Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The corniest running songs on my playlist

photo source 

So I really rely on music when I run.

I know there are many running purists who enjoy music-free running. Uh. That's not me. Occasionally I don't mind a little convo with a fellow runner… and even rarer, do I like silence… just not my thing.

I don't need to hear my panting/gasping for air breathing. I like music. It motivates me, amuses me and even makes me laugh.

Many a tough run I've "disco'ed gunned" or "lassoed it in" to some obscure dance song that has made a hard run just a bit more fun.

So anyway, as I was getting seriously into one of my songs the other day, I realized that I would be mortified if I was to die on the spot and have someone hear the song that I was so seriously running/jamming to as I sprinted down the street… A song so corny and without a doubt proves, that, I am, indeed, a giant musical dork...

What was this corny song of corny songs?

Um. Ok. Here it is… "Tragedy" by the Bee Gees. Yes. The Bee Gees…

...I really should be holding you
Holding you
Loving you loving you
When the feelings gone and you can't go on
Its tragedy
When the morning cries and you don't know why
Its hard to bear
With no-one to love you you're
Goin nowhere
When you lose control and you got no soul
Its tragedy

Ok. It's not that funny. But seriously, it's a fun song to run to. At least it works for me.

I have a few other corny songs that I would die if anyone caught me listening to would greatly embarrass me on my playlist too:

A few of the best of the worst corniest songs that are or has once lived on my playlist:

Greatest American Hero - "Believe it or Not"
Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Talk Dirty To Me - Poison
St. Elmos Fire - "Man in Motion"
I Touch Myself - Divinals
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (a man after midnight) - Abba

There are many more but I think those are the most cringe worthy.

What about you? Do you have any delightfully corny songs on your playlist?


Monday, July 23, 2012

A great day for a 5K: Race recap of Teterboro 5K

I had the absolute best 5K this past Saturday morning.

First of all, the race was taking place at Teterboro airport. Teterboro is a private little airport where mostly private jets land. The best thing about Teterboro is it's about 2 miles from my house so it was an easy race to get to! ;-)

This was the race that I signed up for to run alongside my Moms In Motion running group. I have to admit I was a little wary of this one. I'm pretty much a big baby when it comes to running in the heat and the idea of running the end of July on an unshaded runway, had me sweating all summer at the thought of it.

Moms In Motion 

But the weather Gods were on our side. The weather was about as comfortable as you can get for this time of year and that was a huge relief!

I arrived and quickly found some of my sisters in pink. We were all excited! Most of the MIMs were lining up for their very first 5K - there's something so special about the first one and I was thrilled for them. I knew they were going to feel changed/hooked/proud/inspired when they crossed the finish line and I was so happy to be there.

I also had my own goals in mind. Since the summer had been so warm I wasn't planning on PR'ing this race. I figured I'd run at a comfortable pace and see what happens. With the weather cooperating, I decided that coasting along wouldn't cut it. I was going to go for a PR.

Previously, my last 'official' 5K I ran a 9'17 mi (28:48) and I was really proud of that. That goal was to come in under 30 mins.

Then, a few weeks ago, during a training 5K with MIMs coach Dana I ran a 9'07 (in 28:16 or so). That was fast for me and I was gasping.

So my goal for this race was to do a 9 min mile. That was it and I was going for it.

Luckily, I had a fellow MIM at my side, Kerry. She's the speedster of the group and the one I'm always chasing to keep up with. She (unfortunately) had a bum ankle but it evened the playing field a bit and we decided to pace each other. She still ran like hell and I ran to keep up. She said that I pushed her too because there were times she wanted to keep up with me! We made a good team.

I didn't wear my Garmin. I've learned that when it comes to short races, being able to keep looking at my time/speed just messes with my mind. I'd rather just run as hard as I can for 3 miles and let the chips fall where they may.

Poor Kerry learned what a crazy freak I am. I have this embarrassing thing that happens -- it's like running tourettes. I can't control the dramatic huffing, puffing, groaning and moaning and panting that happens when I'm running at 100% during a 5K. (Poor Dana learned about this unfortunate "condition" during our training run too…) Kerry was cracking up half the time at my dramatics - so that was good. It's the drama queen in me. I can't just run, everyone has to know I'm suffering. Whatever gets ya thru I guess.

So how'd I do? WELL 99% of you probably know since I've been talking about it all over Facebook and dailymile and to whoever will listen but I hit my goal and beyond. A HUGE PR for me:

26:46 / 8:37 / 14 out of 54 in age group 

Yippppppeeee - WHAT! 8:37!? I mean that's a whole 30 seconds faster than my last training run 5K full effort! Holy. Crap. I remember when I once dreamed of being able to run an avg. 10 min mile for a 5K.

crossing the finish line to victory -
yep, I'm as pink as my shirt!
Every 5k I run, i stop to marvel at how far I've come. I know I've said it before but I can't get over that my first 5K in 2010 took me close to 40 minutes and an avg. of more than a 13 min. mile to complete. It's really true that you can improve if you keep going.

