…By New Year’s Day 2012

Confession: I hate New Year’s resolutions. I have never set one. I don’t like the idea that there’s one day of the year when people are supposed to start something. I get that some people need the start date to start anything, but I am going to propose something radical.

Start today.

Start now.

So that by New Year’s Day 2012, you have already accomplished something. Instead of:”I will start (insert New Year’s resolution) on January 1, 2012″ try this on for size: “I will be doing/have completed (insert goal) by January 1, 2012.”

It’s much more powerful to have an end goal date than a start goal date. Procrastinators (ie. most of us out there) get this. You will work much harder if you have a deadline than if you have just a starting date and an open timeline.

Why start now?

Why not?

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year for people young and old. Money, travel, family drama, work, end-of-year job stuff, seasonal depression, holiday food, office parties…the list of potentially nightmare-ish scenarios goes on and on. Why not set a goal during this crazy time and do something good for yourself?

Need more of this

I will…

have run every day since Thanksgiving…(STREAK!)

be taking a yoga class twice a week…

be running 7:30 miles for my long runs…

finish one non-school book…

take one Flywheel class a week…

turn over my wardrobe and clean out my closet…

race hard one race…

By New Year’s Day 2012!

There are a lot more sweaty Flywheel classes in my future!

Not very lofty goals, but goals nonetheless. I challenge you to start now and not wait for midnight on New Year’s Eve to decide to start something. Nothing will ever live up to the moment when Billy Crystal runs up to meet Meg Ryan and tell her he wants to spend the rest of his life with her in When Harry Met Sally.

It’s never that climactic, so let’s stop putting expectations on that one day and do it now. Don’t think to hard about it, just do it.

What are you going to achieve by New Year’s Day 2012? I want to know! Tell me all about it!

Now go out and run!

Fitness News Fridays: Oh boy

Oh boy, Philly is TWO DAYS AWAY. I am doing marathon “prep” all day today, in every way I know how and some I’m not going to share. I’m really looking forward to the big day. I feel rested, relaxed (sort of…) and the new drugs have kicked in so I am ready to rock! Even Mother Nature wants me to PR on Sunday!


Mostly Cloudy
High
64°FPrecip
20%
Wind: From SW at 13 mph
Humidity: 72%
UV Index: 2 Low

Thank you in advance, Mother Nature, for the very mild weather. I plan on wearing my crops, a blue tank top, a white pullover and a ponytail-braid. Look for me! I am also the girl who puts her name on her shirt, so I shouldn’t be too hard to find.

I am lucky enough to have my husband and two very awesome lululemon friends coming to cheer me on. The local lululemon store has cheer stations at miles 16 and 22.5, exactly where I need them. I just hope I don’t shame the family.

Anyway, there’s a bunch of cool science stuff happening in the world of fitness this week so let’s get right to what you might’ve missed!

That’s it for me today, everybody. The next time you read from me, I will have complete my 9th marathon. I might cry. Don’t judge. If you’re out running on Sunday and you have a moment, send a happy thought my way. I’ll be thinking of all of you and running my little heart out!
Now go out and run!

Kiss Post-Marathon Blues Goodbye

I ran my first marathon in New York City. It was an amazing experience that I’ll always remember and cherish. I was so excited to have finished a marathon and to have done it in New York!

Me and my very first marathon medal the next morning. Yay!

But I also remember being seriously bummed out as the post-marathon high wore off. What the heck? Wasn’t I supposed to be walking on airs for at least a few weeks, basking in the glow of the finish line glory for all the world to see? Well, yes, buuuuuuut, that died down after about a week. People stopped asking about it and life, you know, moved on.

My high was gone and I was still in marathon recovery mode, so I couldn’t exactly just pick up and race again. So sad. I had reached my goal! Now what?

I eventually came out of my funk but it took a whole new experience to get me going again. That’s when I found Achilles International and started volunteering on Saturday mornings as a guide for disabled runners in Central Park. Running with these amazing athletes definitely helped me get my groove back and even gave me a goal for the next marathon season.

Me and my friend, Leol, who also finished the NYCM this year!

So what’s the key?

Do something else. Anything else. Maybe even do something besides running (gasp!) or do something running-related, like volunteering at a local race with kids or something cute like that. The Girls On the Run 5K is on December 10th, which I’m going to use as my post-marathon, holiday season, do-gooder, get-off-my-post-marathon-a** and do something new event.

But what gets YOU going after a marathon? A new challenge: triathlon, 30 day yoga challenge anyone? A new activity: indoor cycling/climbing/kickboxing? Something completely different: book club/rearrange your apartment furniture/clean out all your closets/volunteer at a homeless kitchen…what else?

Or maybe you caught the marathon bug and are already searching for your next race and a new training schedule to have an even better finish time. That’s what I’ve done after the past few marathons. I got to a place where my marathons didn’t leave me as spent as they did in the beginning (don’t get me wrong, I was TIRED and I worked HARD, but I recovered faster) so I decided to switch up my training schedule to accommodate two marathons a year instead of one.

