Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon Recap

I fear that to try to put this past weekend into words would run the risk of sounding either too cheesy or would cheapen what this weekend meant to me.  I'll try my best!! :-) 

Friday afternoon started with bus duty at school putting me leaving late from there and thus picking up Aubs late...and like any good snowball would roll...we were just late all around!  Before I knew it I heard Dani's voice at the front door as I chased Em to put her shin guards on!  Good thing it was a judgement free zone since Aubs went to soccer practice sporting a pink tutu and rain boots....hey at least they were dressed!!  Thankfully the hubby was there and was awesome to take charge as we jetted off to the Sea Crest Beach Hotel.
This sunset is amazing every year!!
What I haven't mentioned earlier was that I was part of a interview/video shoot with Feetures! which began at the expo!  After looking around quickly and of course a quick fun shot with Amy and Dani, I met up with Mary and Matt from Feetures! to start the filming. 

Dani, Amy, and I
It was certainly awkward at first but honestly they were so easy to work with and so incredibly friendly that eventually it felt like I was hanging out with friends!  I think it goes without saying that it is not an every day thing for me to be followed around with a camera, filmed running, or interviewed, but they both made it an awesome experience!!
Matt and Mary from Feetures!
After that I headed over to the Honest Tea Mocktail Party to meet up with the other ambassadors and give big hugs!  I can honestly say that this is an incredible group of ladies who I am proud to be a part of!  We spent the weekend laughing, encouraging, and celebrating each other....the best example of what runners are all about!!
Ambassadors: Angela, Danielle, Amy, me, Jess, Dani, Nicole, Jessica (and baby Will), and missing Kelly
The next day came early after a late dinner with Amy, Jess, Jessica, Dani, and Amy's husband (aka best sport ever!!).  We got to the Sea Crest (also the starting/finish line) and met up at Amy's room to stay warm and avoid the porta potties! 
Amy's porch....ambassador headquarters
Soon enough it was go time!  We took a few more pictures at the start (Jill ran the 10k last minute...wish I could have seen her more!) and then the 10k runners were off. 

Within 5 minutes it was our time to go!!  A quick wave to our camera man Matt and we were off!  I decided to run with Dani and Jessica for the half but we also started with Jess and Danielle as part of our pack!  The first 3 miles rolled through scenic Falmouth passing harbors filled with moored boats and classic Cape scenery capped off with a jog with Matt from Feetures!  His skills were impressive as he filmed and ran and didn't trip on anything! 8:33, 8:13, 8:09

We turned onto the bike path and welcomed some nice shade as the conversation flowed easily.  We talked about races, family, you name it while meeting new people (the sweetest girl who's running Cape Cod Marathon for her 26th birthday) and dealing with grouchy ladies in Beach to Beacon shirts who were pissed about being passed by some chickies in sparkle skirts!!  Seriously lady you didn't need to push by us...there was a huge open road...oh yeah and then we left you in our dust!!!  We passed a friend of mine who needs to be mentioned!  Jaime lost at least 80lbs and this was her first 10k...she however tore her meniscus the week before...but being determined she walked the whole 10k and cheered on every single person who passed her...WAY TO GO Jaime!!!!  8:27, 8:30, 8:32
Dani takes the best running selfies!!!
The miles were clicking by pretty quickly and even though I am HORRIBLE at figuring out my paces, I knew a PR was in my sights!  I was getting a bit tired and my stomach was cramping a bit partly from a veteran mistake of trying new fuel race day (duh!) and partly because the roads were beginning to roll.  A surprise showing by Matt our Feetures! camera man pushed us through mile 8 but I was starting to feel it!  He asked me how it was going to which I answered, "Feeling strong and hitting our paces...it's going great!".  After Jessica asked what paces we were shooting for...my answer, "I don't know...it just sounded like a good thing to say!!"  8:33, 8:31, 8:36, 8:38

Then the hills came and my fancy wheels fell off!  This is where I was the most thankful for my encouraging and amazing running buddies there by my side!!  Each hill brought stomach cramps and a stop to walk...as I watched that PR slip right on by.  Ugh!!  The back half of this race is not for the faint of heart...it was friggin HARD!!  I was not letting the wheels completely fall off and Dani and Jessica began breaking down the distance for me until we crested the last KILLER hill and let our legs fly down to the finish!! 9:05, 9:11, 9:19
We crossed the finish with arms raised having spent our journey together!!  I can't say enough about how awesome it was to run with these ladies!!

