Mileage 8/24-8/30, 8/31-9/6

Well. There’s nothing like a weekly check in…on a Friday. This back to school/wife/mom/runner combo is really testing me! Thanks to all of you who are hanging in there as my life tries to get itself into a routine!

Mileage Recap, August 24-August 30th: 

Monday, August 24th: 5 easy miles
Tuesday, August 25th: 1 Mile
Wednesday, August 26th: 13 miles with my running partner S!
Thursday, August 27th: 9 mile tempo run, 7:26 avg pace (and I broke out my last pair of Pure Connect 3s. I love this shoe!)


Friday, August 28th: 4 easy miles
Saturday, August 29th: NO RUNNING. I broke a 25 day running streak because I could barely get off of the couch! (too much fun at Kenny Chesney! #worthit)

Sunday, August 30th: 20 miles, 2:44, 8:12 avg pace

Mileage total for Aug 24-August 30th: 52 miles 8:00 avg pace 

August 31st-Sept 6

Monday, August 31st: 5 easy miles before starting the school year!
Tuesday, September 1st: 4 easy miles.
Wednesday, September 2nd: 8 miles, 59:35—>This was  supposed to be a progression run with the last 2 miles at a sub 7:00 pace. It was not. I wouldn’t call it a “fail”, but I was a little disappointed in myself. (more on that later…)
  Sporting a sweet headlight on my morning runs….don’t be jealous!!

Thursday, September 3rd: 5 easy miles
Friday, September 4th: 20 miles, 2:43, 8:12 avg pace
Saturday, September 5th: 6 easy miles

Sunday, September 7th: 9 miles of 800s! I’m not gonna lie, its been hard to hit the track lately. And I love the track, so that’s really saying something!! It wasn’t ideal to push my 2nd speed day off until Sunday, but I was SO glad that I was able to get it in. I was able to negative split ALL of my 800s: 3:21, 3:12, 3:09, 3:09, 3:07, 3:01, 3:01, 3:00. I felt VERY badass after this run!  Mileage total for August 31st-September 6th:


So. I said this already, but I have to say it again: Thanks so much for hanging in. I hate not responding to comments and trust me-I’m still reading them ALL and I love every one of them…but it’s been hard to keep up with LIFE never mind blogging. I’m doing a lot of adjusting lately! September is always a ride on the struggle bus. Getting back into a routine is hard. Life is Hard. Being a new mom is Hard. Getting up everyday and remembering to All The Things is Hard. I’m learning that “Mom Brain” is actually a real thing. I can’t believe that I never thought it was. I’m trying to get myself and my little buddy into a routine. We’re not there yet..but we’re working on it. Life is always a work in progress though, isn’t it?

I am trying to squish everything into my days and it just isn’t easy. But I’m learning to adapt and I think THAT is the most important thing. BBG (bikini body guides) has taken a little backseat: I’m still doing it-but not the 3 workouts per a week. It’s been more a cram-it-in-while-I-can type thing. Making time for running has been easier. In the back of my mind-I’ve always known that when I have children, running will be a challenge. I was right! I get up early to do it before work, but some days I’m just too tired and don’t end up going until my husband is home from work.

Running/life…this is a balancing act. It tests my patience and wears me out, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a little bit proud of myself for the amount of multitasking that I’ve been doing. I haven’t had too many mental breakdowns yet. I’ve been very lucky that my SIL has been there to be my sounding board and teach me all these mom things I never knew anything about!

ANYWAY. This weekend is exciting because I’m RACING!!! This race has been my “goal half” race and I have it in my head that I’m going to nail it. Although, I have to tell you-I’ve been pretty nervous about actually hitting my goal time. Over the past month, I haven’t been pushing myself as much with my tempo run times. So we’ll see what happens. I’m not giving myself an “out” to fail, and I am going to try my hardest!!!


And just because we all know I’m random…Here are a few fun pictures from LIFE.


Kenny Chesney concert! I love my cowboy boots! And I wore these at my wedding…my beautiful bridesmaids bought them for me as my shower gift….I’m one lucky girl!


The Chesney crew….Man that was a good day! Take me back! It’s been two weeks since this concert and I’m STILL thinking about how much fun we had!

My little beauty swimming at the lake on Labor Day Weekend!

We like Moscow mules and just wanted to tell you!

