Halftime IS The Best Part!

Today as we get ready to celebrate America’s most watched sporting event I prefer to focus on the music; aka the halftime show. As a big music fan, it’s amazing to watch a choreographed dance of cameras, fans, stages, and sometimes pyro move into the center of the stadium for just a 12 minute performance.  The anticipation of what songs they’ll perform in that tiny time slot and the visuals to portray the current events are awe inducing.

Thinking back on the best performances I can clearly remember Michael Jackson’s halftime performance in 1993 because he somehow managed to appear in the corners of the stadium.  Of course looking back on it now, it wasn’t magic, it’s just stand ins. Even so, who will ever dance like this again?

There is one performance in particular that wrecked me.  It was 2002, four long sad months after September 11.  Our country was in mourning and at the time it was hard to enjoy American events and feel safe while doing it.  A little Irish band took America’s biggest stage and helped us pay tribute to those lost in the events of September 11.  At the time there was a lot of fear in America especially at large gatherings; fear of another attack but also fear in how our world had changed in one day.  This little Irish band let us mourn but also remember we are a strong America.

I had always been a U2 fan but even more so that day; the day I added U2 to my bucket list of concerts to see.  The years have passed by and I’ve never made it to their show.  This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Joshua Tree album and U2 is embarking on a huge world tour and this Irish girl finally made her wish come true.  I’ve paid a pretty penny for floor seats but I know it’ll be worth it.

I am sure that tonight’s halftime show will not disappoint.  Even if you aren’t a fan of Lady Gaga’s music she is incredibly talented and I have no doubts that tonight will be memorable.

 

Bicycles and Baggage

spinning

Every January 1st we re-evalute our lives and set resolutions for the year but who says we can’t start anew anytime we want? This past year I think I’ve re-evaluated areas of my life several times. Back in March I started working out and changed my eating habits. In May I left a job and started a new one. In July I started running for real and in December I fell off the healthy eating and workout wagon.

Looking back at how far I’ve come and where I want to go is forcing me to re-evaluate today. So, I’ve let go of some baggage recently and picked up what I love again. Focusing on my health and wellness is priority and I haven’t felt this good in a while.

If I want to change then I have to do something different and last night I certainly did! My friends and I did a spin class for the first time and leading up to the class we all had some fear of the unknown. My fear was, “how can I peddle at full speed for an hour?”

A girl next to me was kind enough to teach me a few tips before class started like the positions on the bike and how to turn the resistance up and down. I also learned how to turn down the resitance after the instructor came around and turned it up! Hehe

The instructor was very high energy, the music was motivating and there are many things I never expected. Who knew you could do push ups and squats on a spin bike? Whatever we were doing worked because I was dripping with sweat. Half way through the class I had this high like I could conquer anything until we had to turn the resistence all the way up like we were biking through mud. If I keep this up I’ll have the best ass in town!

Overall I am very happy that I did it. I felt great during, after and the morning after which is a very good sign. As I was getting ready for work this morning I had the music up and danced around. It was a great start to the day.

Falling Off the Wagon

 

wagon

It’s been atleast two weeks since I’ve blogged and my poor excuse has been because I feel like a failure. All the holiday goodies and birthday treats have certainly caught up with me. I’ve even discovered Smashburger near my office which is not good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing, but not healthy.

So here I am sitting in my chair with my jeans feeling a bit snug with a plan in my mind to get back on track tomorrow. I’ll be up earlier than usual to get my chunky butt to the gym, eat healthier, and hopefully feel good mentally. It’s amazing how quickly the “voices” come back when you fall off the wagon. “I shouldn’t be eating this but I will.” “I should really go to the gym.” Torture!

Even though I don’t feel great about myself for letting go, I do know that I can start over. Tomorrow is a new day…

I Am A Runner

runner

We are well into September and the air is cool, the sunrise is later and the sunset is earlier.  The lack of sunlit hours in the day is making it hard to stay motivated.  Part of why I loved running was getting up just before the sunrise so I could see the beauty that many people miss.  Now it’s chilly, dark and the sun doesn’t come up until I would get home from my run.  Womp Womp!

