I am lucky to live in Santa Barbara, where year-round exercise is possible outdoors.

Keep up the good work Angela! I’m totally wearing an Operation Beautiful sign during my half…


Menden @ Skinny Menny October 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Happy birthday to your gorgeous mama!!

I also get bored with workouts…I think the key is just staying active and doing something you enjoy. It’s great to have goals to work toward, though, so maybe you could try to set a personal goal for yourself if you decide to switch up your style of workout! For example, you may want to practice yoga and increase your flexibility to be able to do certain postures, or be able to lift a certain weight a specific number of times, etc. That always motivates me :)


Allison October 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

To your concern about “not being a runner” if you take a longer break:

I recently read in a book on writing and the creative process that there are “seasons” to creativity, in the sense of a highly productive “harvest” time and a less-productive “fallow” time. The key is to identify your own “cycle” (it probably won’t match up with the actual seasons!) and work with it. I bet the same holds true to exercise–like you said, you’ve put your body and legs through a TON the past few months, no one can simply keep up that kind of activity level all year long!

Maybe think of it this way — you’re more than a runner, you’re an ATHLETE. Which means you can devote your exercise routine to improving or maintaining all aspects of fitness–cardio, strength, flexibility, etc. Just give it some time to find a nice balance.


Kris October 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I have done the whole P90X program last year and am starting it again on monday! It is hard stuff isn’t it? But you get amazing results and its nice because you switch it up everyday :)

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!


Heather October 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Happy birthday to your gorgeous mom!!! Sounds like a fun trip :)

I love Canon too and will always be a loyal fan. I’ve had 6 Canon cameras (2 film+4 digital) over the years and have never, ever had a problem with one of them. I’m pretty clumsy when it comes to technology, too!

I definitely go through phases when it comes to exercise. It doesn’t help that I think I have a little ADD, but some times I go weeks without doing yoga and other times I’ll go two weeks without doing any hardcore cardio. Sometimes I like to think I’m listening to my body, but other times I just fall out of my routine and/or turn into a slacker! I’d like to remedy on that and I’m working on it slowly.

You definitely aren’t a failure! You just ran 2 races in what, a month?! That’s amazing, and not a sign of a failure. I think it’s good to change things up a bit!


Anne P October 28, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Switching it up is the way to go! Now that my 10 miler is over, I’m loving the freedom to do spinning, kickboxing, more strength training, etc., and not worry about being too sore to run! During my running I also kept up one day a week of pilates and yoga each, so I’m continuing that. Cross training = great.


elliebelle October 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I completely understand needing to change up your routine. In the past I’ve never stuck with any one type of exercise. For the past 9 months I’ve actually stuck with Zumba – going twice a week. I keep going because I pay for each month – and man, I’m not going to waste that money! ;) But, I can also relate it to my hobbies (sewing and knitting), it seems I’ll go through phases where all I want to do is one or the other, and sometimes I’ll do both. Our bodies and minds need change to stay stimulated. I can’t wait to see what types of things you start to explore now. Plus it will be a great time to try other sports once the snow comes. Good luck!


Carrie October 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

You should try spinning (indoor cycling). I bet you would love it!


katrina m October 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

i know what you mean on the exercise front!! i was pretty much training for my half in september since february (minus a month and a half hiatus for wedding/honeymoon/etc.)… and since my half, i’ve just been doing… nothing. i run maybe once or twice a week, maybe do something else. but i just have felt so DRAINED and unmotivated. my eating has suffered as well, but i just can’t seem to find the drive to really push myself like i had for so long.

my husband and i have also decided to try for a baby, so that makes me feel like i shouldn’t push so hard to try to lose weight now, because once i get pregnant i will just gain it back anyway. i really want to just try to exercise moderately and eat really healthy once i get pregnant, and try to gain a minimum (healthy) amount of weight. i feel like right now i’m eating a lot of crap that i know i don’t want to eat once i get pregnant, does that make sense in a twisted sort of way??

anyway… i say go for changing it up!! i’m sure as long as you’re doing something and you can still throw in a run every week or two (or more), you will be just fine!! :) right now i’m enjoying that i can go for a run when i WANT to as opposed to when i have to, and i can go for as long and far as i want. i like not having a training plan at the moment dictating my exercise.


Julia October 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

I am a serious runner, marathon and all, but the best work out of all is when I get to go swimming! Swimming challenges me in completely different ways than running does, but it has been me so much stronger, and while running is great aerobic excercise, swimming is a great muscle building sport!

Love your blog!



The Jesse October 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

i’m not usually very good about mixing up my exercise routines and doing any cross training but now that i’ve committed myself to a 1/2 marathon training program i am being very strict about running only on my running days and cross training on my cross training days along with some strength training and yoga and i’m really enjoying the change so far :)


Ashley October 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I definitely think that if you are over running you should take a break. I did my first half marathon last February, but I definitely overtrained for it. I did some short runs after and then took a break – a looong break. I still exercised, but did things i didn’t do while training (cycling, elliptical, etc). Eventually I was ready to run again, I even started having dreams about running! I guess that’s when you know your body wants to do something! Now I’m mixing in running with other exercise, and my body and mind are happy. So, take as long of a break as you like, and if running ends up not being for you, that’s OK!