This sums up our Labor Day Monday. It was the first time playing for my little buddy! We loved it!

Tell me something good! :) Happy weekend everyone!

Seacoast Running Festival- Northshore Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran this race on 8/23, however I haven’t had any time to finish my recap!

This race was awesome. I always appreciate running a race course in an area that is familiar to me and this did not disappoint. While I didn’t know every twist and turn along the course, I knew where to go, park, and even the secret spots to pee in. #score.

The race started at 7:30, in Salisbury Center. The race website boasts :

Our grand finale will be the Northshore Half Marathon. Weʼve created a beautiful, flat and fast course that will take you through the streets of Salisbury, Rail Trail and portions of our state reservation. Following the race, come back to the Shock Top Beach Bar for a rewarding after party that includes great music and awesome prizes.

This description was right on the money! I’ve run my fair share of races that say “flat and fast” but they are instead, hilly or rolling hills. The course was also very pretty- I love the Salisbury Beach area! There were so many times that I wanted to stop and take a picture!

Runners had a choice of 4 separate events they could run: A 1 mile race, 5k, 10k, and the half. You could do one or all four if you wanted because the other 3 took place on Friday (5k @7pm) or Saturday (10k @8am, 1 mile at 12). After running this race, I thought it would be fun to do ALL FOUR next year (or am I just crazy?!)

I know a lot of people like to read these details so I will include them here, bullet-style:
Alarm: 5:00 am
Ate: Breakfast sandwich of pastrami, egg, tomato, swiss cheese, english muffin.(Pastrami is my newest obsession. Just go with it)
Drank: 1 water
Commute: 40 minutes
Left at: 6:15 (would’ve left earlier but I had a little personal matter to attend to first)
Wore: Skirt Sports Lionness skirt in “Safari” print, a plain blue tank that I purchased from TJ Maxx 150 years ago, Skirts sports Kelly Sports Bra, Reebok “Runderwear“, and my Brooks Ghost 7’s.

I jammed out to some tunes the whole way there and thought about my goals for the race. Most races that I do-I “run” into them with a set goal in mind. I thought about the fact that I was just coming home from a week of being away on vacation. My nutrition was not my typical 19 servings of fruit and veggies a day, and my sleep patterns had been lacking for the whole week (as in-I got hardly any). I made the decision to just head out and have FUN with the race. I didn’t care what time I finished in. I had wanted to do a “longer tempo run”, and a half marathon setting is the most perfect environment to do that in.

I was SO stress free for this race. I didn’t question my outfit, breakfast, shoes…I even grabbed my oldest pair of Ghost’s to run in…And I didn’t grab them until the morning of the race! For a goal race-I typically run in new-ish shoes that have less than 20 miles on them. Stress free probably equalled a better race day for me, which rocks.

I got to the start of the race at about 7:00. I grabbed my number and a few freebies (heating pad and sunglasses!) and headed back to my car real quick to pin the number on. I hit a secret spot to pee- The bathroom house on a side street, and then warmed up for about .50 miles. I had wanted a longer warmup and had originally planned on running 2 miles. With the bathroom stop- I just didn’t have enough time though …and the bathroom stop *NEEDED* to happen.

The race started right on time with the race director wishing everyone good luck & to have a good race: THANK YOU to the police and the race director who made this happen: I hate when starts are delayed, it drives me CRAZY. I feel that runners (or maybe its just me?) like to time everything perfectly, right down to when you take your last bite of food before you race and the time you hit the bathroom. A delayed start wrecks everything and more than once, I have started a race feeling like I could pee AGAIN (nerves!) or randomly get hungry and it drives me nuts.

The weather was PERFECT for a race: raining slightly, but still warm enough that a tank and skirt were fine. There was NO hot sun shining down on me and I love not being overheated in the summertime!!

