Living Happy

The following is a list of things that a friend of mine, CGI race director Michele, placed in her recent newsletter.  These are her tips for living happy and I must say, I agree.  I added my own thoughts after each one.

1. Forget about the material things – I take pride in the fact that I do not care about brand names or material items.  My TV is from 1995, my phone is from 2007 and I do much of my shopping at Target and Kohls.  I drive a nice car, I dress well and I live happy.  I have never much cared about the latest and greatest items and I don’t believe in having more than I need.  Plus, I would prefer to spend my money on making memories (trips, nights out with friends…etc) and not expensive material items.

2. Eat less and exercise more – This is the answer.  So often people are looking for some magic trick, some easy way to get fit and be healthy.  Well, here it is.  I am living proof.

3. Want love…then be lovable – I have my faults like everyone else but I believe I am a genuinely good person.  There is little I wouldn’t do for someone and I give more than I take.  I try to surround myself with people who are lovable as well 🙂

4. Do something FUN each day – I try to live a fun, adventurous and exiting life but I often forget about fun in the every day as it gets lost among my stresses.  I need to pay more attention to the FUN and less attention to the not fun!

5. Be grateful –I have this one nailed.  Of course there are things I want for but I know that in the big picture I am so very lucky for what I have in my life.  I have amazing parents, a great extended family, friends who love me for me, a secure job, an education, my health and my freedom.  It is not always a great life, but it is a good life!

6. Learn something new each day – I think this happens to each of us every day whether we realize it or not.  The trick is, to be more aware.  I love to learn and I know I constantly am learning but I need to broaden my awareness when it comes to all the new things I experience each day.

7. Try something new- This is something I am getting better at as I get older.  I used to be very predictable and afraid of any change, but I have really opened my eyes to new ideas and experiences.  I really credit being on my own for much of this, but also my love of triathlon and running.  It has brought so much to my life that I would have missed out on if I had been to afraid to try.

8. Talk less, listen more- I will admit fully that I struggle with this daily.  I need to work on listening more.  And it’s more than that really…I need to work on slowing down.  I tend to be moving so fast that I don’t always fully focus on what someone is saying.  Multi-tasking is a wonderful thing but when someone is talking it is important to listen fully.  Never know what you might miss if you aren’t 100% listening!

9. Live with the glass half full- I used to be a very negative person, always looking at the glass half empty.  I still struggle with always seeing it as full, but I have gotten much better at looking at the bright side.  Hell, most of the time I am happy to have a cup that isn’t smashed all over the floor!

10. NEVER give up on your dreams- I truly believe in the beauty of my dreams and know that I can achieve whatever I set my mind too.  Cliche or not, I know that I have as much chance as anyone to make a difference in the world and I fully intend to do so one day!

What are some of your tips for living happy?

2010 Race Calendar

Ok…so here it is…my tentative 2010 race schedule 🙂  Bout time I get on with posting it…you know, before the season actually starts!  I know it looks like a lot (and I guess it is in comparison to 2009) but I like to constantly have events to look forward to.  Many of the road races are discounted for early reg, one was half price because I attend RU and I am not paying for a single one of the tri’s (perk to volunteering for the past two years) so financially it is not as bad as it may initially look.  What it comes down to is this: I want to do as much as I can while I still can.  I have nothing holding me back (not married, no kids) and I am healthy (knock on wood).  Seize the day, right?!?

February 21- 1/2 Marathon; Jacksonville, Florida. The 26.2 with Donna or as I like to think of it, The 13.1 with Morgan!  I am so excited for this trip.  Morgan and I have so much fun stuff planned- country line-dancing, shopping, lunch with Robin, a dinner show, more shopping, road trip to Jacksonville, the expo, some more shopping, the race of course and the road trip back to Orlando!  We are totally planning to just have fun with this race…pink tu-tu’s, pink and red knee socks, big pink hair bows…you get the idea.  It is going to be a photo extravaganza!

