6 Months and 10 Pounds Later…

goal

It’s time to get back into the swing of things with eating healthy and being good to my body through activity. It has been a long cold winter that’s been a big setback especially since I am signed up for the Spring Lake 5 miler in 32 days. Eeek!

No worries though because a goal without a plan is just a wish and I have a plan! My plan is to keep those amazing Boston Marathoners from yesterday in my mind. There were survivors of the attacks that crossed the finish line, others in their 60’s – 80’s, and who can leave out “Rudy” Sean Astin?

How can I possibly say I can’t do a 5 miler when these amazing, inspiring and strong-minded individuals who have more reason than me to not finish, have completed a marathon?!

My other plan is to be prepared! This morning I put out my clothes for later today despite my dog’s unhappiness that he’ll lose me for an hour.

 running clothes

Wish me luck!

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Spring Lake 5

Spring Lake 5

It’s Sunday morning and a few minutes past 5am.  I remember that Spring Lake 5 registration had just started so I jump on my computer to sign up.  How exciting would it be to have a low bib number?  Isn’t that all runner’s goal when registering or maybe it’s just me!

Registration was a breeze but yet I’m still awake.  I have to admit, it kind of feels like Christmas morning.  The memories of last year’s race floods my mind.  The experience was incredible: locals cheering us on at each step; banners waving in the crowds; running down streets that bring back childhood memories.  These thoughts make me feel happy!

spring lake 5 crowd spring lake 5 cheerleaders spring lake 5 finish line

What seems to be a little race registration task is helping me get my running motivation back.  Thank God!  The last few months I haven’t wanted to do anything which is out of the norm for me. People tell me it’s the weather but I think I’ve been in a funk!

I have a plan brewing of what I’m going to do to change this funk so stay tuned!  Now I’m off to plan on Spring Lake 5 outfit!!

Stop Being Afraid of What Could Go Wrong

stop being afraid

I just went in to update my Race Times page and realized it’s been a month since I’ve blogged.  Time flies when you’re having fun I suppose!

Just a quick update for my amazing followers….

Back in May I took a much deserved vacation to visit family in Miami.  I came back from vaca and found out two of my team members had decided to leave the company and some major accounts ended up in my lap.  After deciding on vacation that I wouldn’t allow work to stress me out I was thrown into a less than ideal situation.

I have a sign on my desk that says, “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.”  This quote really came in handy as I took a different approach to what was going on and two months later I am in a really good place.  The account is running extremely well and my bosses are very happy.  All-in-all a true success!

As far as running goes I have been very bad with being consistent.  I did set a goal for myself to complete the Jersey Shore Grand Prix and only have two more races to go to complete it.  I also completed my second five mile race in Belmar and that really tested me.  It was a very hot day, there didnt’ seem to be enough water stops and people were puking and passing out.  Once I hit mile two, I wanted to give up and I may have started to cry a little or maybe it was sweat?!  Either way, I was afraid.  I was afraid of failing and afraid of being last but then I remembered to “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.”  This couldn’t have been so true as I came toward the finish line, my friend Jess jumped in and ran with me to the end and my family cheered me on.  It was a rough race but finishing made up for the doubts.

This weekend my running will come full circle as I participate in the Sea Girt 5K.  It was my first race as a runner last year and my goal is to beat my time from last year but the way I’m trending right now it may not happen.  But…. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.”

 

My First 5 Mile Race and Guardian Angels

Every summer for the last 37 years Spring Lake, NJ has hosted one of Runner’s Worlds top 100 races, The Spring Lake 5.  I can remember my mom doing it back when I was in college and she always asked me to do it with her but never thought I could so I blew it off.  Now, I can say I did it and I’m so happy I did!

My preparation for the race began officially last summer when I started running.  At the time I couldn’t run a few minutes straight but over time I got better and better.  This would be the ultimate test because up until this point I had only done 5K’s.

The days leading up to the race were stressful because I didn’t feel I was ready and doubted myself a lot but one motto I live by is “don’t let the fear hold you back”. Reminding myself of this pushed me to get to the starting line that morning especially for my fear of large crowds.  Below is a pic of just some of the 11,000 runners at the starting line.

spring lake 5 crowd

After a woman sang the National Anthem, we were off and running, literally.  I had set a goal to get through the first mile without stopping.  I hit that first mile and just kept going eventually making it to two miles without stopping.  That’s a big deal for me!

Along the way, many locals were outside their homes cheering everyone on and it’s appreciated more than they may know.  I felt proud of my community and of myself.

spring lake 5 cheerleaders

As I was rounding the second mile, I saw a woman who resembled my aunt who passed away last year and then a man who resembled my uncle who also passed in 2013.  I actually started to cry as I was running because everytime I run and I start to feel like I can’t go any further I remind myself of people who cannot.  Whether these are family members who are no longer with me or are ill, I keep them with me to keep me going.  They are my running guardian angels.

