2012 Retrospect

Confession: I don’t really want to look back on this year. I mean, I DO because it’s over and I’m happy about that but I DON’T because whenever I think about it, I cry.

And not pretty cry. I ugly cry about it.

It seems like a far-off nightmare that I have only just recently woken from to realize that I have my life back and can do the things I like/want to do instead of planning my day around bathrooms and getting shot up with poison.

I much prefer to be out running that doing most any other thing. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

I much prefer to be out running that doing most any other thing. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

Instead, I prefer to say I learned a lot of stuff in 2012.

  • I learned that my husband is THE BEST.
  • I learned that sickness can bring people together & make relationships stronger.
  • I learned who my friends are, cliché but true.
  • I learned that father-daughter bonding happens over the strangest conversations.
  • I learned where every single bathroom in Central Park is located & which I prefer.
  • I learned that videos of my niece make me smile even while drugged up post-op.
  • I learned that I am smarter than I give myself credit for.
  • I learned that a mother’s instinct extends well beyond childhood.
  • I learned that flowers & cards make me happy when I’m blue.
  • I learned that I am only limited by myself.
  • I learned that scars don’t matter so much as the story behind them.
  • I learned that Twitter & Facebook can be places of great support.
  • I learned that there is life both in & after sickness.
  • I learned that my brothers & sisters are seriously awesome.
  • I learned that I love running more than I thought I did.

I learned that change is a part of life but it’s what I do with the opportunities I’m given that will define me.

Catch you on the road in 2013!

Catch you on the road in 2013! (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

I’m ready for 2013 and all the adventures it holds, including: no fewer than 2 new babies, 4 weddings (& counting…), my first clinical rotation, several half-marathons, a 200 mile relay, and maybe another 26.2 to round out my total to 10.

I’m ready.

Looking ahead, never behind. When I look back for too long, I tend to trip & fall. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

Looking ahead, never behind. When I look back for too long, I tend to trip & fall. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

What did YOU learn in 2012? What are your goals for 2013? 

Happy New Year!

Now go out and run.

Back From the Brink

HELLO READERS!!!!! I hope you all had Happy Chanukahs, Merry Christmases, and are looking forward to very festive New Year’s next week.

I somehow survived finals week with my eyeballs and my sanity barely intact and managed to get into the holiday spirit in just a few days so I could enjoy Christmas in the City with JB. How did I do it? I made cookies, of course.

I was careful not to make too many since we'd be the only ones eating them!

I was careful not to make too many since we’d be the only ones eating them!

We had a seriously awesome Christmas here in NYC, just the two of us. We saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.

AKA starring one of my bestest friends in the wide-world, who also happens to be the most talented Radio City Rockette!

AKA starring one of my bestest friends in the wide-world, who also happens to be the most talented Radio City Rockette!

We were out for dinner on Christmas Eve after the show when it started to snow here in the city. How magical! Snow on Christmas Eve! We ran (of course) on Christmas Day, ate our favorite goodies, had a delicious (mostly) homemade dinner, watched A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, and opened presents like little kids on Christmas morning.

Presents under the tree!

Presents under the tree!

That giant brown box was my present and I can say for certain that I didn’t mind JB getting me just one present at all…

Nope. Not one bit. Oh, hey there, Miss Piggy.

Nope. Not one bit. Oh, hey there, Miss Piggy.

Since we watch The Muppets on Christmas morning (and listen to John Denver & The Muppets Christmas Eve), JB thought it fitting that we have a special guest star make an appearance.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous Miss Piggy!

Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous Miss Piggy!

It was an honor to have such a starlet in our home.

So, yeah. We had a great little NYC Christmas. And finals, stressful though they were, ended up fine in the end. Grades are good, blah, blah, blah.

I missed you guys! Every day I was in class or studying and I had a blog idea I got a little sad because I knew I’d never have time to sit down and write it. And, of course, they all flew right out of my head because I can’t remember a single one. What I did manage to do during finals week was work out every day. I even ran a race!

My socks told me to run fast, so I did. Well, I ran fast for me, anyway. 10K @ 7:34min/mile.

