Giving London a chance…

I always try to be honest here and this time is no difference. And even though it is not #FridayTruths time I do have a few truths to share 🙂

ALERT – not a fitness related post so it’s totally OK to be bored to read about me mumbling away 😉

It has been a few tough days around here lately. This past weekend @mymamus and I started a conversation – you know one of those eye opening ones that happen once in a while in every relationship… the ones that aren’t always easy but they do always worth it… This made me rethink a few things and re-evaluate. So here are some of those thoughts 🙂

1514978_991581740899225_4393430308026041357_n

When we first moved to London (about a year and half ago) I had absolutely no expectations from this city. Coming from New York – for me one of the most amazing places on the planet!!! – I knew that it would be hard to love anything else as much but I did promise myself to try and have an open mind. Well I completely messed up and broke this promise… I am so sorry London, it’s not you it’s me!

I admit that I never gave London the fighting chance it deserves.

I admit that missing NY made me (literally hate) everything about London.

I admit that this turned me into a pretty miserable person who all I did was complain day in day out about everything I didn’t like.

Well, I admit that this is OVER now! I am not sure how I got here, I used to absolutely love new adventures and I used to always see everything in life as an amazing opportunity. Somewhere along this journey of mine though, I think I lost sight of what matters the most… So thank you @mymamus ❤ for this eye opening conversation!

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-08-22-51So I promised myself that from now on I WILL give London the chance it deserves because I am sure it’ll live up to the challenge 😉 I might have forgotten for a bit to be grateful for all the experiences I’ve gained, the amazing people I met and the fact that I have an incredible job, that allows me to be independent and creative everyday but not anymore and not ever again 🙂

So I might not be able to run for the time being, but I sure as hell can walk! And London, I am about to walk the hell out of you and find out all of your secrets 😉 This week its the first time since we moved away from the states that I feel like myself again, I feel like the girl I used to be, the adventurous girl, the fighter, the girl who sees opportunities where others see problems ❤ 😀

-Not the best selfie but I totally love this photo… It’s way before I had a blog and I remember that I woke up feeling happy and full and I snapped this and sent it to @mymamus!

 

I believe an apology is in order…

To London, I am sorry I hated you for the past year (apart from the “tube” which I still hate 😉 ) you are an interesting and beautiful place!

To all my friends here, I am sorry I’ve been this person that no one likes because all she does is complain all the time and thank you for sticking it out with me. I ‘ve met people here that I know they will be friends for life…

To @mymamus, you rock 😉 – I know i am too stubborn and thank you for having the patience to make me listen 😉 😛

To all of you, thank you everyone for following my journey, you have been an amazing support network!!

To me, I am sorry for not letting you fly and be yourself all this time! Go ahead…

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

 

No more “New Year’s Resolutions” for me…

So, you know how when December rolls around there is this huge commotion about “New Year’s Resolutions” and all the things we want to do starting January 1st?? Yeah… those things that by the end of the month, most of the times, we can even remember who or what they were…  Studies have shown that gym membership purchases go up to 70% percent in the months of December and January. And you know how many of those are actually being used? Less than 30% 😦

That being said I am totally not pulling my tail out of it… I have been there, I have been this person who would swear to be better, lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking – that I actually did but not in New Year’s… And every time when February would roll around and life would relentlessly move on and take over and the high was gone, so were my “resolutions”… And I know I am not alone out there!

This is why this year instead of making a “2017 resolutions” list, I made a “how I’d like to welcome the new year” list. What do I mean by that?

I mean no more waiting for that “magical unicorn looking like” 01/01/2017 date. Chances are most of us would be totally hang-overed or with barely enough sleep to wake up in the next morning and be healthy, fit, not smoke etc etc… So already this way you would set yourself up to fail. It’s been proved that 25% of people when they try something new if day 1 doesn’t work they never make it to day 2…so there goes your “resolution out the window 😦

So my list, is all about the things i’d like to START TRYING to change! It’s about the new year finding me ALREADY trying (or maybe have achieved some of those goals!). Resolutions fade but GOALS, are here to stay. Semantics one can say and you’d be right but it does make a difference.

Resolutions have restrictions and time frames. Goals are more flexible and if you fall off the wagon of trying for something it’s not a failure like it would have been if that was a resolution, it is a setback… (just my two cents on the matter.)

