Ruin is the Road to Transformation- RUN

13.1


All my runners out there you know this number.  The mile count for a half marathon.  Of which I have now done twice.  Perhaps you’ve run so many you’ve lost count, or you have just begun training towards your first 5K with your sights set on the miles ahead.  Where ever you are, be proud of where you are and excited for where you will go.

Me, a runner?  Tell me that a few years ago and I would have laughed in your face.  I was perfectly happy on the elliptical for my cardio and running the occasional 5K that took the better part of an hour to complete.  I didn’t love running… if anything it hurt my body like crazy and I couldn’t breath.

Ok, yes- in college I started to run more, like outside for distances greater then 2 miles, with the proper shoes and with a group of people.  My times weren’t anything special and I was worn out by the activity.  Skip ahead to my move to NYC and I was trying very hard to maintain my miles.  But city running and summer heat made me put on the breaks.  Fast forward to moving in with the boyfriend, running at the gym increased as we both joined Planet Fitness but try to run outside with someone who’s legs are twice as long and I was left in the dust.  Losing self respect and self confidence, my running shoes say the dark of my closet.


Wait, what??  Now I have 2 half marathon medals hanging on my wall?  When did this happen?

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and set out to accomplish something just for you.  Starting on New Years Eve and the Midnight Run, I committed to myself to do things just for me this year.  To set new goals and reach them.  To challenge myself, through running.  And I signed up for 2 half marathons.  3 weeks apart.

First, I ran the MORE SHAPE Women’s Half in Central Park.   This race marked so much for me.  One year to the date that I was thrown out of my home and relationship.  One year of not giving up or giving in.  Once year of hard work and job promotions.  One year of being totally alone and OK with that.  3.5 years sense my dad passed from cancer. Like 6 years sense graduating high school.  Almost 2 years sense graduating college and moving to NYC.

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Let me tell you, 13.1 miles gives you a lot of time to think!  But finishing better then I had predicted for myself, and 2:24:20, at that finish line all I could think about what how amazing this experience was and how much I wanted more water.

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But crossing that line to cheers, cause everyone is cheering everyone on- that’s when it’s all worth it.  The medal isn’t bad either!!

IMG_3487 (no works, only happy smiles)… (water?)

Then I ran the Brooklyn Half.  Yes, I trekked to Brooklyn (from Inwood) to set out on another 13.1 mile adventure that included airport security, 5 miles run in pouring rain, and a new PR- shaving off 3 minutes and crossing the finish line at 2:21:03.  OH, and another medal!

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I’ve also made some amazing friends alone the way.  People in my neighborhood, other runners new to the distance, and people to compare compressions shorts with.

My amazing beautiful awesome roommates have been there for me at the finish line every time and thanks to live tracking, friends and family who can’t make it to Central Park, and certainly not Brooklyn have been able to be a part of the experience.


“Ruin is the road to transformation” ~ Eat Pray Love

Had I not fallen so far, felt like I lost so much, and desperately not wanted to give in and leave… I never would have decided to conquer a half marathon, much less 2.  I wanted, no needed, to be a part of something. I needed to do something that only I could control… that i had to hold myself accountable too (training), and that wasn’t FOR anyone else but me.  I didn’t run these races or set expectations to show off for anyone but myself and honestly, I didn’t care what others thought or if anyone else even cared.

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I can see now now far I’ve come.  I have found out things about myself that only surface when you have a lot of alone time with yourself.  I’m stronger physically (well yes) but also mentally and emotionally.  And that feels really amazing.


Long runs are about over now for the summer, but training never stops and there are more courses to conquer and medals to accept!

lovealways, Christiane

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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.

Snowy trees

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

Badass Ass

I’ve been away. I know. I’m sorry! But I’ve been busy sense I’ve been away. So I suppose it’s alright. I hope you agree.

Short and sweet today, just something that’s been on my mind– my hind quarter, rear, butt, behind, gluteus maximus, booty, back side, ass.

I’ve always known I had one (obviously) but I’ve never really put of much focus on it. I’ve always been told I, “have a nice booty for a white girl”… In recent weeks however, my roommates and friends have commented on it– “what a great ass you have”, and “I want a butt like yours”!
This has drawn my attention to my back-side and just being a bad ass in general. LOL!

I go glut work in Pilates and of course I run, but I’m not in the gym working on my ass every day. It’s just there, a nice addition… not a focus.

