Working out


Some of my favorite moments of 2010…recapped here, in ‘moment-style’…

at this moment, surer than ever…

life, amplified.

the vacation of a lifetime. like whoa.

moving…again.

the best summer ever, hands down.

…turning a corner, and recovering, my little Nals.

prosseco on the beach. Um, yes.

Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine and Maine!

auntie throwdown…in style.

Tiago. Enough said.

sweating a weekend away.

honest, true, friendship. And some epic-ness.

simple, yet powerful.

bloggy friend meet-up!

BISC Vegas-style!

of pity parties and clarity.

...realizing I’m worth more.

one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

until this.

I’m sure I’m missing many moments from 2010 that I’d rewind 100 times over because of what they stood for, what they’ve helped me become, and of course for the fun many of them entail. 2010…you’ve been one hell of a year, and if it’s been *that* good, I can’t even imagine how good 2011 is going to be. I’m belted in, and ready for the ride.

Bring it.


Well friends, I must say, I had an amazing Thanksgiving and feel so thankful to have so much goodness in my life. It was a blur of a day, but a beautiful one at that.

First up? Wild Turkey Run in Salem and it was frigid.As in 30 degrees and major wind chills. And the entire route was by the water. As in, smack dab next to it. Needless to say, I couldn’t feel my ears, I couldn’t feel half of my face (the side facing the wind) or my legs. But I made it. I passed sections that were part of the Wicked Half marathon route, and it brought back flashbacks (some good, some bad!) and had a really tough side cramp. But Doctor Boy stuck by me the entire time and made sure I was okay. It felt awesome to share this with him, a race I’ve done for a few years now on Thanksgiving. One of the many things I love about him is being able to share in things that mean a lot to me (and vice versa) like running, and races (from time to time!). Thankful.

Next? I headed up to Maine to spend the day with my grandparents (who I thank God for every day that they are in such great health) and my mom. It was a quiet, small gathering, as my sisters were with their in-laws (we’ll all be together for Christmas though, which is exciting!), but it was wonderful to have so much one on one time with them. They genuinely care about my life, they wanted to hear all about Doctor Boy, and they are just the best. Thankful.

From there? I headed back home and to Doctor Boy’s parents’ house for dessert. I was slightly nervous as his uncle and brother and sister-in-law were there too and I wanted it to be good and fun and natural and not awkward. And it was! I was welcomed by his father who said “there she is! come in! come in!” which for some reason, made me smile and feel so happy. My heart swelled. I felt welcomedThankful.

Waking up this morning, Doctor Boy said my coming last night meant the world to him. He was so happy and said he can tell his family really likes me. That meant the world to me. I don’t think he is “used to” having someone in his life that wants to spend time with him and his family (perhaps his ex didn’t…), so when he says these things, I am still surprised, because of course I want to share these times with him. Isn’t that what love is all about? Thankful.

It’s been a great holiday so far, and as I sit here looking at the new Christmas tree I got today (and of course couldn’t wait to put it up!), I’m feeling thankful and excited for the holidays to come.

…and I haven’t accomplished *all* of my resolutions I created for the “year of me?”After reading a recent post from Quarter For Her Thoughts, I figure it was high time to take stock in my resolutions and see what’s left.

The good news?

I’ve accomplished one of the biggest – that I never thought I would – finding love.

But the one goal I really wish I met (and though there is still time, I find it relatively unlikely I’ll have time to accomplish this one, sadly)?

Making my blog ME (buying my domain, getting self-hosted etc). It’s still one of the things that I want to do, and am vowing to go bigger and better in 2011. (and/or write a bloggy book – who’s up for it, ahem?)

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in 2011 and even more near-term, over the winter, especially physically. I think I need a new challenge. I passed Group Kick, I ran a half marathon (check off the ole resolution list there, too!) and now, I’m sort of just getting back into my workout routine, with a mix of running, spinning, weights, and Kick.

But I’m bored with it. I need something new. My body craves a challenge.

I think I know what it is.

But it scares the bejesus out of me.

What is it, you ask?

Swimming.

Yep. I think I need to *finally* learn how to swim.

Why?

To train for a triathlon, but of course (again, ahem, let’s do it!)!

It’s something I have been toying with, and I think I really need to just go for it. Ronda Uncensored has been learning to swim and she’s my inspiration to do it too. I know it’ll be good for me, but it’ll also open a ton of other fitness challenges and goals, too.

So, I think that’s my goal for the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011…whatcha say?