March 21- 1/2 Marathon; Virginia Beach, Virginia.  The Shamrock. I am running this race with three friends of mine from high school, Michele, Colleen and Monique.  It is St. Patty’s weekend so of course it’s go green or go home!!!  Originally I was going to race this “just for fun” but the more I think about it, the more I think I want to go for a PR.  I will probably mull this over until the actual race day, going solely based on how I feel leading up to the race.

April 18- 1/2 Marathon; New Brunswick, New Jersey.  CGI UNITE 13.1. This is my first “A” race of the season.  This race is being held on the Rutgers Campus and is the inaugural 1/2 marathon in what will be a new series next year for CGI.  If you have been following my blog you know that I love CGI and that my Tri Team supports them 100%.  So many of my friends and teammates are doing this race, plus it is RU where I attend school so I am super excited!

May 2*- 10 miler; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Broad Street Run. This is the run to run if you are a runner!  First of all…10 miles is my favorite distance and second the course is awesome.  Last year it was pouring rain and freezing cold and it was still a fun time.  Last year there were 26,000 runners…they don’t cap and it gets bigger every year so I can only imagine what 2010 will bring to Broad Street.

May 23- Olympic Relay Tri; Poconos, Pennsylvania.  Black Bear. This is another race put on by CGI.  I am going to be the swimmer, my teammate Kurt will bike and my teammate Brian will run.  This will be my first Olympic distance swim AND my first swim in a wetsuit.  Relay’s are all about fun and I cannot wait.  Now we just need a good team name!

June 5*- 8K; Moorestown, New Jersey.  Scott Coffee Memorial Run. The first year I ran this race I struggled big time!  It was my first “big” race and I was still such a beginner.  It was 100 degrees and I knew nothing about Body Glide at the time.  I was a hot, blistery, disgusting mess.  But, in 2009 I went back to the course ready!  And I killed it.  🙂  This is a race that I just have to run!

July 11*- Sprint Triathlon; Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  Philly Women’s Triathlon. Here’s a shock…it’s run by CGI!  I think I will forever regret not making this my first ever tri.  It really is the best race around for women and even better for first-timers.  Last year it was turned into a duathlon because of weather, so I am super looking forward to finally getting to race this!  It is my triathlon “A” race.

July 17- Relay Race; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  BomF 20 in 24. A co-worker of mine who has practically run her whole life asked if I wanted to get together a group from work and run this race.  This is cool for two reasons: it is something I get to do with work friends and it is the charity that I support.  I was thrilled that she thought of me and I am really excited for this event.  It is a 5 person relay at 8.4 miles each.  There are also two other events, the Pajama run and the Ultra.  Awesome people like Denise do the Ultra and I look forward to cheering her along.  A few of my teammates will also be doing the Ultra so I will be there to cheer them on as well 🙂

July 25- Olympic Triathlon; Mercer County Park, New Jersey.  NJ State Triathlon.  Oh, whatta ya know…another CGI triathlon!  This will be my very first Olympic Distance race and I am super excited for the new challenge.  As always, I know the bike (24miles) is going to be the toughest for me but I am determined to succeed.

August 1*- Sprint Triathlon; Belmar Beach, New Jersey.  Belmar Tri for Autism. I did this race last year and loved it.  It was the first time I did an ocean swim and despite my apprehensions, I really enjoyed it.  The bike was a little boring but the scenery throughout the whole bike/run makes up for it.  Can’t beat a race on the beach!  Oh, and they had real bathrooms (read: not porta potty’s)!!!  The goal for this race is just to PR for the course.

August 21- Sprint Triathlon; Wildwood, New Jersey.  Tri the Wildwoods.  I have really wanted to do this race for two years.  The first year I decided against it because it was only a week after my first tri and last year the weather was awful and I didn’t make the trip down.  This year I am hoping it is a different story and I can finally race this course.  I ❤ Wildwood!!!

