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Not this year…this LIFE.

Not this year…this LIFE.

Life has no remotes, so wake up and change it” ~ Sushil Singh

images-1I found this quote while searching for inspiration to resurrect this blog.

Imagine a giant Life remote control. Pause. Play. Fast Forward. Rewind… hmm…rewind.”If i could turn back time..” (Cher singing in background) Wouldn’t it be great to say, “hey i didn’t like the way that worked out, lets start over.” Rewind.

New Years Eve comes filled with that hope. Filled with dreams of doing things differently, or more, or better. It comes with this delusion that at 11:59:59 you can wipe away all that you have done, all your bad habits and start over. You wake up on January 1st, a new person, a new life. But how do you make it last? How do you change your life?

How am I going to change MY life? this year.

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Game face ON.

These are things i think about while driving to work, while running, and while writing this blog. I want to change. I want to evolve. I want new things and new experiences and new friends. (I do still love my old ones) I don’t want to change my life, i want to enhance my life. I want to add to my life. Not that i am missing anything. I just want more life.

I’m setting specific goals this year. Goals for MY life. Im putting them in writing. I’m putting them here. Some are physical, some are for my health, some are for my home, and some are for my mental well being.

  1. Six marathons in 2017. 1 will be a PR. 5 will be for fun.
  2. Join CREW! Yes, iv’e wanted to row a boat forever. Now is my forever.
  3. Mt. Rushmore. Seriously..i still have not made it there.
  4. Complete an Ultra
  5. Save money. Stop self soothing with shopping.
  6. Drop the sugar. Be aware of my intakes and cut back.
  7. Be aware of others emotions. Recognize projection and prevent your reaction.
  8. Create a compassionate dementia program at work. Educate.
  9. Breath, stay calm, apply the 24 hour rule and believe in myself.
  10. Live a Life.

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Now, i’ve put it into the universe. Now i need to find the faith in myself to reach these 10 goals. I realize they may not all happen immediately. They will evolve and progress and maybe change slightly. But i’m setting the path. I’m saying it out loud.

Today. These are the goals for my Life.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can still instill in us” – Hal Borland

 

Happy 2017.

Cindy

Visions, Validations, and Victories.

Visions, Validations, and Victories.

Sure. Running is a HUGE part of my life. But it’s not the only aspect of my life. Believe it our not, I want other things in my life too.

When my head hits the pillow at night, it fills of the things I have to do. When i close my eyes, I begin to escape the day. And at THAT moment, BEFORE my conscious mind closes and i reach the optimal REM sleep…THAT is the moment when visions are conceived. Creating them, the concept, the idea, the travel plan, the family moment is easy, capturing them and holding onto them with the promise of not letting it slip away from me…?? well, that’s the hard part.

How do you remind yourself of the things that are important to you? How do you keep your vision forefront? How do you allow yourself the time, the focus, the dedication to validate your visions? How do you turn them into victories? In a world where negative forces will tweek their way into your life every day…every…day. How do you “live”the life you want?.

This year, i’ve joined the world of hokie-ness and day dreamers. I’ve created a vision board. Its not fancy. Its not pretty. It’s just a little bit of me, on a burlap board. I am going to live 2014 in a belief that if i can vision it, it will be true. I will hang reminders, and mantras, and tokens of things i seek, i wish, i love. A year long arts and craft project about  me.

ImageTo this day, i have four items. Jillian Michaels, Mt Rushmore, a promise of a new goal, and a mantra for life. At the center of my board hangs a lace heart i pulled off a christmas card from my husband. It’s a symbol, that at the center of all things your heart must be in it. Every item on my board, validates my vision. For example, the JM photo is not there because of her fitness. It is for her clear mind, her acceptance of her past, and her strength. Sure, i would love to wake tomorrow and look like her, but hey, its vision board not a magic wand!

The other day, i stood with my daughter admiring my board. Pondering the items i placed in its care. She asked me to construct a board for her. A place where she could have goals and dreams. WOW. Validation! She believes in my board! (Nothing is cooler in this world then when your 8 year old “gets” you. “Gets” you on a level you didn’t expect. This one…she “gets” me.)

My girl, she is funny. I want to go to South Dakota, she wants a playdate to bake cookies. Truly her visions are on her level, not mine, so Imagewe produced a vision board more adapted to her. One that could celebrate victories weekly. One that she could see daily how her actions could produce her reward. Simple. Reward chart.

