Thursday, August 30, 2012

A runners journey!

On Tuesday, I attempted to face my biggest workout obstacle: running hills. I have to say that I hate running hills.

Actually, I've always hated to run anywhere for that matter. Of all my years of exercising, I would do any other kind of athletic activity that did not involve running. I tried to play softball when I was a teen, and I even played the 'catchers' position to avoid running. But, I hated running so much, I had to quit softball. I just did not like having to run from one base to another; especially when the batter hit a homerun and I was on first base. That was a hell of a run for me.

So how did I go from hating to run, to loving it and not being able to go a day without a short run?

 Four scores and seven years ago..JUST KIDDING! I had to throw in some joke in there.

Living in Boston, you are surrounded by runners. Especially marathon runners, naturally I met a few people that inspired me to run. Still hesitant and reluctant to run, I just did what I could do on the treadmill. One  Boston Marathon Monday I went to watch some of the race. I stood at the 25 mile mark and I was so inspired, I had tears in my eyes. What a feat to accomplish. Yet, it wasn't enough to get me running. No matter how proud I was at my friends for accomplishing a 26 mile run, or a half marathon, a 10K or a 5K...I was not going to join them.

Best running shoes!  
In March of 2008, my niece died. The only time I felt peace was when I exercised. I would walk around Lake Quannapowit almost every day. I even brought my bicycle out for a few rides. Sometimes I would Rollerblade around the lake, but I never ran. I might have tried to sprint or jog from time to time but I never got myself to actually run.

That summer I moved out of Massachusetts to live with a man in a small, unknown town in Upstate, New York. The closest well known city was Albany. I felt lost, lonely and miserable and I wasn't sure how to fix my mistake (the mistake was my moving out there). I didn't want to be there, that and the pain of my nieces death was still fresh- as was the pain of losing my favorite job. I joined the YMCA and it was the only place I felt sane, complete, content, peaceful. I would lift weights, take cardio-kickboxing classes, swim and then...I tried to run around the indoor track they had. It was the only thing I could do to keep myself focused on my life. I needed to find a way to enjoy my relationship with my then boyfriend, and I needed to find a way to be happy to live in a small town.

For anyone who has ever lived in the city and moved to small town knows that the difference is big. It was  a hard transition for me. I was used to public transportation- I was used to walking everywhere I went. That was impossible to do in 'small town Upstate, NY.' I had to drive everywhere and it sucked. So ...taking up running a few times around an indoor track is what I did. I started to love running...and when I moved out of town, I didn't quit running. I kept running  and running.

In October 2010, I ran my first 5K and loved it! I've been living in a small town that could possibly be considered a small city...and there are so many sidewalks and places to run. Training here is easy and I love it, especially since I run along side a lake sometimes. Other times I run in a beautiful neighborhood with gorgeous mansions.

In October 2011, I ran the same 5K in Charlotte and I ran slower than the first time. I was disappointed. So I set a goal to run the 2012 5K in less than 30 minutes. Now...I want to finish it in less than 25. I'm pretty ambitious. When I set my mind to something, I go for it. I know there are some facts I need to face about running this 5K  in less than 25...but I feel like I can do it. The course is a bit different this time, and it's a bit flatter then the last two that makes me feel more confident.

I am not the fastest, or the best runner. I feel like I have bad run times often but I don't care I'm running and I feel good when I'm done. I love how good I feel, how energized I get when I'm done with a run. I love how running is me time...and it's also fun time.  I'm hoping to run a 10K in the next year or two and I hope to run a half-marathon in the next four years...just the fact that I believe I can do it is an accomplishment.

Now ... bring it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

30 Day Ab Challenge

I will be hosting a 30 Day Ab Challenge starting September 1st, 2012 for anyone (guys and gals) wanting to participate.

Day 1
To participate you must follow these simple rules.

1. Have fun!
2. Be nice to yourself and remember this is for you- this is your time!
3. Do not compare yourself to other guys and gals, not now, not ever! You will torture yourself if you do this and that's not okay. Respect yourself.
4. Every body type is different and will respond differently to an exercise. Make it work for you.
5. Please be pro-active and respond to me. Let me know how you're doing and if you're enjoying yourself.

You can participate for the full 30 days or you can participate when you can, however, remember you get what you put out.

