Five Friday Fitness Favorites: Christmas edition

It’s the return of my 5 Friday Favorites! This week is my Christmas edition for Fitness Junkies looking to add to their Christmas lists. Okay, maybe some of these things are just what want for Christmas but that’s just because I haven’t gone shopping for myself in awhile!

midnight navy


1.A versatile gym bag. This is personally at the top of my wish list this year. For the past couple years I’ve lived close to work so I usually load up a backpack when I’m walking around the city so that I don’t end up ruining my posture. But now that I’m not doing that anymore and I need to bring more with me for the day I want something that will hold my life. Gym clothes, lap top, chargers, books etc. I currently have my eye on this one: (Lululemon)


2. Fitness tracker. Okay, I know this may be so 2015. But in this world of technology, I love stats. I like to keep track of my runs, swims, bikes and other work outs. I like to know if I sat in my office too much during that day and didn’t move around enough. I do have a Garmin 920XT, but it’s huge and bulky so I don’t wear it a lot, something that is gym proof but slim is ideal for every day use. Particularly this one: Nike watch


Brooks Ravenna 8 Running Shoe (Women's)

3. Shoes. Basic. But really. You shouldn’t be wearing the same pair for everything. I don’t walk around the city in my running shoes and I don’t run in my lifting shoes. You need different support for every activity. This is going to kind of a personal thing, so I suggest you get  fitted and try on different pairs to know what you like. These are my go tos: Brook for running and Reebok for lifting



4. Nutrition. Whether you’re an endurance athlete or a power lifter, everyone likes some kind of supplement to help with their performance and we go through it quickly. Being an endurance athlete that likes to lift, I get a little bit of everything. My favorites: (nuun, BCAA and vega one).Image result for nuun


5. Sweet tunes. Last but not least. I have no idea who doesn’t work out with music. A crazy person I guess. But a Spotify or Itunes gift card would definitely come in handy.



Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Tacos are definitely a staple in our house, and not just Taco Tuesday. There can basically be tacos any day that ends in a Y. But on our mission to eat healthier we’ve been trying out different recipes and since I’m not a fan of following directions (hence why I don’t really bake…that would be a disaster!) I like to change things up and make them my own.



  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp ground pepper
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • avocado
  • Mango salsa (I used Newman’s Own, but you can make it homemade or buy it)
  • cilantro

Combine Chicken, garlic and all the spices with orange juice and lime juice in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours. Once cook, shred the chicken while still in the juices. Warm the corn tortillas on both sides in a skillet over low heat. Spoon the chicken onto tortillas and dress with salsa, avocado and salsa!

Getting faster and stronger!

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated all my lovely followers out there on my own fitness journey. I left you last when I was getting ready for the Chicago Marathon, ready to train and kick some butt. Unfortunately, that race kicked my butt instead.

During my training I found myself dealing with an old nagging injury in my right hip, which left me unable to run, let alone walk or even sleep peacefully at night. I tried to keep my fitness up best I could because there was NO WAY I was going to Chicago and NOT running this race. But what little I could do just didn’t compare to full on marathon training. I thought about writing a race report, but it would have been sad and miserable and I decided to just move on to the next!

So what does an endurance athlete that has been injured almost all race season do in the off season? Well, get faster and stronger of course! So here are some things I’m focusing on to get back to where I was.

foamrollMobility. This is why I got injured this year in the first place. I really ignored warming up and treating my body right. So for two-three weeks after the marathon this is what I focused on, getting my body to move without pain. I foam rolled, focused on stability and mobility in my joints through a range of movements and stretched a lot.stretch







strengthStrength training. For the past month or so I’ve been working on building back up these muscles. Who ever said that endurance athletes didn’t need to be strong was WRONG. You’re using the same muscles over and over whether you’re swimming, biking or running so they need to be able to with stand all that motion!





Base training. For an endurance athlete, I did very little of endurance this year. Actually, I did very little of anything, but you already know that story. So I’m paying the price now. My mile times are slower, swimming feels like I’m going through mud and my legs are lead on the bike. But I’m slowly, slowly working on building back up my base, mostly in swimming and running because biking is my strong suit and will come back fast.


It’s a hard road to go down starting over, but whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember where you started and know that every day you’re moving forward. You have to love every step of the journey.





Eggplant Rollatini with Sausage


It’s tough eating healthy during the holidays. I know that I for one had 3 Thanksgiving dinners over the course of the past weekend alone and more wine than I care to remember. But we all slip up, and we should during the holidays. It’s not a time to stress out over food and weight, it’s a time to enjoy spending time with people that you care about. But if you don’t want to completely fall off track, I’ll be sharing some of the recipes that I’ll be cooking up to stay healthy during the week.

For one, there won’t be any salads. It’s cold in Boston and the last thing I want to eat is a cold salad. That’s just doesn’t appeal to me, sometimes even during the summer months it doesn’t either. I’m just not a salad person. So last night’s meal was cheesy, and full of vegetables and protein!
Eggplant rollatini with sausage
Serves 4
Per serving:
Calories: 344
Carbs: 27
Protein: 21
Fat: 19
1 16oz container of Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggplants thinly sliced the long way
1 egg
1/2 pound of Sweet Italian Sausage (can also use chicken sausage for a low fat version)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
10 oz of Partly Skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups Hearty Marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tbsp garlic
Cook sausage until all the way browned and set aside.
Pre-heat over to 400 degrees
Grease cookie sheet and lay out sliced eggplant, once oven is preheated, bake Eggplant for 10 minutes or until softened.
Grease baking dish and coat bottom with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.
While the eggplant is in the oven mix together the ricotta cheese, 8 oz of the mozzarella, basil, parsley, egg and cooked sausage.
Remove eggplant, once it’s cool enough to touch, add 1.5 tbsp of the ricotta mixture to middle of eggplant and roll up the short side, place in baking dish. Top with the rest of marinara and mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Getting back on the horse

About two weeks I publicly announced that I need to get my Sh*t together and back into taking care of myself physically and mentally. Oh yeah, and train for this marathon that I have coming up. So here’s your biweekly update on how I’m doing:


Week 1 back: Did not go so hot. Getting back in a groove is HARD. I managed 2 runs, 6.5 miles on Monday, 4.6 on Tuesday and a Bodyweight circuit on Wednesday. Then I pooped out the rest of the week. My body was not loving me and I didn’t manage to get my long run in.

Week 2: MUCH better. Tuesday spinning, Wednesday 8 miles and bodyweight circuit. Thursday full body work out, Friday mobility and core, Saturday long run of 13miles.

The one part that really gets to me is that I keep thinking about the “used to’s” I used to run 7 miles in 1:03, I used to be able to dumbbell row 45lbs and so on.


Fitness is the one thing that you can work on so hard for so long and if you fall off all the progress just goes away. Sure your body might retain some of it but you have to bust some a$$ to get back all the progress you once made. I know, I’m pretty good at giving advice. I just have a hard time taking it for myself and I need to stop looking backwards and keep looking forwards.

Two roads diverged in a wood

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost


I want to take a break from fitness because there’s so much more to life than just working out. Well, at least for me there is. If you want to believe all the fitness bots out there, there is nothing else then please, move on. I want to talk about one of my biggest faults that I have: I get hung up on things, I let them stew inside my head and I have a hard time moving on.


This often gets in the way of my success because I think about the “used to’s” like “I used to be able run faster,” “I used to be more well read,” etc. I also let this and negativity get in my way. For example, I literally laid in bed just now for an hour stewing over the fact that someone accused me of something I didn’t do. An hour wasted when I could have been doing something more productive like running or reading one of the many books I’ve bought recently but haven’t even cracked open yet. But I am working on this, and there are a few steps that I’ve been taking in order to move on and ultimately better myself.

  1. Practice self love.

We spend a lot of time belittling ourselves, believing that nothing we ever do is good enough. We compare our success to others success when we shouldn’t. If you’re going to compare your success to anyone, look back on where you were a year ago. Is it different? Yes? Then you have been successful on your journey. You haven’t stood still and you need to accept yourself during every step of this journey.

2. Not everyone is going to like you

OH man. I am terribly guilty of believing that everyone is going to like me. I have spent SO much of my time trying to please other people. I constantly worry about if someone likes me instead of working on and enjoying the relationships that are right in front of me. Instead, I try to do everything in my power to make the one singular person try to be my friend. IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLY. Everyone has a different cup of tea and you may not be it for one person.

3. Don’t be afraid of starting over.

I have constantly made excuses for why I can’t start over with something new. It’s usually because change is freaking scary. For me, what I have right now is comfortable and notknowing what is to come is terrifying for me. I’m sure there are those of you out there that are the same. But sometimes change is for the better. Not starting over may mean you’re stagnant for the rest of your life and to me, that’s even more terrifying. So I’m slowly opening up to possibilities and the known.

Sitting here writing this has made me realize that I still have a lot of things to work on when it comes to getting out of my head and trying to control things I can’t control. But I can’t let my faults keep me from growing and you shouldn’t either.

Where’d ya go? I miss you so

Well world, it’s been awhile.

Yesterday morning I posted on instagram how I’ve kind of fallen off when it comes to fitness. Well, not fitness all together. Just my own. It’s funny how even though I work full time in this industry, my own fitness has taken a back seat. But I can’t just blame my job. It’s me. I’ve let other things lately take priority.


