Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Beginning: 6 Weeks Pregnant!

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.  

How far along:  6 weeks
Total weight gain:  I've probably put on a good 10 pounds of bloat and indigestion 
Maternity clothes:  I don't need to wear it yet, but I invested in 2 long sleeve maternity shirts mostly for my bump photo shoots but also to add to my existing collection since my last pregnancy was mostly a summer one. 
Stretch marks: Just the ones I already have! 
Sleep: Eh, I could sleep 24/7 if I could, but I don't get great sleep.  It doesn't help that I had to stop taking Valerian root early on since it is a herbal medicine and doctors are unsure of how that would affect the fetus.  
Best moment of this week: Sleeping and the few times that I can manage to get a workout in.  The horomones are just wreaking havoc with my body when I try to extert any amount of energy.  
Miss anything: Beer and wine, of course! 
Movement: Just gas bubbles.  :)
Food cravings: Sugar, but I've mostly been able to overcome it unlike my last pregnancy.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not eating every 2-3 hours or, just the opposite, sometimes when I think about food I want to barf.  
Have you started to show yet: Just bloat.
Gender: Nothing confirmed yet since it is so early but I am thinking boy simply because this pregnancy is already so different than the last one.  Scarlett really wanted to kill me from 5 weeks on.  
Labor signs: No, thank God!
Belly button in or out: Still in.
Wedding rings on or off: Still on. 
Happy or moody most of the time: I'm a big ball of emotions right now.  
Looking forward to: Seeing baby at our 8 week appointment on November 16.

* Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Best Kind of Christmas Present!

If you've been following my running journey, then you know that I've taken a break ever since my second half marathon, Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon,  at the beginning of October.  My plantar fasciitis was awful and my mind and spirit were ready for a break.  I was ready to get back to just enjoying running and not training with any goal in mind.

I also told my husband that after that half marathon we could try for baby #2.  No way, no how was I going to be in the throes of my first trimester during the half marathon especially when I could barely walk because my feet were that bad.

So after Smuttynose, try we did and yesterday on Christmas we finally got to announce to our parents that we are expecting baby #2 on June 26, 2017!

Since we only really get both sets of parents, minus my father-in-law who lives in California, together on Christmas, we decided we had to announce the pregnancy in a fun way.  I took this picture of my daughter last month, left the chalkboard blank and then filled it in using PicMonkey.  I then had the pictures printed, framed and wrapped them up for them to open as the last gift of the day.

Then we videoed their reaction.

And they reacted exactly as we thought they would.

So for the next several months this blog will take a different turn.  My number #1 goal is to have a healthier pregnancy than my last one when I gained 80 pounds and ate cheeseburger after cheeseburger from Wendy's.  I feel like I've already gained more weight than I should have, but I am finally feeling human again now that I am out of the first trimester so my goal is to be more active.  Overall, I've been eating healthier, but I could really do without all the ice cream in the house.  Woops!

Alright, dear readers, if you've announced your pregnancy before, how did you do it?  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Radio Silence Explained

Is it possible to enjoy NOT running?

That is what I almost titled this blog post, but that's doesn't encompass everything that I want to talk about.

Some of you may have noticed that I've been rather quiet the last few weeks and some might even have been wondering why.

Well, a big part of it I can't talk about now, but I will soon. It might sound cague, but I just haven't felt well and running has just made me feel worse lately. Some of it is the pressure of working out, that I HAVE to get it done or I'm somehow a terrible person (my anxiety rearing it's ugly head).  A larger part is that I'm just burnout and need to work on finding my enjoyment in it again.

I do find the time to do some exercises like planks, squats, tricep dips and pushups but none of it at the level I had been doing them before.

What have I been doing if I'm not running?  Sleeping for one!  Or trying to as I suffer from Adrenal Fatigue. Life in general has kept me pretty busy especially with the holidays upon us.

Recently, we took our 4 year old daughter to The Nutcracker. She loves dance class so we thought she get a kick out of it. To our surprise, she seemed more interested in the orchestra!

