Saturday, July 30, 2011

Working Out on The Go

I've discussed previously how not having a gym membership has effected my workouts.  However, I have now found another bonus to not having a gym.  
During my summer travels I have been many places with no gym.  While someone who uses machines at the gym, or even free weights only, might be stumped as to how to workout, I have not made a change in my workout routine.  

Of course you can run anywhere.  You just lace up your shoes and go.  Sometimes I've been taking Seamus, my GPS watch to find out how far or fast I'm going and other times I've just been winging it and going on feel.  I have run in the rain and HEAT.  And while these are the most fun or perfect runs, not having an air conditioned gym to fall back on fosters a "no excuses" mentality.  If I skipped every run with adverse conditions, I don't think I'd ever work out!  

I also love that my Crossfit workouts can be done anywhere.  My push up, sit up and sqaut routine can be done literally anywhere.  I did it on the back lawn of where we stayed in Maine many times.  While the neighbors may have looked at me a bit funny, I didn't skip a beat.  As a matter of fact, I actually loved working out outside so much I was a little disappointed when I went home and was forced back indoors.

So, while not having a gym membership has its downfalls, (particularly in the winter), during the summer months, I'm not missing it at all!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hanging Out in Purgatory

I recently went to Purgatory Chasm in Massachusetts.  Its a place I used to go a LOT as a kid.  My parents live close by.  We recently visited them and decided it would be a fun day trip.  I had never taken my husband and we've been married almost ten years!  

I was a little concerned that it was going to be the victim of childhood imagination and that when we arrived, it was going to be smaller and not as grand as I remember it being. It was just as I remembered it.

The center chasm is 1/2 mile in length and it goes down quickly.  You are walking through a chasm with rock faces on both sides of you that reach up hundred of feet.  While they don't allow you to climb the "walls" you can play around on the rocks as much as you'd like.

There are caves to plays in, holes that come up out of now where and lots of cool rock shapes to play on.  Its more of a "scramble" than a hike.  We had our doggie with us and my husband had his big camera so we didn't do a ton of playing around on the rocks.  However, it was a lot of fun.  

My parents enjoyed it quite a bit too I think.

It was funny though, they told me all sorts of stories of things I did when I was a kid.  Climbed a wall when they weren't looking, went through a small crack, you name it.  I was a lot more cautious as an adult thinking of all the ways I could get

They have made lots of improvements to the park since I was a kid.  A new parking lot, an improved pavilion, a program building and a LARGE playground that is cool at any age. 

Sometimes you can be a kid again.  Oh and there was a wonderful farm that sold home made ice cream right down the road.  It was a great ending to a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I still don't like meat.  However, I know that the more and more training I do, the more protein I need.  I will eat meat, however, its not my favorite.  And when put on a plate with rice or potato, or really any starch or carohydrate, the rice wins out.  

However, all of this has been leading to sugar issues, etc so I've been working very hard to find more protein in my diet.  
I've almost had to set my mind on no carbs, which then leads to the proper amount of

I've started eating hard boiled eggs.  I make a bunch at a time and then have them in the fridge as a grab and go snack.  I also got back into cheese sticks.  So yummy and I can grab it and eat it on my way out the door.
I've also fallen in love with the new Gatorade "recovery" drinks.  They have one that tastes almost like regular Gatorade, but has 16 grams of protein.  Its a great alternative to protein shakes, when I can't be home with my blender.  

I also made home made bean burgers.  All sorts of yummy ingredients went into the food processor, then I grilled them up and they were better than anything I've ever had out of a box or at a restaurant.

So, while its been tough, I've been slowly making changes and making more protein choices.  Its been positively impacting my training thus far.  Maybe I'm imagining it, but I am going to continue to work to have the amount of protein I should each day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Booty Shorts

Okay so I've always wanted a pair of booty know those booty and leg hugging shorts that seem to show every last detail of your behind.

From the time I was in high school, I was unhappy with my booty and thighs.  And so I hid them.  I didn't wear long pants, but my shorts were baggy and hit a certain length.
And for the record, when I look back at photos of myself in high school, I'm not sure what the heck was  wrong with me, thinking my thighs were big!

Let's fast forward....I've been running for a while now and always wanting to try booty shorts, but I've always been waiting for the perfect time to buy them, the perfect pair to wear.  I made up a lot of excuses.  Some of them were valid and others were just mental games I was playing with myself.

