04-30-2013

My Plans For The Future

Ahhh…the future. I’ve been thinking a lot about my post-graduation plans for the past couple of months, and I’ve made a few decisions that I’m really excited about!

So you all know my future plans in terms of upcoming races…goals…etc. but I wanted to share what I think life has in store for me next. My graduation is May 19 from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (eek!). I will graduate with a Master’s degree and a focus on College Student Affairs. Before this semester, I figured I’d be job searching and looking for a job at a university. Then I found my passion.

I have become immersed in social media marketing. Through one of my jobs at Rutgers, I took a trip to a media company in NYC over the summer, and have worked as a social media marketing assistant in various departments the past few years. I seriously love what I do. Then, I went to Social Media Week in February with my dad, and that’s where we starting creating this idea. This idea that we should start our own social media marketing business.

At first I was iffy. But this is what I love doing, and visiting places like Likeable Media in NYC solidified that. I want to create my own business. We named our company SOCIALSTORM MEDIA, and so far have a handful of clients that are local businesses! We will help brands and businesses market themselves on social media creatively, and engage with their fanbase in a creative manner.

Because of my limited time to devote to this because of school, I decided to not job search, and instead focus 110% of my efforts on this business over the summer. I will still be working part-time at Rutgers as I try to grow. I’m giving myself until around September, and if things don’t go as I plan, then I will look for a full-time job.

I really think this is what I need to do, and things have been progressing rather quickly so I’m taking it as a sign! I’m really happy with where I am going with this…plus without a full-time job this summer, I’ll be able to do a little traveling :)

Feel free to check out our SOCIALSTORM MEDIA Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you’re interested in social media news and updates please “like” or “follow” me. AND if you’re a small business who needs help with social media marketing, please feel free to contact me!

I’m really excited for what the future holds…and I can’t believe that graduation is in 19 days! My undergrad graduation feels like it just happened yesterday:

Have you ever taken a risk to follow your dream or passion?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-29-2013

Run as One 4M Race Recap

On Sunday, I ran the NYRR Run as One 4 Miler in Central Park. The goal was to do it in half marathon goal pace, so around 9:00 minutes per mile. I ended up averaging 8:50-ish per mile!! It was challenging BUT more like “comfortably hard,” instead of really hard.

Pre-race

NYRR has my average pace at 9:05 per mile, but my Runkeeper app (and my mom’s) said we ran 4.2 miles and at a faster pace. I figured it was the tangents, etc. but a fellow runner tweeted at me that he had the same issue with his Nike app and his Garmin, and that others were commenting on this issue as well. They had new B-tags for this race so maybe that was the issue? Either way, I’m going with my Runkeeper time!

My mom and I finished together and felt really strong overall. We probably could have kept running! We ended up doing a 1 mile cooldown in the park before heading out. My brother and dad came to support us and take pictures as well =)

Overall, it was a great day to run! Beautiful weather and I felt awesome. The hills didn’t really phase me either, I really felt like I was powering through them. Hopefully my successful long run, and this great race bodes well for May 18!

Did you race this weekend?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-29-2013

Motivational Monday!

Rainy day here in New Jersey today…but I love rainy, gloomy days! Though I wish I was under my covers and not at work =P

Here’s a quote that I can currently definitely relate to:

I can relate in 2 ways. First, I complain that I haven’t lost body fat and it’s really hard for me…but recently I also know that my diet hasn’t been 100% clean (probably like 75-80%). So I remind myself of this when I think negatively…because I can only blame myself! Which is why I’m writing down everything I eat for a while starting today. I want to get back on track!

I can also relate because this training block for the half marathon has (so far) been successful. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I really stayed on track with my runs, didn’t miss any, and put in the work. I “worked hard to change” because I really want to improve my half marathon and marathon time. Hopefully it pays off on May 18!

Moral of the story: whether it’s a goal you want to achieve or something you don’t like (but can change)…just work hard towards it. Don’t complain when there is stuff you can do…like me, I can and will eat better.

Today’s a new day and new week…get back on track with me!

Have you complained in the past about something (even if it’s in your own head) and realized you just need to work harder?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-25-2013

Quick Abs Workout

Have you been working your core lately? I have been trying to be better about working on my core since it’s really important for runners…but it’s really important for everyone! Your core is what supports your body, and a strong core means less problems, such as lower back issues.

Here’s a quick abs workout for you to do after your workout today…let me know what you think!

photo

Do you work out your core? How many times per week?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-25-2013

Last 10 Miler Before the Brooklyn Half!!

