I promise to be smart

Seems as though every day something happens to remind me how fortunate I am to be alive, healthy, happy, and productive. Now, well past the days when my friends and I lose our parents, I am seeing my actual *friends* disappear. And with those who remain exist various stages of physical disrepair and miseries neither anticipated nor welcomed. Lucky me; this has yet to come my way.

I was not contemplative until some years after giving birth to my precious Jessica and Jedd. It evolved suddenly after learning of my biological heritage in my early 30’s, and while I have never allowed it to shape me, I know it explains what’s in my fabric: raging attention deficit disorder, but fortunately well compensated through the years. Well, most years anyway.

I wouldn’t call myself a thrill-seeker, though some might. I have no desire to jump out of a plane, on purpose or otherwise, and I am an overly-cautious driver. Mostly I just always need to have something to do. More than one something actually. Sometimes ten. I am actually more comfortable when involved in several enjoyable projects at the same time, such as right now, when I have deadlines at my job at GNTC, Rotary leadership, and training for the Malibu Triathlon. Were I to have to think of the same thing (or nothing) all the time I would become instantly bored and anxious. I don’t watch TV except for news and occasional sports events and documentaries, but I read like a monstah and usually have at least 4-5 books in process.

So to my beloved children, who have often thought me crazy, have perfected the eye-rolling sigh of “okayyyyy, Mom…whatever makes you happy…” and have each expressed concern over my decision to compete in Malibu on Sept. 14, I promise you with all my heart that I have *no* death-wish, nor do I have an injury-wish. I am training very carefully, as I did in 2011 for NYC; systematically working to make my whole body strong enough to be a decent competitor. When in training-mode, I am very intentional about what I eat and how much I rest, making these the healthiest life-intervals I’ve ever lived. Trust me, the LAST place I want to be is in an ER with an injury. I love that you care about me enough to express concern, and it is because I love YOU so much that I am now (finally) going through life in the most prudent manner possible (which may not be prudent to some, but is when you are me). All this is because I love seeing how you are both thriving in your lives after working hard to get to this point. I thank God every day for my life, for your lives, and for the friends we all treasure. I truly love life and intend to meet my great-grandchildren one day! 🙂

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Christmas Eve 2013

I’m still up wrapping long after Santa has gone back to The North Pole. Call me scattered, but very, incredibly happy.

Merry Christmas to my friends who join me in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior. Some of you I’ve known my whole life. Others for years or months, or even weeks. I love you each and all.

Some of you believe differently, and I hope you know I will never judge you on any level; that is not my job. I respect you and I love you unconditionally.

Tonight at church, I shed faces full of tears. I lost it at Silent Night, and it continued through The Lord’s Prayer and Emmanuel. These were quiet and happy tears. Jedd and Jessica, Dan, Marsha and Joseph, sorry if I embarrassed any of you; you’ll get over it. 🙂

The Traveling Wilburys:

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is judgement day

Maybe somewhere down the road aways
You’ll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line

Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please.
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line.

Merry Christmas, friends–I Love You! Nina.

I’m still up wrapping long after Santa has gone back to The North Pole. Call me scattered, but very, incredibly happy.

Merry Christmas to my friends who join me in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior. Some of you I’ve known my whole life. Others for years or months, or even weeks. I love you each and all.

Some of you believe differently, and I hope you know I will never judge you on any level; that is not my job. I respect you and I love you unconditionally.

Tonight at church, I shed faces full of tears. I lost it at Silent Night, and it continued through The Lord’s Prayer and Emmanuel. These were quiet and happy tears. Jedd and Jessica, Dan, Marsha and Joseph, sorry if I embarrassed any of you; you’ll get over it. 🙂

The Traveling Wilburys:

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is judgement day

Maybe somewhere down the road aways
You’ll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line

Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please.
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line.

Merry Christmas, friends–I Love You! Nina.

I’m still up wrapping long after Santa has gone back to The North Pole. Call me scattered, but very, incredibly happy.

Merry Christmas to my friends who join me in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior. Some of you I’ve known my whole life. Others for years or months, or even weeks. I love you each and all.

Some of you believe differently, and I hope you know I will never judge you on any level; that is not my job. I respect you and I love you unconditionally.

