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Motivational Monday!

24 Mar

I feel like I have said this a million times, but how is it possible that it was 60 yesterday and this week we may get snow…??!? Come on spring….

Anyway, I was looking through Tumblr for a good quote for today. If you ever want some inspiration, look up “inspirational quotes” or something related and you’ll find a lot of great stuff. I love Tumblr in general for discovering funny things, news, GIFs, etc. Here’s the quote I found:

inspirational quote

I read it and it immediately got me thinking. I mean, I think no matter what…even if you followed all of your dreams and gut instincts, you’d always regret something or wish you had done something else, BUT I like the message here. Pursue your goals and see what happens. You might regret it, or it may not work out, but it’s better to try. I think it would be scary to see “the person you could have become.”

Even now I think back to when I was a teenage and how I thought my life would be by now…and it’s totally not! Sometimes it is disappointing to think about but it also makes me want to work harder to get to where I want to be, so that when I’m 45 I’m not looking back to now and remembering how I wanted to accomplish X,Y,Z. Did that make sense? I feel like I just started rambling… 😛

What do you think about this quote?

What did you think you would accomplish by now when you were a teen? It’s not necessarily a bad thing if you haven’t done those things! Some of those desires were totally unrealistic 🙂

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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

19 Mar

It is literally almost spring! I’m so ready for it…the next few days will be in the 50s which will be nice. Let’s just hope it stays that way?

Here are your health links for today:

  • 5 Tips For Eating Healthier (Crazy Running Girl) – These are great tips…and really, who actually eats the serving size for cereal?
  • The Fatigue Fallacy (Nia Shanks) – Great points made in her post. You should not be finishing every workout feeling exhausted. Read on to find out why.
  • How To Make A Healthy Salad (I Heart Vegetables) – If you follow these simple “rules” you will have a delicious salad! She also includes a few recipe ideas.
  • Lucky 7’s Body Weight Workout (Blonde Ponytail) – No equipment needed & 7 rounds?!? This looks like a tough, but awesome, workout.
  • 9 Everyday Stretches For A Healthy Body (The Sweet Life) – We could all really benefit from stretching more often – I know I could. Start incorporating some of these!

Is it spring already in your state? What’s the temp like?

Do you stretch every day?


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Introducing Tuesdays With Tina!

18 Mar

Some of you who have been following me for awhile know that I run every race with my mom (maybe with the exception of 1 or 2 in the past few years).

I wanted to tell you our story, but also introduce my mom because she will be contributing some posts from time to time. Hence this post’s name! It won’t be every Tuesday, but check back on Tuesdays to see if she has written something 😉

Our Story

When I was a senior in college, I decided to start getting active and eating healthier. I gained about 10 lbs. from junior-senior year, mainly because I was eating out a lot more, and taking advantage of the buffet style eating in the dining halls.

My mom and I decided to start doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, and would call each other to check in and talk about our progress.

In April of 2010, we decided to run our first 5K! I had ran cross country in high school, but this was my first organized race since that time (2006). It was my first public road race too. You can tell how much of noobs we were by this picture:

We got to the start line like, 20 minutes early because we wanted to be the first ones there. Little did we know, only the fast people go in the front! 😛

Isn’t it funny how you can look back at early race pictures and tell you were new to it based on your clothing and gear? We were wearing the race shirt, and I don’t even know what shorts and sneakers I was wearing.

We finished in around 29 minutes. After that, we started running more and more races. At this point, the thought of running a half-marathon or marathon had not even crossed our minds.

Remember Soffe shorts?

Around this time was when we got my dad more into active living too. He started running a couple races with us as well.

Then I told my mom we should run a half-marathon, and she thought I was crazy. Eventually I convinced her though, and the Long Branch Half Marathon was our first!

long branch half marathon

After that…I told my mom we should run a marathon. Then she really thought I was crazy. But I somehow convinced her to do that too. We decided to fundraise for the Christoper Reeve Foundation, and entered the New York City Marathon. Here’s my recap of our first NYC Marathon…we both couldn’t believe we did it!

nyc marathon 2011

There were a couple half-marathons in between as well. But yeah, 2011 was the year we truly fell in love with running. This past year, we ran the New York City Marathon again (<-recap), and using Hansons Marathon Method, PRed by 33 minutes! Here’s our video recap if you like those…I like to think it captures both us running, but the amazing spectators and spirit of the marathon!

What’s Next?

Currently, we haven’t really been running or training for anything. But we gotta get our butt in gear because we want to do the NYRR 9+1 program to get in for the 2015 NYC Marathon! We also have a half-marathon in July while we are away in Paraguay. I’d also like to break my 5K PR.