I can’t believe this was me and my mom’s last double digit run before the half. It was a really good run overall, and I felt really strong. My coach said to do 5 miles normal pace, 3 miles at 9:15-9:30 pace, and 2 miles normal as cooldown. Because of how I spread my water on the course, I ended up doing 6 miles normal, then started the 3 miles.

I thought the 3 miles at that pace (which is around my half marathon goal pace) was going to be tough. After all, last week I did 2 miles at 9-9:15 pace and I could barely finish the second mile, I was dead! Surprisingly, the 3 miles yesterday felt fine. It was “comfortably hard.” I even did the third mile in 9:06! I felt like I was cruising.

Here are the splits…I’m happy we did kind of a progressive run too because we kept getting a little faster:

It was pretty warm out and my water bottle with my Nuun was leaking so I had to drop it. I was nervous because I was sweating a lot but I ended up being fine with my Honey Stingers and just water. Though once I got home I had a ton of salt on my face, and was so sweaty!

Hot right? I hate that I sweat so much and my mom barely sweats!

Anyway, I had a nice long stretch post run while I drank a recovery protein shake. Then relaxed and watched 90210 with my sister before going to bed. Feeling great today!

I just hope I feel strong on race day like I did yesterday, and have no issues with my shins or calves!

The half is May 18, and I’m 3 weeks out…I really hope I’m not “peaking early” or anything like that. What do you guys think??

 

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-24-2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I can’t believe it is almost May! April seriously flew by…but somehow it is still not spring weather…

I found a lot of good health links for you this week!

  • Treadmill Speed Workout (Pumps & Iron) – Speed workouts help you get faster for races, but are also great interval exercises if you want to switch up your usual cardio routine.
  • The Premarathon Habit That Needs Breaking (Fit Sugar) – I had no idea that popping pills before running could have some serious effects.
  • Zesty Lemon Artichoke Hummus (Pumps & Iron) – This just looks delicious!
  • Track Workouts to Run Faster (Fitfluential) – Just like the first link I posted, these are great for improving speed, but also just in general! This one is good if you prefer running outside as opposed to the treadmill.
  • Honey Mustard Crunchy Chicken Plaintain Salad (PaleOMG) – I just bought plantains from the store because I know they are a paleo staple. I have never had them and am kind of nervous to try, but this salad looks delicious!
  • Travel Workouts (PB Fingers) – Need a workout on the go? No equipment? Here are a few!

Have you tried plantains before? I’d love to recipe ideas!

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-23-2013

The Importance of Strength Training

We all know strength training is important…for so many reasons!

5cd0982eb41a11e19dc71231380fe523_7

  • You will lose bodyfat and gain muscle.
  • Your clothes will fit better.
  • It’s so important for injury prevention. Doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not…lifting helps with joint and bone health for later in life!
  • You will gain confidence.
  • Lifting will help you if you do other sports as well, such as running, cycling, etc.

Well, I know all of this but have totally been slacking in the strength training department! It’s probably been over a month since I have strength trained. I have done core work but it’s been hard to balance running and strength training. The main issue I have is that after a run I am not really wanting to lift weights. But I plan on starting to lift again because I know how important it is. I DO miss squats, lunges, pull-ups…especially pull-ups! I was finally able to do unassisted pull-ups but probably lost all that strength.

This week, I plan on trying out a BodyPump class at my gym. I have never done one but I’ve seen Olive to Run‘s posts and instagram pictures which got my curious!

So, since I’m going to start strength training again, I wanted to leave you with my favorite exercises I love to do. I will list 1-2 for each major muscle group. Feel free to let me know if you have questions about form or technique!

ee317128b01c11e1af7612313813f8e8_7

Split Squat: One of the best lower body exercises, especially for those with knee issues or knee pain. Really hits the quads and glutes. Here’s a how-to video I made for this.

Back squats: Obviously. But only if you can do it with correct form! If you are trying it for the first time, ask a floor trainer to help you.

Romanian Deadlift: Really hits those hamstrings and lower back. Start with light dumbbells and work your way up. Always, always, ALWAYS maintain a flat back.

Swiss Ball Leg Curls: Another great hamstring, glute and core exercise. Once you master this, try single-legged.

Single-Leg Deadlift: If you’re a runner, this is a must! Hits hamstrings but you work on hip strength too because you are balancing.

Pull-ups (assisted or unassisted): I like neutral grip, because it hits both lats and biceps. For more biceps, you can do supinated grip (palms facing towards you), and for more lats, you can do palms facing out (hardest grip).

Single Arm Dumbbell Row: Great for back strength!

