Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hug a Hill

I apologize for being MIA and not posting a Motivation Monday!  I supposed I had a little too much fun this weekend with celebrating the mini-chickie and all that Monday came....and went!  Sorry about that!

It has been well documented on this blog that I am not a big fan of hills.  I am not afraid to say that I just plain hate them...and they ruin most good races that I run!  There may or may not have been a condition diagnosed during Ragnar Cape Cod this year that was called hill tourettes.  My BRF continues to ask me to do the same race each year that I have sworn off after doing it one year and realizing that it really does have 17 massive hills.  My nemesis still remains standing tall in New Bedford in front of my closest sub 1:50 half.  Needless to say hills and I have not been friends...
But I'm ready to change that!  After finding out just how hilly PA was...especially the Runner's World Half and Festival courses were...I decided that I was going to try and get better at hills.  In order to do that I picked the hilliest area near my house and decided to incorporate it into all of my long runs.  This is a road that follows parallel to the highway and has been called many names in the past by other runners....the dreaded Service Road...and I have to say that it lives up to the hype!
You hit the crest of one hill only to spy the crest of the next!  It tests your lungs and leg endurance like nothing I've done before!  However for the past 5 weeks I have headed out from my house....ran some hills en-route to the Service Road...and then spent 2-3 miles rolling up and down and back again to my house.  I've left a lot of sweat, swears, and tears on that friggin road and I'll keep doing it until I have conquered that thing!!  I wouldn't say that I am a fan of hills still....but I may or may not have looked forward to Sunday's trek on the roller coaster!

Are you a hill fan?  How do you get better on hills?

Thursday, October 8, 2015


That big sparkly 3 right there has me baffled with unbelief (partly because what was supposed to be an easy Pinterest project was almost a Pinterest fail!!)!  With that being said...here's your three randoms for the week!

Growing too quick...Our mini-chickie will be 3 on Saturday.  Even typing that statement makes my heart crack just a little.  Our little chickie...our baby...our tiny tornado is going to be three!
While our first chickie made me a mama, this one has stretched and challenged me in a way I didn't know I could go.  She's taught me so much in just 3 short years about loving and living big and I couldn't imagine our family without her!  She is the child we prayed for after having a miscarriage and she certainly lights up our days!  Of course we get the questions now..."Are you done?"  Let me just say I'm not ready to answer that question yet!

Free...Last week I was so excited to learn that my BRF Jill and I had won gift cards from Saucony for our participating in BRF Week with Another Mother Runner!  Holy moly so many of my favorite things all rolled into one...Saucony, AMR, and Jill!!!

Well once it got to my house I saw that I in fact could pick any one thing that I wanted from the Saucony line.  Anything?  Immediately I thought of the fabulous bullet capris that I have been DYING to try....

But then realty set in and I thought about it more....more like the reality of my daycare bill set in!  I buy about 4-5 pairs of sneakers every year (about one pair every 3 months) and to be able to not have to pay for a pair is really the smartest move for me!  This whole adult thing is for the birds sometimes!  So I went with the kicks and soon these will be at my door!!

Runner's World...A week from today I will be on a plane to the PA for the Runner's World Half and Festival!!!!!  I keep going between being so extremely wicked excited and nervous as all heck!  I mean I am going to be meeting some amazing people that I have only seen from a distance....me....I can't even!!  Plus I am going to be actually RUNNING with them...ok well maybe not with them more like running to catch up!!
I am so thankful for this opportunity and can't even believe they picked me to be part of it!  Now to just not suck at running and all will be good!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In This Together

I'm sure it's a debate that goes back in time for many many years since people have been exercising...what is more important weights or cardio.  I have seen the post and heard the good natured comments poking fun at either side, but lately things have gotten disturbing to me and I find myself wondering what others motivations are.

