Can One Have Too Many Hobbies?

Over the years I have had numerous hobbies.  In HS I started collected quotes. Somewhere I even still have the journals I wrote them down in – I think I had 4 by the time college was over!)

Since I was little I have loved reading. I like to pick authors who write series books – they have one character and stick with them on a long journey over numerous books. What can I say, I get invested. Then I get sad when the story ends. I get even sadder when I know its a standalone.

I enjoy watching TV. Who doesn’t like watching drama’s, or even a mindless dramady.  I am not afraid to put it out there, some of my favorite shows are (or were) on the CW or ABCFamily Channel.  I even still watch General Hospital. I mean, who doesn’t love being able to shut down their real world or the make believe land presented on the TV screen?

I also enjoy listening to music. I love picking out lyrics that mean something, whether they have relevancy now or in my past, or could have in the future, I store them away for usage later.

I am also a bit fanatical about the New York Rangers. I am counting down the days until pre-season hockey starts up (48 more days!).  I try to watch as many games as I can, I read the game reports, I follow trades, standing changes.  Some may say I obsess a bit, but I’m a New York hockey fan, we take that seriously!

Of course, I also love to run and workout.  Not going to lie, this has been a rough 5 months with my lack of ability to do much of either. Turns out I can run, as long as my neck is taped, something I never had to worry about before. I still cannot lift anything above my head or carry on my shoulder, so that limits many other exercises I can do.

There is also my love of travel. Yes, to me this is a hobby because I have goals associated with it. I want to visit all 50 states (if I can run a half in each, well, two birds, one race!).  I want to see as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as I can. I wan to gather stamps in my passport.  This is a hobby, its something I want to do, it’s something I enjoy doing, it’s not something I am required to do, its my choice.

So again I ask, can someone have to many hobbies? Sometimes it’s hard to find time to work on all my hobbies.  Sometimes it’s tough to be able to afford them all.  My DVR often gets backed up because I would rather be running or reading then watching TV.  Sometimes I have a list of movies I want to see but never got a chance to see them in the theatre. When that happens I get sad because without video stores, it’s getting harder and harder to locate a movie that was released 6, 9, 13 months ago!

What are you favorite hobbies?


Finding My Fitness Self Again

endorphinsAs some of you are aware, on March 1, 2015 I was rear ended during a quick, but horrible, snow storm.  The snow came down fast and furious.  It left the roads slick, slushy and dangerous.

Immediately upon impact I realized my neck was bothering me.  We plied me full of advil when I came home thus not requiring a hospital visit, but definitely requiring a visit the friendly orthopedist. At this visit, he informed me I had a sprained neck muscle along with the normal whiplash. Of course, my first concern about hearing this was whether he thought I’d be in OK condition to run the NYC Half two weeks later. (I’ll be honest, from the moment of impact, running this race was my second biggest concern – first, of course being, how seriously injured was I).

Anyway, a week and a half later, he informed me if I felt up to it, while taking proper pre-cautions, I should be able to run this race. He actually advised that aerobic exercise was good for healing injured muscles.

Well, since the accident, that race, plus two more plus a small handful of other days, totaling maybe 10 in all is the complete amount of working/exercises/fitness I have achieved.

I am frustrated because I have gained weight.
I am frustrated because when I cannot do full body strength training.
I am frustrated because my only attempt at the bike at the gym left my one neck muscle feeling sore and fatigued.
I am frustrated because fitness was something that, in the past two years since I have become absorbed in to the running/fitness community, has brought me great happiness.

I was feeling good about myself, about my habits, about my goals. I was happy with my progress. And pretty much, it came to a grinding halt.

Well, after a talk with the wonderful woman who is giving me medical massages (yes they are a thing, and they are amazing) I finally have put a plan in place to work my way up to where I was before the injury.

20-minute-workoutI realized that any movement is better than none. That stopping entirely is not the best way to help push my healing along, I just have to work in modifications and moderations.

Sunday I mentally put a plan in place. A place I felt comfortable with and confident in.
I am ok working out for 30 minutes, even if its low-intensity, because 30 minutes is better then sitting on the couch all day.

