Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gender Reveal

A few weeks ago we found out baby's gender! We had the sonographer put the results in an envelope which I then passed to a friend. She baked a cake and brought it over the next day so that our son and my dad could be a part of it. It was so fun!

It's A GIRL!! We are overwhelmed and overjoyed! I was up half the night preparing myself to cut into a blue cake (which would be just as exciting), so to see pink was just incredible.

Here's my 20 week baby bump:

Thanks to long hours at work, exhaustion, and holiday stuff, I didn't work out for 2 weeks. But this past Saturday I got in a 4 mile run and it felt great! I'm planning on a New Years Day 5K and will post about that next week. Now I need to wean myself off of the excess sugar that Christmas brings. Too many cookies and m&m's! I just want to throw away everything that's left. I think I just might do that...

I hope everyone has a terrific New Years!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turkey Burnoff

Every year my local running club puts on a Turkey Burnoff race the Saturday after Thanksgiving. You have the option of running either 5 or 10 miles. Last year I did 10 and I really enjoyed it. This year, being 19 weeks pregnant, I knew I would not be able to do 10 but decided to go for the 5!

I've been running 30-35 minutes (2.5-3 miles) a couple of times a week and it's going well. I was thinking a 5K would be my limit but knew I'd be able to do 5 because I could walk if necessary. I did end up walking up the hills but ran the rest of the time, just more slowly.

About half way through, an obviously pregnant woman passed me and ended up finishing before me. I mention that she was obviously pregnant because I don't think that I am there yet. If you know me, then it's obvious! But if you don't know me you might just think it's how my body is shaped. Or maybe I had too much stuffing on Thanksgiving. ;)

After the run I asked her how far along she is and she was 29 weeks! She looked great and it's definitely motivating. I've decided to run the New Years Day 5K the running club puts on every year. I'll be 24 weeks pregnant by then!

My dad has been volunteering with the club, taking pictures at some of the races. He happened to be at the finish line of the Turkey Burnoff and it was great to see him!

Here are some of the shots he got of me:

And one from another photographer who was on the course:

My belly looks huge in these photos! I don't think it's really as big as it looks. And these are one of the only pairs of pants that are fitting me right now but I refuse to buy new ones that I'll only wear for a couple of months. I'll make it work! Thankfully I have some bigger shirts that fit well.

This is a new experience but I'm loving it. Being a woman who is growing a life, I already feel strong and amazing. Add running to the mix and it goes to a whole new level. I'm amazed at what my body is capable of doing!

I'm doing my best to make more time for exercise and to eat (mostly) healthy. I know it'll make a big difference come delivery time and for that alone I'm highly motivated to continue!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Announcement and a Pumpkin Run

So I've been a bit MIA but I have good reason....I'm pregnant!

We're so excited, Jack especially! I'm doing my best to have an active and healthy pregnancy so that I can have a natural delivery. I was induced with Jack due to having mild preeclampsia and I don't want to go that route again.

On Nov. 7 I ran the Great Pumpkin Run 5K with a friend and we carried 3 pound pumpkins the whole way. It was a lot of fun!

I'm 18 weeks pregnant now and feeling pretty good. I ran 3 miles this morning without any problem. I'm going to continue with short runs (2-4 miles) as long as I'm able. Then I'll focus on walking. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

My Motivation

I ran 4 miles this morning and came home to do a PiYo workout to stretch my lower body. Jack jumped right in and joined me.

He really wants to work out and be strong. He loves lifting his 1-pound weights (which I need to upgrade!) and doing lunges and squats. It's so cute! I haven't been working out at home as much as I used to, but his eagerness for wanting to work out inspires me. I know he's watching what I'm doing and following my example.

I'm glad I have the opportunity to show him how important it is to exercise and take care of your body. I need to continue to be a good example. He is my biggest motivation to succeed! Also, he really wants me to win a race. He doesn't understand that I win just by finishing. He wants me to come in first. Motivation to do that speed work! ;)

What is something your kids do because they see you doing it?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Getting My Mojo Back

I haven't been running much this summer (summers are always the slowest for me) and needless to say, haven't been doing speed work. I have a half marathon in September with a 2:45 time limit so I need to step up my game!

I could easily run a 10K but I need to get my legs used to running 2+ hours again. And I don't have much time to do it. First up, is to run more regularly and go back to doing at least 1 run a week doing intervals and 1 weekly long run.

Today I tested out a new pre-workout and set a goal to run 5 miles in 45 minutes. Because, well, I only had about 50 minutes and wanted to hit 5 miles. Keep in mind that I typically run 10-minute miles.

Not only did I crush my goal, but I felt great afterwards!

