Breaking Patterns

I’ve been struggling with balance since starting my new job in June of last year.  The balance has been a combination of eating and exercise.  I’ve been hit or miss on both.  It has been frustrating to say the least.  The biggest challenge has been my travel schedule.  I knew going into the job it was going to be a challenge – I just didn’t realize how big of a challenge it would be.

I’ve actually done better during my travels with eating – no time for grazing as I’m constantly on the go.  However, being constantly on the go and driving everywhere makes a girl TIRED!!  I’ve really struggled with it and at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

Rewind to last Thursday and I had the opportunity to attend a 30 day check-in from The 8 Week Body Project Program (I am a past member of the program).  The timing was PERFECT!!!  It was my own personal 1:1 session as I was the first and only one on the call for the first 15 minutes and that is all we needed to come up with a plan.  Here is the question that started it all – “What patterns are working and empowering me (and what patterns aren’t helping me)?” – My answer to that was – “I have no patterns and I’m struggling.”  We discussed my biggest challenge was getting my exercise in when I’m on the road (I was just coming off a trip when I didn’t exercise at all except walking through airports).  There are some things that I fly by the seat of my pants on but for most things I need structure – and this is one of them.

We discussed if having a travel bag with some equipment and exercises would be the answer  and committing to at least 15 minutes in the morning – I JUMPED at it!!  We agreed to a 30 day accountability program that I would either text or post on Facebook.  I picked up my travel bag with a golf ball, lacrosse ball and exercise bands (one with handles and a smaller one without) (I’d like to think I’m a beta test for this program – so the exercises weren’t quite ready in time for me to travel the following week – I got my exercises this week though).  No time like the present to try it out!

I left for Boston on Sunday – unbeknownst to me was also the last day of vacation for MA spring break – a 4:30 hour drive took me 6 hours!  Not a good start to a week of travel!

I started my 30 days on April 25th – I’m journaling my food, water, exercise and notes.  I’m also posting my exercise programs on Instagram to stay accountable  I’ve done something every day this week – here is a look at what I committed to doing this past week:

  • 4/25:  5x5x5:  5 exercises, 5 times, 5 rounds:  Squats, Bicep Curl, Back Rows, Triceps, Dead Bug and Cardio Finisher:  10 Jacks, 20 High Knees, 10 Total Body and 30 Punches
  • 4/26:  5x5x5:  Squats w/OH Press, Hip Ups, Superwomen, Side Lat Raisers, Front Raises and Cardio Finisher – like above and lastly – 1 mile run/walk
  • 4/27:  5x5x5:  Squat w/OH Press, Lunges (RS), Bicycles, Lunges (LS), Hip Bridge; Squat w/OH Press, Bicep Curl, Triceps, Dead Bug and Toe Touches and Cardio like above 2xs
  • 4/28:  Crazy 8s (8 times; 3 rounds), Cardio and Ab Finishers
  • 4/29:  6 am Pilates / Barre Fusion (and I was the DJ)
  • 4/30:  Pilates, Restore Yoga and 90 minute recovery massage

I was super pleased with my commitment to the 30 day accountability but also how I felt throughout the day!  I felt AWESOME!!  It wasn’t easy getting up every morning but I gave myself a pep talk – I only need to do 15 minutes (workouts ranged from 15 – 45 minutes).  Prior to leaving for my trip I stepped on the scale and I was up 4 lbs – I’m pleased to announce that I’m back down those four pounds.  I’m back on the road next week and looking forward to see how this journey progresses for me.  And tomorrow is a REST day – I’m looking forward to it!!

To breaking patterns – “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” ~Tuli Kupferberg

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!!!

Am I a ‘runner’ now? Hmmm…

Today I had the opportunity to run in The Perfect 10 Miler (such a great message celebrating Women – “a chance to celebrate who you are inside and out – raising awareness of a positive self-image!”) first ever Bosom Buddy Relay! Each runner runs 5 miles – either first leg or second leg.  I had originally signed up for the 10 miles but with my new job – I knew early on that I just wasn’t going to get all the training in that I needed.  Through a friend I was able to find a buddy – we met for the first time this morning.  She opted to go first – and it was probably better – she is a little bit faster than me.

And then it was hurry up and wait for the tracker hand-off (due to traffic in the park needed to be there around 6:30 am – I live about 5 minutes from the park – so much for being able to get to a race a little later).  I think in the end there were about 50+ of us in the hand-off area.  We warmed up as a group and then the anticipation of looking for our runner.  It had been raining earlier in the morning but around the start of the race it had stopped – but then when I started – it started raining – a light rain and it stopped before I got to my first mile marker.  All in all it was a great day for a race (except the music in my app stopped playing so I heard one song and ran the 5 miles without music – a first for me).  With all the waiting I did like the fact that when I started running – it wasn’t part of a large pack – I could run my race.  I finished my 5.04 miles in 1:09:14 or a 13:43 minute pace (better than any of my training paces)!!  As a team we came in for our 10 miles at 2:09:09 or a 12:55 minute pace!  It was so great having my My BP Sisters cheering me on right before that final .4 and at the finish line (and I came in sprinting)!  It was also great cheering on some of my fellow sisters.  What an accomplishment by ALL!!!

Finisher Medal!!!

Finisher Medal!!!

 

So back to the title of this post – Am I a Runner?  And I think I may have to start saying I am – I realized today that I have completed Cupid’s Chase (Feb15 – a 5K), The Philly Love Run (Mar15 – 13.1), Hair of the Dog (May15 – 5K) and The Perfect10Miler (Oct15 – Bosom Buddy 5 Mile Relay) (and the year isn’t over yet!!!).  The first words out of my mouth was – ‘Holy Crap!’  This girl who has been proud to say she is a NON-Runner – may have to admit I am a runner.  I am not a fan of training, I’m anxious the night before and anxious the day of the race – but once I start I do enjoy it (I think).  Although I do prefer running in cooler temps (the Hair of the Dog almost turned me off running – it was too humid).

I’ll leave you with this quote from The Perfect 10 Miler – “I Try and Fail, But Never Fail to Try.  And That is Why I’m a PERFECT 10!”

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!!)!!

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