I fell into 3rd place within the first 2 minutes of the race. I kept that lead and continued to pass people as I went. I held my goal half marathon paces (HMP) for 4 miles, and my goal marathon pace (GMP) for 1 mile. During the 6th mile, a nice man & lady wished me good luck and passed me by. I kept 4th place until mile 11 when 2 other females passed me by. For me, the toughest section of the course was between miles 8-12: You went through a chute but MAN it felt LONG. Heading into it, I had a feeling it was going to be long because the leading man & 2nd place man passed me on their way out of the chute and then I passed NO ONE else. I kept thinking “when will this freaking end?” And then it got super windy, and I let the Waaaaambulance come in and I slipped to an 8 minute mile. 11/12/13 felt really sluggish and slow. I really didn’t care if I got passed or not and Just. Wanted. To. Be. Done. I really think it was the chute that dragged me down. PLUS, the fact that it wasn’t a “goal race” for me-it left me with no pressure to myself at all and I didn’t feel the need to “push it.”


My final finishing time was a 1:37. This put me in 6th place for the females, and winner of my age group :) I was really happy with this!! I loved the pancake flat course, the perfect weather, and the fact that I was running along the oceanfront…it was great.

There was a beer tent and live music for runners to enjoy post-race. I couldn’t stick around though and the super sweet race director gave me my prize early: a gift card to a running store! SCHWWWEEEEET!!!!

All smiles after the race…and wearing my new free sunglasses that have since become my go to running glasses!!

The reason I had to rush off after the race is because I was heading to my cousin and his wife’s gender reveal party!! He is one of my favorite people on the planet (and his wife is great too!) I was sooooooo excited!!!!!!

And…Its going to be a boy! YAY! There is nothing like a new baby in the family to keep life really fun and exciting!

I will be back at some point this week with a recap of last week’s running!

Ever run a race along a beach?

Does race scenery make a difference to you?

Recap 2. The Running!

Recap: August 10-16, 17-23.

Cliff notes version: I love running, running is my favorite.

 (((SIGH))) I have had two great weeks of running. I think I always say this though. It’s partly due to the fact that I LOVE TO RUN (DUH). Also, its partly due to the fact that I actually DID have two great weeks of running. So. There’s that.

August 10-16: Running: 57.4 miles, 7:55 avg pace. BBG: Week 9

This was my highest mileage week for the entire year (so far!).

 400s at the track! 6 miles total

Tuesday:  2 miles@8:34, 5 miles @7:26.  I overslept and could only run 2 outside before my husband had to leave for work and I began the mad dash of getting me and a child ready for something we had to do. . . I didn’t want to run this fast, but I was limited for time and I had to hop on my treadmill. In case you are wondering if I was incredibly sore after my workout on Monday, and did I or did I not get incredibly sore after this run on Tuesday? Yes, yes I was (for both!!).

Wednesday: 11 mile easy run,8:08 avg pace

Thursday: 1 mile warmup, 3.15 miles at the Cigna Elliot 5k-21:18. I typically do a race recap on every race I run. This wasn’t a goal race for me at ALL–I was using it as a tempo run and I really felt like I needed a race environment to get it done. I’ll give you the rundown on this course real quick: This race is in Manchester NH and it’s one of the biggest races I have ever done: there are about 6000 runners…for a 5k. I’ve NEVER seen a 5k this big! How big is it? It’s so big that it’s televised!! Anyway, It’s 45 minutes away from me but I still had to leave at 4 for a 6:30 race so that I knew I could get a parking spot (I did). I went into this race wanting to hold my average tempo pace, but still dragggiiinnnnngggg from LIFE/running/BBG…Honestly, I was truly happy with my overall average pace being 6:45. For a sweepy girl with sweepy legs–> I WILL TAKE IT.  
Friday: 4 miles easy

Saturday: 20 miles! 11 with my friend S, 9 solo. I had a 20 mile easy run on the schedule. I was so happy to run with my girlfriend this Saturday. It also happened to be the day I was leaving for vaca…so we got it done VERY EARLY. I absolutely love running with her because I feel like we really bring out one another’s strengths. S came along for 11 miles, and I did the next 9 solo. Before heading out again, I went inside my house to refill my camelbak and use the bathroom 911 poop. I think I took too long to come back out-it was probably only 8/10 minutes…but for me-stopping for that long makes a world of difference. Legs get stiff/ things start to hurt/body parts don’t want anything to do with the nonsense you are making them do.  The next 9 were hard.
I did NOT want to do it.
I wanted to quit. 
I wanted to call Greg and have him pick me up STAT!