Energize for the win! This will definitely help me get back to a routine of running in the morning and I couldn't be more stoked!

You can get a tub of Energize here or message me for a sample. It will help you crush your workout!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Running Grateful

My motivation has returned and I'm enjoying running again. I've been feeling very grateful for all that I have and the direction our lives are going. My husband started a new job this week, my son starts kindergarten at the end of the month, we're all healthy, we have everything we need, and I was able to cut back my hours at my second job (more time with the fam!). Life is good!

I'm feeling very blessed and I know God is with us every day.

Happy running, friends!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fueled by Waffles

I haven't been running as much as I'd like. I always seem to slow down during the summer months and pick back up in fall. Well I signed up for a half marathon in September AND there's a time limit. So now I have motivation to make time to run.

We spent all day Saturday at the beach with friends, but I got up early Sunday and headed out for 6 miles. I needed something to get me going and I had 1 Honey Stinger honey waffle left. Time to buy some more!

These are awesome. For long runs and races, I like to have half before the run and half during. They taste great and give me the kick I need. Plus they curb any hunger pains you may be having. Have you ever felt your stomach grumble while you're trying to finish a run? Yeah. Not fun!

After my run I enjoyed a delicious chocolate Shakeology. Honey waffle before, chocolate shake after. Yum!

My goal is to run no less than 3 times  per week with one of those runs being a long run, one for speed work, and one easy run. I'd like to get in a 4th run, but being that I've only been averaging 1 run a week, I think 3 is a great place to start.

Anyone else have any fall races in their lineup? How do you fuel for long runs?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Healthy Eating Made Easier with FIXATE!

I'm really working on finding new recipes that my entire family can enjoy. I want to make meals that are healthy, nutritious, and most importantly- delicious! 

Jack is a great eater and I've really cut back on the amount of sugary and processed treats/snacks he eats. I just don't buy them any more and I'm really proud of that. We will still go out for ice cream or I'll get him a treat while we're out, but it's not a regular occurrence any more. And I just don't keep candy and other things in the house like I used to. And guess what? He doesn't ask for treats every morning like he used to! I'd call that a parenting win!

Pinterest is a great place to find meal and snack ideas, but who has time to go through all those pins? Especially when there are so many mouth watering treats to sidetrack you!

That's why I'm thrilled to have FIXATE at my fingertips! It's filled with 101 healthy, balanced recipes that the whole family can enjoy. There are recipes for pancakes, waffles, soups, meatballs, and even ice cream and other healthy desserts!

I got the book last week and cannot wait to start whipping up some yummy dishes. I'll post as I try different things. Interested in getting the cookbook for your family? Click HERE. 

What is your favorite thing to make for your family? What are some clever ways you've come up with to get your kids to eat vegetables and other foods they may be reluctant to eat? 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

On the Go!

Today was a busy, rushed morning which means it was just another typical morning for us! Before I wouldn't even hesitate to stop at Panera or Starbucks and spend money I didn't need to be spending on sugary drinks and unhealthy food. Today I'm so grateful to have found a healthy, delicious, and on-the-go breakfast!

The best part, besides the amazing taste and health benefits? It's actually cheaper than one of those sugary drinks! Shakeology for the win!!

I have a 21 Day Fix group starting August 3rd and everyone who joins will be entered to win one of these new cookbooks, filled with 101 fix-approved recipes! There are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and kid-friendly recipes included. I can't wait to start trying them and will be posting my favorites! 

Interested in learning more about the group? Find me on Facebook and I'll add you to the event where you can learn more! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

National Stroller Running Day

I haven't been posting much, but I just found out about an awesome event that I just have to share!

You can visit Moms Little Running Buddy for all the info, including how to win some cool prizes! I love my BOB and even at 5 years old, I love taking Jack out for a run. He often asks to get out and run now and I'm happy to oblige!

We will definitely be participating in this event! Who's going to join me?

Jack in 2010


I seriously love this stroller and it has been one of the best purchases I've made since becoming a mom. 

Do you or have you ever run with a stroller? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mission 10 Miler

This past Sunday I ran my first race of the year! The last race I ran was a 10-Miler in November. 4 months later and I'm running another local 10-Miler. It's a great distance and it's becoming one of my favorites to run.

My running has been more consistent leading up to this race, but I didn't run for 3 weeks in March. Not good! The weather has been getting better so I went out for a short run last Thursday and an even shorter run Saturday morning. Getting outside (after only running indoors for the last 4 months) built up my confidence for the race.

I ran this race last year and the weather was just awful. Rain, hail, sleet, snow...every type of precipitation you can think of, we had it during those 2 hours! This year was 1000x better. A bit windy and chilly, but the sun was out, the sky was clear, and the ground was dry. I'll take it!

