Vegan Food Swap made it here!

30 Oct

I had an unexpected day off from work today due to Hurricane Sandy.  I was home to accept my Vegan Food Swap package.  My grandson Dylan was very excited to see the package arrive and helped me open it! Courtney  my swapper really hit it out of the park with my swap.  You will notice in the photo the blueberry almond bite bag is open. It  did not come that way. I tore right into them. They are delicious.

I love the swap because it helps me fill my purse and desk with great vegan snack options that I never take the time to search for at the store.

Thank you Courtney.

If you are interested in being part of a challenge here is the link to the home base.


your galfriday4hire

Knee bone is connected to the leg bone

29 Oct

Lets  talk about another important learning in my running journey.  The knees.

The skill of running I learned is all about forward motion.  DUH!  you are moving quickly  toward a goal.  This is great if you do so at a gradual pace letting your muscles, tendons and ligaments all adjust as you increase your workout intensity and mileage.

You can do this by adding strength training to your workout routine like cross fit or yoga for runners.  This is the smart way.

I did not do that. I tried to keep to a running schedule but also pushed myself every time I felt good at the end of a run to go a little faster.

I tried yoga  a couple of times, but had a tough time with calming down enough to enjoy it. I used the elliptical as my rest day workout, not the best choice.

I was so confident that I moved my first half marathon up by 3 weeks and ran it after only 2 long runs.  That landed me with a classic case of runners knees.

Runners knees are kinda like shin splits in the knee.  They don’t hurt until they do and then when they do you can’t move.  I discovered we have these muscles called  IT bands on each leg and they were PISSED.   I had another half marathon to run, the one I had planned to run and the one that really counted so I had to get better.

I went to PT which I just finished ( 6 weeks later)  and it cost me a good amount of time and a  lot of out of pocket insurance money to learn that you need to cross train to protect your knees.  It makes you a better runner.  In just the three weeks between my first and second marathon I took 8 minutes off my time.

Now, I have a series of exercises that I have do everyday and won’t run unless I do them, so if I skip the exercise and want to run.. forget it!  PT first.   Sure, it takes more time but my knees gave me a warning sign and I don’t want to get another reminder!


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I wouldn’t run if I was chased. I would hide!

28 Oct

That was me 15 months ago….

I am coming up on my running anniversary.  Nov. 4, 2011- NYRR Dash to the Finish Line was my first 5 K race. My time was 37:32.  The journey to that first race began in June 2011 with my commitment to run/walk 30 minutes a day.

People ask me all the time how I got started running and that is the truth.  thats what I did.  I committed to every day 30 minutes walking less and running more and working toward a 3 mile goal.

My equipment list:

Nike Pegasus sneakers.  I went to Lady Foot Locker and asked them for a good pair of beginner running shoes and the young lady pointed me in the best direction.  This brand has served me very well.  I am lucky in that I have a neutral stride so they are perfect shoes for me.

Nike running tights- really made a difference when I bought a proper pair of running pants.

Thurlo socks – I asked a person at Paragon fitness for a sock recommendation and a good pair of socks makes all the difference.

I wear a Target compression running bra in cammo print.  They are affordable and don’t loose there compression if I accidentially throw them in the dryer.

My tops are all dri fi.  I can’t stand if my shirt sticks to me!

I have found that once I got my routine down on what I wanted to wear and what worked it was so much easier to get my workouts done.

The running was the hardest part, I won’t lie.  If you are just starting running, you have to believe me that it is so worth sticking with it thru the beginning stages.  Its like learning a new language .

This last point I can not stress enough.

You have to RUN.  You can’t do anything else but put in the time.  Give yourself permission to just do it.  DO IT DO IT DO IT….


your galfriday4hire



Nike Womens Half /GophyllisGo

23 Oct

I just finished being part of a great blogger chat with the #fitblog community all about your fitness bucket list.

My number 1 bucket list item is to run a half marathon and raise money for charity.

After reading all the positive blogger recaps of the Nike SF marathon and half marathons, I decided to join Team in Training for April 2013 and raise money for the Leukemia and lymphoma society.  I am incredibly happy to be part of this effort.

Here is a link to my fundraising page.

I know many of you have experience with team in training and with fundraising so I would love to hear your thoughts on how to hit the fundraising part of this head on.

I will do my part, I will train hard!  My goal is to improve my time by 5 minutes.  2:25 is my goal. If i hit that by my marathon in January then it will be 2:20 in April!


your galfriday4hire

Cupcake Quest

21 Oct

Well. i tried to bake a vegan cupcake last weekend and it failed miserably. I could not take them into work they were so bad.