My partners in crime, Dani and Jessica!!
 I'm going with the finish time of 1:53:24...since that's what my watch said for 13.1.  The course was actually long and our official results are 1:54:18...if you want to get technical!  For me I'm sticking to the first time!!
Beachin it!!
After party did not disappoint...food, wine and relaxing on the beach was just the way for me to celebrate half #31 and spending the weekend with some really fabulous ladies!!  A big shout out to another friend of mine, Joan, who rocked her first 10k as well!!!  I am kicking myself for those walks since they kept me from getting that PR but I can't help but be proud of the race I ran!  This course has not heard the last of me though....next year I'll be ready to eat those dang hills for breakfast!!!  I have loved being a ZOOMA ambassador and being able to run with these ladies is icing on the cake!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Motivation

In all your efforts to get to your goals, don't forget to...
Running is certainly a journey for me.  From pre-children to post 2 babies, I can honestly say I'm a completely different runner than I was when I first started!  This past weekend, even though I narrowly missed my goal, I celebrated.  I celebrated the journey and the people who were there along the way...my husband, my children, my family, and my dear running friends...each of them played a part in who I am now as a runner.  We all have goals...things we want to achieve...but it is important when you get there (or almost get there) to celebrate what brought you to where you are.
What/who are you celebrating today?!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorite

Today is Friday and what could make a Friday even better.....the fact that it is also ZOOMA RACE WEEKEND!!!!

Today Dani and I are heading to the Sea Crest for the expo and mocktail party with Honest Tea!  Then it's dinner with some of our favorite ambassadors (and ambassador hubby Chris!) 

I honestly love being a part of ZOOMA and this year I also get to work with Feetures a sponsor of the race! Seriously so excited to be a part of this for Feetures!

I love the excitement and possibility of race weekend...setting out my outfit (thanks to Dani I'll be rocking a Sparkle Skirt)...seeing all my running friends...seeing friends reach their goals...and RUNNING!  ZOOMA is no different! 

Cheers to race weekend!!!  
Are you racing this weekend? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stars over Mud

There have been a few things going on over here in LilFancyNancy land that could certainly have me packing it all in and calling it a day!  From something small as busy schedules to baby tornado tripping and landing us in the ER Monday night, there has been no shortage of mud to wade through around these parts.  Yesterday, after taking Aubs to the dentist, I spoke with my sister about our father's health and the reality of it failing rapidly.  More mud....

As I drove to pick up Em from class with Aubs (fat lips and all!) bounding down the hallway to give her sister a giant hug, I was reminded of a chapter from one of my favorite books, "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow.  It's one of those books I read in college and find times in my life when it still fits in!  The chapter talks about our circumstances and how to be content within those circumstances...

“Two women looked through prison bars.  One saw mud, the other saw stars.”

There is certainly enough "mud" around here to keep me busy for a while, but my girls and my family are so full of joy that I know I need to look at the stars...focus on the joy.  I picked up Em...and we headed out on a fabulous, Fall day and ran on the bike path to a cranberry bog we have been watching on our way to school each day.  They have been harvesting the berries and it has been exciting to watch.  

The girls watched movies and I ran along loving the cool temps and leaves crunching under my feet.  I was thankful for my burning lungs and sore shoulders from pushing a heavy load...thankful for the choice to focus on the stars instead of the mud!  
Where will you focus today?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Motivation

This is the last week before ZOOMA Cape Cod...the last week before my last half of the year...my finish.  Last week was hard with a lot of outside stress and busyness but this week my I know what I have to do.  I need to focus on finishing what I started in January...I started the year on a mission to get back to the runner I was before Aubs and this week I need to focus on finishing what was started.  What goal are you reaching for in your life?  Why not finish it to the end?  You are worth seeing your goal all the way through to the end...you are worth finishing what you've started!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WIAW...Fall Reset Eats

This September I decided to take the challenge from the fabulous Laura and do her September Reset Challenge.  It is a great way to reset the body after a summer of fun eats and drinks!  It is also a great way to really focus on your body and truly give it what it needs...to give you the second to think before you eat about how what is in front of you will effect your body.  Laura as always is super organized and clear for what is on the avoid list and even sends us a weekly menu and shopping list!  She is super supportive and so is the group of challengers as a whole!!  

For me the key to the success game is planning and prepping ahead.  Since my busiest times are breakfast and lunch, I have been choosing a few of the suggested meals and making them ahead for the whole week....smoothies for breakfast are the easiest and so it has been a staple here.  I have gone off the menu but stuck with the guidelines for a few dinners.  I am so proud of myself too since I have finally got mashed cauliflower right!!!  I LOVED it...my family not so much!