Well this summer I went to my favorite athletic store and decided that I wasn't leaving the store until I tried on another pairs of shorts to find the perfect pair for me.  My husband dutifully sat outside the waiting room, nodding and giving opinions.  Even when I came out in the another pair of black shorts, seemingly the same as the last 12 pairs, he was supportive.

I did find the right pair and I bought them.  They sat on the chair by my bed for a while with the tags still on.  Then I took the plunge and cut the tags off.  Then they sat in my running drawer for a little while.  I thought about what tops would go with them etc.  I thought about how I would wear them and where.

Well I recently went away from home and I grabbed the shorts and packed them as one of only two pairs of running shorts for two weeks.  (I washed and dried by hand every day).  I got up one morning and out of impulse and necessity, put the shorts on.

I ran down Main Street and I honestly felt like everyone was staring at me.  I was concerned that people were whispering about "Why someone my age or size would wear those shorts."  As the weeks went on I wore the shorts, over and over again.  Every time, thinking about it a little less. I also marveled at how comfy they were to run in.

So now, after weeks of having these shorts, I don't think about them, or myself in them.  I love wearing them.  And they have come to represent something so much bigger than a pair of shorts.  I love myself, no matter what size I am.  I love running and I am proud to get out there on the streets every day.  Of others are judging me, they need to first look at themselves, because I am strong, happy and free.

Here are a picture of the shorts....and I know what you're going to say...they're not even that short or steps people....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I recently took a trip to our family's home in Maine.  It sounds very Martha Stewart-esque, but its really simply an old, charming house on an island off the coast of Maine.  Its been in our family for almost a century.  Although it is visited from time to time by different members of the family, the week of the 4th of July is the big event.  We all go out to spend about a week together.

Although eight people doesn't seem like a big number it does seem like it to two people (my husband and I) who live alone in the quiet.  This year we also had two doggies.  Ours, who is almost three and a puppy of just four months old.  They added to the chaos.

So what do we do while we are out on this island?  We play games, watch movies, swim in the quarries, run, walk, hike, crafts, etc.  Its a great time.  We laugh a LOT, eat a lot of great food and attend the island's 4th of July festivities.  (The festivities consist of a parking lot with some booths that sell food and baked goods and raffle tickets and a small but very funny parade.)

This year I was struck at how excited I was to go out to the island and spend time with my family.  I feel like I'm the luckiest girl in the world that I get to spend my vacation and my time with my family who are also my best friends.

This is my "little" cousin and I.  She's 16 now and this is our classic pose.  She was 4 when I met my husband and I started teaching her to drive on this trip.  Wow!

Every few years the island saves up enough cash for a fireworks display.  This year was one of those years.  I got to watch them from the back of my car, under a blanket eating ice cream with my little cousin.  Le sigh.

On the island lobster is cheaper than other meats like chicken.  The island exports more lobster than any other place in the world.  So its fresh and yummy.  I won't even eat lobster any where else.  We have one big lobster dinner and then lobster rolls all week.  Yeah, its tough, but someone has to do it.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I'm obsessed.  I love yoga and I'm completely bitten by the yoga bug.  I'm not sure how it happened.  I did yoga last year when I was injured and I liked it.  I try to do yoga as part of my 2011 training program.  I usually fit it in once a week or so....but not always (getting a doggie who thinks yoga time was play time didn't help matters).

However, when I was away from home a few weeks ago I steadily did yoga every other day.  All of a sudden I wasn't concerned with how long the video was going to last.  I was really focusing on the practice.  I was finally able to do some of the poses that I used to roll my eyes at.
Most importantly, I WANTED to do more and not turn the video off.

I know that yoga is about more than a firm butt (despite that being a great benefit), its about inner peace and calm.  These are things that are hard to come by in my life.  I will admit that sometimes I'm a bit to much like Parker Posey's character in You've Got Mail.  Yoga gives me permission to take the time for myself.  The time to quiet my mind.  And thus far, yoga is the only thing to do this.

So while I do yoga from a DVD in my living room, I'm considering taking some classes in a studio with a Yogi who can help me get better in my practice.  I'm especially interested in hot or power yoga.
So I've just spent the past hour researching yoga studios in my area and planning out how and when I will fit it in.  (I am also considering buying myself a new yoga mat and or towel, who doesn't love a little fitness shopping?)