My socks told me to run fast, so I did. Well, I ran fast for me, anyway. Hot Chocolate 10K @ 7:34min/mile. 5th place AG! I didn’t WIN the race like SOME people I know…(ahem, @Manz811)

What the…?!?! How did I manage that? I didn’t even realize I’d done it until last Friday when finals were finally done and I was out for a little run with my rehab running buddy. As crazed as I was during finals, I found solace and peace in my daily workouts. I ran a lot (even a track workout here and there!), hit up Flywheel with Steven A LOT, and ran some more to clear my head of the day’s studies so as to make room for the next day’s exam.

I’m not saying it was pretty. But it certainly made me a little less of a monster during an extremely trying time of the school year.

Frizzy hair + glasses = must be finals week!

Crazy frizzy hair + glasses = FINALS WEEK MONSTER!

Working out is how I survived and made it to all sorts of finish lines this year.

Working out AND cookies.

Working out AND cookies. Oscar the Grouch will never win a race with that attitude.

How do YOU handle crazy-stressful times in your life? Even the planned ones that you know are coming for months and months seem to sneak up on you, don’t they? What do you do when you can’t catch your breath? Maybe the holidays are like that for you. Do you run more or less? Do you eat more or less? How do YOU cope?

Tell me all about it and how were YOUR holidays???? Did Santa bring you all the running gear you ever wanted? I saw lots of cool presents on Twitter! What was your favorite one?

Now go out and run!

BRB

BRB = Be Right Back.

Posts will be rather sporadic for the next 10 days while I contend with finals. Send caffeine and cupcakes!

Me. Now. Til December 21st.

Me. Now. Til December 21st.

Oh, and I was quoted in Runner’s World Magazine this month. Pick up a copy and check me out!

Super-pumped about being quoted in RW!

Super-pumped about being quoted in RW!

Don’t worry, Obi-wans, I am sending you a copy this week! Did you really think l wouldn’t be buying multiple copies of my first Runner’s World Magazine published quote and send them out to my parents so they can brag to their neighbors? Helllllooooo!

Now let’s see if I can get quoted about something running related!

2013 goal!

BRB. Gotta memorize a bunch of…stuff.

Now go out and run!

 

Don’t Freak Out

One of my not-so-favorite parts about this time of year is all the diet talk. It’s EVERYWHERE.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, magazines, discount websites, and in every single conversation I overhear at the nail salon.

Image courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Image courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

A “Nine Day Wonder Diet”?!?! Do you know what you could do in 9 days that would do wonders? Get some sleep, drink some water, run some miles, and smile more often.

But NOOOOOOOOOOO. Harper’s Bazaar and every other magazine out there wants you to think they have a “Wonder Diet” that will miraculously make you look like Heidi Klum. Seriously, Heidi. Your body is sick. I know you work for it, so I don’t begrudge you, but my GOD you look fantastic!

Heidi runs on the river! Me, too! See you out there, girlfriend. (Image courtesy of Zimbio.com)

Heidi runs on the river! Me, too! See you out there, girlfriend.           (Image courtesy of Zimbio.com)

Here’s the thing. Holidays are festive. There are parties, finals, parties after finals, big dinners, late-night festivities, and COOKIES GALORE!!!! this time of year. It’s ok to enjoy the merriment of the season.

It is NOT, however, ok to…

  1. Stuff yourself and then complain you’re fat.
  2. Eat nothing and passive aggressively criticize everyone else who is.
  3. Get wasted every night, miss your morning run, and then whine about your slower 10K time.
  4. Run 100 miles this week because you had some delicious white chocolate fudge.
  5. Stress eat, abandon your workouts, pull all-nighters, and then starve yourself for a week.

Get a grip.

C is for Cookie and that's good enough for me. A life mantra, if you will.

C is for Cookie and that’s good enough for me. A life mantra, if you will.

This is not a healthy eating blog because, well, no one should model their eating off of me and my J-pouch diet (I’m still in need of a clever name for my pouch, by the way…). But runners are no less susceptible to the holiday food backlash than anyone else. We’re human after all.