We selected several categories. Tasks she needed to do to insure her victory. Some were hard, she was going to work for it. (making her bed, cleaning her playroom), but the others were mostly about her. Taking time for herself..and being rewarded for it. Validation of who you are! Validation of who you want to be! (sing, play her songs, read a book, and write in her journal) She is doing very well with her board, and at the end of the week, VICTORY! She is allowed the activity she chose for the week. She is setting precedent now, for her future. She is learning to “live” the life she wants and how to get it. I love her.

As the ice cold winter in New Jersey slowly begins its defrost. As spring running races are coming closer and promises of new experiences, better race times are on my mind. I am excited months that lie ahead. Vision. Validate. Victory.

I am kicking off my first half marathon of 2014 this weekend in New York! The Central Park Half Marathon is put on by NYCRuns and promises to be a chilly but fun event. I have 18 club members joining me in celebration of one of my marathon partners, Kelley’s Birthday. Due to all the ice, alot of our group have not seen each other in a while. Everyone has taken to treadmill running, the gym, and just running at any moment when the thermometer hits over 30 degrees. (not often) so, we are  feeling like this will be a “fun” run, not a PR run. (and NOT what we visioned when we all registered! hahaha!)

Im ok with that. I mean really, I love these girls. I would rather spend the 13.1 miles chatting it up then chasing them down anyway!

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Kelley and I. Marine Corps Marathon 10/27/13

So Happy Birthday Kelley! This one is for you babes.

“Run Like It’s Your Birthday”

Run Jersey Strong,

Cindy

When It Hurts-Stages of Runner’s Grief

When It Hurts-Stages of Runner’s Grief
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My first 5k, 6/2011. Look at how new and white my shoes are!

I started running in April 2011. I never ran in my life. I was going through a rough patch, and i needed a mental escape. I started by taking walks, and then a light jog, and then a loop, a mile, and then my goal 5k. I completed my second marathon this past October, life is good, but i still enjoy the escape. It keeps my feet light, brings me perspective, and allows me to be me.

When i began, I only knew 2 people who ran. I had seen people on the treadmill and a few on the streets but didn’t really know anyone who ran, not the way I wanted to run. So, i did alot of reading. I read all the warnings and horrible things that could happen, wrong socks give you blisters, run too fast you’ll get shin splints. I believe your head could spin off with all of the information on the internet when you google search “running”.

Along the way, ive also google searched, ask.com, and web md,’d every ache pain and mystery symptom related to running. Ive googled every remedy, homeopathic, holistic, pharmaceutical, surgical and experimental. I have sat up late nights comparing my pains, deciding if they are just pain, or if I should start calling myself “injured”. Debating sitting out, slowing down, crying and quitting. Most times, the pain subsides, the swelling goes down, i have a great run and its done. Like dodging a bullet, relieved, i carry on.

Lately, ive been injured. And worse than the actual injury itself, is the mental unpreparedness over the series of emotions you go through, when it hurts.

I’ve decided to break it down. Kind of like the phases of grief with less crying. (I hope) So, if you are injured, read along and together we will find our way through this physically and emotionally painful time.

Image1. Denial– That little tweak, that pain, that moment going up the steps feels..uhm. funny. You can’t put your finger on it, you may even blame it on anything BUT running. Maybe it doesn’t hurt enough to stop.

When it hurts, you can’t believe it.

2. Anger/Despair– It hits you, it hurts, and now you are facing the fact that denying, your injury and ignoring your injury is sidelining you. You are mad at yourself, mad at not listening to your body, or others.

When it hurts. You could cry.

3. Envy– Your February issue of Runner’s world shows up on your step. Your friends are running, Your streets are suddenly filled with runners. New shoe lines are announced on facebook, race schedules are coming out. You are jealous. You are feeling left out.

When it hurts, You start to think about a back up plan.

4. Acceptance– Its time, youve tried everything. You have iced, foam rolled, rested. This is a euphoric stage. The sun comes out, you can see the total picture. You begin to realize that you don’t have to be injured forever.

When it hurts. You call the doctor.Image

5. Renewed Motivation– This stage is the hardest to get to. You have to dig deep. It has to be real, and you have to want it. You have been given all the information you need and the tools to heal. Whether it is rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, or surgery. You are in recovery, The time has come to set a new goal. Maybe it’s a pain free mile, maybe it’s a marathon. Maybe it is a goal to prevent this injury ever again. But get there. Get motivated. Begin again.