So what was the point of this post? I wanted to share with you all how special running is for me and my mom. We have gone through it all with running, and it’s amazing to have someone to motivate you, as well as someone to listen to you talk about running all the time 😉

I also wanted to introduce you guys to my mom. She has played an instrumental role in my fitness life, and I know she will have some great things to share with you as well.

So without further ado…say hello to my mom! Please leave a comment with any questions that you may have for her! She’s a mom, runner, lifter…she may be able to provide some insight and experience that I cant. The next post will be her words and not mine!

Do you exercise with loved ones?

If you’re a runner, when was your first race?

Did you ever wear soffe shorts? 😛


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Working Out At A Gym Vs. Working Out At Home

17 Mar

So you decide that you want to lead a healthier lifestyle and start exercising. Great! But should you sign up for a commercial gym? Or try working out at home?


I decided to lay out some pros and cons to each. For the purpose of this particular post, I’m going to focus on signing up for a commercial gym as opposed to small boutiques or personal training studies. Also, when I talk about working out at home, I mean doing exercise videos or using dumbbells/other small equipment (as opposed to building your own home gym).

Working Out At A Gym

Since I work out at my local YMCA, it was easy for me to think of a lot of the benefits of this. However, there could be some “cons” that may deter you from joining a gym.


  • A lot of different equipment, so it’s easy to switch up workouts.
  • Options to take classes
  • Personal trainers and wellness coaches to help you and give you tips.
  • Seeing other people working out may motivate you.
  • You’re changing your setting so you get out of the house.


  • The thought of having to drive to the gym could mean skipping a workout more often.
  • A lot of different equipment could be confusing and overwhelming.
  • Gym can get packed which could be annoying if you need specific machines or equipment.
  • Gym membership could be expensive.
  • It may be intimidating to workout around others.


  • Take a gym tour of equipment before starting.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a trainer to show you correct form or spot you.
  • On days you don’t feel like working out, take a class instead. The group atmosphere helps a lot.
  • If possible, go at off peak times so you can use the equipment you need. Going during times that are less busy will also help if you’re intimidated of the weight room.

Working Out At Home

Working out at home has a lot of its own benefits. When I first started exercising in college, I did a lot of workout DVDs in my room. I loved Jillian Michaels! This is what inspired my recent post where I listed out my top workout videos on YouTube.


  • It’s convenient.
  • Even when you have no energy you really have no excuse, since you don’t have to go anywhere to work out.
  • You can multitask (workout while waiting for dinner to be ready).
  • You can vary your workouts by doing different workout videos and DVDs.
  • Less intimidating because you’re working out alone.
  • Great way to get family members in your house involved in fitness.


  • Unless you have a home gym, you may not have a lot of equipment to use.
  • You may not be as motivated because you’re working out alone.
  • Family could be a distraction/interrupt your workout.


  • Set up a time that you WILL do your workout. Think of it as a meeting that you can’t skip.
  • Let your family know about your time, so that way no one will distract you.
  • Make a YouTube playlist of workout videos, so you always have a selection ready.
  • Just as you would have a gym workout schedule, make an at-home workout schedule with what videos you will do each day
  • Try a new DVD each month to switch things up.
  • Get a friend or two to come over and workout with you!

So as you can see, there are great things about both options! Some days I’d rather workout at home with my mom or dad than go to the gym. It’s just more convenient and after a long day of work, I just don’t feel like getting ready and driving another 15 minutes to the gym!

There are some great fitness channels on YouTube like SarahFit and Blogilates…and myself ;)…just do some research and find workouts that best fit your needs.

What pros & cons did I forget about?

Which do you prefer? Working out at a gym or working out at home?

Do you have a personal trainer?


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Motivational Monday!

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Who had some St. Paddy’s related fun this weekend? Anyone run races? I’d love to hear about it!

Here’s today’s motivational quote 🙂

be happy

It’s a great way to view things. Sometimes we stew about things or get worked up, and in the end, it turns out it wasn’t AS big of a deal as we made it out to be. Stress can have a lot of health impacts (perhaps another post?), so instead focus on letting go of anger or stress, and try to focus on the good in your life instead!

What stress coping mechanisms do you use? I usually try to tell myself that there is nothing I can do to change a certain situation, so I should stop worrying about it and letting it affect me. How about you?