I also used my extra downtime to start and FINISH my Christmas shopping.  Since my daughter wanted a bike, I headed to Wal-Mart to find a good deal.  I counted the fact that I had to push the bike, 40 pounds of kitty litter, 13 pounds of cat food and various other supplies through the store all while blissfully child and husband free. 

Seriously, it's all good though. I'll get through this rut and get back on me feet running when I am both mentally and spiritually ready. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rodan & Fields by Diane Hodge

This post is sponsored by Rodan & Fields by Diane Hodge. I received samples in order to facilitate this post. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.  Diane provided the products for this giveaway.

My skin problems, like most of us, started when I was a teenager.  Not only did I get terrible acne all over my back, a joy that I got to reexperience when I was pregnant with my daughter, but it appeared on my forehead and chin too.  

After trying all the over the counter solutions we could afford, my mom took me to my first dermatologist.  It was just a few minutes into the meeting that he declared I had inherited some "terrible Irish skin."  He sent us home with some heavy duty samples of skin creams that helped for awhile, but I've always wondered what kind of harsh chemicals I was smearing all over my skin back then.

Seriously? What is that brown line doing there?

Flash forward 20 or so odd years and I still have terrible Irish skin.  It doesn't help that as a runner I subject it to all the elements:  extreme heat, frigid cold, dry and humid air.  Now, I don't suffer so much from acne anymore although that is still an issue, but I do from time to time get very flush - my face will suddenly turn beet red as if I am baking in the sun, but all too often I am just sitting inside as cool as a cucumber.  

A good friend of mine, Diane, a fellow runner and executive consultant with Rodan and Fields, introduced me to their Soothe Regimen.   She herself loves being outside running, gardening, fishing and camping which means lots of time in the elements.  Plus, she's a redhead so she has to be especially careful with her sensitive skin.  The results that her clients have had with this skin care product have been amazing!

I decided to try it out myself to see if it could help with my "terrible Irish skin."

The first thing I noticed that I liked about these products was that everything was labeled with a number so you knew in which order you had to use it. Sounds overly simplisitc, but when you are just not awake in the morning it really takes the guessing out of the routine. The other nice part about them is a little bit goes a long way so your shipment will last awhile.  Lastly, bottle #4 is sunscreen that you put on in the morning.  Now, I HATE sunscreen and I avoid putting it on my face at all costs.  Why?  Because it burns my pores.  I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy wanting to scratch my face off all day because the burning sensation won't stop.  

This sunscreen DOES NOT BURN MY FACE.

That's kind of a big deal for me.

Especially since I run outside as much as I can in nice weather so my face is exposed to the sun.  I don't know about you, but I'm pushing 40 now and I don't need to look any older than I am.

I've just started using this product a few weeks ago so I don't have my own miracle stories to share about how much better my face is on Rodan and Fields' Soothe Regimen, but I can tell it is so much better than any drug store facial cleanser you are going to find.  What sets Rodan and Fields apart is that they are the same Stanford trained dermatologists who started Pro-Activ. Rodan + Fields offers skin care regimens to combat red and discolored skin, acne, aging skin (gasp!) and sensitive skin.

Now if you are interested in trying this wonderful product for yourself you can contact Diane Hodge via Facebook, email ( or just check out her website, There is a Solution Tool there that helps determine what you most need.

If you try an R&F product or if you already use one, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of it! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Making History with my Daughter

Voting Selfies are NOT illegal in New Hampshire.  Life Free or Die, baby!

The day is finally here.

Unlike many states in the U.S. New Hampshire doesn't have the luxury of early or mail in voting so out of the total population of 1.5 million people who can vote, we have to wait for election day.
So early this morning I loaded my 4 year old into the car even earlier than usual all bundled up with the idea that we'd be standing out in the frosty air for awhile. Hell, I even packed her snacks because for the 25,000 residents in our town we only had one polling place to go to.

Polls didn't open until 7am, but we left the house by 6:35 am expecting traffic. By 6:40 am we were stuck in traffic about a mile away from the high school where we go to vote.

I quickly debated how far away I could park and haul a 4 year old when I spotted open spaces about a half mile away. I warned Scarlett she'd have to walk and she seemed amenable to it.

