A to Z

I couldn’t write yesterday because I only had one thing on my mind and I didn’t want to pollute this happy little blog with it so I just didn’t write.

Today is a new day and, in light of my story being recently featured in Psychology Today last week (hello new readers!), I decided to take part in this A to Z About Me Q and A.

A to Z

A. Attached or single?

Attached now for 9 years. And it keeps getting better.

Our wedding was SO FUN!

Our wedding was SO FUN!
(Image courtesy of elisabethmilay.com)

B. Best friend?

JB. The Obi-wans. My 4 sibs and Chi-Chi.

C. Cake or pie?

Hmmm…gotta be really great cake (like from SugarSweet Sunshine or Alice’s Tea Cup) but I’m also a big fan of both Cherry and Apple pie. Why choose just one?

D. Day of choice?

Friday. Always happy for the weekend and it’s Date Night.

E. Essential item?

Beauty: Mascara. Clothing: Perfect jeans. Workout: Chafe-free shorts.

F. Favorite color?

Pink.

"Pink is my signature color."

“Pink is my signature color.”

G. Gummy bears or worms?

Neither. Twizzlers or Snickers, please.

H. Home town?

Born in Glen Ridge, NJ. Lisle and Woodridge, IL for childhood.

I. Favorite indulgence?

Great Jones Spa facial.

J. January or July?

January. Everything feels new in January.

K. Kids?

Love ’em.

L. Life isn’t complete without?

Snuggling next to my man and taking a nap after a long run on a Saturday morning.

No husband? Give me all the pillows then.

No husband? Give me all the pillows then.

M. Marriage date?

11/13/09

N. Number of brothers/sisters?

2 sisters, 2 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law, 2 brothers-in-law, and one special significant other.

O. Oranges or Apples?

Oranges. When they’re perfect, they’re delicious.

P. Phobias?

I don’t like snakes, but I don’t think that’s a phobia. They’re just creepy.

Q. Quotes?

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

…in that vein: “If you just keep going, eventually you’ll get to the finish line.” ~me

R. Reasons to smile?

My gorgeous niece. Flower deliveries. Dates with friends. Too many reasons, really.

S. Season of choice?

Fall. Fall in New York City is magical.

T. Tag 5 People.

Jesica, Tina, Kristin, Jenny, Hillary, BethMichelle…but really, everyone should if they have lost their will to write or need to get their writing mojo back (ahem, Sara).

I want all my friends to do it!

I want all my friends to do it!

U. Unknown fact about me?

I can only crack my middle fingers on each hand.

V. Vegetable?

Before J-pouch: raw green beans. After J-pouch: sautéed zucchini.

W. Worst habit?

Being late/loud.

X. X-Ray or ultrasound?

Ultrasound cuz it’s more than a diagnostic tool. It can treat, diagnose, and image.

Dr. Abby says, "When in doubt, ULTRASOUND!"

Dr. Abby says, “When in doubt, ULTRASOUND!”

Y. Your favorite food?

Sugar cookies. And Two Boots Pizza.

A Monster after my own heart.

A Monster after my own heart.

Z. Zodiac sign?

Gemini. Totally a Gemini.

You can do this survey too! Pingback, tag, or Tweet me if you do. I want to get to know YOU better!

Now go out and run!

A Little Extra Something

Yesterday’s track workout with Birdie kicked my butt. She was doing ladders, I was doing stair-step repeats. We were both sprinting at breakneck pace all over the track. And man, oh man!, was it COLD out there.

It seems that I can’t do a track workout without it being #1. FREEZING and #2. WINDY. What is the deal? I know it’s on the East River but it’s not like it’s on the Atlantic Ocean. Gimme a break.

Deceivingly beautiful view. Don't be fooled. It's cold as hell and windy to boot.

Deceivingly beautiful view. Don’t be fooled. It’s cold as hell and windy to boot.

But we still gave our workouts our all and powered through, dry heaves and all. That workout is exactly why I was a lousy track runner: distances less than 15K are not for me.

The one thing I do like about running on a track is the home stretch. Finishing on a 100 meter straightaway is one of my favorite places to give that little extra something. I run a little harder (or not, maybe I’m just maintaing pace at that point–who knows?), I push a little more. I love that finish line.

