What I’m Looking For…

Many of you know that I ran my first 1/2 Marathon last year. While I was training for the 1/2 I did a lot of internal reflection. I realized I was challenging myself personally, but wasn’t really challenging myself professionally.

I loved my job and I enjoyed it – but quite frankly I was really good at it and I could do most things in my sleep.  It was time to do something new and different.  Prior to the 1/2 I looked into a new position but it just wasn’t meant to be.  But then I received a phone call on April 17, 2015 that would change everything!  Fast forward to the middle of June and I started my new Sales Manager position!! (the hardest thing about making the change – was calling my team and telling them the news!)

And let me tell you – it was and is a challenge and I love it!!!  I was able to make an impact in that short time by improving employee/partner morale, grow the business and get my team earning some $$!  Some changes were made earlier this year and I have even more responsibility and big challenges ahead.  And I love it!  I’m challenged, growing and learning –  and unlike one of my favorite U2 songs (and I was at MSG for this one last year) – I found exactly what I was looking for!!!

Half Marathon in the Books

This is way overdue!!  This has been in draft form since early April.  Been a super busy 2015 but really want to share my story below.

On January 1st of this year I started a run / walk program (as a result of my Jan – Mar travel schedule doing Market Reviews for work). Some of you know my LOVE of Running (or not) – I’ve been very vocal about how much I despise running!

I started off slow with a 2 minute run / 4 minute walk.  By the end of January, I was up to 5 miles and in a training program for a Half Marathon (my first) (2 minute run / 1:30 walk).  I think I finally signed up for the Philly Love Run on February 1st.  I’ve progressed to 2 minutes run / 1:15 walk.  There were 10K runners – I was #7389!

Sunday, March 29th was the 2nd Annual Philly Love Run at 8 am – it was a balmy (and windy) 27 degrees!  The sun was shining and it wasn’t raining – bonus!!

Pre-Race - 27 degrees - March 29th!

Pre-Race – 27 degrees – March 29th!

I finished in 3 hours, 15 minutes.  About 15 minutes behind where I wanted to be (the hills between mile 8 and 9 killed me! 🙂 – something to work on).  Just as a I was getting to the Finish Line I heard the announcer say my name and that I was just about to complete my first 1/2 Marathon- it was awesome – I think it was right about then that I put my arms in the air as I started to cross the FINISH LINE! (and thank you to the ladies below and Todd for waiting for me to finish – it meant the world to me to have such a great support team!)

Shortly after I crossed the Finish LIne - with my Medal!

Shortly after I crossed the Finish LIne – with my Medal!

I’m happy to say I’m a Half Marathoner!  And I would’ve never guessed in a million years I would say that (much less have completed one).   It was such an inspirational day!  I was running and walking with half marathoners – many who were a lot faster than me and some not – it was great seeing people pushing themselves to the limit both mentally and physically.  Quite honestly it kept me going and I was in awe!

The Moment!

The Moment!

 

And a week or two ago, I signed up for the Philly LOVE Run for 2016 – April 10, 2016 – here I come!

The Last Week of Training was Tough – Jimmy Dugan Helped!

A week and a couple days before the 1/2 Marathon – I got sick.  I think the travel and the crazy weather caught up to me.  I was exhausted and had the start of a bad head cold.  I was completely freaked out ( I got sick over Christmas – with very similar symptoms and I was out of commission for a full week).  I didn’t have time to get sick + I had trained way too hard for it to get in my way.

My training was a bit messed up.  I did get all of my runs in the last week but not in their original order.  I did a 2 mile run on my long run day (Sunday before) and didn’t get my 6 mile taper run in until Wednesday night.  Getting the 6 miles in so helped me with my fear and doubts.    What scared me the most was the starting area – all of those people – starting out too fast and hitting a wall – getting out of my cadence.

I had a lot of encouragement throughout the week from family, friends and co-workers.  Two that stuck with me – “When you put your mind to something – you get it done.”  and “It is a big undertaking & a lot of hard work and you’ll do great!”  Even with the words of encouragement and support – I still had fear and doubts on how this was all going to go.