I have to say the walk over with many other people who had the same idea, park far away and walk, was a favorite of mine. We all marveled at how many people were already out to vote before the polls opened.

It was a remarkable thing.

Once we made it to the high school we stood in a long line outside, but it moved. Thank God it moved. Scarlett was quiet and definitely overwhelmed by it all, but it was nice to see her soak it all in.

As we waited in line at the letter "H" table (for our last name), I couldn't help but get teary eyed. At almost 40 years old with my daughter in tow, I was going to cast my vote for a woman president.

A woman president.

Just let that sink in.

My daughter was going to watch me vote for a woman president in a hotly contested election with what will likely be the highest voter turnout in recent history.

Luckily, when it was my turn to hand over my ID I had my emotions under control so I could say my name and get my ballot. 

Keeping a curious 4 year old entertained while in a voting booth is not easy. I had to keep reminding her not to peak just like when we are in a bathroom stall. At one point she exclaimed, "I see other people!" after she stole a quick glance.

I quickly explained to her what I was doing so she'd give me time to fill out my ballot.

When I was done I had to capture the historic moment for posterity, of course. Ballot selfies are surprisingly NOT illegal in New Hampshire.  Life Free or Die afterall.  

My first born daughter and I voted for a woman president today.

It still hasn't sunk in  

20 years ago as a teenager I voted in my first presidential election for Bill Clinton.  This year as a nearly 40 year old woman I voted for Hillary Clinton, who has shattered that glass ceiling for the rest of us.  

I couldn't have been prouder.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Low Carb Recipes for the Holiday Season

Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us!  And if you are anything like me and my family you can't wait to eat and eat and eat your way to the new year. You're trying to eat healthier you say?  That doesn't mean you need to be eating a boring salad while your family is eating a delicious turkey and all of the fixings. You can indulge in a healthy way too. The recipes below will help you do that. Didn't find what you are looking for?  You can find many more on my Pinterest boards.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lesson for the Day: Fixing Your Mistakes

Yesterday at the Little Pumpkins Dash, Scarlett received a medal for her efforts. She was thrilled! 
On the way back to the car after the race I told her how lucky she was to get a medal,  that even I didn't get one. She replied very sincerely, "It's OK, Mommy. I'm sorry you didn't get a medal. Maybe next time?  You can have mine if you want."  An older couple walking by her heard what she said and chuckled to themselves. It was very sweet.

Then we got home and couldn't find the medal.

We frantically checked the car and emptied out the bag that we were sure it had been placed in. Then it dawned on me - in my haste to find my bib at the start of the race I had dumped most of the bag's contents on the ground. The medal most likely was left in the grass. Ugh.

Since it was my fault that the medal was left behind,  I quickly shot off an email to the race organizer and hoped that in the meantime, Scarlett didn't notice it was missing.

Luckily, he got back to me that there were 10 medals left and I could have one if I could make it in to pick it up. I thanked him and quickly made my way down to get it.

Success is mine!  I have the replacement medal! 
Now, if my daughter had lost her medal I wouldn't have jumped through as many hoops as I did to get another one, but since it was my mistake I had to make an effort to fix it.

And I'll be sure to let her know what I did so she can learn how to be responsible for her mistakes too.

What lessons has life taught you lately? 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2016 CHaD Trick or Treat 3K and Little Pumpkin Dash Recap

Let me just start by saying I really didn't want to run this race.  I signed up last minute because I thought it would be fun for my daughter to participate in the kids' run and frankly, I knew I would need something to motivate me to get my butt moving again after my second half marathon.  But I woke up exhausted from Trick or Treating the night before and staying up way too late watching scary movies.  Can we talking about The Conjuring?  OMG.  I must have jumped 50 times!

How I wanted to spend my day!

It didn't help that the race was held during The Pats game and if you don't know already football is an institution in this house.

Opening game at Gillete for the 2015 season. 

But after I ran a barefoot mile on my treadmill, I schlepped my butt to Manchester with my costumed family in tow.  

I'm glad I did.

They have a little Halloween "festival" set up for the kids before the races.  Scarlett loved the bounce houses and the bunnies in the petting zoo.  One of her friends from her class was running the race too so she was overjoyed to run around with him.