Regardless of what your goals are, and what your body type is like, you'll never have flat abs if you only do sit-ups. It's important to do a variety of exercises that you enjoy doing.
Do cardio at least 3 times a week. Cardio includes:
a. Zumba and Dancing
b. Cardio kickboxing
c. step aerobics
d. running - walking
e. vigorous and speed swimming
f. cycling
Other forms of exercise:
g. Yoga
h. Pilates
i. weight lifting
j. sports games like baseball, football, etc.
The challenge will work like this:

Please let me know if you're also training for a special event, what ever that may be. I am training for my third 5K race that's going on this October 14th. If you're in Charlotte, I'm encouraging you to join me! It's with Kasey Kahne and the Kasey Kahne Foundation for the third annual "Kahne 5." Please check out the website for detailed information and registration.

I will post a video of me doing an ab exercise, and each day you try to do that one for 3 sets of 15! Remember, this is a challenge. To make it harder, your second set of ab exercise will be the one you did the day before. So at the end of this challenge, you should be able to do 30 different types of ab exercises!

Other ways to succeed at reaching your ab goals is to eat healthy every day. It takes 30 days to create a good habit, so let this be your first 30 days to living a healthier lifestyle! Drink a lot of water, eat tons of veggies and eat fruit. You should also include a protein and unsaturated carbohydrates in 3 of your meals a day.

Please leave a comment if you want to do this and I will keep in touch with you. Fun ways to stay in touch is on twitter. You can follow me at @C_Genevieve. Starting now, you can use hashtag #30daysofabs!
Also let me know if you're a Sweat Pink, Fit Approach ambassador!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's your workout -so- own it!

I may not be a "world class" athlete (yet), but I do consider myself a successful athlete. I'm consistent, self-motivated and self-disciplined.  Those are three words I tell people they need in their daily lives to reach their goals. Living healthy isn't a fad, or a hobby it's a lifestyle and if you don't make it your lifestyle, you can't possibly reach your goal (whatever it may be).

Not everyone wants to train like an athlete as I do every day and that's fine. A lot of people prefer 'moderation' and that is good too. Please do not misunderstand me. There's no denying however, that consistency, self-motivation and discipline is the only way to reach your goal. You only need an hour of exercise a day, at least three or four times a week to stay in good health.

I also want to say, to be successful in your journey, you have to remember this:

Your journey is 'yours!'
 Don't care about what I do in the gym. What you do is for you no matter what anyone says. So, if you choose to walk, run, dance, zumba, yoga, pilates, lift weights, crossfit, cycle, swim, kick box, martial arts, boxing - it's your work out.

Have Fun
Just because you exercise, does not mean it can't be fun. I truly believe, after hearing the comments throughout my workout life, that the number one reason why people don't work out regularly is because they assume they can't have fun...or relax while exercising. Work out time is 'your' time and it's your responsibility to make the most of it. And to be honest, your time is not the same as my time. In shape will not always mean, "my shape." Your shape is yours, have fun! Get out with friends. Take a ball room dance class with your significant other. Play sports with your kids. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you love it and you own it.

You are what you eat!
Eating healthy is important and can not out train, or out run a bad diet. I'm not making that up, it's a biological fact, ask your doctor. That does not mean you can't eat ice cream, drink a beer, have pizza or chocolate. It means you should be moderate. Eat healthier breakfasts, drink more water, include more veggies and fruit in your diet. There is nothing, and I mean nothing wrong with eating a healthy entree, and indulging in a piece of chocolate cake afterwards. You are not contradicting yourself when you do this, you're balancing yourself. It's when you deprive yourself  that you start to feel like you "can't" eat healthy and it's also when you think of it as a 'diet.' Think of it as a lifestyle, it's no different then brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

Hang out with like minded and supportive people.
I once believed you are who your friends are, and some people challenged that belief. I decided that since I do not judge people, that I would open up my time and make room for people who are not of like mind. I dated and lived with a man who is my 100% exact opposite, as were his friends, sister and family. To say it didn't work out is an understatement. It was awful. I lost myself, I lost my identity, I was miserable, I gained weight and lost self-respect. He was un-supportive and tried to change and control me. I was suffocated by him emotionally, mentally, financially and physically.  Fortunately I found myself when I left him. I luckily had enough self-respect to walk away before I was completely destroyed. Stay true to yourself as I promised myself I'd stay true to me. I need to learn to say no more often and not worry how people interpret why I said no.
Fortunately, I found a group of friends that are my opposite and are still supportive. I'm slowly making friends with other athletes, and that's very important to me.
I'm a jock - I'm an athlete.  I train to compete and I challenge people who are better then me, those who run and swim faster, lift heavier and hold better yoga poses. Don't try to keep up with me, keep up with yourself. When I exercise, I'm in 'beast mode.'