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-16-29-02

So here is my  “how I’d like to welcome the new year” list:

  • cutting down on caffeine (yeah already 2 days in without it and it’s been VERY hard… I had no clue I was THAT depended on coffee… )
  • starting a new workout program and I am TOTALLY excited about it!
  • Get my eating back on track since it was all over the place – Thank you marathon training!
  • Get my running calendar for 2017 sorted so I wont have to worry about races every month!
  • KICK ASS at work by getting as much analysis as I can out of the way!!!

See this is the same concept as “Monday I start a diet” kinda thing… that Monday comes life happens and that diet never happens…

I ordered a new planner and I – very consciously – didn’t have the first month to be January it is December. The reason for that isn’t that i am impatient (well that too…) but mainly because my old system turned out not to be working for me and I needed a new one STAT – aka before i forget another important work meeting or blog deadline…. (yup that was totally me for the last month).

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 12.19.16.png

So this time, I am going for GOALS, not resolutions, not changes, not cutting out stuff…and this is my why 😀

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

Project: “Daily Gratitude”

Hi friends 🙂

I have a confession to make… Well it’s not much of a secret butI might as well start from the beginning… So, it’s been 8 months since we left New York and moved to London. And yes everyone who knows me will tell you that I wasn’t too happy about it and that i ‘d keep complaining about how much I miss NY… Well, granted I still do miss it but that past few weeks after some experiences my eyes have “opened” wider to the world…

13293197_1085055091551889_761843511_n

I have met so many incredible people through this blog, people that deal with really bad situations and come out winners! And also i ‘ve met some amazing fighters, in my line of work (spinal cord injury research), who try as hard as they can every day to gain their life and their independence back… so a few days ago it hit me! We, people, are so blind! We keep complaining about things we don’t have, thing’s we can’t do, things we are missing…and of course we miss the point! We miss out on life, on what we have! It is easier than it sounds to stop seeing all the good things in your life… to wait for the big haul! Don’t get me wrong following your dreams and working hard to achieve them is different and am totally for it. But not “seeing” or not being grateful/happy/excited about all the good every day things that are happening is like missing out on your life!

So after all these thoughts, i decided to be a little more mindful about my everyday life. And this is how the “Daily Gratitude” journal project began for me 🙂 Cheesy?!?! You bet! But you know what, taking these 5 minutes (and not every day since then it makes me feel pressured to do it, only when I feel like it) to reflect and write down a few good things that have happened can completely change your attitude towards your day and people…

13282311_1085055024885229_381680778_nFor example, yes I was having a few pretty frustrated days at work and London was getting to me… but after thinking and digging a little deeper i saw… the “light” LOL! But seriously, I thought “yes work can be stressful and not always great, BUT how many people get to do what they choose and what they really love???”. Where I come from certainly not many.. Also I reminded myself how lucky I am to have gotten this opportunity to be here! In such an amazing lab with a boss that believes in me enough to give me the freedom I so much need when it comes to my work 😀 So my after thoughts?  “Really Ellen? Complaining about what?!?!” … oh yeah i do talk to myself quite a bit … 😉 Also I did started to look at exercising (and of course running) from another point of view as well! I don’t “have to” work out, I don’t “have to” put in this long run… I am lucky enough to “GET TO” do this! I am healthy and strong and I get to workout and run and exercise! So yes another thing to be grateful about… Don’t take it for granted EVER! Honestly, I don’t take anything for granted any more…

Another up side? If you are a stationary  (and notebook) junkie like I am, you get to use another notebook 😀 I picked this little beauty at a discount the other day and totally love it!!

Give it a try – if you are not doing already – and let me know what you think! You could even go fancy and use one of those “bullet journals” if your hand writing is nice and you are crafty enough. Apparently they are the new craze, I wish I could write/paint/draw as good so i could do this but no chance LOL!

Happy Wednesday (hump day 😉 ) every one!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

 

10 things that make running AWESOME!

So your alarm clock just went off or you just got home from work and you have a nice long(-ish) run planned for the day… well trust me when I tell you you are not the only one who will continuously press snooze or come up with a gazillion excuses as to why you shouldn’t go since you just got home from work…

Excuses will always be there, too tired, spent time with my family, hungry, raining, cold or just a plain ol’ “I don’t feel like it”… So here is some of the things I tell myself (or have @mymamus tell them to me if I am being extra stubborn) to get me motivated and out the door 😀

  1. YOU KNOW YOU ‘LL LOVE IT! All you have to do is start!
  2. Rain? So what? It’s so much fun to run in the rain…
  3. You just had a WHOLE tub of Ben’s and Jerry’s chocolate fudge last night… No more words are necessary, that would get me going for miles!Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 16.37.58.png
  4. Go run, cause punching people is frowned up – or killing people gets you jail time!!!