 

 

 

Holy shit.

That was the hardest thing I have ever done IN. MY. LIFE.

No joke.

I actually had a really bad run this morning (of course, the one time it truly counts!) and felt myself hitting a wall as early as THREE miles in…so I knew it was going to be a really tough course, mentally and physically. I ran strong, though, through mile 8 or 9, and then got a really bad side cramp – debilitating level. The kind where you can’t breathe, and every time you breathe in, it feels like stabbling pain.

Um, yea.

Did I mention it was close to 75 when we started and 83 when we finished?!

That didn’t help. At all.

But rather than focus on the negative and while I am dissapointed at my finish (2 hrs 50 mins when I was aiming for 2 hrs 40 mins), I crawled, scratched and forced myself to that finish line, even though there were times when I wanted to sit down and cry. My brother in law Scott’s father (aka my “adopted” in-laws!) met me at mile 11 and walked almost a full mile with me and that truly was one of the biggest things that kept me going. I ran most of the last two miles and when I saw that finish line, I just about crumpled.

But I ran through it and crossed that finish line.

Wow. I’m a half-marathoner.

Wow.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your support – in-person, here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You are all amazing. I love you all!

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And on another note, please say prayers for my sister Jen. She is back in the hospital today, for a few days, battling an infection from her c-section. My mom wasn’t able to make it to watch us cross (but Mark was, and he took some great pics – see here – and I will post more when I get them!) but I am so very glad she was with her instead. I talked to Jen today, we cried together, and I told her how much I love her and Isabel. Please say a prayer – if you pray – and just keep her in your mind, either way. Thank you.

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A few pics from the race…

Pre-race - we look so damn chipper!

Steph and me pre-race - also chipper!

me and Jess post-race - a wee bit tired!

The group post-race - my eyes tell it all!

Happy Quote Friday everyone – today’s post is a little different in that my quote – while still inspirational – is very much focused on my challenge ahead. In less than 16 hours, I will run my very first half-marathon.

Gulp.

My goal is so perfectly stated in today’s quote, borrowed from a post my sister wrote a few months ago:

“Run if you can, walk if you must, crawl if you have to – just don’t stop.”

THAT is exactly my goal for tomorrow’s Wicked Half Marathon – with 950 runners (a record number!), it’s going to be insane…not to mention the temps tomorrow are supposed to hit 86 (Indian Summer – bring. it. on), so it will be a little warmer than I thought, as well. But, right now, at this very moment, I am a ball of nervous energy, excited to tackle it and even more excited to cross that finish line. I know that no matter what, that is going to be one of the best feelings in the world.

Me.

A half-marathoner.

Running 13.1 miles with my sister, my brother in law and one of my close friends  Steph – we’ve come a long way (literally as well!), and I am excited to get ‘er done!! It already feels amazing to have run 12.4 miles, which was a huge mental and physical challenge, last week, but it gave me the confidence I need to run that last .7 miles to the finish. And when I’m done, I hope I can utter these words…mentioned by yet another great friend (who will be coming to celebrate with us in wine country in less than a week!), Meg:

“The woman who starts this race, isn’t the same woman who finishes it.”

*Chills*

Damn straight.

GAME ON!!

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As for the rest of my weekend? A kick-ass Wicked Half party at my sister’s house – which will include friends as well as Doctor Boy, and then a wine tasting event (with Doctor Boy as well, whee!) in Boston on Sunday for Boston Wine Week.

Cheers friends!

As the ‘unofficial’ end to summer has rolled around, I thought I would do a ‘backwards’ bucket list since I never got around to posting my summer bucket list in the first place, and also because reviewing the summer that was makes me smile.  Though it wasn’t the summer I thought it was in some ways, it made up for it in others, and it’s the first summer I’ve felt that I have truly, 100% enjoyed the living shit out of summer. Yep, that’s right, enjoyed the living shit out of it….how do you like them apples?! (puppies and rainbows…puppies and rainbows!)

So, some of the moments I’ll remember most of sun-drenched days and starlit nights?

