Friday, January 20, 2012

Hello winter!

Well, I guess we had to get snow sometime....

I just got in from an 8.5 mile run and felt pretty good. I was mentally thrown off though because I planned to run earlier in the day after my yoga class (I am def a morning runner), but then was told I started new yoga classes today for Hingham High School (which was awesome!). So, I packed a bag full of warm winter running gear, threw on my sneakers and off I went. My mind was playing games with me, and I kept thinking I was going to have an awful run after teaching 3 classes in a row. And there was snow on the sidewalks... yuck.

I taught my regular 10am yoga class, and then began my high school class for the Hingham Crew Team. Out of 30 kids, only 2 had taken a yoga class before and they were ready to learn! They caught on really quick, and even though there were some groans coming from the class during some of the leg and hip stretches, they really liked it! I was really impressed by how seriously they took the class and a few of them asked me to write down everything we did so they could do it again during the week. I have to hand it to their coach.... what a great idea to get his team of 30 teenagers (boys and girls) to get involved with yoga at such a young age.  I am so excited to be teaching this group for the next few months!

So after yoga, I went out for my run around 3:00. I started at Sandy Beach in Cohasset and did a loop of the town, finishing my run down Jerusalem Road which is my favorite stretch to run. It was my first time running with snow on the sidewalks, and half of my run was on the street with bare pavement, which quite frankly scared the crap out of me. I was paying so much attention to oncoming traffic that I forgot about how cold it was! Around mile 5, my iPod died. It took incredible mental strength to get through the last 3.5 miles because I HAVE to run with music. It keeps me going when I no longer wanna go, but thank God it lasted as long as it did. During the time that I didn't have music, I remembered that my iPod had a full battery when I started my run so I figured it died from being cold. After all, my Cliff Bar was rock solid, so I guess my iPod could have just been "cold" too. However, its still not working. I have no idea what happened to it, and as a yoga and spin instructor who teaches 16 classes a week, my iPod is my life and I use it multiple times a day! I guess a trip to Apple is in my near future....

I came home, took a hot, hot shower, and made a juice. Pat and I bought a juicer this week and have been having a blast trying different recipes. I almost like it as much as the foam roller I purchased this week too (My IT band has never hated/loved me so much.)

Here is one of our favorite recipes so far....
- 1/4 of a Pineapple
- 1 mango (cored)
- 2 cups of orange juice
- A head of romaine lettuce

Juice it all together, and this makes enough for 2 juices! YUM!

Have a great weekend everyone! Stay warm!

Happy running,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How it all began...

One of the most common questions I get from people is, "have you always loved running?" My answer from them is short and simple; "NO!" To me, running was considered torture. If I was late to practice, I had to run. If we didn't win a game, I had to run. If we played bad, I had to run. See a pattern here? Basically, running was punishment and the thought of running for fun made me laugh. Who runs for fun?! Well... now I do. Its amazing how as humans, if we can change our thoughts about something, we can change our actions.

Looking back, my love for running kind of happened by mistake. A little under 4 years ago, I was in a job I didn't love, a routine that was working against me, and I was not taking care of myself. I wasn't eating right, sleeping enough, or working out on a regular basis.... or even at all. I felt like crap. Plain and simple. I needed to lose weight and get healthy before I let this lifestyle get the best of me. One night, on the couch nonetheless, I decided I needed to do something to get my butt moving and get myself into shape. So what did I do? I signed up for a triathlon. I have never participated in a triathlon. Heck, I had never even ran a 5k in my entire life! So what was I doing signing up for a triathlon where you have to swim, bike, and run?! After I read the 'no refunds/cancellation policy', I started googling training programs and began training the next morning.

I woke up, dug out my workout clothes, laced up and headed down the street to a field to do sprint work. I was supposed to run one length of the field as fast as I could and walk back at a steady pace, and repeat 10 times. I lined up, looked at my watch, and began running. I maybe lasted 20 seconds before I had to stop, and I wasn't even sprinting. 'Ok, don't get down on yourself. That was just a warm-up', I thought to myself. I tried it again. Same thing. I was winded. I was out of shape. I couldn't run. If there is one thing about me that has never changed, it is that I am not a quitter. With that said, I finished the workout and had a nice dose of reality served to me. I have a long. way. to. go.

I continued training, and felt better each week. I began running longer without stopping. I began biking and running in the same workout. I was losing weight, eating healthier, and was a much happier person with this new lifestyle. For the first time in a while, I had a goal and I was going to achieve it no matter what it took.

The day of the triathlon came. It was in Nantucket, so Pat and I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast for the weekend and my parents took the ferry over the morning of the tri. I was so nervous for the race, and didn't want to look like an idiot if I couldn't finish. Even in training, I never did the entire triathlon distance, so there was a lot of unknown territory ahead. I talked to other participants, and they assured me this would be one the best experiences of my life. They were right. I finished the tri, and I finished strong. I felt great! Crossing the finish line at that race was a moment I will never forget. It showed me I can do whatever I put my mind to, and also that I am the only person who can make changes to my life. I left my old lifestyle behind and developed a new love for health and fitness, and never looked back.

After the triathlon, I signed up for 2 more. I was hooked. However, when I wasn't training for them, I found myself running anyway. I began incorporating my run into my daily schedule. It was just as important as eating or sleeping. I would get upset if I had to miss a run, and even wake up an hour earlier just to squeeze it into a busy workday. At the grocery store, I found myself picking up the latest "Runners World" over the latest "Vogue". After 6 months of steady running, I came to a scary realization. I am a runner.

As I finished up my first (real) week of marathon training last week, I felt great. Even though I ran in the rain, and ran in a small burst of snow flurries for about 15 mins on Monday, I was feeling good! I was able to cross train in the gym on my non-running days (cybex arc trainer, spinning, strength training) and taught a lot of yoga which helped stretch my body out. I began my first round of fundraising messages for Dana-Farber ( ) so it is safe to say, I am on my way!

So looking back, it is obvious running didn't come easy to me. It was always a challenge, and still is, but the difference between then and now is that I have since overcome that mental barrier that was holding me back. Whenever I am having a day where I am not running well and start to get discouraged, I always think back to my first day of running on that field 4 years ago and smile :)

Stay warm , and happy running!