Friday, May 27, 2016

Right Now....Be Here...

I had fully expected to come on today and write about fashion for fitness.  I had a lot of pictures to share and some new gear that I have been loving...but after reading about a friend's mother's battle with cancer, I am deciding to write a post that has been a long time in the making....thoughts swirling around this head of mine.

The good thing about social media is that you get to know just about everything that is going on with everyone....the bad thing about social media is that there are times when you feel overwhelmed with what is going on with everyone.  Lately I have been feeling the latter.

One of my biggest fears in life(beside of course that something would happen to our girls) is that something would happen to me and my girls would be left without me in their life...that I would miss those moments...putting on makeup...accomplishing those things I can see bubbling up in them a hug when they need it most.  Lately it seems that everywhere I turn there is something tragic happening....moms dying from cancer and leaving their old classmate getting diagnosed with cancer as a dad of accidents that have taken sons too early...moms staring down cancer that won't quit.  It can really overwhelm you if you let it.  There are honestly times when I am overcome with it all....but I can't be.

We are promised right now...this moment and that's about it.  However what I have been trying to do is when those "I can't imagine..." moments sneak in, I try to remember the blessings that are in this moment.  My husband whom I love and stands beside me each day...our girls who breathe life and laughter into each family who is healthy...friends who will laugh with me until our sides hurt and be a cheerleader for me any day of the week!  That's all I can do right them and laugh and pray for those who can't!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Motivation

It really can be as simple as that!  This morning we changed things up and instead of doing my usual sprints I was working the legs!  I tightened my pony and off I went to deadlift my way through the gym!  Each day we make the decision to phone it in or kick a little ass!  Today was all about the kicking!  Tomorrow it will be on repeat!  Own today!  Kick this Monday's ass!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fitness Fashion

Hi there!  I have been wanting to share with you about some great gear that I have been able to try out and I thought it would be fun to have a few Fridays dedicated to fashion!  Humor me folks...I'm a mom of two who works full time....I gave up my dreams of being Carrie Bradshaw when I signed my contract to be an elementary school teacher...but I can still be fashionable when I'm running right?

On tap this week is two fabulous pieces from Tommie Copper.  I have tried many other Tommie Copper products before and I really love them.  Even better is that they last a long time which is key when you are investing in workout wear!  I had tried out their compression capris before but I was so excited when they sent me over their new women's compression shaping capri!
One of the features I loved about these is the super wide waste band!  I get so annoyed when my pants or skirts slip down when I'm running.  Running gear should be simple...put it on and then don't think about it for the rest of the run!  These capris fit the bill!  They have a great pocket on the waste band big enough to store my phone and a tie at the waste as well to make certain these bad boys are not going anywhere!!  Plus plus...they are super flattering without making me feel like a sausage! Bonus!
They have quickly become a staple in my gear rotation!

The other piece that I was sent was a compression camisole.  I don't know about anyone else but since becoming a mom, a camisole is a wardrobe sucks in any extra stuff going on around my can be tucked in for when I'm bent over doing whatever a mom needs to do and I'm not flashing my undies or hiney to the just makes me feel put together.  I was excited to try out the Tommie Copper camisole because I had tried one before and LOVED it!  Well this one was no different!  The straps are adjustable and the length is perfect to be tucked in.  It is seamless so you can rock it under just about anything and look all nice and smooth under there!  Plus it gives your torso the support it needs!  It comes in 5 different colors.  I am wearing it in the orchid.  It looks bright on the site but it is a really pretty color.

Clearly I'm a fan!  Pardon the messy toddler is the only one with a full length mirror and tornado tendencies!  I can't wash it fast enough because I want to be wearing it all the time!

I was sent these items from Tommie Copper in exchange for a review but the opinions expressed are 100% moi!

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I think it may be the time that I have been spending this week staring at a computer screen while administering state testing, but I have had ZERO things to write about!  Usually I am not one to have nothing to say but this week apparently I am stumped!  Have no fear though...I can always whip up some randoms for a Thursday!!