Somehow I did it, though. I’m so glad I powered through that run!! This was my first 20 miler for my current marathon cycle. Last year-my first 20 miler was at an 8:56 average pace…this cycle? My first 20 miler was an 8:13 pace. I feel very good about my October marathon goals :)


Flashback to last year’s first 20 mile run for Baystate…

Sunday: 6.13 mile recover run, 8:29 avg pace. This was my first run in St. Albans (where we stayed for our vacation) My first mile in any of my St. Albans runs was 100% uphill. You can just imagine how thrilled I was with this. (NOT) I took it in stride and tried to focus on the big picture: HILLS MAKE YOU STRONGER!!!!

BBG recap: This was BBG week 9 for me. I LOVED IT. Week 9 was my favorite week so far. I would love to tell which days I did what, but as I’m writing this recap, all I can think to tell you is that it was hard, i jumped around a lot, and it ROCKED. The end.

August 16-23rd: 48.2 miles, 7:55 avg pace. This was kind of a “cut back week” because I knew I was on vacation and I didn’t want to place a lot of pressure on myself.

Monday: easy 7.05 miles, 55:21. All hills. Running up there made me realize that a run can actually be uphill, BOTH WAYS. My husband asked for clarification when I told him that fun factoid- I told him that rolling hills were happening everywhere I ran. They are no laughing matter when you are doing out and backs (there was no way to avoid out and backs). It was also only safe for me to run in certain areas–I think the whole family breathed a collective sigh of relief daily when I walked back through the door–> I’m not going to lie…some parts of the area are creepy. Sometimes, the main road(s) stopped and turned weirdly tunred into a (scary) dirt road marked private property. Sometimes strange dogs chased me. And no one was around to stop them so I Freaking Booked It. And in totally non-running husband saw a puma jump out of the woods…This was our last day there. I did my run as quickly as possible that day…

So yeah. The whole week was “hard” running for me. It wasn’t actually hard to get out the door-it was the mental part of the run that was hard. I was nervous because I knew my husband was nervous, I was always tired (our beds were slabs of concrete and I’m the worst sleeper on my bed at home that is made of tempurpedic rainbows and clouds). I enjoyed the hilly challenges (as much as one who doesn’t like hills can enjoy hills) and tried to see them in an “it will only make me stronger” kind way. It was not easy to do but I did it!

Wednesday: I had two speed workouts on my calendar last week but I only did one. OOPS. I think this is the first time all training that this has happened and I did not give a Shedaisy! I did Thursday’s workout on Wednesday and totally blew off my Tuesday workout. I managed to do 4 miles at a 7:06 avg pace & I was pretty darn happy with that considering that I was completing it while climbing hills (vs my smooth flat track at home)!

Photo Credit: My SIL! She was out walking and we were passing each other on the roads to Deliverance. (Just kidding. We lived off a 1 mile dirt road stretch.  I just really didn’t love this particular road.)

Friday: We came home! 3 easy miles

Saturday: 4 .20 easy miles & strides.

Sunday: The Seacoast Running Festival Half Marathon. I will be back with a full recap on this race (hopefully Wednesday!). The short story: 1:37 and I did not set a single goal for myself: I had fun and was in a post vaca haze! So yay!

BBG recap for vacation week: I didn’t do it!  I didn’t really WANT to take a week off-but i had to make the luggage cuts somewhere. I LOVE my journey down the BBG road- but I didn’t want to lug weights along with me for vacation. Sometimes….You’ve just got to draw the line with a permanent marker!

This upcoming week is BIG. It’s a 62-67 mile week..I’m pretty sure this will be my highest mileage week EVER! It’s also the last week of summer vacation AND I’m closing out my summer with the wildest party this side of the Merrimack River: Kenny Chesney this Friday night with NINE girls (and 100,000 other peeps at Gillette Stadium!!!)  Lord give me the strength to do my long run on Sunday (two days after!!!)

If you have made it this far down the are awesome and i heart you. That was a lot of info! 

Recap Part 1. LIFE

Wow, this being a FT mom stuff is TOUGH and time consuming (How do all of you full time mommy/runner’s do it all?? Mommies, give me the tips. I need them!  I am learning so much! And being full time in the mom department leaves little time for blogging!