Now I just need to  back to 100% health so I can resume my complete rotation: running, full body circuit training with my trainer, kickboxing, pilates…..

Plan and simple, I miss it. I took my skipped workouts for granted because those were my choices, this is not, this is frustrating, aggravating, annoying and maddening.

Lesson here: never take a workout for granted.  don't take for granted

2012-2014 Running Happiness

In December 2012 a co-worker and I started planning our goals for 2013. They were lofty for me, to say the least. We had signed up for two half marathons and a 10K for the fall of 2013!

I was an athlete type growing up, but hadn’t done much since college graduation. Not for lack of trying.  I had signed up once for a Warrior Dash, but injured myself prior to that (I went head over handlebars on my bicycle and injured my wrist).  I had even signed up for the Iron Girl Triathlon in Columbia, MD, but ended up in a boot at the time of the race.

So here I was again attempting to be athletic. I was determined to achieve this time.

2013-14 Race BibsWell, two years later, I am still determined and still achieving! I have run 9 races since I took up running again.

I was hoping to run more races in 2014, but a hip injury held me up.

That said, my goals and vision for 2015 are again lofty! I am not setting things in stone just yet (I’m waiting to get a better idea of a work schedule first), but I have my eyes on some local races, maybe even a few slightly less local races!

As you know, I am running the 2015 NYC Half Marathon with American Cancer Society DetermiNation team! That race is definitely set in stone. It’s helping to get me back on track. I am training properly this time to avoid injury, get a new PR (hopefully….), and grow stronger so I can run and race more frequently.

I am super proud of what I have accomplished so far in my running journey. I am very much looking forward to what else I can accomplish!

Question of the Blog:
How many races have you run in the past two years? (greatly putting my 9 to shame I’m sure)

NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 6

ACS DetermiNation

I appear to be a day late on all my training posts, for that I sincerely apologize.

Yesterday was our first ‘group’ training run. I say group because including the coach, there were three of us.  Apparently this happens during holiday time. I was ok with that. My 12 min mile pace is very nervous about running in a group.
2c0aabce17b7c99511d2e16a189f9c7eI arrived at Bethpage State Park, the location of our group run, about 20 minutes early.  I have never been to this park so I left a bit of extra time to get there. We were meeting at 8am so I just chilled in my car till I saw some other folks.

I met our coach, Kevin.  He is nice and knows his running. The other runner in our group was closer to a 9 min mile, so coach apologized that he would have to run solo as coach was going to run with me for assistance.

It was good to have someone to run with as it was roughly 33 degrees outside! BRRRR.  By far the coldest I’ve ever run in. At one point I believe I lost feeling in my finger tips, toes and my lips were going a bit numb, but running with someone meant I couldn’t wuss out by heading right back to my car.

Per the all mighty calendar Saturday’s run was either 3 miles or 30-40 minutes. We headed out south along the bike path.  While we were running I realized how nice it is to run in a park where the water was no where in site, the trees protected us (even leafless) so the winds were not a factor!

IMAG2452The bike path had a few small rolling hills – something I don’t have when I run around my house. I stuck to my 2:30 run / 1:30 walk interval pace. Coach said this is something I should keep aiming to improve on, there is no shame in doing the walk/run for the half in March – listen best to my body, let that be the determination (yes play on words).

All in all it was a nice run. I got feeling back in my lips, toes and fingers about half way through.  We finished up at 3.11 miles in 39 minutes.  Not my best showing, but considering the cold factor and the hill factor, I was content with it.
As I was already somewhat out east on Long Island, after the run I headed over to the Deer Park Tanger Outlets.  I had to make one return and popped back in to Asics as I had discovered they were having a buy one get one 50% off sale!  So of course I bought two new pairs of sneakers – GT-2000s. One will be for running, to alternate in with my Mizuno Wave Riders. The other pair, ideally, will be for a knock around sneaker so I can finally stop wearing my runners all the time everywhere.

Question of the day:
How many pairs of running sneakers do you have in play at one time?

NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 2

ACS DetermiNationAnd so it goes, training day 2!
This was a workout day.
Our overall coach sent out some info describing the work out, which was all about breathing and form.

