Category: Move It

Waterfront 5K

christina-taketag_smNow, let me clarify something: Yes, in junior high that one time I ran the Turkey Trot in my PE shoes. When I came out to the car with the frozen turkey I’d won, the first thing I saw was my mother pantomiming “Where is your saxophone?” not “Why are you carrying a frozen 12lb turkey?”

Yes, I did run track. But this was a real non-scholastic race – I’m talking about my first real race where it was me versus Little Father Time (oh do excuse my Thomas Hardy reference – but papa would be proud!) and not an awkward, gangly junior high/early high school me with bushy hair, bad skin and braces against girls who would beat me on sprints by full seconds. My events were the 100, 440 relay, 880 relay, and for a brief and fanciful time after much provocation from the coach, 440 hurdles.) In the end I suppose I was quick, but I wasn’t necessarily fast, depending on where you base your comparisons. I was a soccer player, a mid-fielder, conditioned to endure 90 plus minutes of sprinting, quick bursts, ball handling and sheer power behind shots (not that I took any, always the assist-er, never the assist-ee;) I was no runner.

Then the company challenge rolled around. The 2009 challenge culminates in a half-Ironman triathalon in September 2009. For whatever reason, my mind was made up; this was the year. I decided to do it.

Then I remembered I’m not a cyclist or much of a swimmer (unless you give me a wetsuit, board and some fins, I’m golden then!) Also?

Okay, I admit it. Over a decade of playing soccer and no, I’m not a runner.

Really, I’mchristina-jen_sm not ashamed; they’re just truly two very different things. Being the good little monkey I am, I tried to educate myself some via Runner’s World (and not just because we’ve worked with them, thanks, I knew they were reputable prior to my employment.) Over pronation, under pronation, what the nation, I had no idea. After reading up some and consulting vendor catalogs, I prodealt some shoes for myself. Quickly I realized that utilizing my discount was not the fastest way to get shoes, so I stopped by my local Fleet Feet. The gal that helped me knew me to a T; lucky for me, she was a soccer player herself and understood that my concept of running shoe =cleats. I had no idea what good running shoes should feel like! I expected them to be hard, to feel the ground and anything near my foot, form fitted, tight, all the way to my toes. After comparison testing, I chose a cushiony pair of Sauconys. Little did I know my race partner Jenni would buy the same pair – having never seen mine – a few days later! (We’ve dubbed ourselves Team Bad-Ass Shoes. Well, “Shoes” is optional.)

Running with a buddy helped me loads! Sadly I lost a furry, feline little brother the day before the race. Thirteen years is pretty old for a one-kidney’d cat, but it still hurt and I felt almost like maybe I wouldn’t make it. However, I had paid for the race, talked about it, Houdini was busy chasing endless lizards in kitty heaven and my partner and I had committed to crossing that line just to cross it. The down-and-back course was great for morale; every time I heard a small cheer go up, I knew that it was my co-workers passing more co-workers, and while we were all racing the clock truly we were running as a team.

title-nine-successAt any rate, my first 5K is done and I can already say I think I am hooked! The race times cannot be posted fast enough (I was too busy “finishing strong,” hearing my boss yelling encouragement, to see my time,) and I am already looking to the next one.

[EDIT: Race times have been posted – 30:44 for a 5K they said was too long by almost 100 yards. Not too shabby!…but I can beat that. Till next time!]


Nothing is hard and fast

It’s ironic. My last post, a million years ago, was how I could not stop doing yoga, once I started a practice.
And then, I stopped! Ha! And then, stopped blogging because since I stopped practicing regularly I couldn’t really talk about THAT. Well I could, but I felt sort of ashamed. But nonetheless, I am BACK!
When I say that I stopped practicing, I really mean I stopped my daily practice. I still did yoga, but it was much more infrequent. Summer took hold of me, new obsessions (estate sales & overall house projects) laid claim to my time. I knew, however, that that was impermanent. (more…)


You’re So Out of Your Mind!

So, what does courage tempered by wisdom look like? How is it different from the kind of courage that prompts our friends to say “You’re so brave!” when what they’re really thinking is “You’re so out of your mind!” Yoga set me on a path of awareness and self-discovery. As I’ve walked along this path, I’ve learned the value of doing things that make me uncomfortable. When I am uncomfortable, and I push myself to be in the moment and experience the discomfort rather than run away from the uncomfortable experience, I grow. And I learn a little something about myself.

This past weekend I threw myself into the uncomfortable end of the pond. I swam for all I was worth. My motto this weekend was, “Play big or go home.” (more…)


YO-YO! Yoga- ahhhh.

I took my first yoga class in college.
It was the only class the pre-hubby and I could find that we could take together.
Bowling? Nope. Bad time.
Golf? Nope. Already filled.
So, off to yoga we went.
He was a trooper and did his best. However, I….. was hooked.
One year later in Brooklyn, I found a yoga class where the instructor was everything a good granola yogic teacher should be. I took that class right up until my belly from my first pregnancy was about to pop. I had an awesome set of lungs by the end after all that ‘Fire Breath’ stuff.