The result was Jersey. Which…well, it wasn’t a success where time was concerned BUT it was a HUGE success where my training was concerned. I finished super-strong and on pace despite having a hideous middle eight miles. To me, that was the biggest success of my running career.

Yay! Proudest finisher at the NJ Marathon!

So, if you’re finding yourself down in the dumps post-marathon (or any other race/goal), set a new goal. Don’t have one? Sit down with a friend who motivates and encourages you and get the conversation going in the direction of a new goal.

I cannot stress enough to you how very real this problem can be. You’ve achieved a goal that many people never even consider attempting and that can be a very difficult high to come down from. This is the best way I have learned how to deal with the post-marathon blues. What are your tricks?

Tell me all about it and then go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Firsts

I know it’s late and Tuesday is almost over, but there’s still time for Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays and today is all about Firsts. After all, there’s always a First time for everything.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of watching several of my friends complete their First marathons here in New York. You always remember your first marathon. It’s usually the First time you’ve run that far. Maybe it’s the First time you’ve hit The Wall or found your third wind. It’s the First time you’re going to cross that big ‘ol finish line for sure.

I love cheering on First-time marathoners! Few runners are a excited to be out there, running their race and finishing as the First-timers. Their energy is both inspiring and contagious and I fully intend to carry all of that enthusiasm with me into my own marathon in less than two weeks (thanks, guys!).

It’s part of why I love my job as much as I do. As a personal trainer, I am regularly privileged to help people achieve many Firsts where their physical fitness, and sometimes their life, is concerned. It’s remarkably rewarding to help others succeed.

I wonder how many people out there get as much out of helping others as I do? I am a big believer in sharing my talents so that others might benefit from them, which makes lululemon a perfect fit for me and me for them! We’re always bouncing around ideas about how we can help our community through health and fitness. I’m thrilled to be a part of a company whose employees share my desire to affect change in the community.

So many people have helped me achieve Firsts in my life. There’s nothing quite like it and I can never thank each of them enough. Are there people who helped you through your First (insert proud achievement)? Have you been the one who inspired another to work for their First? You may have and you don’t even know it. We never really know how what we do can change the life of those with whom we have contact every day.

Whether it’s a marathon, a grade in a class, surviving the impossible, buying your first home, getting that dream job, Firsts are memorable. But someone helped you get there. Someone gave you the strength and the courage to take those First steps to reaching your goal. Don’t forget to thank them, too. You couldn’t do it without them.

That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being inspired by others and inspiring those around us to reach beyond what they think they are capable of. To shoot for the Moon and wish upon the stars. Cheesy, yes. True, nonetheless.

Here’s to the Firsts. Thanks for reminding us that we can do anything we really set out to do. A fitting BTAT if I ever heard one.

Now go out and run!

Fitness News Fridays

Hey everybody! Today I am meeting up with one of my fabulous lululemon athletica friends to work on my personal goals. JB got me started on setting goals a few years ago (we have them listed on a legal notepad on our desk and we check them off as we complete them one by one) and I have learned to love it. I used to hate it because I was afraid of failing. But, as we all know, failure is just another opportunity to succeed disguised as a really crappy day.

In honor of today being a goal-setting day, I decided to check one thing off of my goal list this morning: Barry’s Bootcamp. One of my favorite New Yorker things to do is try new workouts in the city and Barry’s has been on my list since it opened in Chelsea a few months ago. I took a class with the very fabulous Keoni Hudoba this morning and had a BLAST! We did a Full Body class that alternated between treadmill intervals and light weight-training. I love this kind of workout and I love it even more doing it with a whole class full of people. Group suffering! I highly recommend you try it out if you find yourself in NYC. I will definitely be adding it to my workout routine.

But there’s more than that happening in the health and fitness world this week! Here’s what you might have missed:

  • Deena Kastor has some words of encouragement for you. She’s just the best.
  • It’s always sad when a young person dies, especially when it’s from a sports-related injury. The question I ask myself is: Football is a rough sport. Don’t the athletes and their parents take some responsibility for playing/letting their child play a rough sport and risking injury? My baby brother, The Golden Child, played football in college and I love the sport. It’s a tough discussion to have in light of this and many other tragedies.
  • Don’t feel bad. I can’t do a head stand either. Probably for all of these reasons and more.
  • What’s the “BEST” exercise? Whatever one you will do consistently, I say.
  • Kourage Athletics is a company owned and operated by Kenyans making running clothes. Pretty cool.
  • The CDC and FDA want to give food “star” like movies or restaurants based on nutrition to make choosing good for you food a no-brainer. Thoughts?
  • Is there a “genetically determined level of preferred energy expenditure?” this study asks.

…And finally, if you missed them, here are two reviews of our BRICK workout from last weekend. I, for one, am glad these gals had a good enough time to write about it 🙂 Thanks, ladies! If you missed our workout last weekend, we’re on for a second one by popular demand on Saturday, October 29th. Come on down!

Happy Friday, everyone! Is anyone racing this weekend or all we all tapering? I have a 20 miler on Sunday so look for me all over Manhattan if you’re out for a run. The weather is perfect and there’s no better time of year to lace up your kicks and…

…go out and run!