Diets in Review Running Expert Lacy Jaye Hansen is a wife, a mother, a graduate, and then by accident, a runner. After gaining too much weight with the birth of her son, she sought out running as a means to deal with dieting. Over 50 pounds later, Lacy discovered that she had a natural talent for the sport and found a new passion for her life. Continuing reading to learn more about Lacy and how she trains her mind and body.
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
LJH: I like to tell people the true story of how I petitioned the principal in 8th grade, asking her to omit me from gym class so that I might play my violin during the same class period. All that to say, no fitness was not a part of my life until after my son was born in my early 20s. I gained 60 pounds in my pregnancy and failed to lose most of it. I was 23 years old and was not the active cute mom I had always hoped I'd be. My in-laws had begun a weight loss class and as part of their homework, they had to teach someone about daily caloric intake needs. I was my mother-in-law's "student." I did the math and started watching calories for the first time in my life. I was amazed at all the over-eating I had been doing my entire life. The weight came off quick and by my son's 2nd birthday I was down to a slimmer weight than even in my high school days. - Flash forward six months and I began trying to run to earn myself a few more calories each day. The beginning was horrible, but I stuck with it. Flash forward another year and I had completed my first marathon. Flash forward 2 years and I had earned my first Boston Qualification marathon finish. Flash forward to today and I sit with 9 marathons under my belt, 2 Boston finishes, and a current full marathon personal best of 3:15. - I can't believe this is my reality most days.
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
LJH: While fruit and veggies are a great snack, they will leave most people asking for more very quickly. I've had to be diligent about keeping high-protein snacks at hand. I often make protein shakes or even buy the ready-to-drink brands and keep them handy. I love a low sugar protein bar and if I can swing the few minutes of prep, I love egg white omelets. Very low in calories, but lots of protein. If you through in veggies, a snack starts to look like a meal and eating a "meal" for a snack really keeps me on track.
At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask:
NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
LJH: Good question! I often tell people it's mostly a mind game most days. - I struggled to find balance when I started out as an athlete. I over did it most days and quickly got burnt out. I found a great coach who requires me to work hard, and rest hard. Knowing that I'm going to get a few days of total rest every week, makes it easier to wake up early and hit my work outs hard. I can tell myself, "you'll get a break tomorrow." Additionally, there's no harsher critic of me than me. If I get to a finish line and know that I did all the work, that I didn't phone in my training, I can live with the results. However, if I perform poorly and I hadn't done all the prep work, I'm very displeased with myself. That disappointed feeling drives me to stay motivated.
NMF: How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites?
LJH: I've come to learn that diet is the biggest factor in how my body looks and my training is the biggest factor in how my body performs. That being said, I have to eat a lot of protein to keep my tired and beat up muscles in constant repair. I also want to fuel my body with real food, not processed "food-like" junk that litters the grocery aisles. I eat a lot of free-range meat and a ton of fresh vegetables.
While running is my primary workout, I love a speed workout that takes my body from a comfy pace to a near anaerobic state and then back down all in one run. I also have learned to love weight training. I've been training with free weights for about a year after years of only using machines. Free weights with good form totally changes your body. You'll catch me sneaking peeks of my biceps in the mirrors. I'm mortified to admit that, but I've never had biceps before, it's exciting to see my body respond to the training.
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