August has been INSANE. I don’t think I’ve ever had a busier month than August 2015.  Last I left you, I think it was Aly’s 2nd week here. I’ve wanted to blog over the past couple of weeks but I haven’t had any time! This now leaves me feeling like I want to photo/info dump all of these LIFE HAPPENINGS on you! In August–>I have run TWO races (a 5k and a half marathon), run a whole lot, had a 3 year anniversary, started a running streak, had a lot of fun, became a FT Smom and CAT MOM, and went on vacation. This little thing we call LIFE has been adventurous and busy and all the best kinds of things lately! I think I’ll break it up into a few different posts for you!

Last week was family vacation! We took a road trip to St. Albans, Maine. We rented a gigantic house – My in laws, my brother/sister in law and all our children! It was a BLAST. This house was gorgeous, huge, and right on the water. We had so many awesome things to do! There was a pontoon boat, tubes, kayak’s, a canoe, pool table, and three bathrooms. . I realize that putting “three bathrooms” next to “pool table” on the list of  “awesome things to do” is weird—> But when you’re staying in a house with 9 people, having 3 bathrooms actually IS an AMAZING thing.


We had a great trip! We basically lived in the lake for an entire week and it was fantastic!

A few photos for you!

This was my favorite sunset, and ironically-the only one that was picture-worthy. It was our very first night! 

Me and my gals :)

SIL Love.

My little family!

True or false? Sometimes I catch fish, and sometimes I kiss them.  (this pic may or may not be an illusion…someone else may have caught the fish and i might not have kissed be the judge. ;)

My favorites!

I was skippered around by a handsome fella!

I love the silhouette style of this picture!

Learning to use a selfie stick!

sittin pretty on the pontoon! (sidenote? I went “au natural” with my hair the whole week. IT WAS SO FREAKING HOT)

Laying in the hammock…

Swimming in the lake…every day! 

Hitting up a Maine Fair….

Family at the fair!


We are standing next to the Clydesdale Horses…Someone didn’t like the smell?!?
View of our house from the water! 
And one with the Pontoon! :)

As far as the running goes (because this IS a running blog, right?!?): I have done a LOT of that! Tomorrow’s post will be a mileage recap of my last two weeks of running…105.6 miles total! One huge week and one cut back (ish) week!

This is the LAST WEEK of summer vacation….WAHHHHHHHHHHH Me and my little are starting back to school next week! I can’t even believe it’s already over!!
Who else goes back to school next week? 

Why do you run so much??

One thing that is said to me all the time is that I run a lot. I agree-I do run quite a bit. I’m not injury prone, so I’m pretty lucky. And while I’m not a streaker & do take days off: I know my mileage is higher than a lot of other runners. 

Honestly I like to run. No, I LOVE  to run. I don’t know that most runners love running in quite the same way as I do. But, maybe you do, I don’t know. 


 Running is “my thing.” It’s my zen, my jam, my happy place, my therapy. It’s the place that calms me down when I’m stressed. I find comfort in it when I’m sad. It’s how I can work out a problem quietly in my mind.

 Running can fuel me, motivate me, and inspire me. It brings me immense joy. It’s not an actual person, but I would consider running to be a friend. It’s always there for me. Running doesn’t care if I take a day off or a week-it’s just happy that I came. 


 Running is a high moving, high intensity activity and it calms me. I feel centered after a run. My head is on straight and on days where I run-I feel more focused and ready to tackle the challenges of today. 


 Running changes me. It made me competitive when I had never before seen that side of myself. It made me gutsy. It made me determined and goal-oriented. 



Running makes me strong. When you start to build your endurance-each new “farthest” distance you hit is a Big. Damn. Deal. Feeling the strength in the legs that just carried you x-amount of miles is dizzying. It’s like walking around with a super power knowledge because YOU my friend? YOU just ran “x” miles!

I also find my running-“strong” to come from speed workouts. Hitting the track isn’t for the meek. Whatever your fast is-a track workout tests it. Giving it your all until you feel like you could puke? I’ll tell you what-once you’re done? You’ll realize how much ass you just kicked-and the ass I’m referring to is your own. You are your own “strong.”

 Running also makes me strong in other ways. I’m often forced to dig emotionally deep for many different things that I would never talk about on this little blog. However, through running, I have found a powerful connection to my mind, body & soul as they work together at the same time. I have a better relationship with myself because of running. 


I love high mileage weeks-I always have. Miles teach me new things about me, new things about the world. Miles let me explore and conquer. Miles change me. 

