Brookhaven Elementary Fun Run 5k

Brookhaven Elementary Fun Run 5k

Friday, April 10, 2015

Big Things

Too much time has gone by without an update. I get in a funk and the last thing I want to do is write about *said* funk. But things are looking up my friends. I entered, yet again, the NYC Marathon lottery back in February. Third time's the charm, right? Not. Lottery day came and went and I got the sad notice I was rejected, dejected, not even picked LAST for the team! Well, since Charlie gained acceptance last year through the lottery and we deferred his registration to this year since I just could NOT attempt 26.2 miles after knee surgery and rehab, I decided to guarantee myself a spot by running for a charity. I am honored to be running for the EJ Autism Foundation, a local charity that helps support school and day hab programs right here on Long Island. It's a daunting task, raising $2,500, but I've got some fun ideas for girls' nights and then there's the letter campaign. If you are looking to support a great cause and would like to help my fundraising goal you can find my page here.



So, Charlie and I will be following the Jeff Galloway run/walk interval marathon training program and it actually started this past Sunday! We're running two minutes, walking one minute and managed three miles in 37 minutes. This is a long, gradual program that leaves a lot of wiggle room for unforeseen circumstances and maybe second and third attempts at a long run. The actual marathon falls on week 30 with two weeks of recovery runs after the marathon. Should be an interesting, long and hopefully gratifying journey!

With the thought of becoming a marathoner floating through my mind, we got the amazing news that our From Fat to Finish Line documentary was accepted into the Nashville Film Festival this month! In just over one week we'll be sitting in the Regal Cinemas Green Hills watching our stories being told on the big screen! I didn't think we would ever be able to afford the trip, and in all honestly, money has been very tight, but this is a once on a lifetime moment. Charlie wouldn't let me pass it up. When I found a $215 plane fare from NYC to Nashville, we realized it wasn't horrifically expensive and that Charlie should come along. He has been my biggest cheer leader, my running mate, my best friend. He went with me to Miami to be there for me when I ran in the Ragnar Relay and the filming unfolded. It is only right that he be with me to share in this. The word "surreal" doesn't even begin to describe what this feels like.






If you're in or around Nashville on April 18th around 6 pm or Friday the 24th, come and see the premiere of the documentary with us!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Honesty = Best Policy



There are a lot of factors that play into that number. Pain, knee surgery, inactivity due to pain and knee surgery, overeating, overeating crap, more inactivity, more pain from weight gain and inactivity, working two part-time jobs which amounted to a full-time job the last two months, stress from never having enough money... all valid excuses, but excuses none the less. So, no more hiding. Major reality check. I am weighing in 42 pounds over my lowest weight (I believe I was there long enough to take a photo of the scale in August 2011) and 34 pounds over my From Fat to Finish Line before/after shot. Time to grow up and do the things I know I am supposed to do more importantly for my *health*, not the number on the scale. I feel like crap, my joints ache, I look like Shamu when I roll out of bed in the morning and my sweats are tight. My SWEATS are tight, people.

No more excuses. No more whining. Time to work again and make "me time" a priority. NYC Marathon in 342 days.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bad Things

It's been a rough winter and an unfriendly spring for me. The harsh weather made it nearly impossible to run outside, and I didn't renew my gym membership in February because it just wasn't doing it for me. I love my Fitbit still and wear it religiously, but nothing compares to being out for a run. Well, in April my knee pain made me hit my breaking point. I couldn't even run a tenth of a mile without acute pain. I knew something was very wrong. I made an appointment to see an orthopedist.

At the appointment, the in-office x-rays didn't show any fractures, and then my insurance initially denied an MRI. After submitting it again, for a stress fracture, it was approved. On April 16th I had the MRI and on the 22nd I discovered I not only had a tibial stress fracture, but a meniscus and MCL tear. The stress fracture can take 6-9 months to heal completely and the tears require surgery. Now I just have to decide WHEN to have surgery so I don't lose out on work with the photo studio. I believe July will be our slow period and I'll have 2-3 weeks to recuperate.

Because of the stress fracture, I'm not even allowed to walk for exercise. I can use an elliptical but I don't have the gym membership nor the money for one at the moment. I feel like I'm sinking fast. As of today, I am 25 pounds heavier than that Ragnar Relay From Fat To Finish Line magnet that adorned both vans on our 200 mile journey in January of 2013.





I'm struggling with food and I'm sad about my situation, which makes me turn to food for comfort, which in turn causes me to gain weight. I'm caught in that vicious cycle. Seeing all my friends running race after race is a bit frustrating to witness, knowing I might not be taking my first running steps until sometime this fall, if that. What makes my situation even more depressing?




