Monday, April 29, 2013


I live in Jersey and work in New York. Every morning I am rushing out the door, dropping my son to daycare and then commuting to the city. Every morning, Hubby and I are in a rush. Every morning, I get mad that my son wants more than 10 minutes of my time because I have to get ready. I'm not happy about it. I live for relaxed mornings with my family. I live for the mornings we bring Little Beast into our bed and cuddle. This past week was extremely stressful work wise and I worked a lot more hours than I usually do. I felt like I didn't get enough time with Hubby and Little Beast and I was really upset about it. That said, I enjoyed every single minute of my weekend and am spending all day with Little Beast on this rainy Monday.

So Lemmings? Where did that come from? For as long as I can remember, I've said I don't want to be a lemming, a follower, one who boards the train in a line during rush hour and stands in line to get off the train and go to work. I'm not one of those people, I'm not a lemming. But the truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, that I am a lemming. I commute to the city at least 4 days a week (because bills need to be paid after all) and I spend most of my commute complaining, to myself or to Hubby. The good part of the commute is that Hubby is there to complain with me. Is that the way to live life? I really hope not. Hubby is going to make a change soon enough and after he gets settled in his new career, I plan on making a change as well. I refuse to be a lemming all my life. I'm not a follower.

I've been having second thoughts with regard to my career and I've realized, last week made it official, that I'm not going to spend the rest of my life being a so-called Lemming. I'm going to do something I'm passionate about. Of course I need to pay my bills and save for Little Beast's college so I'll have to figure out a way to do all of the above.

With working so much last week, I didn't get much time at all to run or go to the gym. I worked on speed yesterday and ended up running my fastest mile to date - 8:30 min/mile! Woohoo! Hubby was my motivation since he is training to run his first 5K with me on May 19 and wants to complete it in under 27 minutes. Since we'll be running it together, I want to improve my time as well, and to be honest, I want to beat him! :) He is a lot faster than me so that's going to be really tough but I'll be happy with anything under 28 minutes. My first 5K last month was 30:44 so anything under that is perfectly okay with me.

In case you're interested, the shirts that Moms RUN This Town designed (as shown in my previous post) raised $28,000 for the victims of the Boston Marathon! I'm extremely proud of this. I'm still working on recruiting members in Edison NJ. Please reach out to me if you're in the area and want to be part of the group!

I have the next appointment with Trainer on Wednesday and then again on Friday morning. Starting next week, I will be meeting with her 3 times a week. In terms of running, I'm going to work on my 5K time for now so I don't envision too many long runs. After my next 5K, I will go return to my much loved long distance runs. Surprisingly, I felt more tired after running 2 miles at 8:30 min/mile than I did after running 6 miles at 10:00 min/mile! 

Until my next non lemming event,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Opportunity to help victims of the Boston Marathon

Every single runner blog I follow has mentioned the horrific senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon. The fact that people target events with tons of innocent people is beyond my comprehension. I just can't get over the evil in this world. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. Beyond that, I am at a loss for words.

I don't think I have mentioned this before but I am a local chapter leader for a national running group called Moms RUN This Town. I signed up a couple weeks ago and am very excited to be part of such a group. (If you are in the Edison, NJ area and would like to join, please feel fee to contact me).

I am proud to say that Moms RUN This Town (MRTT) as well as Recover Recycled Apparel have created a t-shirt as a fundraiser for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. You can buy the t-shirt here. The t-shirt costs $18 and $10 of that will go towards Boston victims. I found this article very interesting in that while a lot of people are unfortunately making money off of the tragedy, some are genuinely concerned in fundraising for the victims. I can honestly say that the founder of MRTT,  Pam Burrus (the article mistakenly refers to her as Pam Burns), is part of the latter group.

I just tried to order a shirt for myself and my husband and realized that shipping is steep. Unfortunately, Recover has to ship through UPS and that ups (no pun intended) the cost. If you know a couple people that would like the shirt, it's a good idea to combine the order to save on shipping. I'll update this post if I can get my hands on a discount shipping code. 

I just came across this blog with 10 Ways to Support Boston so you might want to check that out as well.

United We Run,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend. Workout. Winery.

This past weekend was by far the most I have worked out in my life two days in a row and I have to admit I enjoyed it! Saturday I did the following strength and conditioning workout with Hubby.


