Go Easy On Yourself…and Run Hard

A few weeks ago I was riding the bus on my way into work doing my daily routine: I was bundled up, sweating my butt off, and had my nose buried in twitter on my phone. As I scrolled through, I noticed my good friend Hannah from college had tweeted about a New York Times article called “Go Easy on Yourself“. Since I am always my own toughest critic, I decided to click the link and then wait the painfully long loading period for the article to pull up on my blackberry.

The article did a great job of speaking to how people, women in particular, put themselves through mental anguish, which doesn’t decrease a certain behavior, but rather increases. For instance, bad eating habits, those people that maybe eat a donut, enjoy it and move on are in a better place than people who eat a donut, beat themselves up over it, and then the stress of the mental battle leaves them reaching for another donut. Ahh the destructive cycle…

While I definitely do have a hard time resisting the urge to reach for another baked good, my issues don’t lie in food per se, but more beating myself up over mistakes at work, a misunderstanding with a friend, a snide remark someone could have meant in jest, you name it, I am usually over thinking it and making myself pay for it.

The office has never been a good place for my tendency for self loathing, but exercise has always been my chance to achieve equilibrium. It’s my time to feel free, work out my stress and feel satisfied and proud of myself for what I have accomplished. Certainly that is the complete opposite from mentally abusing oneself.

My journey back to an even keel really began when I started seriously swimming in 5th grade and in many ways it saved me from the stress of school, cliques in middle and high school, family issues, boy issues, you name it, the water was always my therapy. I find it so funny that in reality when I was the hardest on myself in the physical sense, it was always the most satisfying for me, mentally. Due to work schedules and lack of pools, I turned to running in 2006 to fill the swimming void and wasted no time signing up for a half marathon. I feel lucky that I have been able to find the same therapeutic, self help qualities in running as I did in swimming.

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Saying Goodbye to Ski Season

I can’t believe it, but I LOVE skiing. The chance to get outside during the cold winter months, take in the beautiful scenery and get a killer workout have made me come around and love this sport. I originally fell out of love with skiing when I was in 6th grade and became very serious about swimming. Luckily, it was the right decision at the time, because I was horribly accident prone and omitting skiing from my workout routine was probably for the best. Now that I’m a working professional, there is no reason not to test fate and get out there!

This weekend Foxy & I went up to Stowe to visit my brother and sister in law and hit the slopes!

Loading up on the Gondola on Mount Mansfield

My brother and sister in law getting ready to race down Gondlier, clearly my competitive streak is shared by my siblings 🙂

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The Ski Capital of The East

Ahhh…3 day weekend, we meet again. This Friday Foxy and I are putting up our Out of Office replies and getting an early start to the weekend in VT. Why the vacation day? We are heading up to Stowe & Jay Peak to visit my brother and sister in law. My bro and sis in law are luck enough to live in the adorable town of Stowe, VT, and are nice enough to let us stay with them during ski season 🙂 We’re looking forward to a great weekend of skiing, though we will undoubtedly get our butts handed to us on the slopes by my ski bunny brother and sister in law.

The mountain is absolutely beautiful, and perhaps I’m biased, but I think it’s the best mountain in all of New England.

The town is also absolutely adorable, full of cute shops, pubs, gorgeous churches and covered bridges…

And of course, they do get a ton of snow, so it makes for great skiing. This will probably be our last ski trip of the 2011 season, so we have to go out with a bang!

I’m hoping to ski all three days, which will definitely make me extremely sore. I say, BRING IT ON! In addition, I’m hoping to squeeze in a quick run (or two) while I’m there so I don’t fall too far behind on the 100 Miles in March Challenge. Stowe is extremely hilly, so I figure it’s never too early to start prepping my legs for a little race I signed up for in July 😉

What are you up to this weekend?

Paying for Over Indulging

For the most part, I consider myself a healthy eater. I like to stick to whole grains, fresh, local ingredients and I’m obsessed with produce. My whole work day actually revolves around eating! I try my best to make good decisions, but sometimes I have a hard time resisting temptation. What makes it especially hard is the amount of sweets and junk food that filter in and out of my office. Oh, and the two award winning bakeries around the corner from my office? Those don’t help either.

So after a workoutless weekend, I arrived at my office Monday morning determined to be EXTRA good. That was until lunch time when a few of my coworkers went out and bought cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday! These aren’t just any cupcakes, they are melt in your mouth, LIFE CHANGING cupcakes… I resisted for as long as possible, and then decided to have a quarter of a cupcake, that can’t be all that bad, right?

Then, a an hour later, another quarter…then 30 minutes later “Oh, I didn’t notice this wonderful s’mores cupcake” Another quarter.

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DetermiNation Volunteering and a New Addition

It was a busy weekend, none of which (sadly) included running. First up? The DetermiNation NE Hyannis Team event: A tour of Fenway Park! For those who haven’t been to Boston before, I HIGHLY recommend the Fenway Tour, it costs about $15 and it is a great chance to hear some wicked awesome Boston accents and learn about America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.

Checking out the coveted Green Monster seats

See you in a few weeks!!!! 🙂

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The First DetermiNation Pub Run and I’m Running the SF Marathon!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m involved in the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program.