  • Bloggers in Sin City! Though this was in May, it still “counts” and was an amazing experience. I’ve met so many bloggers, I met some of my favorites (Shannon, Akirah, Erika and BB) with one of my favorites (TiWID)
  • Meeting INRIS and C!
  • The Cathe Road Trip, sweating like whoa, and meeting Heather!
  • Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine, and oh, Maine!
  • Rockclimbing! <–bucket list item!
  • Some fanfrickintastic times at the beach, most recently in particular (today was another amazing beach day with another kick friend, Jacqui. Gorgeous weather!)
  • Running, running and more running – 3 weeks til the Wicked Half. Rocked another 10 miles today and it feels so much more real now <–bucket list item!
  • Lots of cookouts, beach time, lake time and enjoying a lot of moments with friends, sisters, family and kitties.
  • Listening to the waves lap at the shore, bonfire on the lake, watching the sparking water glisten on an early morning run, and lots and lots of laughs, wine, and food. What more could a girl ask for?

Some other moments I will never forget?

  • When Nala fell ill, turned a corner, and when she finally was off her medication – she’s now over 8.5 lbs. I feel blessed.
  • A tragedy in my hometown that once again reminds me how much I love my sisters…we spent some special moments together this summer, in part, because of that, I think.
  • Feeling my soon-to-be-niece kick, and looking so forward to loving her and continuing auntie throwdown like whoa!

What’s missing from this list? Dating, for the most part. I didn’t date much this summer, though I hoped to, and I also hoped to find love and/or at least find someone worth dating or entering a relationship with, but I’ve realized you can’t rush it, it’ll come when it’s meant to, and I can hope like hell it will happen, but I know I just need to keep faith that it will, and in the process, have a little fun.

So…fall, whatdya got for me?! Beyond my niece being born, which is rightaroundthecorner, moving (next weekend) and my trip to wine country at the end of the month, the sky’s the limit and I can’t wait to enjoy the shit out of fall and winter too. Bring it!

Okay, so not *quite* famous – but check out how many times my sister and I (and Heather, in glimpses!) are in the Cathe Road Trip promotional video!! Count how many times you see us and you win a prize…an autograph! 😉 Just kidding, that won’t be worth anything until we’re *really* famous!

Balance is something crystallized for me during the Cathe Road Trip (and is something that runs through my veins, and given I’m a Libra, is no surprise!) this weekend…in a few different areas.

Well, first of all, I crave balance. Not too much, not too little, juuuust right.

It makes me calm.

It makes me feel like life’s right where it should be.

When I don’t have balance, I feel like life’s out of whack and I struggle.

Balance means routine…even though sometimes I need to buck routing and just go with the flow (which means balance, right??)

Balance, to me also means moderation.

In attending this year’s Road Trip, I looked around at the 100+ women (and two men – brave troopers!) and saw some mega-ripped hard bodies, six-pack abs and guns like whoa (which of course, I envy. Good arms are hot!), and almost immediately compared myself.

I’m not *as* ripped. Not nearly.

Yet I work out probably as much as many of them.

I’m not as skinny as some of them.

But I enjoy a glass of wine here and there (okay in moderation, but sometimes quite a bit, though I try to cap it to weekends!) and that’s my choice.

Balance.

But I AM as dedicated – if not more – to my health and happiness. Which also means mental happiness. Which means not depriving myself, but believing in “everything in moderation.”

I think some of these women at the Road Trip could take a page from the book of moderation and balance, because sure, they look ridiculously fit, but isn’t life also about enjoying life, including food and wine? Maybe it’s just me, but I love food (don’t we all?!) and if I tell myself I can “never” have a bagel or “never” have a piece of cake…do I really want to look back at my life when I’m in my 80s and say “wow, I never got to eat cake, did I??” – but for what? To feel like THE best looking, hottest body around? What’s wrong with the way I am now?

I guess I realize that I don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and love my life. And calling myself beautiful is not something I easily do, because I – like many woman – compare myself to almost everyone I see. On TV. At work. On the street. Among my friends. I can always find some feature in someone else that I want…which I know isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, and a habit I’m trying to break – but the fact that I am writing this out and saying it – is huge (and I hope I now don’t sound egotistical! I think all women are beautiful!!).

So…in going back to balance. It is a choice for me. One I think about every day and sometimes struggle with. I am my own worst enemy, as we know, and I overthink. A lot. All the way down to “did I really need that Skinny Cow ice cream?” <– hello, it’s 140 calories, not 500! See how my mind works?!

And I think balance should be applauded and embraced. Join me, will you? Do you crave balance? Are you really strict in some areas of your life and not in others? What drives your balance factor?

As I draft this blog post in the Philly airport, my calves are on fire, my thighs are aching and if someone asks me to do one more jumping jack, plyo jump, mountain climber or tuck jump, I may cry or quite possibly slap you...however, I am happy – that workout high that just won’t quit!