After a quick warm up led by a man in an apple costume, the girls' ages 4 and under race started.  I ran behind Scarlett so we wouldn't lose her in the crowd.  She sort of stopped towards the finish line so I grabbed her hand and pulled her along.  She loved the medal they gave out but unfortunately it went missing somewhere along the way.

Luckily, she hasn't realized the medal is missing... yet. 

Then it was time for my 3K, the shortest race I've ever run by the way.  I was looking forward to being done in a decent amount of time.  Mentally I couldn't handle another half marathon not with the amount of pain I've been in since my last one.  

This race also had a first for me:  I lined up in the corral WITHOUT MY BIB ON.  What was I thinking?  I was so distracted by helping Scarlett with her race that I completely neglected to put mine on.

I realized this 30 seconds before it started.

Luckily, my family was standing not too far away so I mouthed to my husband that I forgot my bib and we got to work grabbing it out of the bag.  Thank GOD I always pack extra safety pins for just in case.  This was definitely a "just in case" moment.

It probably took me less than a minute to fix my mistake, but I was stuck behind the walkers and strollers by the time I was ready.  In a way this helped me because I took off at an 8 MM pace!  I quickly slowed once I hit the first of 2 decent sized hills.  It didn't help that I was dodging a lot of people who were walking or running intervals.

The second hill helped because I was able to zoom by a lot of people.

OMG, I zoomed up a hill!

Since this was just a 1.86 mile race, it was a nice out and back so you could see the leaders at one point.  It made me feel better to know I wasn't that far behind the pack not that I'll ever be in the front.

Overall, I felt great!  My lungs were a little full but I've been battling colds lately and I changed up my allergy medicine.  My feet were a non issue and it was so nice to run down hills without wincing. 

As I approached the finish line I tried to really kick it. My arms were swinging hard as they did most of the race, but I looked on helplessly as a flood of people passed me.  The last kick has been an issue for me lately and I really don't know what it going on.  I just can't seem to sprint anymore.

My final time was 19:23 and my pace was 10:23/mile.  Not too shabby all things considered.

Next, I'll keep rowing, running barefoot on the treadmill and strength training.  I've got to work on strengthening my hamstrings.  They are so weak!   

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Undertrained and Over Confident: Smuttynose Half Marathon Recap

If you've been following my running story lately then you know that over the summer I developed a nasty case of Plantar Fasciitis. It first started in February but didn't hit its peak level of pain until July after I took a break from running and started up my Half Marathon training again.

As my runs got longer and harder the pain grew more intense until I was completely disabled by it. I forced myself to go to the podiatrist where I was quickly diagnosed with PF.

Long story short, I was barely able to train. The podiatrist assured me that rest would help my feet. He gave me 2 cortisone shots in each foot over a period of 2 weeks. They did nothing to touch the pain.

My training consisted of strengthen my arms and using our rowing machine to keep up my cardio. My nutrition suffered as hard as I tried to get it back on track. Depression set in and my emotions decided my food choices.

In the days leading up to the race I hoped that it would be cancelled due to rain as thunderstorms had been foretasted. No such luck.

I was up at 4:30 in the morning to get my family to the beach where the race was before the 8 am start time. I woke up to rain and although the weather report said otherwise it never stopped.
I had no delusions of grandeur going into this race. I just wanted to get it done giving it my all in the process. My two mantras that I wrote on my hands to remind myself of when the course got tough were "No Regrets" and "Leave it all on the course."

Did I look at those mantras often?  Oh yeah I did.

The traffic getting to the race wasn't too nuts, we got to the beach by 6:30am, but there was a long line of cars behind us. For anyone thinking of running this race in the future then I suggest getting there early because they closed the roads at 7 am.

About 10 minutes before the race started I got in my corral with my family by my side and they stuck around until the last minute. They sent us out in waves so I didn't start until a few minutes after 8 and I was getting anxious to start. Of course, it was just a few hundred feet after the start line that I stepped in a puddle and had soggy feet for the rest of the race. That's alright by the end of it I was soaked to the bone.