The course starts and ends just outside of a baseball stadium and it's an out and back course. The only problem is you're out in the middle of nowhere (or at least it feels like it!) and the road seems to go on for forever. Finally you turn the corner and see the tent marking the turnaround. It's a beautiful thing!

I started out with the 10:00 min/mile pacer and my first 2 miles were my fastest. It was too fast for me so I had to slow down a bit. I wanted to wait until I made it to the turnaround before kicking it up. The course consists of rolling hills, with 2 bigger hills as you near the finish, and I needed to save some energy for this last mile.

My splits were 10:37/mile for the first half and 10:38/mile for the second half. Finish time was 1:46:06, my second fastest 10 miler! And I beat last year's time by 4 1/2 minutes! But really, how could I not with the drastic differences in the weather? Still, I'll take it!

See that squint? Gotta love that sun!

Thanks to the hills and me pushing it (and after a 3 week running hiatus), my quads are still sore 3 days later. Am I crazy for loving it? I guess that's why I continue to run! :)

Here are a few things I love about this race and why I plan on doing it every year that I'm able to:

  • It's local and takes less than 30 minutes for me to get there
  • The race fee doesn't break the bank and even if it did, it goes to a good cause (see below)
  • It's a 2pm start time on a Sunday. They want everyone to have the chance to go to church in the morning before the race. How great is that? And I love that I don't have to get up super early!
  • It's called "A Race for Recovery" because they support a local Rescue Mission which provides long-term residential recovery programs to the chemically addicted, food to the hungry, and clothing and furniture to the needy. This year they raised $25,000! 
  • You get a nice running shirt and medal
  • They have same-day packet pickup so no having to go out of my way the day before. And did I mention the race is at 2pm? Packet pickup goes until 1:30. Again, no getting out of bed super early or going out of your way!
  • A great selection of post-race food and drink
  • Amazing volunteers who had smiles on their faces. One even thanked me for being out there running. 
To sum it up, this is the perfect race (at least to me) and I can't wait to do it again next year! If you live in the area, definitely check it out. Maybe I'll see you out there. :)

What do you look for when signing up for a race? What's important to you? 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Honey Stinger Hive 2015

Last month I was on the Honey Stinger website looking at their yummy products and came across their ambassador application. A lot of the people I follow on Instagram are ambassadors for various companies and I've been wanting to get involved. It seems like a very cool thing to do and a great way to get discounts on products you love. So I filled out the application.

This prompted me to search for and submit applications to other companies as well. I didn't think I'd get picked for any because let's face it...I'm not the best at blogging regularly! I'm really trying to change that this year and now I have extra motivation to stay on top of it.

I got picked to be a part of the Honey Stinger Hive for 2015!!

I'm a sponsored athlete! How crazy is that?? It's very cool and I'm honored to be working with such a great company. I love the products I've tried and I'm looking forward to trying more. I'll be sharing more about their products and I'm even planning to do a giveaway sometime soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out their website and tell me what you like or what you most want to try.

I'm excited for what 2015 is bringing!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

21 Day Fix and Treadmill Running

Now that I finally posted my 50K race recap, I'm going to do my best to post more regularly the things that are going on day-to-day.

I'm currently doing the 21 Day Fix and let me tell you guys...I love it!! It consists of 7 different 30-minute workouts and portion controlled eating. I measure my food in these awesome little containers for every meal:

I'm going to post either photos or a video of what a meal looks like. These containers look small. Believe me, I freaked out a little when I first saw them! But it holds quite a bit of food and the whole point is to teach you what a proper portion looks like. I used to eat 2-3 servings of pasta and cereal at a time, easy! And I didn't think anything of it. This was before I started counting calories. But even when you're eating clean, you can be eating too much. What I love about this system is there aren't any calories to be counted. No logging in to an app to record every single thing that goes into my mouth. No more worrying if I'm eating enough or eating too much. I get 2 purples a day, which is fruit, and it's up to me how I use them. Very easy!

This morning I did Pilates Fix and then made my regular breakfast: a chocolate shake! It's so good and I find myself craving it later in the day too. I've been eating more veggies than I normally would on the Fix, which is great. Thanks to our new Ninja (Christmas gift from my dad!), I've been putting spinach in my shake every morning and I don't get any chunks. Just smooth and creamy goodness!

