monday motivation

Motivation Monday - Week 3 of Marathon Training

Week 3 brought my first hot, sweaty runs and hiking as cross training. Monday was an easy 5.5 miler, Tuesday I did 3 miles and the Hot Bird Running workout. Wednesday was our last Forest Park trail run. It was another hilly one! It was a great way to end the series. I felt much stronger than I have in past weeks.

Friday, I woke up and ran 14. Friends joined me for 10 of those miles which was great and needed! It was hot! I was doing great and keeping the pace to a nice 8:05-8:10 until about mile 12 when I started to slow down. By mile 13, I was down to about a 9 minute pace and looking for water. I've found that my body is just kinda done about 1 mile before my long runs end. Going to have to fake myself out in future runs!

I stretched, used my Tiger Tail roller and had a great day walking about Portland and eating well. I was ready for bed by 11pm that night though!

Saturday, I went to the coast and hiked Neahkanie Mt with some friends. It was a beautiful hike. Jessica was down below running with her Dad and baby, Lucia. We met up after for some drinks, food and a little smashball on the beach. 

Week 3 was great - I didn't do everything on my plan but I felt pretty strong and ready to tackle week 4 and the half marathon on Sunday. 

Motivation Monday - 1st week of marathon training

It's been 2 years since I've trained for a marathon. I'm running the Portland Marathon on Oct 5th and going for a PR. My goal is to finish the race in under 3:20. This is 5 minutes faster than my previous faster marathon and I know the training will be challenging. I'm looking forward to it because I love how it feels to get faster, to hit times, to conquer hills and enjoy slower runs!
This past week I did hill repeats, a hilly run and 10 miler. I got into Forest Park to tackle the hilly run and found a new spot for hill repeats (missing the Brooklyn Bridge!) My recovery runs were just that - slow and easy. My body definitely felt the hills and the upper mileage. I'm not worried about my pace at this point. I'm looking for consistency on the hill repeats and a strong finish on the hilly runs. I hit my small weekly goals, slept a lot and am looking forward to week 2!

Trail Running Motivation

Jessica and I are fortunate enough to live in a city that has a park with 70 miles of trails - yup, you read that correctly! Forest Park, in Portland, Oregon, is a magical, inspiring, incredible and sometimes, well  most of the time, a humbling place! The hills can be unrelenting depending on the trail you choose. It's worth the pain because you feel as if you are a million miles away from cars, phones and noise. 

We love running in Forest Park however, early in our training season, it can take a lot of motivation to get us there. To keep us motivated, we signed up for a hilly half-marathon in July, thus we need to run hills! We also signed up for a trail race series. It's a fun, casual race environment but what is great is that because there's timing and a group of people, we naturally run faster.

During our trail race last week (and Jessica's first trail race!), we came up with our top tips for keeping us and you all motivated to hit the trails:

1) Sign up for a series or a trail running group - strength in numbers!

2) Start small - no need to conquer an 8 mile trail run or the hilliest route on your first couple of runs.

3) Sign up for a hilly race - this will force you to train on hills.

4) Take your watch off - don't let your slower pace distract you. Just head into the trails and run.

5) Instagram your runs - you will make all your friends jealous!

Have fun in the trails!

Monday Motivation - Small Steps

A race training plan, especially a marathon training plan, is made up of several different training periods. Each period corresponds to your ultimate goal. Remember, that each workout is in your plan for a reason; it's there to make you a stronger runner up the hills or understand how to push through fatigue.

In order to reach your runnng goals, it's important to remember that each workout is a step towards that goal. You'll accomplish great and lofty goals by doing the work (the small, yet tough, workouts).

Monday Motivation - Working Out on Vacation


I'm on vacation in Paris and while I know I will be walking around a lot, I still want to get my runs in and exercise because, let's be honest, I am going to consume way too much champagne and bread. Walking won't cut it plus, I know myself and exercise is an outlet for me. Traveling, regardless of how easy your companion is and how relaxing the setting is, there can be a lot of daily mini-stressful moments.