So, I run a lot. And I like it. 😉

Let’s hear why you run!

Training week 8/2-8/9, a few new additions, and some randomness

HI! Happy Tuesday! How are you? Man this was a crazy week/weekend filled with new-to-me things. We didn’t really leave the house (well I did to run, DUH). A lot of big things happened last week/weekend, but lets start with the running recap.

Monday-8/3: BBG Week 8: legs. I stand firm with my statement from last month where I said that I like the odd-numbered weeks much better than the even. I feel like I’m not making any progress, it’s the weirdest thing-and that’s how I felt for week 8 of BBG. But anyway, I made a change last week and swapped day 3 to day 1…In Weeks 6 & 8, the leg day falls on the 3rd session. I made the mistake of following that in Week 6- Which meant I did legs on Friday, and a long run on Saturday. Ow. Not fun. I need to put the leg day AS FAR AWAY from my long run as possible, so Monday is typically the best day. In week 8, I switched up the workouts. I know alot of people probably don’t do that…but I’m sure most people doing BBG are also NOT training for a marathon at the same time.  You gotta cut yourself some slack, kids!!

Tuesday8 Miles, Progression Tempo run-58:33, 7:19 avg pace. I loved this run. The goal was to complete the 8 miles in 60 minutes. I started at an 8 minute mile and worked my way down to a 6:40 mile and ended up finishing faster than the 60 minutes. I think this was my favorite run of the week because thinking of it right now makes me super happy!

Wednesday-12 miles, 1:36:16, 8:01 avg pace. My plan had me doing this run in 96 minutes and that’s what i did! This was extremely hilly so it makes me even happier that I hit the planned times on it.

Thursday- BBG Arms/Cardio, Track night-5 miles, 3 @ GHMP-6:49 avg!  The original plan had been to do 5 x 1 mile repeats. If I had gone running earlier in the day, or the morning-I would have been ready to nail this workout. But track night didn’t start til 7. Unless it’s a race- I hate waiting to run! By the time 7 came, I was done and ready for an 8 hour nap. SO when my girlfriend S showed up to track night–> the plan for mile repeats went out the window! I haven’t gotten to run with her in about a month! We ran some “easy fast” miles together and caught up on life (love that!). I couldn’t believe that we ran 3 miles at our goal half marathon pace of 6:49 and were having a conversation the entire time! The pace felt easy, manageable and I felt like I could’ve kept it up for 10 .1 more miles! This was my other favorite run of the week!!

Friday6.50 miles, easy-> 7:59 avg pace. BBG: Abs & Cardio.

Saturday-18 miles, with 8 at my goal marathon pace. 7:44 avg pace. I needed this long run! I felt great the whole time. The only change I will make next time that my workout calls for marathon paced miles is that I will put them at the beginning. So.. instead of doing 10 REALLY hilly miles & then the goal paced miles-I will do the fast miles FIRST and then let my body pick the pace for the rest. Cause doing them at the end is HARD.

Sunday-6.15 miles, 8:06 avg pace.

55.70 miles for the week, 7:45 avg pace. 

Ok, now for some life updates. We have had a couple of changes in our house.

First….We got a cat! Meet Shadow.

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I’m way more of a doggie person and have been working on my husband to get a dog. I keep sending him random pictures of heartbreakingly adorable dogs that I want to rescue. I WILL crack him. #mylifemission Anyway. We got the cat because it came with a kid!

IMG_7671 IMG_7665

Girlfriend moved in this weekend! it is a big adjustment going from a weekend- S’mom to a FT S’Mom, but It will be worth it in the end!

Sooo this week/weekend has been lots of adjusting and family time. And cat bonding. Even though I’m allergic to him…He is SO cute and is already my little buddy!

For some other randomness….TUESDAY IS OUR THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!

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We are going to celebrate sometime this week with a date night! :)

Have a great Tuesday!!!! Make it GREAT!! 

Why should you run a local & smaller marathon like The Baystate Marathon

I’ve run a whole lot marathons. So many that I often lose count at how many I’ve finished! When I first started running full marathons, I chose to run larger races like Boston and NYC. I incorrectly assumed that all races were created equally. The large starts, elbows in the face, tripping over my fellow runners sneakers-I thought these things happened at every single race!

