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?

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Sadness and Happiness; Bad News and New Beginnings

run dwarfsI know I’ve been quiet lately. I’ve been dealing with things.

At the end of May my insurance denied continued no-fault benefits from being rear ended back in March.  I am angry, frustrated, mad, sad, piss-off. I got depressed; I went in to a injuryfunk.

Just 4 days prior my ortho had just said that we would keep up the PT and Med Massage while allowing me to pick up my other fitness activities (kickboxing, full body circuit training, pilates, ect) because I was starting to feel better finally. I was starting to feel myself again, at least fitness wise. I was ready, eager, antsy, to get moving in my training.

Then the letter came.  DENIED.

I tried running.  I tried to move forward with beginning my full body training again.  But it didn’t go smoothly.  After two weeks, my neck was hurting, I was in pain again. At times it felt as bad as it did those first 9 days!

I discovered that I could not carry my laptop on my right shoulder (I am a righty). I discovered that even carrying a backpack on both shoulders would be uncomfortable a lot quicker than normal.  I could barely put a plate full of food in the microwave without it twinging.  Heck, taking off my sports bra one night left me tears again.

I found a temporary solution to allow me to run further than 1.5 miles at a time, but its just that, a temporary solution, a stop gap if you will, because I DO NOT want to have to wear KT Tape or Rock Tape on my neck for the rest of my life.

It really is a life saver the tape.  I will keep it on for 3-4 days at at time which allows me to not just run almost pain free, but do some every day tasks as well.

It is quite a timely find as on top of that noticed being received, I started going through an interview process for a new job.  This is a job I had found online, asked my brother-in-law to see if he could pass my resume along through HR (he works for a branch of the same company).

Well, he went on a vacation before he could find a way to pass it along. While I was dr suesswaiting for him, an HR Recruiter found me on LinkedIn and 5 weeks later I started with that company!  This is a full time meeting planner job (get ready for a lot of #lifeofameetingplanner hastags on my instagram and twitter!) remotely employment.

This is still helpful in dealing with recovery as I have the ability to move to the couch from the table when my neck is bothering me to much.  However, it also means a bunch more travel (something I am THRILLED about), but as I recently discovered from some travel – both business and personal – I have taken recently, I cannot carry anything heavy on my right side.  I won’t even be able to put any bag in the overhead bin.

But that aside, for the first time in a long time, I look forward to monday again. I am so excited where this job will take me.  Professionally –  I hope to grow more as a meeting planner, hopefully roam throughout the company, expand on meeting types I excel at, AND around the world to feed my travel addictions to see everything.

As a runner, I hope to be able to extend a trip here and there and run a race wherever I am, domestically and internationally (side note, anyone know where I can search races internationally?).

I hope your Monday is shining bright!!
Dream Sparkle Shine

My Lungs Hate Me

Since the United NYC Half Marathon, sadly, I have only gone on two runs.

Sunday I decided to get up, get out, enjoy the spring weather that has finally arrived – for this week at least.

I went down to the Long Beach Boardwalk to run, for the first time ever. It’s something I’ve talked about doing since I started running about two years ago.  FINALLY I managed to get myself down there.
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IT. WAS. WORTH. IT

The new boardwalk is fabulous.  Superstorm Sandy in 2012 totally demolished the boardwalk.  With hard work and determination, the boardwalk was re-built by the 1 year IMAG3000anniversary.  I’ve biked the boardwalk since, but this was my first run.

As much as I loved getting out there, being on the boardwalk, near the beach, seeing and hearing the ocean around me.  There is no better atmosphere then to be at that in a gorgeous sunny 60 degree day. That part made me happy.

What made me a bit sad was that my lungs were not nearly as happy.  I struggled quite a bit.  The wind wasn’t to bad, a easterly wind so at my back when I ran east and of course running in to it, just to make my lungs work harder.