Charlie was selected in the NYC Marathon lottery drawing. I was not. However, after A LOT of research, I found a local charity to run for. It would mean raising $2,500 in order to earn my spot, and the founder assured me I would achieve that with her help, as well as all my family and great Island Girls Running friends' support. And then I had my MRI and got the results, so I had to inform her that I was not going to accept the invitation to run for her this year. I assured her that whether I get picked through the lottery or not, I will be raising money for her foundation next year. Charlie can defer his registration to 2015, after paying for both this year and next year, and I will hopefully be in amazing form to cover those 26.2 miles.

I'm trying to keep busy while I'm home. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done around the house to make it presentable for both Chelsea's Sweet 16 Sleepover and Charlie's high school graduation party. I managed to rake the front yard in 3 days and am SO close to getting the entire back yard cleaned up for the first time probably ever. I've been taking it very easy and moving so slowly to make sure I don't further injure myself, so not to worry. The crappy weather recently has been conducive to window washing, so I only have a few rooms left to complete. I've washed and rehung curtains, as well. Things are getting crossed off, making me feel accomplished.

There is some good news in all this gloominess. I have another 8 days of work this month with the photo studio, and tomorrow is my 2nd race working for the timing company. It was a real eye-opener, seeing what the timing company does to catch every runner that crosses the finish line. A piece of advice- make sure you pin your bib on your front and don't obscure it with anything! The antennas sometimes can't read the chip on the back of the bib if it's covered. If you run a race, you want it to count!

How are you all doing with your fitness and health goals? I need some inspiration and motivation ASAP.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making It Work

It's amazing what a difference a few days make. Instead of wallowing in my misery, I decided to do something. Change comes from action, right? I had accumulated a ton of points from Christmas shopping through My Points, and I decided I was going to cash them in for Amazon gift cards and get myself a Fitbit. Because I am home so much since it's the slow season for school photography, I've been sitting around, A LOT, playing Candy Crush and watching marathons of just about anything on Bravo. Inactivity does not help with the process of weight loss, nor the funky gray cloud that seemed to envelop me. A Fitbit would help motivate me to move and be active.

With my gift cards, I also got a Jackie Warner exercise DVD, a box of Atkins protein bars and 8 boxes of South Beach protein bars. All for just $14 of MY money!!!

I reached out to friends who I knew had a Fitbit, as well. Having a partner in an endeavor keeps me honest and inspired. A little friendly competition helps get my engine going, as well! I asked Meredith, my team mate from From Fat To Finish Line about her experience with the device and she suggested 10,000 steps a day for me and 15,000 for her. Since I mentioned how excited I was about getting the Fitbit, my friend and team mate Carly has also jumped on board!! Let me tell you, 10,000 steps is a lot. A solid hour of walking/running, getting me through 4+ miles, isn't equal to 10,000 steps! So, suffice it to say, being home, accumulating steps has been keeping my house clean! Any excuse and tactic needed to get some steps in, I'm doing it. I have plenty of spare time, so taking several trips to get the laundry up and down the stairs and away in drawers/closets is not a big deal. It may seem crazy to an outsider looking in, but they don't have to get on the scale for me or wear my jeans!

So I've had my Fitbit Zip ($51.99 on Amazon!) since the 27th, and I've hit my 10,000 step goal every day and two days I've managed to surpass 15,000! To achieve that yesterday, I walked in my neighborhood fast for 55 minutes and took Molly for a half hour walk (a slow 1.3 miles with her sniffing every pile of poop and blade of grass she could get to), along with my regular activity of the day. Not terribly taxing to achieve it, but on Sunday, after pacing for an hour while watching the Oscars to hit 15k, my legs felt like I ran a half marathon!

The Fitbit website is motivating as well. You receive badges for hitting goals in 5,000 step increments. It has graphs and charts and it ranks your friends 1st through 10th place in steps for the week. For those of you that like to keep track of everything, the Fitbit will fulfill your needs. There is even a version of the Fitbit that tracks your sleep and stair climbing total. Gee, this sounds like a review! I'm just excited about it! Let me know if you have one and we can support each other! I'm either Linda Kuil or Linda K. on the website.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Floundering

So, November's race had me down. Finishing last hit hard. Then the holidays hit me even harder. Oh, and then winter had to sucker punch me when I was down. I know it's been insane across the country, but I've only lived on Long Island (except for attending college in Upstate NY) and I have never EVER experienced a worse winter! It's not only been frigid, but we've had umpteen snow storms to boot. Last year we had one major storm that hit the day after Christmas, while everyone was on vacation. This year my kids have used FOUR snow days, along with a couple late arrivals and early dismissals.

While snow shoveling has been a great workout for me, we were running out of places to put the shit!


I've only run 2 races since the half. Charlie, my daughter and myself did a 5k toy trot that was a lot of fun. It was Chelsea's first race and she did great for only having run 1 time before. It was fun to dress up and get together with my Island Running Girls.