When it hurts. You put that goal in marker on you calendar.

 6. Inspire– This is it. You feel good. You are light again. It is now time to share your story. Help others along. Ride next to them on the bike, or take a swim in the pool with them, Inspire someone through an injury, don’t let them get stuck in a phase alone. You were there. Be a friend, slow down.

When it hurts. You give her a hug and tell her she will be O.K.

I’m going in to spring season with a wacky hamstring/glute injury. It is from overuse. Yes. I knew it. and YES i knew I waited too long. I’m scaling back, I’m working on other things. I’m in phase 6. I got here. I’m staying. I will listen to my body, I will listen to my Dr., I will be better. Maybe I will be better than before.

I’ve got Three weeks until Central Park Half Marathon, NYC! I will be ready. My goal is not a P.R.(Personal Record), it’s a goal for a P.F. (Pain Free)

Run Jersey Strong,

Cindy

Work’n-in a Work-out

Work’n-in a Work-out

As the new year has thrown a new family schedule at me, the winter has thrown in its own obscure schedule.

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Why work out when you can do this instead?

Snow days, half days, delayed days, single digit temps, icy roads, and even gym closures are a daily challenge. Let’s toss in, sleeping in late, staying up late, working out late and then the unthinkable, late night snacking!

How does a girl work in a work out?

In the last month, I’ve developed a few strategies and I’ve been able to work in a few work outs that i might otherwise have missed. I feel so good about this, i cant help but share. So, hate on me now. I probably have some deep addictive personality, but I like to work out. A missed work out is a missed opportunity to be better. Even if it sucks, even if i don’t have much time, even if i’m wearing my works socks and run on the treadmill blind because I don’t have my contacts. A work out is a work out. The effort, the time, the dedication is there. Now, go pat yourself on the back for that sad plank you did today….you did a plank!

1. Pack an emergency bag– Yep, just like the night before you had your baby, or brought home a puppy….pack a bag. Not too much, just necessity. Sports bra, gotchies (my grammy’s name for your undies), tank, shorts, socks, sneakers. They can be the sneakers you planned on retiring, i mean really? they are an “emergency bag” , this is it. This is the back up plan. Deodorant, body spray, brush, and Kenra. ( Ill get back to that). $2.00 for bottled water and a granola/healthy type bar. Keep this bag in your car, front seat, so you know its there, so it’s staring you in the face. So, next time you get in your car, and you have an hour or so to spare, it’s there! That moment when you cant find a parking spot in Shop Rite and you turn to go home?? This is your moment. Bust her out!

2. Make a planDon’t go into any work out without a game plan, if its the gym, decide ahead of time..cardio? weights? and stick to it. If your home, don’t get distracted, set the timer, 15-20 or 30 minutes…Decide. Plan. Execute.

Minimal time means minimal exercises, so I follow this as a guide.  I break it down 2 categories- (A). Exercises I love..(bi, tri, delt for me)  (B). Exercises i hate (abs, abs, abs,) Set a goal. Atttack A or attack B. But ATTACK. 15-20 or 30 minutes. done. Then next time attack the other and so on. You could also very easily use this as a start up strategy if you are getting back on the exercise mat.

3. Be open minded– again, you are just work’n in a work out, your time is limited. Maybe devote it to something new, the stepper, the lateral pull down, the assisted pull up, even the row machine. It might even be less intimidating to approach knowing its for only 15 minutes. I’m not sure how long i could row, but 15 minutes is definitely more appealing than 30…so maybe this is my next back up plan.

Less time can also mean you need to move faster? IMG_1562Maybe try to P.R. your treadmill 5k. For Fun? I’m up against this one now. Its killing me to break it. And it does freak out the people next to me as i’m pounding out 3 miles and gasping like a drowning animal. Oh well, Its about me. Not them.

4. Don’t dis a workout or yourself– YES zumba counts, shoveling counts, walking in the mall counts, keep moving and give yourself credit for every effort. Its about you. YOU time. YOU workn in a workout.

Now, back to KIMG_1569enra Blow Drying spray- best product ever for busy girls. I use this when my hair is wet, it smells amazing, clean, leaves my hair shiny and cuts drying time in half, so i don’t always have to look like I just hopped out of the shower. Love. Love. Love. it. I just had to share.IMG_1568

Whatever you decide, wherever your day may take you, I hope my tips help you out.