I set my standards high, I set my goals high.  This weeks goals are subject to change, but here is an outline:
Sunday: Yoga for Athletes at Gotta Yoga Studio from 2 to 4 PM
Monday: Strength train. Time run a 5K on treadmill.
Tuesday: Swim.
Wednesday: Strength train. Run.
Thursday: Swim. Slow, deep yoga.
Friday: Morning run. Strength train.
Saturday: OFF - Going to Bristol Baby!

5K in September - for St. Judes Hospital and Fox and Hound at Birkdale Village - to finish it.
5K in October - for Kasey Kahne Foundation in Charlotte - to run it in 25 minutes or less.

And I recently found out about a 10K taking place nearby, I'm thinking of running it just to challenge myself.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bucket List - 40 before 40

In four years I turn 40 - wow! Life sure goes by fast! We all set bucket lists and I've set mine. In four years - it would be amazing to have reached all 40 goals - but- to come close reaching them will be sweet. If knowing what you want is half the battle, then here they are,  the 40 things I want to do, see and have before  I turn 40.

1.  Publish a novel/movie script & to have articles published in magazines
2. To go on a family vacation for my parents 40th year anniversary. Did not happen - but we are planning on a future trip.
3. Compete on a Fitness stage one more time
5. Complete at least one triathlon I don't care to do that anymore but I won't say no if the opportunity arises.
Jimmie Johnson & Kasey Kahne of HMS in Darlington, SC
May 2012
Goal: to have better control of my camera,
this picture could have been really nice!
6. A private one on one interview with the four elite NASCAR drivers on the Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) team.  NOT important to do anymore, but I'm open to the opportunity. At least I got to interview them in a group setting.
7. A career no one can take away from me! IN PROGRESS
8. To be at 18% body fat if not less!
9. Visit one or two of these cities: Nashville, Charleston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Charleston, and Seattle -and a tropical island.
10. Go on an over-night trip alone with my niece  This may happen 1 day when she is a teenager.
11. Go on - HOST a yoga retreat
12. Travel to a racetrack out west such as, Phoenix,  Sonoma in California, or Las Vegas
13. Go to a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium
14. To do some daring outdoor adventure such as: kayak, zip line , white water rafting, rock climb and/or to paddle board. GOAL REACHED I did Paddleboard once, I'd like to do it again! 
The John Hancock Building reflection of the mirrored
windows of the John Hancock Tower
Goal: to be more solid & this picture to be less 'busy'

15. To be more confident and really good at driving the boat on Lake Norman - alone if I had to! ***In progress! More chances next summer!*** 
16. Celebrate my 38th birthday at the Daytona 500. IN PROGRESS! t-minus 8 days
17. Ride a horse one more time
18. To have more "auntie and niece" days and to start a tradition with her. To go bowling with her-DONE! Movie trip!
19. Spend a week with my cousins in Montreal and Quebec City or heck, to visit a Foreign country together. DONE Well, spent a few days w/her New Years 2014
20. A fully equipped workout room in my house, so I don't have to go the gym anymore. - Almost reached, I have the basic equipment to be able to do a challenging workout!
21. To have a better camera - and amazing pictures that I took posted on my wall
22. To not procrastinate anymore
23. Swim with dolphins
24. Become a Yoga Teacher
25. Buy a new car
26. Run a  half marathon - (13 miles) - IN progress-
27. Invest more time in a charity and to have my own 'foundation.'  Possibly - reading to kids at libraries.
28. Live a life of integrity, honor, commitment, self-discipline = ALWAYS in progress~
29. My retirement fund ...
30. To be a member of a Church - to know 'which' I will consistently participate in. GOAL REACHED I am active and involved at Elevation Church. I was on the production team- and will probably be on the LKN production team in 2014.
31. Go camping in the woods, or mountains again
32. Own a really good website promoting my writing and photography.
33. Another photo shoot - a portfolio- see goal number three (3).
34. Host a holiday dinner party for my family without - or with minimal assistance from them. Kinda sorta done
35. Buy brand new furniture
36. Go to a Joyce Meyer event
37. Walk on the beach - barefoot- at least two or three times a year (seeing as though I no longer live near a beach)
38. An apartment that is all mine, and decorated in my style
39. To go a UFC event
40. To NOT be upset with myself if I do not reach all of these goals by my 40th birthday - but to continue my journey to reach them in my 40s
Tall building in Charlotte, NC
Goal: to have better aim

That's that, my 40 by 40 and I'm sure some things on this list will probably change. But this is what's important to me today. This is what I want my future to look like.