Transformation Tuesday!

12:32 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Who doesn’t love a good transformation right? I know I do. I always talk about how great it is to look back and see your progress, see your hard work and dedication side by side and realize that it was all worth it and it’s still going to be worth it as you continue on your personal journey.



The left is a picture of me back in my sophomore year of college (2009,) way before I decided to start this journey of mine. I had to idea how much I weighed, no idea of what eating healthy was and no concept of working out. All I knew back then was ice cream, pizza, late night McDonalds’ runs, soda and alcohol. I knew I was overweight, I knew I needed to lose the weight but just never did anything about it back then, I just thought “If I dressed cute, why would it matter how much I weighed.”

The picture on the right is what changing your lifestyle can do for you. It's more water and less soda, more vegetables and less fried foods, more frozen yogurt and fruit instead of ice cream and of course with the combination of working out. 

Yesterday, I was playing around with my camera and took a punch of pictures because I love selfies, don’t judge me and I stopped to actually admire what I looked like down to the muscle in my leg that’s coming defined, looking like I’m about to compete in a competition or something, well not really but that’s how I feel and that is a good feeling.

Again, it’s all about trusting the process and remembering that slow progress is better than no progress. I guess that’s something I have to keep telling myself as well as I know sometimes I can become discouraged when I’m not seeing changes as fast as I would like, but changes do happen and changes do occur.

Trust in the process and believe in yourself.

Do you have a story for transformation Tuesday? Some pictures? Send them in!


-KS

My Jam Monday & A Race in November

11:53 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Another Monday and another catchy song. I never appreciated music so much, that's mostly because growing up I mostly listened to reggae music and I refused to listen to anything else , so now that I'm older and grown out of that "sticking to one style of genre" thing, I've come to appreciate the different types of music. 

I know by now everyone has heard of Taylor Swift's new song "Shake It Off," and believe me I'm no stranger to it. I have to be honest and start of by saying that I was no fan of Taylor Swift two years ago. But after her album RED and the song "We Are Never Getting Back Together" I was a fan and played the song constantly. 




"Shake It Off" is a fun, upbeat and great tempo type of song. It has that beat that would make anyone get up and dance, well at least me. I scream it to the highest of rooftops when I'm singing it. Although I contain myself when I'm running, I still feel pretty powerful. 

"My ex man brought his new girlfriend she's like OH MY GOD, I just gonna shake. And to the fella over there with the hella good hair won't you come on over baby we can shake, shake, shake." This is my favorite part. I don't know why, but it's just so edgy. Oh and the beginning when she says "I stay out too late." Yes I'm weird ha ha. 

It's the end of October and I'm kind of sad that I didn't have another race lined up for this month since races have become so addictive. But that's ok because I have one lined up for November! The turkey trot provided by New York runs. I wanted to do this race last year but of course it sold out so fast I didn't even get to register. So this year I made sure I did and I got it, I'm in to run the turkey trot baby! 

What I love about this race is that it takes place on thanksgiving morning the slogan is "you'll be home for turkey." So that's a plus. I mean I'm not a big thanksgiving fan for the most part, but I do appreciate that I can run a race and then decide to go home and cook if I wanted. 

Sadly this is the only race I am doing for November. In December I am looking to close out the year with one if not two races and then next year I start all over again by gaining entry to the NYC TCS Marathon for 2016. 

What races are you running in November? What races do you have left for the year? 

-KS

Product Review - Balance Bar: Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch

6:30 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments


I started a new job at 24 hour fitness on Tuesday. Yay me! I've been looking for a new job for quite awhile now and I'm happy that I've found one. Since I want to get into the health and fitness industry, what better way to start than at a gym? Of course working at a gym means free membership! Can you say gains? Whoop whoop! 

So guess what I tried the other day, a chocolate mint cookie crunch balance bar. Why you may ask? Well I just got off of work and I was so hungry and the first thing I thought of getting was a bag of chips and a bottle of water. I quickly realized that if I was going to purchase something it should be at least something of more substance and nutritional value, so a protein bar it was. 

Of course there was a wide variety of choice and I'm still not sure on how to pick the best one. However I read nutritional values of some along with flavors and came with the decision to chose the balance brand I the chocolate mint flavor. 



One thing that I was attracted to was the micro breakdown on the front if the bar. 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein, which this bar has 14g of. 



The bar is 200 calories, which makes for the prefect snack to hold a person until meal time. 7g of fat and 190mg of sodium. Again I'm not expert at these numbers YET, but once I get there, I will be able to go into more details. yay me! 

The overall consistency of the bar was crunchy, resembled a kit kat bar. As soon as you bite into it it's a burst of mint which is exactly what I was expecting. Not as powerful as a York peppermint patty, but very close to it. 

I think I've eaten about three of these since Thursday, yes I'm that much in love with them. However if they aren't that great for me, please tell me. 

What are your favorite protein bars to eat? I would love to give them a try. 

-KS

Fall for Pumpkin

4:26 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Is anyone else in love with this pumpkin craze? Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lotion, pumpkin protein powder, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin nail polish. I mean you get my point, everything is just pumpkin thanks to the upcoming Halloween holiday. Well lucky for you guys I also took flight with the pumpkin craze and decided to try pumpkin cream cheese. 

Yes folks, pumpkin cream cheese. I mean I never knew there was such a thing until my mother told me about it, but of course I should have expected it since there is pretty much a pumpkin for everything. 

So my breakfast today was a whole wheat bagel with pumpkin cream cheese. Along with my issue of Runners World Magazine and a cup of Tropicana 50 Red Orange juice. (Supposed to be better for your because it only has 50 calories and 10g of sugar per eight ounce serving.) Am I the only one who has to be ridiculously freezing to drink something warm? No? Okay, I'll take that. 



What I was expecting was a pungent pumpkin taste, almost as if it was eating pumpkin pie, so naturally I was taken aback when the first thing I tasted was cream cheese. Don't laugh, it wasn't until after I bit into the bagel I remembered I was eating pumpkin cream cheese and not a pumpkin pie. The consistency is smooth like cream cheese, wait a little smoother because it's easier to spread on than plain cream cheese and let's face it, that's a process in itself, or am I alone there also? Yea? I'll take that too. 

A bottom portion of the bagel later I wanted a sweet/salty combo and I also didn't have a protein on my plate. Of course I have prosciutto in my refrigerator and threw that right in top of the second half of this bagel. 



Don't judge my food lol. It was actually very good and it was the added salty taste I was looking for. It blended right in with the sweetness of the cream cheese and added for a fulling breakfast. 

What are your favorite pumpkin themed meals for the holiday? I would love to hers about them and try some so I too can hop on the bandwagon. 

-KS

My Jam Monday!

10:13 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Music is truly one of those outlets that move people in many different forms. With this being said, it’s MY JAM MONDAY! Oh yes, it’s where I tell you guys my favorite jam of the week. Of course a new segment I’m starting on this here blog.

So this can turn into a current song that’s stuck in my head, a favorite workout or running song, a song I’ve just heard, or a song I just discovered and has probably been around longer than I knew about (yes I’m late when it comes to music sometimes.) Well, let’s do it.




Have you guys heard of this song? It’s called “Get My Name” by Mark Ballas, pro dancer on Dancing with the Stars. It reminds me of an upbeat jazz song, great for when I’m running, because all I want to do is run to the beat of the song and keep my legs moving.

Mark’s voice, his singing gives me shivers and can bring me to my knees in two seconds, it kind of has a soulful calming, but a sharp pitch. Does that make sense? It doesn’t sound like it makes sense, but it does when you hear the song.

Anyway, great running song, I recommend everyone to give it a listen and I would love to hear your feedback.



What are your favorite songs to workout or run to? Please let me know and recommend me any song you think I should listen to.


-KS

Pole Class Adventure!

2:44 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Friday was an exciting day, I did enjoy myself and it was the first time I did something different in a long time. I took a pole class! Now I’ve taken a couple before, the second one being better than the first, but this third one takes the cake.

This place is called Body & Pole nice small spot in the city, I would probably walk right pass by it if I wasn’t with my friend, but either way I was there and I was nervous ad ready to go.
The class was very small, when I mean a small class, I mean seven people including the instructor and myself, so everyone has a pole to herself, no waiting/sharing poles so it was great.




Of course my BFF has to take a picture of me right? Yea I was trying to hide from the camera and that didn’t work and then to top it all off, I had to sit right behind the instructor, super intimidating!
If that wasn’t enough around warm up time and stretching no one is sweating and of course I’m sweating like a fricking pig. I really felt disgusted with myself at this point. I mean I looked like I has three buckets of water dumped on me and everyone else looked like they have been sitting down at work. I’m sure others were sweating but nothing like how I looked. I quickly got this thought out of my head and just told myself I’m a sweaty person, deal with it, saying this while sweat droplets were falling from my head and hitting the mat.

I mean look the class went very very well and I surely enjoyed myself and I would love to do it again. I don’t remember the instructors name but she was very helpful and informative. She explained each movement step by step making it easy to follow and execute. Her method of teaching was exceptional.





So, I got a couple of videos, check them out.

video


video




-KS

Staten Island Half Recap!

2:06 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

My alarm goes off and it’s 3:15AM however I don’t get up until 3:22. My eyes burn and I feel coiled, like a cat, so I stretch in bed then head over to the bathroom, daily rituals.  

I’m already hungry and I tell myself it’s time to make breakfast. I am so hungry I can’t do anything else until I get some type of food in my system. Whole-wheat toast, peanut butter and a banana, hasn’t failed me yet.



I take two or three bites and finally start to get dressed. It’s still pretty early but I need to leave my house by 4:45AM so I can meet up with my group NYCInstaRunners at the Staten Island ferry for 6:30.

It’s quiet, so I turn on the TV in the living room, jeporady is on and wheel of fortune was coming up next, whatever, it’s just background noise for me anyway. I continue to get dressed and eat breakfast, I go back into my room and put on more deodorant and take ibuprofen, and I come back out into the living room and stretch.

It’s now 4:12 and I realized infomercials are on now, I hit the “on demand” button on my remote and watch Dancing With The Stars, my “go to” show to get me excited and pumped up for this race. I throw on my sneakers, bib number and finish packing my fanny pack.
I’m ready to go out the door. But I need to take some pictures, so I set my camera up for video and I do some crazy poses. I take a screen shot of the stills and use them as “pre race” photos.



Now it’s time for me to go, it’s now 4:46 and I know the next train comes at 5:15 and it’s at least a 10 minute walk from my house to the train station, so I leave. I arrive at the train station and a man immediately sees I have a bib number on and starts talking to me. His name is Tony, he tells me how he used to be in the marines and he used to run for about three miles at a time, but nothing like a half marathon. He joked with me and asked if I was sure I was running a half marathon today. It was funny, but I had a train to catch so I finished the conversation and went to catch the train.

I’m on the train now and another man sees I’m wearing a bib. He talks to me about how he started running for health reasons and was shocked because I didn’t look like a runner. I didn’t know how to take it and I didn’t feel like being rude so I didn’t say much. We talked some more about running and then he talked about his wife of 32 years, the train pulled up to my stop and I got off to transfer trains. I saw a couple of ladies with bib numbers so I know they were running as well. I waited for the R train, but the N train came, we were uncertain if to take it or not, but the route map says it was going to our stop so we got on.

Two stops later we got off. They introduced themselves as Erica and Elizabeth I believe, I followed them up and out to the Staten Island ferry since one of them knew where they were going, as soon as we got out the station the ferry was right there.



I walk upstairs and sit down. It’s not even 6:00AM yet, but I wait. I text my friend Kenny and tell him I’m here. A few minutes later he’s there with Enida. We also met up with Stephanie, Heather and Joseph and got on the ferry.






We get to Staten Island and Heather and Joseph take off, I believe they are training for a marathon so they run a couple of miles before running the race. Stephanie, Enida, Kenny and myself go to Dunkin Donuts and charge our phones, they order coffee and we talk for a little bit before leaving and going to the bathrooms.

The end of this race in at the Staten Island Yankees stadium, which is pretty cool seeing as this is the first time the race is ending there. Of course most of the guys are excited because they know the history of the grounds and some ladies were excited as well. As for me, I just thought about the cool post race pictures.




We meet up with some other members of the group, while waiting for more members for the group to show up, we chit chat until it was time to make our way into the corrals. Of course I’m in the last corral however it was also lined up by bib number, 12103 was my number but there was no way I was going to stand way back there, so I stood with the 9,000+ bib number runners, no big deal.
I’m now standing with Johanna, Alexie, Amanda, Nicole, Enida and probably some others. There was a water show going on and I could barely see it but it looked pretty cool. But I was freezing so I didn’t care, I was too worried about whether or not I should run with my sweater.

Me freezing! 


We’re moving, I’m now side by side with Johanna, it’s her first half and she’s nervous but I tell her to stick with me and she’ll be good. However she’s now making me nervous and I am jittery. We’re still talking to the start line and we start getting our music and Nike app together for tracking.

We get up to the start line and we’re off... 
Mile 1: It’s not even five minutes in and I’m already feeling hot, I know I have to take this sweater off at some point, but I’m still going to run. Johanna is next to me for a while and then she’s gone I turn back my head back to try and find her but I don’t see her. I’ll meet up with her later I thought to myself. There’s a slight hill but nothing to freak out about. I see the mile one maker sign and I take off my sweater. I can’t imagine running another 12.1 miles with this sweater on.

Mile 2: The only thing I could remember about mile two was seeing the mile 12 marker sign by a grocery store. That’s honestly it. I believe I saw Amanda and passed her but she was on the other side of the street, so I didn’t get a chance to say hey.

Mile 3: I look around to see if I see Johanna or someone and I don’t see anyone. I just keep running. I fill up my water bottle with Gatorade and water and I keep going. My music is blasting and I am feeling it, I actually feel really good. I see a 2:10 pace group pass me and a 2:15 group pass me, I was shocked because I was ahead of them, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up.

Mile 4: I get a phone call, yes a phone call from my mother. She asks me if I started running yet. You could imagine my face when I hear that. I tell her I am on mile four and ask her what’s going on. She says I’m not being tracked, great I tell myself. I never had this happen before but I thought it was a problem with my bib since I had it on my leg, so I pull over to put it on my torso and I keep running. However I am also seeing the “elite” runners pass me on my left side 48 minutes in. Those runners are on mile 10 already.

Mile 5: A nice downhill, steep downhill which keep my momentum going, I loved it. I didn’t stop for a while because I just had that much energy, I ended up seeing Amy and Christina and gave them a wave. I was still concerned about my tracking time and decided to call my mother back after I hit the 10K split mark.

Mile 6/10K Split: I called my mother and she says that I am still not being tracked, at this point I just think it’s a system thing and I continue to run. The sun beaming down feeling good actually, but it’s still cold. I’m waiting for the course to make a turn so I can start making my way to the finish line, I’m impatient.

Mile 7: Here’s the turn, time to make my way to the finish line. I’m now looking to see if I see anyone that I know and I don’t. I’m not really sure where everyone is at this point but I keep running. I pass a small playing field to the right of me I’m not sure what game is being played but I can see two teams suited up and ready to go.

Mile 8: Still looking for other people, but I take a moment to thank the man upstairs because I know I’m at mile eight and I’m not getting swept, I look behind me and I don’t see a truck but then I look further up and there it is, the sweeper truck.



As I run closer to the sweeper truck going the opposite way of me and probably on mile six, there I see Johanna. I yell out to her and wave. She looks like she is in pain, but she’s running with someone so that’s a good sign but she’s running with the sweeper truck as well, almost as if she’s talking with them. I guess that’s a good sign as well.

Mile 9: What goes down, must come up? In this case it did. That nice downhill on mile five that I ran is now an uphill on mile nine. I made sure I didn’t go too fast because I wanted to conserve energy for when the course evens out again. But it was a hard hill to run up.

Mile 10: Nothing special here, it was just mile 10. I told myself only three miles to go, and I can run three miles. So it was no big deal. I noticed a lot of small corner stores in the area, but that was about it.

Mile 11: I have a stitch in my side, it’s now getting hard to breathe. I try to keep going to push through the pain but I can’t so I slow down and start walking. The last thing I want to do is pass out on this course. I imagine myself calling to a medic at this point, but I don’t think it was that serious. Two more miles and I’m done.

Mile 12: One more mile, just one. I’ve lost my intervals and I am just walking and running as I see fit. I look down at my watch and I see that I am over the 2:30 mark to finish the course. It doesn’t matter now, I just want less than three hours. I turn back around to see how many people are behind me and it doesn’t look like much, maybe about 50 people. Now I think, don’t be last, so I try to speed up.