Her first race mile!

such CUTE mile markers!

The other race was a 4 mile prediction run put on by my running store, Sayville Running Company, on December 14th. So with a prediction run, you figure out how long it would take you to finish the course and write it down on a slip of paper. You run tech-free and your finishing place is determined by how close your prediction came to your time. The course was side streets that were covered in some ice and snow, so I took it slow, and I finished last, again. That didn't bother me. My knee didn't hurt while I was running and I didn't fall on my fat ass in those conditions, so in my opinion it was a WIN! AND I came in 9th place, so I won a prize! I'll definitely do another prediction run. It was just fun and a good time hanging out at the store with other runners.

My FIRST snow run!


A hard winter, over eating during the holidays and a bummish knee has my weight up. I'm in such a funk. On the last Sunday in January I did a treadmill run at the gym that just did my knee in. I took off almost 4 weeks. I've run/walked a couple of times in the last week and I'm so discouraged. I'm so slow. I'm running about a half a mile at a time to ease myself in. There's no pain during my runs, but a tightness afterwards. I definitely have to get my ass back to the store for new shoes. I have $175 in gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket, but I just haven't got there. I feel like I can't get out of my own way, running or otherwise.

At the beginning of this month my gym membership was up. I've scoped out a couple other gyms. One had such an amazing deal of $6.95/month I just HAD to check it out. The one perk to this gym was that it offered classes, which my gym did not. Would you believe that that $7 got you a total of 10 hours a week to workout? Yeah. I could go from 11 am to 4 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays every week, ONLY. I actually guffawed! There were other more inclusive offers with two and three year contracts, which just wasn't for me.

Without the gym, I'm struggling to formulate a plan. I have a plethora of workout DVDs (including Insanity!) to choose from and I also got a kettle bell for Christmas. There's no excuse to not workout an hour a day, especially since I have no work at this time, which kind of piled more onto my already full funk plate. Money is tight.

Winging it really isn't working. I need to get a calendar just for my workouts and plot the thing out. With gift cards from all of my shopping through My Points, I have a Fitbit Zip coming tomorrow (!) along with a Jackie Warner exercise DVD. February is almost over and I can not WAIT to turn the page and get my mojo back for March. 22 more days until SPRING!!!!

QUESTION: Has this winter weather crap hit YOU as hard?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hybernation

That's what it feels like. I feel like a bear that ate to prepare for the winter and this weather the northeast has been experiencing has really turned me into a home-body, not wanting to do much of anything, let alone run out there. It all started back in November when Charlie and I ran the Festival of Lights half in Brooklyn. The weather was atrocious. Supposedly it was 24*, but with the wind that was whipping off the East River, I believe it was -100* at times. The whipping wind brought up sprays from the river that instantly turned into ice crystals that pelted our faces and created an icy slick on the course. The race was 2 loops and we turned around between miles 2 and 3 to head back to the start where we would then run out to the turn around at mile 9 to run 4 miles to the finish. Many people hit that turn around, came into the start and threw in the towel. We felt okay at the time and decided to stick it out.

The course was beautiful with views of the Manhattan skyline heading to the turn around and the finish.


Well, once we made the decision to continue, it was do or die. If you went out you really had no choice but to trudge back in. It was torture. Starting out at an 11:00-ish pace slowed down to a snail's crawl, especially the last 4 miles with the wind pushing us back. Cramps in my left calf had me at a dead stand still at times and at mile 12, I had no idea how I would finish. We were out there, all alone. Charlie was a prince and just tried to keep me going. I had no idea he was struggling just as much as I was. He held it all in knowing if he demonstrated just a bit of weakness I would just lose my shit.

all alone with the bridge and that fucking wind


We ran under the Verrazano Bridge 4 times.

The course limit was 3 hours. Since my slowest half was 2:44, I thought we were covered. Add the horrific conditions to the mix and our time was hurting. That last mile took forever. Literally forever. Finally seeing the finish line about a third of a mile away I saw my girls from my running club, Island Girls Running. They all stayed to cheer us in. My friend Danielle ran out to run us in the last quarter mile. That did me in. I started to sob. Somehow I managed to pick up the pace to just get it the fuck done. 3:02. Charlie fell to the ground when we crossed the mat. We got him up, got our medals and a couple of useless reflective blankets, since the wind made them impossible to wear. They just turned into frigging parachutes. IGR took a finish photo and we all ran to our cars. Thankfully we were parked (illegally) not even a block from the finish. 

We got to the car and Charlie lost it. Seeing him cry made me realize just how much he pushed himself to get me through this ordeal. He was in pain, both physically and mentally. He told me how proud he was of me for persevering and finishing that race, when he was with me every step of the way, grinding through it too. I couldn't have done that without him. We crossed that finish line dead last. Our first time ever coming in last. It hurt. It still hurts. However, we could have been those people that didn't finish. We can be immensely proud that we didn't give in and give up.

