New Lily

Running, Barre Classes, and Strength Workouts Combine to Make a Great Workout Schedule in My Mid-Forties

In my mid-forties strength workouts are one of the keys to fitness

In my mid-forties strength workouts are one of the keys to fitness

I turned 46 last February.  Wow…I am now closer to 50 than to 40 (but I’m ok with this – really)!  As I look ahead, I realize that I have settled into a routine that is suitable for my stage in life. Running, barre classes, and an at-home strength routine (often including the Lifecycle) …these are the workouts I love.  Of course for a mother of nine the other key to continuing fitness as I get older is strengthening my pelvic floor. [Read more…]

5 Signs Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!

As a runner, I love the spring.  Some days it’s cool and other days it”s warm, but with every run outdoors it seems the trees grow greener and the sky bluer-at least here in North Carolina.  This spring has been an especially pleasant one in Charlotte where, although it has been cooler than usual, the colors are lovelier than I can remember (also rainier than ever).   I spot certain signs of spring that give me hope for the warmer days ahead…and some signs I don’t welcome at all.   Following are 5 signs of spring that tell me, whether I like it or not, that summer is right around the corner… [Read more…]

If You had to Choose Between Running Hot…or Running Cold, What Would it Be?


#5 (Annie) and me running after a snowfall. By the way, she would choose a cold day, too!

Living in the south, I don’t get too many opportunities to run in the snow.  However, on Saturday, we got about four inches in Charlotte, NC, and the next day I was definately out in it.  There is something magical about running in the snow.  I would even prefer to be in the white stuff as it is falling, but on Sunday we got to run in the day-after snow. The sky was a brilliant Carolina blue, making for an amazing contrast against the white covered trees, and although the air was a frigid 24…I was in heaven. [Read more…]

Go For an Early Morning Run to Quiet the Noise

I met my friend Stacy this morning at 5 am at the pool where our kids have morning practice every Monday.  It was dark and never got light until well after we returned from our hour and a half run.  The temperature was a little warm for my taste (especially for this time of year), and there was a mist in the foggy air.  It was beautiful, though.  Just a few streetlights were on and the Christmas lights on the homes and in the yards we passed presented a soft early morning glow.  And it was quiet.  That is something I long for in these busy December days. [Read more…]

Running, New Perspectives, and Hope Overwhelming…

Yesterday’s Carolina blue sky was full of hope…

I stumbled onto a new run yesterday morning. Coming out of Levine Children’s Hospital, going down some cement stairs, crossing a creek bed, I found myself on the Sugar Creek Parkway (or the canal run) and took it for about half a mile into downtown Charlotte.  I turned around at that point and ran for another two miles to Freedom Park, passing dozens of other runners, walkers, and bikers. Then, after running  in the park for a few minutes, I turned around for the run back to the hospital.

I had been down at Levine’s Children’s Hospital for three days with our daughter (#6) Grace who at 7 am last Friday had a cyst removed from her face (next to her right ear).  We will find out exactly what the cyst was this week although we are fairly certain it was just one of those benign masses that form for odd reasons.  The surgery was more involved, however, than we had predicted.  She has two incisions because they had to “borrow” some belly fat to replace the skin that was removed from her face.  Grace has been a trooper and has literally not complained about anything (even pain) since we arrived at 4:45 am on Friday. [Read more…]

It is Really No Surprise…Most Young Kids Love to Run!

As a cross country coach who practices with my team everyday during the school week,  I have no choice except to bring my young children along on our runs. Consequently what people see on the trails where we do most of our running is about 10-15 middle and high school runners, me pushing a double baby jogger with #9 (Sam) inside, #8 (6 year-old C.C.) in and out of the jogger, and #7 (8 year-old John) running alongside.  Needless to say, we turn a few heads.  As is often the case with our busy life, by the time I get to practice, pull the jogger out of the van and take a real inventory of what has come along, I realize a few key things are missing…things like shoes, for instance.  When I first started coaching, this would have been cause for more kids to be in my jogger than running alongside it. However, now what usually happens is that my young kids run without shoes…and most of the time still keep up with the rest of us. [Read more…]

Hills…We Hate Them, But We Love Them…Here’s Why we Need Them!

Running hills on our recent trip to Maine was unavoidable….but now I see their value. I’m even wishing I had a fall marathon to run!

Having just returned from nine days in Maine, I was elated this morning as I began a run with my sister, Susan… 9.5 miles of gloriously flat terrain. During the trip I had actually come to dread the start of each run because it was always a whopper of a hill.  Actually, with the exception of a four mile run that was an out and back course, there was no way to avoid the hills in Maine.  Truth be told, and dreading aside, I found myself a stronger runner at the end of the trip.  In fact, I am disappointed that I am not in training for a fall marathon this year because I believe the last few weeks in hilly Maine would have been an outstanding base for a marathon PR. [Read more…]

I Got a Treadmill for Christmas!

My husband gave me a  treadmill for Christmas!  After talking to my kids about a “light” Christmas this year due to the economy, etc., I came home on the 23rd to a treadmill gracing our bedroom with a large red bow on top! So much for the light Christmas!  I have never owned a treadmill, and frankly, rarely run on one before.  I have had my “tried and true” Lifecycle for twenty years, and never really thought about owning a treadmill.  So it is a bit of a paradigm shift as I consider when I will use this new machine (my husband is still waiting for me to go for a run on it since he and the boys painstakingly got it up the stairs five days ago). Actually, as  a mom of nine, I certainly can think of multiple reasons to have a treadmill, the number one reason being convenience. [Read more…]

Endorphins Are Important This Time of Year

As I write this, I am feeling the after-effects of an early morning run with my friends Karrie and Susan…I feel calm, sharp, and ready for the day. Most of us know that exercise can help to calm us down, and  during the Christmas holidays, calmness is a rare emotion for many of us. Certain forms of exercise (jogging, cross country skiing, swimming, hiking, bicycling) require a fairly consistent repetitive motion that can alter one’s state of consciousness.  Described by some as “moving meditation”, the physiological effects of regular participation in these activities is very similar to what happens when one practices meditation.  Breathing and movement act as a mantra and may in part be responsible for the feelings of calmness and tranquility claimed by some in response to exercise. Physical activity also revs up our endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any workout that raises our heart rate and is over 30 minutes can boost the endorphins. These endorphins go a long way to bring us a little peace of mind, to calm us, and to improve our mood. They have even been known to lower symptoms associated with mild depression. [Read more…]

A Funny Thing Happened on my Run This Morning!

A funny thing happened this morning on my run.  I had met my friend, Susan at about 5:40 and we ran six and a half miles, mostly in the dark.  When we parted ways, the sun was just coming up and I had about a half mile left before I got home.  I love this time of morning when it isn’t still dark, but it’s not yet light, either…things appear shadow-like.  [Read more…]