It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I started to do smaller marathons. In the fall of 2011, I registered for a race in my backyard. I quickly fell in love with my hometown race, The Baystate Marathon, and have done it annually since. I know a lot of runners only do those huge races, but I wanted to give you some of my favorite reasons and why I think you should consider running a smaller marathon race-like my favorite race, The Baystate Marathon!

1.) Course prep! My long runs are done along the course. Once a week you can see me running the course in preparation for race day. There is nothing like training on the course for your upcoming race. It prepares you mentally and physically. I love that I can navigate it’s roads in my sleep. (And I know where the nearest porta potties/bathrooms are!)

2.) Sleeping in my bed the night before the race. Waking up early is hard to do. Waking up early to drive a couple of hours is dam near impossible to do. The morning of Baystate I wake up early and drive 10 minutes. BOOM. Local runners: there is nothing like this: to me, being able to sleep in my own bed is priceless. Out of town runner’s: There are also several nearby hotels that are a 5-10 minute drive to the start of the race or you can take the shuttle services offered by Baystate. For more info, see here

3.) Local support: The water stops are manned by the local track teams from the town’s you will pass through. More than once, one of my students has handed me my cup of water as I blaze past, and of course I see all of my coach friends. The kids are excited and energized to be helping out!

4.) Skipping the lottery. There is No waiting to enter the Baystate Marathon! No lottery, no staggered registration based on your previous BQ time. Ever signed up for NYC? Then you know exactly how annoying the lottery can be. Ever held your breath with your heart pounding in your chest as you submitted your app for Boston while PRAYING/crying/pleading with the big guy that you made the cut? A small local race allows you to register immediately, sparing yourself the near heart attack.

5.) Running on a much less crowded course. I consider Baystate to be on the “smaller large side” if this makes sense. It’s not too big (like Boston or, even larger:NYC), And it’s not too small (Hyannis Marathon has only about 400 participants).  It’s limited field (2000 entrants for the full) make it the “Baby Bear” of race course sizes: it’s just right. It has friendly competition, is still large enough that they offer pace groups, yet small enough that getting elbowed in the face (most likely) will not happen to you.

6.) Additional race offered besides the 26.2. Another cool part of Baystate is that they also offer a half marathon at the same time: not all marathons do this, and I love when they do. I have found that you can always talk one of your friends into running the half as you’re running the full! Race buddies are the best!


(Some of my race friends who ran Baystate with me last year!)

7.) Its So Much Cheaper!!! Boston is $180! Hyannis cost me $60, and if you got an early entry into Baystate it’s $85. CHA CHING!! That’s more money you can put towards something else running-related, right? Like your next race…

8.) Local people are the staff that are directing the race. I know who directs my favorite marathon, and I know that the money goes right back into the community for races, fun runs, and other activities that encourages running. I feel good about that. Local people volunteer to help, and local police officers are manning the course and shutting down traffic. A friend of mine handed me my bib last year. I like all things that go along with racing local!

9.) Good cheering sections for friends and family. Baystate has extremely accessible areas for your family to cheer you on. It’s possible for them to get to all areas of the course to see you whiz by! Last year my friend Sandy drove along the course until she spotted me so that she could cheer me on! You can’t get stalking like that at a big race!

(One of the bridges that full marathoner’s will cross twice- other side is a great area for spectators!)

10.) And my personal favorite reason I think you should join me at Baystate this year? Fewer crowds and less people on the course means a chance for a sizable PR. You don’t have to make up those precious seconds you lost due to the weaving that happens with big races. Of course you can run a PR at a large race-it’s never happened to me though. All of my PRs have happened at this race I like to call my favorite race, The Baystate Marathon! This race was also recognized as one of the 15 fastest fall marathons to BQ, and has earned the #2 spot for the fastest marathon in the country!

Even if The Baystate Marathon isn’t local to you-you should just come run it with me anyway- it will be a great day!

As of today (8/2) registration for the marathon is at 1278 filled spots with 722 remaining! Get yourself one of those open spots! It WILL fill up, and it won’t be the day before…it fills sometime in August, so don’t delay too much on entering! 

Who’s running Baystate with me?

Mileage Recap 7/27-8/2 & where the heck have you been?