Cookie Monster knows what I'm talking about.

Cookie Monster knows what I’m talking about.

I have a harder time giving a little extra something in the gym. All I can think about is doing too much and hurting myself. It happened in spin class once and I ended up with a really angry TFL.

So I tend to steadily increase my weight and difficulty of exercises. In my professional opinion, this is a much safer way to go for more difficult, strenuous actions.

Me and my 20s are BFFs. Outside of leg and back work, these bad boys are all I really need.

Me and my 20s are BFFs. Outside of leg and back work, these bad boys are all I really need.

I’m SO EXCITED to share with you a very special person and family friend who gave a little extra something to add to the already awesome raffle prize pool. Are you ready? Hold onto your hats!!!

**7 night stay for 10 people in a beautiful villa in Acapulco, Mexico**

You could be here. You and NINE OF YOUR FRIENDS!

You could be here. You and NINE OF YOUR FRIENDS!

Your own 5-bedroom villa in Acapulco for a week, including:

  • 20,000 sq. ft. of luxury overlooking Acapulco Bay
  • 5 air-conditioned bedrooms, each with en suite bathroom
  • 2 swimming pools
  • Breathtaking gardens with waterfall
  • A full-time staff of 4

(Flights and transportation are not included)

I’m totally serious. This is something you can win and here’s how you can get more raffle opportunities:

  1. $15 donation gets you one entry and a race bib for the Kick Ass 5K, every additional $10 gets you another entry (don’t forget to email me that you donated!).
  2. If you’re already registered, each additional $10 gets you another entry.
  3. Sharing the Kick Ass 5K on your blog or Twitter gets you another entry (don’t forget to send me the link so I can credit you!)
  4. Sending me a picture of you wearing your race bib on race day (April 9th) gets you another race entry.
  5. Donate to my fundraising page, no need to participate in the 5K.

A couple of things:

  • The raffle will close on Friday, June 7th at noon. Only donations up to that point will be considered to be entered into the raffle.
  • The raffle winners will be announced the week of June 9th (when I get back from the race).
  • Winers will be contacted via the email you give to Active.com when you donated.
  • Winners will have ONE WEEK to respond to me to claim their prize. After that, another winner will be chosen.

Phew. Things just got real, y’all. Help me meet my $20,000 goal. Viva la Mexico!

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!

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!!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Lucky

I don’t know which one said it first, so I’m going to give them both credit lest I start a family feud over one of my most treasured family sayings. Obi-wan and his brother, The Godfather, are always telling me, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” This is my favorite life quote.

(Well, this one and “C is for cookie and that’s good enough for me!”)

I love this quote for many reasons.

#1. It comes from two favorite men of mine whose lives are proof that the harder you work, the luckier you get. They are two of the “luckiest” guys I know. Successful careers, amazing families, fine upstanding citizens and generous to those less fortunate. Serious role models, people.

#2. It’s true. I have always found that if I work hard at something, eventually I get better at it. Even if “getting better” means the most minute success, like the fact that I got a B in college Chemistry was probably not deemed “successful” to my fellow NYU pre-med classmates. But for me, it was the result of hours of laborious studying and tutoring and a success in my book. Lucky me, a B!

#3. I am decidedly unlucky when I do not work hard. This is just the way it goes. I can sometimes squeak by with a performance which others admire, but one which I know does not show my true abilities. I hate when I do this to myself. And make no mistake about it, I do this to myself, no one does it to me.

This is something you can take into your running life. If you work hard in your weekly workouts, commit to them and put 100% in every day, you will see a change in your performance. If you eat things that are good for you and that you know your body needs, you will see and feel the change in your body. You can’t expect miracles to happen when you are also trying to make the miracle happen. What is in your control, you must control. There is too much out there that is left to the fates for us to ignore the power we have to make changes in our lives.

What are you waiting for? Work hard and see just how “lucky” you can be. Do everything in your power to make changes in your life. Be the change you want to see in the world. The ability to work harder and make changes is why it’s so much better to be here rather than there. We have the power to change our lives. Start now and bring on the good luck!

Now go out and run!