Leg Day...Perhaps Amanda is trying to slowly kill us (I hear next week will be harder) but this is how I currently feel after leg day yesterday...
Now I will admit that some lady at the gym moved my stuff yesterday when I went to get a weight...which annoyed me...which made me lift heavier...which is now contributing to my inability to walk!  I know I have to keep moving especially since today is my run group.  These girls have been working hard so I need to show up for them.

Book Fair Mania...There is currently a book fair going on at our school.  Our PTO puts on the book fair twice a year as a fundraiser.  For our students, they LOVE the book fair and emerge with 1 book and about 5000 furry pens and light up erasers!
Our poor daughter has me for a mother and has to get her book fair purchases screened through me (she goes to the school where I teach) toy and the rest BOOKS!!  For me the book fair is like being at a buffet of races...I want to buy ALL THE BOOKS!!  Seeing as how our house is bursting with books, I suppose I will just get a few (for my students!)!

Summer is Coming...We have 23 1/2 days left of school...not that I'm counting or anything!  If you have read this blog for any amount of time you know that summer is a big deal!  This week we have booked swimming lessons at our local beach and I even scored a super cute new beach bag.
On the agenda soon is all the sunscreen (we go through about 6-7 bottles a summer), new towels, and chairs for the girls.  I can't even believe that this year is flying by the way that it is.  The end of this summer will mark a big change in our family....both girls will be in school.  Unbelievable!  This can just mean one thing....Lots and lots of fun times this summer!!!

I hope the rest of your week goes well!  I'm praying my legs loosen up by Saturday for my long run...along with my back since it has been on a cranky tear lately (seriously I sound like an old lady)!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Motivation

How often have you come just this close to something big and given up before you got there?  If only you knew just how close you were...would you have stopped?  I feel like so often I get stuck in the same cycle of wanting to do big things and to challenge my body, but giving up on myself before I get there.  Don't!  You hold the strength and the beauty beyond what you know!!  Challenge away and don't give up!!  You're worth it!

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Some weeks crawl by and I'm begging for Friday to come....others fly by and before I know it I'm doing the Friday dance!!  Thankfully this week flew a matter of fact this month is ticking by at a pretty quick pace!  I'm looking forward to a weekend of fun with the fam and a running date with my BRF!!!  Until then it's Thursday and Thursdays were made to be random!

I mean really....There is a beach chair company local to us that makes these really beautiful and sturdy beach chairs.  If you've known me for 5 minutes you know that I live at the beach in the summer.  I love love love the beach and I'm thankful that our girls have fallen for it they had a choice!  We decided that for Christmas (well I really can't take the credit since it was my husband's idea) that we would give each other one.  Since it is closed during the off-season (a beach town norm) we ventured there last week and yesterday I went to pick them up!!!
I mean really it was a no brainer what I was going to get put on it!!  I've had that nickname dating way back to my days as a toddler in gymnastics class!!

Sprinklers?...Chickie has decided to sign up for our local 5k again this June and so we have started training in our neighborhood.  She is actually doing awesome and I'm impressed with the improvements that she has made.  I think this year is really going to be good for her!  We've just started training and she's already running longer intervals than last time!  Yesterday was our first warm spring day (63*) and at the end of our run she noticed that our neighbor had his sprinklers on.  Yup...even though I warned her that it would be freezing she just had to run right through!
It was good though because then she wanted to run extra fast home so her clothes would dry faster! She's too funny!

Cover Model?...Runner's World is at it again running their cover search contest.  I know the stories from last year were so inspirational and fun!  There are just 69 more days to throw your hat into the ring if you want.  Here is the lowdown for the 2016 search...

The 2016 Runner's World Cover Search is our 3rd national search for the quintessential male and female runners in America - two runners who are passionate athletes. This year we want to hear about your drive, determination, and motivation, and most specifically, we want you to tell us about your BREAKTHROUGH RUNNING MOMENT – the day you became a runner, took your running to the next level, nailed a PR, or any other moment that changed your running life permanently.
You never know...someone a little Fancy may end up entering!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My RUNCH Essentials

If you follow me on Instagram...and if you don't get right on know that I love runch (run+lunch)!  I got the idea from my BRF Jill who is a seasoned runcher.  Last year I needed to get in outdoor miles during the month of January for the Winter Warrior Challenge, and I knew that if I waited until school had ended I would be out there in the dark (and the dark and I aren't friends). Enter runch!