I walked over from my office and met up with the crew at The Point in Faneuil Hall. I normally avoid bars in Faneuil Hall at all costs, but since this was a school night and we were heading out for a run, I made an exception. We all introduced one another and then set off for our 5 mile run!

Here is part of the crew in a cute, pre-sweaty picture (don’t mind the Bud Light Court Street sign)

We set out for a route running through downtown and doing a big loop into the Seaport District of Boston. I had a great time chatting with fellow committee members and other newbies that were joining us for the first time. We all started in a pack together, and then slowly clumped together in groups of 2-3 each. I ran with two girls from the North End Running Club, Amber and Monica. Amber was exceptionally speedy, so at times I felt like I was sprinting at max pace to keep up with her! One small downside was since this was our first run we missed a turn which ended up shaving .7 off of our run. No one really seemed to mind the shortened distance and everyone agreed they were fine with running 4.25 vs 5.0. We all finished and cheered, such a great first group run!

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Wellness Wednesday Dates

It’s not uncommon for me to call, text or email with friends and while reconnecting, for one of us to say “let’s get together for some drinks!” Don’t get me wrong, I love having a good time, but I’ve grown pretty sick of the icky-ness that I feel after drinks the on a “school night.” There is basically nothing worse than being hungover at work…nothing! I guess I might be growing out of my old school “Happy Hour” ways after all!

So, what to do when you want to get together with friends and make healthy decisions vs unhealthy ones? Enter Wellness Wednesdays! My friend Katy and I started making dates to try out different yoga classes, and we realized that we kept on landing on Wednesdays. Eventually we started nicknaming these Wednesday get togethers “Wellness Wednesdays”, and sometimes when time allows, eat a healthy dinner together.

Don’t get me wrong, the party girl in me will NEVER go away…

Ultimate Party Girls rocking out at a wedding September 2010

But this party girl is trying to focus some of that intensity into accomplishing all of my workout goals of 2011!

Plus this week I have my new Lulu Lemon Scoop neck tank to make me feel pretty while sweating up a storm. SO excited. I’ve been coveting this for about a year now!

This week’s wellness Wednesday? Core Fusion Cardio Class at Exhale

Presidents Day Weekend Recap

After what felt like the longest week known to man, Friday evening, the weekend arrived. After cooking myself dinner, changing into sweats and putting on HGTV, it was time to relax. I forced myself to stay up until 10pm and planned my weekend to fit in a variety of runs, yoga classes and go swimming at my gym.

I woke up on Saturday morning, to a somewhat sunny, yet windy day and head out for a run along the water in my neighborhood, South Boston.

Sugar Bowl

Don't let the sun fool you, it was cold & windy!

The first part of the run was windy, but I enjoyed seeing the sun and being outside. Running head on into the wind was made the run quite comical, and as I saw my pace jump up to 11 minute miles at times, I just decided to go with the flow. It was a long weekend after all 🙂

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South Boston Yoga

As a commitment to my health, one of my major new year’s resolutions was to go to a yoga class once a week. After checking out a class at my gym, Prana Power Yoga, I finally tried South Boston Yoga. The studio recently upgraded to a larger space, located right across the street from the Broadway Red Line T stop. The studio is relatively convenient for me, located on the opposite edge of my neighborhood and a 15 minute walk from my office. I opted to try the Hot Yoga class, in hopes that I would up my chances to avoid injuries this summer. I absolutely LOVED the class.

Below are a few quick pros and cons:

Pros

  • Amazingly convenient, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
  • Great showers, changing areas, bathrooms, they were really clean and modern
  • Lockers, again, thank you!
  • Great instructors
  • Free class for first time visitors
  • If you bring a friend (who is visiting for their first time) you get a free class and so do they!
  • Absolutely NO attitude!! I loved how laid back and relaxed the staff and class goers were

Cons

  • The hot yoga room isn’t truly hot yoga. The room is warm, but it’s not to the same temperature as traditional hot yoga. The studio is still working out the details since their move in September, so this should be changing soon

That’s it for a con, and it’s not a bad thing! I look forward to visiting South Boston Yoga once a week to stay injury free! Hoooray!

South Boston Yoga is located at 36 West Broadway Boston, MA 02127

Namaste.

Worth the Hurt!

Remember that time I swore I wouldn’t run a Marathon in 2011? Or that time I said I was doing everything in my power to resist running a marathon? I was doing a great job, until Aron over at Runner’s Rambles posted a San Francisco Marathon Entry Give Away. I hesitated for a moment, and the cupid on my shoulder was telling me “No, no! Don’t do it” and the endorphin loving masochist in me said “go, go! Sign up!” So I guess it’s no shocker who won that battle, because I entered. Not once, but twice. I guess I really can’t help myself!

I’ve never been to San Francisco, let alone any part of California, so visions of a wonderful race weekend danced through my head. I’ve always wanted to go, and have SF built up as my “dream stateside vacation”.  I never really win anything, but I had a sneaky feeling that my luck might just turn around and I would win this give away.

This morning I received an email from Aron telling me to check out her blog and my heart started racing “could it be?!” I read her post on the changes to the Boston registration and qualifying standards and then I noticed at the bottom of her post that she said I HAD WON!! AHHH!

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