My splits were not good.  A total of 2.23 miles in 30 minutes.  Clearly consistency is key to keeping your lungs from hating you, to help your lungs grow stronger to make you a better runner.

After the run, I went down to sit in the sand at the water’s edge just to enjoy the joy that is living on the coast, by the water, in perfect spring weather.
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Here’s hoping I can get my ass out to the door at least three more times before next Sunday’s More/Fitness Half Marathon!!
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That Time I: Ran NYC – United NYC Half Marathon Recap

IMAG2851I know I know, I’m almost a month post race and FINALLY writing my recap….SORRY!  Life has gotten the best of me the past few weeks with stress taking away any and all motivation was sucked out of me.

But slowly I am finding my way back to life.  Just in time also, the More/Fitness Half Marathon is in less then two week!!!  No pressure there.

Anyway, finally posting about the United NYC Half Marathon on March 15, 2015. This was quite an experience.

IMAG2861I was scheduled to be in Wave 3 which didn’t have to be in till about 7:45-8:00am, but as I was running with American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, we were scheduled to be at our meeting spot for group pictured and information by 6:30am.  It was fun to see everyone up so early, dressed for the race, wearing our Green DetermiNation shirts, ready to run the streets of NYC!

We went outside, took our picture then I ventured over with some new friends I had met at the dinner the night before.  This was my first experience walking through some metal detectors to get to a start line, but I guess this is the race day precaution we will see at these important USTAF events throughout the country post Boston bombing. It’s really a sad state that now these sports events have to be monitored in such a way.

As we walked down to our corral section, we made the mandatory porta-potty stop. IMAG2877 There were a fair amount and the lines were manageable – probably because Wave 1 runners were in their corrals and most Wave 2 runners were almost to their corrals as well.

Then came more waiting.  This has been, by far, the largest race I have ran to date. My 4th Half Marathon with just over 20,000 runners! So the waiting around was of course going to be longer then I have been used to. Also not helping was the weather – it was quite overcast, the sky filled with clouds. I was grateful for my Old Navy Active Running Jacket keeping me warm!

Away we go – for a lovely 13.1 mile tour of NYC starting with nearly 6 miles of Central Park running.  I was told there would be hills, but my goodness, if you have never run in Central Park and have rarely trained hills, it would appear that Central Park is filled with mountains instead!  I was feeling it by the 5k, all those little rolling hills, up, down, up, down for 3 miles. Even the short run out on 110th Street was a small hill.  I felt ok during this time, I was pretty much still within my predicted pace of 12:30 per mile.

Back around the 2.5 mile mark my Garmin decided to save the run, as if I was anywhere close to be finished.  So as any good runner would do, I simply restarted it. This race would have two files for it.

However, we rounded the corner back in to the Park and SURPRISE! There was my mountain.  This was not a rolling hill, this was a nice long uphill battle.  I walked most almost all of that uphill. My body was extremely unhappy – guess not running for 2 weeks prior can have that affect! (I was rear ended on a bad snowy day two weeks before race day, suffered a moderately severe muscle sprain in my neck/shoulder/back area – ug, timing).  But I pushed through. I cursed a lot, I sent some angry texts, I fought.

Within the first 5k I also found a bit of marketing magic on behalf of United Airlines – they posted mileage signs for distances to far off places from where we were along the route.  These signs were scattered throughout the 13.1 mile tour.  I enjoyed seeing them, seeing how far I was from some interesting places.  Even more so as a traveler, it made me want to run away to some of those locations (especially as I was cursing CP Hills!).
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IMAG2889Eventually I got to the top of that mountain. I was thrilled, it had to be mostly downhill from here. Now to just find the park exit on to 7th Avenue.  Knowing from there I was about to see my mother (a much needed support boost) and we were halfway done by about then!

As I excited the park I got a tiny rush. I could see Times Square off in the distance. ItIMAG2894 was 10  blocks away! My mother was 6 blocks away.