It started last year and has grown to something I really look forward to.  I don't go every day but I try to go at least once a week...unless it's challenge time!  I have about 25 minutes for lunch (glamorous life of a teacher....we are the fastest eaters around!) so I try to get as much mileage I can within that time.

If you are lucky enough to have a job where you can sneak away during your lunch time then here are some tips for having a successful runch!

Pack Right...I always make sure that I pack my bag the night before to ensure that I have everything that I am going to need.  I make sure that I am well stocked from my sneakers to my don't want to forget that and stink up the office!!  Another essential in my bag are dry shampoo...I tend to be able to get away with just the messy bun...thankful for my curly hair which looks crazy on a normal day...but there are times when I need to wear my hair down again.  Enter dry shampoo.  It helps me to not look like the sweaty mess that I am!  I am also lost without a ShowerPill!! (Enter CAPEN at checkout for 10% off!) I come in the school...I'm sweating buckets even when it is cold outside...and I need a way to wash off the funk.  ShowerPill to the rescue!  It also helps me wipe away the salt which is high since we are right on the ocean!  Also make sure you have a change of the know undies and bra!  No one want to slip their work clothes back on and sit in sweaty undies....Yuck!

Which Way?...Once you are out on the road, make sure that you find a predictable route and you are certain where you are going.  When I first started, not being from the town which I teach in, I made sure to use my RunGo to make sure I knew where I was.  Yup I got lost a little bit but when you have a time restraint you don't want to be heading on a detour that takes you too far from work.  Now I follow the same few routes depending on how I'm feeling and the time that I have.  I've also ventured over to the bike path near school to get in some easy miles....however not much since I'm not a fan of running in the woods alone!

Hey Buddy...I'm so lucky to have another runner that I work with that is as crazy as I am (sad for me that she is out...happy for her because she had the most adorable baby girl!)!  The miles are much easier when you can partner up...especially when the wind is howling and it's cold!

The same theory that applies to finding a workout buddy for the gym applies here.  If you know a coworker is going to be changed and waiting for you to go for a quick run, you'll be less likely to bag it.  You can talk about work or not but it's just nice to have someone out there with you.

I love the stress relief a good runch brings me especially when things are getting hairy around here...a mile or two out on the road puts me in such a better state of mind!  So prep ahead and move through your lunch!!

Do you runch?  Any tips to add?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Motivation

Oh the hill....Run with me for any amount of time and you will quickly learn that I am NOT a fan of hills.  Hills in my life...bring them on!  Hills on my run...bring on the profanity!  The harsh truth is that I live in New England and not Chicago so hills during my runs are impossible to avoid.  Every race I run has had some type of punishing hill or two...and believe me I have looked for ones that are flat!  So I train them....I drag my complaining ass up and down all the hills I can find so that next time maybe I'll power up one like I own it!  Life is waiting at the top of a hill...go grab it!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Most Memorable...

We all have those races...those that stick in our memory as our most memorable!  There are reasons we all have for why they are the most memorable and it varies from person to person.  When asked the question, what was your most memorable race, I of course we to the "Book" and asked my running friends.  It seems like there were a few prevailing themes for what made the race you ran the most memorable.

First up...the company you were with!!  
Relay races can be sleep, no real food, and lots of miles...but when you spend them with fabulous people they can be so memorable!!  Just take it from one of my Ragnar teammates!
Ragnar relay/reach the beach.... The people... 

Maybe it's a family member that just makes the time for my friend Jen who runs with her Dad...
Army 10 miler in DC with Dad.. This year will be my 3rd.. Love that we run with 35,000 other people can't beat the sight seeing while running around DC and I've been lucky enough to run with my Dad.