Here's my go-to recipe:

1 scoop vegan chocolate Shakeology
12 ounces water
Splash of unsweetened almond milk
1 Tablespoon all natural peanut butter
Half a banana
1 Teaspoon flax seeds
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Handful Spinach
10 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

In addition to the 21 Day Fix I'm also running. A lot. And apparently I've become a wimp to the cold and all of my runs have been on the treadmill at our apartment's gym. Thankfully it's open 24 hours! This past Saturday I ran 11 miles. No easy task on a TM but I got it done and felt great!

Yesterday morning I did sprints and ended up going the furthest I've ever gone in 1 hour.

I've gotten up to 101 miles for January so far. My goal is to hit at least 110 and I'm really aiming for 120. Then at least 75 every month to get me to my goal of 1,007 miles this year!

And yes, I really like that rainbow frame for my pictures! :P

I also discovered these nuggets of deliciousness.

I actually discovered Honey Stinger waffles awhile ago and have been using them on long runs. It helped me on my 20-miler and during my 50K. Sometimes I would even have half of one before a workout if I felt I needed the extra boost.

Then I discovered they make these smaller ones marketed for kids. They're the exact same, only smaller! The perfect size for mid-run fuel. Or to take care of that mid-afternoon sweet tooth. ;) I also like their chews for fuel during runs. I just bought one of their protein bars and I can't wait to give it a try. It's very hard to find bars, chews, etc. that don't have a lot of crap added to them. Honey Stinger is a great brand to try!

I'll post more meal ideas for the 21 Day Fix and show you what a full meal looks like. If there's anything you'd like to see or if you have any questions, please let me know!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rosaryville Veteran's Day 50K

The time has to come to recap this amazing experience. It's hard to put into words, but I'm going to do my best.

The race was held on November 8, 2014 at Rosaryville State Park, which is more than an hour's drive from where I live. We only have 1 car and if Sidney and Jack had come with me, they would've been sitting around all day with not much to do. I really wanted to go on my own in the morning and have them come for my last lap and see me finish. But with only 1 car that wasn't an option. I was prepared to just go on my own, but my dad stepped in and he gave me a ride to the start. I assumed he'd stay for a bit but leave shortly after the start of the race. On the drive there he informed me he was planning on staying the whole day and driving me home! I have the best dad!

I took him up on that offer and told Sidney and Jack to stay at home. It was very windy and they would've just been waiting in the car so why make the hour drive just to sit in the car for 8 hours?

The course consisted of 3 loops around a 9.8 mile perimeter trail. There was an 8 hour time limit to finish. There were 2 aid stations- 1 at the halfway point on the trail and one at the end, before getting back on the trail for your next loop.

I started out feeling great. I wanted my first lap to consist of me getting used to the trail. I should remind you that I don't run on trails usually. I didn't have the proper shoes and I wasn't used to having to watch where I was running the whole time. There wasn't a clear path to run on. It was covered in branches, leaves, rocks, etc.
A  couple views of the trail

During the first lap I actually passed a few people and felt pretty good. I turned a corner and who did I see in the woods? My dad! He had found a shortcut to the trail from the parking lot and was taking pictures.

When I made it to the aid station half way through the first lap, I was so happy. The volunteers there mentioned that by the next time we came by, there would be soup and potatoes. Thinking about this helped get me through the second lap! :)

I did enjoy a couple twizzlers and pretzels the first go around.

I slowed down after this, realizing that I had started out too quickly. I was aiming to run each lap in about 2.5 hours. On the second lap, I started getting passed by runners who were on their 3rd lap. Everyone was very nice. It was a very narrow trail with only enough room for one person at a time. Whenever I heard someone coming behind me, I found a good place to step aside and let them pass. I heard things like, "Keep it up", "You're doing great" and other words of encouragement. Watching these faster, more experienced runners motivated me a lot.

I also saw my dad again on the second lap, but I wasn't smiling as much! After this I didn't see him again until the finish.

I slowed down after this and walked some on the 2nd lap. I fell at least twice, but nothing terrible. When I got to the aid station at the end of the 2nd lap, I asked them what would happen if I didn't finish in under 8 hours. They told me to just do what I could. The only problem would be that the aid station might be closed when I came back around and I should make sure I would have enough water. And of course, you don't want to be out on the trail in the dark.

I was pretty sure I wouldn't make the cut off, but no matter what I was going to finish. I was told that there were 2 women behind me. One came through saying that she had fallen and broken her finger. But it wasn't bad and she was going to keep going. Wow!

That last lap was the toughest thing I've ever faced. It's hard enough to run 31 miles. It's also mentally challenging to run 3 laps around the same 10 mile trail. By the 3rd lap I felt I knew the trail pretty well. I was very wrong!

