Monday, December 31, 2012

No Gym January

We all know how it feels. Brand New Year. New You. Goals. Resolutions. Gym deals. CROWDED. GYM. I've found when I've gone to the gym I get more frustrated, end up cutting my workouts short, or waste time waiting for machines. 

Via  Been there. Done that.

Insert: NO GYM JANUARY. I have decided to buck the system, go against the trend, and sweat it out outdoors and in my home. Between my kettle bells that have gotten a bit dusty, my insanity dvds, and online resources, I have decided that I'm taking my workouts into my own hands. I'm not going to let crowded gym hours determine how much, how long, or how positive my workouts will be. I want to help people get in shape who suffer under "I don't have time to work out" or "I don't have the money for a gym membership"  with an internet connection, a few pieces of equipment, and a willing participant!

Via This walrus does not need the gym!!! ... although he does have a trainer...

Will you join me? I will be posting every Sunday with workout ideas and links to helpful blogs, weekly recaps, and recipes. Please feel free to take the picture above and post about it as well!

*NOTE: If you are going to the gym for a change in January, I APPLAUD you. I've been there. I'm not trying to put down anyone who is making a new commitment to a gym. I personally go to a very cheap gym ($10 a month) which is insanely popular, especially once the New Year rings in. I'm doing this to utilize my knowledge, my tools and my creativity to show that workouts can be done without the gym.

What's your gym opinion? Do you go at odd hours to avoid crowds? Are you a non-gym member to begin with? Could you care less about the January Gym crowd? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Goals in Review

It's that time of year again: goal making. Reflecting. Resolutioning! I forgot to do a mid-year goal check in, which probably would've helped me stay on track! In case you missed the earth altering post, check it out here.

Here are the results: all can stop waiting up at night wondering how my 2012 goals went!

1. Stay organized.  I did not do so well with this, but I have created a cleaning list for each day of the week, so I guess this was a 75% success!

2. Put in more thoughtfulness into relationships.  I sent more cards this year than last year, I call it a success!

3. Read three books that will help me this year. I read TWO books. One was called Radical and the other Heaven is for Real. I recommend both. 
4. Complain less. I always start this well, and then I lose it. I'd say I complained less this year than last year; success. 

1. Help new runners complete challenging races. SUCCESS! I helped my friend Mrs. Gray finish her first half marathon!!! I also helped my friend train for her first 10k and half marathon. Boom. Helpful Hannah here!
2. Cross train regularly. Just like last year, I had grand plans to stick to cross training, not let it fall by the wayside...and then the school year began. BLAH. This year this is no excuse; I know way more about pylometrics, I own kettlebells, it's happening.
3. Try workouts from Shape magazine at least once. I DID THIS! I did *ONE* workout from Shape. Next year the goal will be two. I aim high.
4. Run races that benefit causes close to my heart. I ran the 13.1 NYC which is very close to my heart, and that's about all I did. I'm okay with that.
5. Get 100 followers on the ol bloggy blog! Nope. Unless all you 35 adoring fans who have held out until now join, this one will remain for next year!

How about you?! Did you meet all your 2012 goals/resolutions? Do you check in annually with your goals throughout the year? Do you scrap goals/resolutions altogether to buck the system?! Tell me about it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Running in Review

I'm joining the bandwagon. I feel like when I was 12 and I'd get those survey emails, and discover something scandalous about a friend! Gasp! Well, nothing scandalous here. Here it goes...

1. Best race experience: 13.1 NYC. I know I know, many people expected it to be the Philly Marathon, which was incredible, but I think helping my friend was truly an amazing experience. It was so gratifying to see my little protege train, run, and finish her first half marathon. I was so glad to be there for her. She's great.

Best run: 20 mile group run! It was so perfect. We had several people all running the same pace. We were simulating the NYC Marathon course, excited to be marathoning in a few weeks (Or so we thought). I felt strong the whole time, negative splits, and had a great pace to meet my sub 5 goal. PLUS, it was perfectly COLD!

Best new piece of gear: my gap tanks! I L-O-V-E them! They are super soft, comfortable, moisture wicking, loose enough and tight enough all at the same time! Plus the colors are really cute...don't hate...I'm a girl...and isn't Mr. Miller cute doing push-ups?! ;-D
4. Best Piece of running advice: Run to finish. -Mr. Miller. He told me this when I realized my sub 5 was out of reach. He gave me the push to keep going. He's the best.