With the changing of the seasons I needed to adjust my strategy.  Running in the middle of the day is ideal but that doesn’t work during the week.  Some days I wouldn’t mind having an unconventional job that allowed me to run during the day but alas my iPhone, nice car and rent doesn’t allow for me to be carefree.

I did discover something interesting this past week while running the 9/11 Memorial Run in Belmar. Since we were to run in silence I left my ear buds at home to pay respect to those who lost their lives.  By doing so, I learned that listening to my own feet pound on the street and the sound of my breath helps me to focus on what I am doing.  I gave it another shot this weekend and boom!  I had a personal record!

I also did not use the C25K app and just ran.  I set visual goals for myself.  For example, I start out on Brown Avenue in Spring Lake and my goal was to run straight through the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club.  Done!  I did a little walk to catch my breath and allowed my body to rest then ran back.  It felt amazing to listen to the sounds around me instead of Pitbull or Pink.

I received a quote today from Dawn that reminds me that even though I’m haven’t run 5 miles, 10 miles, a half marathon or a full that I am a runner:

I often hear someone say I’m not a real running.  We are all runners, some just run faster than others.  I never met a fake runner – Bart Yasso

Don’t Worry About A Thing

This past 4th of July was the best yet.  I was one of the lucky people whose company closed on the 4th and 5th so I was able to enjoy the moment without thinking about work.  It’s always hard for me to enjoy myself fully because I’m always thinking about what I have to do the next day and I don’t want to get out of hand.  Fortunately this weekend taught me to live!

On the 4th my parents had a great party with lots of tanning, swimming and food.  The next 2 days was a recovery to again lay by the pool and relax.  Saturday night I was invited to a jewelry party of Chloe + Isabel products and it was great!  The hosts did a great job and I bought a cute necklace as well (see below). The best part about it is that I can wear it as three necklaces or one!

necklace

I was also happy to spend the night with my good friend Chelsea…

chelsea

Afterward we went to Asbury Park for some cocktails.  I think I had more than some because I never made it to the family breakfast the next morning….woops.  I did end up trying some oyster shooters at the raw bar which was deelish!  Oysters aren’t my thing but they go down really easy with some spicy bloody mary.

raw bar

I didn’t have any plans for Sunday but out of the blue I got a text from my friend Mike who invited me up to Sea Bright for the day.  Normally I wouldn’t go because it’s pretty far to enjoy myself without thinking about prepping for work but I’m on vacation, right?!  So I threw caution to the wind and went and ended up having a great day!  First we stopped at Woody’s in Sea Bright for lunch and then the Ocean Place Tiki Bar in Long Branch.  It was a perfect afternoon of catching up with friends to end the short staycation.

tiki bar

I’m sure you’ve caught on by now that I look at everything as a lesson.  This weekend I learned to not worry so much and to enjoy myself more.  I’m also reminded about the important people in my life who love and care about me no matter what.  ❤ you….

After this busy weekend, even Reilly was pooped!

reilly

As I was writing this blog Bob Marley’s song came to mind which summed it up perfectly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mACqcZZwG0k

“Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing  gonna be all right.

Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”
Rise  up this mornin’,

Smiled with the  risin’ sun,

Three little  birds Perch by my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs Of melodies pure and true

Sayin’,  (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

Singin’:  “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,’Cause  every little thing gonna be all right.”

Kidney Failure!?

We’ve all heard how important it is to drink water on a daily basis but do you actually heed the advice?  I for one, do not which is a huge mistake on my part.

I’ll admit, I hate drinking water.  It makes me feel so bloated like I’m going to float away.  But this weekend I truly learned a lesson on how important it is to drink water.

On Saturday morning I got up and felt like going for a nice walk on the beach.  So I texted my friend Billy who happened to be in town from NYC and we hit the boardwalk.  It was a gorgeous morning around 9am and we started at the beginning of Belmar.  I figured we would walk to the end of Belmar and back and be done but we were talking and just kept going.