- foam roll
- worm crawl with cobra
- walking cradle
- elastic band abduct
- butt kicks
- high knee
- backwards run


- (5x) 10 second dashes
- ladder drill (3x once across, 1x back and forth)


- (3x) Sprints (aprx 50 yards)

 TABATA 20 second, 10 second x8

1. Air Squats
2. Mountain Climbers
3. Air Squats
4. Burpees
5. Medicine Ball Slam (12 lbs)
6. Medicine Ball Slam (12 lbs)
7. Mountain Climbers
8. Thrusters (5lbs dumbbells)

Crazy huh? The workout was created by Hubby himself. I thought I'd cry at the end but I felt fantastic. Tabata workouts are pretty tough but you move so fast that you don't really have time to think about it. If you're interested in other workouts he creates, contact me and I will forward the request on to him. He did take a video of me the entire time so I can see my form and know where to improve. I will update this post with the video when I have it. So stay tuned! 

After Saturday's workout craziness, we took Little Beast to Vynecrest Winery. It's our favorite winery nearby - their Summertime Red is the perfect sweet red wine. It's perfect for Sangrias and patio sipping in warm weather. All of the wines at Vynecrest are good though and if you're in the area, you should definitely check them out. Excuse my sales pitch, I just really love Vynecrest! 

Little Beast and I at Vyncrest

My World

I didn't run much last week because I had my initial consult with the trainer at the gym and it was raining. I really should learn to run in the rain but I absolutely refuse, unless it's a sprinkle. Pouring rain and me running is probably not going to happen. That said, if you told me I'd run 6 miles a couple months ago, I'd tell you that would never happen either. And yes, I broke 6 on Sunday's run! I'm still sore from both Saturday's workout and Sunday's long run but at least I'm sore and happy.

We spent the rest of Sunday prepping meals for the week and seeing my parents for dinner. I did make these really good pre-workout/breakfast/dessert bars that I found in Women's Running Magazine. I can't find the link online but I put pitted dates, apricots, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, pinch of kosher salt, and some granola into a food processor. I then flattened the mixture onto parchment paper, stuck it in the freezer over night, and cut it into bars. It came out a little soft so I may bake it next time but boy are they delicious!

Until my next workout,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm Going to Pump Me Up!

Two days ago, I had a consultation with my new trainer at the gym. She's extremely fit, buff and appears intimidating until you get to know her. She's actually really sweet and knows her stuff! I explained how my adductors are constantly sore because my abductors are weak - I think. In English, Inner thighs are weak and outer thighs overcompensate so I'm constantly foam rolling. I also explained how weak my upper body is which in retrospect, I didn't need to explain because it's pretty evident in looking at me. 

For the first time in my life, I found out my body fat percentage. I assumed prior to going in that it would be 25% and I was right! What I didn't know was that 24-26% is average for my age. So not too bad. Trainer (this will be her name from this point forward) and I decided that we will get that down to 13-16%! Hello 6 pack abs, nice to finally meet you. We also did a work out towards the end that involved ropes (I suck at them), planks and some back exercises. Overall, it was a good intro and I am looking forward to working with her.

This weekend, I will take my dreaded before pictures. Keep in mind these will be taken now, so that's with a couple months of running under my belt. I will also take a monthly picture to show my progress and keep track of measurements. 

Trainer stressed the importance of nutrition. She asked how many times a day I ate, to which I replied 3 and she said I'm starving my body. I need to eat 6 times a day and snack. This will be tough for me. It's 10 am now and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet I'm on my second coffee. I'm by no means an awful eater but I'm not the best either. The chart she showed me has 10% cardio, 45% strength training and 45% nutrition. I have the cardio part down. So I'm going to focus on the other 90%! I will definitely continue running though.

Regarding my half marathon in Vancouver later this year, unfortunately Hubby and I won't be able to go. The trip costs way more than I expected and I just can't commit to spending so much when we have a furnace to pay off. So I am going to find another half closer to home. If you have any suggestions let me know! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The title of this post is a little misleading, well maybe just to me. I'm not writing about the MTV show Awkward. Haven't heard of it? Me neither. I don't record the series on my DVR or anything, I'm not excited that there's a new season out now and it's not second on my list after Teen Mom 2. So what if my television taste is comparative to that of a teenage girl, at least I'm not afraid to admit it. ;)

So yes awkward. Awkward is what I felt at the gym today. In fact, I just joined today. I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned my hatred of gyms. I'm not now a gym rat nor have I ever been one. In fact, I have joined 4-5 gyms in my lifetime and have only managed to go consistency once when I lived in England. For me, gym memberships usually end up being a huge waste of money. The one time I went consistently, I was cardio queen. I was single living in a small town in England and had nothing to do but go to the gym after work. I went 3 times a week for an hour and a half each time. 30 minutes elliptical. 30 minutes stairmaster, 30 minutes treadmill and I was done. Why didn't I mix it up more? That's all I knew how to do in the gym. I didn't lift because I hadn't the slightest idea what to do.