Caroline October 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm

I started doing Baptiste Power Yoga (heated to about 90 degrees and basically just an awesome flow class with a lot of emphasis on strength) after I injured my hip running and absolutely love it. I think it’s a great idea to switch up your routine from time to time even if you don’t have an injury. Now that my hip has recovered I alternate running and yoga and find that the balance works well for my body. It keeps me toned, relaxed, and the cardio is still in place just not as much (I used to run every day). That picture of Sketchie is just adorable by the way. I got my confirmation for my bars today and I am so excited! I wish they were here right now so I could have one for dessert!


Sarah October 28, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I get bored pretty easily so I like to switch things up. Next week I’m starting tennis lessons for a change so we’ll see how that goes. One constant that helps with all my cardio activities is pilates – 1 hour once a week. It keeps my core strong and since I work with an instructor one-on-one we can taylor the workout to how my body feels that day -heavy workout, serious stretching,etc.


Ryan @ Greens for Good October 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Like a chapter out of my life’s book!

A few months ago I struggled with whether I was a runner, what would happen if I stop, and how guilty I felt for investing time and money into running and wanting to stop. I decided to take up yoga again after being on and off for the last 6 years. This time I committed to practicing regularly instead of doing it for a week, loving it, and then stopping. Commitment is what I wanted and so I gave myself that chance by signing up for a month of yoga at an amazing studio.

I’ve been doing yoga exclusively now for 2 months and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Sometimes I have the urge to run and when that happens, I go run. I even ran a 5K without training and it was FUN and CAREFREE, something I did not experience with training for races. But I never force anything anymore and I think that’s what I’ve learned the most from. Just be where you are now. Just be okay with what you want to change. Just be.


Kristi October 28, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Happy Birthday Mom! The boys miss you (me too!)



Susan October 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I switch up my exercise A LOT. Last winter, I was aaalll about hardcore heavy weight lifting. Then it was triathlon training, then cycling, then running. Now I’m really getting into the exercise classes at my gym. Hm. Maybe I just have exercise ADD? :P I think I just bore of things really easily, so instead of unhappily forcing myself to stick with one activity, I like to try out new ones I will hopefully love!

PS Cycling did more for my running than running did, I swear!! Cross-training will do amazing things for your running, it’s quite possible you’ll come back stronger when you feel ready again :)


Grace October 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Found your blog through your green website (cool site by the way!)…and yes, I frequently alternate between yoga and running…Whenever I’m feeling a little off/down/tired/out of balance I stick to yoga, and whenever I’m feeling like a bundle of energy I go for a run…but I love to combine them!


Emily October 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I have always loved the pictures on this site. You and Eric could be professional photographers.
My favourite pictures are Sketchie ;)
I would have been FREAKING out if I was in your shoes and saw the camera drop!

Happy birthday to your momma!


Erin October 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm

You and your mom are so beautiful! I love the light that shines from both of you in that picture :)

I hear you on the exercise front. I took a two week hiatus from running after my 10K. I needed to recover, both mentally and physically and just didn’t do anything. It was HARD but I’m getting back into yoga and walking now and concentrating on my diet. Like other readers have said, it’s all about balancing and getting back to running when your body says it’s ready. Until then, I KNOW my body can use some yoga!


Kasi October 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Take a break if you want. It won’t make you any less of a runner. I started running after I had my second son. I was about a year into running regularly when I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. I ran through my first trimester and part of my second but then I started feeling too clumsy to run anymore, safely. So I switched to walking and ellipitcal for the second half of my pregnancy. I also had a c section so I couldn’t start exercising again until I was 6-8 weeks post partum. But I was able to pick right back up with running after I healed and it only took me about a month to get my endurance back to what it had been, even with an approximately 6 mo break of no running at all. And I wasn’t even anywhere near as fit as you are now!! So, explore new things, running will always be there and will always be something you will be able to do well!


Oxidaisy October 29, 2009 at 3:19 am

Hey Angela! It’s funny that you feel guilty about resting, when you were the one teaching me that listening to your body and resting enough is a good thing!
About switching things up: I have a gym membership and I should go 2, 3 times a week to get value for my money. I especially have to go to body pump class to keep seeing some progress there… but I am also in the couch to 5k prog so I should run 3 times a week..and i like hiking…and biking…and swimming…help! Here is how I solve this: I go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week max (sometimes it is only once). on the other days I choose between running and whatever else I feel like (raking leaves and walking to the grocery store also counts), and 1 to 2 days a week that is a nothing at all. I never do the same type of exercise 2 days in a row to protect my knees and other muscles. And yes, this made me not as good a runner as I could be (after 6 months i’m still in the couch to 5k prgram lol), and not as strong in my body pump class as the friend I go with (who goes more often). But..I have been feeling great and energetic. I have a lot of fun, my endurance has gone up a lot, I lost some weight and my figure looks way better. Sorry for the all the rambling, but what I am trying to say is that I try to listen to my body, not only to know when I need a break but also to know what kind of activity I am in for. It is not about being great at 1 thing (running) but to feel good, be healthy and GLOW!


Beth @ DiningAndDishing October 29, 2009 at 9:39 am

awww, happy birthday to your mom!! that is a gorgeou pic of you two :O)


Carolyn October 29, 2009 at 9:44 am

I’ve been neglecting flexibility, too! It’s hard to make time for cardio, strength AND flexibility. P.S. I am giving away two breast cancer awareness prize packs on my blog:


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