I will keep you all posted as to how it goes.  However, I am determined to make my love of yoga something that roots itself in my life and helps me become a calmer and more focused version of myself.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two A Days

I've been doing the same workout routine for about six months now and I wanted to shake things up while I was out of town.  I didn't really want to increase my mileage that much all at once as I am still restricted on my per run mileage due to my hip injury.  I have also been experiencing some issues with my asthma that have made longer runs challenging.

So I brainstormed about how to overcome these challenges and still put some great miles in while I was out of town. It came to me (after a little Googling) to try two a days.  I would run 2/3 of the mileage for the day in the morning and 1/3 in the evening.

I started this at the start of the week and I loved it.  Doing two a days allowed me to take less time to workout and get back to the house to spend time with my family.  I didn't feel pressure to go out for a "long run".  I loved the freedom it afforded me.

I was also better able to track my asthma and how I felt.  I have quickly found out that while my energy levels are highest in the morning and my mind loves a 6:00 am run, my asthma is wide awake then too.  Later in the day it has quieted down and I'm able to run without so many symptoms.

So while I used to think two a days were crazy things saved for school teams trying to win the championship, I've changed my tune.  I love them.

I also love the idea of heading out after a long day and clearing my mind from a long day's work.  Its something I need and has paid off dividends in the two weeks I tried it out.

The timing of all of this has yet to be seen at home in my "normal" work environment.  However, I am changing things up with my business, traveling more and working less on a daily basis now and I hope that affords me the time to continue my two a days in the coming months.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Easy Walk Harness Giveaway

I usually don't post my professional blog posts here, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to enter the giveaway....its at the bottom of the review...enjoy and good luck!
I’ve made no secret about the fast that a few months ago my husband and I adopted a dog.  I’ve also made no secret about the fact that we’ve had our challenges.  One of those challenges was learning to walk on a leash without pulling.  Roxy has more energy than we know what to do with.  When she gets out of the car to go on a hike or run, she’s off as if there was a rocket pulling her.
I had looked for miracle cures and I won’t tell you all that I tried, but let’s just say I have a drawer full of leashes and none of them worked.  I wasn’t expecting a miracle when I put on the Gentle Leader, however, I got one.
I will admit she fussed a little when I first put it on.  However, I gave her a treat and she stopped after that.  We started walking and immediately she realized that she could no longer walk in front of me.  Again, she gave me a little fuss and tried to get out of the system.  However, I corrected her and gave her another treat and from then on, we were just fine.
So after six other leash systems, and over six weeks of walking together, it took ten minutes with the Gentle Leader to make my dog walk perfectly.  She doesn’t pull at all anymore!  We can hike, run or walk together and she follows my movement and my pace.  So, if you’re have a new puppy or an older dog that pulls, get the Gentle Leader first.
A little bit about the technical side of the Gentle Leader.  The neck strap and nose loop are fully adjustable.  You can use without a leash if you want.  Your dog can wear this up to 16 hours a day.  (Although I don’t have my dog in this for very long, she calms down as soon as I put it on her.)
I also want to talk about dogs getting out of devices like this.  My dog managed to (very quickly) her herself out of the other similar devise.  It was easy for her and she simply looked up at me as if to say “Nice try.”  She can’t get out of this one AND it seems more comfortable for her.
Something I loved about the Gentle Leader was that it came with a very comprehensive instruction booklet and a training DVD!  Although it worked great before I went through the material, it worked even better after I did!
You can order a Gentle Leader by visiting Premier’s website:
We also have a Easy Walk Harness by Premier to give away!
(Its green and a size medium.)
To enter you can:
Tweet about this giveaway (use @thejoyfulorg in your Tweet)
Sign up to receive our email newsletter.  (
Or Like us on Facebook and post on our wall. (

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Okay I will admit I'm normally attached to my cell phone.  I use it all day every day.  In my defense I'm using it for business and constantly emailing clients, looking things up, etc.

I recently spent two weeks in a location that doesn't get any cell phone reception.  I thought I was going to go out of my mind.  Especially since I recently got an i Phone and I'm still crushing on it.

On the first day I turned it off and put it in a drawer for safe keeping.
I never looked back.