I could do this, the rest is pretty flat, home free. Right until my ITB started bugging out, my lungs were unhappy, my body was revolting. I knew I was keeping my running jacket on so at my mom’s pit stop I put my GU packets, the photo of my dad I was running with (as this race all started as an honor to him), and a few various other items in to the pockets of the jacket, I then handed my hydration belt off to my mom and IMAG2901with one last quick hug and kiss I was off to finish 6.5 more miles.

I am not going to lie, the marketing push for running the NYC Half Marathon tells the truth – running through TIMES SQUARE really was a rush. As a New Yorker, there really was nothing like running down the middle of 7th Avenue right through the heart of the busiest intersection in the world!

After Times Square we headed west along 42nd street down to West End Highway.  We ran north for about 2 blocks before swinging back south for the next four miles.

We turned south at the intrepid, quite a big ship when you are standing under it!

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Not going to lie – this was also a tough stretch for me.  Personally, this was the hardest half I have run yet….both physically and mentally.  Yes, somewhere along this 4 mile stretch I almost quit the race, I cried, I asked my dad for some support because I didn’t want to let him down, I walked – A LOT! I questioned why I started running, I questioned my abilities, my training, my strength.

During the course I took a couple seconds out to take a quick pic of some of the cute or funny signs I saw while running!
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Remember back when my watch stopped and I restarted – well, I couldn’t remember what the time was when I restarted the Garmin. However, somewhere around mile 11 I realized I was off by about 20 minutes in my guesstimation calculations. I wasn’t within my overall potential goal finish time, but I was within my goal of a time faster then my last half a year ago.  That helped, somewhat, with re-igniting my motivation for this race.

Around mile 12 I realized that I was almost finished.  That in about 13-15 minutes I’d be finished with this awful race experience.  So, I did what any good runner does – I ran!  Well, ok, so I fumbled because my ITB just wasn’t having much running anymore. But I pushed through and I finished the damn race!

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I finished the damn race with a new PR!  My splits were a bit horrendous – Central Park just killed me. Although it looks like everything was off by only 4-6 minutes per 5K marker from what I have run in the past.  But I was proud of myself for pushing through, for not giving up or giving in, for letting my will overpower my doubts. Mostly I was proud for accomplishing a goal I truly worked hard for over the past 4 months, and for finishing it with a group I truly support (American Cancer Society).

Of course, I was scarred after this race. Central Park, those mountainous hills, the doubts, the questions, all of it scarred.  However, like any good runner, I took a week to mull over the race, then I signed up for the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon a month later (or I guess at this point a week away).  Yes, I am heading back in to the place that left me wounded to overcome it.  NYC put up a hell of a good fight – I shall call this race a draw.  But at least in the end, I still took home the prize: IMG_20150315_140639

Afterwards, I hobbled my way down the subway stairs, on to the 2 train, over to the 1 train, up the stairs at 50th and Broadway and back to our hotel.  I sat down, I showered, I put my sneakers back on (my foot would not dare to enter any other shoe) and went off to a celebratory brunch at Rue 57 with my mother!  Now that the race was over, I was excited about what I accomplished. I acknowledged where I doubted myself, but was thrilled to realize I still possess a certain strength. I proudly wore my medal to brunch, to the Penn, on the LIRR, only taking it off when I got home and wanted to nap.
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That Time I: Spent a Weekend in NYC

IMAG2851As most of the running world knows, last weekend was the United NYC Half Marathon. I live only 45 minutes away from NYC, but opted to stay in the city for the weekend.

I ran with American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, we were meeting on race morning at 6:15am, so if I stayed on Long Island, I would have had to leave for the city at 5:00am, by staying in the city, I gave myself an extra hour of sleep on race morning! This is a key item on any race readiness list.

Friday afternoon I met my mother at the Penn Station waiting room with our luggage so I IMAG2848could ventured over to the United NYC Half Marathon Expo to pick up my bib, tee and other necessary race items.