September 19*- 1/2 Marathon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Rock N Roll Philadelphia. This race will always be the Philadelphia Distance Run as far as I am concerned but RnR took over this year!  It is also my other “A” race.  I came so close to PR’ing this last year and walked away feeling a little disappointed.  I fully expect to have a PR before this race but this is my race to race in 2010.

October 16*- 1/2 Marathon; Baltimore, Maryland.  Baltimore Running Festival.  This beast of a race (ie: hills!!!) and I are going to go at it again in 2010.  Even though the course was tough for me, this was one of the best races.  It was well-organized, fun and had some of the best spectators.  I can’t wait to go back for more!!

November 21*- 1/2 Marathon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia Marathon Series. This is my race.  I really love this race.  As long as I am running, I will be participating in this race.  I still hope for this to be my first full marathon when I am ready to take on the challenge.

December 5- 1/2 Marathon; Las Vegas, Nevada. Rock N Roll Las Vegas. I have never been to Vegas and I want to go oh-so-badly.  I am not much of a gambler or drinker so what better excuse than to run their half marathon!?!?!   Oh bloggies…you just wait.  There will be some details coming about this from me and a certain redhead 😉

*Races I completed in 2009

The only concern I have about this schedule is the intensity of it and staying injury free.  I have so many races within weeks of each other (especially in July with 4 race weekends in a row) and while I have an idea of which races I am going to choose to “race” and which ones I am going to be conservative about, I know I need to go into this with a good plan.  Here’s the thing…I am still working on the plan and I am kind of clueless. 

Questions:

Thinking in terms of recovery (and avoiding injury) how should I train in between events?

Do you race back to back weeks?  What are your best injury prevention tips (besides the obvious resting, icing and massaging)?

Most importantly, are any of you bloggies out there doing any of these races???  I would love love love to add bloggy meet-ups to my race weekends 🙂

Three Things Tuesday

PiF 500++ Mile Club: I love this…love it!  If you don’t know about the PiF 500++ club yet, check it out here.  Being a part of this, makes me want to run/bike even more.  And I am already looking forward to all the money I am going to be able to donate at the end of the year.  I decided to give myself another addiction join DailyMile in addition to keeping my records on my other log.  I am going to use DailyMile for running, biking and swimming only, whereas my other log has all my training work-outs.  So, if you are on DailyMile, friend me 🙂  And bear with me while I learn the ropes!

Moving:  Sunday I officially move out of my apartment and back into my parents house.  I am struggling with this for many reasons- it is far from my work, my school and of course, it is difficult to get used to the idea of being home again in general.  But I do feel lucky to have a roof over my head.  And the big upside is, I will get to save some serious money while looking for the perfect place for me.  This past year has been hell, living at my apartment was absolutely horrible due to my neighbor, so even if I don’t love the idea of moving home I am THRILLED to be out of that hell hole.

School: Tonight is the night- back at RU. I am really looking forward to this class (unlike my Thursday night class) because it my elective: Magazine Writing.  Basically we will be putting together portfolios throughout the semester.  My dream job would be to work (either write or edit) for a magazine and I have been wanting to freelance forever, so this is huge for me.  I really hope this is the push I need to get my work out there.  And I hope the class doesn’t disappoint.

As promised here, photos of my 500+ mile club savings jar!

The Penguin says: I’m Slow. I Know. Get Over It!  My favorite!

 

Days Off Are Love!

Perk to working in a school- days off 🙂

I love days off.  Today was no exception.

I slept in till 8am (score!), went to a dr. appt, ran errands, spent time with friends and worked out! Whew!

My first stop, for the second time in two days was at this place:

I have an addiction to Target.  Big time.  I am there at least once a week, if not more.  You name it, I can find it at Target!  I went last night for one thing and walked out with twelve things.  And the one thing I needed, I forgot.  Of course.  So I was back there again this morning.  Luckily for my wallet, I was on a time crunch and had to grab and run!

