Showing posts from 2009

Full Circle Run

I live in suburbia, just outside of NYC, in a waterfront town that is a great place to raise children. I have lived here long enough to have watched the kids grow from our play-group days to being ready for "the talk." I have also seen many women take the journey from working professionals to bleary-eyed new moms, trying to lose baby fat, to finding themselves once again.
Every Thanksgiving, our town (like many others) puts together a Turkey Trot run. Ours is a challenging 5 miles that draws both the fastest runners around and families who want to spend time together in a healthy way. This year, my almost 11-year old asked to run it for the first time. While he's going to run the actual race with his dad, I have had the pleasure of doing his first "training" runs with him.
A few weeks ago, we ended up running together in our old neighborhood, where we lived until he was 18 months old. As we started, I remembered that I used to run this exact loop with …

"Suddenly I See"

There seems to be a movement going on around me. I wonder if it's because bucket lists have become so popular and, as we are reaching a "certain age," we are channelling the energy of midlife (gasp) into positive things. Whatever the reason, the movement involves people being inspired to take on challenges and to move beyond comfort zones. Many people I know (especially women) are signing up for races and taking on sports and distances that once seemed impossible. We (and I purposely include myself in this collective) are refusing to be defined as "one thing." We are refusing to be unathletic, uncoordinated, weak, slow, fat, skinny, not good enough, not a runner, not a cyclist, just a suburban mom, and all the other labels that have attached themselves to us over time. And, yes, I have heard all of the above and more. For some, who have lived their lives boxed in and limited by these definitions, the break-out can be challenging and sometimes terrifying.…


Have you ever received a message, whether it be from the universe, God, Goddess, spirit, or your intuition? You know the kind...the kind you either try to ignore or the kind you notice, but push it aside for now. My latest one has been clear and it's all about shifting. I mostly embrace the changes that come my way, even if they are very painful at first. Lately, however, I have been feeling less of a dramatic change and more of a shift, a transfer, a movement. The voice has been telling me that my life is shifting. Some of the shifts are completely conscious, based on choices I am making, and others, not so much. I am not teaching as much Spinning as I used to, or as much as I would like. At one gym, my classes are full or overbooked consistently. I visualized this happening so the students would get annoyed at being closed out and ask for me to be on the schedule more, which they did, repeatedly. It hasn't happened. I have also had to drop classes due to personal …

Race Day!

I just noticed the first leaves turning yellow and falling to the ground and, as I log in to write this post, I can't believe that I have neglected this as much as I have. I have started 3 posts that went unfinished and have had all good intentions, but it just hasn't happened. It has been an unbelievably busy summer and I have been living out of suitcases more than I'd like to admit. Used to the convenience of the school bus to take the kids door to door, I have had to readjust to driving, scheduling and making sure everyone is supposed to be where they are supposed to be, including myself! However, even with all this craziness, even with the school supplies spread out around me on the floor, and I wonder how time can possibly move so fast, I look back on a full and fufilling summer. A cruise, a camping trip and a mini "Eat, Pray, Love" vacation (kid-free) for me are the memories that anchor this year. In between them are strung water parks, swimming pools, sand…

Race Day (pt. 2)...The Full Circle Moment

It's late, I'm tired and I know this will not be finished tonight, but the thoughts of today's race are still blowing around in my mind, much like the wind we saw on Long Island today.  
In addition to my half-marathon training, I decided to take on my first multi-sport race, a sprint distance duathlon that I have been wanting to do for years.  It's a 2 mile run, followed by a 10.5 mile bike, followed by another 2 mile run.  I was at this race 8 years ago, as a spectator.  I remember looking at the women racing, thinking that I should be out there too, but I was taking care of babies and then busy getting divorced and then taking care of young children.  A few years ago, it became an important goal of mine, as well as a mental hurdle.  I hung the race description in my room and planned to get there.  A few months ago, I still did not think it would be this spring. However, by adding in the run training to all the spinning I teach, it became a possibility.    
As with the…

Race Day..."What A Long Strange Trip it's Been."

