Hi friends 😀
Today’s post features one of my very favourite bloggers, Carly Pizzani from Fine Fit Day!
But before I get there let me tell you a little story of how I met Carly (and years later how she met me LOL!)…
August 2011. That summer NYC was boiling or at least it definitely felt like it for me. Coming from Glasgow, Scotland and 60F (~16C) to an incredibly hot 105F (~40C) was quite the shock! I remember walking down south street seaport and thinking that my flip flop would get stuck to the street cause it would melt (too dramatic you say…. Not really!). So long story short that summer I took the biggest gamble of my life and moved to the US. In hindsight I will tell you that this was the best decision I have ever made but back then I wasn’t so sure about it. NYC can be pretty intimidating for a newbie coming from a small city like Glasgow. Had no job, no friends and didn’t know anyone… And as I figured out it was quite hard to make friends in such a huge city (contrary to common belief…). On top of all that I was in a terrible fitness slump. Couldn’t go out to run – i swear I thought I ll get a heat stroke – and just really didn’t feel like doing anything exercise related at all… So here I am at around 3am surfing through the internet desperate for some inspiration secretly hoping to stumble upon a “how to survive a new city” guide… And I found this post from Carly about how use mantras to succeed your goals. I started looking around and reading more on Carly’s blog and I was instantly hooked! Her witty and smart way of writing, her down to earth style AND the fact that she was a New Yorker was all I needed to just become an instant fan! So this is how I met Carly…
Now fast-forward everything 5 years and 5 countries later…
January 2016. We have recently moved to London and I have finally decide to act upon a little dream of mine called “Tale of Two Runs” and make it happen! The first person I thought of asking advice about blogging was of course no other than my favourite blogger 🙂 I sent an email to her asking questions about blogging etc – i have to admit I didn’t really think I ‘ll get an answer given how busy Carly’s life looked through her blog. Until I actually did get a – very friendly and incredibly useful – response 😀 😀 And this is how Carly met me…
Apologies for the long intro friends, but this is a story i’ve been dying to tell since Carly agreed to a Q&A with me! So here it is:
Q: Carly Pizzani, writer, runner, blogger, personal trainer and mama. How do you do it? How do you manage to juggle all these roles?
A: I honestly have no idea! Ha ha. First of all, right now I’m not training clients in person – I have a couple of personal training clients I work with online only. That’s been a big change in the way my days are structured! Honestly, life is a lot of scheduling at the last moment. I write whenever I can snatch some time, which is usually at night once my boys are in bed. My running schedule I have to work around naptime, breastfeeding, my husband’s work schedule and the weather! It is very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. What I’ve realized though, is that everyone is busy and all over the place at every stage of life. Before I had kids, I thought it was tough to schedule everything I was doing. When I had one child, I thought it was hard. Now I have two and I’m still not sure how I’m doing it! But if something is a priority for you, you just make it work.
Q: What is your second favourite to running?
A: This is such a toss-up between lifting weights and yoga. A year ago I would have said strength training with no hesitation, but I started doing prenatal yoga in my second pregnancy and have realized how much I love yoga and how much it complements my running.
Q: Who is Carly, tell us 3 weaknesses that you have and 3 strengths.
Weaknesses: 1. I am terrible with my sleep habits. I stay up way too late, hanging out with my husband and then writing or scheduling blog stuff and then just power through on very little sleep. It’s been at the top of my list to change for a long time, but it’s still a work in progress. 2. Not asking for help. I’m independent (some may say stubborn and pig-headed, but I prefer independent!) to a fault. I like to try to do everything myself and it doesn’t always work out in my favor. 3. Chocolate is a wonderful weakness of mine. 🙂 I am actually awesome at having it in my house and only eating some when I really want it, but if someone offers me some or gives it to me, I will never say no!
Strengths: 1. I am really, really curious. If something piques my interest, I research it to death until I feel like I understand every angle. This works so well for my roles as mama, trainer and writer – each requires extensive research at times! 2. When I decide to do something, there have to be some crazy extenuating circumstances for me to even consider quitting. It’s why I can set big goals for myself with running or my career and really feel like I’ve put everything I can into it. 3. I’m a great self-taught cook. I may not be the best baker in the world, but I’m one of those people who can see what they have in their fridge and pantry and throw together a delicious meal.
Q: How did you start running and why running/training and writing over Art history?
A: I had two starts to running. When I was first married, we lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and used to walk in Riverside Park all the time. I don’t know what sparked it, but I started doing run breaks in my walking and realized I enjoyed it. Then we moved to Brooklyn and I didn’t keep running. After about a year, I joined a gym with a girlfriend who lived near me and I started running on a treadmill. And it just stuck – I wanted to get faster, I started running outside, I discovered Prospect Park, I ran a race and I never looked back.
I actually made the huge leap to give up a well-paying career in sales for a high-end design retail store when my mum was ill in 2008 (here is Carly’s story on this) I just realized I wasn’t happy professionally and my love for working out and running and helping people would work perfectly for a career as a trainer. Now my background in art history is just for my own love of art. 🙂
Q: Do you miss Australia, visit often?
A: I think when you move to another country you go through stages. The first year you miss your home country like crazy and think everything that’s different in your new home is weird or wrong. Then you have a year of begrudgingly admitting there are some things you like better about your new country. And then you start feeling like the new place is home and it would be hard to go back. After 15 plus years, this is home. We’ve been back many times, but now with two kids it’s super expensive! My parents come over about every 18 months to visit and my brother and his family visited for Christmas a couple of years back, which was wonderful. We haven’t been in three years, so I’m thinking 2017 we will make the trek again.
Q: What motivates you? What gets you on your feet and out the door even if you are having a bad day?
A: I think mainly it’s the knowledge that working out or running is usually a good part of the cure for a bad day. I like to have goal races set up so I have something I know I need to specifically train for, because that forces me to get my butt in gear, too.
Q: What is your biggest achievement?
A: My boys. I’m so proud of them! I wasn’t always sure I’d have children, but these two have just expanded my heart and made me a better person.
Q: Who is your personal role model?
A: My personal role model is a professor I had when I was at university in Sydney, the late Dr. Phillip Kent. He was such a huge influence on me – his encyclopedic knowledge about seemingly everything and his curiosity about all topics (not just what he taught) made me realize that education is not just learning in school, but teaching yourself and finding joy in what comes along in your life. I’ve applied it to all areas of my life.
Q: What is your go to training plan for big races? How long do you usually train before a marathon?
A: The last time I trained for the marathon, I used the NYRR virtual training program, which I liked a lot and would recommend. This time around, I invested time instead of money and created my own plan, which is working really well for me. 16 weeks is a good period of time for me for training. If I didn’t have good base fitness, I would bump that up to 18 – 20 weeks. If I was in the best shape of my life and already running pretty long distance for my long run, I could probably get away with 12 – 14 weeks.
Q: A piece of advice for new runners that just started hitting the road?
A: Don’t think you need to go out and be a running superstar right off the bat. Take it slow, because all your first races will be PR’s! Just enjoy the process and work your way up to setting goals for specific times and paces. And make sure you continue (or start!) strength training while you’re running, to prevent injury and keep you strong and fast. (Here is a post on how strength training that can improve your running by Carly).
I really hope you guys enjoyed my Q&A as much I did! Many many thanks to Carly for taking the time to answer all of my questions 🙂 And I am really looking forward for the opportunity to meeting in person someday! Have a lovely day everyone 😀