And speaking of great races. Our Coach Dana, placed 2nd in her age group and ran her 5K in 21:29!! Holy fastness. She's amazing. We were all so proud and excited for her.

Yay Coach Dana!! 
I'm also super proud of my friend Kathy who also crossed the finish line this past Saturday - I know there were many of Saturday morning where she was cursing me for "dragging her" to join but she did great and even told me she's signing up again for fall :-) See you there Kathy!!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm ready for my closeup: Health Mag shoot, Kentucky and a new challenge

Well, a ton of shit has been happening.

Last week I told you about my hubby and him being in the hospital. He has recovered and is back to work and I was able to go to Kentucky to shoot the pilot sizzle that our little production company got to shoot for a cable outlet.

Kentucky was awesome. We shot around the clock and got a lot of great stuff. I'm pretty sure that we have a show on our hands and my LA partners will be working feverishly to get the footage edited and to the network by Monday of next week. Yippee! I'm feeling pretty optimistic that finally our company will be on the map. We've been paying dues for a few years and it's our time.

The show is a family business reality/design show based on Rocky Top Log Furniture and Railing company. They are an awesome family that creates beautiful, hand crafted furniture and build log homes.
behind the scenes of shoot

Unfortunately, while in Kentucky I got ZERO runs in. I couldn't wait to hit the road when I got back, it was only like 4 days but it felt like a million and I was "itchy" to run. We did haul a lot of crap around and hustled. We also ate tremendously healthy so it wasn't a complete disaster.

We also have a few key calls coming up for the "From Fat To Finish Line" film so I'll keep you posted on that front as well.

We are moving and shaking.

And speaking of moving and shaking, I had a fancy NYC photo shoot today! I was contacted by Health Magazine to share my weight loss story and today I went for the photos.

So. Much. Fun.
photog, me and health mag senior photo editor 

Had my makeup and hair done and then they handed me a few wardrobe options. Well. the outfit I wound up wearing was a size small! In fact the jacket was an XS and it even zipped! I was so excited that I took a picture of the tag. haha… I mean in reality I'm a medium on a good day and I usually (much to the chagrin of my friends) tend to lean towards grabbing larges. I had to get over feeling self-conscious about the outfit being so fitted and then we were off!

Headed out with Tara the Senior photo editor, the photographer Alexa and her assistant Eric. They were so nice and it was a great experience. We went to Battery Park where they took action shots of me running, stretching, tying my sneakers and that type of thing. In a few shots I wore my NJ half marathon medal and most of them I was sporting a race bib. I can't wait to see how they came out!! It was so fun. I believe I'll be in the October issue - keep you posted.


Back to Kentucky for a minute.  While there, I met one of the guys who'll be a part of the show I'm developing. His name is David. David kept talking about how he was ready to get rolling on a healthier lifestyle and I jumped on it! I'll be mentoring/coaching/giving advice and cheering him on for the next 11 months… We've agreed to run the "Hatfield/McCoy" half marathon together next June! I'm so excited to be taking this journey with him. Angela, who helped mentor me for my first half will be joining us too!  I found a 5K for him to sign up for in October too so that's his first mini-goal.

Dave and I - Dave's official "before" he was a runner pic


Hope all is well with you!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's worthy to you?

It's been a tough few days.

As we speak I'm supposed to be in Kentucky filming a pilot for a television show my company was commissioned to shoot. It's a really big deal because we've been cultivating this production company for a few years and this is a great opportunity. Sadly, my partners had to go without me.

My darling hubby came down with a severe ear infection that was so bad it has forced him to be hospitalized. It's been a stressful week but we're hoping he comes home later today. If all is well and he feels relatively back to normal, I may try to join my colleagues for the end of the shoot.

We shall see.

Between working, running to the hospital and juggling our four year old it's been stressful but squeezing in two and three milers when and where I can has been helpful so thank God for that.

I almost decided not to run at all yesterday and today because I barely had time for two miles. Now I even wrote a big post about the importance of every mile, of "leaving no mile behind" but still sometimes I grapple with the "worthiness" of these short runs.

But you know what, they are soooo worthy. My two 2 milers have yielded tremendous stress relief, has burn a combined total of 450 calories and allows me to keep some semblance of balance and momentum.  That's some good stuff. I would feel a million times worse today if I hadn't run yesterday or today. Never take for granted the opportunity to run, no matter how small  or short.


And in other news… A few favorite new finds.