Now let me back it up a bit.  I love to run.  Spend any time on this blog and you'll see that I am a fan of running, however I do lift weights.  I know that for my body to remain injury free and to be able to not have chicken wings I need to lift weights.  I always have paid attention to weight training even as far back as high school.  I like both...but let's be honest if given a half hour free, I'd probably go out for a run.  My husband lifts....heavy.  He has done a body building competition and honestly works hard at lifting heavy.  If given a half hour free his drug of choice would be lifting.  He has suggested that I run less but understands that that is my way of stress relief and feeling good.  All of these things are healthy.
What I've been noticing though is something that I started to observe back when he was doing his body building competition, is shaming others for their choices...and unfortunately it is something that I continue to see all over social media.  Believe me I get the ribbing and joking but when is the line drawn?  I have friends that are in the body building sector that hate running but have respect for those who can run for hours without stopping.  In the same vein, while the idea of being in a competition like that is not something I would choose at the moment, I have a tremendous amount of respect for what people do to achieve that.  I think that this is where the conversations...and more importantly messages being put out there need to be.  A respect and understanding that we are all in this to do the same thing...push ourselves to the limit and feel good...right?  Everyone's journey is going to look different...based on them.

I may or may not be explaining this well enough but I know that when I am looking for a trainer or going through social media pages and see constant posts making fun of people that do cardio...or use Bosu balls...or any deviation from what that person has chosen...I'm going to walk the other way.  As an elementary school teacher we learn that our students are each individuals and should be taught that way.  In fitness we all are on our own path....whether you run, do Crossfit, lift heavy, or whatever you choose, own it and let others do the same without criticism.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Motivation

The ladies and I were RI bound yesterday and there were moments in the time we spent with cousins and in open spaces that I enjoyed just sitting back and watching this girl...our tiny tornado...a nickname she has more than earned.  However while watching her I am inspired by her...Yes by her sheer mountains of energy but also by her joy.  Her joy rises to the surface in everything that she does!  I thought this picture was a perfect example of how joy just flows from her....and how I want to strive to have it flow from me!  Joy can be found in everything....just let it bubble up and rise out of you!!  How will you let your joy rise up this week?

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Up early with the mini-chickie this morning....why don't toddlers like to sleep???...so it's a super random line-up today since short and random is all this brain can do right about now!!  Before I get underway I have a random question for you all....I joined Periscope but quite honestly I am befuddled as to what to post about.  Is there anything you want to know or see about moi?

Going virtual...I'm so excited to be on board with Running On the Wall as an ambassador through an opportunity with Fit Approach!  You all know how I love me a virtual race and this one comes with a medal and swag!!  I signed up for the virtual half marathon which is in January.  Perfect since I am going to run this as my 37th half marathon to celebrate my 37th birthday....oh jeez!!  Who wants to join in the celebration with me?!  Sing up at Running On the Wall...and I could always use some actual running partners to get me along the 13.1!!
Birthday bash...As hard as I have tried to hold time still...this mini-chickie is turning 3!
I love throwing my children birthday parties!  I love planning them and seeing their dream birthdays come true...honestly I do!  This year we have a GIANT bouncy house headed our way but yesterday mini-chickie also told her babysitter that she was having an Elsa party.....off to Pinterest I go!!!  Now just to figure out how to merge bouncy houses and Frozen seamlessly!  I'm thinking glitter numbers are in my future!!

Miles check...Last month I had trouble getting motivated to get my miles in so when September rolled in I decided I wanted to get them back up and at least hit 120.  Well last night....after a long day at work (the adults are far more stressful than the kids!) and a rough bedtime for the ladies, it was 8:30pm.  Not only did I need 4 miles to hit my goal....I NEEDED miles to get my sanity back!!  BOOM 5 miles down and a goal attained!  Now on to October!!

Bonus Round....I'm so excited to be part of the Shower Pill Ambassador team!!
As a mother runner...and a runch (run for lunch) teacher...I need to get cleaned up and ready for action quicker than Superman himself!  I first tried Shower Pill wipes during Ragnar and I love them!  Score some for yourself with the code WIPEDOWN at checkout!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon Race Report