What I find interesting is the attention and focus others put on it. If my behind is a motivation to get yours in shape, OK I guess that’s great! If it’s something you are staring at, I’m NOT Ok with that and believe me I’ll slug you in the face!

Yes- sometimes I feel like a badass… changing the topic and the use of ass real quick.
“WHY?” you may ask… well for starters I recently registered for 2 half marathons in the spring and started on a 12 week training plan. That’s pretty cool! And I’m slowly growing as a Pilates teacher, with 2 standing clients, the potential for a class, and a lot more knowledge then before. I have been running (duh) but not retreating to the gym all the time cause of the cold and the snow… no no, I’ve been running outside- dressed appropriately- and last week did a quick 6 miles in Central Park between jobs just cause!

If those things don’t make me feel pretty awesome and badass I don’t know what would. I am seriously looking forward to continuing on my path to these half marathons and hope to have a huge cheering section for me!! hahaha! Otherwise, I’m doing me. Not trying to be a version of me that is forced or manicured (although my nails are a wreck at the moment) or striving to be perfect for someone else. Am I lonely… sure… but am I unhappy… overall NO. That’s all for another post at a later date. And of course there will be training updates and pictures galore!

Till then- comment, share, like, follow, tweet, etc! stay warm and strong.

lovealways, christiane

#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 6th Day of Fitness

Allowing your body to rest is an important part of any active lifestyle.
Today was my “off day” but that doesn’t mean I let all my work go out the window.
Today, I became a member of the New York Road Runners and registered for my first run. Not only do I have something to work towards, I’m not part of a vast and diverse family of runners and support.
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I can’t wait to train for more runs and continue to grow and set more goals.

For my first run- I’ll be kicking off 2015 with a 4 mile midnight run in Central Park to the sound track of fireworks!! I know it sounds a little crazy, but I’ve already got one running companion on my side and what a way to start off the new year!!!

Continue to share, comment, like, follow, and (I hope) be inspired!

lovealways, christiane

On the 4th and 5th Days of Fitness!

Yes- I know I didn’t write yesterday but I did workout.  This post will be for both days and that’s actually great cause they are things that really work together and that I’m discovering a passion for.  So here so go!

On the 4th Day of Fitness, I ran 4.45 miles in under an hour.  This is really good for me and I was (am) very pleased and proud.  I used to feel self conscious about running long sweaty runs cause I turn so red, even when I’m well hydrated… Till I realized no one cares. The process may not be pretty, but it feels amazing when it’s done. Set a goal, reach it, and go beyond! I’m training myself for longer and longer runs! Remember it’s important to stretch before and after a serious run and do core work- it helps you stay lifted and move safely.

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I got really worn out in towards the middle of this run.  My mind started taking over and I almost just stopped at 3 miles, but the only way to get better and go further is to push yourself… and I had told people I was planning a 4 mile today, I didn’t want togo back on that!  My body was fine to keep going, it was a mind over matter thing.  The best thing to do is to keep breathing and think of something else, then just go!  After this run I felt really proud of myself, satisfied, and accomplished.  Already in just the few days that I’ve been back seriously at the gym, I’m beginning to see and feel changes in my body and my mind!

Then, on the 5th Day of Fitness- Pilates session! Pictures here- the “Big 5 Ab Series”. Core strength is incredibly important, it helps you stand, walk, and sit with good posture as well as aid in making your mid-section look great! Jo Pilates believed that quality of movement was better then quantity of reps, especially if you are targeting and using correct muscles. A good workout doesn’t always have to take all day or even require a fancy facility.

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Some of you may know, most of you may not, that I recently went through Pilates mat teacher training and I am (for all intents and purposes) a certified Pilates mat teacher!  I decided to do this training for a few reasons (there will be a post more dedicated to this later) but one was that I wanted to be able to incorporate more core work into my gym time and I wanted to know how to do it correctly, and what I was doing anyway!  Pilates exercises, when performed correctly, can be done really every day.  Low reps done right will strengthen, lengthen, and tone your muscles.  There are always modifications for something to be more or less difficult depending on the person or they way your body is feeling that day.

I took it easy today.  I love core work and doing it at home means I can listen to Christmas music while I workout, not fight with someone to find a spot in the stretching section of the gym, and be more comfortable.  It’s important to give your body time to rest between long runs and hard workouts… this allows your muscles can regenerate after being worked and helps prevent injury from overdoing it on tired joints and work muscles.

What have you been working on?  Share here!  And follow, comment, like, share, etc.  Stay warm, be well, and sweat!

lovealways,    christiane