These are just a few of my “excuse busters” 😉

But really now? What is it with running that makes us do it in the first place???

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 16.36.50.png

Let me know why YOU love running 🙂

Have an awesome day,

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

Random Wednesday thoughts & Shout outs!…

And just like that it is already Wednesday?!?!?!

It seems to me like yesterday when I was sitting here typing up my weekly High Five Friday to share with you guys… Time flies so fast and I just wish there were a few more hours in the day!!

Well, I was told this is ain’t gonna happen so 24 would have to do 😉

These a few random things that I really want to share with guys today…

  • My new running buddy Sabine !! I have to give this lady a shout out ❤ cause since we met a few weeks ago she ‘s been awesome! She can drug my sleepy butt out of bed at 8am on a Saturday for a park run with incredible ease (I am sure @mama_taleoftworuns would be envious LOL)!   We ‘ve run together several times, always grabbing a coffee afterwards of course 😉 I am so lucky I’ve met her and even luckier since she also happens to be my neighbour !! She is also a blogger over at Life is a challenge  🙂

 

  • I have to admit that since we moved to London things have been a little lonely… Both @my mamus and I were too busy getting settled into work, new apartment etc that there was virtually no time to meet new people and connect with anyone…

That all change when a few weeks back I joined an awesome Facebook group called UK fitness bloggers and London bloggers!! A huge thank you to all the incredible ladies I’ve met through these two groups! You have all made me feel a little more at home here in London and you  have all been so amazing and friendly 😀

  • Another shout out for Michelle 😀 It’s been a  while since a trainer motivated me (in the fitness world I guess this is a synonym to torture) that much! My abs still hurt miss, and for that I thank you  LOL!

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 15.33.33

  • Oh, in other news, did you guys see @taleoftworuns‘s new logo?!?!? I was so excited (a little too much LOL) when i realised it also appears at your browser tab!!! So, here we are, my little baby @taleoftworuns has officially become #ToTRuns 😀

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 15.01.48

  • Discovered a new cute park to run in by my house 🙂 It even has 2 littles ponds – oh and ducks!! For some silly reason I get overly excited whenever I see ducks 🙂
  • I am -finally – getting a Garmin! not a very new model but I thought it ‘ll be nice to try out first before I spent about $250 on a new fancy one! So a good FB friend of mine is selling hers and I am getting this beauty for now 🙂 Can’t wait for it to get here !!

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 15.25.49

So more or less, apart from a lot of running and working out, work has been crazy busy these days… This is why you guys haven’t heard from me since Friday! I really don’t like it when that happens! 😦

Stay tuned for my very first product review tomorrow!! I think all of my runner friends will be pretty interested in this one 🙂 oh what is it?!?! Well, you ‘ll see it tomorrow LOL 😛

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

A walk down memory lane…

How many times have I said – out loud that is- “I miss New York?”… Plenty I guess. This is the truth though…! So in fear that i will become predictable but also me having to keep my promise of always, ALWAYS, being truthful to you guys, I decided to share a few thoughts from this past weekend.

It all started because I was looking for a photo that @mymamus had on his phone. And then I just started looking at some of our old photos… I used to have them as well on my old phone – before it back flipped into the toilet bowl…

So there it was at 2am on a Sunday a trip down memory lane… Not ideal timing but is it ever?

View from a night stroll on Brooklyn bridge.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.23.33

My favourite sushi place on earth! See the roll on the right, is called crazy monkey roll – PERFECTION!!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.23.57

Summer stroll in Fort Tryon park 🙂 A hidden gem in Manhattan – to my opinion waaaay prettier than Central park

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.28.36

Stroll on the boardwalk at Coney Island… Don’t forget the hot dog of course!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.24.26

Ready for grocery shopping 🙂 We used to hit the all the mexican/spanish markets in our neighbourhood! Produce from the streets vendors was always the best!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.23.49

Date night 🙂 At the amazing Japanese dessert place! Don’t forget to try the sticky rice tiramisu ball! BLISS!!!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.28.28

The view from our apartment window (fire escape) up at 168th street…

Another one from our picnic at Fort Tryon! I am telling you this place is like an oasis in Manhattan…

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.23.20

And of course I couldn’t forget the awesome High Line park, which is old train tracks over the streets of New York that have been converted to an amazing park! This is my and my dear friend Neela – who I miss terribly – enjoying an afternoon stroll there!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 13.39.17.png

As for entertainment goes, well as many of you know I am not a huge party animal but there is nothing better than spending an evening with friends 🙂 There is one thing that I absolutely loved about our old neighbourhood in Harlem in the summer. Stoop season! No no i am not kidding! I had some of the best nights of my life just like that –>

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 13.38.29

These are our two very good friends Karla and Ellery! Which I miss so very much!! Hopefully I’ll see you at some point soon guys!