In order to stay on track, I'm doing my daily plank exercises, and I've come up with my tips for working out while vacationing.

1. Be realistic. if you workout 6 days a week at home, aim for 3-4 days on vacation.

2. Create an in-room workout. I like the NTC app for quick 15-30 minute workouts. If you don't have that or won't have your phone with you, write down an easy series. Here's my fave: 25 squats, 10 pushups, 30 seconds Russian Twist, 2 minute plank series, 10 squat jumps. Repeat!

3. Bike or Run Tour. Pick a day to rent a bike and explore or see the city/area by foot. Bring a small backpack, water and money. Stop along the way to enjoy the sights. This is a great way to see smaller neighborhoods and an excuse to eat more - gotta fuel along the way!

4. Do your homework. Know if your hotel has a gym and, if you are a runner, check Map My Run for routes. Or, look up local running clubs. Many are free and welcome visitors, especially foreigners.

5. Use your surroundings. Look at getting in your exercise with what is around you. If you are at the beach, try swimming, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. If you are in a city, rent a bike. If you are in the mountains, take a day hike or, if you are ambitious, hill repeats!

6. Enjoy. So you skipped a workout - it's not the end of the world!

My advice is to create a gameplan and then have fun with it. I'm going into my 9 day vacation with a game plan, ideas and a relaxed attitude.

Monday Motivation - Planks


If you know us, you know we love our planks. Every training plan is loaded with planks, side-planks, knee to elbow planks, plank walks, etc. We tell everyone (who will listen) to do their planks daily. However, sometimes, you just don't have the motivation to do them. I'm there right now. I know I should do them, I know how good I feel when I do them daily but as my days and weeks get busier and busier, I find that my daily core exercises are the first to go. I still run, I go to fitness classes but my daily commitment to planks and core work is gone.

I'm recommitting to daily planks and to help, here are my top tips to recommitting to a daily practice:

1. Write it down - schedule it in your calendar or print out a calendar and put it on your refrigerator or post it at your desk.

2. Enlist your friends - make it a group activity! The girls I work with are all about staying healthy and fit. We created a weekly plank schedule and committed to doing it daily. We get some strange looks but people usually join in.

3. Build up - don't start off with a 4 minute plank. Give yourself a month and gradually build up. You'll be surprised how well it works and how strong you get by just adding 10 to 15 seconds a day to your plank.

4. Vary it - don't just do the same thing everyday. Variety will keep your body and mind alert. I created a plank video series. Check it out for videos for how to add variety to your plank workout.


Monday Motivation - Spring Forward



We lost an hour yesterday but we are gaining more daylight overall. This is a great time to reset, check in on your goals or set new goals. Now that it is lighter for longer after work, I'm heading back to the trails and running in Forest Park 2x a week. My goal is to run a fast half-marathon so the trails will give me the hill work and endurance work that I need to build up my leg strength and the trails are great for a new vantage point. 

When setting goals, remember to make the SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Creating your goals within this framework helps you narrow down your dreams and aspriations and really figure out what is possible and by when. 

Here is a typical goal that we see from our friends and clients: "I want to run a fast or faster half-marathon."

That's a great goal but what does it mean? Which half-marathon? How fast? How fast was your last race? Our questions encourage people to think about what they want and by when.

If you make your goals, SMART goals, the above goal would look like this: "I run a 1:45 half-marathon by July 2014."

Need help setting goals? Email us - we're happy to help!

Monday Motivation - Expect Great Things


Over the past 10 weeks of training for a half-marathon PR (personal record), there have been many times when I didn't think I could run the goal times listed in my training plan. I literally had to talk to myself and tell myself that I can run those track repeat times and that I can do the tempo times listed. Hitting those times were tough my first four weeks and many times, I didn't hit them. I kept going and have seen in my recent runs how that determination has paid off. I'm running 9-10 mile runs faster than ever. Throughout my training, I believed in the process and, more importantly, I believed in myself. Begin your training expecting great things of yourself and then go out and achieve them.


