Running- Through My Eyes

So, I was running the other day… yes, what else is new?

I was running through Central Park, my required 5 mile run for half-marathon training… ok that’s kinds cool but what does it have to do with eyes?

And I was in total awe of how beautiful the park was with the setting sun sparkling off the snow and ice, which was covering the ground and trees.  It looked something like a winter wonderland.  A silent white glistening undisturbed other-world.

I suddenly had the desire to show everyone what beauty I stare at when I run.  I wanted to share that with everyone.

It’s the same way I feel when I’m running Hudson Greenway/ Riverside Park path and the George Washington Bridge appears for the first time in the distance around a corner, peeking up from behind the trees.

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Or the way I felt on New Years Eve on the downhill final mile of the run- New York City all lit up for the night coming into view in all it’s splendor and glory.

I don’t know how to show it.  To share what I see.  And I don’t know if any of you would care.  I can’t find words to do the view justice… and I can’t stop a run every 2 minutes to take more pictures.

So what’s the point of this post?  
I don’t really know.  I do know that I haven’t written in ages and that when I’m running these are just things I realize.  I suppose, what i see is so often what keeps me going.  I’m almost finished with week 2 of training and it’s starting to take me to places that are truly challenging.  I know it will only get harder before it gets easier and I reach the final prize.  And when I’m somewhere in the middle of a run and my mind starts to talk me down and get tired I start looking around me.  I put myself in the present moment and open my eyes to truly see what I’m in.  I distract my mind with light and shadows and eventually it clears and is calm and quiet.  My body takes over and I look on.

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I had someone ask if I get emotional when I run… or when I’m done with a run.  My reply- Yes.  “When I do a really good run- in time, distance, or just feeling- I get a little choked up at the end (and sometimes in the middle when I hear my mile count and get really proud of myself).  Partly because it’s over, and partly because- in that moment- I feel so powerful and amazing”.

I’m discovering how personal running can be.  It’s become more then just a workout routine for me… more then just a way to lose weight or make myself forget about how lonely I am.  It’s a time when it’s just me.  I have to be honest and true to myself and no one else.  It comes down to myself- body and mind,  my shoes, and the road(or the tread mill).

I still have a long way to go to 13.1 miles… then eventually the big 26.2.  In fact, in about 12 hours I’ll be out on a 5 mile run to wrap up this week.  But the only one who’s gonna get me there is me. 

What keeps you moving?  Comment, Share, Like, Follow, Tweet (@nychristiane) or Instagram (@nychristiane).

lovealways, christiane

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#Motivation

Happy New Year, lovely readers!

What are you up to today?  cleaning, sleeping, socializing, gym hunting, hangover nursing?  Well, whatever it is, I hope you are enjoying it.  Me, I’m relaxing in leggings and an oversized shirt eating a leisurely breakfast and writing to you, after sleeping in and recovering from my events last night… we will get to that in a minute.

Let us first talk about New Years.  A time when people party hard on 12/31 and ofter regret it the next morning.  A time when we get resolutions or intents for the next 12 months and (if we remember them for that long) try to see them through.  New Years is often about staying up late and possibly being out in the cold to watch object (a ball, a peach, a pelican) “drop” as thousands count down the last 10 seconds of the old year and welcome in the new one with confetti and cheers.   For many it’s a time to be with friends, family, and loved ones.  A kiss at midnight recognizing love and good luck is often shared between couples.  It’s a night to dress up and see fireworks another night then July 4th.

This New Years was… is… will continue to be different for me.  I didn’t dress up fancy- although my outfit all together was over $300.  I didn’t share it with anyone in particular- yet I shared 4 miles and a whole evening with 4000+ total strangers.  I didn’t hug or kiss anyone- I did cheers myself with sparkling cider along the way.  I didn’t set a “resolution” so much as I changed my focus… my personal motivation for getting up in the morning.

What did I do to ring in 2015?  I participated in the New York Road Runners 4 mile Midnight Run through Central Park… at, you guessed it, the stroke of midnight.  A massive fireworks display right in front of us kicked things off as several thousand runners took of to bring in the new year the best way we know how, in one of the most amazing cities north of the ATL  (lol).  I overcame so much in just a few hours.  I did this all alone… not with a group to follow… I took myself down and figured it out.  I did this in 30 degrees!!  25 or so with the wind chill… that’s cold guys, for me anyway.  I realized I’m overcoming my aversion to the cold (when dressed properly) and actually enjoyed it.  And I never stopped…  of course my pace varied, but I never stopped running, and this is a big one for me.  My mind gets tired well before my body and I’m often tempted to quit… but I didn’t not that night.

