I’m going streaking (or four things I’m excited about right now)

I’ve never been a streaker, you know someone who runs every day for a streak of time, but I figured I needed a kick in the bum, so I signed up for the #Spartan30 Mile a Day Challenge (exciting thing #1).  I figure a mile a day won’t get me into trouble with any overuse injuries- and on these cold days, it’s enough motivation to get me into the gym (once I’m there, I’ll actually work).  I’m on day 2, and I’ve kept up with it.
Whooooo streaking!

#Spartan30

The next thing I’m psyched about is all of the MONEY I’ve been spending lately.  I spent $500 on two items this week.  Seriously, I’m like a sieve with broth – the dollars are just passing right through my fingers.  My first big purchase was an entry into The Nation’s Tri (#2)!

Ever since I finished my first sprint tri last August, I’ve wanted to do an Olympic distance race.  Since I lived in DC for years, I know it’s one of my favorite places to run (I went on a casual morning run without a watch while visiting for a bachelorette party last spring and ended up running 8 miles).  I have some amazing friends who still live in the district, AND I know where I can get a killer bloody mary post-race.

VEGGIES
ALL THE VEGGIES

My second major purchase was to join a CSA (3)!  I’ve been planning to join one for literally 3 years, and every spring I found a reason not to.  In 2011, I was in grad school and could never make the pick up times.  In 2012, I didn’t try to sign up early enough and all the shares were gone.  In 2013, I just couldn’t bring myself to pony up the $350 all at once.  Well I finally did it (thanks to a little liquid courage and distress over the Eagles game), and I’m really looking forward to a summer full of farm fresh veggies.  I am also very excited to finally be supporting a local farm.  Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is really in line with my views on health, the environment, and (what I hope will be) the future of agricultural policy in this country.  If you want to learn more about CSA’s, and if you live in New York City and want to join one, check out justfood.org.

Finally, I’m really excited about this podcast I just listened to on The Fat Burning Man Show (4).  Now, before you judge (YES Abel James looks like such a DOUCHE, but it really is a pretty good podcast), give it a listen.  Don’t watch the video – seriously, who can stand looking at so much V-neck – just listen to the podcast.  Download it on iTunes and listen to it on the subway, or in the car, or at the gym, because it is the BEST conversation on optimum human diet that I have ever listened to.

It’s nothing revolutionary, but Chris Kresser discusses how he evaluates which studies and claims are actually good and which are not, and concludes that there is not a “one size fits all” perfect diet that works for everyone.  There’s a baseline of things that are clearly pretty good for you, and a baseline of things that are clearly pretty bad for you, but you have to fine tune your eating habits based on your body’s reactions to different foods.  I’m so tired of being fed these all or nothing approaches, so this discussion (and probably the subject of Chris’s book The Personal Paleo Code – which I have not read) was super refreshing.  Yay for common sense!

So those are my four exciting things of the moment – oh, and you know what, one more – some of my amazing friends have hooked me up with some great new recipes after my call for help last post!  THANK YOU!

What’s exciting in your world right now?

The Government Shutdown Cancelled My Race

I’m supposed to be running the last few miles of a half marathon on the beach right now.  It was going to be my last race of the year (since I’m throwing in the towel on my full marathon in November), I was going to run it with my parents, and there was a post-race party planned.  In short, today was going to be an awesome time.

Unfortunately, that race was the Jersery Shore Half Marathon, and it takes place in Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, NJ- a national park.   I received an email on Tuesday:

“Dear Runners;
With the Government shutdown starting on Tuesday Oct 1, 2013, The Park at Sandy Hook is closed. It is a National Park. If the Government reopens by Friday we will have the race on Sunday October 6, 2013. If the Government is still shutdown, we have to cancel the race. You may defer to 2014 or pick up your shirt at the McLoone?s Parking Lot in Sea Bright onSunday October 6, 2013 starting at 7:00 a.m. Sorry, there are no refunds and we do not mail out shirts.

Please check our website http://jerseyshorehalfmarathon.com/
Jersey Shore Running web site at: http://www.jsrc.org/
Freehold Area Running Club at: http://www.farcnj.com/

Thank you for your understanding; it is an issue out of our control.
Yours in Running, the Race Committee
Jersey Shore Half Marathon.”

