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!

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!

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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

Summer Fun

As I was holding onto the last ‘official days’ of summer, I started reading a book a friend loaned to me on Friday.  It is called Summer at Tiffany!  I finished it in one day.  It is about two young women from the University of Iowa – and the summer they worked at Tiffany’s.  Two important things to know about this – it was the summer of 1945 and they were the first women to work there.

The book is described about “a fearless summer of friendship, freedom and first love in New York City.”  It is also about taking chances and life decisions.  You’ll have to read the book to enjoy their adventures.

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I enjoyed this book so much, I bought it for my Aunt for her birthday.  My Uncle asked if it was a ‘chick’ book.  It kindof is, however, it is so interesting to see who crossed their paths, the history they experienced and to see things through two young college students in a time when women were still finding their voices in the US.  I sure hope that if I had lived in that era that I would’ve taken a chance like Marjorie and Marty.

Enjoy!

Good-bye Summer…

As I sit here on the last official Sunday of summer – it reminds me of THE STATION by Robert J. Hastings – my Dad gave me this poem when I went to college and it hung on my bulletin board for 4 years and I have I still have that original somewhere – I should get it back on the bulletin board.

I love the last part of the poem – “…climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The STATION will come soon enough.”

As we say good-bye to summer – remember the ice cream you enjoyed, cherish the times you had with family and friends, the feeling of the sand between your toes, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach – embrace the memory as we move into fall – remember to ‘relish the moment’ (which is perfect timing as it is tailgating season for me!)

Now go out and relish the rest of summer – I know I am!  🙂

 

Kryptonite and Spongeworthy

So what do Superman and Seinfeld have to do with my post today?

If you remember from Superman the only thing that could stop the Man of Steel was Kyrptonite (his achille’s heel).  And if you are a Seinfeld fan – all I have to say is ‘Spongeworthy’ and you know what I’m talking about.  But in case you don’t –

Today was my nutrionist appointment.  I knew going in I had gained slightly and that during the last 6 weeks I struggled with balance – not the typical work / life balance – more of a food balance.  My sugar cravings were out of control – my KYRPTONITE!!!

I opened Pandora’s box while out to dinner with my parents, niece and nephew in the middle of May.  It was really the first time since Easter I had dessert (breaking my Lenten fast).  And it continued on a buisness trip to Pawley’s Island, SC (in May) – I split a yummy dessert with a co-worker.  I extended my trip for a girl’s weekend getaway – I stayed on course with my two meals a day – but we had dessert every night!  They were yummy!!  I was asked today – how did I feel after?  Did I feel – ‘what the hell?  – it is a vacation’ or ‘ was I upset that I went crazy?’  I was a little bit of both.  I was more upset about the sugar cravings I had post my trip (which was driven by the over indulgence on my trip).

On and off for the past 6 weeks the sugar thing has been bothering me – can’t keep it under control – including opening up a jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter and eating from the jar (the only bonus only 5 grams of sugar compared to 22 grams of sugar in Nutella) 🙂

So keeping with my accountability – I went to my appointment to talk about my sugar issues and desserts being a bit out of control (I leave for vacation soon – so this was perfect timing).

So here is where Spongeworthy came into the conversation – My nutritionist started with – ‘Remember the Seinfeld episode – and I somehow knew Spongeworthy was the episode he was going to mention.  🙂  I need to think of dessert the same way – is it Spongeworthy?  (Oh and it is in my file too).  Thinking back on the desserts I had (including the Cookie Butter) – here is how they rate:

  1. The Pandora’s Box Dessert – I don’t even recall what it was so making the call — Not Spongeworthy
  2. Caramel Layer Cake (it was shared) – Spongeworthy
  3. Raspberry Cheesecake (it was shared) — Not Spongeworthy
  4. Toffee Cheesecake with Whipped Cream (it was shared) — Spongeworthy
  5. Bread Pudding (not shared) — Spongeworthy
  6. Bread Pudding (note shared – this was in Wayne, PA – work dinner) — Not Spongeworthy
  7. Cookie Butter — Spongeworthy – but I really shouldn’t buy it anymore – that is completely in my control!!