For me, this run will set the trend for my year.  I’m not making a resolution, as much as I’m setting my motivation.  Over the past several months it has been brought to my attention that I seldom do things because “I want to”.  It’s always been because it will please someone else, or make them happy in a long run, or look good when I go out with them, or to beat myself up for “mistakes” I have made.  I’ll let you all in on something not so pretty– all those days of fitness I did and nearly everything else for the past 5 months has been predominantly motivated by this thought, “If your Ex is that talented and good looking and amazing and YOU messed that up, you deserve to shred your muscles and push your body and beat yourself up… if for no other reason then that for a short time the physical pain is more intense then the emotional pain and for that time you don’t feel it”.

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Yes, I know that’s unhealthy and I’m tired of it.  So in this new year- I am my motivation.  This year I am going to set goals, most likely various races in NYC, do things that make me happy.

“I will run for… myself.  To be the best me in this new year”.  to quote my race bib.

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If you think that sounds selfish, it’s not.  Through a lot of thought, reflection, and growth I recognized that I have always done things to please others… that has been my motivation. But this is un-healthy and un-sustainable (as events in the past months have demonstrated).  However, if I am a truly confident and happy individual it will please others (and myself) for longer… healthier relationships.

This is going to be a new Christiane in a new year and I am pumped.  Not just running and working out… using my time, resources, and creative skills more.  I will write more.  I will make the time to grocery shop and cook again.  I will get my butt to classes.  I will socialize and explore.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy…  but I’m not going to dwell on things I can’t fix and instead be in the present and be in it for me.

So y’all, what’s your New Years resolution… or motivation?  Share here if you would like, or just write it someplace for yourself and see what the year brings.

lovealways, christiane

On all the Days of Fitness I’ve missed!

That would be the 8th-18th Days.

Wow… I now it’s been a while… which wasn’t supposed to happen, sense i was planning on writing every day for my 25 Days of Fitness.

Well, I want y’all to know that I HAVE been doing something every day!!  I’ve been posting on Instagram (@nychristiane) which is a lot easier and faster (sometimes) then working on a whole post. BUT I want to post everything on here and catch you up on my adventure!!

I’ll just caption each photo with what I did that day.  By the 25th… or 26th… I’ll do a nice reflection post.

So here we go… a photo array of the past 11 days and my fitness endeavors!

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On the 7th Day of Fitness:  I was up with the sun, headed to the Gym.  Today was a short run with high incline.  Then I came home and taught my roommate a Pilates Mat 1 class focused on arms and core!  Challenge your body and share your knowledge!

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On the 8th Day of Fitness:  I wanted to see if I could sprint out a 10 minute mile… and well, I can!!  Varying your running in distance, incline, speed, etc. can be a great way to keep your body on its toes!  Also did a fantastic upper body workout with weights!  Not a bad Monday.

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On the 9th Day of Fitness:  self led Pilates class with a focus on arms!!  I like to use easy alb weights.  Keep in mind, using light weights will build strong lean muscles (not lots of bull) so- ladies especially- don’t be afraid to pick up the weights for your arms reps!!  A strong supportive upper body can be a powerful, beautiful thing!

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On the 10th Day of Fitness:  Oh the weather outside was frightful (it was snowing) but the treadmill is so delightful!  Core work and 3 mile run today!  Feeling good and staying warm as winter sets in.  Remember it’s important to layer and stay hydrated!!

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On the 11th Day of Fitness: I had to listen to my body, which was saying “If you even thing about putting on those shoes, I”m gonna fall right off that treadmill”.  Instead, I reviewed my Pilates certification material and read Women’s Running Magazine with my snuggle flurries and some vitamin C (and Christmas music!).  It can be hard, but it’s always important to listen to your body and take it easy when needed.  Good food and sleep will only help your body on it’s path to health and fitness.

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On the 12th Day of Fitness:  I gave myself an intense Pilates class and included props.  Difficult 1 footed bridge shows here, lift and lower the free leg makes this a fun glut workout.  Then gave my feet some love and attention with Tune-Up Therapy balls!

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On the 13th Day of Fitness:  Core, arms, leg, and glut work.  Then a really kick ass run!  The process clearly isn’t pretty, but I”m loving the results.  I nearly gave up today at the 3 mile mark, but I kept going- one foot in front of the other- and the last mile was actually the easiest!  It’s a mind over matter case and my body was up for the push. Feeling super good!!

