Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Motivation

Maybe it's because it is Monday...or the beginning of summer break...but I am feeling lately that the possibilities are endless.  It is most likely I am feeling this way because I now have 7 more hours in my day to do more...spend more time with the fam...more time playing on the beach...more time doing all those projects I have piling up on my craft table...and yes more time to get my sweat on!  The truth is the possibilities are endless for all of us no matter what amount of time we have as long as we decide to take that first step and act on it!!  The doors are open for us to walk on through...will you?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fitness Friday....Partnering with SD Pharmaceuticals

Happy Friday all!!  Not only is today Friday but it is my last day before summer break.....happy dance time!!!
I was doing a similar dance when I was contacted by SD Pharmaceuticals to be an ambassador for their supplement line.  I had used them before and loved the results I got so saying yes was an easy answer!  I will be one of their blogger ambassadors for the next 3 months!
I am excited to see where this will take me on my way to my goals!  I chose to try out the Raspberry Keytone 200 and the Green Coffee Bean GCB.  The Raspberry Keytone is designed to support fat reduction and calorie burning.  It gives me the energy I need to get in a great workout and push myself even harder without causing me to be jittery or shaky.  The Green Coffee Bean is designed to again support fat loss which if you haven't caught on yet is really my goal over these three months.  SD Pharmaceuticals suggest stacking these two supplements and I do that before breakfast, and lunch.  Then I just take the Green Coffee Bean before dinner as well.  I can honestly say that I notice a difference and in just the three weeks I have taken it I have lost 3 lbs and have lost an inch in my waist and 1 in my hips, as well as a half inch in my legs.  The inches is what I am really reaching for in my goal.  I have 3 more lbs I would like to lose but I am really reaching these three months for fat loss and toning.  I am working hard in the gym and on the road...eating clean...using these supplements will only help me get there!
I'm already noticing a difference even in my arms which will hopefully get me to those SJP arms I am striving for!
What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't keep you all up to date on my progress over these three months!!!
I was given product to test out by SD Pharmaceuticals but the opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


With summer break on the horizon, I am feeling scattered in my thoughts so here is your dose of weekly randomness...enjoy!

Can't Get It...Starting Monday I was having pain...well more like a my hip butt area.  Actually on Sunday after spending the day chasing Aubs around the beach, I was having trouble with the mobility of my leg (random) and when I woke up on Monday I had this knot.  I have been foam rolling and stretching but I just can't get at it!!!  Last night running I felt it in my outer hip but after I got going it was there but ok.  This morning I hopped on the treadmill and after about 5 minutes I knew a run was not going to happen!  I feel like I need to sit on a tennis ball or something like that to get at this....any suggestions

A Graduate...While I am still in school until tomorrow (I know many of you don't get summer breaks but I feel like the LAST TEACHER WORKING!!!), Em graduated from preschool this week!
I held it together pretty well during the concert and ceremony but lost it the next day when I didn't have a lunch to pack and clothes to lay out!  She's growing so quickly and while I'm excited to see where life takes her, it is all happening too quickly for this mama!!!

Hills and Humidity...My next half marathon is just 3 weeks away and it is about right now that I am thinking to myself...."Why did I think this was a good idea?"  When I signed up it was a great price and a race I have wanted to do for a few years, however looking at the elevation map I'm nervous!
Plus I have heard people describe it as the kind of race where you hit another hill before you have even recovered from the first......Great!  Add to the fun that it is New England...on an island...yeah my friends that is the recipe for some awesome humidity!!! 
Pretty much how I feel about races with a ton of hills.....
Thankfully I am running with my BRF Jill and plan on just having a blast running with her and savoring the time we have together!!!...and there will probably be a little whining!  Do you like racing in the heat?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Seen on My Run...

This weekend while in RI to celebrate my Dad, I was able to escape (thanks to my fabulous sister) and go for a glorious long run!!  I left from my parents house and ran one of my favorite routes into Newport...along Bellevue Avenue where the famed mansions are...and back along the Cliff Walk.  It's one of my favorites and is also part of the Newport 10 Miler that I ran this April.  The weather was perfect...a little cool at the start...and other than having to dodge a lot of tourists and other summer residents (I noticed also a trend of other runners not saying hi but more on that in a diferent post) it was an amazing run!  Today I'm sharing with you some things that made me giggle and smile along the 11 miles!

Ok so the only time I smiled here was when I was coming DOWN this massive hill!  Yes there were lots of sights to distract me from my burning lungs while I climbed this (it goes well beyond this picture) but this one is a killer!

These camel bushes are part of the Doris Duke estate named Rough Point.  Doris Duke was a make-your-own-rules type lady and these camels peaking out from one of the massive gates always make me giggle!

These can be summed up in three words....Worst Traffic Offenders!!!  They are actually cute and if you know more than this man who got stuck on this dead end street while I was running by, they look like a lot of fun, but boy are they traffic causers!  Newport has enough traffic issues in the summer and very narrow streets....these bad boys just clog things right up!!  That being said I went home and told my sister that we should try it one day!!

My kind of trail!!!  This is part of Cliff Walk and it is just one of my favorite places to run and walk all times of the year.  The views are unbeatable and I always feel very calm when I'm out it centers me again!...and yes it is much more "calming" in the colder months when there isn't anyone there!

What is your favorite place to run/walk?  What makes it your favorite?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Motivation

If you follow me on Instagram you would know that we had a big celebration this Dad turned 70 on Saturday and our family gathered together to celebrate the amazing person he is in our lives!  My Dad was my softball coach for many years of my life and even when I had other official coaches, he was the one I went to if I needed advice...even for things not softball related!  His line to me so many times through the 15 years I played was this..."Do your best and let God do the rest".  How easily this can be carried into all areas of our lives.  We strive to give our best and do our best with so many things...but we can't do it all!  There are so many variables that all we can control is that we are trying our best!!!
Give it your best this week!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sun Safe Summer with Block Island Organics

One thing that is tops on my list is that I LOVE the beach...good thing I live on Cape Cod!  For most of my life I have spent my summer on the beach and I am happy to pass this tradition on to my little chickies since they seem to love the beach too! 
Aubs loves torturing me by NOT looking at the camera!
In my younger and slightly more foolish days I would scoff at the use of sunscreen!  This Portuguese skin never needed to be "protected" and it really only got in the way of me getting the darkest tan I could!  As I got older I decided to use it on my know to prevent wrinkles and such.  Now that we are on the beach just about every day in the summer, I have come to two realizations....I need to be wiser about protecting my skin and I HATE being sunburned! 
Now I have always lathered up the ladies until they were just about coated white but I knew I needed to be better about my own skin.  I was so excited when Block Island Organics contacted me to try out their sunscreen....perfect fit in my eyes...they are a RI company (and I'm a RI girl) and I was in need of some good sunscreen! 

Here's a little info about Block Island Organics.... 
The Block Island Organics mission
Our mission is to give everyone access to safe, effective, and lovable non-toxic suncare products. We believe in living outside and enjoying the sun and not hiding from it. With a little sun knowledge and the right sunscreen you can live our mantra: “Play Smart, Play Safe.”

Despite advances in science and cosmetics, skin cancer rates continue to rise. We believe this is due in part to poor quality sunscreens, misleading marketing, and the failure to educate consumers on safe suncare practices. To rectify this, we pledge to be consistent, honest, and transparent in our marketing as we pursue our goals: educate consumers, optimize product safety, quality, and cost, and earn your trust.

They are open and honest about the ingredients that go into their sun care lines while also keeping an eye on the cost in order to keep it assessable to the every day person which is something that really resonates with me.  I know there is fancy sun care out there but the dent in my wallet is too severe.  