The black toenail I earned in training will get no glory!
The black toenail I earned in training will get no glory!

Well, all know what happened next. Thanks a lot Congress.  You’re getting in the way of my healthy fun!  Frankly, the shutdown has just dealt me a solid disappointment – not the end of the world – but there are thousands of people directly affected by the shutdown (and these goats- ha!).  My hope is that our policymakers get their sh*t together and learn to work across the aisle to get things done.  It’s going to be a very rocky road for all of us if they continue to live in ideological bubbles.

So I want to know, what are your thoughts on the shutdown?  Has it affected you at all?

A Healthy Family Weekend

Do you ever feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend?  Yea – that’s me right now.  I’m parked on the couch, with dinners for the week cooking in the oven, wishing that tomorrow was Sunday instead of Monday.  Alas!

Although I’m wiped, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.  I spent a little time out on Friday with my love and some friends, had a good class on Saturday morning, and had a great time hanging with my family for the rest of the weekend.  Win, win, win!

I may have told you already, but it’s worth repeating, my family is amazing.  My parents are incredible role models.  They are both healthy, fit individuals who have balanced parenthood, their relationship, and careers with grace – and a sense of humor (seriously, is there any other way to get through this crazy life?).   My little brother, Liam, is totally inspiring.  He’s following his dreams and pursuing a career as an actor – I’m so proud of him!  Anyhow, we’re four pretty busy people, and since we haven’t all lived in the same house in  nine years, we don’t get to spend that much time together.

PINK SPRINKLES

Liam and I made dinner on Saturday night – bison burgers on lettuce wraps with asparagus and sweet potato fries – and then we hit up a long-time family favorite: Annie’s Water Ice!  (If you don’t know what water ice is- go here- then find the closest place that sells it, because it is wonderful.)  I picked a small twist soft-serve with PINK sprinkles.  I know they’re the same as the rainbow sprinkles, but there’s just something so delightful about the fact that they are all pink.  Worth the indulgence!

On Sunday, we were up and out bright and early to head to Philadelphia for the Four Seasons Parkway Run and Walk.   The 5K run and walk raises funds for the cancer center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and we were there to run as Kellen’s Crusaders.  Kellen is an enormously adorable young man (ok, he’s two) and a cancer survivor.   His mom happens to be a friend/co-worker of my mom, so we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate Kellen and support CHOP.   I’d like to note that we all look EXCEPTIONAL at 8am on a Saturday…

Kellens Crusaders

Anyhow, all four of us ran the ENTIRE 5K together.  Given the general congestion at big races like this, I was super impressed.  We nailed it – weren’t too fast – but we did it as a family, and it was phenomenal.  (Sidenote- how is it that my brother is so much taller than the rest of us?)

After the race, I bummed a ride back to Brooklyn and we had lunch at a cute Italian place in Carroll Gardens.  Instead of ordering our own dishes, we ordered two protein dishes and one pasta dish and split them!  It was a great way to get to enjoy everything that comes with eating Italian food, without overeating or overloading on carbohydrates.  (We may or may not have gotten fro yo later on, but we’ll excuse that unhealthy bit as a celebration that we were all together.  Cool.)

I’m so grateful to have a family that enjoys running, moving, celebrating life, AND eating together.  A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and my family has given me a really great sense of how to find that balance.

Do you enjoy healthy activities with your family?  Are you looking for ways to get your family on board with your healthy lifestyle?  I’d love to hear what others are doing!

Is it cool if I change my mind?

Sooo… I don’t want to run another marathon.

Whew – I said it.  It’s out there.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running, and I’m looking forward to the half I’m running in two weeks, but I just do. not. want. to. run. a. marathon. I am really glad I ran one in 2011 (and trained for one in 2012), but I want to do other things!  I want to go to yoga class, and lift weights, and ride my bike, and swim laps, and spend time with loved ones, and go on adventures, and learn new things, AND run.  Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough hours in my week to run 30-50 miles and do all those other things.

Now, I’ve been signed up to run the Bucks County Marathon for months, and I’ve been training for weeks.  I’m not writing off the race altogether,  but I’m giving myself permission to change my mind.  In the next few weeks, if I’m not feeling jazzed about running the marathon, I’m not going to run it.  Is it quitting?  Yea.  Does it make me a quitter? Nah.  It means I’m being honest with myself and my schedule right now.  It means I’m being an adult and recognizing that I can’t do everything.  We only get so much time, and we get to chose how to spend it.