Don’t ask me where the picture for the 14th Day of Fitness is… I can’t get it to upload at the moment!  which is frustrating cause it’s pretty.  But on that day I got to take Pilates class before work.  Class had a serious focus on lower abs and triceps.  Then took some time to roll out my legs from that run last night!  Challenge yourself, but know when your body needs rest.

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On the 15th Day of Fitness:  Today was a guilt free rest day.  My body has been feeling and performing very well but I know that if I push it to hard without enough rest and rebuilding time between workouts, I won’t always feel as good.  I like to be active, so taking a day off from the gym or the mat is hard.  I did though do some body conscious shopping– can’t wait to foam roll after my next run and to unveil my new gear from Jack Rabbit Running!!

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On the 16th Day of Fitness:  Stretch, core, arms, and a chill run!  Feeling really good today.  Sometimes some quiet time at the gym can make even the longest days a lot better.  Can’t wait to go home and roll out a little on my new roller!

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On the 18th Day of Fitness:  I.. Ummm…. Didn’t make it to the gym or to a class or anything.  I did what healthy, walk around the city a lot, and carry bags of holiday gifts all over.  While I had my gym bag packed, in the end I decided sleep was more important this evening.  Not disappointed or upset with myself, just more motivated for tomorrow.

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And that brings us to TODAY!!!  On the 18th Day of Fitness:  Wanted some cardio without the impact, so I hit the bike today!  6 miles in 30 minutes plus full core, back, and leg workout… oh and threw some arms in there too!  Feeling good today and looking forward to tomorrow!

It’s been a really awesome few days!  It’s also been brought to my attention that I’m motivating others!!!!  I think that’s totally amazing and makes me even more motivated on days I don’t want to get out of bed.

As usual, please comment, share, like, follow, etc!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I have something special planned.  😉

lovealways, Christiane

On the 3rd Day of Fitness

I bet yall thought I’d quit, given up, forgotten… Well I’m proving you wrong!! I know it’s a bit late today, but between new co-worker training, protests, slow trains, roommates, cats, and wine…. I’m posting late- but better late then never. And better honest then nothing at all.

Today- YOGA (the video is on my Instagram @nychristiane )

Yoga is a form of workout and fitness that I respect and feel the positive effects of when I take the time to study and practice… But it’s not something I feel totally confident in. So practice is hard and personal.
But it’s very important to vary your workouts and challenge your body and mind. Maybe it’s not a sweaty cardio experience, but you pair it with a run, and yoga can offer that stretch and self focus time that we all need some times.

Allowing myself to be open to something that intimidates me and challenges my body is hard but beautiful and exciting when I feel the release. There are many types of yoga (I should know- I work in the field) and each is different. Try a new class!

Special thanks to Yogaworks as their “My Yogaworks Online” for the online class I took myself through today and to Jade Yoga Mats for my beautiful (life/practice changing) mat!!

What class, practice, equipment challenges you or just is t your favorite? Share it and how you approach it. Then follow, comment, like, etc…… And keep an eye out for more informed posts as my yoga practice continues!

lovealways, christiane

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Beauty in Simplicity- Sunset

Seldom do I write a post on a whim. Is just the sort of blogger I’ve become. Usually because a post requires photo and video editing, or content collection and editing, but most often simply because I don’t have time to sit, write, and publish a decent post all in one go!

This evening however, I’m out on a walk and extremely compelled to sit with the sunset and write a post. (So please excise typos and such- I’m writing from my phone).

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That’s what’s in front of my right now. And I realize I feel completely at ease. With the wind the sun the water and me, I feel content. I feel small and humbled but I feel beautiful and thankful to be right here, right now… Living in the moment.

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Living in New York I’ve discovered how much I, we as a city, rush around and seldom remember to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. To take a moment and realize where we are and what we have. We go non-stop and even in the thing we do to “relax” ourselves (like yoga for example) we rush to class, with it would go faster, and never stop thinking about what we have to do next.
Walking through the park to my current landing spot, I actually heard geese honking overhead. If your in NYC you know nature sounds are often few and far between, if we are ever even outside long enough to listen. But I did- heard them before I saw them- changing their “V” formation as they flew South for winter. Into the sunset.