For me I have to agree!  The memories happen with the people you are sharing the race with...whether it is a stranger who you have decided you're going to pace off of...a group of friends who are just there for the fun...or a BRF who is going to push you to your goals, the company you keep can make or break your race!!  I have shared the miles with some fabulous people!!

Next...No one forgets their first time!
I love when a friend....or my sister...decides to run a race for the first time and then asks me to help them!  For one reason or another there is always a funny story to tell basically about me being a drill sergeant!  Here's what my sister said about her first 5k...
My first and for the same reason-because you were with me. Or maybe the 3 day when you told me to walk off a stress fracture 
Then there was my coworker....who decided to play her iPhone like it was a boom box...
My first one. With you. It was my favorite cuz u were laughing at me. My cramp was memorable. I did it once more, 4 years later

Here's another from one of my fabulous and inspiring co-workers who hurt herself just before the ZOOMA 10k and proceeded to not only walk the whole thing but made sure to cheer everyone on that passed her!
My first 10k that I ran with a torn ACL. It was the Cape Cod Zooma Race!!! Have done it twice will be doing it again in September!!!
I'll never forget my first race after having Em...I ran it with my BRF Jill who I had just started running with at the time.  We knew each other but no way like we do now.  I thought I was going to DIE but she kept pushing me to keep the pace saying if I wasn't ready to throw up then I could give more!  She was right!!!
A race with good friends, food, beer and schwag! Oh and one that I felt like barfing😊because I knew I was running fast.😎

Finally...Doing something you never thought you could!
Crossing that finish line of a race you never thought you could complete...Throwing your hands in the air and knowing that you did it!  That is a memory right there!
I'll never forget crossing that finish line in Boston!
Crossing the finish line of my first half for sure!
What else...looking up at the finish line clock and seeing a time you have been chasing for far too long!!!
At first glance I look at this picture and notice how tired I look...I remember that time was when we had just moved and I was getting used to a new life in a very new place.  But this is the picture before the race where I FINALLY broke the 2 hour barrier in the half!!  I had been chasing this goal for so long...narrowly missing it each time!  This was the day I broke it!!!  I was so excited when I crossed that finish line...of course Jill beat me!

What was YOUR most memorable race?  What would be your ideal race?  I would say make it fun and make it amazing!  Check out Eventbrite for a fabulous event in your area or to plan events of your own...invite your BRF and make it memorable!”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Yes...I'm a MOTHER Runner

Almost 8 years ago (yup I get choked up just typing that) I was given a title that I wear with pride each and every day.....Mom.

Becoming Em's mom was something I had prayed about for years and years...dreamed about the day when I could hold her in my arms and hear her cry for the first time!  While we had not a clue what it was like to actually be parents, we didn't lack in love and excitement over our new bundle of joy!

I am not going to say that first year was all doves and roses.  We were new parents...both of us worked full-time...I was going to school part-time to get an advanced degree...
and after 6 months into being a mom, I decided to add back the title of runner....this time adding "mother" runner to it!
The journey as a mother runner has certainly had it's twist and turns...bumps along the way in learning what works best for our family but with a supportive husband we made it work.  Then we added another chickie to our group!
She has added so much life to our life and has kept me running after her!  People joke that she is always running and on the move because I ran through my pregnancy, but what I see in her is a spark...that I pray never dulls.  She is going to move mountains so just get out of her way!

I can wear the badge with pride...I am a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have run pushing and carrying my chickies as a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have run side by side with our oldest as a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have had countless adventures with my BRF Jill faithfully by my side (I could do just a post on you Jill....oh wait I have!!) as a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have met (and become friends with) the most amazing people...a lot of which are also mother runners... as a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have joined running groups and Ragnar teams as a MOTHER RUNNER!

I have run 35 half marathons as a MOTHER RUNNER!!

Why all this mother runner talk....well because there was a time when I thought I couldn't do it...that my dreams and goals needed to be put on hold until the girls were older...that I needed to be put on hold.  Yes life is crazy as a mother runner....isn't it crazy for everyone...but I am so thankful for the support of my husband to help me realize that I can be a mother runner....that I can be an example for our girls!

I am proud to be a MOTHER RUNNER!!!