Of course, I found the finisher shirt I wanted, but as I was unable to run for nearly two weeks, I wasn’t feeling my confidence in my ability to finish, so I didn’t want to own any finisher items just yet (flash forward 2 days, the website no longer as the shirt I wanted…..).

I also stopped by the DetermiNation table to pick up some flags for my race shirt as I was running in Memory and in Honor of some folks close to my heart.

Afterwards, my mother and I checked in to our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn Central Park South) and went to dinner.  We have always loved the restaurant Serafina in NYC, so of course, this is where we went off to! My first of two pasta dinners in prep for the race.

On Saturday, my mother and I had planned our day around the DetermiNation team dinner downtown starting at 6:00pm. Backtracking from there, we decided we had time to see a Matinee!  I will never pass up a chance to see a show, so at the TKTS booth in Times Square we got ourselves some tickets to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

IMG_20150314_134902This is a show unlike any show you would expect people to be flocking to or expect to be such a huge Broadway hit.  The show is about a young boy with autism, how he relates to the world, how he interacts with his family, his neighbors, his world and how he overcomes certain things.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do suggest everyone who can go see it!

I was definitely moved by the show, left amazed by the acting, by the storyline, by everything involved – the production value was amazing.  This is based on a book written by Mark Haddon.

After the show we went downtown for the team dinner where I met other DetermiNation runners, heard some amazing speakers, and was reminded why I choose this charity to run with.  We heard from Dr. Sener, who has been involved with ACS since the 1980s and also had a large part in starting the DetermiNation team!IMAG2858

We also heard from Nora McInerny Purmort who lost her husband late last year to cancer after a 3 year battle.  Throughout his treatment he gave his best efforts to stay positive and keep his sense of humor.  Our shirts were made up in his honor.

After the dinner, we got back to the hotel where I did my final prep for the next morning.  I stuck my flags on my shirt, I gathered up all the items I needed for the next morning, we taped my neck and knee and by 10:30 I was fast asleep with dreams of actually getting myself across that finish line!

Wait to hear all about my race day in my next post!

NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 8

stumble in the roadIt appears that no matter what I do, I will always be posting my training logs a day late – oops (and sorry).

Monday’s are an optional day – either off or cross train. I have decided I will cross train on those days, keep the body moving! No stopping on the way to fit.

I found my way back to the gym for some stationary bike action.  Due to some house stuff, I got out the door later then I wanted, but instead of crying over lost time, I still hopped on the bike for 20 minutes instead of 30-40 minutes of biking! It’s my go to cardio at the gym when I’m not hopping  on the treadmill. I would love to do the rower, but my hip seems to have other ideas about that, the hip decides to tighten and hurt again each time I come off that machine, so sadly, until the hip decides otherwise, I will avoid that machine the way I avoid the elliptical (I just don’t have the coordination to use that without totally killing myself).

I accomplished 4.53 miles in the 20 minutes I was on the bike. Started out for 6 minutes at level 3, increased to level 4 for 4 minutes, hit level 5 for 4 minutes then level 6 for 2 minutes before backing down to level 4 for 3 minutes and level 3 for 1 minute.  I am working on both leg strength, speed and breathing each time I hit the bike, trying to strengthen the lungs some as well as the rest of the body.

Next up with my training session. He likes to torture me just a bit, mostly because he know’s I’ll do whatever he has lined up, and he knows I can do it – I just doubt myself.

First up was the TRX.  Not gonna lie to you friends, I LOVE working on the TRX.  We did some standing rows then hit the floor for some ab work.  Some pike, tuck and mountain climbers. My lower back was not such a fan of the pike, but my abs sure enjoyed themselves.

After torturing me on the TRX we went in to the  ab/stretch room to hit the mats. I showed me how I’ve been working on my plank and am now confidently holding a plank for 45-60 seconds! He showed me a way to make it a slight bit tougher (turns your palms face up and then turn your elbows out). Suggestion for me to work on: one plank 45-60 seconds palms up and out, two planks regular style for 45-60 seconds. From there work up to doing all three planks palms up and out.