I had lunch with my friend Monique at this gem:

Three chicken tacos later and I was a happy (and super full) girl.  I never knew I had two of these so close to where I live.  I will definitely be making many more visits here!

After lunch I drove down to Delaware (bout an hour from me) to visit one of my best friends:

This is an old photo from a mutual friends birthday in 2008 (I forgot to snap one today) and it is one of my favorites.  This is very true of our friendship and how close we are.  I don’t see Sarah much because we both have busy lives but when we get together it is like no time has ever gone by and I always look forward to our time.

Then I went to Pilates:

Unfortunately, and annoyingly, the instructor never showed.  Seriously, is there anything more annoying than wasting time waiting??? I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook though.  I took my lemons and made lemonade by coming home and doing a 30 minute session on my own.  I had to squeeze in a super small spot that wasn’t covered in boxes and it was not nearly as good as a class but still something is better than nothing!


Overall, it was super productive day and further proof that one can never have enough days off! 🙂

Week In Review- 1/11-1/17

Welcome to all the new readers. 🙂  I wish I had a cool name for you all (Like TallMom’s Bloggy Pack!) but until I think of something clever, you are all just my bloggies ❤  I have been diligently updating my reader adding the OneLittleTriGirl newbies to get to know all of you!   If you are a reader, don’t be afraid to say hello 🙂

Week In Review; 1/11-1/17

Training:

  • Running–  8.2 miles for the week.  Wednesday: 3.7 miles on treadmill @ 10:20 pace.  This was my first AM run since before the New Year.  I love early morning work outs but it was tough getting back into the swing of things.  Saturday: 4.5 miles on treadmill @ 10:22 pace.  I really should have run outside because it was pretty nice out (40 degrees is nice in winter in NJ) but I wanted to get a strength and abs session in so the treadmill it was.  Good run although my shins were acting up and required a nice icing later in the day.  So far (hope I am not jinxing it) my knees have held up really well.
  • Biking Rode the stationary bike (boooorrrrriiinnnggg) for 30 minutes.
  • Strength training– 1 hour of pilates, 30 minute strength session- arms and chest.
  • Abs challenge– 500 for the week.
  • Cross training– 40 minutes on Elliptical- 20 minutes on Monday and 20 minutes on Sunday.

Weekly High: I found my camera charger!!  It was hiding in a bag with some of my Christmas gifts.  I was so very happy to find it because I made it a 2010 life goal to take more photos.  My battery is happily charging as I write 🙂

Weekly Low: I didn’t make it to spin class.  I had a TT Board Meeting (I am secretary of my club) and the class was at the same time.  I just couldn’t fit in any of the other classes.  And I am bored to tears by the stationary bike!

Notes:

  • I really feel myself getting faster.  I can tell by my times that this is true and it has a been a major confidence boost!
  • I am going to be participating in Casey’s virtual 10k this Saturday the 23rd.  This will be my longest training run in 2 months (since the Philly Half) and I am looking very forward to it!
  • Morning workouts always make me feel so ready for my day.  I hydrate, eat and overall feel better all day after a good morning workout.  Plus I always sleep better at night when I have had a morning workout.  Clearly I need to stick with this plan!
  • I am now calling the sit-up challenge, the abs challenge.
  • I am still getting used to the elliptical…I don’t feel 100% comfortable and I feel like I look ridiculous.

Life: One week until I move and I have almost nothing ready.  I am slacking big time.  Also, school starts this week…my last semester (I hope) and I am not looking forward to having more on my plate.  One of the classes is an elective which I am looking forward too, but the other is one I am dreading because it will entail a lot of boring reading.

Three things I am grateful for this week:

  1. Opportunities to sleep in.  My neighbor was away this weekend (double yeah) and I went to bed early Friday and woke up at 8:30am!!!  10+ hours of glorious sleep! And yes, 8:30am is totally sleeping in for me!
  2. All of you!  My blogversary is fast approaching (and I have big things planned!) and I cannot imagine my life without all you wonderfully supportive bloggies!  Lately I have “met” many new bloggers and I look forward to getting to know you all 🙂
  3. Pretty much everything right now.  The devastation in Haiti is almost too much to bear and my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this in any way.