Enter today - 5 years later (eek!) and I still have no idea what to do in the gym. When I enter, I feel lost. I usually go straight to the cardio equipment and avoid weights like the plague. Today I went with a new outlook. I would try everything Hubby told me to do and try not to complain. Having a husband that's a personal trainer when you are extremely conscious of your fitness isn't easy. Hubby must have went with a new mind set as well - to compliment and take it easy. I honestly didn't hate anything we did. We did hip thrusters, squats and box jumps. Okay, I'm not a huge fan of box jumps, but that's only because I can't do them! Ask me to run 3 miles and I have no problem with it. Ask me to keep both feet together and jump on a box and hold it, I can't! So hubby started me on a stepper instead of a bench and that seemed easier to jump on. I eventually got the hang of it and jumped on a smaller bench but the fact that I couldn't do it didn't really surprise me. I lack coordination and need to work on it.

On Tuesday, I have my initial training session with a trainer at the gym. I'm nervous, anxious and somewhat excited. I know weight training is important to do in addition to running. I'm also aware that running alone will not give me the body I want. I want defined muscles. I want arms that don't wave goodbye when I say hello. Sadly they do that now. I've never really had a lean defined body and I want that now. While my goals may seem vain, okay they are definitely vain, I'm ready to put the time in to make them happen. Training to run a half marathon will build my endurance. Lifting will build my strength. Put it all together and I will be one lean strong feminine machine. Yea, that sounds pretty damn good to me.

My husband recently bought me the book - A Woman's Guide to a Better Butt and Body. In his defense, he wasn't trying to tell me something when he gave it to me. He's supportive about fitness and nutrition and works at it himself every day. He supports my running and pushes me, in a good way. So while some people may look at his gift as a "Hey babe you're fat", I choose to look at it as a helpful tool for me to get the body I want. I started reading the book yesterday and it's pretty interesting. If you feel as awkward as I do in the gym and have no idea what to do when it comes to lifting and exercises, this book is definitely for you. It details the exercises and tells you what to do and when. All you need is the discipline to do it.

My training plan will now include running 3 days and cross training 2 days a week. I will also take my measurements soon and post before and after pictures. I am going to prove that a previously unathletic person can have buns of steel.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Changes

Every once in a while, I think about life, my past, the present and my future. I wonder if I'm doing the things I thought I would be doing at this age. I think about what I want to do five years from now. I'm sure you're rolling your eyes now because that's usually an interview/first date question - Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? To be honest, I'm not really thinking about professionally at the moment. I do what I do to pay our bills. It's not personally fulfilling and eventually I would like to change that and do something that's more meaningful to me. But for now, I need to make bills (God I hate when people say that) to pay for Little Beast's daycare, our mortgage, the list goes on. But if you ask me where I see myself 5 years from now (not work related), that constantly changes. Five years ago, I would have told you, I see myself married with kids in 5 years. I guess I nailed that one. A year ago if you asked me where I see myself in 5 years, I don't know my answer would be any different. Little Beast was still very young and I couldn't really think about anything other than being a mother. But today if you ask me the same question, I have a very different answer.

Five years from now, I see myself as a happy, active, fit wife and mother who is a good influence to my son (and hopefully another child). I also hope to have a more meaningful job that inspires others to make healthy life changes like I have. You see, I've come a long way.

And no, I was by no means an alcoholic. I just really enjoyed wearing stilettos, dresses from Cache and partying. While I still enjoy the occasional high heel and dresses from Cache, I consider clubbing weekly a huge waste of time. There are so many things I'd rather be doing - like sleeping enough to get a long run in the next day. Wow, I never thought I'd say that.

I've made a lot of life changes in the last couple of years - including getting married and having a child and along the way, I have realized the importance of healthy living and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Somewhere in my short journey, I've discovered that I enjoy rest more when I deserve it.

I follow a number of blogs and have found so many women  - mothers and non mothers - marathoners and beginners - that inspire me daily. In fact, I think of them to help me get through my long runs. What inspires you?