Have you ever started down a path (or training plan) that wasn’t working for you?  Did you change direction?  How did it go?

Rockstar Series: Volume Four

Guess what day it is?!  (Hint- NOT hump day)

It’s Rockstar Series day!  (I know what you’re thinking- it happens on the same day every time?  It seems so random… You are right.  I am a hot mess who can’t commit to the same day to post these.  I like to surprise you with these on different days because they are like presents!)

Now that you’re really, really excited, I’d like to introduce you to Melayna.  She is a rockstar (obviously) – who manages to exercise on the reg AND have perfect hair every time I see her.   It is MAGICAL, but that isn’t what makes her such a rockstar.  She’s kicking ass in her career, social life, love life, and health – and she still eats ice cream.

In Melayna’s own words:

Ice cream dilling
Evidence of Dilling

I really like ice cream. No, really. I’m not the type to take a little spoon and a little bowl and serve myself three little scoops of vanilla.

I’m the type who sits with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup and finishes a half pint (okay fine—I’m lying—FULL pint) while watching a Netflix marathon of Friday Night Lights Say Yes to the Dress Bad-Nick-Cannon-Movie-#34 Mad Men. I do this with pretty much 0% guilt and 100% satisfaction. My roommate and I affectionately refer to this as ‘dilling.’ Dilling is a verb that captures the essence of the actions and behaviors associated with satisfied laziness. Dill time is sacred in apartment 14. SACRED, I tell you.

I suppose the purpose of this guest blog is to discuss healthy living and, after admitting to all that/sorry mum, I will discuss this as it pertains to my life. I am not a mutant, just a normal gal who enjoys life.

Dilling is a big part of my life. It contributes to my mental health on many levels and I cherish the time I spend dilling and the dills who dill with me—you know who you are. It leaves me feeling happy and refreshed after a long week. I truly believe that as a twenty-some year old with relatively little responsibility (blah-blah job, blah-blah calling the mumsy, blah-blah giving hugs to the boyfriend) I can allow myself this time.  The last few years have been filled with great change for me. I finished up with grad school, found meaningful work in my industry, kicked out some bitchy cancer that was occupying my thyroid, and figured out a way to successfully balance my life. It’s been swell and that’s really my secret to health—balance. I love my pints of ice cream, beer, chips, pasta, bread, whatever-comes-in-pint-form, but I always make time to balance out those choices. Let me answer some questions Aubrie asked to elaborate!

What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?

A healthy lifestyle, to me, means that I am eating, moving, and enjoying. Healthy is not dieting. Diets are stupid and weird. I definitely watch what I eat, but it’s more like, “Oh hey! I need to stop eating so many bagels for a while and get back into eating oatmeal for breakfast.” I also love running. I am no athlete, but running just makes sense. I run outside and I love feeling like I’m tavelling somewhere. I also try and make the most of my commute. I have a Citibike membership and I usually bike to and fro’ my office in Flatiron. It’s a quick commute and gives me some energy to start and finish my day.

Mumsy and I. First race!
Mumsy and Melayna

Usually I come home from work and immediately go for a run. I try not to let myself melt into the couch (a real fear) after a long day, but rather throw on some trainers and hit the pavement. Then I come home and cook something delicious for dinner, like pasta. I try and run 6 days a week, but it usually works out to about 4-5. I run 3-4 miles each time and I feel great afterwards. It also keeps my stress level at almost 0, and that is worth a lot to me.  Sometimes I’m itching to run and other times it’s forced, but I never regret it.

Have you always been a health guru?  Where did you pick up your healthy habits?

Honestly, I have no idea! I just know what feels good, mentally and physically, and I have always tried to keep those feelings sustained. About 4 years ago, before I started running on the regular, I went for a hike in Vermont with some friends and felt winded. I got home from the trip and went for a run (a walk-run!) and never stopped. I do it for me and no one else. I always tell myself, “It doesn’t matter how fast or how far, but that you’re doing it.”

I’m in a rut.  What would you advise to help me integrate healthy habits back into my life? 

Start something new. Anything. Make it active and, for pete’s sake, make it fun. This is your life, not some weird movie about saving the human race, so don’t allow any judgment!