Per the calendar, I knew I had to get out and do the run workout. Per the weather app I wasn’t looking forward to it.  The temps weren’t that bad, low 40s, which is kind of ideal running weather. However, it was dreary and overcast, not exactly enticing weather for a run.
IMAG2438But the calendar said I must run, so I sucked it up and got out there. The instructions said to warm up with a 10 minute run at conversational pace followed by breathing and form intervals of 1 minute breathing/form run and 1 minute individual run.

I wasn’t sure how I would handle any of this. I am still doing run/walk intervals (per my last post I attempted to increase that to 2:30 run/90 second walk…). So I figured I would start with my regular interval and take it from there.

Well, I surprised myself instead. I checked my watch, was coming up on 2 minutes run but I felt fine so I kept running. Surprise! I ran the full 10 minutes! I accomplished .87 of a mile, but the milestone really being my first lengthy non-stop run.
IMAG2435From there it was on to the workout interval. Practice belly breathing, making sure you inhales are the same length as your exhales, shoulders down, swing from the shoulders not the arms, keep wrists loose, let your arms guide you not your legs.

IMAG2437Well, it works for a period. I think I managed a solid 5 minutes of running my way and the form way.  However, after that the my way 1 minute run portion turned in to brisk walking instead. But I will say, I felt pretty solid. My breathing was ok, my lungs weren’t burning as much, I felt I was getting adequate air. My legs were felt, a bit tight, maybe a bit fatigued after my initial push, but I didn’t let that stop me.

Per our instruction guide for the workout, we had to run 30-40 minutes, so 20-25 wouldn’t cut it.  I stayed out there for 32 minutes, I felt wonderful at the end of the run. I don’t think I could have gone any further, I think my body would have rejected that notion and  would not have felt as good walking up the stairs to my home.

After the run, I did a few stretches then played with our favorite pal the foam roller. As my hip has been acting up again recently, I also opted for an epsom salt bath to relax my muscles and my sore hip. The wonder that is epsom salt, my hip felt fine the rest of the day. Let’s hope it stays that way!


NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 1

ACS DetermiNationAnd so it begins – my official training for the NYC Half Marathon as a member of the American Cancer Society DetermiNation!

Since I started running I knew one day I would run a race as a charity runner and that it would be to benefit cancer.  My father passed away 9.5 years ago from lung/liver cancer.  My aunt passed away 24 years ago from breast cancer.  10 years I got lucky when we found pre-cancerous polyps in my colon. Not everyone gets lucky as we found out 7 months later when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle 6 months after that.

It’s personal to me, it’s personal to my family and its personal to some of my friends who have battled or have family members who battled cancer. Cancer touches each of us in someway. By running with DetermiNation my hope is to help the amazing oncology doctors and nurses finally erase cancer.

IMAG2418Today was day of 1 training. My training calendar says to run 2-3 miles. I figured I had that no problem, I have been running 2.5-3.1 miles consistently for almost two weeks now. I was very wrong! My trainer cancelled Saturday’s group run, but seeing as I did 3.1 miles on Friday, I’m still on track!

IMAG2424My legs were not happy with me. They felt tights and fatigued quite early on. My lungs were not happy – but I am chalking that up to the cold wind that was coming from all sides.  By the time I got out for my run it was close to 40 degrees, but I still dressed nice and warm with layers – Old Navy Running Jacket over Adidas Tee over Under Armour Long sleeved tech shirt with Under Armour leggings, Asics head warmer, sweaty bands headband and running gloves. Not to be forgotten – Mizuno Wave Rider 18s!

I think part of my problem was I decided to increase my intervals from 2min run/90 sec walk to 2:30min run/90 sec walk. Might have been just a slight bit to much for my body just yet. Another week of the 2/90 interval should help.

IMAG2416My goal was 2.5, but I listened to my body, stopped at 2.3, rolled out my legs, popped some advil and will run again when the calendar says to – Thursday for 2-3 miles or 30 minutes. Whether I want to run or I don’t over the next 30 months, I will do what my training calendar says to do.

I will train properly, I will achieve my race goal, I will raise $1,000 (with your help of course so please donate!).   But most of all, I will make myself and my dad (as he watches over me) proud for finishing.
Its worth it