Its a new year, a new you, a new way to think. GO ahead and go for it!

Run Jersey Strong,

xoxo

Cindy

Are You a Creature of Habit?

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My road. Start and finish.

Same run, different day.

I live in a pretty large development in my town. Lots of cross streets, parallel long roads, hills, and plenty of houses. I run mostly in the dark. 4:30 in the a.m. kind of dark. I run when everyone in my house is asleep. I run when everyone in the neighborhood is asleep. I also run with a large group of women..at 4:30 in the a.m, in the dark, when we should ALL be asleep.

What started as the only way to get a run in, turned into half marathon training, and than full marathon training. It made 4:30 in the a.m. a necessity, a habit, and (i have to admit), fun.

All good things must come to an end, and my 4:30 runs are over. The new year has brought a new schedule in my household and has thrown my running habit to a bittersweet end.

Its been a few weeks now, and i have found not only was i REALLY comfortable in my routine, but i became a creature of habit. It had been months since i even attempted to change up a workout, try anything, new, or even started a run…in daylight. I had become satisfied with my schedule, easy, set, and reliable.

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Out with the old, In with the new.

So, are you like me? Are you a creature of habit? Does your calendar have the same workouts penciled in like mine. Does your  Runkeeper read off the same days, the same runs, for months on end? Can you fill in the blank like this…”Tuesday is my _____ day” and everyone you know inserts the word RUN?

I will be the first to admit. When i learned of my new schedule, i was scared, i think i may have even cried. I became so dependent on my training “routine”, i couldn’t even think about changing. I couldn’t imagine running without my 4:30 am group. I could not imagine not seeing them and being a part of their lives weekly.

But something else happened. I stepped out of the comfort zone, i boo hoo’d away my creature of habit.

You know what? Its not so bad. And while this entire blog may seem a little dramatic… i mean really…who cries over missing a 4:30 run? Well, now you know.

But since my new schedule has begun, i have tried so many other things. Things i was missing because I was “ok” with my routine. I have Imagetried (indoor)”performance cycling”, with a bunch of Ironman’ers, (now, that’s intimidating), i have tried fitness yoga, gone back to Body Pump, and just found a new love, Body Combat. I have ridden miles and miles on the stationary bike at the gym. I have had to run on the treadmill, in the heat of the gym, with sweaty smelly people next to me. (wait…that wasn’t fun, but you get it?) I even put away 7 miles on the treadmill in the gym’s “dungeon”.

I have seen people i haven’t seen in a while, worked out with old friends, and ran with some new ones. I have been able to stay up late, have a glass of wine, and NOT have to get up at 4am to run!

I’m doing o.k. I’m doing great. So, with a new year, a new you, I encourage you to try something, new, something fun, something outside of your habit.

Scare off your creature!

Run Jersey Strong,

Cindy

First Snowy Run 2014 (and a Yaktrax review)

I have to admit. I am a running gear geek. We had a little flurry a few weeks ago and as the weather man was Imagereporting a season of wintry storms and accumulations of snow, I was already on REI.com searching winter running treads. Really, who else can you trust for outdoor gear than the folks at REI? They carry it all, and they have an awesome return policy.

Unfortunately, I was not the only one with this idea and the Yaktrax Run was sold out, and on back order! I read the guide on the Yaktrax Walk and decided this would be my best option, if i wanted to run outside anytime soon. So, i purchased them for $19.95 plus free shipping (and don’t forget the awesome return policy) My thoughts were, if they didn’t work i would return them. No biggy!

January 3- First official snowstorm 2014! woot woot! 16 degrees. I couldn’t get out for a run until 5pm. The roads were plowed but sketchy. Icy in some spots, packed snow in others, and occasionally a dry spot. I decided to wear my Brooks Pure Flow 2. I met my 2 runner girlfriends, strapped on the Yaktrax and we hit the pavement. Only i didnt hit the pavement at all. I was able to gain really good traction on the roads surface. I was able to hit the snow covered parts of the road and allow my friends to take the dry part. (since they don’t have Yaktrax…yet.) We took on a 5 mile run, our regular route, so we are pretty familiar with which roads collect more water. Although it didn’t stop me from slamming into a freezing cold puddle. OY! BRRRRRRR! I didn’t mean to..by the time my brain figured out where my body was going there was no chance to stop it. No worries. It was near the end of the run.