On and off since, I’ve been able to take some yoga classes, but never like that… Once a week, Every week, with NOTHING more important? But 3 kids later, fat droopy butt, and too many afterschool activities? In short. It’s been years. And my 30-ish body has had enough. That, and we found a seriously affordable gym here in my new town, new life.

Yesterday. Was the first day of my renewed love affair with my spurned lover.
And it felt good.
And I vow to be loyal.
And I HURT all over! Namaste.

All photos taken by hubby, Seth. Yes. That really is me. In all my glory…Ha!

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In the Beginning…

Everyone has a story about how they fell in love with running. Here’s mine. It’s long, just like a good training run on a Saturday morning…

I usually don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, passing them off as trite, meaningless promises we make to ourselves but easily forget about when the hangover wears off and we’re faced with the reality of life again. “I’ll go the gym everyday, eat healthy and try to be a more positive person at work. And I’ll volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.” The first two weeks, we hit the gym every day, eat according to the Food Pyramid and grumble less at work. We call Big Brothers/Big Sisters for a brochure. By week four, we go to the gym twice a week, eat whatever we want to on the weekends (we are working out after all…we can eat what we want to, right?) and the Big Brothers application sits on the desk with our name and address filled out. By the end of February, we consider walking to the mailbox to be our daily “workout” and the lettuce and tomato that comes on our daily cheeseburger counts as two servings of vegetables.

But I have friends who like to make resolutions, so each year I listen to their latest aspirations with mild interest, resisting the urge to mock them. Last year – January 2003 – was no different and I listened as my friend told me she wanted to run a marathon. She even asked me if I wanted to join her.

Was she insane? Did she really think I could run 26.2 miles? Did she really think I’d WANT to run 26.2 miles? Why in the world would anyone want to do that? Four, five hours – or more! – of running. RUNNING. Where was the joy in that? What was so fun about that? She must have hit her head on something and she was confusing me with someone else she knew. Had she noticed the look on people’s faces as they cross the finish line at these events? They look like they are being tortured. And there’s a reason for all those medical people stationed along the route and at the finish line. Needless to say, I declined her offer with a “in a million years, no way am I running a marathon.” She convinced her then-boyfriend-now-fiance to join her instead.

On some level though, her personal challenge inspired me. I decided to get serious about fitness once and for all. I was tired of being unhappy with my physical appearance. I wanted to feel good about my body for a change. It can be embarrassing when people discover that I have a Master’s degree in Exercise Science, but that I hadn’t been to the gym in three months. And I decided that running wasn’t such a bad way to get in better shape. I incorporated running into my weight-training schedule. My initial goal was to get to two miles in the 30-minute time limit I had on the treadmill at the gym.

And I got there in no time at all. I was amazed. So then I pushed for three miles in 30 minutes. And again, it happened. But I hated every minute of it. I looked at the clock constantly – glared at it, hoping that somehow the daggers shooting from my eyes would force the numbers to move faster. I would have to reduce the speed and walk fast to catch my breath and then I’d kick it back up. Was the 30 minutes up yet? Was it time to go home yet?

I needed a goal, something to motivate me, hold myself accountable. There was a 5-mile “walk-a-thon” that I participate in each year and I had told myself that I was going to run it this time. I hadn’t run more than 3 miles in over ten years, but dammit, I was going to do it.

I recruited my marathon-training friend to join me. I spent a few weeks “training,” trying to work up to five miles, but I had no idea what I was doing and ended up getting sick and being out-of-service the week before the “walk-a-thon.”

It was a rainy, wet, cool April day. Steady, slow drizzle kind of rain. She and I hit the dirt (State forest trail) and I let her set the pace. I definitely had too much clothing on and started pulling the layers off. Overall, it didn’t feel too bad and that surprised me. It was actually nice to have someone to run with and talk to. Then I got really, really hungry. Really. Really. Hungry. At the turn around point, I had to eat. Oranges. Twizzlers. Anything they had. And I drank a ton of water.

We ran back and I was hungry again! But I felt great. Invigorated. Proud to have run five miles. Beaming from ear to ear. I was amazed that I had actually done it. I basked in the glow of my accomplishment for an hour and then it happened. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I fell sound asleep for two hours and woke up with an incredible headache. (Looking back, I realize it was from dehydration.) But, I was back on the treadmill a few days later and looking for a new goal.

This, of course, led me to discover half-marathons and other distances that I could imagine actually finishing. I ran my first race in August – a 5 miler. I started reading books, magazines and anything else I could get my hands on to learn more about running. I bought new sneakers and breathable clothing. I got myself a FlashFlo for hydration on longer runs. I turned into a running nerd. And I continue to love every minute of it – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Oh yeah…two more thing. I really do wear an orange hat (or visor if it’s hot) – especially on race day. And I haven’t signed up for a marathon yet, but it doesn’t seem nearly as impossible as it did a year ago. Never say never.

Republished with permission from “The Running Chick With the Orange Hat” blogspot.You can read more of Dianna’s blog at: