Hi! I’m Zina and I’ve always been fascinated with the fitness industry. As a child I admired athletes especially runners. Growing up I wasn’t really active as I was preoccupied with school, etc. I began to take fitness seriously in my mid 20s. I probably sound like a 40 year old saying this but, hey, I tell myself that age is just a number :). I started going to the gym, working out, etc. I didn’t feel like I was getting the results that I wanted. My goal originally was to shape up and shed a few pounds. I then started working out with a personal trainer (Rob Esposito). I worked out with him for a little over 2 years. Rob and I are still good friends. I learned a lot from him about exercise form, weight training, etc. When training with Rob, I focused more on endurance/strength training (which was really what I needed). Rob encouraged me to take group classes offered at the gym like kickboxing and spin (which I did). I love these classes. I still make time to go to these classes during the week when I get back from work. I then made tons of friends at the gym and made connections with a few runners. In addition, I wanted to educate myself on fitness so I decided to study and become certified in the fitness arena. I attended a conference at AAAI (American Aerobic Association International) in 2007 and obtained my personal trainer and sports nutrition consultant certifications. I’m also very close friends with a long time marathon runner (Nora). That woman is my inspiration. Nora is a spin instructor at the gym (Ballys). I take her class whenever she teaches (during the week). Nora believed in me and said that I have the endurance to run. She’s the one who talked me into running my very first race (which was a 10 mile race).

I began my running career in summer 2008 where my first race was the NY Junior League Mother’s Day 10 mile race. Running this race was definitely an experience. I hadn’t run that long of a distance in my life. Although my quads suffered for a week following the race, I had the desire to become stronger and not let that be a deterrent. I began running more races of shorter distances over that summer like 5Ks, 5 miles, and 10Ks. As a motivation I set my goal to run the NYC Half Marathon in 2008 which was held in Central Park. I finished the half marathon in a little under 2 hours :). This was also another painful experience but I loved the crowds cheering, the park, and the beautiful NYC skyscrapers. Runners will know this but I hit the ‘wall’ after 10 miles into the race. It’s really a bad feeling; however, the crowds cheering was the factor that really kept me going to that finish line.

I liked the half marathon experience so I decided to try out additional half marathons and train for them so I could become better prepared. To date, I ran a total of 12 half marathons, 1 marathon, and 1 sprint triathlon. I hired a running coach in 2009 to help me with the marathon training. I also have my friend Nora who keeps me in check. 🙂 I started working with a new running coach beginning March 2011.

In 2010, I was recovering from a calf injury. I stopped running since mid July of that year because I was on the mend. The 3 month recovery period was an eye opener for me. I learned a great deal about myself and others. I’m currently back to running and am excited about this new journey which will take me to the next level.

I like to stay current with trends in fitness, nutrition, and health so I try to squeeze in some reading as time permits. A while ago I read something that fascinated me. It was the concept of ‘Law of Reversibility’, i.e. ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’ which is the concept of engaging your muscles in physical activity in order to strengthen it and lack thereof causes the muscles to weaken and decline. This fear of losing strength, endurance, weakness, fitness level, etc. motivates me to stay going. I also learned that it is important to incorporate a training regimen that consists of cardio, strength, and flexibility. When these three components are combined, it leads to enhancing the overall fitness level. In addition, I’ve also learned that rest is as important as training. I hope I’ll be able to walk you through my journey to achieving a goal that is near and dear to me. That goal is qualifying for Boston Marathon.


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