Hurts so Good

Nike Fuel has this adorable little feature that allows you to set goals for yourself. Maybe you’ve figured this out, but I sort of love goals- hence this whole blog project. My first goal was to complete 52 miles per month, and though I no longer total out my months obsessively like I did when this whole shabang was started, I’m still doing my thing! So when I found out that my fuel band could create goals for me, I was psyched.

The first goal that was created was actually prompted by the App itself: Burn 16,000 Calories in 4 weeks. The time came and it was exciting to see my progress. The weeks kept me informed that I was on target in a vibrant green lettering. When the 4 weeks were over the screen let me know hey girl, you’re the best “goal accomplished.” At least it said some of that…There are few things more phenomenal in life than that feeling of hitting your goals. It makes me want to give myself a high five or a gold star. Now, as fun as it was to test myself, weight loss and calories has never been my true goal in this process- though it’s not a bad outcome either. This time I was determined to challenge myself because who doesn’t love creating external pressures on a regular basis, right?!

I tend to pile on work for myself in life. I recently joined a book club (hi ladies!) Of course, for some unnecessary reason, looking uncannily similar to high school and college, I saved reading the book for the week before club. I finished the book 10 minutes before leaving for Book Club. I’m embarassed by that statement- I know kids think it’s cool to brag about procrastination, but I’m slightly sickened by my underlying love of the stress associated with procrastination. It hurts so good. But I can’t help to feel that I thrive in these situations. So, in my everlasting need to increase challenges in my life I set out to complete a three week goal called “Run More Miles” and made my goal 17 miles per week. Ultimately, I do need to run more miles so I saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself and truthfully, this is mandatory if I’m in running this half because to be honest, I’m a slacker and running a race is nothing to procrastinate training for. I have these awful dreams:

Flash forward to my future: May 1st, 2014. I think I’m going to train starting now.  panting, sweating, dying, crawling towards the finish line. Shame on your family!

So, here I am, in an effort to get on the early train for training- I can’t put this one off. My Nike fuel plan was activated and the goal has been in effect for over 1 week. So, how am I doing?!

It turns out the notification is only in green when you’re on track to accomplish your goals. This time the goal was written out in yellow-orange- the color I associate with slamming on my breaks at lights so I don’t get those sneaky tickets from the light cameras. That’s how I feel about that color. My friends, I am not on track for my running goals and the truth hurts. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Was it too much too soon? Or am I not trying hard enough to obtain my goals?

The truth hurts, folks, and it’s time to be realistic in my expectations of myself. Maybe the pressure to succeed in these intense situations isn’t the best method despite the outcomes that I have historically had- success under pressure.

Does anyone else struggle with these sorts of things?! Or am I the only one creating their own crazy?!

Nike Fuel: Review

Since I began running, yoga, and blogging, people pretty much only get me presents that are within that general sphere of gifts. I love it.

adore being a girl and I truly love girly things, but becoming an active person makes me feel pretty Sasha-Fierce. The people that love me know this and support this growing trend.

One of my gifts this year was the Nike Fuel band. I actually bought this for my dad for Hannukah this year and he was pumped about it. At 54 the guy runs a minimum of three miles a day with weights attached to his body and goes on 20+ mile long bike rides on the regular. Yeah, he’s one of those people. Who would have thought I would slowly become my father- chest hair blazing and all. Kidding about that. I hope.

When I first got the band I was immediately drawn to the clean packaging similar to how Apple packages their products. I also found it fun to set up because it required that you fill in questions about yourself, and who doesn’t love talking about themselves. It also required you to set up your own goals based on your current fitness level as well as your height and weight. I even named my fuel band.

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Fuel Band Name: Butt Kicker

So what is the fuel band? The fuel band is a bracelet (gotta keep it girly, ladies!) you wear on your wrist that tracks your movement and activity levels. You can keep it on all day and it will track steps taken, calories, and how active you are. Nike gives a preview here: Fuel Preview.

As soon as I got it I put it on around 10 p.m., there was not much activity to be had, but what I did find was that I was extra motivated to do well throughout the week with my fuel band on my wrist. When I set it up I created my goal of obtaining “3,000 fuel points” which was suggested to me as an active person.

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This is my first week in review. What I found was that as the day progressed, if I noticed I was getting close to my goal but I wasn’t there yet I pushed myself whether it was walking slightly farther in a parking lot or doing jumping jacks at 11 p.m. to reach my goal. I regularly was reaching my goal, particularly through running. One 3 mile run could get me over 1,000 points. Here is what a close up looks like for a few different days:

On this day I only ran. This was yesterday. It was snowy out so I sat around all day, then got my act together and did four miles. Other than running, I was inactive all day. It isn’t even taking into account my multiple trips to the fridge which I believe counts for something.

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This day in showing a day I went to yoga in the morning. You can see that yoga counts less than running. Sometimes I find that yoga works you out in such a different way that it should absolutely count, but the band can’t read the activity level and as a result it counts for less than it should. fuelsitting

This day is showing a day I did not go to the gym at all, instead I went into the city. I walked from Penn station to a friends house roughly 20 minutes away. I power walked because it was freezing out. My friends and I then walked further uptown. At the end of the day I walked back to Penn. The times my activity levels were down I was filling my face with some fantastic NYC eats.

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What I found interesting was a day without the gym but with going to the mall or Manhattan got me more points than a day I ran and did a yoga class. It focused more on movement throughout the day. I found this frustrating because the fuel band does not take yoga into account and it’s a huge part of my regimen. I have to admit though, I love playing with it and it’s fun to plug into the computer at the end of the day and see everything mapped out. It begins to track your progress over time, when you work out best, the time of the day, your overall weekly averages, monthly averages it even suggests goals for you and then sets them. You can also add friends and create challenges for yourself. The fuel band also syncs up with the Nike Running app which I have on my Nano. The fuel band cannot track distance which is another weakness for the runner, but as I said, it’s a fun toy. I would suggest it if you don’t care too much about the numbers. If you do care, this is not the gear for you.