I caught him up on my crazy online dating experiences and he told me about his recent audition for HBO’s “Girls”.  Before we knew it we were at the end of the Spring Lake boardwalk . While we were walking I had my Map My Run app going to track our time and distance and at this point we hit about 3 miles.

On the way back it started to get pretty hot and I could feel my skin burning.  Since I didn’t expect to go on the long trek that we did, I did not put on sunscreen.  Irish girl fail!  See below…

lizsunburn

Half way back my legs started to hurt but we had to keep going because no one’s going to pick my butt up.  We made it to the end (after 7.3 miles and over 2 hours), got in the car and he suggested we go to Toast in Asbury Park.  Once we got there we had a bit of a wait so I suggested we stop at the Brickwall and grab a beer.  I tried the Hell or High Watermelon beer which was light and delicious.

hell or high

When we finished we went over to Toast for breakfast.  When I walked in I was overwhelmed with the smell of food that I immediately felt nauseous.  (This is not at fault of Toast – this place is actually pretty amazing and last time I was there we saw Big Pussy from The Sopranos so it has a special place in my heart).  I looked at the menu and didn’t have any desire to eat because the thought of any of it made me sick.   I ended up ordering pancakes and spent the rest of the time in the bathroom because I was sure I would be sick.

Luckily, Billy suggested we go home because I would have felt too bad to make him leave on my account.

When I got home I turned the AC way up and crawled into bed and slept for a bit.  I woke up feeling much better but still sluggish.  That night I went to the Headliner for a party and had a few Coronas.  Another big mistake.

Sunday morning I woke up and my back was sore.  I didn’t dance or fall (which wouldn’t surprise anyone if this happened simultaneously) so there is no reason for this soreness.  When I touched my back I realized it was my kidneys.  I looked online to see why my kidneys would be sore and finally determined it was from dehydration.  (http://www.ener-chi.com/articles/dangers-of-dehydration/)

Saturday’s long walk without water or sunscreen plus beer = dehydration.  This truly scared me.  I was pretty nervous especially since my grandmother has had her share of kidney issues.  Everytime I got up my kidneys hurt and I was very tired.  All I could do was drink as much water as I could throughout the day.

I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better today.  I urge everyone to drink water especially before, during and after a workout.  I really learned a good lesson this weekend.

Dear baby Jesus,

Thanks broseph for making my kidney pain go away.

Xoxo,

Liz

Guilt and Moving Forward

Quitting

Lately I’ve been feeling less and less motivated to stick to my routine and wanting to break away from it and throw in something new.  I decided to try out the “couch to 5k” (C25K) program for the summer just to get outside and change things up.

Sunday morning I got up and grabbed my phone which has the C25K app. The app is pretty awesome because it alerts you when to run or walk but also pulls in your music from your iTunes.    The first day was awesome.  The weather was perfect and I felt strong throughout.

I’ve also been getting more into things that will help to push me further.  I’ve been into t-shirts with fun quotes:

beyoutiful

and looking into heart rate monitors to monitor my progress.

My eating habits haven’t been the best lately because of invites to go out to eat and celebrate the new job or just catching up with friends.  Last night I ate regular pasta.  I haven’t had that in atleast 2 months.  Now I’m feeling sluggish and craving bad stuff.   I’m realizing more and more that my eating habits affects my mood and motivation to work out.

I’ve been watching Extreme Weight Loss on ABC tonight and I’m getting motivated all over again.  I identify with their weight struggles and mustering up the strength to break through the pain.  These people are complete strangers to me but I feel so proud of them.

My journey thus far has been pretty amazing.  I’ve made some awesome changes for myself and very proud.  I’ve met awesome people through Ultimate Fit Zone too.  Due to my change in job I may need to change gyms to keep it convenient for me to continue towards my goals.  There have been so many changes in the last 3 months that I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed but I’ve come to realize that I need to do the right thing for me.

Keep following for updates, friends!