Although I was still working on many of the days I was out there, I did so from my computer.  I also didn't sit there attached all day every day.  I would go about my daily routine, running, eating, walking the dog, and then check in throughout the day.

What did I find?  Just what you'd think:  I was happier, healthier and way more productive.  NOT being tied to my phone allowed me to feel free and independent from my work and company.  Although I love both of these things dearly, I sometimes feel like me and the company are one in the same.  In a way they are, but thinking that way doesn't allow me to ever have time off.

And so, I'm making the commitment to myself to put down my phone when I get home.  Yes, I will still carry it and of course I will use it to pay at Starbucks and yes I will buy movie tickets on it and do all of the other ridiculous things people with iPhones do.  However, I will not allow it to be my ball and chain.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Positive Versus Negative

Although there are lots of jokes out there about it all being downhill after 30, I don't feel like I'm that old.  However, I do feel pretty darn wise these days.  The last year has been one filled with turmoil.  I've talked about lots of the changes I've gone through on this blog.  However, for those of you just "catching up" I've graduated with my MBA, opened a second business, lost friends, gained friends, been through some serious medical issues, adopted a dog, and changed the direction of my business.  Its been a LOT of blood, sweat and tears kind of year.

I've realized that things are all how you look at them. You can get all wound up when something goes wrong, or you can shake it off and keep on moving.  You can get upset when someone makes you angry, or you can simply not let them to influence your life.

I will admit I'm often guilty of something small derailing my day and effecting me going forward.  However, about a year ago I realized I have this behavior and it needed to stop.
The change was immediate and made a big difference.

So how does all of this relate to running?  Lately, I've noticed that some people who have recently taken up running feel as though they are superior to the rest of mankind.  Its a phenomena I've seen a bunch of times.  Someone takes up running or working out and gets up early all of a sudden.  Despite the fact that they used to sleep in on weekends, they are now bragging about how early they are getting up and how industrious they are.

I've also had a bunch of people want to know how fast I go, what I do on a daily basis, etc.  While this may seem like friendly banter, it hasn't always been in the most friendly tone.  I'm amazed at how these people are willing to brag, boast and nit pick.  I know the feeling of losing weight and finding fitness.  You want to scream it from the rooftops and you want to share it with everyone.  However, its not the right thing to do.

I'm not perfect.  However, I try to be a kind person who cares about others and I take this into consideration in my daily activities.  I try to be the type of friend I want to have in my life.  I am constantly improving, learning from my mistakes and making changes to better myself.

I have found some wonderful, supportive running friends, both in person and online.  We don't talk times, or PRs, but we talk about how we feel, how proud we are of each other and how we can all work to improve.  I feel that these are the real runners out there.  People willing to lend an ear and be supportive, rather than judging.  Real runners love each other regardless of where you are in the pack.  Real runners wave to each other, don't compare sizes, cry together at the finish line and don't cheer each other on.  Real runners wait until the last person crosses the line and cheer the loudest they have all day.  I strive to be a real runner each and every day.

No matter how tired I feel during a race, if I'm passing someone and I see they are struggling, I tell them they can do it.  The smile they give me warms my heart and keeps me going.
Now pass it on.

Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fairfield 5k Race Review

Okay I know I said I wasn't going to run any more races this summer, but I couldn't help myself.  I added one in right before leaving for vacation. Which, I will tell you is not the ideal time to add in a race.

The week was chaotic and extremely busy.  However, we got up really early on race morning and headed to Fairfield.  The race started at eight am and the race was about an hour away, so it was a 5:30 am wakeup call for us.  My husband is such a great sport.

I was really excited for the race.  I felt like I was well rested, well fed, and felt great about it. Well, the best laid plans....

I started the race out just fine, however, my asthma quickly acted up and I was audibly wheezing.  It sucks, but I have learned to live with it.  I often have issues on humid days or by the ocean, where the water is very damp.  Anyway, the short version of the long story is that my time wasn't what I had hoped.

What I did learn is that what you tell yourself can make all the difference in the world.  I know that instead of telling myself to "Trust my training" and that "I could do this", I started with negative speak and before I knew it I was defeated before I hit the finish line.