Except Oscar. He is superhuman. (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

Except Oscar. He is superhuman.                             (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

So, keep running. Keep training. Have a merry, happy, wonderful holiday season. Enjoy your family and friends and that weird co-worker whose much more fun that you originally thought. Don’t go bananas but don’t also be that Judgemental Judy in the corner with your carrot sticks, scowling at everyone eating a cupcake off the dessert tray. No one likes that party guest.

Ignore the magazines and do what you do. Just don’t overdo.

Maybe get involved with the Runner’s World Streak (albeit a few weeks late) or try the Refine Method Challenge or check out Cooking Light‘s delicious holiday cookies. I’m a raspberry stripper fan, myself.

Mmmmm...can't get enough of these! Good thing they're kind of a pain in the butt to make.

Mmmmm…can’t get enough of these! Good thing they’re kind of a pain in the butt to make.

And if eggnog is what gets you through dinner with your family, then so be it. My personal preference is prosecco or sauvignon blanc, but desperate times call for desperate measures and if there’s alcohol in it, I’m drinking it. Enjoy the holidays, friends.

And don’t forget to go out and run!

P.S. Today is the last day of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. I want to thank you all for your kind words and for spreading awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. In case you ever want to know where you can learn more or donate to the cause, there is a great non-profit called The Great Bowel Movement whose founders are some very lovely ladies I have the pleasure to know.

And if you ever want to raise money for the CCFA, Team Challenge is national and they do seriously fun half-marathons in places like Napa and Vegas. Helllllllloooo, Vegas 2013 anyone?

Thank you again for your continuing support of my super-sexy journey with this disease. Now go out and run!

BOOM! Ask me!!

BOOM! Ask me!!

Wednesday Workouts

I love Wednesdays.

First, they are my Thursdays since I don’t have class on Fridays, so HOORAY! It’s almost “Friday”!

Second, I don’t have class til the afternoon on Wednesdays and it’s the perfect morning for me to lazy around in my PJs and catch up on homework or whatever before I run at whatevertimeIwant o’clock.

Skinny mini Abby.

I prefer PJs until about noon.

Most of my Wednesdays are cluttered with doctors appointments, work, annoying phone calls to insurance companies/school offices, and other grown-up type tasks. But when I get a Wednesday morning all to myself, I am a pig in, well…you know.

images

Pretty much me this morning.

Today’s workout will be my first official speed workout since my second surgery on October 5th. Since my surgeries were both operations on my abdomen, I have to wait the requisite 3 months til I am allowed to lift more than 20 pounds. Hence, why my husband had to carry our beautiful tree all my himself.

photo (2)

Lies. He has never, ever let me help him carry our tree home. Even when it was 50% larger than the one we bought this year. Isn’t it preeeeetty?

But they said I could start doing speed work in two months if I didn’t feel any pulling or pain in my abdomen.

Woohoo!

Today’s workout will be shorter on the repetition side since I’m not exactly in the best of running shape. But these sprints are good for anyone at any time since you push that VO2 max and make your body stronger whenever you do anaerobic workouts (speed work).

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6-8 x 400 meters (one lap on the track), all-out.
  • 1 mile recovery shake-out
Yay for track workouts!!!!!

It will not be sunny and warm on the track today, but that’s cool. Git ‘er done!

Whenever doing speed work, it’s important to warm up beforehand so that your pre-capillary sphincters near your peripheral limbs open up and increase blood flow to your muscles. Blood flow = oxygen = food for muscles. Otherwise, you will tire out MUCH faster and fail to reach your potential in the workout.

I know, I’m blinding you with science. Don’t you feel smarter already?

I want to give myself a good workout, but also the freedom to cut it at 6 repeats since it’s my first day back. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get every.single.repeat. done that day. It’s not worth the energy to feel guilty about a workout.

Guilt? About a workout? That’s stupid. Yes, stupid. Not “silly”. Stupid.

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BOOM.

I also like to shake it out afterwards. No real science there, it just feels good.

What’s your workout today? Are you headed to the track like me or are you kickin’ it treadmill-style on this fine Hump Day? Have you ever done a 400m x _______ workout? Killer! See you on the track.

Now go out and run!