I was getting all of my gear ready to go to my Aunt’s and Uncle’s in South Jersey (an easy ride over the bridge to the race) and turned on the TV and one of my favorite movies – A League of Their Own was on.  I was able to watch all of it before I had to leave.  This scene near the end of the movie with Jimmy Dugan and Dottie Hinson – was just what I needed to hear:

That quote ‘hit home’ and finally sunk in that I was ready and I’ve got this!!

Thank you to all for the encouragement (and an extra special thanks to Jimmy!!)!!

My journey continues…

It is hard to believe that I started this journey in the Summer of 2011!  Looking back from the summer of 2011 to May 0f 2012 – I was really dabbling.

Everything changed in May of 2012 when I started seeing my nutritionist.  I can’t believe it has been 3 years already.  I’ve had lots of ups and downs – and I’ve learned a lot about myself.

It is super easy for me to gain weight and so hard for me to take it off.  I’ve had my metabolism tested (functioning on all cylinders – and firing higher than expected), no thyroid issues and I did have that bout with Lyme Disease (Nov 2012).

This time last year I saw a fairly large decrease in a 6 week period during Lent – I changed my eating pattern – 2 meals (and a snack if needed) on non-workout days and 3 meals a day on workout days and I gave up sweets and chocolate for Lent.  I lost 7 lbs.  My favorite quote from my nutritionist appointment was “You can give up sweets for Jesus – but not me.” (I reminded him of that quote when I saw him on Friday.) – it still makes me laugh.

As you know – I’ve been traveling a lot for work the first part of 2015 – which has scared the crap out of me – that I would regress and quite frankly ruin all of my hard work.  So I pulled my awesome resources together to get me through it.  I joined BP’s 8 Week Body Project program (the accountability portion of the program – I did their Fall Inaugural program – and it was AWESOME).  And the other thing I did was reach out to MIM-Multisport Training as I knew running was going to be the thing I could do no matter where I was in my travels (all hotel gyms have a least on treadmill – usually more and I was going to warmer weather locations and could get outside to run).  Plus I’ve seen great results from many of my friends who have trained with MIM Multisport for triathlons – so I know this was the right decision for me (plus they were starting Spring Half Marathon training – so the timing seemed to be right).  I trained most of January to get ready for the first official training session – 5 miles.  Tomorrow we do our last long run – 12 miles (holy crap!!)  🙂

My travel schedule has been pretty constant which means lots of meetings (which drive you to want to snack) and dinners (with appetizers, drinks and sometimes desserts).  I’ll be honest I’ve not been tempted by the snacks at the meetings.  I do have some appetizers, I do partake in the adult beverages (wine has been mine choice – more on that later) and a dessert every once in awhile (the bread pudding while in New Orleans was to die for – but everyone had some of it so I didn’t eat it all – I’m all about sharing!)  And then Lent started – so I decided to do the same thing as last year – give up sweets and chocolate – because I do love them and it is a challenge for me.  I was expecting to see some weight loss the first part of Lent – and what I saw was weight gain / losses – the only thing consistent was no consistency (frustrating).  Then I went to a Black Tie event where I drank wine (remember I told you keep that in mind) – and the next day I was hungover and I blame it on the sugar in the wine.  😉  I had a wedding the following week – where I opted not to drink wine – instead I had vodka / club soda (and no wine for 3 weeks).  And the weight started to move in the right direction.

So drum roll please – I’ve lost 6 lbs since January 30th!!  And I’m down a total of 33 lbs – I’ve kept it off – I’m confident that when I reach my goal (which we haven’t even discussed) – I’ll keep it off because I didn’t put it on overnight and as you can see it isn’t coming off overnight.  Slow and steady wins the race!!  And it has taken me a year to really learn that sugar really is my Achilles Heel (so the latest quote from my nutritionist is – he predicts the Easter Bunny will see his shadow and I should have 6 more weeks of no desserts and chocolate!) (Ha!)

I thought I’d share this inspirational message I received this week (the first part is what I wrote on a card this past fall from during the 8 week program – My Mantras) and the second is a note from my coach – the timing was perfect.

My Mantras

My Mantras

 

And the journey continues…

Half Way There…

Good morning!  Taking a vacation day today to catch up on some things at home (like cleaning – yuck) since I’ve been traveling so much for work.  I’ll do another post at a later time on my whirlwind travel.