Ever since finding out that I have to avoid gluten, dairy and almonds, I've had to get creative with treats and stuff. I'm not a big snacker (and when I do snack, it's typically fruit, nuts or yogurt) but a girl has to have a little something extra every now and again…

First favorite new find:

Kind bar: Walnut & Date. 100% gluten free, no GMO ingredients, dairy free and almond free. I don't do too many bars (and now they are hard to find with all my restrictions) but this one is tasty and tummy friendly. I keep a few in my purse for when I need a little something between meals.

Second favorite find: 

Red Bridge Beer: Made by Anheuser-Busch, this gluten-free beer is actually really good and won't break the bank. I found it at my local grocery store liquor store for only $8.99 for a six pack. That's not bad for a specialty beer. Especially when you consider how much the first rounds of gluten-free beers I found were.

Finally, last but certainly not least…

You had me at hello
Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams: No dairy, no gluten, no chance in hell of resisting this stuff. Like that cool guy in class, full of swag and dreaminess - this one can get you in trouble and I suggest you proceed with caution.  I fricken LOVE this stuff. My treat on a day where I'm craving chocolate or something a little sweet is a tsp of this on an apple, with a banana, on a rice cake or even by itself. I can't really have cookies with the gluten and dairy thing but this on a rice cake with a few chopped walnuts really does the trick.

What are some of your favorite treats?
If you're "supposed" to run 4 -6 miles or something but only have time for 2 -3 do you typically run the 2 or 3 or just blow off the whole thing?


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good news! Health Magazine

Yay - Good news!

My weight loss journey is going to be featured in October's issue of Health Magazine!


I'm so thrilled. I even get to head to New York City on July 19th for a photo shoot to accompany the article.

I'll keep you posted for when it hits stands.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The perfect body

A few weeks ago I posted this picture - my first pair of running shorts that I've ever bought:

I am yet to wear them.

I have never been a fan of my legs and today I was going to brave them for my 3 mile run at the gym.

I put them on, I still felt "exposed" but was going to give it a shot. 

Then, my hubby walked in. I said, "I'm not sure about these. I'm not much of a short wearer, ya know?" 

My poor innocent hubby. He just looked at them and said very matter-of-factly, honestly, "don't worry, not everyone has legs for those kind of shorts."* 

Ouch. Oh. I guess not. I quickly took them off and put back on my black yoga pants that are just perfect when it's 98 degrees out! Not.

My husband instantly felt bad. I know he didn't mean any harm. He tried to recover - "They look fine, who cares? My legs are short and chunky and I wear shorts! Who has perfect legs anyway? You should wear them, they'll be cooler…" and on and on he went but the damage was done. 

It was confirmed in my head. Cover 'em up.

I wasn't crushed. I do not have any grand illusions about my body. Though I must admit it does piss me off.

When I was 100 pounds overweight I was eagerly looking forwards to the day that I could sport a bikini, rock a strapless or sleeveless dress and yes, even proudly and fearlessly wear shorts. The crock o' shit is that, CRAP, I still can't wear a bikini (hello flabby post-baby, post-100 weight loss looking belly), I still don't feel awesome in strapless or sleeveless stuff (courtesy of 'wings') and well, "not everyone has legs for shorts."

Got me to thinking about this 'ol body of mine… how do I feel about it?

Well, despite all this imperfection, and I know this is going to be totally contradicting to my reaction with the shorts,  I believe I have great legs, a perfect belly and awesome arms. Really, the perfect body.

Seriously. Why do we beat ourselves up so? I mean, I've beaten myself up my whole life and when are we "allowed" to finally not self-loathe our imperfections? I've decided that now is the time for me.

My body is healthy and strong. It has carried me 26.freakin2 miles, it has carried a child, it is healthy and I work hard for this health. My body has stood with me thru, literally, thick and thin. It's put up with cigarettes, alcohol, mistreatment and everything else. It's rallied with me to health and it's the only home I know.

My body will never be a "perfect" 20 year-old, air-brushed, Maxim model type but this body is mine and that is good enough for me.

I'll wear my shorts one of these days and I promise that I'll wear them proudly!  I do have legs for those shorts because my running has earned me that and if someone out there in the world doesn't like some of the lumps and bumps of my perfect legs that's just too bad. 


*For the record, hubby tells me I'm beautiful on a daily basis. If I wear a dress he compliments my calves -- but running shorts are different. I appreciated his honesty, he wasn't trying to be hurtful in any way.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yo baby, good workout?

Ah- well.

Yesterday was a fail. I didn't do my six miler. I did go from writing my blog post to watching Paula Deen (WTF - she really is trying to kill us. I mean I think she put butter on her mayonnaise on top of her cream, all deep fried and puff-pastried in one dish… even in my fattest days, I had more sense…) and then after the food porn, peeled myself off of the couch to go eat too much at a BBQ.

devil in the blue dress

Shit happens. At first I felt mildly guilty. Why sit when I could be running? But you know what? I needed a little TV time. I just did.