Tonight at church, I shed faces full of tears. I lost it at Silent Night, and it continued through The Lord’s Prayer and Emmanuel. These were quiet and happy tears. Jedd and Jessica, Dan, Marsha and Joseph, sorry if I embarrassed any of you; you’ll get over it. 🙂

The Traveling Wilburys:

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is judgement day

Maybe somewhere down the road aways
You’ll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line

Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please.
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, were going to the end of the line.

Merry Christmas, friends–I Love You! Nina.

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Retrospective

In seven days it will be the 1-year anniversary of the day that as a member of the 2011 CNN FitNation Six Pack, I swam a mile in the Hudson River, biked 26 miles on the Upper West Side Highway, ran a 10K through Central Park, and then ran, sweaty and jubilant, into the arms of my children and eleven treasured hometown friends at the finish line. It wasn’t a glass-dome-moment (def: you want to put a glass dome over it to preserve it forever); it was a glass-dome-DAY! From the 5 am rain-soaked transition setup to the evening after-party at the Boat Basin Café where I knew that I would be seeing some of my teammates and new-best-friends for the last time, every second of that day is still alive to me.

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What’s next? Who knows…

Those who know me best will confirm that I have lived my life collecting adventures and making memories. I developed the concept at a young age, when I realized that elderly friends in nursing homes still had their long-term memories, whether or not they knew where they were today. So, just in case I survived to a feeble old age, I resolved to make plenty of vivid happy memories worth enjoying over and over again in my mind. At least I’ve always thought that was my motivation. More recently I’ve come to realize that I simply have an adrenaline-junkie-thrill-seeking personality, most likely attached to my ADD.

Attention Deficit Disorder is a gift that I treasure, and I will write about it in the future; today I just want to record the most memorable day of my life since the birth of each of my children: Feb. 18, 2012. An over-committed day if ever I had one, but one that I was determined to conquer. Success! I completed my first half-marathon that morning at Berry College (time 3:11), and later that evening celebrated with my children and closest friends as I was honored at the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor. I am pleased to report that I stayed vertical and energetic for the whole day and evening (and completely enjoyed the next day languishing on the couch and seeing how many movies I could watch in one day).

2012 has been incredible thus far, but how could it possibly top 2011? Well, it’s just March 4; there’s plenty of year left to conquer. Who knows…maybe I’ll just take it easy for a while. Naw…can’t do. Stay with me as I figure it out.

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Reconsiderations, Reconsidered.

Per my blog on January 14, I started thinking I was crazy for holding on to my dream of doing my first half marathon at Berry on the same day that I would be honored at the Heart of the Community Awards. I mean, the Heart Ball is a GREAT party: black tie, delicious food, a thorough and hilarious roasting of each honoree by Bob Berry, all followed by a couple of hours with a high-energy dance band! I certainly did not to have tired feet for this event. So I emailed the race coordinator, and her answer is at the end of that last blog.

I guess she knew I would become better trained by February, and she was right. Additionally, I have had conversations with Carlton and John, both Iron Men and respected trainers of mine, and they both agreed that I am fit enough for 13.1. “You could do the half today and never bat an eye.” The caveat is (and they both told me this), I’m not to go out there trying to win any land speed records. “Don’t knock yourself out; just take your time and you will be fine.”

Allison was right, and so are Carlton and John. I have un-changed my mind. After several more long runs of 8.5, 11.6, 10 using my Jeff Galloway-style 2:1 run:walk pattern, I have found that it really does conserve my energy. Yesterday I did 12 miles! Then I showered and went to a Super Bowl party, feeling just fine. So I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, and I’ll be doing the Berry Half Marathon on Saturday, February 18, and then the Heart Ball that night. What an awesome day that’s going to be.

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Twelve! Twelve! TWELVE!!! by ninalove1 at Garmin Connect – Details

Twelve! Twelve! TWELVE!!! by ninalove1 at Garmin Connect – Details.

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Watching natural gifts

There is a pleasure in watching someone perform a thing that comes as naturally to them as breathing: a surgeon, an artist, a musician… For me, the greatest thrill comes from my children; Jessica being a sweet little mommy… Jedd playing the drums. The music flows through him, as essential as his own blood.