Quote of the week: In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the reasons why not.

Let’s Call A Spade A Spade

O.M.G. Taco Bell is marketing a “drive thru” diet??

Please hold on while I throw up.

Those of you who read my blog (whether you eat fast food or not) are probably just as disturbed by this “diet”.  And anyone who is serious about nutrition already knows better than to take their diet advice from a fast food chain.   The problem is that the people who need to read this probably won’t…and the people who need this information most are people who probably aren’t serious about nutrition.  And with obesity climbing at an alarming height in America, this is scary.

There are so many things wrong with this, it is hard to know where to begin.  Here are the four biggest gripes I have with Taco Bell promoting anything as a diet:

  • Results not typical- The girl on the commercial says “Results are not typical but for me they worked.”  By not typical she means they won’t work for you.  And by you, I mean everyone.
  • The small print- If  you have super fast reading eyes you can catch their disclaimer on the commercial but you can also look on the Taco Bell website where it reads: “The Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight-loss program.  The Fresco menu can help people reduce their calories, but it is not a low-calorie food. (You don’t say!) For a healthier lifestyle, pay attention to total calorie and fat intake and regular excercise”  Now THAT’S the spirit Taco Bell!
  • Nutritional Value- They do not give you the nutritional value.  They are promoting their Fresco “healthy choices” but won’t list their nutritional value.  Um, lil fishy dontchathink??
  • Drive-Thru Oxymoron- In addition to calling fast-food a diet, they suggest the drive through (as opposed to, I don’t know…say, walking into).  I suppose this is the excersise program that goes with the diet.

When questioned about the validity of the “Drive-Thru Diet”, Tom Wagner, the VP of Taco Bell’s Consumer Insight had this to say: “We mean ‘Drive-Thru-Diet’ to be a noun, not a verb. It’s not intended to be marketed as a weight-loss program.”  So you call it a diet but don’t intend for it to be marketed as a weight-loss program.  Ah, semantics.

So basically, the drive through diet is not a diet at all. This is just the corporate world playing off of people’s fears about their weight; promoting  products as ‘healthy’ when in reality, they’re anything but.  I made a choice long before I even got into fitness and nutrition to not eat fast food.  I do not like how it makes me feel.  And I would not recommend it to anyone.  But if you have a fast food meal every once in a while, and for the most part make healthy choices, you’ll be fine.  It doesn’t have to be black and white.   Just don’t kid yourself that you can eat this stuff regularly and your overall health won’t suffer.

What do you consider “fast food” and do you eat it?

Surprise Give-A-Way :)

I have been blogging almost every day since the New Year began (sick of me yet?!?) which was one of my blog goals for 2010.  Blogging is a definite commitment and I am sure when school starts up again my posts will be fewer, but I hope to keep up more frequently as I have because writing for me is very cathartic. 🙂 

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A few days ago in this post, I asked for some song suggestions for my new playlist.  It needs a make-over and I was looking for some songs I might not have thought of.  Thanks to those who came through and as promised, one reader is being rewarded. 

A few months ago the wonderful people at LaraBar sent me some bars to try and give-a-way.  I ❤ Lara bars (cashew cookie is my favorite) and highly recommend them!  Lara Bars are gluten, dairy and soy free.  Super healthy and very tasty!

  • I listed the contributors on an excel page so that each bloggy had a number.
  • I asked a random student in my office to give me a number between 1-8  (good odds!!!)
  • He picked number 7!

Congrats to Jill from JillWillRun

Jill send me your address and I’ll get the bars out to you 🙂

 

Is anyone else thinking TGIF for tomorrow already???  I know I am- three day weekend ahead! 🙂