A full four days after hurricane Sandy, word finally came last minute that the New York Marathon is cancelled. Thousands of runners are so disappointed because on average people at least need train for 18 weeks.  I used to take 4 months to train for my marathons, the last two or three weekends involve brutal 16-18-mile-long runs. 

Sunday afternoon, I walked to Central Park with Jon and Oliver, and saw hundreds of people wearing ING New York Marathon signature orange race shirt and the race number tags, some of them even put the race chips on their shoes. Some of the foreign runners carried their countries’ flags, and a couple of supporting teams were there cheering the runners up and supplying with some water and food.  I think it is a silent memorial day for those marathon runners to declare even though the marathon is cancelled, their efforts of marathon training haven’t been wasted.  I saw their running, can’t help joining them to run together until the finish line which has been set up in the park.

Watching the marathoners run their own private races, I felt a strong running spirit came out from the “orange oceans.” My frozen marathon running mind melted, and I couldn’t help tearing up – thinking I used to be one of them.  I have a strong mind that I believe nothing is impossible.  I used to train so hard followed by the schedule to build up my strength physically and mentally.  I ran two full marathons in 2010, but since then I only did one half marathon.   I only run 2.5 miles every other day and longest distance is about 5 miles.

The scene of the NYC marathon runners reminds me that I should do more and more races as a runner, and I should run ING marathon next year to be a real runner, to be a marathon runner.

I always like Yoga.  It can clean my mind, loosen the stress of my body, muscle, and physically help the chi and blood flow smoothly in my body. The most important, it can help me find the new balance and feel myself super powerful.

I had started practicing yoga since I was in the middle school.  Because I was trained well as an active athlete and I am skinny, my body is really flexible.   Also, I like to challenge my body to reach farther when stretching, because after stretching, it seems to able to release stress of my body - feel really relaxed.  
I went to my favorite free yoga place in upper east side because the instructor, Ms. Chiu's class is the best yoga I have ever had in the world because of her teaching style, such as customize focus area, encourage students to listen to their own bodies, humors, and Zen.  I have talked about all of these before in my other blog.  

This time teacher taught us different Zen when we did mountain style.  She said spring is coming, the season is changing.  In the Indian Yoga, there are three elements drag to the entire balance.  Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva.  Tamas is the lazy element, Rajas presents active, some time you feel lazy or you don’t want to go out because of the cold weather, that is because Tamas is in your mind, the other time you feel there are too many things in your pipeline that you are always very busy, which activates the Rajas.  

Sattva is the sun rise and changing season, which will influence the Tamas and Rajas.  Sometimes your life is full of Rajas, you need to call out the Tamas to rest yourself.  Sometime the environment - Sattva changes, you need to adjust Tamas and Rajas to find the new balance system of yourself. 

Then she asks us to do some abnormal free style arm action when we stood as tree style, and she said you need to find new balance point when you are challenged to different unbalanced things.  

I am totally sold with the concept even it is the first time I heard about it.  Our life, work, relationship, body and mind, almost everything actually are dragged by the three elements.  I am so surprised that balance has different interpretations in different cultures, but every culture has balance as the top level of high quality of life and mind that people seeking.  I can’t help to think of the word inspired me in the movie:” Eat, Pray, and Love,” The old man in Indonesia said sometimes the unbalance of the love is for the balance of other things (life).   

Teacher also suggests, sometime you feel stress and unhappiness, trying to stretch your mouth and smile to yourself and think of the happy things you have that other people won’t have, that simple motion will give nerve a sign to relax your nervous and depression.  I think that is why I always have a positive mind and keep smiling.  

I love this Yoga, it teaches me a lot, makes me energetic, find a new balance and sweat ( I seldom sweat when work out other than running), and a new concept of empower yourself to be strong, positive and thoughtful.