So, rather than go through a play-by-play of the Cathe Road Trip weekend (much of which you can gather from the agenda I posted the other day, however, they DID add a spinning class in right after bootcamp once we got there, stepping up the intensity like whoa!), I thought I’d post some of the most memorable moments of the weekend:

  • Co-teaching a couple of kickboxing tracks with Cathe – yes, I’m serious! Within the first 5 minutes of our very first workout on Friday night, Cathe called us out by name to come up and teach a couple of moves! Jess and I about died and went to heaven in that moment – we were thrilled (and okay, a wee bit scared!) and we taught a simple hook/upper combo, but it was amazing!! So fun and I will never forget that moment!
  • Meeting Heather! That was awesome – we had a great time rooming together, laughing and sweating it out (and blogging across the room from each other! Surreal!). One random fact – she’s shorter than I thought she would be (not that I should talk, ms. 5’3′ me!).
  • Wearing our ‘I heart Cathe’ tank tops that were a huge success with the group of 8 of us wearing them proudly and getting not only a great shot with Cathe, but a group shot with the other instructors in her DVDs! Amazing (and we’re sooooo making it to the Cathe calendar again this year, I can feel it!)
  • Loving doing a bazillion jumping jacks – NOT. Wow, I never realized a) how much I hate them and b) how hard it is to jack when your calves are on fire. Why were they on fire? Step class! They always kill me. I’m literally hobbling around as we speak. But a good pain…no pain, no gain!
  • Sweating more than I have ever sweat before in spin class (which was back to back to bootcamp class). I was literally completely drenched from head to toe and had no towel and was sitting there in complete awe that I could in fact be sweating as much as I was. Can you tell I love a good adrenaline rush?!
  • By the numbers? 8 workouts – spin (our bonus class we took Fri morning before things kicked off, cuz why not!) and step/kickboxing on Friday night, step/abs, bootcamp, spin, yoga, and cardio core circuit/upper body weights on Saturday (and Zumba that night but I watched only, had no more energy left!) and lower body blast/plyo legs this morning. Total calorie burn? about 2500 calories throughout the weekend. Damn.
  • Sneaking a glass (or two!) of wine during our shower/rest break before dinner at the gym Saturday night. Seriously the wine could have been 2-buck-chuck and it would have tasted like a $50 bottle of wine. Much-needed and savored!

So, all in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I had an amazing time with everyone from last year, and meeting new friends this year. Looking back, a lot has changed in the year that I’ve been at the roadtrip, but a lot has also stayed the same, and though some of the things that have stayed the same (like still being single) felt like a bit of a downer at first, I feel good, I know my life is on the track it should be and quite frankly, I feel blessed.

Hope you enjoyed your weekends – and here are a few pics from the weekend below.

Jess and me upon our arrival Thurs night - all smiles pre-RT!

Our crew of chicks with our cute 'I Heart Cathe' tank tops that were a huge hit!

Scored a group shot with the 4 other instructors that are in Cathe's DVDs!

Group shot with Cathe and she has her hand on my arm - star moment 😉

Pre-5-workout day (and pre-sweat)

Yay - Cathe and me!!

Jess and me sporting our super cute 'Cathelete' tshirts at brunch today.

Happy quote Friday everyone! Just a quickie from the Cathe Road Trip (we have a quieter day today, though we did kick it off with a wicked hahhhd spin class at the gym, things don’t get rolling till this afternoon though, officially) – today’s quote”

“The only failure is the failure to try”

This one grabbed me today because of how much I try to push, push, push to new levels with everything that I do – and in this case, with this weekend, this signifies my constant interest and pursuit of challenging myself physically (and also mentally) with the workouts and goals I set for myself. It’s something I’ve dedicated myself 10X over since getting divorced, it’s just something that I love and makes me feel alive.

This year already, I am proud of myself for not failing in the face of challenge – when Group Kick got frustrating, extremely hard, and tiring, I kept at it, and passed, when running becomes overwhelming as I try to up my pace to hit the 13.1 miles for the half marathon, I keep at it, and it will come…and when I wake up tired and don’t want to move, getting up and moving actually makes me feel better. And I try my best not to fail, because this is what runs through my veins, this is what I am passionate about and if I’m passionate about it…I won’t fail.

What are you passionate about? What do you keep at and not want to fail at?

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Enjoy your weekends everyone and of course I’ll share a recap of the weekend ahead. I’m going to drink it in and enjoy every.last.moment.

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