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Things To Do In New Jersey In The Spring

12 Mar

It’s almost spring! The past few days we were spoiled with 55-60 degree weather…which really got me excited for spring. I can’t wait to be able to run outside in just a t-shirt and shorts. Though I’m sure once summer hits, we will all be complaining about the heat 😉

Since spring is around the corner, I wanted to do a quick round up of things to do in New Jersey in the spring or summer that are active, and will get you outside. If you live in NJ, please feel free to comment with your ideas! And if you don’t live in NJ, maybe you can come visit and try some of these things 🙂

Horseback Riding

spring valley equestrian center

At the Spring Valley Equestrian Center in Newton, you can hop on a horse for a scenic trail ride. Their website says all abilities welcome, and an hour ride is only $35! Sounds like a fun date to me.

State Parks

There are a ton of beautiful state parks, so it would be hard for me to list them all, but I’m going to talk about 2 that I have been to and love.

hacklebarney state park

Hacklebarney State Park

This park is located in Long Valley. I love going to this park when it’s warmer and going for a hike. The park is open to hikers, fishermen, and people who want to have picnics. It’s so scenic and beautiful. I had no idea about this little fact either: “Three rare and endangered plant species exist within the park: American ginseng, leatherwood and Virginia pennywort. Over a hundred bird species and wildlife such as black bear, woodchuck, deer and fox live in the park.” Good thing I haven’t encountered a black bear! Here’s the Hacklebarney website if you want more info.

Delaware & Raritan Towpath

Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath

This is part of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. I love running on this trail, and the great thing about it is that it stretches 34 miles down to Trenton! So no matter where in the state you may be (well, in the northern portion), you can go for a run here. I pick it up where it ends in Piscawatay, and it’s absolutely beautiful. The path is surrounded on both sides by water, though later on it changes. The scenery changes every couple of miles. During marathon training in 2011, my mom and I ran a lot of our miles here, and I remember doing our last 20 miler on this path. The picture above was taken during one of my fall runs. Also, it’s not pavement, so it’s easy on the joints! Even if you don’t run, you should check it out for a nice, relaxing stroll.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum

I remember visiting the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in middle school for a field trip. Now I’m putting this on my spring/summer to-do list! You can take an underground mine tour and check out the glow-in-the-dark florescent minerals. I remember thinking that was really cool, and we got to pick out a rock to take home after. It’s the 4th oldest mine in the country and the last working underground mine in NJ. The museum is open 7 days a week, and is located in Ogdensburg.


zoom ziplines nj

Zoom Ziplines

Okay so before writing this post, I had no idea there were places to zip-line! I went zip-lining once in Brazil and it was awesome/scary. I definitely plan on doing this once it’s warmer. The picture above is from Zoom Ziplines located in Vernon at Mountain Creek. It’s the closest zip-line to NYC, and only a 1 hour drive from Manhattan! They also have GoPro rentals so you can film your experience, and a zipline + waterpark combo for the summer.

treetop adventure course

Treetop Adventure Course

This is located at the Turtle Back Zoo in South Orange, though you don’t need to buy passes to the zoo to do the treetop course. This is more like what my family and I did in Brazil. It’s like an obstacle course and pretty challenging! I’m usually not afraid of heights but was a little scared when I did a similar course 🙂 The adult course is 35 feet in height, has 30 obstacles and takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete. They have junior courses as well. I’ve heard great things about the Turtle Back Zoo and want to check both the adventure course and the zoo out!


I have found a ton of different things I could list, but perhaps I will make this a series…there’s just too much to do in NJ! I can’t wait for it to get warmer so I can go do some of these. Isn’t it crazy how you can live somewhere your whole life but not know about certain things? I bet everyone could be a “tourist in their own town” no matter where they lived.

Which of these would you want to try?

Have you ever been a “tourist in your own town/city?”

Tell me one cool thing your town/city/state has!


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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

12 Mar

Can someone explain to me how it was 60 degrees yesterday and will be back down to 25 tomorrow?? Well, it was good while it lasted I guess!

Here are your health links for today:

Do you shop at a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or just your general grocery store? I’ve been reading a lot about Aldi’s recently but have no clue what that is…none near me!


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Save and Splurge: Fitness Items

11 Mar

Buying fitness related stuff can get addicting. I love shopping for new workout clothes, and when I see gadgets and other stuff for cheap at T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s, it’s hard to walk away!

I’m going to highlight some typical fitness items, with a “save” option and a “splurge” option. Some things are worth splurging on, while other things you could definitely get away with buying at a Five Below – but it really all depends on you, and how often you use certain things.

