John/Jess’ Crappy 10K Race (AKA Run, Puke, Repeat)

Leave a comment

IMG_1962

Hello hello! I come to you REFRESHED as my awesome guy allowed me to sleep away the morning while he put himself on kiddo duty (swoon).  But, earlier this morning?  I was BANGED UP!  So…The Philly 10K.  This year was the third annual one and I had been wanting to run it since its inception however I never bit the bullet and signed up; summers can get super busy and at least this season it just completely slipped my mind.  So.  When I returned from the beach after (almost two weeks) I decided I REALLY wanted to run it and that I could use it as a great training run for the upcoming RNR Half in mid-September.  I ended up grabbing a bib off of someone (I know, sometimes frowned upon) and went to the bib pick up party yesterday.  Thanks, so much, JOHN!

IMG_1959

The “John” on the bib was bothering me so I gave it a patch!  :) 

All went well and I was stoked to run.  Super stoked.  I did have a bit of trouble feeding and hydrating yesterday though.  We were out and about almost all day so between the heat and activity I just didn’t do enough of a good job with that nutrition portion:/  I also slept like poop last night.  And, because I decided on Friday to run, I only took off Saturday and my legs were FAR from fresh due to a BRICK workout Friday pre-deciding on racing today.  My brick workout was 7 miles with a half hour Elliptical cross training and 10 minutes of core strength.  So yea, that does not make for fresh legs.  I was also coming off two super high mileage weeks (42, then 27 this week) and felt flat.  OK, yea, it sounds like I am setting up for a crappy race review.  I am🙂  Here is the ugly mile breakdown:

(Max pace 6:31 WOAH and Average pace 8:39 BOO)

IMG_1960

Bueller, Bueller?  It seemed like forever. Always does.

mile 1- 7:24.  Lady.  You are NOT an elite runner.

mile 2- 8:02.  Still trucking like a rockstar….

mile 3- 9:11 (puke stop 1) Slowed down for some water.  Ripped my visor off. Took one sip and had to pull over to empty my stomach.  Yuck.  Not going to lie, the whole cheesesteak area stench wasn’t helpful.

mile 4- 9:23 (puke stop 2)  Another awesome pullover, this time near some rank dumpsters, to dry heave.  Fun times.

mile 5- 8:49. Pull it together, Lady.  Tune in.  Zone out.  Get it done.

mile 6- 8:42.  Um yea so the whole “sun in my eyes the entire last mile kinda sucked.”  And holy crap it was HOT.

Final chip time: 54:18

Lessons learned:  I am NOT a 7 mile pace runner.  I shouldn’t try to be.  Positive splits hurt me this time.  Learn to hydrate/feed better.  Try to have maximum fresh legs.  Let’s be honest too; it was HOT.  Like super hot and (woah) humid.  When I walked out my door to head on foot to the race (it was blocks from my house!! Convenient!!) I was SHOCKED at how hot it already was!

On a high note though, eye spy with my little eye…

IMG_1963

A glimpse of some abs!  

Yay!  Core work is working!  OK, so on a final and serious note, I am SO thankful to have been able to race today and to have such an amazing support team (for everything, not just running).  OK…no more cheese.  I promise😉

IMG_1961

With my gorgeous sissy at the finish!  Her man rocked the race (his first 10K)!

 

My Little Lego Lover

Leave a comment

I don’t know where he gets it.  My brain certainly doesn’t work like that.  Or does it?  I can’t exactly remember when Zachary started his love affair with Legos.  And trust me, it is nothing short of that; a true obsession.  He talks about (and I assume thinks about) Legos all day every day and waits with baited breath until he can “build” again.  I mean, we even had a major Lego-themed birthday party!  I remember that it came on quickly, and that he didn’t start with the typical progression of Mega Bloks, then Duplos then small Lego kits, then larger.  He just kind of dug into a normal 6-8 year old Lego kit, himself, and never stopped.  I have tried to video tape him before, because it is absolutely fascinating to see his little brain process through it all and to hear him vocalize his process.  And now I find myself purchasing this AWESOME Lego backpack for preschool (per his request) and figuring out how to refinance our home in order to keep up with his voracious appetite for everything LEGO🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.00.05 AM.png