The highest hurdle for this half-marathon run was getting to the start line.  I knew that, once I started, I would finish the race.  If I had to go much slower, walk, whatever, I would finish the race.  Starting was another story.  My nerves were not about my finishing time.  Considering how my training had been stalled and I was coming off a stomach flu, I had given up on that long ago.  I was concerned about how bad I might feel.
I'll admit, I was emotional race morning.  I was thinking back over the past 6 months of my life.  I was thinking back to the new year and my resolution to be happy.  I was thinking that, 3 months ago, trying to run this distance was not even on my radar.  I was thinking about squeezing in training between kids, work, school and countless other obligations.  I was thinking about how I hadn't run in forever.  My stomach was still not right after being sick.  It was raining.  I was thinking about how I almost sabotaged myself and then vowed that I woul…

On Becoming a Runner (pt. 2)

My original intention for this post was to pick up where I left off and write about run training. What happens when a Spinning instructor takes off the clips and starts training for a half-marathon?  I planned to write about using cross-training machines (hate them, but they work) and jumping on treadmills before and after teaching classes.  I planned to write about how I felt crossing over into mileage I'd never done, how I felt about about slowing down (me?) and changing my stride to help with endurance.  I planned to write about running 10 miles on a treadmill, my first trail runs, and being a student.
While all of this will play a role, I realized, as I received my race number and packet this morning, that this post is not at all about these things.  This post is more about the mind than the body and how our thought processes can get us to our goals or render them impossible.
I casually mentioned to a new boyfriend, and runner, that I was always interested in doing some longer d…

On Becoming a Runner (pt. 1)

I can clearly and completely remember the first time I went running for exercise.  I was in college, in the early 90’s.  I had always been athletic, even pretty fast as a kid, but had, in my gloomy adolescence, shunned all athletic activities.  The famous “freshman fifteen” were threatening my body and I was determined to fight them off.  My then boyfriend was an athlete who introduced me to the weight room and I signed up for aerobics classes.  I watched my diet and not only fought off the fifteen, but went home at semester break almost fifteen pounds lighter than when I started.  I soon tired of the classes and was looking for something new.  This was before fitness centers and open gyms were on small campuses, and I wouldn’t have even known where to find a treadmill.  Just off school grounds, there was a reservoir with a concrete loop around it that was popular for walking and running.  The same boyfriend took me out there, new sneakers and all, and gave me some tips.  I thought I …

Playlist from the 9:30 ride on 4/22/09

Boring title, I know.  As I sit here, re-connecting to my much neglected little blog, I lack the creative juices to come up with something more interesting.  A student asked me to post the music from today's class, so here it is. 
Recently, I have been doing some new profiles, mixing some fantastic new mash-ups into old rides and just being very relaxed about it all.  I have also taken on some challenges of my own, taking my own advice from my posts around the new year...."What do you want to bring in this year?  The race you've always wanted to do?"  Truth be told, when I write like that or even speak over the mic in the Spin room, I am talking to myself just as much as I am talking to you.  So, yes, I've taken on the out-of-my comfort zone running races, and boy has it been a journey, trying to navigate teaching, being a divorced mom (and all that comes with it), having healthy relationships, and doing my "own" training.
I can't speak for all instru…

"Beauty and the Beast"

I have been thinking a lot about space lately;  not "outer" space, but our spaces through which we walk every day.  The spaces we consider "ours": our personal space, our work space, our home space, our sacred space.  More accurately, I have lately had a heightened awareness around the points in time our individual spaces intersect.  These may be the times we invite someone new into our space, or these may be the times we feel someone is infringing on our space.  And, then, I am forced to question, is it really "my" space, or is it just an illusion of ownership? Whether invited in or not, when our spaces intersect, it can leave us feeling a bit vulnerable.  Not surprisingly, during this time, I was handed the following passage by Joseph Campbell in "The Power of Myth," in which he speaks of having a sacred place:
"This is an absolute necessity for anybody today.  You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know w…

the "I Can't Wait Until March" playlist

I am a huge U2 fan.  I even met them when I was a teenager.  They walked into the tiny "greasy spoon" diner where I was working, only a few days after I had seen the Joshua Tree tour. I served Bono a bagel with cream cheese, was invited to join them at their table and we had a nice chat.  Over the past few weeks, I have heard increasing buzz about the new album being released during the first week of March.  So, I thought, in honor of that and St. Patrick's day, I'd do an hour ride to just U2 March. I've been going through volumes of music, trying to decide which ones to include. There could be numerous playlists. Problem is, I'm so psyched about it, now I can't wait to ride it.  So, it will be on sometime this week...and again in March with, hopefully, some brand new stuff....until then....
1.  City of Blinding Lights (2005 Live from Milan) Let's warm it up...
2.  One (Achtung Baby) Getting up and over one big hill, right away.  STC the whole …