So, I'm OK with it. I needed a mental break. I've been "running" non-stop with running, blogging, the fifty little odd jobs I do to pay bills, building a media company, raising Ben, trying to navigate my new food sensitivities and diet and making a freakin' documentary film. So yeah. I decided to cut my four mile run on Saturday to two and decided to sit on my effing ass yesterday rather than run.

And you know what? Good.

It made me enjoy my 6 mile run today. Today which was supposed to be my rest day, turned into my 6 mile day since I skipped yesterday.

What else helped?

This little FB poster courtesy of Runner's World:

Oh Yeaaaaah.  I had somehow forgotten that for a second. I decided not to "ugh" have to run 6 miles on a treadmill today - I decided to "yippee" get to run 6 miles on a treadmill today. That little brain game made a little difference.

And so did running the first 3 miles slightly slower than I could have. I tend to try to run faster on the treadmill for several reasons. Mainly because the faster I run, the faster I can get off the thing but on runs of more than 3 or 4 miles I start to get super burned out and the last mile or two sucks. So today i slowed my roll. It wasn't super slow but it felt good and steady. Miles 3 & 4 I picked it up and mile 6, I finished strong with a speedy 9'00 min mile.

A sweaty, red-faced, frizzy, dizzy mess, version of myself stumbled from the gym feeling great about my run and recharged.

And then I hear from a distance, "Hey baby." I keep walking to my car, minding my business, "Baby, in the green shirt." I look up. Me? "Yo, baby, looking good. Good workout?" 

I do believe this 20-something-full-of-swag leaning against his tinted-window car and definitely from the wrong side of the track guy was flirting with me. 

I just gave him a smile and a thumbs up and stumbled to my car. He was kinda gangsta but at my age, I'll take any catcall I can get. ;-) hahaha.

Do you watch the Food Network?

How do you turn runs that you are dreading into ones you are looking forward to?

Do you feel guilty when you take mental health breaks from working out?


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The heat is on!

This last week I've been at the back of pack when it comes to running. I have been busy and my running is suffering.

The packed schedule combined with soaring temps just leaves me feeling challenged to get 'er done.

It's approximately a million degrees out with a thousand percent humidity right now. I should be doing 6 miles as we speak but instead I'm writing this post (which, in all fairness, is long over-do - It's been well over a week since my last blog!)

I'll have to do the miles at the gym because I'm not interested in dying in the heat right now. I'll get back to you on how that goes. ;-)

Anyway - so since it has been so long since my last post here's what has happened:

On Monday I headed into NYC to film one of the Ragnar Racer's interview for the documentary and shoot some special stuff we had planned.

Linda has lost 75 pounds, she's amazing. Funny and inspiring she's now even doing the Insanity program. Linda writes a great blog called, "Fricken' 40 and Fabulous." We agreed that she's fabulous so we decided to give her a makeover.  See, Linda went grey at 30 but because she was so focused on her weight, she never bothered with her hair. Recently she was mistaken for her kid's grandma! Now that's just because of the grey hair because if you look at Linda's face, she is beautiful and there's not a wrinkle to be found!

Anyway, so we took her shopping at Macy's Herald Square and then she got in a great workout to show off her moves. 

Central Park - Me looking very pink

The following day, we woke up early-ish and had a fantastic run through Central Park together. It was my first run in Central Park and I loved it. It was also nice that the weather was so amazing that day. Almost down-right chilly I would say! Perfect.  We then headed to an uber-cool hair studio situated in a loft in So-Ho where Linda got her hair and makeup done.

I can't reveal her makeover quite yet but let me assure you, she was beautiful before but her after is totally WOW! We then got to go back out to her home on Long Island and meet the rest of her family. They were surprised by her new look and obviously very proud of their mom and her accomplishments.

The rest of the week I did some freelance wardrobe styling work for a local production company (have to pay the bills as I build the empire, ya know…) and they were loooong days. 7:30 AM - 10:30 PM. Needless to say, no running getting in on those days.  The majority of those days I was on my feet and running around so at least I should be burning some calories… And one good thing about those long days - OVERTIME! 

Because of three nut-so long days in a row (not to mention Monday and Tuesday in NYC and filming for the doc.) I am tired. I was feeling super run-down Friday and yesterday so I skipped my Mom's In Motion in exchange for sleep that I needed - but I missed my moms.

Trouble with weeks like this is when I miss a few days, I find it hard to get rolling again. I like the momentum that running nearly every day provides. Oh well. Just gotta get my groove back!

Do you find momentum to play a big role with your running?

Have you ever had a dramatic makeover?

Have you ever run in Central Park?