I’d thought I’d take a break from cleaning (which honestly I haven’t done much yet) and give you an update on my Half Marathon Training.  First off I can’t believe I’m halfway through the training.  We are in week 5 – 5 more weeks to go until the BIG DAY – March 29th – The Philly Love Run!

In 5 weeks I’ve accomplished the following:

  • Completed my first 5K – using my Run/Walk cadence (2 mins running / 1:15 walking).  I’ve done many 5Ks – but it has always been walking.  And this 5K gave me a dose of hills – wow!
  • I’ve completed the following Sunday (sometimes into Monday) Runs – 6, 8 and 9 miles – I only missed the 7 miles because I hadn’t joined a gym and it was bitter cold out.  Each week is 1 mile more and each week an achievement for me as my longest run!
  • I’ve spent a small fortune in outdoor running apparel! 🙂

But even more importantly I’ve learned the following about myself:

  • I actually enjoy the 2 – 3 mile run / walks – For those who know me – shocking I know!
  • This whole 13.1 Miles still scares the crap out of me – but that is OK – Challenges should – I’ve been in my comfort zone for a long time (in many aspects of my life).
  • Once I give myself a pep talk and actually start running – I’m good.
  • After my 9 miles this past Sunday – I was wiped out and a bit sore – I listened to my body and took 2 days off.  I so needed it and the rest really helped me do well on my hills on Wednesday.
  • Making myself a priority – committing to getting my training runs and other training in during the week is just as important as the Sunday long runs.
  • I enjoy running by myself.  I know many like running with someone.  I love the solitude.  I spend so much time on the phone with work this is my time to enjoy the scenery and let myself worry about one thing – am I running or walking!
  • I’m sure there will be many more as I continue this journey.

I’ll leave you with this song from my playlist – the timing is perfect when I’m halfway through my miles for the day – gives me that extra push! 🙂

Training Day 1 Lesson(s)

Today was my first official training day for my half marathon. Welcome to winter running – I’ve been spoiled the first month of my unofficial training – we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter and sans snow. Well that changed on Friday night into Saturday with a touch of wet snow (say ice for Sunday).

This morning we met at the park – where they hadn’t even plowed the parking lot – rough skating rink.  So we met as a group to find who was in our running group.  I was partnered with Charlotte.  We’ve both been doing a run/walk program (her’s 3 min/1 min and mine 2 min / 1:45) (more on that later).  We both consider ourselves non-runners – so a perfect match.  🙂

We left that park and drove to a spot where we could warm up without falling and started our 5 mile loop on Edinburgh Road.  And off we went on our run with an adjusted pace of 2 minute run and 1:30 walk.  It started off great but I knew about a mile into it – it was messing with my breathing (I will tell you that has been one of the things I’ve been so proud of on my prep – my breathing has been great).  Anna (my trainer) was checking on all the runners and she immediately noticed how winded I was (and I know my face was super red – although that is normal for me) and I told her what I did.  She reminded me this is MY RACE (journey) and not to adjust – so I adjusted my gymboss app midway and got myself back to my 2 minute run / 1:45 minute walk.

How did I do on my first ‘official’ day of training (and this journey I’m embarking on…):

  • Mileage:  5.17
  • Time:  1:08:56
  • Pace:  13:20 (best:  12:09 / most realistic:  14:19)
  • Avg HR:  166
  • Max HR:  179
Day 1 in the Books!

Day 1 in the Books!

 

So what did I learn today?:

  • Run / Walk on my terms
  • Listen to my body (aka my breathing)
  • I need to warm up a bit more (and cool down) – my arches totally seized up post 5 miles
  • Continue to leverage my mantras – I Believe, I’m Resilient, I’m Strong and Be Patient!!!
  • I like the solitude of running

Until my next post!

making-progress-dont-give-up--large-msg-133509774066

 

Never Say Never

I can’t believe it has been almost 2 months since I’ve written.  To say it has been cray cray is an understatement.  Lots of changes going on at work (for me all good so far) – which is also the driver of this post.

You know how the saying goes, ‘Never Say Never.’  Ask any of my BP gals when they ask me if I’m interested in marathon or triathlon training and I tell they I will cheer them and and I think they are crazy.  I’ll ‘Never do that’.  If I’m really honest, I’ve been less and less saying no way.  And thinking I should give it a shot.  But then again I think – they are nuts!  (and they know I say that with LOVE).