I was worried about living in New York since it has so much delicious food that I want to taste from the street food carts to high-end restaurants that I would gain weight. But my advanced digital scale tells me that I lost 5 lbs since I came to NYC.  Although I wasn’t even trying to lose weight, I thought I’d share a few tips for what might have helped me drop a few lbs.
1.  Running

Running is the most important and efficient tips.  Just run about 3 miles slowly and then relax every other day.  If you don’t have motivation as it is too cold or you feel tired, set up a certain time on running days, and find a far place you want to shop, and run there, shop and run back. Design different routes to explore new stores, restaurants and scenes.  

2.  Walking

New York provides us all the opportunities to walk, walk to subway, walk 10 blocks instead of waiting for bus, and compete with the others on speed on the street.  I walk so much faster than before, trying to catch up with New Yorker speed.  

3.  Eat @home

Every week, I probably just dine out twice, the rest of the meals I prepare and cook at home.  I can control the healthy ingredients, put less MSG, oil and salt into my dishes.  I usually like seafood a lot, it has sufficient protein, DHA and provides the fat good for the muscles.  But eating at restaurant for seafood will be so expensive.  I will buy fresh fish at supermarkets or at China town, making it much cheaper to cook at home.  The only problem will be that sometimes you are not good at controlling the amount you cook, you have to throw away the extra when you reach your 70% of capacity of your stomach.  Don’t overeat the food even if it were so good, is not worthy it. It will enlarge your stomach and the bottom of the dishes usually more oily that have much fat.

4.  Junk food 

Only eat junk food once a week, sometime you have to hang out with your colleague and friends to join them for McDonald’s.  Sometime you feel you need an ice cream or froyo (frozen yogurt) after dinner. Sometime you have to try the premium Belgium Fries.  Sometime you are short of time, it is convenient to get a slice of pizza.  I will not resist it, especially in front of friends.  On the other hand, your friends think you are naturally fit, no matter how much you eat, you won’t get fat. But after that, I will feel super guilty and well control myself for a whole week or more.

5.  Digestion Activities

Don’t sit after meals, stand up, wash dishes, do some cleaning, take a digestion stroll around the block… it will help you kill the fat at your tummy.

6.  Hang out

I don’t mean hang out for drinks, but for meetups.  I have one or two evening meetups every week.  Some are for networking with Alumni, some are for networking in order to find a job, some are for fun such as free Yoga, free running and scrabble games, and some are for learning more trends such as social media week.  For regular meetups, you will stand there for at least one hour and keep on talking to people you just got to know, at the same time you will kill your calories. 

7.  Love

You always think you need to keep fit and attractive even for your partner to let them be proud of you and love you more and more.  I feel competitive in this city filled with tons of beautiful and fashionable people.
8.  Stress

I always have the biggest stress, seeking for a job, which makes me worry all the time. Stress will transition to my motivation to work harder and think more about smarter strategies.

9.   Sleep more

The better I sleep, I feel more happy and full of energy and feel more I naturally lose my weight.  In the night, sleep mood helps human beings to release the harmful toxin thing off your body, I guess including the fat.

10.  Buy a scale

Be aware of your weekly changes of your weight, at least once every week, suggested by @fazworks at a certain time each week. 

11.  Drink coffee

Every morning I need to drink a bold coffee to wake me up.  Actually it is really good for health.  Caffeine not only stimulates your energy and motivates minds, but also help you digest and help the body to move your bowels to get rid of toxin.

12.  Keep you active and make a productive day

Every day I set up many goals in the morning and do as many things as I can, even on this past Saturday, I cooked omelettes for breakfast, searched for jobs, went through some reading on e-mail and books, ran through central park and visited the natural history museum and ran back, shopped for dinner, ate at home, and wrote a blog before bed.

My boyfriend got so many comments on his fitness since he started dating me, and he becomes more fit since we moved together that he also shared my habit and tips.  I think a great and healthy habit throughout the week is very important.  Sometimes I just don’t control too much on eating, I can eat what ever looks good to me, such as bacon, cheese and froyo.  People said I am probably the type that never gets fat.  But, there actually is no genetic fitness in the world; healthy habits you keep subconsciously lead you to having attractive fitness.