I tried to buy one with a five mile radius of my house in Stamford CT and while  I found a very pretty one, but the taste was awful.

But the silver linings ( yes there are two) to this post are:

I ran my first virtual race and it was a blast.  It was fun to join the Run with Jess facebook group  and sign up get the tshirt and record my time.  I will try harder and recruit others to run next time.

The baker at Mrs Greens gave me the following suggestion for a good vegan cake and ITS DELICIOUS!

He said its from the Depression when eggs and butter were expensive and people were forced to bake without it. Go figure.


Chocolate Wacky Depression Cake


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa powder

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together by hand.  Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a 8×8 pan which has been prepared with non stick spray.

Bake for 30 until done.  Allow to completely cool before serving. .  Enjoy!

So one day later, I am having my cake and eating it too.











Plus I ran 4.5 miles today so it is especially deserved!


your galfriday4hire

Its not all about a race

19 Oct

I had a bit of a blog block since Staten Island.  I reached out to some great friends, Jen #momsgottarun and Nurys@irunnyc77 and Laura@lryamin to talk it out.

The are all so inspiring and great women .  After listening to them, it dawned on me, its not all about a race.

This blog is not about a race its about me and my transformation from a unfit and low energy person.

Its not about training for one event, its about living my life better every day.

Its not about just doing it for me, its about getting this message out to help other people.

So in other words, get off the blog block and blog already!

Thank you so much for helping me get off the block.  But just in case here are two races for 2013 .

Jan 19- Zooma Half Marathon, Amelia Island FL

April 28- Nike Women’s Half Marathon, Washington DC


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Staten Island Half Marathon Recap

12 Oct

The Staten Island Half Marathon Recap

I had been planning to run this race with my daughter for several weeks.  12 to be exact and it paid off.

The race day forecast had been calling for rain but the rain held off until right after I crossed the finish line.  I had hoped to do better than my Philly half time of 2:39 and I did!  My official time was 2:32 but I did stop for a potty station break so I am calling it 2:30.

I had visualized 2:30 as my goal and it was amazing to make it.  I felt great after the race and had a case of the runners giggles.  Anyone else get those?  I was so happy and excited and didn’t know what to do with all that happy.

My face in this picture with my daughter says it all.






Staten Island is the beginning of the NY Marathon and I could already feel the excitement from all the runners who where using this run as a training run.

There are several good hills on Staten Island so pace yourself.  I am so inspired by all of you 26.2 marathon runners. !

I started out miles 1-4 feeling really good, telling myself to settle into my pace, not go to fast and keep thinking happy thoughts.  I had read a great tweet on the way to the race that said

“Run Happy, Worry takes up too much Energy” that really made sense to me.

Miles 5- 6 were a long uphill that felt great.  I was super excited to feel my after burners kick in ( formerly known as my floppy glutes) and loving my handheld water bottle full of ice tea.

Pit stop…. Cost me a minute or two here……

Miles 7- long mile that I was distracted looking for my daughter Laura coming up the other side so I could say hi to her .  I finally saw her and wow she looked gorgeous and happy and so healthy.  I go so emotional and then it hit me.

Mile 8- I ate some of my energy bits and drank more tea and decided this was my last race.  Who was I kidding. Running these races at my age?  Look around you are the oldest person out here by 10 years, you look crazy and its probably been two hours already and you will be so embarrassed when you cross the line.  I hit the long hill head on.  I figured why not its my last race right? Why not ?

Mile 9 – Got to the top of that hill to the tunnel and there was amazing music playing and a water station.  I had two cups of water and 2 more energy bits said good bye to the 8 mile doom and gloomer and hit it. I decided to just go on and keep my head up.

Miles 10 -12 – These went great.  I felt amazing and I was actually happy that I never put my earphones in.  I saw a clock and realized that 2:30 was still possible so I tried to go a bit faster.

Mile 12- 13- Thru the industrial park which is beach front adjacent and the rain started a little bit, I started to worry about slipping because that would be my luck.  There was a little bit of an up hill and then a down hill into the stadium.

Mile 13, I knew I was almost there and I was excited, although I forgot to smile….

Then my daughter popped up from the sideline and crossed the finish line with me.

Amazing race indeed.

The physical therapy worked because I raced with out any knee pain at all.  Post race my shins hurt but I think that was from running on the pavement.

I am grateful and so excited to have had this experience.


Your galfriday4hire

Food is Fuel

05 Oct

I learned so much over the last year about the role of food in my life.  Food is essential we all have to take in calories in order to fuel the engine? But it’s all about finding the right type of fuel.