I was sent a bottle of the SPF 15 as well as several sample packs which I promptly passed out to everyone I knew!  I felt like the lotion covered really well.  It is nice and thick so you know exactly where it is going and you can feel the coverage unlike other products that are more watery.  I have also had trouble with sunscreen on my face burning since my skin is sensitive but I loved that the Block Island Organics product didn't burn at all!!  I have been using it each time that we have been beach bums and I am happy to sunburns!! I'm looking forward to continuing to use it and perhaps grab some of their Baby Block for the girls!!

Block Island Organics products are only carried in 3 stores (CA, FL, and Block Island, RI) but you can order direct from their website which is really easy to navigate.  As an added bonus and because I love spreading the love to all of you, if you purchase anything from Block Island Organics this week(6/19-6/25) and use the code nancy you will receive 20% off your purchase!!!  Just in time to get stocked up for summer!!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What If I Didn't Race?

If you have been a reader here for any stretch of time, you know that I love to run races. 
What you may not know though is that the amount of races I head to the starting line for has been significantly greater since I became a mom.  As a matter of fact, in July I will be lacing up my Sauconys to run my 30th half marathon...28 of which were within the last 4 years...along with countless 5ks, 10ks, and 10 milers...oh yes and one epic relay!! I can't for certain put my finger on what happened after our chickie turned 1 that spurred my love of races...maybe I was just looking for some me time or maybe it was the full year off I took from running....either way the bug bit hard! 
First race back!
Racing for me is two-fold.  I would be lying if I said I didn't love the preparation and excitement working hard to hit my paces and runs.  I've always been an athlete and training for me is fun.  The other side of racing to me is social.  I love running with friends...seeing friends at the races...talking with others about races coming up or ones we have run...meeting new people...helping others cross finish lines.  As much as I love the adrenaline of pinning on the bib...lining up at the start...and the excitement of the start, I do love the fun I have with others at races. 
My partner in crime....especially LOVE racing with my BRF!
Lately, however, life is being pulled in many, kids, hubby's job, family...and my focus has needed to change to reflect that.  I know that many people train for and do just amazing things with far more on their plate but for me I have been getting to the end of days with either an empty light on for me or my husband. 

It is hard for me even to write but what if I took a vacation from racing?  A break from the mental "I have to...." of training and a shift to address a few other things right now.  Keeping the races I have planned on the calendar but not adding honestly is hard for me to talk about this but I feel that it is the right thing to do for my family.  Please make no mistake...I will still be lacing up my Sauconys and hitting the road but perhaps the challenge of the race is something I need to push to the side for a bit. Races will always be there but my family needs my focus right now.  I do feel like a piece of who I am is getting put on the shelf...but I know in the end it will be worth it.
Have you ever sacrificed something big for those even bigger?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Do You #FuelYourBetter?

I have a question for you all.....
A few weeks ago I was selected to try a Vega Sport product for the #FuelYourBetter campaign with Fit Approach.  The past few months I have noticed that right when I want to be pushing into another gear running or with kettlebells, I am just hitting a wall.  The gas gague is showing empty.  This made me excited to try out Vega Sport's Sugar Free Energizer as a way to fuel before my workouts.
You simply combine one packet with your water about 20 minutes before your run/workout.  At first the texture made me a little nervous...I was expecting the taste to be gritty and hard to drink but I was certainly surprised!  It tasted fine and an added bonus was that I wasn't tasting it for miles to come!!  I also noticed a difference during my early morning kettlebell sweat sessions...I was pushing myself harder and wasn't mentally quitting on my workouts.
Soooo the verdict?  I really like it...and see a difference in my energy levels when I'm using it!  The plant-based Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer comes in two flavors: Lemon Lime and Acai Berry. I had the Lemon Lime flavor and it was a light taste.  It is gluten, dairy, and soy free.  The packets are really convienent and can be just thrown into a gym bag for an afternoon workout or run, or you can have it waiting on the counter for when you wake up!  It mixes easily in a water bottle so you can just mix, dirnk, and go!  I used it before my morning workouts for energy and endurance, and in the afternoon for that boost of energy I need to help me push this big rig up and down our neighborhood hills!
It was a definite help last week when I decided to run my long run mid-week after sitting in a meeting for 9 hours.  I was away for work and stashed some Vega Sport SFE in my bag knowing I was going to be staring down 12 miles late afternoon.  I chugged it down on the way to my run and honestly saw a difference in my endurance and speed as I made my way up and down the hills of Hopkinton...normally starting a long run at 6pm is a recipe for disaster but I felt good!

Price point ranges from $1.69 for a single pack to $49.99 for a 4.5oz tub which gives your 40 servings on their website.  It is right around where I would expect to be for fuels that are going to give me the energy and endurance kick I need!

There are times when we all face something that is holding us back from our "better". Vega Sport  has fuel to help prepare, sustain, and recover.
What is holding you back from your best....your BETTER??  You can find your personal fueling plan on their website (here).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Motivation

This past week I had runs where I wanted to just throw in the legs were like lead...I sat in meetings for 9 hours only to have to cowboy up and run 12 miles...times when I wanted to NOT be a runner.  But then I it feels to know that I AM a know why I started on this crazy and challenging journey of mine...remembering why I whip my body to make it do what I want it to do.  I remembered why I do these crazy things....and yesterday as I rested....I planned it all over again!  Feel like quitting....feel like you've bit off more than you can chew....feel like you want to just cash it all in?
Don't!!!  Remember why you started!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Wait how can it be Thursday already....said no teacher EVER at the end of the school year!!!  In all seriousness we have two weeks left and this is the time of year filled with field trips and class plays which means this ESL teacher has a lot of time to file and organize papers.  I know I know...very exciting!  Here's your randoms for the week!

Work Vacation...In all this end-of-the-year fun I am away on business for the next two days.  While it is good to have a change of scenery, I miss my family oodles and know it stinks to be the parent 100% of the time.  That being said a HUGE thank you to the Hubs who is holding down the fort while I stare at test questions for 8 hours a day!  I'm hoping to get in my workouts (long run and weights) while I'm here so when I get home I can just snuggle with everyone and enjoy them!  I mapped out a long run route but thankfully checked with a cousin for was do not run there!  It is always good to check things out with someone local!!!  Change of plans and I may or may not be retracing some famed marathon miles!!  10 points to someone who can guess where that may be!

Here's Your Medal...Last week was my daughter's field day at school.  She jumped in the car when I arrived to pick her up with a shiny medal hanging from her neck.  I asked her what she won and she said field day.  I was confused until I saw other members of her class file out the door with the same medal....Oh you played so you got a medal (purely internal monologue!)  A friend of mine and I were talk about participation awards and how kids need to learn about winning and losing....until I realized that I in fact had about 27 medals hanging in my basement that say "Congrats you ran"!  I was thinking about the pros and cons of giving everyone a medal and wondered if my daughter got that she hadn't actually won.  I was deep in thought when she looked at her certificate of participation and said, "Mom does this list all the races I won?"  She has a competitive streak that one and wanted to make sure it was on record that she WON!  What are your thoughts?

Summer Bucket List...The weather is finally turning warmer and sand is starting to become the color of the floor in my car, which has got me pinning more outdoor projects and summer must-dos on Pinterest than ever humanly possible.  The funny thing is that as the summer starts to really get into full swing our days become more about what beach to go to than what project we can do in the yard.  There are a few that I REALLY want to try out and one of those is camping out in the backyard.  This summer, my daughter and I are going to spend a night in a tent in the backyard...I can't say how long she'll last out there but I really hope it will be the night!  I've honestly never done it and excited.  Any tips?  What is something on your short bucket list?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

A few weeks ago, the always awesome Sarah and Dimity we discussing on their AMR Podcast tips for getting the best race photo.  They talked about attire and how to stride when you see the photogs poised ahead.  They then called out for us to show our favorite race pictures and I dug up this one!
This is me taking that infamous right onto Hereford St. in Boston after running 26 miles in a Nor'easter...seeing friends and knowing how close I was to victory.  I look like I've been through a war but my this is one of my favorites because I think it captured just how joyful I was!
Play along....what is your favorite race photo??
Post it on my Facebook page!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Motivation