It isn’t as if I didn’t run for sports in high school – I played field hockey for 6 years and was on the track and field team for 3 years – where I did a lot of running.  I just never liked it – I could run during games without an issue – go figure.

Now fast forward through my life to about 2 weeks ago and I start looking at my business travel schedule.  I look at the schedule and think – I need to get some structure around my workout schedule and I need to do it quickly.  I recall seeing one of my trainers posting a winter 1/2 Marathon Training starting at the end of January.  I think – hmmm – is this the push I need to try this.  So I find out if I can get a walk / run program and get started before the end of January training.  The answer was a YES with encouragement for me to do this.

So I’m going to give this running thing a go as I’ve worked too hard over the last two years to allow a couple months of business travel to derail me now.  I’m staying optimistic that with the right training and starting out with the walk / run that maybe just maybe I’ll find something else I enjoy doing.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m scared – because I sure am.  I’m also embracing to see what I learn about myself over the next few months as I go through this training as I know it will definitely challenge my both mentally and physically.  I will keep you posted on my journey.

I’m Resilient, I’m Strong and …

I’m Resilient, I’m Strong and Suck it up Buttercup were the 3 things going through my head today!  Why were these three mantras going through my head today?

In 2012, I signed up to walk The Beauty and the Beach Run all women’s charity run/walk/skip which benefits Aslan Youth Ministries.  I wasn’t able to participate because Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore.  I wasn’t able to attend last year as I had an Awards dinner to go to.  I procrastinated and finally signed up mid-month to do the event.  A friend and I were going to walk the event along with some other ladies.  I got a text in the early AM that my friend had to cancel (everything is fine).  I still had to pick-up up on swag bags and race bibs.  And the swag bag for this event is great – awesome shirt!

I had been watching the weather all week (and earlier this week I was a maybe as I was feeling a little under the weather).  The forecast was not great – mid 50s and rain.  Well rain at the beach in the fall / winter is never a good thing.  Well the forecast changed and the temp dropped about 10 degrees and they added wind to the rain.  I had an easy out today – I could totally bag the event – just pick-up our goodies and come home.  Then I stopped and thought – if this was a PSU game – I’d be going – no ifs, ands or buts! (my seats are covered so I do have some benefits there – but I’d be tailgating or something in the elements).  I thought about all the work the organizers and volunteers had put in and decided I could do this and I just needed to – Suck it up Buttercup (a little softer than just Suck it up)!

This race is 5 miles and I’m not currently a runner (maybe someday) so I knew I would be spending a lot of time in the elements.  My goal was to finish in 90 minutes (or less).  So I put all my tailgating experience to work and layered up (note to self – time to invest in a nice rain jacket with a hood – even the nice poncho I had would’ve been better if a jacket). The only thing different was I was in sneakers vs. boots.  Oh and I had hand and foot warmers too!  I don’t mess around.  🙂

The start was exciting – I even jogged a little and then I walked.  There were volunteers encouraging us and handing out water (and they were cold – rockstars – we could at least move).  While I was walking I was listening to my iPod and when my IT band started getting tight – I started my mantras – I’m RESILIENT, I’m STRONG and ever once in awhile my Buttercup phrase would pop in my head because it makes me laugh!

The last 1/2 mile was brutal – wind and rain (I swear they were pellets) – again the mantras and seeing that finish line really helped.  I jogged in the last portion of it so I could cross the finish line in style.  I finished in 80 minutes – a 16 minute mile.

There were 608 ladies who turned out today – I’m glad I was one of them.  Together we can make a difference!  Looking forward to next year’s event!

 

Ocean churning it up in Long Branch.

Ocean churning it up in Long Branch.

Attitude is Gratitude

At the end of September I started The 8-Week Body Project – A Complete Lifestyle Program which focuses on Fitness, Nutrition, Accountability/Structure, Education and Mindset.

I’ve completed programs at Body Project Fitness in the past and have loved it.  This one is different for me as I was looking for a RESET button.  I had some early success with my weight loss earlier in the year and now I seem to be in a funk.  Now this program is not about weight loss – this is about taking care of the whole me (and my hope is the weight loss will be a by product).