Once in a while, the Yaktrax did fill with slush between coils. It may have actually helped with traction. Either way, it didn’t hurt my run, every once in a while i tapped it out by

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Newton Gravity (L) Brooks Pure Flow 2 (R) They fit better in the Brooks sole.

dragging on the pavement. I was concerned that the Walk version did not have the extra strap that the Run version had and was worried they would pop off. We ran about an 11 minute pace and they never budged! The straps fit into the groove of my Brooks Pure Flow sole nicely.

January 4- day 2 of our storm. 32 degrees. I decided to switch out shoes today and put the Yaktrax on my Newton Gravity’s. As soon as i put them on the fit was off. They didn’t sit as nicely to the sole. I felt like the coils moved around. The pavement now was dry mostly, or was thick with slush. The coils felt really awkward on pavement, so i kept running through the snowy slush, and this was making my feet wet. I decided it was best to head home and take them off.

Overall, I am completely thrilled with my Yaktrax purchase. They allowed me to go out and run with confidence that i would have safe footing. They didn’t slide, they were easy to put on and take off. I don’t need the Run version because these stayed on securely. I am looking forward to many more runs in them. They are now a staple accessory in my winter running vault.

(With that said, another favorite item….Bondi Bands hat with pony holder. Super stinking cute! Makes me feel “girly”, even when i’m bundled in layers!)

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Bondi Band hat with pony tail ❤ super girly cute!

Don’t let the snow stop you. Grab some Yaktrax. Get out there. I witnessed a beautiful snowy sunset tonight. Jersey style. That’s why we live here, right?

Run Jersey Strong,

Cindy xoxo

 

THIS IS IT

ImageWe ALL ring in the New Year with hope, promise, and resolutions to ourselves. We take on the pressures of commitment today that we will continue to carry on our shoulders all year. We share it on facebook, we tell our friends, we write it on a post-it and stick it on our bathroom mirrors. On this day, New Years Day, we believe its a new beginning, a new day, a new approach to our old selves. Our health, our diets, our exercise level, our stress level are all suddenly under scrutiny and are going to have to change. This Is It.

And yet, according to statisticbrain.com, only 75% of people will keep their resolution the first week, and only 46% will carry it out for 6 months!

What is the #1 resolution?” Lose weight”.

 What is my favorite? #4, “Enjoy Life To The Fullest”. Well…who wouldn’t want to keep that resolution?

So, why do we fail???  Schedules, work, family, health, stress. These factors are constant obstacles, to trip us up, and an unfortunate reminder, that life is not perfect. Its is an always-changing, revolving, motion of events, cause and effect, that will change us forever…daily. Think about that. The decision you make now, will change your life. This Is It.

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My Little Sunshine

The decision could be anything from what you eat for breakfast, to how late you stay up. It could be the thing you say to your husband before you hang up the phone, the advice you give your friend when she needs it most, or the last quiet little words you whisper to your child before you kiss her good night. You are changing your health, your path, your husband’s day,  your friend’s emotions, your child’s memories. This Is It.

I am resolving 2014 to #4. “Live life to the Fullest”. I resolve to try new things, new goals, new, challenges. I resolve to share my experiences, my joy, my adventures with anyone who wants to come along for the ride. I resolve to dance (more), run (more), be more. I resolve to not take anything too seriously and most importantly I resolve to laugh at myself, (and laugh at you too). I resolve to learn how to do at least one thing that scares the crap  out of me. I resolve to bake a stupid Lemon Meringue pie once and for all! I resolve to have fun, love more and live lightly. Image

Today, January 1, 2014 we are in a new moon phase. While unable to see the crescent moon by naked eye. She appeared in all her glowing beauty. The “new  moon phase” has not appeared on January 1, New Years Day, in 19 years. 19 YEARS! This is a gift, this a sign. This..in some magical, mystical, unexplainable lunar phase calendar is our universe telling us that this is a year of amazing possibilities. This Is It. 

With all this supercharged and super strong energy around us, there is no hiding. We are definitely kicking off a time of change, not only on this day, but also for the entire year. Make your resolutions. Make your decisions. Be the change.

This is going to be a great year.Image This will be a year that you will see me be me. This Is It.

 Keeping my dreams, making them happen.Image

Run Jersey Strong! ……and Happy New Year!

Cindy xoxo

   

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