43% Spongeworthy!!  Or 50% if I remove the Cookie Butter from the equation.  I have 7 weeks before my next appointment – so I will be keeping track of what desserts I consider Spongeworthy – I expect over the next few weeks – there won’t be many.   And if you are one of my local friends and you see me chuckle at dinner – you will know why – I will be considering the status of the items on the dessert menu!! 🙂

This is a journey and I’m looking to foward to what I learn over the next 7 weeks.

Breaking a few Comfort Zones

Per wikipedia your Comfort Zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.[1] 

I bet most of us – myself include operate in our comfort zones much more than we want to – but it is a habit and it is easy.  I definitely operate in my comfort zone a lot – in most instances I’m a low risk type of person and if I’m honest afraid of failure.  Thought I’d share 3 things I’ve done lately to put myself outside of my comfort zone and what I discovered.

The first was taking the plunge and getting myself a road bike (I have another post planned specific to that) -but in a nut shell – I was nervous and excited all at the same time.  I haven’t been on a bike probably in close to 10 years (not counting spin bikes), I was spending a lot of money, excited to try something new and scared to death what I’ve gotten myself into.  I haven’t actually taken the bike out yet as we’ve had bad weather and I would like to go to a park to ride (before taking it out on the road).  I’ll be honest I don’t want to embarrass myself by falling in front of my neighbors – did I mention the pedals are clip pedals only? (hence the reason I don’t want to fall in front of my neighbors and I’ve been told I will fall).  I’m more excited now than nervous and can’t wait to get out there and ride my bike!  I keep telling myself it is ok to be scared – I know on the other end of it I’m going to have so much fun with it!

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Getting fitted on my Road Bike!

The second may not seem like a big deal – but it is trying some new morning classes at BP.  I’ve gotten away from the morning classes, but work schedule has been crazy (these days whose isn’t) and I decided I’ve got to get some sessions in the morning before my day gets started.  The two classes I’ve added are PowerYoga (I know I’ve only made it to one so far – so that may not technically count) – the other is a Thursday morning Strictly Strength class.  I will tell you the yoga class didn’t intimidate me – I’ve been practicing yoga now for a year (it was more making the commitment to get up before 5:30 am).  But the Strictly Strength class had me intimidated – particularly when I would see some of my friends post after the workouts.  I decided to take a chance – I discovered, I LOVE it!  And I was really bummed I missed it this week when I was traveling (and that was only after two classes)!  Looking forward to next week’s class.  Reminds me of my favorite saying – “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” ~ Tuli Kupferberg!  I can’t wait to see how these two classes help me transform myself again.  Oh and the Strictly Strength class wakes up those muscles!

And the last of my comfort zone breaker happened this week.  I have a fear of public speaking (and I’m a bit of an introvert – for those that know me well – I know you don’t believe me – but that is because you are part of my comfort zone).  I traveled to Chicago for work this week to assist in filming some customer testimonials.  I was the interviewer!  So not something I wanted to do and holy crap I was nervous.  The filming team did a nice job prepping me – plus I had the prepared questions.  I’ll be honest I was still nervous because I didn’t want to mess up or make a mistake – I wanted it to be perfect!  And it wasn’t perfect – nothing is but I had a lot of fun and I wasn’t the only one nervous.  The first person I interviewed was just as nervous as I was – we both did great.  The more I did the easier it was – I ended up interviewing 6 people in two days – 4 of them were just as nervous as I was or more (and in the end I was comforting them).  It was a lot of fun and I even learned a thing or two about some really cool companies (and it was exhausting!).  I’m not quitting my day job anytime soon – but it did give me the confidence to put myself out there and try new things.

 

My first interview job!

My first interview job!

So what have you done lately to get out of your comfort zone?

Reference:

  • Bardwick, Judith. Danger in the Comfort Zone: How to Break the Entitlement Habit that’s Killing American Business. New York: American Management Association, 1995. ISBN 0-8144-7886-7.