The first 3 miles were like something out of a Spartan Race because we were jumping puddles left and right. I felt really good those first few miles although I secretly wished I had dropped down to the 5K they were holding simultaneously so I could just be done. I knew the pain was just going to get worse.

The way the race is set up spectators have 4 chances to see runners:  the start and finish and two times in between during the first loops. I was able to see my husband and daughter two times, both times when I rounded the beach. The last time I saw them before the finish I shouted, "See you in 9 miles!"

I did great the first 5 miles up until I had to slow down to take my fuel. After that it was hard to keep up my momentum.  

By mile 7 my feet hurt. My quads hurt too. I stopped to stretch a few times and I'm glad I did but I actually felt pretty good for miles 8-10. 

So much rain!

It wasn't until mile 10 that the rain really started to get to me. It didn't help that the cold air from the ocean started to hit me so my arms and fingers went numb. It was so cold I could see my breath. 

By mile 11 I was picking out markers to run to. I'd tell myself to just run until the guardrail ends and then walk to the person wearing the red coat. Doing this kept me going. 
It was all mental by the end. 

By mile 12 I was literally seeing stars. I knew the pain from my feet was increasing my blood pressure. At this point it was all mental. I told myself that if I kept running I would be done with this race a whole lot sooner than if I walked it. 

I was desperate to be done.

The pain in my feet was intense and I was a soggy mess. 

When I finally entered the finish chute and saw my husband holding my daughter I was overjoyed. I quickly snatched her from his arms and told her to run. I started screaming, "Go, Scarlett! "  She just giggled beside me. 

After we crossed the finish line and I looked up from grabbing my medal and turning off my watch, I noticed she had a medal too and the biggest grin on her face to go along with it.

It was a great moment to share with her. 

After hugs from my husband and daughter we snatched up our free lobster roll, clam chowder and beer and then we ran back to the car to dry off. 

I've never been so happy to be done with a race in my life!  Looking back, I am glad I did it, but considering my injury, it might not have been the brightest idea I've had. 

Now it's time to heal my feet and get back to basics. I can't wait to run a 3K this weekend!

There is no shame in starting over. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Winter Running Essentials for Mother Runners

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Whether we like it or not Winter is Coming (yes, I'm a Game of Thrones nerd).  

Just because it is zero degrees outside doesn't mean you will be stuck on the treadmill for the next several months doomed to a life of monotony of staring at your basement walls or if you are lucky some re-runs on Netflix.  There are several cold weather running items that you can pick up to make cold weather running much more enjoyable so you can step away from the treadmill and out into the world.  

Ever question what you should be wearing when the temperature does dip below 50 degrees?  I've included a handy guide below to help you decide what to wear because there is only one thing worse than being under dressed on a run and that is being OVER dressed.  Nobody wants to have to shed their $40 fleece coat on to the side of the run and hope that it is there when you come back.  

Sugoi Women's Subzero Running Tights

They are a little pricey, but if you consider them an investment then they are a sound one.  I can attest that they kept me warm in 0 degree weather during a 5K in New Hampshire back in February of 2016.  I did add an extra layer for protection since it was dangerously cold that day, but I couldn't have done it in the first place without these tights.

The Soothe Regime from Rodan & Fields

This is more for after your run to keep your face from drying out from the cold air and bone-chilling wind.  Rodan & Fields special formula was specially designed to alleviate dry, chapped, cracked skin and reduce visible signs of redness.  If you are interested in learning more you can contact my friend, Diane Hodge at, follow her on Facebook or check out her website at:  


Whatever you do don't ask me to pronounce this!  But it is a necessity when you are running in cold weather especially if wind is a factor.  I had a version of this balaclava when I ran that above mentioned 0 degree race.  It protected my lungs from the bitter cold.  In fact, when people ask me how I run in such cold weather I tell them I wore one of these.  They are great too because you can pull them down if they get too warm and then easily pull them back up when you regret that decision.  

Convertible Running Gloves

If you are running in below 40 degree weather you'll want to keep your fingers protected.  These gloves are great because they start out with lobster shells for extra protection, but as you warm up you can peel back the lobster claws to reveal 5 fleece lined gloves.  They are wicking and wind resistant too for extra protection.