One of the first things we ask of new clients is to define their goals - running and health. We ask them to write down their short term and long term goals. The reason for this is to reinforce positive thinking and create a focus for their training. This motivational quote is one of our favorites because it reminds us that we are in control of acheiving what we want in running, health and life. Write down what you want, believe it and then go after it!

Find a River - Motivational Monday

by Jessica Green

After 17 days of driving from Brooklyn, NY to Portland, Oregon and almost as many hotels, I can't tell you how many times I tempted the idea of waking up early and just dealing with the hotel gym to get my workout in after pulling in to our hotel late in the evening. Most of the cities were foreign places to me - and many of them involved less than 2 hours of awake time before moving on to the next westward location. Time was precious and needed to be used wisely.

The thought of spending a ton of time figuring out the best place to run outside started out daunting, but soon I learned that if you pick a hotel near a city park area or along a river, you'll most likely find a nice pathway waiting for you to get your workout in.  Not only did I get to run OUTDOORS instead of at a makeshift gym inside a room the size of mini hotel room, I also got to explore a part of each of city (no matter how random they felt), find morning inspiration along hidden river pathways and feel part of these cities even if only for brief moments in time. 

Next time you can choose your hotel, don't get the one closest to the highway. Instead, pick one close to a river park or within the city limits so you're close enough to access outdoor areas without taking too much time out of your travel schedule to actually get there.  

Motivational Monday- Take a Leap!

by Meghan Reynolds

The Hot Birds believe in stepping out of our confort zones in order to experience adventures and understand what you are capable of doing.

We are relocating our headquarters to Portland, Oregon this June. For me, Meghan, this means moving across the country and leaving behind friends, family and the life I've created in NYC. Over the past few months, my emotions have been up and down about the move - I've been happy, sad, overwhelmed, nervous and frustrated when thinking about the move. I kept asking myself, "Am I making the right decision?" "Do I want to live that far away?" It's a lot of work and effort, and sometimes pain, to move and start in a new city.

I decided that the move was best because it will propel Hot Bird Running and at the end of the day, I needed to step outside of my comfort zone.  I'm ready for the change and the chance to find out more about myself. That piece of mind did not happen over night! Here are some steps that I used and practiced to find out which decision was best for me:

  • Practice Non-attachment. I let go of particular results - moving will get me X or will do Y for Hot Bird Running. Instead, I'm moving to experience something new for myself. In other words, let go of your attachment to a certain outcome; instead, focus on the joy of doing whatever you're doing.
  • Practice Acceptance. Moving is stressful, costly and slightly painful. I slowly learned to accept it and almost shrug it off. I accepted the cost to ship my bike because I know I will want it out in Portland. If you're clinging to your comfort zone, you're hanging on to the idea that the world is supposed to be a safe and predictable place, which we all know it isn't! Don't set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Accept changes and see the possibility it creates.
  • Enjoy the unknown. I took a deep breath and decided to be excited about not knowing what was going to happen next! It's a great feeling to know that I can CREATE what I want in Portland. It's unknown to me and therefore, totally open for opportunity and creation. Enjoy the butterflies, the mixture of anticipation and anxiety that makes your heart flutter and stomach turn at the same time.

A Little Monday Motivation

We love this quote because it's so applicable to running and it's a manta we repeat many times to ourselves. We are capable of a lot more than our mind tells us or convinces us is possible. Next time you are out for a run and your mind tells you to stop, push through and give a little more. If it's your body telling you to stop, i.e., a bad/nervy pain somewhere, stop. However, most of us don't push through the discomfort because we convince ourselves that it doesn't matter. You are capable of a lot more than you think and the greatest highs can come from pushing through discomfort. Give a little more on your next run or workout.