Here are a few pictures of what has been getting into my belly lately thanks to the September Reset Challenge!!

grilled chicken lettuce wraps
Turkey meatballs with zoodles (I'm obsessed with zoodles!!!)
grilled salmon and cauliflower mash (finally got it right!!!)
Fall Green Monster time!!!

Have you ever done a reset?  What have been some of your favorite eats lately?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Motivation

There are just 2 weeks until I am standing at the starting line of ZOOMA Cape Cod.  If I could list all the things that are going on between now and then, there would be more than enough justification for me to just phone in the next 2 weeks and head to the starting line able to just finish the race.  That's not going to happen though...I need to stay focused on my goals...and picture myself crossing the finish line with my hands raised knowing I did it!  Life can certainly give us more than we can handle and then we throw in running...or lifting...or crossfit...or cycling.  The thing for me is running makes all that other stuff doable. 
What is your goal this week?  What are you striving for...and what stands in your way?  
Stay focused...picture the finish...and how satisfied you will be getting there!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Woo hoo!!!  Thursday again my friends so here's your weekly dose of randomness courtesy of moi! 

Time is ticking...I promise this is the last time I will mention that I am feeling like the Little Engine that Could with the start of the school year.  I think the hardest part for me is the time I am now getting home...a full hour later than I was last year.  Two things about this make me squirm and want to throw a temper tantrum.  The first is that I get to see tiny tornado just a short time before dinner and the bedtime routine begins.  The second is that I have an hour less to get things done.  We used to run to pick up Aubs once I picked up Em and then ran around the neighborhood...or picked up things we needed at stores...or sat around and giggled...we just had the time.  Now....not so much!  I fully recognize that I am blessed to be able to get home that early when regular working people tend to get done at work at 5...I will get there but this is the first week and I'm pouting!
Yesterday I made sure when we got home...before any clearing of backpacks or starting of dinner...we went outside and played!  It was great!

Do more...As I said in yesterday's post, I like to do more with my miles than just running them as often as I can.  Enter Miss Dani, fellow ZOOMA ambassador and just overall amazing runner, Weight Watchers leader, and person!  She has been part of Tedy's Team to #FightStroke for the past 2 years and has raised an AMAZING $15,575!!!  Her goal is to hit the $20,000 mark and get a spot on the team again this year for Boston.  One amazing part of this is that she has found a donor to match any donations made in September (her birthday month!!!) up to $1200....AWESOME!  Here's where you come into play!  Dani is hosting a virtual 5k this month.  A $25 donation gets you in and along with helping Dani reach her goal you also get a wicked cool medal and 7 entries into her raffle of amazing prizes!  

You can also just donate $20 and receive 5 entries into the raffle.  Want to join Dani in #FightStroke?  Visit her site here and register today!!

Bully...Our sweet kindergartner started school this week and I suddenly realized as a mom my worst nightmare...what if she's bullied?   I never realized in my 14 years as being a teacher how vulnerable parents can feel sending their children to school for the first time.  I find myself just praying that everyone will love her and realize how amazing she is.  She has come home the past few days talking about a little girl that is not being so nice...After fretting all night I talked with her teacher and I know she will address it, however it of course has me worried (not too hard).  We try to build Em up as much as we can...because she's awesome!  How do I make sure she is strong but still stays sweet?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Virtual Summer with JostRunning

We wrapped up a great summer in August with another virtual race for Em and I with Jost Running.  This past month we "Hit a Homerun" to raise money to send children to Camp Promise, a week long camp for kids with muscular dystrophy and similar neurological disorders. I ran the half marathon and Em was all geared up to run her miles this month but I think she psyched herself out.  I didn't want to push her too hard and make her have a negative association with running (since I'm hoping one day we'll be running buddies) so she biked her miles again this month and did great!  The medals are again not too shabby!  They are so fun and part of me thinks Em does it for the sparkle!!
I am so thankful I was able to partner with Jost Running for this Summer of virtual running!!  I hadn't heard too much about their organization before but I must say they know how to rock the virtual races!!  Yes the medals are awesome but they also make sure they are supporting some really great charities with their earnings!  I'm also thankful Em and I were able to share this Summer pushing ourselves toward a goal each month.  It got us all as a family out and on the road!