Oh the picture that i was actually looking for????

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 15.24.34

Yes i am holding the ingredients to the weirdest (and probably most unhealthy) dinner EVER! Pringles, jerky straw and chocolate milk… Well to my defense this was our last night in New York, everything was packed into this —>

and there was no food in the house left… So we just hit the 7/11 at about midnight since none of us could sleep from all the excitement (and being sad…).

Well trust me when I tell you i didn’t really plan on writing this post but I really felt like it… I hope you guys enjoyed this little trip down memory lane along with me and also for all my friends who are in NY or planning on visiting soon, don’t miss out on those few places!!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

Random Thursday thoughts & Happy birthday!

Hi 🙂

Just a few random thoughts to jump start the day over here!

A friend of mine sent me an interesting article last night. She is from NY so I only got to it this morning. Any thoughts on it? (Since this is Autism awareness month I think it was good timing as well).

So this message from my friend had me thinking – yes yes I know… I’ll keep it short I promise 😛 Over the years I have made so many wonderful friends all over the world! I might not communicate with everyone very often but I still think about all of them! A shout out to everyone for all the amazing experiences and lessons each and every one of you has offered me! Thank you 🙂

*More randomness…

On my way to the lab this morning THIS is what i saw the moment I stepped out f the house 🙂 What  a beautiful site isn’t it???

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 07.51.19

More randomness I tried to do a little bit of cardio last night and I manage to pull my hamstring 😦 So NOT fun … Disappointed face you say?? a little…

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 07.51.10

New FAVOURITE snack! Fat free or coconut yogurt topped with homemade granola and blueberries! I ‘ve mentioned it before eh? Well, I guess I just like it THAT much 😉 LAst night I even tried it with a little bit of this cocoa powder, the one that usually goes into milk… WIN!

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 07.51.02

*And more randomness…

I read this blog post from Gina over at the Fitnessista, I thought it was beautiful! And oh so true!!

Also this article from women’s running, I thought it was very motivational and real! There is so much body shaming going around in the web lately that seeing an article like this makes me happy 🙂

And one last article – I was meaning to share this one for a while now! – that had me doubled over laughing!! Carly over at Fine Fit day asked her 4 year old son what does he think of his mama runner! Honestly I can’t handle all this cuteness!!! He is such a rock star!!

Finally, today is quite the special day 😀 It’s my big brother’s birthday!! And I ‘d like to wish him the very very BEST! We won’t be celebrating together just yet but hopefully soon 😉 Thanks for being an awesome big brother ❤

How can you not…

How can you not … be excited when you come back from work and this is what you see outside (remember people this is London and sunshine doesn’t happen very often…). Doesn’t it look like the sky from the first “Toy Story” movie?!?!?!

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.13.42

How can you not … go for a run immediately when you get home and change, since this is the first chance I get on running without layers and long sleeves since last summer!! WooHoo!!!

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.13.54

How can you not … eat this mouthwatering awesome breakfast! New obsession of mine? Coconut yogurt! If you haven’t try it you have to!!! (p.s. add granola and blueberries on top for the win!)

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.14.06

How can you not … get goosebumps just by seeing the image of yourself crossing the finishing line of your first marathon in this incredible historic place! (find out all about my first marathon to come here)

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.14.55

How can you not … do crazy things and turn into an excited 10 year old when sunshine and green grass are involved? Just saying… 😛

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.17.46

How can I not … trust your opinion (definitely more than mine when it comes to art) after all your lovely comments/suggestion on previous occasions. So I have to ask! I ‘ve been playing around with making a few changes on the blog. And I came up with this for my header. Opinions? Pretty please! Yay or Nay ??!

cropped-banner-1-31.png

How can I not … be moved and thankful for ALL of YOU for your support and amazing comments on my announcement in yesterday’s post! Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤

Have a wonderful day friends!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

Sharing a beautiful letter…

Hello friends 🙂

I hope everybody’s week started off great! Here in the UK Monday was a bank holiday due to Easter celebrations. It was nice to get a day off after a few very intense work weeks, and then just stay low and relax at home…

As most of you know – if not you can check it out here – my dad was visited us for a few

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Dad and I on a stroll

days last week for his 60th birthday. Well, what most of you don’t know is that my dad is a very private person and usually not a fan of anything related to him being online. So you can imagine my surprise when he wholeheartedly agreed when I asked if I could share his birthday adventures with all of you… Also, again as most of you know I have been living on my own abroad for (give or take) 10 years now, which made connecting with my family quite the task. So you are probably wondering where am I going with all that?