Pushups: no explanation needed. Basically a full-body exercise. Just always maintain a flat back and don’t let your hips sag!

Dumbbell Overhead Press: Hits chest but shoulders too. A lot of people have weak shoulders, and this is a great way to target them. You can do both arms or single arms.

You may have noticed I left out chest exercises like bench presses, or any time of press for that matter. I try to limit chest exercises because seeing as I (and most Americans) sit all day (and probably hunched over), there is no need to do an exercise that will end up shortening your pec muscles and make you appear even more hunched. Back and core strength are more important especially if you are sitting in an office all day.

What are your favorite strength training exercises? Do we share any of the same ones? Let me know what you think!

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-22-2013

Miles for Matheny 5K Recap

Yesterday, I started the day off by going to the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon in the morning. My half marathon training group was running and I wanted to go support them. It was great being a spectator for once and taking the race in!

It was on the chillier side but a great day for racing all around. I left early then headed back home to start warming up for my 5K which was at noon. My mom and I did some dynamic warm up drills, and jogged the 1 mile to the park where the starting line was. It’s so convenient having a 5K right in your town!

The course has 2 major hills and a few small ones, so it’s tough. I finished in 27:26, which isn’t my best and I really wanted to PR but you can’t always get your best time! Overall, I felt really strong and my pacing was even, so I am happy with that. Plus, I did get 2nd in my age group!

Mom and me at the finish.

 

It was a great day, and at least it wasn’t rainy like it was last year! This race always has great post-race food so we had a bagel, then headed over to the lunch tent where there were a ton of burgers, hot dogs and desserts. Yum!

Afterwards, we did a cooldown mile back home. I was exhausted and ended up taking a 2 hour nap as soon as I got home. Those post-race naps are the best!

My next race is this upcoming weekend. It will be me and my mom’s first NYRR race of the year – a 4 mile run in Central Park to raise money and awareness for lung cancer. My running coach had me doing a 4 mile tempo run this week, so I figured I’d sign up for a race to make it seem easier/give me more motivation.

Less than 1 month until a) the Brooklyn Half Marathon and b) I graduate with my Master’s degree!!!!

What spring races are you doing this year?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-22-2013

Motivational Monday!

I ran a 5K yesterday (recap coming later) and have been thinking a lot about my upcoming half marathon, which is what led me to this quote:

The goals I have for this half, and the future NYC marathon scare me. I really don’t know if I have it in me…have it in me to be uncomfortable during the race and push harder. There have been days where I question it all but in the end, I want to achieve my goals, and I have made the decision to try to get there.

Goals can be scary. Sometimes you don’t even want to tell people about them because you’re afraid…afraid they’ll judge you or think you can’t…afraid that you will fail and they’ll judge you even more…but as the quote says, every accomplishment starts with the decision to TRY. Pick an important goal, and whether or not you tell people or not, just TRY! Give it you’re all and if things don’t happen the way you wanted it to, then it’s ok…but at least you tried, and you will be one step closer to achieving that goal with your next try.

What big goal are you currently trying to accomplish?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-20-2013

I Just Can’t Do Morning Runs

I tried today…ok, so it wasn’t really early morning or anything (10 am). But I just am not cut out for it! I have way less energy in the mornings than in the evenings, and my body just feels stiff and tight. I had to run earlier today because I have a 5K tomorrow. My coach told me to get a run in earlier so I give my legs more time to rest.

My mom and I went for an easy 2 mile shakeout run. Except it didn’t feel too easy since I felt stiff but whatever! At least it’s spring now, and warm…and pretty trees are blooming!

I got back and did a good stretch and tennis ball rolling session. My hips have been really tight, same with my IT band. I was also really excited to try out my new protein powder!

Totally clean ingredients. A little more pricey but worth the investment in my opinion. So, post-run I decided to make a spinach, banana and protein smoothie! I never, ever get vanilla protein powder (I hate vanilla…so bland!) but I figured the flavor would go more with green smoothies. It tastes a little different, but any new protein powder you try will take getting used to, since you’re accustomed to your old powder. Anyways, my smoothie was delicious! Creamy and tasted great.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 banana

1 scoop Vega vanilla performance protein powder

Filled half the blending cup with water

*blended in a Magic Bullet, but increase ingredients if you use a bigger blender.

I am really hoping for a PR tomorrow in my 5K…but we will see! It’s a hilly course but that’s where I got my record last year.

Lastly, I leave you with what I found at Target yesterday. Aren’t these the perfect summer sandals?? Can totally be dressed up or down. Love them!

Are you running a spring 5K? Where?

Follow Reach Your Peak: