Monday, December 26, 2011

Chasing New Beginnings!

Wikipedia: Times Square 

Many people I run into have mixed feelings about New Years Resolutions.  What do you think about setting NY resolutions?  Helpful? Waste of time? Good in theory?

Stephen Sharpiro has done some research I found very interesting and thought some of you would like to know.  According to Goal-Free Living (Sharpiro's book), 45% of Americans usually make New Years resolutions and 17% sometimes set resolutions.  Out of those people, only 8% are ALWAYS achieve success.  The more depressing statistic is one in four people have NEVER succeeded in completing a resolution in their lifetime.  That's pretty alarming to me!  As I looked a bit more into this research their was an interesting correlation to age and amount of success in achieving these goals.  Almost 40% of people in their 20's achieve their resolution at least every other year.  If 40% of people my age are able to succeed in these goals my question is why don't we set them more often and achieve more?  Out of the 60% that are not successful in these resolutions, where is the disconnect?  

I think most of us think that New Years resolutions mean setting a huge dramatic change in our lives.  Maybe it does for some people.  I feel like over the last 4 years I've learned setting smaller goals more frequently allows me to see the bigger picture.  I also have begun the art of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals.  If you are unfamiliar with what that is, I have found a great resource called the Goal Setting Guide.  I've also found that when I set goals, I absolutely have to tell someone about it.  This may be a personal preference, but I've found if I tell someone about a goal I have or something that I feel is important and ask for accountability I'm more likely to follow through.  The bottom line is that everyone has to take responsibility and motivate themselves to achieve what they desire.  Here are some ideas of resolutions I have for 2012:
  • Take 5 uninterupted minutes everyday for myself to sit and be silent.  I can write. I can pray.  I can read trash tabloid magazines. I can dream up my next reality TV idea.  I can do whatever I want as long as I am take 5 minutes of personal uninterrupted time to myself everyday.  
  • I will take 30 minutes at least once a week to study Rosetta Stone Spanish until I complete the first two levels of the program.  I've had it for a year and have taken lessons off and on.  I've heard people say once you leave school it's hard to go back....try adding in the astericks of learning at home.  I know myself well enough to understand that I have to make a conscience effort to make this one happen, but I have plenty of drive to make it happen I think.
  • This one is a distant third but I would like to complete the Chicago Marathon this year.  My aunt and friend will more than likely be running it and this one is a huge stretch for me.  I know it isn't impossible, because I finished a marathon in Denver this year.  I also remember the pain of 26.2 miles and the toll it takes on your body and personal life for that matter.  Interestingly enough while I was training for Denver, I envisioned my aunt running the Chicago Marathon in 2009.  The city, the course, the amount of runners, the accomplishment, all of those things kept me training.  To be able to run that race would be amazing I think.  
  • Lastly, I want to continue growing my relationship with Christ.  This one for me is the reoccuring resolution/goal.  I can say that having consistent quiet times with God are an opportunity for me, so here I am.  I am putting this on here as the commitment that everyone can ask about now.  
There are a few of my ideas.  Many people include weight loss, growing wealth, or maintaining/creating relationships as some of theirs.  2012 is a time to begin making your life look like what you want it to be.  The reality is you don't even have to wait though!  What will yours be?!  


Monday, October 17, 2011

Chasing Lululemon Clothing!

Scoop Neck Tank (

So this may be a reoccurring topic of my future posts. Just saying!  Lululemon as many of you already know is probably my favorite guilty purchase.  Why is it a favorite?  Well I always have the excuse of, "this piece of clothing will drive me to inevitably be in better shape!"  Enter link to amazing Lululemon Hybrid Jacket.  I mean REALLY?! How can you resist this in the light blue color?!  This takes me back to how I constantly have to change my mindset now.  I used to say this is way too much to pay for clothing.  I already have workout gear.  While I believe you don't need to necessarily buy this brand of athletic gear, I think its important to have true motivation for working out.  Some people love to know they can eat their favorite piece of cheesecake.  I enjoy buying ridiculously comfortable, fashionable athletic wear.  I know that by buying Lululemon, I am committing myself to wear this and where better than to work out.  I recently bought this jacket above with a couple of other items.  Below are pictures (courtesy of of my favorite items for this season.  Take a look and let me know your favorites!  Enjoy!!
Featherweight Hybrid Jacket (

Running crops

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chasing Old School Exercise

There are many days that it is truly a conscious effort to go to the gym.  You have to go through the trouble of changing clothes, driving to the gym, and the hardest part is motivating yourself to actually stay on a treadmill long enough for you to break a sweat, right?!  Well I have a couple of new solutions to get your heart pumping in less than 10 minutes!

Remember Jump Rope for Heart back in elementary school where you had to jump rope for hours and never seemed to get tired?  Try that now people!  The other day I picked up a jump rope at the gym and tried to go for 10 minutes at a moderate pace.  What an amazing workout!  It seems so silly that hopping over a rope for a little while can drive a heart rate up and keep you entertained.   If you want to make the workout a bit harder, try pairing an iPod with this exercise and jump to the beats of your favorite song.  Another great feature is you can do this in the convenience of your own home!  If you can eliminate a drive to the gym or get a similar workout quicker, why wouldn't you try it?

Say jump roping isn't your thing.  Well my second suggestion will give you ab muscles that you haven't seen before!  This may sound a little crazy but get out your leis and get to hula hooping!  About a month ago at work we had a hula hooping contest for the comedic value, but I will tell you what.  When I tried hula hooping for more than 5 seconds I realized there is actual skills required to do this!  I've learned its all about shaking your hips but you will find your entire core needing to engage to make this work.  I found this to be a ton of fun and another thing that would be great to do around young kids or friends at parties.  Don't want to take my word for it?  Check out Alison Sweeney's blog where she endorses this as well!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chasing Pumpkin!

So the season is finally here!  PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!  I must say, between pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin porter, pumpkin bagels and muffins lead me to feeling as if I am in heaven during the fall and winter.  To spice up your kitchen this season, check out the PHENOMENAL recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from Weight Watchers. :-)


1 spray(s) cooking spray   
9 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers   
3 Tbsp butter   
16 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese   
1 cup(s) sugar   
 2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream   
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon   
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg   
1/4 tsp ground ginger   
1/4 tsp ground cloves   
 3 large egg(s)   
 1 cup(s) canned pumpkin   


  • Preheat oven to 325ºF. Coat a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use a 9 X 13-inch nonstick pan.
  • Grind graham crackers until fine in a food processor or place crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush with rolling pin. Place crumbs in a small bowl.
  • Melt butter on stove top or in microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs. Mix with a fork until completely moistened.
  • Press crumbs evenly into bottom of prepared pan and place in refrigerator while preparing pumpkin filling.
  • Place cream cheese in bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and mix until incorporated.
  • Mix in 1 cup of sour cream until just combined and then add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Add remaining sour cream and mix until just combined.
  • Slowly beat in each egg one at a time until incorporated, and then mix in pumpkin. (Note: For best results, all ingredients should be at room temperature and mixed as little as possible, until each ingredient is just combined.)
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pan, spread evenly throughout and smooth top.
  • Bake until set at edges, about 30 minutes. (Note: The very center will be a little loose.) Cool completely and refrigerate overnight before cutting into 18 pieces and serving 4 Points Plus per serving!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I LOVE new discoveries. A Phoenix excerpt

I absolutely love that I lived in Phoenix for over 6 years and just discovered Postino!  For those who don't know anything about this place, it is an incredibly cute wine cafe in Phoenix.  A friend and I went on Tuesday night for Bellinis and Bruschetta.  If you haven't been there you need to check out their website and go Monday or Tuesday nights after 8pm.  They have a special for $20 you get a bottle of wine and plate of bruschetta (typically could serve 2-3 people).  When was the last time you tried something different?  Whether it is trying a new wine bar, changing to a lipgloss color, or visiting your local farmer's market there is an overwhelming feeling of excitement that surrounds someone with little changes like these.  Have you all found anything new and exciting that made your day lately?

Postino Wine Café
Courtesy of Postino Winecafe

Monday, October 10, 2011

I am an official MARATHON runner


Lets do the play by play shall we!  As a reminder, the weather in Denver on Saturday was rainy, chilly, and windy (as I like to call the triple threat of running a race).  The news informed me that it was the first day in around 5 months since snow had capped the mountains, so needless to say I was a bit anxious on what the race day weather conditions might look like.  To my pleasure we avoided two conditions Sunday, rain and wind!  I managed to prepare myself that morning wearing my warm Lululemon gear and beginning to fuel my water belt.  To start off the fuel session, I had a toasted english muffin with 2 Tbsp of Peanut Butter (just about the only thing my stomach will handle in the early mornings).  My water belt complete with chapstick, Gu Gel, Gu Chomps, and 4 water bottles weighed a good couple pounds.  The 2 girls and I set out for our early morning in the dark.  Denver drew nearly 16000 runners for both races, a little over 2000 being marathon runners.  We found the bag check, got back to the corral area, and I managed to say goodbye to my dad.  My whole body rang with adrenaline as the race began with a large roar.  The girls and I moved up in our corral, and I luckily was able to get my dad's attention before I started my race.  Off we went!! The one item I left at home unfortunately was my running watch that tracks all of my pacing and whatnot.  I had to trust that after the first mile my brain could calculate my pace and try timing myself that way.  I would say around the 10K(6.4 mile) mark you are in this zone where you really get in a groove and can enjoy your surroundings.  From the beginning I separated from the other 2 girls and was on my own pace.  I managed to chat with others and people watch with funny signs.  That kept me really sidetracked for a good part of the first half of the race.  The course splits the half from the full participants around mile 11.  At that point your brain recognizes a "no bailing now" mentality.  Luckily for me, that was the first point I saw my dad, cousin, and cousin-in-law!  At this point I'm in a great mood, feeling and looking good.  I hand over my heavier pullover to them and head off again.  Around mile 18 I hit the infamous "Runner Wall".  I thought it was all mental, but this is the actual point that your body gives signs of fatigue and pain.  I think psychologically this is a warning sign and you get to thinking "you have a ways to go, you need to figure this out now".  I mentally overcame it with, make it 2 more miles and you get to see your family again.  Mile 19 comes around, my knees and lower back are giving me extreme grief.  I continue to motivate and will myself to the 20 mile marker where I can see my dad in the near future.  I finally reach him and have a breakdown.  I'm talking I can't move, my knees are locking, and back spasms are occurring in full force.  With a little family support, motivation, and will power I have made my way up to mile 21.  I won't lie, the next couple of miles were pretty much torture.  Around 24.5 miles into the run I have hit the big mama mountain of a hill.  I feel at this point, it is par for the course.  It was a reality check for pain.  If I thought I knew pain, look again!  I make it to mile 26 to find my friend coming up to me to finish the last 0.2 miles with me.  I can't even explain to you what that meant to me.  To see a person running to me meant in my head the end was really near!  Seeing that finish line and running through it really triggered every emotion I could think of.  I cried immediately tears of happiness, pain, disbelief, and much more.  I still today can't believe that I accomplished 26.2 miles in under 6 hours.  It will forever be an experience I never forget.  My only piece of advice to myself next race is to run in flat areas.  I was a little over ambitious in thinking Denver being the same altitude would somehow be easier for me to race in.  I am proud of myself and hope that my story of the training and success that has been occurring over the last 6 months will be encouragement to others that you really can do whatever you put your mind to.  I know it sounds cheesy but sometimes it takes someone you know doing something you or they didn't think they could do to give you new perspective!  Until the next tale!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A new first has come....1ST MARATHON HAS ARRIVED!

So I landed in Denver yesterday in the final stages of prep for my first marathon.  Cant believe it.  Somewhat surreal. To commemorate this lovely occasion, I proceeded to buy just about everything at the Health & Fitness Expo.  I now have pretty much every funky/fun headband and arm sleeves one would want!  Believe the pictures after this baby will be one for the books!  This time tomorrow I will be running the streets of Downtown Denver and if you care to follow my steps as they happen go to and at the bottom right corner there is a "Sign-up for Runner Tracking" button.  Sign up and you will get my progress at the 10K, Half-Marathon, and Finishing points! I ask for thoughts and prayers around the weather and keeping me healthy as the temperatures and conditions are not looking ideal.  Thank you to everyone who has given me unlimited amounts of support thus far, and I can't wait to let everyone know how this went!  :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I've lived in ABQ how long? Im running a WHAT?!!

Wow, I look at my last post and must say a lot of things have changed!  I can't believe that I've been in Albuquerque for a little over 10 months now and things are moving at a faster pace than before!  So where to I start?

Well after I achieved the major accomplishment of running a half marathon, I decided to get involved in a running group called Albuquerque Fit.  I figured I didn't know very many people, so trying to meet others with a similar interest would be a great start, right?  In the early springtime the new session had started and there were 3 groups you could sign up for: 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon.  Looking at the 26 week schedule, I decided joining the marathon group would be best.  I actually joined it with intentions of running another half marathon in the middle of July, approximately halfway through the program.  I grabbed two ladies that I had been running with and we all thought great idea.

Well to make a long story shorter, we ended up not running a half marathon in July and actually have been training for a FULL MARATHON!  That's right, Chelsea- never wants to run at lacrosse practice- Snyder has managed to get her butt in gear and run enough to prepare for a full marathon.  With that being said, two weeks ago was pretty monumental in that I ran 20 miles for the very first time in just over four hours.  I could not believe all of that in my head and kept repeating for a while, "You just ran four hours and 20 miles. How did you get here?!"

I will say this, I've heard from tons of skinny little marathon runners "Really everything in running is mental," and I thought to myself, "You're mental for thinking running a marathon is JUST mental."  I would say I am a true believer that my body can do way more than my mind physically thinks is possible.  There is just this feeling and idea of moving and doing more than my mind thinks my body can do that gives you a sense of empowerment.  Not only has my mental outlook developed through an experience like this, but my physical outlook and ability has changed so much.  For instance, I travelled to Vancouver, Canada last weekend to visit a great friend and knew I had to put in some mileage.  I found out that Stanley Park is this large park that you can run along most of the English Bay following this path and has the significance of New York's Central Park in the US.  Typically if I'm on vacation, the idea of running is nowhere close to making the cut on my itinerary.  However, I was mystified by the incredible beauty of Stanley Park, the city, and the Bay.  I wouldn't have seen it in the way I would've on this trip a year ago.  I'd say the idea of hiking to me in general would not even make the cut and we actually decided to see those beautiful mountains you see in the media when spanning pictures of Vancouver!  My time spent there was more valuable than other places I've visited in a long time just by being more active in general.  I guess I would like to challenge you if you are not an active outdoorsy person like I would have classified myself as a year ago to ask yourself "Why not?"  I asked myself why I didn't try some of these things and realized I was truly missing out on a great experience.

I am flying to Denver this weekend to run the Rock n' Roll Denver Marathon so wish me luck!! I will need all of the positive vibes I can get coming my way!  I will update with the results and other changes going on as soon as possible!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Quick/Long Update

Wow....last post was late December with no update that I actually COMPLETED A HALF MARATHON!!! K and myself rocked it in fact!  All of the training was definitely worth the payout and reward of finishing my first and now I have the running bug.  I haven't ran lately due to a couple of health things going on, but I am hoping that I pick it up again big time in these next coming weeks for a 10K Run for the Zoo in May and then the possibility of another half in San Diego in June.  Who knows though!  I am trying to not stress about these things and relax as much as possible.  Jake and I actually just celebrated 6 months together and time has really flown I feel like.  We both have talked about never considering long distance and it has been a really good thing for the both of us I feel like.  I managed to just also finish my first quarter results at work.  I have been pretty curious to see what this first quarter would look like: coaching a team of people, hitting volume target goals, and trying to figure out a new city.  All in all, I've managed to do a fair job I think.  I have loved traveling around seeing other areas of the state too!  This next week we are headed to Ruidoso for a leadership retreat which is about 4 hours from Albuquerque.  I'll also be working in Phoenix the last week of April I found out for some training with work.  Jake is pretty excited about that I must say and so am I!!! I truly miss the weather of PHX, so it will be good to get back for a little bit!  In May I am going to my first Steeplechase event with my dad which will be an experience to say the least.  Looking at his pictures from last year, I am hoping to have as much fun!  I will also finally get a chance to see my sister Sloane who will be just getting back from her travels in Switzerland and all over Europe!  There are a lot of things going on but I'm loving the underlining theme of traveling to see loved ones and doing things I haven't done before.  Hopefully it continues!  Well I'm off to bed but I will hopefully be updating more frequently, because I have truly missed this!