Well, my dad not only reads my blog 🙂 but he also put together a little post for all of you and asked me if I would like to publish it. Of course it is my honour to do so… And here it is, from @dad_taleoftworuns to all of you 🙂

*******

VISITING ELLEN IN LONDON

An unbelievably beautiful trip, a gift from my beloved daughter for my 60th birthday, came to its conclusion with my return from London to the always noisy Athens. A journey that will always stand out as the best possible present, a huge breath of fresh air that helped me return to the bleakness and desperation that has become the norm in my home country, with a strength and resolve that up to now I thought long gone.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Introducing dad to Nike+ running app

Dear friends, Tale of Two runs subscribers and Ellen’s fellow travelers:

I am a very proud parent. Seeing that my children, both Panos and Ellen are advancing in their respective fields, but even more so by the fact that they are both evolving, becoming not only caring and thoughtful people, but also getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve in today’s society. I got to see my daughter’s life, standing next to her after so many years that she’s been away living her life abroad. Got to see her where she studies, where she works, where she lives with her partner. Seen the way she strikes an unimaginable balance between her studies, her work and social obligations, her relationship and of course her training.

Her mature and rounded view of the world, her lust for knowledge, her constant aim to become an even better person and companion stood out, along with her belief and dedication to the athletic ideals. I was astonished and inspired by her calmness and the way she organizes every little aspect of her life.

During those days, the void that I felt from her absence all these years not only vanished, but my soul overflowed with pride. My little girl has grown so much, has fought so valiantly without wavering and is now a PhD student after receiving a grant from London’s King College.

But what does that mean for you, how is it relevant to the followers of my daughter’s adventures through this blog? Simply put, that the views, the stories you have subscribed to are not only unique, but truthful, real steps from a fellow traveler on the path for constant self-betterment. Experiences translated into words, inviting us all to be a part of that journey. Not only exciting our minds but helping us create and stand by our own goals, inspiring us to never give up but rise to the challenges ahead of us. Not a bad outcome while enjoying the …tales of Tale of Two Runs.

Do you need any other reason to follow her?

Best,

@dad_taleoftworuns

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Post race celebratory brunch 🙂

*******

It felt amazing to know that my family thinks so highly of me and that over the years I’ve managed to make them proud. I know this is a little more personal than what I usually share but as life goes on this blog becomes a bigger part of me everyday….

Thank you all for your support 🙂 And thank you dad for your sweet words ❤

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40

 

 

A quick hello :)

Hi friends,

I hope your week started out great! Here everything is pretty quite (literally!) … @dad_taleoftworuns returned to Greece yesterday after having a blast here with us for 10 days!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Practicing our dancing skills!

Just one more picture of @dad_taleoftworuns and me practicing our dancing skills – but of course in public, what kind of question is that!?!? – 😛

Short funny story; I believe that @dad_taleoftworuns is probably the luckiest person… Just before he arrived the weather was pretty awful around here. Rainy, cloudy, cold… another day in London. And since he step foot off the plane till today the weather has been absolutely incredible… Sunny, not too cold and no rain! Like at all!! For the whole time he was here we were calling him “Sunny Nick” 🙂 LOL!

 

 

And now another – not so funny – story… During my race on Sunday at around mile 12.5, while I was running I felt a weird – in a bad sense…- “pinch” on the outer part of my left foot. It only hurt for a few seconds so I decided not to stop running. After I crossed the finish line and stopped running and still riding that high nothing really hurt… but since last night the pain did return… A mild case of plantar fasciatiis the doc said. Well nothing to serious thankfully that some rest and some ice can’t fix but no running for this lady for 1-2 weeks. So yesterday and today I very graciously limped to work and this is how most of my day looked like –>

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 07.48.26

 

Yes, we do have a basketball ball in the lab’s offices along many other random things including some tennis balls (great for rolling your hurt foot), a plastic blow up dinosaur and a Darth Vader helium balloon…. Google offices who?!?!?! 😛

So this is all for today, off to get some exciting science done – and maybe ask dr. Google a bit more about why my foot hurts LOL!! You know how at the end you think it is probably better if you just cut it off???? :O Based on all the stuff dr. Google comes up with….

Have a great week everyone and … stay tuned because we have a great Q&A coming up this week, from an amazing elite athlete!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.40.40