Anyone else using the fuel?! What do you think of it?

Do you use something else that you would suggest to a yogi/runner?

Alive at Five

After a lovely and festive week with family and friends, I woke up yesterday and appeared to be “expecting” my first little food baby. If you have never heard of a food baby please follow this like right here to this totally accurate and real definition.

I find it extraordinarily simple to get stuck in a couch rut. You’ve been there, you’re no better! You sit down, hours go by, the gym sneakers by the door are giving you looks like you’re lazy, but you don’t care because Real Housewives is hilarious. That was about to be me yesterday, but then I looked at my Nike Fuel band. That little bugger calculates your daily movement.

It knows when you’ve been lazy
It knows when you’ve been fit
It knows when you’ve been good or bad
So get your ass to the gym and move around a bit

Also, I love new toys, so it seemed essential that I get in action for the day.

So I get to the gym and I just had this feeling. Today is the day I’m running five straight miles. This was a goal I created for myself when December began, I knew I wanted to hit 5 before 2014. I know to some that seems minuscule, but for me, that’s a possible life or death scenario. Remember that 5k I did in November for my birthday- the zombie run. Well, I died in it. The zombies got me on mile 2. Had I been able to run 5 consecutive miles, maybe I would have survived. Now I’m daydreaming about running from zombies, and bears in the woods, I’m very imaginative, and my best songs are playing into my headphones and I’m doing it. I pass 3 which has become my new standard. I get to 4. Then I’m thinking to myself, a mile is nothing. And I’m there!

My first five miles in 47:29.

I’m surrounded by people in a packed gym taking selfies like a weirdo. Just a girl and her treadmill. And for now five is alright and I’m pumped to go for six. I just need to be able to walk right first- holy soreness! Happy Saturday loves!

Gifts for a Badass

People always want to know the level of Jew you are when you’re Jewish.

Real life questions I’ve received: so, does your dad have curls on his head.
Real life answer: roll my eyes.

While we weren’t the most religious part of the tribe, my family was never Hanukkah Bush Jews, meaning, we didn’t decorate for Christmas or exchange gifts, and there was never a Santa in my household. Or a Hanukkah Harry if you were curious. In actuality, we loved being stereotypical Jews on christmas- hang out, get Chinese food, and see a movie.

Now, as a Jewish girl in a predominantly Irish / Italian catholic town, you would think I would stick out like poor old Rudolph, but unlike Rudolph I never needed to cover up my true identity. What I’m saying is, I was invited to play the reindeer games! Lucky me! I spent quite a few christmas eve’s with my best friends family enjoying the most delicious foods you have ever tasted and spending quality time with wonderful people. I think they were prepping me for my pseudo Christian life in the future. Everyone knew it was bound to happen that I would wind up with a nice Christian boy. Even in the Jewish pre school I went to, the only boy I wanted to play with was Hunter, the only little Christian boy in class. Thank you for just trying to prepare me for my future of christmas dinners, a Christmas tree (even though I am totally calling it a Hanukkah bush), and misleading my unborn children about that guy in the red suit- don’t get preachy on me about that statement, folks. Its my blog. I will offend Santa if I want to. Now I spend the holiday with John’s clan but those memories are always so special to me.

On Christmas Eve we go out to dinner at a place we go to every year. This meant that unlike Christmas morning where no makeup and pajamas suffice, I had to get ready.

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My big decision for Christmas Eve. What color, what color? When your most challenging decision of the day is lipstick, it’s going to be a damn good day!

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Lipstick decided. Fur is fake.

We met up with family and friends and had a table going with thirteen people. We laughed, ate, fought over politics, and possibly offended nearby patrons of the restaurant- it was a great time.

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John and I headed home to exchange gifts with each other. As a girl who loves bling I have to admit that I requested no jewelry- true statement. And he held to it and bought me gifts that any person that has a blog about running and staying active would want. A nike fuel band! A package for kick boxing! An SD card for my new camera! He’s the best! Athletic gear is a girls best friend! And boxing gloves – with a special note attached if you saw my previous post. For John, I got him new running sneakers and snowboarding gloves. An active couple? Us? Not one year ago.

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I immediately sat down at the computer and set up my new toy- the fuel band. The fuel band measures and tracks your daily activity as you set up goals. So I got some kind of jewelry. I will do a full review on it next week I want to see how it works this week. We tucked in early and got ready for Christmas Day.

I love christmas morning because it means no fuss. I showered, threw my hair up in a wet bun, put on my casual clothes that could simultaneously look cute and fit an expanding waistline, and headed over to John’s family’s home for French toast and eggnog with an extra special treat in it. After filling our bellies we sat around to unwrap gifts prior to heading over to our next location for Christmas dinner.

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Of course he gets the crock pot. No one trusts me with cooking devices. He also got truffle oil! Cooking time!

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I know this season can be a huge challenge despite the message it brings with it. As much as we adore our family, the pressures of running around, cooking, cleaning, and purchasing can take a toll on us. And as much as we adore our family, they can drive us crazy and they usually do. More crazy than we knew was possible. But I love family. And that’s why I’ve always loved Christmas. And clearly it’s not a religious holiday for me, and I understand that for many it is, but I love the message. I love love, and I love family, and I love togetherness. Isn’t that what this season is all about? That and food. Love, food, happiness, togetherness, and family. It doesn’t matter what religion you were born into, you can appreciate those things.

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas- I know I did.