So yea, about a half a year ago when a fellow parent came to me asking to help him teach Snapology courses (Snapology programs provide a fun and safe environment for children to learn science, technology, engineering, math and literacy concepts using LEGO® bricks and other similar building tools) I was more than happy to do so.  For many reasons, but a big one being so that I could wrap my head around what Zach’s excitement was all about!  It has certainly been helpful for that and now I am able to at least follow Zach’s builds🙂

IMG_1905

OK, So now we talk finances.  In all honesty though, this stuff can be expensive!  His most recent build was this “Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion” that he was promised if he had a good summer at camp (as an end-of-season gift; I always make him EARN his Legos).  This baby cost us $70+ bucks!

IMG_1899

And yea, he made me position it outside his crib so he could gaze lovingly at it while falling asleep.  True story.  I wasn’t exaggerating!

IMG_1900

As for the other kiddos, I have a post planned discussing their “current jams.”  Here is a hint:  this one is a SUPER gymnastics and swimming star and LOVES anything Super hero or Transformer.

IMG_1725

And this one, well, he basically likes whatever his older brothers have that he can’t have🙂 Sound about right, huh?!

IMG_1910

Anyone else’s little ones TOTALLY into Legos?!

 

Heavy Mileage and Current Likes

Leave a comment

Hello hello!  We are finally back from vacation (although I wish I was still there- what a blast!) and I am preparing a post on how to “sanely” transition back from vacation, but until then, I wanted to do a quick check in about some other random items🙂 So, when I opened my planner on Sunday (LOVE me a good [paper] planner) I went to add my weekly mileage from last week and was floored!  I took one day off but managed to get 42 miles in!  Yahooooo!  And on a vacation week?!  Even better!  (Head pats)

OK.  So, also want to talk about a few things that I am LOVING lately:

  1.  #BoyMom gear-  My guy got me some of these items and I immediately fell in love (with both the man and gear lol).  Really though, I LOVE this line and the fabric is great.  Soft and great quality. In fact, I would like to order some more.  BUT I will say; I am LESS than pleased with their customer service.  I emailed them on August 11 and STILL haven’t heard back. I tried again on the 18th and nothing.  Not a great way to run a business and such a shame because I REALLY like this stuff.  Bummer.

    IMG_1551

    #boymom hat and #outnumbered tank 

  2. Neat Solutions Table Toppers-  So, Gabe is now eating at the actual table (still in his highchair but without the tray) as he HAS to eat with the big boys.  True Story.  I tried so hard to clean up well every time he ate but alas I was concerned that my wooden dining table was beginning to get destroyed. So, I remembered these babies from Z’s toddler-hood and boy have they saved me!  I LOVE that they are super easy to use, travel well, are colorful and teach first concepts and disposable!  SUPER easy clean up.  For the win!                                                            Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.16.08 PM
  3. Matching outfits- Yea, I’m a #boymom and I am also #outnumbered, however, it does not mean I don’t love matching the boyos with their outfits!  It is super fun!  It makes them easier to find if we are in a crowd and contrary to the picture below, it makes for some amazing photo ops🙂           IMG_1513
  4. Gro-Bag wearable blankets– So, after my boys are finished “being swaddled” (age of this depended on their individual needs) I moved right to a wearable blanket with both.  In fact,Z wore his until he was about 2.5  I REALLY LOVE THIS COMPANY and their wearable blankets.  They are a European company and the quality is FABULOUS.  They can be a bit pricey but I use each for about a year (regardless of the “age suggestions”).  It is basically like a sleeping bag for your toddler.  I don’t love the idea of G getting lost under conventional blankets and he is still too young to fix the covers himself, so these are AMAZING!  Because the company is European, they use TOGS as a measurement of weight (thickness of the fabric).  And, if you choose, you can use in the car as well as there is a zipper for car seat buckles.  Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.20.59 PM
  5. BIP (Bachelor in Paradise)- I know.  I am so smart though!  Look, I am a fan of this franchise, unabashedly so. Everyone needs to unplug and for me, this works.   Anyone else watching?!  I mean, I was EXTRA stoked to see an old buddy of mine and his beautiful wife (Katie Lowes who plays Quinn on Scandal) on “after Paradise Live.”  This WILL be my treadmill material for tomorrow. Can’t wait!

    Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.43.12 PM.png

    Cannot.  Stop. Laughing at this.  Sorry Shaps!  But Katie looks gorgeous!  LOL

  6. Adult coloring books- YUP!  Finally on that train.  For the past year I kept saying “REALLY!?  COLORING?!” But yea, I totally get it know.  Speaking of unplugging (with BIP or whatever else), I am trying coloring as a way to unwind.  I have a very active mind (and body) and I am hoping that these books will be a super fun and creative way to relax!  Anyone else on this train!?
  7. This hair wand– After seeing some ads for very expensive hair wands, I picked this one up while at the beach (here on Amazon for only $22) because I needed some beach waves, and I am HOOKED.  Seriously, though, Rich (my hair guy)- between the sun COMPLETELY lightening my (natural) blonde hair and this new find, we might be breaking up🙂  LOL I kid.  But really, this wand is SOOOOO easy and I am a GOOD judge of that. I am AWFUL with hair.  Get this wand.  NOW.  Do NOT go and spend upwards of 100+ bucks on some fancy schmancy one.  This one ROCKS.
  8. The look of love- I just can’t with this guy.

    The look on his face, though!  OMG.  SOOO lucky.  I have been feeling incredibly blessed lately. Thank you thank you thank you to those who KNOW I am thankful🙂  Truly.  Between that guy, my babies, their awesome Dad, my family, our extended families, and all of our collective health, I could not feel more thankful.  Thanks for letting me share!

 

Guest Post! Sunday Inspiration: Melissa’s Story

Leave a comment

Hello hello everyone!  I have been having a great time on vacation and have been SO excited to share this guest post and I thought a Sunday would be a great day for some inspiration.  And boy is this poster inspiring!  So, I admittedly struggled with the title of this post.  Initially had titled it “Melissa’s weight loss story” but, after reading though Melissa’s story a few times, I realized that it is far more than just a “weight loss story.”  I am sure you will agree!  So, without further ado…Here is Melissa!

Editor’s note:  I met Melissa about a decade ago.  We taught together and she is super nice however taught a different grade so we didn’t know each other that well.  She ended up actually photographing my wedding many years ago as part of a dynamic husband/wife photography team.  Check out their Hopkins Studios Page.  I highly recommend them; they are fabulous!  Currently, I enjoy following Melissa’s continued running journey and live vicariously through her “southern” running routes (and recent half Mary in Ireland!). GO MELISSA!

Exercise on Vacation and Abs for Health

Leave a comment

Hello hello!  Boy has it been a great week!

IMG_1649

We are seriously having an amazing time.  I get the question often:  Do you work out on vacation.  Do YOU!?  I most certainly do.  I am a woman of routine, a creature of habit, and on vacation is no difference!  I am also a major nerd and LOVE exploring different gyms (especially nice ones, like the ones here where we are staying; Peninsula Resort). I would LOVE to say that I love seeing different areas on foot, but admittedly my GPS skills are…off.  I spend the whole time on my run worrying about finding my way home.  LOL. True story.  Anyway, I LOVE the gym here.  It is spacious, clean and has GREAT equipment.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 8.46.23 AM.png

From website

BTW: I have certain standards for a treadmill.  I will pass it up if there is NO FAN. Really! I need a fan blowing in my face.  OK, so logistically, how do I/we make it work?!  Well, I typically work out during the littles’ nap times, so on vacation (at least here) I do the same!  After I nurse G and put him for his nap, I say goodnight to the others (usually S puts them down) and head out to the fitness center.  I have established a LOVELY routine and I am digging it!  I will get my run in, and a few minutes of core…more on that in a bit…then head out to the (adult) pool for some cool down and relaxation.  I will sit and chill and eventually crawl over to the snack bar to snag a soft pretzel with honey mustard dip, a Diet Coke and a fruit salad.

IMG_1668

I know, lunch of champions, but BOY does it taste good at about 3 in the afternoon!  Makes for an awesome late lunch and then I return to our house refreshed and ready for the boys to wake up!  It really works well now, although I shudder to think what will happen when they stop napping (gasp!).  For now, though, it totally works.  OK, now moving on to…ABS! Lol!  So, you’ve heard me talk about my lack of desire to do abs.  More like my belief that if I am on my feet running for at least an hour at a time, I must be strengthening my core.  Right?  Right?!

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 8.31.48 AM.png

Not sure about that theory, however, when I went to my new GP the other week, she didnt exactly seem to agree bahahahhaha.  Well, let me take a step back: I have been noticing this pain in my belly, right under my belly button, that started a few months after G’s brith.  I sort of thought I had a hernia, but didn’t really want to do anything about it, because #needlephobiaisreal. LOL Really though. I am a SUPER wuss.  It really really hurts when G or Z are straddling my hips and being carried that way  (their foot pushes into my belly button area).  So, when I asked my GP, she said I definitely still have some Diastasis Recti from both of my pregnancies and that I needed to “strengthen my core.”  Ouch!  FYI: (from WebMD)

Diastasis recti” means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened. You might call it a “pooch.”  It’s very common among pregnant women. About two-thirds of pregnant women have it.  Newborn babies also can have this belly spread, and it should go away on its own. Men can get it, possibly from yo-yo dieting, from doing sit-ups or weightlifting the wrong way, or from other causes.  Having more than one child makes this condition more likely, especially if they’re close in age. You’re also more likely to get it if you’re over 35 when pregnant, or if you’re having a heavy baby or twins, triplets, or more.  Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the belly that sometimes the muscles in front can’t keep their shape. “Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” When the ab muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place. Without the needed muscle support, a vaginal delivery could be more difficult.   The condition also can cause lower back painconstipation, and urine leaking. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally. It’s rare, but in extreme cases, the tissue may tear, and organs may poke out of the opening — that’s called a hernia.  The muscle opening often shrinks after giving birth, but in some studies of women with diastasis recti, the muscle wasn’t back to normal even a year later.

IMG_1667

Anyway, I took this Dr seriously and have been “ab-ing it up” on vacation and I can at least see a little difference?  I haven’t had any pain, but the pain was intermittent so I want to wait a bit before I make a definite conclusion on this.  I LOVED this sign that the gym had- super helpful.  I knew the balls were different sizes for a reason, I just wasn’t exactly sure of the reason🙂

IMG_1666

I will do a post soon on what type of ab torture I do🙂  In the meantime, tell me about how you do or don’t work out on vacation.  And abs?  

$5.98 Bathing Suits

Leave a comment

Yup.  You heard me right.  Run, don’t walk, to Target. Right now. Find the clearance rack, and….GO!

IMG_1211

Awkwardly modeling one of my new favorites🙂

(Top and Bottom)-Get them online now!

IMG_1231

closer look

Guys, I admittedly have not purchased a bathing suit at LEAST since prior to having children.  Scratch that.  I think I bought a skirt-type bottom from Athelta off clearance the first summer after having Z. So….4 years ago.  Anyway, needless to say, my suits were a bit shabby (not chic) and circa 1990s.  So, as I knew I would be going to the beach for a long stretch, it was time to suck it up (buttercup) and go in search of some new swimming digs. I, of course, hit up my favorite store (Target) and scoured the clearance rack while Z and G (shamelessly) watched “C is for cookie” in the cart.  10 minutes and 50 bucks later, I emerged with 6 NEW SUITS!!! Next up is this super cute top I snagged (I matched it with a black swim skirt I already own):

Bummer.  Seems like the bottom only is available online?  So, I am slightly obsessed with this Tori Praver bikini as the top mimics and Olympic Volley ball top (ie- I can jump and move and not fall out) and the bottoms stay on equally well.  I am seeing that bottoms are having the “three string” attachments a lot.  Are you?