Good morning!!  Sorry for being late but I have been battling strep throat and a double ear infection this weekend.  Now I'm finally off the couch and I may be done with the fever so here we go!!  This time of year people get extra motivated to be "bikini ready".  They dial up the exercise...clamp down on their crazy diets...just to try to erase what was winter.  One thing that I know for sure is that healthy eating for me is not a phase...or a diet...nor am I planning on gaining one ounce of this weight I've lost back.  This is a lifestyle for me.  It isn't a phase.  Once winter comes I'm not going to bundle up and carb load!  This is my lifestyle 12 months of the year!  What about you?  
Does your lifestyle change depending on the seasons?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why I run...

Happy National Running Day!!!
Yes running is so awesome that there is an entire day dedicated to it!!!  Maybe you're lacing up for the 1 millionth time or maybe today is the day your going to stop saying "someday" and get out there and start...start with a few steps...a few minutes...let running do it's thing with you...let it transform you!!!

I started running 14 years ago when the competition of college sports stopped but my need to compete didn't.  I always ran to stay in shape for my sports but always thought the act of just running to run was silly!  I in fact think I can be quoted as saying just how pointless just running was!  Well 14 years down the road and a mountain of miles later....I'm still "just" running!!  There are so many reasons I lace up before each run that I can't even write all of them!  As this day was approaching, I was trying to think of the biggest thing that running has taught me about myself...through all the's ups and downs...3 pregnancies...injuries...hard miles and easy ones...there was one theme that remained.  One lesson shone through....I am strong!
Mentally...physically...emotionally...I am stronger than I think I am most days!  When I'm out there pushing through I'm reminded of this fact...I am strong!
Why do you run?  Why don't you?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take it Off Road

Last weekend I posted on Facebook a picture of a trail that I pass almost every Saturday on my long run.  I talked about one day answering the call and finally explore the 21 miles of trails just 1 mile from my home.  Well because I have such awesome friends....who love to put me to my word (thank you)...I had several people inviting me to join them!  This past weekend I met up with a co-worker (and soon to be ultra marathoner) Christy to FINALLY go off road!
Christy being much more prepared than I (I literally threw on a pair of old shoes and came game for exploring), came prepared with a map on her phone and some much needed bug spray since I was greeted by this sign!
We headed off down the trail and for the next hour and half we explored our way around acres of land chatting and discovering air fields and new paths at every turn!
Gorgeous right?
My thoughts on my first trail run....
  • LOVED it!!!!  The time flew by and I had so much fun just exploring and getting "lost" in my surroundings!
  • It amazed me how quiet it the outside world faded away!
  • Go with someone who knows what they're doing.  Christy is a pro...her ultra is a trail ultra (craziness!) and was able to give me a lot of tips.
I am looking forward to incorporating more trail running into my runs....with partners of course (I still wouldn't want to venture in alone even though I'm sure I'd be fine!  I found this quote the other day and it made me giggle...
I have been talking about hitting these trails ever since we moved to Cape Cod....I'm not sure why I never did but boy am I thankful I had the opportunity to!  It was a blast!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Motivation

Coming from the amazing Joan Benoit Samuelson, this quote speaks volumes to me.  Here is a woman who has done amazing things in the field of running...and yet she can look upon failure as a way to grow stronger!  I remember listening to Bill Rogers at an event a few years ago.  He joked about how many times he won the Boston Marathon in conjunction with how many times he didn't finish it!  You look at accomplished runners...lifters...bikers...triathletes and you forget that in their day to day...they fail too!  The difference is that they don't let it define them...they get STRONGER!  I can feel myself getting stronger each week...learning more...and knowing that failures are just a way to grow!
Use that fall as an opportunity to grow even stronger!!!