Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cover story

Key to success for elite athlete-businesswoman-mom? Balance

The calendar on Christina Noordstar's refrigerator has two entries for the Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend: Saturday: 15K. Sunday: Half Marathon.

"I keep my training schedule right there where I can see … on my phone, in the kitchen … that's why I never miss a day," said the 39-year-old mother of two from Tierra Verde. "The key is consistency. That is the way to achieve any goal."

Noordstar, one of the Tampa Bay area's top age-group runners, seems to have found the secret to what most recreational athletes strive for: balance.

"How do you do it all …?" said Noordstar, who also is a successful businesswoman and a motivational speaker. "It is hard to juggle a career, family and still find time to stay in shape."

Noordstar, who made her mark as an elite triathlete before turning her attention to running, is getting ready to run the Paris Marathon on April 3 so she worked two of this weekend's Gasparilla Distance Classic races into her training schedule.

"Running a decent 15K followed by a half marathon is a great way to get some speed work in and still work my endurance," said Noordstar, who hopes to run a 2:54 in France. "I try to make the most of every opportunity."

Noordstar, who owns and operates several Tropical Smoothie franchises, is an active public speaker. Here are some highlights from one of her motivational sessions, and what works for her:

Vision.

Have a vision and set clear goals. If your vision is to be a marathon runner, then make sure you have a clear training plan. Check in on it every day. There are days when you are going to find that it is hard to make a workout, but those are the days that are most important. If you break it down into pieces, one thing, one day at a time, it will be easier to manage. But you need a vision and you need goals.

Network.

Surround yourself with people who make you want to be better. I surround myself with people who help make me a better athlete, better mom, better business leader. Surround yourself with people who have the same goals. I have a real close-knit group of running friends. We all do marathons, so running 90 miles a week is normal to us, which other people might find absurd.

Take risks. Sign up for big things. Face your fears.

To achieve things that you dream of or want to complete in life, you have to go after things that might seem a little scary at first. Who knows where I would be if never signed up for that first Ironman or marathon.

Work hard.

Have daily rituals that lead you to your goals. This is the action part of the vision. You can set all of the goals you want, but if you don't take action, you will never get anywhere. I run 10 miles a day, every day, and for me, it is like just brushing my teeth. If I don't do it, I just don't feel right. You have to work … it is what you eat, the books you read, the sleep you get … you have to keep at it.

Inspiration.

Celebrate, have gratitude and enjoy life. Reap the rewards of your hard work. Enjoy every day. I visualize my finish times. I fall asleep with those numbers in my head. Your mind can help make it happen. Be positive. You have to have the right attitude.

Mark Hadley, a North Carolina-based running coach with Noordstar, credits her success on and off the track to her good attitude.

"She has figured out how to maintain a positive balance," said Hadley, who has coached numerous Olympic hopefuls. "She never allows herself to get negative. Life will throw you a lot of hurdles, but Christina, like most elite runners, takes them in stride. She knows what she wants and she always stays focused. In the end, it is a balancing act."

Contact Terry Tomalin at ttomalin@tampabay.com.

Lace up or follow along

There will be numerous Gasparilla Distance Classic races today and tomorrow in Tampa. For more information, visit tampabayrun.com.

For live coverage, go to tbtim.es/gasparillarun.

Key to success for elite athlete-businesswoman-mom? Balance 02/18/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2016 6:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Steven Souza's two passions collide in charity fantasy football event

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Souza knows a thing or two about football.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  2. Housing starts fall in July

    Real Estate

    WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell 4.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million. Groundbreakings for multi-family buildings such as apartments slumped 17.1 percent, while single-family house construction slipped 0.5 percent.

    On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported on U.S. home construction in July. 
[AP file photo]
  3. Florida man has some of Princess Di's wedding cake, plus 13,000 other royal items (w/photos)

    Human Interest

    John Hoatson recalls the day it all began with perfect clarity.

    John Hoatson poses with a photo taken in 2006 when he met Sarah "Fergie"; Ferguson, the Duchess of York, for tea at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in California.
  4. Pasco doubles tourist tax to finance sports complex

    Tourism

    DADE CITY — Pasco County is doubling its tourist tax to 4 percent to build an indoor sports complex in Wesley Chapel and improve its outdoor boat ramps in west Pasco.

    Pasco County's plan to double its tourist tax on overnight accommodations to 4 percent is intended to help finance a $25 million sports complex in the Wiregrass Ranch area of Wesley Chapel. It  would include a 98,000-quare-foot multipurpose gymnaisium of eight basketball courts and dedicated space for gymnastics, cheerleading and a fitness center. Shown here is the four-court fieldhouse with 50,000-square-feet of space for competitions at  Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.  Times photo by James Borchuck (2007)
  5. 5 things to do under $5: Where to see solar eclipse, Bucs training camp

    Events

    1 Solar eclipse: Turn around, bright eyes. Monday brings a total eclipse of the sun, and you'll need protective eyewear to see it. The bay area won't be plunged into darkness for a few minutes like the middle of the country, but with solar lenses you can see this rare event. The Museum of Science and Industry, …

    This photo shows a “diamond ring” shape during the 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia. For the 2017 eclipse over the United States, the National Science Foundation-funded movie project nicknamed Citizen CATE will have more than 200 volunteers trained and given special small telescopes and tripods to observe the sun at 68 locations in the exact same way.