Lightweight Fleece Running Jacket

I find that no matter how many layers I wear when I run, I always top it off with a lightweight fleece jacket.  Make sure all of the layers that you wear are wicking because even in freezing weather you will be sweating and the last thing you want when it is cold out is to be wet.  That mistake right there can make you really sick.  Get yourself a good one and you won't regret it.

Well, those are my most important winter running essentials. 

What are your's? 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Silencing the Bully in My Head

You've gained weight.

You're faking it - you're not injured.

Stop eating your emotions.

You can't do this anymore.

You weren't meant to run. 

You were never an athlete and you aren't one now. 

You're fat and old and you should just give up.

These are just a few examples of what the Bully who lives in my head says to me on a daily basis.
My obesity struggle has been a life long one which feeds into my lack of self confidence. Honestly, I think the lack of self confidence is harder to overcome than the  weight issue. I've been fat all of my life so I know how to lose it. I just don't know how to have the confidence to keep it off or to believe in myself.

Turning off the bully that lives in my head was challenging this summer. It hit its peak when I realized that my foot pain wasn't just some soreness that would go away with a little rest. It was in fact an injury, plantar fasciitis to be exact. I was repeatedly told to stay off my feet and stop running by doctors. "Rest!  You're body needs rest!" They'd tell me. So I did. I was given clearance to use our rowing machine but even that hurt to use at times - little did I know it was more my shoes than the physical activity at the time.

I was lazy per doctor's orders.

Without the ability to run I started to question myself, "Am I even a runner anymore?"  I felt awful. I was in pain. The only way to feel better was to do what I've been taught - eat. Eat all of the food that brings me comfort in an effort to ease the pain.

Seriously,  plantar fasciitis is no joke. I feel like I am wakling on hot daggers with every step. No medications were helping me. Ibuprofen wouldn't touch it. I had 2 cortisone shots in each foot and felt worse afterwards. The intense pain level took its toll on me not just physically but mentally too.
I fought to keep from falling down the dark hole of depression.

All the while the bully in my head, that nasty little voice that is always there judging and critiquing me l, kept right on telling me how fat I was getting that I should just stop running altogether because I'm not worth it.

So when my half marathon came around and I had barely trained for it I willed the weather gods to do their thing so it woks be cancelled due to a thunder storm. Anything to keep me from having to run in agony or even worse to not complete it.

But that didn't happen. It rained for the race alright. The whole time as if the weather gods were laughing at my silent request.

It wasn't pretty but I finished that damn race, all 13.1 miles of pounding pain and dare I say I came out the other side stronger for it? 

If I can run a half marathon feeling like I was running on hot, sharp goals with each step then, I began to wonder, what else am I capable of?

Now, that bully hasn't completely gone away she's just quieter now.  Running helps combat her.  

With that race conquered, I now have the freedom to start over to bring my training back to the basics.

Time to work on getting stronger both physically and mentally.

I am worth it and I need to believe that.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

5 Day Runner's Detox

If you, like me, overindulged during the long holiday weekend then this 5 Day Runner's Detox is for you!

I'm it we will be given support, meal plans and an exercise routine to follow.

The best part?  It is only 5 days. You can change your eating and exercise habits for just 5 days right

This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Will Surely Be 13.1 Miles of Agony

Well, this is it folks.  The end of my second half marathon "training."  It definitely didn't go as I planned considering I've hardly logged 1/3 of the miles that I should have to prepare for it.

If you are just tuning in then I must share with you that I developed a pretty severe case of plantar fasciitis back in July that only seemed to get worse with traditional medical treatments (2 rounds of failed cortisone shots.)  The next step is an ultrasound which will likely show that the fasciia has thickened to the point that surgery will be my only relief.

Even though I am in a significant amount of pain on a day to day basis, I am not ready to go there.

So back to my half marathon "training" we go!

I could totally beat myself up by claiming I didn't do enough to prepare and a small part of me does believe that.  Honestly, I have still managed to make positive changes in my body.  My arms, shoulders and back are stronger than ever before from all of the rowing, push ups and tricep dips I've been doing.  Rawr!