In September Jost Running is soaring to support Team for Kids.  Here is a blurb from their website to let you know what Team for Kids is all about.
Team for Kids is a committed group of adult runners from around the world who add meaning to their miles by raising funds for NYRR's Youth and Community Services programs while training for major endurance events. The funds they raise provide free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who would otherwise have little or no access to regular physical activity. These programs serve more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, across the nation, and around the world. 
Easy as pie to head on over and sign up for this month's virtual race with Jost Running or any of their upcoming races and do something with your miles!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Motivation

There is plenty of time to be average...and average runner, average spinner, average triathlete, average whatever...but if you put in the work you need to, YOU my friend will be BADASS!!  I know this week I'm keeping this in mind....on the days when I want to phone it in or stay on the couch instead of getting my workout in.  I have 3 weeks until ZOOMA Cape Cod and when I reach that finish line I want to feel badass...a badass mother runner!!!
What are you going to do this week to feel BADASS?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fitness Friday...The Human Side of Change

I was unpacking boxes in my classroom this week and I came upon a book from one of my post-graduate classes many moons ago named, The Human Side of School Change.  The course, and the book as well, addressed the fact that initiatives and changes happen in schools, however there are people and lives attached to that change.  I remember taking the course and feeling validated...like these upper ups realized that change wasn't just what it said on paper.

Flash forward to this week...when change is running-a-muck in the Fancy Nancy house!  The blessing of being a teacher is that I have the summer with my family...however it always comes to an end.  This week I went back to school and Aubs started back at daycare (Em starts Monday).  In addition to going back to school, I am now (happily) housed in one school only which unfortunately happens to be the latest school meaning my up and out of the house mornings along with my home early afternoons are done....yeah change is running-a-muck!! 

During the school year I had a good rhythm going...I got my lunches prepped...workouts in...house cleaned...I was Sarah Jessica Parker in "How Does She Do It"!  The summer took some time but I found my rhythm again fitting it all in.  Now that I am back to school I can best equate it to when you are running a marathon and you stop to walk....and it is like the Little Engine that Could getting going again!  I feel like I'm slowly chugging up the hill again!  I know that things will get back into a new rhythm again but I just have to look at this week and say...."I've tried my best!"  I know I can't just not run or workout (I kind of have a big race coming in a few weeks....can anyone say ZOOMA!!!!!) but this week hasn't been pretty.  In fact I have a date with my treadmill tonight after the ladies go to bed (how romantic I know) since I got on my mill this morning...got a mile into my run...and said, "Nope not going to happen this morning!" 

How do you get yourself into a new rhythm after a big change?
Definitely feeling like this this morning!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WIAW...Protein Packed

Yesterday was my first day back to school (Em starts next week) and judging by how quickly I fell asleep on the couch last night, I'm going to need to be certain to get food prepped and workouts in early!! 

This summer I worked to get into the habit of making sure each meal I ate, breakfast - snack - lunch - dinner, had a source of protein in it.  Let me say that this wasn't always done well but I am learning more and more ways to get my protein packed into each meal...protein means muscle!  Now the summer means a little more time but who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen when there is fun to be had outside?  Even more now that I am back to work, meals need to be quick but packed with protein and fresh ingredients.  I mean I could just grab a spoon and a jar of peanut butter but....well that can't happen! 

These have been a few meals that I've been loving lately!  I will post more in the next few weeks about my eats too since I am joining Laura again for another 21 day reset!  None of these meals took me less than 30 minutes start to finish....that's my kind of meal!!
Protein packed green monster smoothie and Greek yogurt with protein powder and fruit!
Tuna on cucumbers with banana peppers and zucchini noodles with turkey sausage

How do you pack your meals with protein in a quick, healthy way?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Motivation

Well it looks like last week went at a speed I wasn't ready for since the last time I posted was...a week ago!!  We were chasing the last moments of summer soaking in as much sun and sand as we could!  A friend of mine posted this quote a few days ago and it got me thinking about this time of year for me.  I am a teacher which means I am blessed to be able to be home with the girls for the summer.  The turning of the calendar over to September for me means having to trade those sweet, relaxed moments for a tighter schedule of meetings and lessons....and heartache.  I'm trying to find the silver lining in this time....trying to see the positives.  I do function much better on a schedule (and eat better for that matter!) so I will have that.  Also Em is coming to school where I work so we will have our drive together.  Aubs and I will have our time at night!  Hubby reassured me that our weekends would still be packed with fun...and that the girls would be ok!  This time is hard every year but I am trying to focus on the silver lining...like injuries or challenges:
There is always a sliver lining....Will you choose to look for it?