5. Most Inspirational runners:
 - Nadia: HELLO sub 4 in her first marathon!

Ashley: she's pushed me, encouraged me, and kept me going in the Philly marathon whether she was running with me or not.

Leticia: She powered through her first marathon taking no prisoners!

Stephanie: She scored a 22 minute PR and had the courage to go through another 5 weeks of training after the NYC marathon was canceled! She's also my neighbor, which makes me happy.
I miss being tan. Naturally, of course.

6. If you could sum up your year in running in a few words, what would they be? Hard Work. Dedication. Powered Through.

7. Most Exciting running moment of the year: PHILLY MARATHON! (See, it made an appearance). Running that race with fellow NYC Marathon orphans truly made it inspirational. Philedelphia Marathon officials and marathoners were SO welcoming, we had the BEST cheer crew, everything worked out. The theme "Redefine Possible" really rang true. Still coming to terms with the fact that a 2 minute PR is a 2 minute *PR*.

How about you? What was your best race? Best run? Favorite inspirational runners? Tell me about it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012 Stats

It was quite the holiday! Here are the stats:

120 miles driven to #CTforlife:

Viewed 1 Connecticut Whale game with my sister's family:

Got 2 free blowpops at the hockey game.

Viewed 1 Packers game at Buffalo Wild Wings. Made 6 new Packers friends!

1 visit to Grammy's house...she seems to have learned the side arm pose...

1 blue box with an anniversary gift inside...1 girl crying/squealing with delight...

1 visit to the site of our wedding, 4 years later

2 shots of espresso with 1 scallion cheddar biscuit at 1 coffee shop.

1 batch of macaroni and cheese cups, by far the best appetizer I've ever made! (If you make them add garlic salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper for some extra pizzazz and flavor!)

21 people organized into 1 family photo. This took a lot of work.

1 Christmas sweatered dog overwhelmed by said 21 guests.

1 skype session with my sister and E baby in California.

1 more Skype session when husband and E baby2 woke up.

1 Christmas fire in the fire pit. 1 Christmas sweater appearance.

 1 Christmas miracle: a good picture of my dad holding Lambeau Puppy!

1 inch of snow Christmas morning, making it necessary to rebuild a Christmas fire!

1 #CTforlife dog moment: petting this sweet girl was lovely! (Everyone has a golden or a lab in CT!)

 1 Christmas drive to pick up wood for a better fire. 

9.1 miles run.

And a partridge in a pear tree...

How was your holiday?! Was it super busy? Was it super quiet? Are you faithfully logging miles or taking a rest? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas means a little bit more." - The Grinch

Wishing you a Christmas that means just a little bit more this year; a little bit more love, cheer, and joy. 

The Millers

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Back to running

I'm finally back! After the Philly marathon I clearly needed a break. The prolonged journey to the starting line of a 26.2 race, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, anniversary plans, Christmas present broadway shows, as well as some nagging hip pain, made it probable that rest would do me some good. I may be a bit slower, and my jeans may be a bit tighter, but I am finally back.

This is how I knew I was ready to get back to running:

1. I finally started getting jealous of seeing runners logging miles. At the beginning of my self imposed break, I felt nothing but love for runners I'd see in my neighborhood. I'd think, "Good for you!" Saturday, however, I saw three runners within five minutes and I thought, "I need to put my nikes on stat!" Our two hour drive to CT also solidified the desire to get out and MOVE!

2. We're in Connecticut! I always get inspired here; the open roads, the scenic views, the endless options of routes beckon me whenever I'm here. I ran 3 miles yesterday and 3.1 miles today. I felt great on both runs. However, in a Freudian slip, I only packed running shorts! Thank God for ProCompression socks!

3. The aforementioned "tighter jeans". I've reached my limit. It's time to get back to my healthy routine. Mr. Miller and I are going to try to commit to morning workouts TOGETHER. If we can pull that off, well, I'll be one happy sweater.

4. All my running clothes are clean. It's a fresh start, all my Amorites are ready and raring to go!

5. It's finally winter weather. I LOVE winter running. These past two runs have been swell because they're not a hot humid sweatfest.

How about you? Are you relishing the winter running? Are you getting stressed (spelled backwards: dessert) at the end of this holiday rush? Are you singing joy to,the world because you've been so healthy lately? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My heart is broken.

I am from Connecticut. The first 18 years of my life were spent in the middle of the state. I have a LOT of hometown AND home state pride. I visit often. I love my state.

I am a teacher. I work in an elementary school in NYC. I have dedicated my life to these students, to their growth, to their lives.