I am a Ford Fusion, I run on Ethanol a corn based fuel.


Over the last year of research for my autoimmune issues, I started eliminating foods from my diet to see if it made an impact on my overall health.  I started in Jan. 2012 with the PCRM  21 day Vegetarian Kickstart.  At the end of January, I already felt a change and I was ready to try the next step eliminating dairy.  That was so much harder.  No eggs was the toughest part.

The good news was my face redness was gone, my belly fat, gone, my energy level was thru the roof!  I knew I was on the right track but I needed some help to get me to the next level.

In June I started working with a health coach because I had completed  a 30 day challenge of keeping a food diary and realized I was only taking in 800 calories. That was a problem.  I was training for a 10 K at the time and looking to train for a half marathon.  I knew I was missing out on enough protein on my vegan/vegetarian – sometime pescatarian diet.

My health coach helped me see that I really had not eliminated all dairy, that there is so much dairy in foods that you can not see.  My protein powder that I used every day in my green smoothie had whey in it.  That is dairy. Sure I had cut down, but I had not eliminated it.  I even had to get rid of my coffee mate.  That was a sad morning. I had coffee mate in my coffee for as long as I could remember.  Recycling that container is still a fresh memory for me.

Now I get TONS of protein from sources like quinoa and beans and almond butter.  My protein powder is vegan and I use almond milk in my coffee.

I eat 1500 calories a day now and I never feel like I am on a diet. I am keeping my training up and don’t see it slowing down at all.

That fills my fuel tank.

So take yourself out on a test drive for 21 days.  See how you feel with a new fuel.


your galfriday4hire




It takes a twitter village to get to a half marathon

03 Oct

Hello Everyone,

This post is dedicated to all my very dear friends that I follow on twitter.  I call you all my friends even if we have not met, because  without your posts and information I would never have gotten to where I am today.

Amanda- you are one stop shopping for how to learn to run. You encouraged me without even knowing me.  Your tweets sounded like they were talking to me!  I am your # 1` fan.  I will be cheering you on at the NYC Marathon! Florida is a looking good!

Jess- you have the whole practice of physical fitness down to an art.  I am reading all the books on your library recommendations and getting so inspired. ” could I do a tri one day?” SURE! for now  I  am down for the Cupcake classic Oct 14.

Theodora- LosingWeightIntheCity- what an inspiration.  She has a great story and she works in NYC and gets in incredible runs.  Talk about letting me know I have no excuses not to run.  I saw her name on a twitter feed recently at a PT clinic and went there just because she does!  Does that make me a stalker?  Well I did let her know, so maybe a stalker-light. I did not follow Laura until after we met at the Healthy Living Summit but once I did she opened my eyes to fitness and WELLNESS is more that just exercise.  She will show you thru her journey that life is always giving us opportunity for reflection and re booting. Life is flexible and forgiving. I just love her.

Renee-   Another bestie from HLS 12 .She is the modern day wonder woman.  Fulltime mom and career woman with an amazing blog.  I asked her to be my personal shopper.  I think she thought I was kidding but just in case Renee.. here is my VISA number 5413- wait.. ok. email me.

Jen and Nuyce- you both scare me a little because you are so bad ass in a really good way.  I follow them both on twitter. @ momsgottarun and @irunnyc77  Watch out for us at lunch in the Flatiron district and at a blogger conference in 2013.

This is just a representative few and there are so many others that just by posting their updates helped me.  I just hope that there is someone out there that I will be able to inspire. Follow me on twitter and follow my followers, you will be amazed at what you will learn.

Then you have to get out there and do it 🙂

Next week I will be posting the Year in Review. It will be a doozy.


your galfriday4hire


Pink is the new Black

02 Oct

sweat pink ambassador

Today I received this email and I was so happy.  Since I was at the Healthy Living Summit and I met so many wonderful bloggers that are part of these great communities like sweat pink and fitfluential I have wanted to be part of it.

I applied for both and I started working on my messaging with all the tools I have learned from the summit and from what I know from my day job 🙂

Slowly I can see some traction, I am hearing every once in a while.. ” I read on your blog”  or I will talk to someone that was at a race I was at and we will be instant friends because we have that connection.  I hope that I can inspire people to make positive changes in their diet and exercise and that it is never too late to start.

Look at me, I waited until I was 50 to start! I am here to help and push and hug and push even harder along the way.

I am very excited to be part of a health and wellness community that is so positive and has such support for everyone.

This will be great.


your galfriday4hire