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All to sudden I feel like it’s dark, the sun has set and the day is over. We always ask for just a little longer, but maybe what we have is just enough. Take every moment as it comes and for what it is. Else you just might miss one that’s beautiful and amazing.

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Now, as the sun says goodnight, so do I. Till another day and another post (sooner than later) brings us together again!

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Love always, christiane

This Bed is SO Damn Big- Need More Pillows!

I’ll let you all in on a little secret, for 70% of my posts I’ve already decided on the title then I have to come up with the body content. So, when this phrase showed up in my head, I wrote it down to save until I was ready to write the corresponding post, figuring it would be some sob-story, nostalgic post about missing by (ex)boyfriend, and how sleeping alone is so… well, lonely, and yadda yadda yadda.  (especially considering where it’s from)

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But laying in bed last night, forcing myself to fall asleep in the middle of my huge queen size, pillow top bed and not being able to get the title song (of this post) out of my head- I decided what I really needs were more pillows!!! Ya know, decorative throw pillows, to fill up the extra space, to look pretty, to lay on, to set stuff on, and just to be… there. Something to make it feel not so empty…. Make this bed feel a little less big.
Ok, maybe I’ve been spending to much time at Pier 1, but I’ve always loved throw pillows!

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Of course waking up the next morning. The previous nights decisions sound totally ridiculous… And expensive. This made me rethink, or think about at all, how much importance I… or we as a society… Place in material things. I am totally guilty of this. “Oh, if I get that lamp, pair of shoes, necklace, bottle of wine, glass figurine… I’ll be happy”!  But once that thing has become yesterday’s news, are we ever any happier? In the long run, probably not… And if you are budget conscious, you are probably even more disappointed. At least, that’s the story of my life.

Yet somehow, I can’t seem to find or maintain those non-tangible things.  AND here’s where it gets sappy.  We all knew it was coming eventually.  I truly miss sharing a bed with the person I lov(ed).  I would never want things to “go back” to the way they were, cause clearly that wasn’t good for any part involved… but did it have to be that way?  We may never know.  And I may never be able to sleep through the night without making my way over to the right side of the bed and waiting for cuddles…. at least until I get lots more pillows!

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love always,  christiane

We Say “Goodbye” to out Girls

“We all have the opportunity to leave our footprint in the sand”

Often we say goodbye and really mean, I’ll see you later. But there is always the looming goodbye that you know is really the last one. I don’t mean to sound harsh or negative or depressing or mean… It’s the circle of life and I’ve experienced my share of it… So I speak from my experience.
The physical being may be gone but the memory lives on in photos and those of us left behind. Sometimes the later in I’ll see you later, may be a long way off but memories are forever. I’m always a fan of “remember the good times”, the times before you fought, got sick, moved on, left. It’s easier said then done though, I know. So here’s to a post about memories and goodbyes.
I just found out my mom had to put her dog to sleep. Scamp, or little dog as I always called her, had lost most of her senses and her organs were failing internally. While we all called her our puppy dog, she was well over 10 years old. She had a great life full of long walks, popcorn, groomers, and food. But that doss not make it any less hard to say that last goodbye.20140915-145618-53778687.jpg

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About 5 years ago, we put our other dog, Kate or big dog, down. She to was about 13 and her body was starting to fail her. Even though she always wager her tail when she saw the treats come out or the harness go on, I the end she could hardly stand. It was better for her and for us, to end the pain and remember the good times. Because those are what matters…. While both good and bad build us up, break us down, and make us individuals.

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And senses I’m already crying, I will make this a full “in memory” post and white about my dad. We are just 1 month shy of the 3 year date of his passing from an aggressive form of kidney cancer… If you didn’t know that happened, well, now you do. In a whirlwind of a 10 month downhill spirally world changed and I was saying a goodbye that would never be I’ll see you again. What can you do? The body fails but the spirit and Emory lives on… If we dwell on that goodbye we never move forward. It becomes a ball and chain, weighing us down and holding us back. However, if we remember their spirit and channel that in our daily lives, we grow and move onward… Living with their memory and guidance.

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We are shadows.

Alright, that’s enough emotions for me today… But it saves me from writing a blabbering unreadable post on October 19th.
The take away, love the moment and live it to the fullest. Love those around you and love yourself… even when it seems impossible. I like to believe that goodbye doesn’t mean goodbye, just I’ll see you later… And depending on what you believe, maybe that’s true… But it’s never any easier.

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Reflect, share, comment, like, follow, enjoy.

Love always, Christiane