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Another Milestone: 11.6 Miles (and Reconsiderations)

This milestone happened last Saturday (January 7). On that morning I set out to run 11 miles, the next step in my half marathon training. I met with the 8am group at Berry that runs every Saturday morning, but by now I have eschewed trying to stay with any of the various groups, opting instead to do my own thing, because I run best when I can monitor and adjust my own pace, pushing (and pulling back) when I know I’m ready to. Because I forgot to start my Garmin, and was determined to log an “11” on it, I actually ran 11.6 miles, just to be able to see the 11. I’m not competitive or goal-oriented or anything, am I? 🙂

The Viking Trail itself is just 7 miles (3.5 out and 3.5 back), so I knew I would have to add distances on both ends of it. I started out with a perfect 2:1 run/walk pace, and my runs were pacing around 11:30, which is a full minute faster than what I have ever run. Of course, the walking intervals back me down to 12:30-13, but it’s all easier on my body, and I *do* really enjoy the faster running intervals. I ran a couple of extra miles out at the mountain school: beautiful scenery but hilly. But beautiful. Then when I returned to the main campus, I added a couple more flat miles. At about 9 miles, my left foot started hurting, and my feet just started feeling tired. Energy-wise, I was just a little tired; nowhere near hitting the wall, but my feet became my limiting factor.

Which led me to spend the last three miles pondering whether it would be a good idea to actually do the half marathon on the morning of the Heart of the Community ball. Because I am being honored at that ball, and it is the highest honor granted in my town, based on lifetime achievement, I CERTAINLY want to look and feel my best for the entire evening. There is a reception preceding the event, which will require standing, and then there is the black-tie seated dinner, complete with a hilarious roast of each honoree, and then there is over an hour of excellent live dance music, during which I completely intend to be out there kicking up my heels with my kids and friends. I became concerned that if I were to be fatigued from the half marathon, that I would not fully experience the most important celebration of my life. So I decided that the Heart Ball was a good enough excuse to back down, and that I would just do the 10K with the goal of a 10K PR, and do the very next half I could find.

I contacted the Berry race director, asking to change my registration to the 10K, and she replied that I certainly could do that, but why didn’t I wait until closer to the event just to be sure that would really be my choice. I respect her prudence, so that is what I have done. Today I did 5 at Berry (in 20 degree weather), and had a great conversation with Carlton Ulmer about my decision process. He had great insight, and I will cover that in my next blog.

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HERE is a NINE-MILE Milestone!

Christmas Eve, 2011: What a wonderful way to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of becoming part of the 2011 Six-Pack. It was a long-run day, so I did my NINE MILES on the beautiful Viking Trail and mountain campus at Berry. I am TRULY blessed.

Nine-Mile Route on 12/24/2011
2:1 Run/Walk – successful! Kept pace & no wall!!!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/137327057

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What a Year!!!

Each year at this time, I pause and reflect on my life: my blessings, my challenges, things I need to change, things I want to do more (or less) of, etc. In December of 2009 I made a simple goal; it was, simply, “simplify”. So I de-cluttered my life, organizing things to become low-maintenance, and lay in wait, prepared for some yet-unknown adventure that I hoped life might bring my way. Never could I ever have imagined what happened next!

Because 2010 was indeed a peaceful simple year, I decided to end it by seeking adventure. So on December 9th, I submitted a 3 minute video as an iReporter on CNN, detailing why I should be among six viewers selected for the 2011 CNN FitNation Challenge, to train and complete the Nautica New York City Triathlon on August 7, 2011. Whether I found the adventure or the adventure found me no longer matters: On December 24 I received a call from the CNN Medical Unit producers (who I am now proud to call my friends), telling me that I had INDEED been selected as one of the 2011 “Six Pack”-novice athletes and regular people who would soon become larger-than-life healthy-living examples to the world, also becoming life-long friends with our relationships sealed with work, anxiety, sweat, travel, laughter, stumbles, victories, and unforgettable adventures.

There were so many thrills along the way: becoming friends and training-partners with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and many members of the CNN production team, and getting to know fabulous experts in fields of triathlon, nutrition, and psychology, all of whom had a single goal: to ensure OUR success in the NYC Triathlon. But one thing I had not anticipated and enjoyed the most was the opportunity to blog and chronicle our training experiences along the way, and have our blogs posted on CNN.com/FitNation for the whole world to see! Besides being excited to see my own by-line on the world’s largest news organization’s website, I thrived on the comments that people posted in response to all of our blogs. There was so much encouragement there, and many people said that *we* had inspired *them* to adopt healthier habits, and it was unbelievable to realize that we were truly being watched and having a positive influence in the world.

I started this blog while training, mostly to have one place to collect my various links and articles for my friends to see. Now I will keep it up, just as I am keeping up my training and healthy lifestyle. And yes, there’s a book in here somewhere. 🙂

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