I've been creative about how to fit in exercise during my day rather than setting aside an hour or two block of time a day.  By squeezing in different moves like push ups into my down time I can spend more time with my family at the end of the day.  I can also spend more time putting my feet up to give them a break.

One unfortunate downside to this way of training has been me gaining weight back.  It's not a lot, about 5 pounds, but it's enough to be discouraging and to remind me that I am an emotional eater.  I really wish that I had taken this opportunity to really focus on my nutrition but the constant pain really wore me down.  Even when my feet were up, they throbbed.

During this time I've come to love acupuncture.  Who knew getting stuck with several small needles would be so relaxing?  Before you ask, yes it did help with the pain, but it didn't cure it.  I didn't go enough for it to make a huge impact, but I always left feeling better.

So here goes nothing!  I'll be spending my race week trying to foam roll out the cramps in my feet and calves, cross training on the rowing machine, working my arms, throwing in a few squats, visiting the chiropractor twice and using Quick Tape from Etrode Sports and Therapeutics. 

My motto for this race:  No Regrets and Leave It All On The Course! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Running My First Race - Again!

I finally did it!  After a little over a year of running, I have finally re-run my first race, the Halfway to St. Patrick's Day 5K.

Since I still have plantar fasciitis pretty bad, it was a last minute decision for me to run this race.  I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to run it again to see how I would do after a year's worth of training even if I am suffering from a foot injury.

I'll never forget the sense of joy and accomplishment I felt after my first 5K.  I never thought I could do it.  I had irrational fears that I'd fall on the course, get lost or just be dead last and forgotten about - none of which happened.

I wanted a little bit of that feeling back.

This race would also be the first time I had run since my 10 miler at the end of August about 3 weeks ago. During that time, I rested, tried to eat more veggies and less carbs, and worked my arms like a mad woman. I also cross-trained on our rowing machine to keep up my cardio. The downfall to using it is that it's in my nice cool basement and not outside in the elements which have been hazy, hot and humid lately. 

Oh, what about yoga?  I've been doing what I can but there are several poses that DESTROY my feet especially if it is working on balance. It definitely has helped ease some stomach pain from all that ibuprofen I've been taking for my foot pain though.

Race day was cold, wet and humid. I don't mind running in the rain but it was down pouring when we left the house. Luckily, by the start, it wasn't even sprinkling.

Of course, in true Sabrina fashion, I broke my husband's headphones right as I was lining up for it and in the corral. The whole reason I was using his headphones is because I lost mine back in July and then my cheap replacement pair broke at the start of the NH 10 Miler. If anyone can recommend a good pair, I'm all ears.

I started out the race strong and fast (6:17 mm was my best pace). My legs felt great and were ready to run. I had no foot pain thanks to the Quick Tape that I was sent from Etrode Sports and lots of rest.

It didn't take long for my lungs to realize that I couldn't keep up an 8 minute mile for 3 miles. I hit the half mile mark and I was sucking air - I had to slow down. What I forgot at the time was how humid it was. The air was like soup and my lungs were not having it. I did have to walk the one hill - my foot started to throb. I also walked through the one water stop because I was so parched by then. I'm so used to long runs at this point where I would have my hydration pack with me that I had a hard time adjusting for this quicker, shorter run.

I did take a few moments during this run to ponder what a difference this year's race was compared to last year's. Last year, 3 miles felt endless. I really never thought I would finish. This year 3 miles was quick to me. My game plan last year was to pace myself, and finish without walking. This year my goal was to run as fast I could and if I had to walk there was no shame in that because I'm injured and under trained
Can't beat family support!
When I hit the 3 mile mark and saw the finish line come into view I pushed with everything I had which wasn't much. I still finished strong.

The best part was I left it all out on the course. I did what I could even though my legs wanted more. My lungs and feet were toast though.
Look at that "best pace"!  Holy smokes! 

My number one goal was to PR (personal record) this course by beating my time from last year which I accomplished - I took over a minute off of that time. As long as I am moving forward in my training then I am happy.