Yoga Mats

yogamatsThis all depends on how often you do yoga. I think if you do it once a week or so, like I do, then it’s okay to save on a yoga mat. The C9 Basic Yoga Mat is from Target, which also has other brands like Gaiam. I have used the lululemon yoga mat at their community classes and love it. My hands don’t slip at all. However, I don’t do yoga enough to justify buying it…but maybe one day!


dumbbellsGetting adjustable dumbbells has been on my to-d0 list for a while. Once I have a home gym, I will definitely get a pair of these Reebok adjustable dumbbells (also available at Target). But, really, all you need for an at-home workout are a pair of dumbbells ranging from 5-10 lbs. The one above can be found at Five Below. If you don’t have one of those near you, check out Target or T.J. Maxx too!


watchesYou can look up both of these watches on their brand page, but I found that you can save a good chunk of change on Amazon*. The Polar GPS watch comes with a heart-rate monitor if you like to see how many calories you burn. I personally have a Garmin, but know a lot of people who own Polars and love them. I like that it’s a GPS and HRM in one. But if you don’t need all that, this Timex Women’s watch will do the trick. I like that it’s light and small, so it could be used in everyday life too.

There are a lot of other products I could include, but I’ll save that for Part 2! One thing I will say you should always splurge on is a good pair of sneakers.

Which of these products would you splurge on?

What fitness item do you have no qualms about spending a little extra on? For me it’s running shoes and shorts!

*Disclaimer: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you buy through the links provided, I may get a small % kickback, which helps with my blog hosting costs 🙂


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Yes, I’m a Personal Trainer, But I Admit That…

11 Mar

I got the inspiration for this post from personal trainer Taylor, who writes at She has done a series titled, “10 Jaw Dropping Confessions Of A Personal Trainer” and I loved reading her confessions…mostly because I can totally relate!

Sometimes I feel like, as a trainer, I need to live a certain lifestyle when it comes to healthy and fitness…but I definitely have some confessions of my own 😉

Here we go:

I admit that… I have a crazy sweet tooth and “splurge” on a sweet treat 2-3 times per week. Usually something small, like a small cookie, or piece of dark chocolate. It has definitely gotten the best of me though, and there have been times when I just can’t stay away from the Famous Amos cookies in the vending machine at work!

I admit that… I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. Sure, I love to run…but some days I just don’t want to. Though now that it’s warmer I feel like I will run more, but this past winter I had absolutely no desire to run, and I’m totally okay with that. Though my brother, dad and I did get in a good 2 miler yesterday!

I just hate other forms of cardio like the elliptical, biking, stepper, etc. I just get so bored! I’m all about the weightlifting.

I admit that… I will never be a morning person. I have tried SO many times to wake up and work out in the AM but it’s always been a fail. I have slept in my workout clothes, but that has not made me any less apt to hit snooze. I just have way more energy in the evening. Why force something, right?

I admit that… I’m really not a huge fan of vegetables. I’m pretty sure I will never crave them, and I eat them because, well, I have to. I guess there are some I like over others but I can’t think of any that I would say I LOVE. Just sat here staring at the screen trying to think if there’s one I love…nope, I got nothing. Maybe tomatoes?

I admit that… I view the gym as a playground. I love going to the gym to lift. I rarely don’t feel like going due to energy or anything…it’s just something I look forward to every day because I can’t wait to see what my numbers for the day will be. I could probably spend a decent amount of time there, because I like trying new exercises/machines, and challenging myself on different things. I also love trying new classes! It is kind of like a playground for adults right? Or am I just weird…

Which of these things can you relate to?

Do you like veggies? Give me a vegetable suggestion please!


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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

5 Mar

Found a bunch of great stuff these past couple of days that I have been excited to share with you all!

Here are your health links for today:

  • So You Wanna Start Eating Healthier? (The Healthy Maven) – Great tips on how to eat healthier but not feel too constricted.
  • What If You Don’t Have A Heart Rate Monitor + Bootcamp Workout (Fit N’ Cookies) – You don’t need a heart rate monitor to check in on how hard you’re working. Here are 2 ways to self-monitor.
  • Myths Of Stretching (Tony Gentilcore) – Great article as usual. Does holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds really do anything?
  • Tips For A New Fitness Routine (Toned And Fit) – Whether you’re starting this spring, or know someone who is, these are all great points to follow.
  • Hip Stability Exercises For IT Band Syndrome (Run To The Finish) – I definitely have uneven hips; 2 physical therapists told me :-O Will have to incorporate these into my own routine, because my IT bands are definitely tight!
  • A Guide to Working Out In The Morning (Holly’s Leaps Of Faith) – I really don’t think I will ever be a morning workout person but I like the point of, “I regret getting up early to workout – said no one ever.” True…

Do you prefer working out in the morning or evening? Why?


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