After the race I swore I was going to take some more time off and not race again until fall, which was my original plan.  However, after one day, and talking the whole thing through with my the one person I knew who would "get it", my dad, I realize that a poor performance to me is a great performance to someone else.  I got out there and ran.  I put myself out there in a way many people never will.  I also finished at the top half of the race finishers.  So what if my time wasn't what I wanted?  It was a fun day, a fun race and most importantly, I LEARNED way more from my performance not being what I wanted it to than I would have if it had been just what I had wanted.

So, I'm thankful I didn't do that well at this race.  I'm more determined than ever in my training.  I'm set on those people who bring a positive influence to my life and those who make me feel great about myself.

I will be racing again, and soon.

On a note about the race.  This one was also a Stratton Faxton race and it has 1500 runners in the 5k.  That's WAY more than any other race I've run.  As a matter of fact, the last race I was had 100 runners.

The tee shirts were technical tees.  (I'm still in the newlywed phase of race running and still in love with the tees.)  The race was very well organized.  Although I can't remember their name right now, a local chiropractic firm donated 30 minute massages to all participants (which I will be booking SOON).  The "after party" was on the beach and the food was apples, bagels, watermelon and yogurt.  I do have to complain a little bit.  There was no bottled water, just lemonade and orange drink in milk cartons.  Not good for someone with sugar issues.

There is a half marathon the following day so this was just their warmup.  They had LOTS of porta potties and two sets of "real" bathrooms (beach ones that are there for beach goers).  There was a band on the beach and a band at the half way mark.  Pretty cool.  Obviously, I've never done a Rock And Roll otherwise this wouldn't have been so cool to me.

Overall, it was a great race.  With a change in attitude and perspective, one of my favorites.

Friday, July 8, 2011

How To Shop For Free

When I first heard of Kathy Spencer’s book, How To Shop For Free I almost rolled my eyes.  However, as I started poking around her website ( I became curious at first.  The more I kept reading, the more I wanted to know more!
I will admit I don’t cut coupons.  I usually hit my local warehouse store assuming I’m getting the best deal.  I’ve done this forever.  Well I was so wrong!
How to Shop For Free spells out how to get the best deals.  It talks specifically how to use sales, coupons, doubling specials, and store policies to your advantage.  It doesn’t just use generalities, it gives you specific examples and includes the mathematic equations.  You aren’t left to figure it out on your own and wonder how it really works.
The book not only talks about coupons, it discusses the best rewards programs to sign up for, the best ways to score clothes, prescriptions and even diapers for next to nothing, and places to score samples.
This book is also going to teach you the right way to do things.  Lots of people are looking for “cheat codes” to cheat the system.  Well this book isn’t the place to get them!  This book shows you LOTS of resources to find coupons, ways to organize them and how to use them effectively!
After reading this book I went to the grocery store and all of a sudden noticed the two for one sale signs, the coupons offered in store and the discounts at checkout.  So while I wasn’t an instant super star at shopping for free, I did manage to cut down my grocery bill from about $50 today to $30.
Did I mention that this book even goes over ways to save money on household items and CLOTHING!  I will also admit that have always been a big saver and deal finder on clothes, but this gave me some great ideas on how to MAKE money clothing shopping.  So, that all being said, I can tell you buying and reading How To Shop For Free will pay you back in dividends!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Self Exam

We all live busy lives.  Sometimes its hard to get in some of the small, simple, self care tasks that we should be doing.  For example, I have been known to skip flossing if I've had a really long day.  Breast self exams can be one of those things that easily fall between the cracks.

There has been lots of debate over how often you need to do a self exam, if at all and how often you need a mammogram.  While these are choices are yours to make and should be discussed with your doctor, I am under the belief that a monthly self exam might catch something early and can't do any harm.

That being said I wanted to share a few tips for fitting in your monthly self exam.
1.  Pick a buddy.  If you and a buddy remind each other monthly to perform your self exam.  Once you have both completed your self exam, go out for ice cream or coffee.

2.  Put it on your calendar.  You write down your hair appointment or kid's soccer practice, why not write down your self exam?  Its important after all.

3.  Wear a tee.  It will remind you and others to perform your self exam.

If you want some tips on what to look for and how to perform your self exam, take a peek at what the Susan G. Komen foundation offers:

So while I can't offer medical advice, I can offer a friendly reminder that a monthly self exam is part of a good health and wellness routine and should be done regularly.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!  Be safe and have fun!