IMG_1234

(Couldn’t find exact one online because it is clearance maybe? But here is a similar one, same brand:  Top and Bottom)  I LOVE this Marimekko one that was LITERALLY $5.98 for the top and $5.98 for the bottom!  And in my size!  I LOVE buying separates not only to mix and match but because I am a solid M on top and S on bottom.  So it is is super helpful!

I also picked up this great Marimekko top (for $5.98 also) as it looked great for kid-type activities if you know what I mean🙂

IMG_1235

Not sure why things are posting upside down.  Sorry!  But you get the idea!  I will pair this w a solid bottom I already have.

I wish I could link to these babies, but because they (the Marimekko ones) are all clearance you have to go to the store and scour the racks like I did.   Oh, and I snagged this baby at the local Nordstrom Rack-

IMG_1236

It is from last year, but really!?  I don’t care! #allthefloral  OK, so I hope you enjoyed my little round of “find a cheap bathing suit fast” because I sure did!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 1.27.04 PM

PS:  Also snagged this little romper (in picture above) for less than $12 an they still have online here!  I love this color for summer especially when I have a little tan going for me🙂

The truth about running and loving a non-runner

Leave a comment

Ooooook!! Hello there!!  Coming at you from vacation and having such a blast!  I wanted to address a topic that I have been asked often: does your man run?

I know.  Super handsome, RIGHT?!

Well, first I laugh😉 and then I say ” thank G-d no!”  I mean, you’d think that I would like to share my love of running w my guy. And there are people who do that and to whom that is super important (to have a partner to run with).  But for me? Absolutely not. I actually prefer to not have a partner who is as into running as me. I mean how annoying am I am about running?!? Could you imagine that times two lol?!? Seriously though, besides the fact that I can be quite the competitive little bitch, I really have always felt that running was a solo sport for me. I have blogged about this in the past and it remains true to this day.  So, no, my guy is NOT a runner. And I am MORE than A-OK with that!  He also doesn’t LIKE running, so why would I EVER want him to do something he doesn’t like?!

IMG_1370

For us, a couple who DOESN’T run together, stays together LOL!

So, speaking of “liking running,” now moving onto another truth about running:  IT SUCKS.  Like sometimes, it REALLY REALLY SUCKS!  Like, when I would truly rather sit on the couch and surf the inter webs while the boys are napping, but KNOW that my running is integral to my training, which is integral to racing well and staying HEALTHY and FIT (and mentally well).  I have fought SO hard to attain the level of fitness that I am right now, and I am unabashedly so proud of myself (insert head pat).  This isn’t really a humble brag and I totally get it if you’ve tuned me out or clicked me closed lol, but sometimes you have to praise yourself for working hard!  It feels SO good to be a able to maintain a daily 6 mile run and feel great. My body is strong and fit and can do amazing things.

IMG_1384

Wave jumping at the pool with my boys

I make a choice each and every day to put on my sneakers. And just do it.  But the point is, it is HARD and sometimes it SUCKS.  I just saw this article pop up on FB and boy is is true!  Fellow runners- how true is this?!IMG_1507

Here are a few things that make me move it when I really don’t feel like it:

  1.  FAKE it.  Plaster on a smile and even take a selfie if that is your thing (I mean, ya’ll know it is mine).  Smile through it.  Sing if you need to.

    IMG_1506

    Fake. As. Ever. LOL🙂

  2. You WILL feel amazing when you are done
  3. The first ten minutes (mile or so) MIGHT suck but you WILL feel better after that AND you can do ANYTHING for ten minutes.  That mantra helps me a lot.
  4. Remember why you are doing this.  Is it for a race?  For general health?  Getting back into shape?  Losing a bit of extra weight?  For the sheer run (fun) of it ?  Whatever it is, focus on it and WERK.
  5. Whatever you do, it is better than nothing!  (good one, eh?)

Anyway, just a few thoughts as I sit by the pool post run soaking up some rays🙂 I will be back soon with an AWESOME bathing suit post and a GREAT guest post later in the week form a friend of mine who is incredibly inspirational and will be sharing her weight loss journey!!! Stoked!