Frontline Mom

Early to Rise and Run – the Only Option

September 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Morning runs are the only option for me if I want to exercise. By the number of joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers I see each day in the early morning light, I know I’m not the only one facing the same predicament. Of course, while still in bed, I feel the pull of the desire to get in a few more winks of sleep. It’s a powerful pull, but what motivates me to push past it is the clear-eyed knowledge, even at just waking, that after work I’ll be too exhausted to keep up my regimen, no matter how much I try to convince myself that I’ll manage it.

After a full work day, my energy levels are down and I arrive home with a full appetite for dinner. I also want to spend this time with my two wonderful children and have an adult conversation with my spouse. I’ve come to accept that good thoughts of taking out the double-wide stroller after work only turn into excuses. Many such would-be outings have taught me my lesson.

When it’s not the weekend, working out means a 5:30 am wake-up call, but that also means getting what I’ve set out to do done. My tips? Let no one can tell you otherwise: there’s nothing like going to bed early for rising with the sun the next day. If you start working out regularly, you’ll notice that the impact of nutrition can become very pronounced while exercising. Keep a balanced diet and don’t skip meals because you’ll need the extra energy. By the same token, you’ll need to keep your body hydrated, so drink lots of water, not just before or after your workout, but throughout the whole day. Lastly, get your workout clothes ready the night before. Stumbling around looking around for socks or a shirt in the wee hours of the morning can get in the way of actually getting out the door.

Lastly, there are days when I only get in 10-15 minutes of exercise. Why bother, you ask? Even a little bit helps wake me up and keep in the groove. When I have limited time, I just turn up the pace a bit.

Do you have any tips of your own for getting up early and getting the workout in?


Top of the FitBloggin Mornin’

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Yay! It’s finally here – FitBloggin that is. FitBloggin is a rocking fitness and wellness conference for those that blog about all things related. I’ll disclose that my employer, Sears Fitness (@searsfitness) is a sponsor this year, but that’s not why I am writing this. This event brings together a group of people that share a passion for health and wellness and they enjoy talking about it. This morning we started with a 5K run/walk….I honestly had not participated in a group run like this since before my son was born 14 months ago. It was fun, and actually a bit challenging (the pacesetters certainly did their part). The conference is in Baltimore this year, and on our run we weaved along the inner harbor, discovering cool condos, inviting coffee shops, sailboats, tall ships and an old lighthouse along the way. Fun, fun. For me, a run is the best way to see a new city – and to chat with new friends to pace the way. That being said, I’m still feeling out of shape, so perhaps I wasn’t as chatty as I normally would like!

The run energized me and made me feel more welcome – by the time we finished – I felt like I already had made new FitBloggin friends.

How did you make your morning Fit?


Remembering Grete Waitz

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It took me 36 years to run my first (and thus far only) NYC marathon but growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I always wanted to run it. This marathon is and continues to be an event that brings the whole city together. I love the international flavor to the event – people seem to come from everywhere! It enables the city to showcase awesome neighborhoods full of ethnic and religious diversity that make the city what is it, a true melting pot or as some of my New-Yorker-centric friends like to claim the “capital of the world.” Growing up, I was in awe of the many great runners who took on this amazing and yet very challenging course (don’t let those bridge hills fool you!).

One runner in particular, Grete Waitz  from Norway, not only ran the course, but she dominated it – winning the event 9 times between 1978 and 1988 – more than any runner in history. She set the course record three years in a row – and blazed the trail for women runners everywhere. In doing this, she became my female sports hero, together with Joan Benoit Samuelson, who took the Gold Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics, while Grete took the silver. Both women inspired my love of running as a child, which I bring forward each and every day with me.

I was very saddened to hear that Grete Waitz died of cancer on April 19, 2011, aged 57. I still remember her poignant last marathon in 1992, when she ran with NYC marathon great Fred Lebow, who had been suffering himself from brain cancer. Since her retirement Grete continued to impress as a great ambassador for running and for great charity organizations. It’s hard to believe somebody so strong could succumb to cancer. But she’s definitely not going to be forgotten – not by me, or by the countless number of New Yorkers – and runners – she inspired citywide and worldwide.

I’d love to know: Do you have a sports hero?


Rave Runs

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As you’ll start to see in this blog I love to run. While since I starting having kids four years ago I haven’t been as consistent with running as I would like one thing continues to remain true; I love to run to see the sites when I travel. It is the best way to see the sites! I have tripped while staring up at the Eiffel Tour in Paris, gotten lost running while running around Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, braved impressive rainstorms along the Río de la Plata in Montevideo and taken in the peace of Hyde Park in London, all during some of many memorable and touristic runs.

I have experienced altitude sickness running in the historical Peruvian city of Cuzco, appreciated the majesty of Chile’s lake region, pushed myself hard on the super steep hills of Steamtown, aka Scranton, Pa and enjoyed the amazing oceanside views of great running cities in Brazil like Florianopolis and Rio de Janeiro.

When I travel I don’t only go the running path or the park to run– sometimes I just like to weave through where the people are and take in the action. When I lived in Sevilla, I had a route that took me along the River Guadalquivir but also through the dense action of the Triana neighborhood. When I visited Puerto Rico I loved running through the colonial section of Old San Juan, checking out the many feral cats that greeted me along the way.

Running through the Plazas in Madrid is amazing as well (however tempting it is to stop for tapas) although I still love the Retiro park as well, especially on weekends, teeming with families and friends enjoying the outdoors. San Francisco is another amazing running town, with great calf muscles made not only along the Bay but also up and down the hills (again, like in Scranton, what an amazing leg workout). Portugal is also a spectacular place to run – my favorite run there has to be Sintra , the westernmost point on the continent of Europe, which the poet Camões defined as “where the land ends and the sea begins”  

These are just some of the memorable places that I have run – there are so many more that I want to run still! Every place I have I run lives on with me in some way – through a funny story, a beautiful image or a cultural or historic appreciation. Through these runs I have connected with the locals, found nooks and crannies far beyond the typical tourist eye and garnered great fodder for storytelling.

What runs – and where – do you rave about?