Less than 2 weeks until my second half marathon. You better believe there will be no regrets!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

No Practice Makes Perfect: How I'll Run a Half Marathon with Zero Training

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know I've been battling plantar fasciitis for over 6 months now. My podiatrist has administered 2 cortisone shots and I'm still in pain. I've also been seeing an acupuncturist and chiropractor regularly.

Still in pain. Less pain, but it's there.

I have yet to run this month.

In fact, I haven't run in over 2 weeks.  

My next half marathon is in less than 3 weeks.

Now, I haven't been a complete slug. Admittedly,  my nutrition has been spotty, I'm an emotional eater, but I've done better at consistently fasting for at least 16 hours a day. Also, I've done a nice job of working on strengthening my arms and back. I've kept up with my cardio, my husband's rowing machine, and thrown yoga in the mix a few times.  Sleep and I are getting along again (I suffer from adrenal fatigue). Hell, I've even taken to napping on the weekends.

So, can it be done?  Can I successfully run a half marathon without logging any miles or at least a minimal amount, the month prior? 

This half marathon was supposed to be all about time and pace unlike my last one which was about just getting it done. Sigh.

I think I'm going to need to find a way to push myself into leaving it all out on the course. Thankfully, it is flat and fast so my feet shouldn't get too beat up. I'm just itching to get out there and do more than "just get it done."

This will likely be my last big race for awhile as my family is getting ready to make some big changes.

I want to make it a memorable one.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

How I Gave Myself High Cholesterol and It Saved My Life

I am not a doctor or a nurse or any kind of medical professional. I am simply a mom who was fat, unhealthy and staring down the barrel of developing a chronic disease like diabetes, cancer or heart disease.

When I decided I'd had enough and it was time to go back to bring low-carb and exercising again I knew it would affect my annual blood test numbers but I never knew how much until my primary care physician and nutritionist explained it to me.

Before I jump into those numbers let me tell you what changes I made. Keep in mind that none of this was done all at one time. I took baby steps and slowly changed my unhealthy ways.

First, I stopped drinking coffee and soda. I was up to 2 cups of coffee and a can of soda every day and I was still tired. I was also starting to get horrible stomach pains and thought maybe I was developing ulcers.  I decided that when I had reached a week of not drinking either than I could have one. Well, the first time I drank a coffee in a week I had instant stomach pains!  I was shocked. So I'd go another week and the same thing kept happening. Now, I did the same thing with my beloved red wine. I'd have a glass every night before bed to relax. I decided to cut it out for a week. Well, the first time I had 2 glasses at night I ended up vomiting in my sleep!  Talk about scary.

After I made those initial changes, I went back to following a low-carb/high fat diet. I started out at zero carbs per day to get my body back into ketosis so it would start burning fat for fuel instead of glycogen.

I was starting to feel better. The stomach pains happened less frequently as did the migraine headaches but I knew it wasn't enough. In May, I stumbled upon a theory called intermittent fasting.

I'm not going to lie, it was tough in the beginning and my stomach rumbled like crazy, but after a few days it seemed natural to me to eat my first meal later in the day. By fasting for 16 hours a day, I was able to loose 15 pounds rather quickly plus I was also allowing my stomach and gut to heal.

By July, my weight had stalled out and the migraines had come back. The last straw was when I had back to back debilitating migraines. Nothing I used got rid of them. I finally decided enough was enough and it was time to exercise again. Prior to my pregnancy I had worked out 5 days a week doing cardio and weights for about 10 years. Once I got pregnant that all but stopped. I got to the gym when I had the energy. I also did a session of pre-natal yoga. Of course, once I had my daughter I couldn't put her down long enough to exercise (that was just as much her fault as mine).  

Nearly 3 years after her birth, that attitude needed to change.

Long story short, I started running. Started out just going for time but quickly changed it to distance. Much to my chagrin I ran a mile straight for the first time in my life at the age of 37.

I felt great.

My body needed it so bad that I automatically started waking up early with energy to burn so I'd jump on the treadmill.

Who the hell was I?  

Those are all of the changes I made from January to July of 2015. How did they affect my blood test numbers?   Well, let me show you.

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  I definitely don't play one on TV.  Please, if you have medical concerns talk to your doctor.