Feet on the Street: Gina

Gina, The FitnessistaHi gang! We are doing a little retro Feet on the Street!  If you remember, Gina, The Fitnessista, was the feature for September but Gina was off at school that month so her feature got pushed back a bit.  And now it’s here!  Hooray!! A little holiday prezzie from me to you. :D

1. Alright Gina, let’s chat about running for a minute.  There are so many activities that you do during the week I don’t even think I could list them all!  What made you decide to add running to your exercise routine?

Yes, I’m a little all over the place as far as exercise goes- I just love being active and varying activities definitely prevents boredom and plateaus. I decided to start running as a way to shake up my cardio routine. My friend Renee was really into running and was an excellent running buddy when I first got started. Finding a buddy is crucial- it makes running a lot more fun.

2. Because you already do a lot of cardio, did running come a little easier to you?  Or were there some challenges along the way?

Running did NOT come easily to me at all- it’s a totally different beast for me! I was used to dancing (since I danced my entire life) and that’s more of an interval style of working out… you go full out, stop, then go again. Since distance running requires more of a “slow and steady” (well, for me anyway!) mentality, it took a lot of work to get my brain to tell my body to stick with it. For me, running is more of a mental workout than anything.

Asics GT-21403. Okay, now on to shoes! What running shoes do you wear and what type are they? (Be specific, brand names and if they are a stability shoe, neutral shoe, etc.)

I swear by the Asics GT-2140, but recommend getting fitted to find the type of shoe that works for you. The man who measured my feet got pretty impatient with me because I wanted pink shoes and didn’t care what brand they were. He had to explain to me a few times that because I had a slight pronation, I should only wear certain shoes while running and to my dismay, they weren’t pink. I quickly forgot about it when I started to run in my new shoes- having a great-fitting shoe that provides the support and stability you need makes ALL the difference in the world.

4. Earlier this year, (if I’m remembering right!) you participated in your first half marathon.  Tell me a little bit about what motivated you to tackle such a challenge and what your training schedule was like for that.

Yup, I participated in my first half marathon in March- the Disney Princess Half Marathon, one day before my pilot got back from Afghanistan! I thought it would be a fun goal to work towards while he was gone, and it was a great way to distract me during the deployment. I couldn’t run very often since I taught aerobics classes Monday through Thursday each week, but I made sure to get a long run in every weekend. Since my cardio levels were up from teaching aerobics, I just had to get used to the different mode of exercise and even beat my goal of running the half in under two hours. I completed the race, with a big goobery smile on my face, in 1:56:42.

5. Are there any other big races or events coming up that have you excited?

I’m really looking forward to the 2010 Princess Half Marathon! I also have some smaller races coming up during the winter, which I sign up for on an impromptu basis :D

6. On your blog you talk a lot about your eating habits and what works for you and your body.  This is one of the many things I love about your blog.  It’s showing people, by example, what works for you and helping them in turn find out what works for them.  Since we’re all different, our bodies are going to respond to different things.  This is one of the messages I pick up from your blog and I totally agree with it!  Since you enjoy a mix of both raw and cooked items, tell me a little bit about how that influences how you go about fueling and refueling your body before, during, and after workouts.

I started dabbling with raw two summers ago, when I realized how much I disliked the full and heavy feeling in my belly before a workout. After slowly increasing my raw intake to raw-until-dinner, I found that I teach my best and have the most energy when I’ve had raw food during the day. Since I teach at around 4 or 5 every day, I try to eat raw until I teach and will usually have a cooked meal for dinner. My eating style changes depending on how I’m feeling –as you know, I’m a not a big label fan and truly believe that we should listen to our bodies and fuel ourselves accordingly- but I’ll usually go back to mostly raw eats.

7. Earlier this year, you spent a month training and working in a raw foods restaurant.  How excited were you about that opportunity and what led you to that huge decision?

Attending 105degrees was one of the best decisions I’ve made. As soon as I heard about the school and restaurant opening, I knew it was something I wanted to do. After speaking with my pilot about it, we decided it could be his turn to take care of the house for a while as I went to learn about raw cuisine and work in the pastry department of an incredible raw restaurant. I was ridiculously excited to work for one of my raw food chef heroes, Matthew Kenney, and it truly was an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

8.  Since you were living away from home for a month and learning a brand new schedule, what challenges did you face in regards to being able to maintain a workout routine?

It was a little challenging to switch my mid-morning and late afternoon workout schedule to EARLY in the morning. Since I went straight to work after school every day, I was at the gym with the lovely Michelle (www.pure2raw.com) at 6am every morning. We alternated running days with lighter cardio and weights and also took weekend yoga classes at the Yoga Room. It took about a week to get used to my new workout schedule, but having a yoga/workout buddy and the endorphin kick before class were pretty awesome :D

9. Okay now some fun stuff!  I’m think I’m pretty safe in saying that pink is your favorite color? Do you try to purchase exercise gear and gadgets in your favorite color if you can?

Hahah, that’s a good guess- I LOVE pink! If it’s offered in pink, I buy it ;) If not, I’ll pick a neutral color (like grey) that will match everything.

10. What are some of your favorite running or exercise items?  This can be anything from gadgets to workout clothes.

My favorite running shorts are the Nike Tempo shorts (I have maybe 10 pairs?) and I love the Under Armor long-sleeved tees. I always teach with my pink Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor and am so excited for my new Garmin (which should be here in day now!). When the weather is a little colder, I wear Nike tights to run in (like the brown ones in the picture) and a thick headband to cover my ears. While running, I use the new iPod shuffle (pink, yes) to rock out to my favorite music.

12. And if you listen to music while you run, what are some of your favorite songs to keep you going?

Right now, I’m loving:

“Baracuda” Power Music Workout

“Bad Romance” Lady Gaga

“Uprising” by Muse

“Sugarplum” by Bond

I was really stoked when Gina agreed to do this piece because I adore her blog, although I don’t comment too often, I read it everyday.  What really draws me to Gina’s blog is her philosophy towards food and living life because it’s right on par with how I feel as well.  She’s not into labels (as she mentioned!) and she’s a huge believer in doing what works for you, your body, and your lifestyle.

For those that have been around OHC for a bit, then you know that I love me a raw lunch and that’s what I prefer to eat.  I was able to watch via Gina’s blog as she started incorporating more raw food into her life a little at a time.  This helped me learn more about the diet as well and I find it completely fascinating and informative.  I’m able to see the diet in action and also get some great ideas for recipes.  Please go over and visit Gina at The Fitnessista!

Thanks, Gina! :D

9 thoughts on “Feet on the Street: Gina

  1. Teresa says:

    Love the interview! I’ve been following Gina’s blog for awhile now, and really appreciate her advice and honesty!

  2. What a fun interview. I will have to check out Gina’s blog.

    She mentioned that running did not come easy, even though she was so active. I really think this is true – running is not comparable to any other sport/cardio activity! Even the elliptical!

  3. Oops, that running bit came off snobby. I meant that is it not comparable in terms to what it does to your body. You can’t train for it by doing another sport ;)

  4. Hi Andrea and Gina!
    Great partnering up for a great interview! I loved reading about your running pursuits, Gina. I knew you had done the 1/2 but didn’t know you owned 10 pairs of Tempo shorts :) I wish I could find The Perfect Pair of Shorts for my body. Those don’t look good on me but I wish they did b/c the colors are always so cute!

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