For one, my fairly new relationship. What’s that saying? Oh yeah, fat and happy. While I
would never describe myself or anyone as fat, I’ve definitely become pleasantly plump over the past 8 months. Eating out and sleeping in have taken over. But on top of that I’ve been helping him with a huge project that I thought I’d share a little bit with you.
So about a year and half ago my boyfriend bought this house that needed a ton of work and he’s been working on it for awhile now. Being the Fixer Upper/Joanna Gaines obsessed person that I am, I was immediately intrigued. Now, I don’t egret offering to help because it’s really made us closer, but I won’t lie, it takes up a lot of my free time lately. Which means when weekends once meant long runs, it means long days painting now.
I also think that last year I might have worn myself out a bit with how many races I did. You know, 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 olympic tri, 2 sprint tris and 1 attempt at a half ironman might have been a bit over doing it for me. All the while starting a new job and getting 2 promotions. This year is more than half over and all I’ve done are 3 half marathons and one 10k.  I do have one full marathon planned for this year, but to be honest my commitment to training has been less than stellar.
So I thought I would come back here and document my come back. Starting today. This week I will get back on this fitness horse. Stop eating like crap and start taking my health serious again. You heard it here folks. It’s going to be an uphill battle but I’m open to the challenge.Christine_8.13.17-68
PS: I also commit to updating this blog again at least once a week. So stay tuned!!!

What’s up for 2017?

I’ve been really excited to share this blog post with you because I have a lot of big things happening for 2017. It’s just taken me awhile to find the time to sit down and write! As I mentioned in my last post I have a new position at work and I’ve been throwing myself into that head on. I’m loving it, but it definitely takes away from keeping up with all of you!

So here’s the first big thing coming up for me in 2017!

ei2017-240x300Back in October someone posted on Facebook to apply to Tri Equal’s Equally Inspiring team for 2016-17. Athletes that are picked get 3 free months of training with a triathlon coach. Without really looking at what it was, I was like “Cool! Free coaching!” and applied. Well earlier this month I learned that I was actually picked for the team! Almost 200 people applied and only 75 were picked for the team. Once I found out, I started to look into Tri Equal and what they’re about. It’s a group of people that look to ensure that all groups in the triathlon community are treated equally and with respect. I’m so honored to be picked by this organization, not only has triathlon become a huge part of my life, I love their message and goals.

The coach that I have been matched up with is Coach Jana from E3 Triathlon Coaching. I’m really excited to start working with her because I’m still so new to this sport and there’s a lot I don’t know that she does. This was very clear when I bombed last years attempt at a Half Ironman, and the fueling issues at the NYC marathon. I was kind of nervous at first to work with a coach again especially after my last terrible experience. But after talking with Jana, I’m so excited to crush some goals this year with her! I already decided to give the 70.3 distance a try again and I’ve already signed up for the Patriot half on June 17th! Even though we haven’t officially started together yet she’s been so helpful and encouraging with my off season that I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next year!

14915175_1125292550925368_3425950710634643213_nIn addition to being picked for Equally Inspiring, I’ve also been picked for a second year in a row to be an ambassador for Coeur Sports. When I applied and was accepted on the team last year, I didn’t know what that would bring. I really just thought I would get a sweet discount in exchange for some social media posts. But this group has proven to be the most inspiring group of women that I have ever come across. I have loved getting to know them through social media and see their amazing accomplishments. I also have had the honor of meeting them in real life and that has been amazing because it wasn’t like strangers meeting for the first time, we were already family. This is such a great company that really brings women together when so often we are putting each other down. I’m excited for the 2017 team and to get to meet more of these ladies this year.

I also am excited to be apart of the Honey Stinger ambassador again for 2017! Their gels and waffles are the best and love that they’ve rolled out more gluten free products!




NYC Marathon Recap


Better late than never right?

Things have been a little crazy in the world of CJoyFitness, so I apologize that this is almost a month late! Right before the marathon I got my second promotion of the year to Fitness Manager in the gym I work in. Then the holidays are coming up and my head has been spinning!!!

But I digress, let’s get back to this marathon. Going into this race I kept saying that this was my last one, that I didn’t like this distance. So let’s just say I wasn’t going into it with the best mindset, this might also be because I bombed my last two long distance races. In my mind, I questioned whether I had it in me to complete.

unnamed-5After a restless nights sleep, because you know, NYC is the city that never sleeps, I got up at 4am in order to catch the 5:30am Ferry to Staten Island. We stayed in an Air BnB while we were there so I had the luxury of having my own kitchenette so I could stick to me pre-race rituals when it comes to eating etc. After choking down a bagel, I met with my Coeur teammate Stephanie for the train…which never came but we did meet a new friend Suzanne!


unnamed-1We ended up getting a cab there and got there with plenty of time to catch the ferry. Once we got to Staten Island, it was a long wait where we talked with new friends, drank coffee and peed a lot. OH and the best part, they had therapy dogs for nervous runners and I made another new friend named April.




Then it was off to the corrals. I ended up dropping back so that I could start with Stephanie. The plan was to run with her the whole time, but if one of us wanted to run ahead it was okay. We were right at the front of the start line when the gun went off and across the bridge we went. All the bad thoughts of not being able to finish melted away.


Starting line with the bridge behind us!

We got over the bridge and I had to pee so badly, when Steph suggested that we pee behind a pillar I didn’t even second guess it. Otherwise, I would’ve been one of those runners that wet themselves and I didn’t think I could make it 25 more miles in wet shorts. After that I felt GREAT! The crowds at this race were amazing, the only time it was quiet was when we were going over the bridges and then we had amazing sites of the city. I’ve never been anywhere other than Manhattan so it was so much fun to see how diverse NYC really is.

We had to do a few walks after we hit the 10 mile marker, the hills on this course are not steep but they’re a long slow incline and that killed my lower back which hasn’t been the same since the Boston tri earlier this summer. Steph was great though and stuck with me the whole time. We met up with her family at mile 17 and there were hugs all around and off we went.unnamed-3

   We don’t look like we ran 17 miles!

Mile 19, I hit some trouble. I had started to get hungry so I downed another gel and it just did not sit right with me. My stomach cramped and I felt nauseous. Our walk breaks began to become more frequent until I got some more water and my stomach calmed down a bit. I really need to work on this fueling thing if I want to continue with long distance races!0039

Sticking together until the end

Then we FINALLY hit the last 5k marker. I looked at my watch and realized that if we kept a good pace I could make my unofficial goal of a sub-5 hour marathon. I know that’s not fast to most of you, but remember I bombed my first marathon and ended up walking most of it with a whopping finish time of 5:50. So this would be huge for me. I dug deep and found some extra stored energy and picked up the pace. At mile 26 I saw my cheering crowd which gave me an extra boost for the last .2 miles. Once we crossed that finish line at 4:58 I was so surprised that I could actually do it. I finally got over that mental barrier. I know that without Steph I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it. 0011-1

Then as we were on the train back to Boston on Monday, I put my name in for the Chicago marathon lottery! Hahaha. 0011

Cyber Bulling and Body Shaming

I feel like I’m incredibly lucky because for the most part I’m surrounded by incredibly supportive and positive people. However, I recently have experienced a bout of cyber bullying and mostly centered around body shaming from a small percentage of people in my communities. Realistically, for every one negative comment I receive there are 15 positive ones. 

But these negative ones can really get to you especially when some one takes the time out of their day to criticizes you for not having a 6 pack and not being super lean. For not looking like the athlete that you claim to be. For promoting unhealthy ideals. Yes, I got these messages the other day after posting this picture:

I posted this on instagram to show my progress with the whole 30. It wasn’t to show off, and I mostly talked about how my gut feel healthier and how I’m going to keep myself feeling this way after the whole 30 is over.

Nope no 6 pack to be seen. It’s actually been a long time since I’ve been lean enough to see them. Maybe I don’t look like your stereotypical endurance athlete because I’m no Shalane Flanagan. But I do go out there and run mileage that makes people cringe and I promote balance and self love.

So here are some things to remember when people criticize you or your body:

1. A 6 pack is NOT an indicator of health. Just because you’re super lean doesn’t mean you’re super healthy and fit. Actually, when I did have a 6 pack back when I was into bikini competition, I was essentially starving myself and completely crazed. Does that mean someone with a 6 pack is unhealthy? No! However, we don’t always know what’s really going on behind the scenes.

2. In today’s day and age it’s a lot easier for people to be cruel. It’s easy to hide behind a screen and comment on a persons appearance because even though your picture may be you, we are all still pretty anonymous online and the wicked in people tends to come because there’s something else going on with them. 

3. When someone criticizes what you’re eating, remember that you’re giving your body what it needs. Okay, that may not be the truth if you’re constantly eating sweets and downing a bag of potato chips. But if you’re eating nutrient dense foods that support your body and activity level then you don’t need to be eating your plain chicken breast and broccoli for six meals a day. 

4. What you do is your current best, like I said I’m not Shalane Flannagan. I do not run a sub 5 min mile, or crush Ironmans every other weekend. But I work hard and do my best, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing your best. You don’t NEED to be super fast or work out so hard 7 days a week. Who cares that someone else can run faster, you have to remember where you personally started and how far you’ve come.

And I don’t want to be cliche, but I will anyways! “Haters gonna hate hate hate.” 

So brush yourself and go about your journey.