This was my 4th year being a ZOOMA Cape Cod ambassador.  The first year though I was delegated to water stop girl since I was 9 months pregnant!!  The past three years I have had the pleasure of being out on the course running the half marathon!  Each year brings a new experience and this year taught me a lot about the potential that I have inside me!  Above my own running of this race, I always treasure the time that I am able to spend connecting with fellow ambassadors....who are now not just ambassadors after many years together, but also my friends!
Dani and I upheld our yearly tradition of her sleeping at our house and going to the event together.  She got to our house Friday afternoon and after Aubs combed through all of her Run Disney photos with just about every Disney character (Aubs is a big Dani fan since she is clearly the coolest having run races with her favorite princesses), we headed to the expo.  The expo is held at the Seacrest Beach Resort and is very easy to get in and out of quickly.  It's well organized and even had some fabulous vendors there like Another Mother Runner and Run Far Girl!!  Let's not forget Luna who kept me well fed and laughing!!  LOVE their coconut bars and their new cupcake one!!  Yum!!
We headed out to the back for the mocktail party hosted by Hint water.  Every year never disappoints...seriously one of my favorite places on Cape to catch the sunset!!
After a quick bite to eat we headed back to my house and bed since we had an early morning wake-up!  Race morning is always a new experience as a mom since our Aubs is not so certain she wants to sleep anymore.  With a cold hitting her she was up with me while I sipped my coffee and we watched Dora!  Before I knew it it was time to get ready and head out!

The starting line, much like the expo, is well organized and marked.  You can snap some pics with the starting line and easily make your way to where you want to begin.  The 10k runners start a little way up the street which makes even more room for the half marathoners.  I milled around and found many of my friends who were running!  Of course they all said they weren't racing....but with the pace they kept I beg to differ ladies!!  Needless to say they are ready for NYC!!

Before we knew it it was time to start and I decided last minute to follow the 1:50 pacer.  I have never run with an official pacer before so this was a new experience.  She was easy to find since she had a big balloon flying off her shorts!  I didn't know if I would be able to hang but for about 6 miles this was my view...
I was feeling like it was an easy pace to keep...I was feeling great and sometimes too great since I went in front of her too.  Then it was like those V8 commercials....she passed me and as I literally got hit upside the head with her bobbing balloon, reality struck.  I hadn't trained for this pace for a while and a gift from Mother Nature (sorry guys!) made things get a little painful....ok a lot painful with a side stitch that radiated across my stomach making it very hard to breathe.  My pace slowed and I watched my balloon bob out of sight!

That mile was tough to say the least!  I struggled not only to breathe but to also get the cramp to stop! As we continued along the bike path, I began to feel better and gained some speed back.  From that mile on it was all about keeping my pace below a 9 min mile so that I could keep my sub 2-hour time. The course for this race, for the most part, is very beautiful taking us through cranberry bogs and along the ocean.  It highlights a lot of those Cape Cod scenes...meaning: distractions from the hills in the last 3 miles!!
I felt much better this year in the later miles (Thanks so a lot of hill work lately....need to add more of this for Runner's World) and was excited....but not really...to turn and see the last hill at mile 12.  That thing is a beast but I made it up....barely!!  There was far less swearing this year mostly due to the fact that I was alone!!  I let my legs fly down the last downhill and into the finish!!
I am psyched with this time and how I felt at the end!  I ended up coming in 14th in my age group and realized that I have far more in me if I just push.  I am working on not giving myself such a break all the time.  I want to do big things with my pace but I get in my own head and discourage myself.  This race showed me that it is there....I just need to push!
We headed down to the beach to enjoy some snacks, wine, and sun!  This Cape Cod girl always loves to be able to end a race with friends and the BEACH!
pic thanks to Dani!
Well half mary #34 certainly had it's share of ups and downs but overall I am walking away from it encouraged that I can do hard things if I just push myself!!!  I have it in me....now to chisel away even more to get it out!!

A big shout out to some fabulous ladies who just rocked this race....Dani scored herself another 1:40+ half marathon time (like anyone is surprised...this girl has wheels!)  Another fellow ambassador Jessica flew to a super fast 10k and 7th place overall finish!  Run Far Girl Sarah WON the 10k....seriously this mama can fly!  Two fellow coworkers of mine rocked the 10k...so proud of you ladies!  Melissa rocked her first half marathon as well!!!  Way to believe in yourself and do great things!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Motivation

Going into the ZOOMA Half Marathon on Saturday, I was not expecting much.  I didn't know what was going to happen and had little confidence in my training.  Even those who asked me how I was feeling would be met with a lackluster response.  I put the limitations on myself.  I won't tell you everything because a full report is on its way tomorrow, but I was used a pacer for the first half of the race and realized that the only reason I wasn't reaching my goals was because of my own limitations! Don't limit yourself...believe that you can reach whatever goals you have if you put in the work!

Throw off those limitations!!