Recently, I thought it was a great idea to have a scale once we settled down.  As a runner, especially someone aiming to train for races, needs to be aware of weight.  We went to Target to buy a cheap one, only $9.99.  I thought I didn’t need one too fancy, I just need to know the daily changes or weekly changes of my weight, even if it’s slightly.  When I went home to stand on the scale, it showed I weighted 114 LBS.  I can’t help doubting the scale, whether I ate crazily to gain 8 LBS in two weeks or the scale is not accurate.  I am pretty confident to reach my conclusion: the scale is not accurate.  I run every other day, eat very healthily, and always have a digest activity (walk or such) after every meal.  There is no way to gain 8 pounds in two weeks. I also want to use the scale sometime to weigh the laundry because in NYC laundry is charged by the pound, so I can estimate how much I will spend.  Even though I could have adjusted the starting scale to -8LBS to know my accurate weight, I couldn’t weight my laundry around 10 LBS, because it will show only 3 LBS probably.

Then the next time we bought a fancy digital one.  It can record your personal weight, and by keyed in your height, age and gender, it can calculate your fat, muscle, and water rate over your body weight.  I finally figured out how to do it.  This time the weight is about right, however my fat rate is 38%.  People know me always say I have 0% of fat, how then do I have 38%, which is defined as obese.  I know 10 years ago my fat rate was about 19.8%, lower than the normal range 21-23%.  This time my boyfriend’s fat rate is lower than me 25%.  He couldn’t believe the accuracy of the fat ratio of this scale either, but I still decide to keep it, at least I can weight myself, and see other index.

Actually, keeping a standard is a hard thing, and I need to be confident about my lifestyle and eating habit.  Being able to measure the scale is not a piece of cake, especially people living in the cosmopolitan city that people have chance to taste all kinds of delicious food.  Keeping a standard for a long time is also a tough job, because you need to consistently give people your brand image, and control yourself persistently with high discipline. Once you establish your brand image, you can have your brand attitude to judge whether the “scale” is accurate, or even your royal “fan” will declare for you that you are the lead of the trend and you are the standard in the industry.

I am so excited to run around Central Park for the first time as a Manhattan resident.  It was my dream to run the course all the time.  I remember last year at the same time I stayed at Union Square and took subway to central park and ran through the freezing wind.  But today although it was evening, but the weather is not too cold this year, @fazworks wanted our first run to be memorable -- and it was with an amazing night view of the Upper East Side, Upper West, Midtown, and a killer full moon.  It was a stunning world class scene.  

I would never imagine regularly running around Central Park and East River, but - hopefully - that will soon become true, because we will probably rent a riverside space on 79th street next week.  It is a really cultural neighborhood, not too many people, and tons of good restaurants and interesting stores in the area, and the most important, it will be very safe for running and living.  I am excited about my regular running course and all the exotic things that happen in this city.  I started to have some good feelings about the city and expect to develop our high quality life in this place that makes everyone in the world hearts beat strongly.   

A lot of people think my biggest achievement as a runner is I finish marathons, but I think it will be so many people being convinced by me to run.  

They get me back and were excited to tell me how they feel good about the running, how they lost weight, how they feel healthy, how they build up confidence on everything, and how they become good at time management.  Some of them even told me some mobile apps to use while running.  I am so glad to lead them into the different world, which @toshi112556 led me to.  

I am not crazy, I just feel good about myself and tell other people and friends my own story.  Physically, I become healthy and seldom sick, and don't need to worry about gaining weight.  Always preserving the time to run makes me arrange for the time efficiently. Mentally, I also feel strong because It trained my persistence and I believe I can conquer anything if I finish the marathon- 26.2 miles. It taught me some strategies to break the big difficulties into small little ones by applying the 6:1 technique.  It is a true story.  That is why I commit to be a runner for the rest of my life.  Uhmmm, maybe I am crazy, I am willing to be called crazy, because that craziness will lead me to a successful life.