Can you see our teary eyes? This is after we managed to compose ourselves and commit to the hour and a half drive home. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Fusion Juicer Review

When my friend contacted me about the possibility of reviewing a juicer for my blog, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, I USED to have a juicer, way back when. I hated it. It was such an obnoxious contraption to clean and I didn't have a dishwasher and so "ain't nobody got time for that!" Ever since I sold the thing at my first yard sale to raise money for Relay For Life, Chelsea's been just heartbroken. Okay. Not really. She just really wanted to try it, and so here was my opportunity to turn that frown upside down!

Isn't it pretty?


It was like Christmas day opening the box. I expected the juicer, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a small blender as well! Along with both appliances, there was the instruction pamphlet, a booklet with a 6 week program to help improve your health through juicing, healthier eating and exercise, and a 190 page, full color "raw remedies and juice recipes" book, which even has recipes that include using the pulp by-product of juicing! NO WASTE! I was a little apprehensive about the machine, but once I actually read the step-by-step instructions on how to take it apart and put it back together, my fears were alleviated. So simple.

So now it was time to actually use the new toy. I bought a 5 pound bag of tangerines and enlisted the help of my husband to peel all those little suckers. It was fun having him in the kitchen with me (to boss him around...hehehe...). The couple that juices together...? We just peeled them and broke them in half, which probably wasn't necessary. We didn't pit them, however, and an occasional pit did fly out the chute. Wasn't prepared for that! I guess you should keep the plunger in the chute while grabbing more produce! Lesson learned!




The tangerines were on sale for $1.99 and when they were all "processed" we had almost 4 cups of juice. When you think about it, a half gallon of refrigerated orange juice can cost $2 or more on sale. Yes, I only got half the juice, but 1). it was TANGERINE juice (cant compare the two!) and 2). it was as fresh a glass of juice you can get unless I was in the grove itself and *just* picked the buggers myself.


I had to get another receptacle to catch more juice!

The best part? It was delicious!! Even the boy had some, and he's not a citrus fan! Clean up was pretty easy. I just scraped all of the pulp into the garbage, (you can line the catch with a plastic bag then just toss the bag, making clean up even easier!), washed the top and bottom with warm soapy water and then tackled the blade. Little did I know that having a kitchen brush would be the key to enjoying a juicer. Under running water I just used the brush to get all of the little bits out of the blade and crevices. Easy peasy.

After using the juicer I decided to try the personal sized blender. I already have one of those bullet kind, but I figured I'd give this one a go. I believe the purpose of the pair is to juice and then possibly make a smoothie with the juice and other ingredients that can NOT go in the juicer, like bananas. I make a panzanella salad and the vinaigrette is so much better blended than not, so I tried that.


It's just some olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard and garlic.
 

Done!

The blender makes it into a creamy dressing, but the garlic gets mixed well throughout so every bite is infused with a little bit of heaven! As you can see, the Fusion Booster has the capacity to make a lot of dressing!

I've used both appliances several more times. I bought a pomegranate for the first time and had the pleasure of getting all of the itty bitty flavor pods out for this recipe.

Pomegranate, apple, grapes, carrots and a bit of ginger! Pretty purple!

I also bought a bottle of Pom Cherry Pomegranate juice, and after a taste test of the two, Chelsea said she preferred mine! High praise! I also used the blender to puree my crushed tomatoes for my Tuscan white bean and sausage soup, since my son doesn't like tomatoes. Well, when they're actually part of the broth, I don't have to pick them out!

With them blended like this, they add so much flavor to the soup AND the boy's getting lots of nutrition!!

One more recipe: apples, carrots and ginger. Jen said it's her favorite juice and now it's my son's, too! Amazing!

This much food...

...makes this much juice.

All in all, I loved the juicer! Yes, it takes a large quantity of food to make just a few glasses of juice, and it's a bit of work with prepping the produce, but if I can get my 17 year old son to ingest a fruit or a vegetable or, *GASP*, BOTH, then it's worth it! I would definitely recommend it for people with children. They think they're having a fresh glass of apple juice and you're able to sneak in a veggie or two. No harm in that!

If you're interested in getting your own Fusion Juicer, head to www.fusionjuicerspecial.com, where you can save $20 off the retail price, PLUS get the bonus Fusion Booster blender, PLUS free shipping, AND choose your color!! You have your choice of black, white or red! I LOVE RED! I also love the fact that it's five payments of $19.99, so you can charge it and not get hit with a big punch on your bill. Then you can shop more ;)

(As with any  review, these are my honest opinions and I have not been compensated for them.)