I am at a loss. I cannot begin to imagine what is going on in Newtown, CT. When I heard the news, I crumbled. Tears filled my eyes. I was on my lunch break at school. A place meant to be safe. A place meant to be a haven of learning. Those students. Those teachers.

I am a runner who prays. This is what I pray: God, be what you are: Comforter, Healer, Friend.

Please join me in praying for those affected by this horrible tragedy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to fall of the face of the earth, blogging style

Ever feel like time is, literally, passing you in the blink of an eye? Well, that seems to be my blessing and my curse lately. I've been SO busy since the Philly Marathon, I feel like I haven't had a second to BREATH! I have yet to run more than once a week since Philly. Shame. My comeback is taking a bit longer than usual, so here's a rundown on why:

How to Fall of the Face of the (running) Earth:

- Get sick at the finish line. I immediately sneezed. BOOM. cold.
- Celebrate holidays. Thanksgiving included a whole lot of sweatpants and not a lot of sweat.
My niece, nephew and I got our degrees in card shuffling & Uno over Thanksgiving weekend!

- Go to cool events that zap up your time and energy. It's all fun and games until you have to go to work the next day.

 Green Bay at Giants with sideline was a Sunday night. EXHAUSTED Monday!
Rockefeller Tree lighting...dream come true. EXHAUSTED Thursday.

- Work more. I've started working Saturday school in addition to my regular work schedule, after school (extra hour and a half a day) and Friday clubs (extra two hours on Fridays). Therefore, I'm working six days a week, including long run day.

- Your significant other plans fun things to do. Yes, this is always a blessing, never a curse, but tiring nonetheless! He surprised me with tickets to see Once, which I've been wanting to see ALL. YEAR. We even ran into a celebrity while in line to get in:

Agent Quinn from Homeland! He was simply the NICEST!

- Have a resurgence of your "cold". I currently have a nasty throat/head thing going on. We'll see how this pans out.

- MORE holidays! Getting ready for and celebrating Christmas seems to be consuming most of my free time. That and Lambeau Puppy.

"His" ornament

Any tips for getting out of this rut?! I feel stuck and I don't like it. I must do something. I know what I need to do: buck up and get moving. I'm having way too much fun "resting", aka being sedentary.

Where is the line between rest and too much rest? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A November to Remember

It's finally December! Wait what?! It's CHRISTMAS month! So much has gone on this past month, including the cancelling of the marathon that I waited so long for, finally running the Philly Marathon, Thanksgiving AND the Thanksgiving Day Race I missed out on last year, whew! 

Then, the last week of November, I crammed in so many amazing things!!! I feel like I did more last week than I've done all month. It was so much fun!

We went to the Packers at Giants game, got field passes, AND met Bob Costas! I've loved Bob since the 1996 Olympics, so this was pretty fabulous for this Olympic Nut. This whole game was an incredible experience, including sideline passes clubhouse seats on the field level. The only bad part was we a lot. First game I've gone to that we lost! There's always next time....

I made my first batch of Christmas Cookies! TIS THE SEASON! I was so giddy; Christmas music, candles burning...aka dream world. I made these cookies for a special event Wednesday night...

WE WENT TO THE ROCKEFELLER TREE LIGHTING!!! A friend invited us to her office party which was 16 floors up, perfect views, and old school windows that actually opened! I stayed warm, had yummy food, and finally fulfilled my bucket list of seeing the tree lit live! Needless to say, I was thrilled. Thanks Brooke! SPOILER ALERT: Mariah Carey filmed the night before. LAME.

Friday night I went out to dinner with some awesome running friends! I had the pleasure of spending time with Stephanie and Kim, eating yummy Cuban food and discussing Stephanie's upcoming DOMINATION of the Rehoboth Marathon!

Saturday was my mom's surprise 60th birthday party! (Okay, that was technically December 1, but let's go with it) The even bigger surprise was that my sister Mrs. Waite shocked her by walking in! (She lives in California) All the sisters together for laughs, snacks, wine and movies. Best day ever.

So, what's on the agenda for December? Well, getting back to exercise, that's for darn sure. I've taken two weeks off for important things such as sleeping in, carb loading, finishing off the pumpkin beers, oh wait, I'm not in training! So, I'm currently forming my plan. A plan to get back on track. A plan to ensure fitting into party clothes! WOOHOO!

What are your December plans? Are you hosting a holiday shindig? Are you traveling for the holidays? Have you been on the healthy train since Thanksgiving?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!