Because so much of the time is spent looking down, I ended up seeing things I hadn't seen before. My phone died at the start of the 3rd lap, so I had no idea what time it was or what mile I was on. The trail seemed to go on forever. I think I started to hallucinate and at one point I actually started to cry a little because it seemed like I would never get to the aid station. Running long distances can really mess with your head! It didn't help that there wasn't anyone else out there. No one I could see, anyway.

I finally made it to the aid station and the salted potatoes and chicken noodle soup tasted amazing! The volunteers were so great and I definitely want to pay it forward and volunteer for a race in this way.

The woman with the broken finger, Erica, caught up to me at the aid station and another woman, Angela, was also there. We were the last 3 runners. Erica took off and I was right behind her. I talked with her a bit and learned that she had run both the Marine Corps Marathon 2 weeks prior and the NYC marathon just 1 week prior and now she was running her first 50K. Amazing!

Somehow she found some extra steam in her and took off. I never saw her again. Angela was right behind me and we got to talking. It was great to have the distraction. Next thing we knew 2 guys came up behind us, asking if we had seen a woman in a skirt. Apparently these were the sweepers. Going around the entire length of the trail to pick up any trash they found and to recover all the ribbons which marked we were on the right path. And to pick up any runners who were still out there. Joy.

They said the main thing is that we finish before it gets dark. I already knew we wouldn't make the official 8 hour cutoff but I was determined to do the best I could. Having Angela there and the sweepers behind us really helped push us. I ran at a pace I didn't think possible that late into a 50K. They were really nice and assured us that if we wanted to finish, then we would finish.

Again, the trail seemed to go on forever but having other humans nearby helped tremendously. No more breakdowns!

Then out of nowhere, we turned and ran off the trail and onto the road! It was glorious! I was so happy to be off the trail! My feet were happy to be on the road and I felt like I could've run another 5 miles on the road if necessary. Thankfully it was less than 1 mile to the finish. Also amazing was the fact that there was still a table set up with snacks. I grabbed a handful of peanut m&m's and they were just what I needed for the final push!

Angela had gotten a little ahead of me and I picked up my pace to catch her. One of the sweepers was on his bicycle next to her, to bring us in. She heard me coming and asked if I wanted us to finish together. Of course I did!

We turned a corner and saw the field where the finish was. There wasn't an official finish line. Apparently there had been but it had been taken down. I didn't care. There was a woman and a girl standing in the field, each holding a medal. They were waiting for us. Angela and I finished together, hand in hand and arms in the air, in about 8.5 hours! It was so amazing. The photographer even rushed over to take our photo. My dad said he had put his equipment away and when he saw us coming, he ran back to his vehicle to get his camera. Seriously, the people who put this race together and came out to help were amazing. They even had a few plates left of rice and beans for us to choose from. It was cold but it tasted so good!!

I'm so grateful Angela and I met on the trail that day and we were able to finish our first 50K together! It's awesome how running brings people together!

A funny side story- My dad and I made the drive back to our town and went to Five Guys for dinner. I ordered the double and he got the little burger. I went to the bathroom and when I came out a gentleman commented that I was limping, which I was. Apparently he had seen the burgers and told my dad he needed to switch them. My dad should be eating the large one and me the small. No thanks! But my dad told them that I could eat the double because I had just run 31 miles. And then they saw me limping. That put him in his place. ;)

This was the most unbelievable experience and one I will never forget. The Annapolis Striders really put on a tremendous race. It's low-key but a lot of work goes into it and they treated us really well. Despite not making the official cut off time, I still finished!

It turns out that most of the runners I passed during the 1st lap dropped out. It was a difficult race and one I wasn't prepared for. But I persevered and finished! I'm so proud of myself for not giving up. I'm even thinking of doing another. Yikes! :)

And for the record, I wouldn't recommend doing a trail race without having prior trail experience. ;)

Friday, January 16, 2015

2,015 in 2015

I'm still here, still running, and still trying to play catch up. So nothing new, right? :P

I signed up to run 2,015 miles in 2015! The most I've run in a single year is 701 so 2,015 seems a bit daunting. Thankfully I have a great running friend who I partnered up with and we're splitting the miles. We each need to run 1,007.5 which is still a challenge but a much more feasible one. In fact, I've already run 63 miles this month and it's only half over! I'm aiming to hit 110 this month and at least 75 each month after.

If anyone is interested in checking out this challenge and signing up (either solo or with a team), here's the link:
2,015 in 2015

And this is what 10 miles on the treadmill looks like!

All my runs this winter have been on the treadmill and it's making me a wimp to the cold. I feel like I need to get outside for at least 1 run a week, but I'm spoiled having such easy access to a treadmill.

Do you run outside during the winter months? What's the longest distance you've ever run on a treadmill?