Eventually I made it to the finish line under my goal time and about 1,000 people behind me.  Thank God because I didn’t want to come in last!

spring lake 5 finish line

I learned a lot of lessons that day but the most important is never to doubt yourself.  I may not be the best runner but I did better than the day before and that is an accomplishment in itself.

And I leave you with the best t-shirt winner. “Run like you stole something”

 

Summer Goals

Asbury Park 5k Wonder Bar

 

Last summer I decided to start running as a challenge to myself.  After a couple days, running became my therapy.  I would get up before sunrise, drive down to the beach, run a couple miles, take pics of the sun coming up over the ocean and think about how lucky I was to live here and being healthy enough to run.

This summer will be my second year as a runner.  I’m pretty excited but nervous at the same time because I have set a goal for myself that I hope I can meet.

The Jersey Shore Running Club has Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix races and if you complete all five you receive a special award.  Since I did seven 5k’s last year I figured, “I got this”!

The Golden Grand Prix includes two 5 milers and three 5K’s starting Memorial Day Weekend and ending Labor Day Weekend.  I also signed up for the Philadelphia Tap ‘N Run that has three beer stops along the way.  I always like to throw a fun run in!  Here’s the run down if you want to join me:

  • Spring Lake 5 Mile – May 24
  • Tap ‘N Run – Philadelphia – June 7
  • George Sheehan Classic, Red Bank – June 14
  • Belmar 5 Mile – July 12
  • Asbury Park 5k – August 9
  • Pier Hours 5k, Long Branch – Sept. 1

I have to admit I haven’t done any training or stuck to a healthy diet.  Motivation has ceased to exist lately and can’t seem to find the extra push to get me out the door.  When I was in the healthy zone it was so easy to keep up with.  I had planned my workouts for the week as well as meals.

It’s time to get serious becuase what I’m doing now is not working for me.  It’s time to get back on track and remind myself this is good for my physical and mental health!  I know that many people struggle with motivation so what’s your best advice to getting started on a healthy path?  What helps you push yourself out the door?

 

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

 

 

 

Daylight Savings Time = More Time To Run!

daylight my old friend

Like most people I have a love/hate relationship with daylight savings time.  In the fall when it’s time to “fall back” an hour I welcome the extra time but the lack of daylight is a downer.  It’s as if someone is telling us it’s time to hibernate for the next four months and eat comforting food.  I have no problem taking that direction but it has set me back from my goals!

This past winter has been very tough with staying on track in my journey.  The snow days made me crave carbs and the lack of daylight hours before and after work is unmotivating.

Before Christmas I was trying everything that was available to me: swimming, boot camp, the dreaded treadmill, kettlebells and resistance bands.  Then the holidays hit and I just gave up.

Daylight savings time has kicked back in but I have found the last few months have set me back.  I’m sure many of you struggle with this as well but more importantly, how did you get through it?  Am I going to be good March through October and mess up again next year?  I really need pointers on how to stay active year ‘round.

As far as the eating goes, Smart Ones has been able to help me introduce healthy meals into my routine again.  Starting off the day with a hearty breakfast has worked for me and the peaches & cream oatmeal  is quick to grab at work and tastes yummy!  Do you have any Smart Ones meals you love?

 

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

 

One Year

before and after 2013

It has been one year since I decided to make a change in my life.  This time last year I was unahppy with how I was running my own life.  I had bad eating habits, I hadn’t worked out in years and didnt’ even want to be social because I felt bad about myself.  These thoughts hanging over my head on a daily basis forced me to do something about it.

My journey has not been just about me.  There are so many people who have helped me along the way.  For example, I was lucky enough to have worked with people who were health consious.  Being surrounded by good habits helped me stick to my plan.  I also befriended a co-worker whose husband owned a gym and was introduced to a great program that challenged me, brought me confidence and new friends.

My family has been at every race; even the New Years Eve run in 15 degree weather.  My Aunt Rita who always said “Go Liz Go” on my Facebook posts never missed a beat.  My friends I have met along the way who understand the struggle and the workouts have been a great support.  It never occured to me that I would meet great people that are important to this change.  And lastly, those of you who follow my blog.  Most I know but a lot are strangers.  How awesome is it that I get to share my story and not feel like I’m the only one?  Amazing!

I am a better me than a year ago.  I’ve learned so much from others and learned a lot about myself.  I continue to set goals for myself and continue to learn.  This is an ongoing process just like life.

If you decide you want to be better then create a goal and then a plan.  If there is something in that plan that does not work for you, alter it but stick to your goals.