Then he pulled over the stability and bosu balls for some circuit work.  Did backward sit-ups with the feet anchored to the wall, hips on the stability ball, then up and down from there keeping the glutes engaged. Next it was super mans on the ball – holding on to a bench, raising the legs, glutes and hips while keeping the glutes engaged again.

Third item in the circuit was sit-ups on the bosu ball. I sat on the very edge, fit planted on the floor in front of me.  With my hands right over my head, keeping them there the entire time, I lowered myself slowly back for 4 seconds, held for 2 seconds, then raised back up slow for 4 seconds and held for 2 second.

I did 6-12 of each of these exercises in two circuits. Very efficient! My abs are definitely feeling it this morning. I may sometimes hate him at the time we working, but the next morning, I know what we did was right, so I can’t really hate him anymore.

Today is the big problem – I have zero motivation to get my run on. Supposed to do 35-40 minutes of workout run- concentrating on stride/breath with some speed work thrown in. Thinking I may just do it tomorrow along with the scheduled cross training. Or maybe I’ll find that lost motivation later today?

Question of the blog:
How do you still go when you have no motivation that day?

How Do You Train In Winter?

wasn't made for winter

That sums me up quite nicely. I can find a way to be shivering with goosebumps when its 80 degrees outside so you can imagine what I’m like when its 40 degrees! When possible I refuse to go outside when it’s that cold. I try avoid the outdoors once the temps dip below 48-50……that makes it pretty tough to train outside in the winter.

A month or two ago, when it first started to get cooler (you know, when it dipped below 60), I hit the stores to buy some runner leggings, arm sleeves, runner jacket, long sleeved runner shirts, gloves, you name it if it was made for running in the cold I wanted it.

I got a couple of runs in, you know, when it was still between 45-50 outside. But this week, it’s been rainy and cold outside. The temps are barely hitting 45. To me that is just to cold.  Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 10.35.16 AM

My new found dilemma is that I no longer enjoy treadmill running! Yes, I can admit that.

When I first started running, I hated running outside unless it was for a race. I knew myself. I knew that if I ran by myself, or with someone, I would make excuse after excuse. I would stop when my legs gave out instead of push myself to finish the time or distance I promised. I would walk when the running got to hard instead of waiting till the time I promised I’d walk.

But now, after spending most of the summer/fall running outside as part of my hip rehab, I find I love it! I love running with the open area, just being outside, forcing myself to keep going another block before turning back.

PhotoGrid_1417720859185 Last week I went to the gym for a workout and treadmill run. I told myself I had to run 3.1 miles that day. It was my next goal. I had hit time goals within the past week so now I was up to a distance goal.  I consciously took off November from running and my half marathon training is starting soon. It was a rough run. My pace was off from my outdoor runs – it took long to hit the 1 and 2 mile marks on the treadmill then it did when I ran outside. I was frustrated and annoyed, but I kept moving and hit the 3.1 miles

TreadmillSo due to the downpour in the Northeast I was forced to hit the treadmill – the 20 year old treadmill I have access to!  I hopped on, after hooking it back up. I popped a DVD in to the small TV we have mounted above it (1990’s style) and started to watch The Devil Wears Prada while getting my run on.  It was then that I was AGAIN reminded I know HATE running on a treadmill.
It felt like the longest 21 minutes ever. I ended up running 1.56 miles in 21 minutes. I struggled. My breathing was rough, my legs were moving faster then I felt they could ever go, I was not happy. I struggled through the run. I didn’t get near the distance or time I was hoping for, but I also didn’t stop to early.

Now I am back to my issue of I do not like cold weather at all, but I think I may hate the treadmill more then the cold – so how do I motivate myself, force myself, to run outside when the weather is just freezing?!

Question of the blog:
How do you keep running outside even when temperatures hit lower then 45 degrees? Or when there is snow or rain out?