I’ve learned a lot so far.  Although I know a lot about what I should be eating – I’ve actually kept a journal since September 23rd – not 100% but pretty darn good for me since when I usually do a log – I do it for about a week.  And the journaling isn’t just about food – it is about how we feel, how much sleep I’m getting, how much water I’m drinking, my activity (trying to move everyday), success of the day, what we want to do better for the next day and what we are grateful for each day.  I will tell you I struggle with the last 3 and there are many days that I leave them blank (I have two more weeks in the program and will be more mindful of these 3)

Now fast forward a month, I’m a mentor at work and as part of this program they offer leadership development opportunities for both the mentors and proteges.  The program that was offered was ‘The Shadow you Cast’.

It was so on point to the many things we are talking about as part of our 8 week program. What hit home to me the most was Attitude and Gratitude.  On the attitude side – think about how you feel when you wake-up – that feeling is how we start our day – I bet there are many days when our attitude isn’t the greatest when we get up (myself included) and Gratitude – we all have more than 1 pair of shoes and none of us went to bed hungry last night.  Think about those two statements – makes the ‘problems’ we have a whole lot smaller – right?

Some other key points:

  • Be present in the moment (sound familiar to any BP ladies reading this post?) (and put those phones down!! 🙂 )
  • Surround yourself with strong, capable people – it was like my coach, Lindsay was right there.
  • We also discussed introvert vs. extrovert – not the personality portion but how you re-charge.  I’m such an introvert from a re-charging standpoint.
  • Self-talk and affirmations.  A great example was having your affirmations on a mirror or on your steering wheel as a reminder.  As part of our 8 week program, we all have mantras – mine are I’m RESILIENT and I’m STRONG!

The timing was perfect – as soon as I started listening to the call – I immediately took the notes in my journal and not in my work notebook – because this is all about how I live my life.

I just love that my company is developing its existing and future leaders to think and live our lives this way!

As October is almost over and we move to the month of November – the month of Thanksgiving – I’ll leave you with this quote:

Develop attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. ~Brian Tracy

No Name Post – Changed to Progress

It has been 6 weeks since my last nutritionist appointment.  My focus from the last 6 weeks was to make sure I’m particular about when I chose to eat desserts and other sweets.  I think I did OK – I didn’t avoid them but I didn’t always avoid the ones that might not be worth it!  However, that wasn’t really my challenge – my challenge of late has been that I’ve been hungry in between meals – which hasn’t been an issue previously.

So off to my appointment I went this morning.  Previously, when I knew I didn’t have a good 6 weeks, I was tempted to move the appointment.  I’ve learned two things on this journey:

  1. It is hard to get an appointment – so canceling puts me out a month or longer
  2. Going to see him – really helps me re-focus and reset and you know what I call that?  PROGRESS

making-progress-dont-give-up--large-msg-133509774066

We talked about what I eat on most days and decided to change it up a bit.  Since I normally eat breakfast late, we decided to make my breakfast option all protein and that I shouldn’t skip the carb at lunch (just don’t go crazy).  The notes in my file actually say ‘eat a substantial lunch‘ which does NOT equate to eat a Buffet – no worries here – I hate buffets!!  We also talked about my upcoming travel schedule – ‘adapt to the flow’ of the meeting which also means don’t feel compelled to graze and snack like others do!  🙂

So here is my focus for the next 6 weeks:

  1. Eat just protein for breakfast – keep it simple – eggs – hard boiled may be the easiest since I’m doing some day trips for work.
  2. At lunch again go for the protein first and some carbs – don’t eat just a salad for lunch.  And another option is eat 1/2 the sandwich and take the other half home for later.  And when at home make a sandwich using thin slices of bread.  🙂  Specific instruction – don’t skip the carb at lunch
  3. Adapt to the flow of the meeting.  I also plan to bring my own water and nutritional snacks (as a back-up just in case I do get the munchies)
  4. I’ve planned some of my work-outs (as that has been going really well the last 6 weeks).  And on days I am traveling – keep moving – even walking
  5. A cup of coffee in the afternoon can do the trick too!

Although I didn’t lose weight the last 6 weeks – I’m still maintaining a 30 lb weight loss not too bad.  Hoping this adjustment in my eating habits will help me hit another milestone!

Stay tuned for the next update in 7 weeks (wasn’t available 6 weeks from now in the timeslot I like – which is first thing in the morning!)