Mile 13: This is it, the area where the Dunkin Donuts is, where the race started, I see where the water show was taking place and I just keep running, there are people lined up cheering and clapping, but I am just focusing on running and keeping this pace until the end. It’s now getting harder for me to breathe, my side hurts, my throat has that raw, dry feeling and no matter how much Gatorade I drank, it didn’t go away, so I thought the faster I finished the faster I can regain my breathing.

13.1/Finish: I crossed the finish line and I am done. I looked down at my watch and it tells me I crossed at 2:53:44. I actually finished in 2:53:40, yes those four seconds matter! That’s good enough for me. I walk over to the side and just try and catch my breath, forgetting I have to walk over and get a medal and then go get something to eat. I walk over and get my medal, a couple of photographers take pictures of me and I’m done.

Alexie & Johanna 

Johanna & I



I see Alexie and others hanging out, we take some photos, some people head off to the restaurant and others stayed back. I decided I was going to wait for Johanna and a couple of others did also.
We see Johanna cross the finish line and she has to go over to the medical tent, she popped her knee and they give her some ice and wrapped it around her legs and ankle and we leave the stadium. I’m now with Alexie, Mia, Tee, Johanna and Joanna making our way to the restaurant. We hop in a cab and go there.







Great times, great people and a great race. All thanks to the man upstairs.

So that’s it. My Staten Island half experience. I have now officially earned my entry into the NYC Half for next year. Can you say excited? Of course this mean news sneakers, new running gear, new everything!

Next year will start my journey to the TCS NYC Marathon for 2016 and I know that’s going to be one hell of a ride.


-KS

#Blessed

10:51 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments




Before I post about my Staten Island half experience, I just want to say that I was truly blessed and grateful the entire journey. I've prayed and prayed for weeks on end for me to have a good race. And I did just that, I had a good race. 

As you guys know I got sick two days after the Bronx 10 Mile and was a nervous reck. My body was aching, nose running and I had shortness of breath. There was no way I was going to ever run a half marathon in that condition. 

So I trusted in the man upstairs. Kept to my prayers that he would get rid of my cold, or close enough that I would be able to run. Then a few days after that, TOM came to visit. Really, I didn't ask for TOM to visit me, I don't even like TOM, but whatever. TOM was here, my cold was here and I just prayed that both would be gone by Sunday. 

With both those prayers constantly going every night, I also prayed for a PR. Who am I to pray for everything? To pray for all of these things and expect to get them all. I was scared because maybe I might receive 2/3 of what I prayed for, I didn't expect to receive it all. 

But guess what? I did receive it all, every single thing. My cold was no more, stupid TOM left and I PR'ed. There was a part on the course and I just had to thank the man upstairs because he was watching over me, guiding me and with me every step of the way. That is what I call a good race. 

-KS 

PS: Staten Island Half race overview will be up tomorrow! 

Badges I've Collected. More to Come!

11:08 AM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Bronx 10 Mile Brooklyn HalfQueens 10K
The Color Run

Approaching My Second Half Marathon

5:37 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Only one day until I run my second half marathon of the year and I am getting over a cold. Can you believe it? Yea I can't either, but such is life. Of course this happened two days after I ran the Bronx 10 Mile race, so maybe someone around me was sick and of course now I am. Either way, I'm looking to be at least 90% better by race day. 

So one day away and then I put another half marathon in the books. I'm creeped out because I am not nervous. Or maybe I don't realize what I'm getting myself into. I know I've just ran 10 miles a couple of weeks back but I have to add on three more to that so it doesn't seem like a lot to do, maybe that could be the reason. 

This is the race I'm looking to PR, to make up for that time at the Brooklyn Half. I'm looking to see under three hours this time. If I PR with a 3:01:59 I guess that's alright too, but to PR under three hours will be amazing. It would just solidify that this training the second time around was put into use, (even though I had a month off due to my toe.) and I did what I had to do. 

After I run the Staten Island half I will have guaranteed entry to the NYC half next year in March. Doing races over the last couple of months is what I needed to do to secure my spot. Last year I tried to get in to the NYC half by "lottery" and of course I didn't get in. But I'm glad that happened. It gave me time to prepare, to train properly and to be ready for that type of distance, since the NYC half is typically done in a colder month. Which mean. NEW GEAR! 

One day and I'll run my second half. Thoughts? Suggestions? Questions? Advice? Let me know! 

-KS