The blog had its 2 year anniversary this past week!!! Whhhaaaat!!! It’s crazy that it’s been that long already! I love my little corner of the inter-web-google-space! But sometimes, I really need some time off. In the 2 years i’ve had this space, I’ve never taken a full week off. I didn’t blog or even think about blogging last week. I didn’t actually go anywhere, but it was a terrific mental break. The only think that I kept up with on social media was my Instagram account.

Sooo. I’ve been running a lot! And I just finished week 7 of BBG! 7 weeks go fast, let me tell you. I’ve seen so much progress in my body, it’s pretty cool. I haven’t skipped a single workout–that’s kind of a big deal.

Mileage Recap:

Monday: No running, BBG Legs. SO ridiculously sore after this leg workout!  Tuesday: 7 tempo miles at half marathon pace, 6 miles at an avg of 6:57. No cooldown because I ran out of time!

Wednesday– 8 miles easy, but it was disgustingly gross outside. I could have hopped onto my treadmill, but it was one of those days that I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea.

Thursday-BBG Full Body, 4 miles-1 mile warmup, 3 miles of 400s at the track with splits of 1:33, 1:30, 1:28, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26. My schedule called for more 400s but I was tired and the heavens opened up with crazy downpours and thunderstorms.

Friday-19 mile long run on the Baystate Marathon course. The night before my run, I was SUPER excited to wake up and go. Once I started running, I realized how sore I still was from my 400s at the track. The 2 hours and 42 minutes might as well have been 6 hours-it just felt like it wasn’t going to end, ever. BLA.

(refueling after my long run! This beer is excellent, by the way!)

Saturday-4 miles, 29:59. BBG Arms/Abs. Week 7 complete! I”m obsessed with my 2 new skirts form Skirt Sports. (use SSGWR20 to save 20%!)

Razz and Safari print! So cute!

Sunday: 9 easy miles!

Total: 51 miles for the week!

And some picture randomness for you! This upcoming week is going to be a toughie. Mile repeats, a progression run, and a long run that has half of it at MGP. Naturally, I have food on the brain. Roast chicken dinner for Sunday night and it was AMAZING.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated my niece’s birthday with a mother daughter froyo date to Orange Leaf… was in the Orange Leaf Limo! My girl knows how to celebrate in style! :)


Do you think she was excited?? 

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I hope everybody had a wonderful weekend! Tell me something fun that you did! :)

The top questions I’ve been asked about BBG

I’m six weeks into the 12 week BBG program and I’ve gotten a ton of questions via email, in person, and on my Instagram about BBG. I decided to do a post to address all the questions and hopefully help everyone understand it a little more. 

1. What is BBG? “BBG” stands for “Bikini Body Guides.” It’s a 12 week downloadable PDF guidebook program designed by Kayla Itsines and her partner, Tobias Pierce. You work out for 3 days a week for 28 minutes. There are 2 circuits per each workout and you repeat each 7 minute circuit twice -this makes up the 28 minutes. It’s an ass kicking workout. The moves are easy-lunges, burpees, tricep dips, push ups,to name a few. It’s the combinations that are killer.

2. What do you do in the workout and how much does it cost? The best description that I’ve found on what BBG actually entails was sent to me from a friend from the website “Well and Good”:

The method is alarmingly simple (and surprisingly effective—I can personally vouch). The $69.95 PDF contains twelve weeks of workouts, with three days that includes two series of just four exercises that you complete in seven-minute circuits, twice. It totals 28 minutes of “high intensity, plyometric, resistance jump training,” according to Itsines.

3.) Did you have to buy a lot of equipment? I didn’t buy a single solitary thing for this workout besides the actual guide book. She suggests you buy a foam roller, jump rope, yoga mat, 2 workout benches, and weights. I already have 5, 10, 12, and 20 pound weights at my house. Some of the exercises have you squating on top of the two weight benches- For this, you can stand on two chairs. A lot of the ab exercises have you holding onto the back of the weight bench-I lay down on the floor and hold on to a molding at the base of a doorframe. For the “step up” leg activities, I use actual stairs. You can get pretty creative with things in your own home, trust me. A lot of the activities have you holding a bosu ball. I use a weight in place of that.

Some suggestions:
-you will benefit a lot more from these workouts if you use weights. If you don’t have weights, I would purchase two sets. Everyone is different-I use the 10 and the 12’s, but maybe you would be more comfortable with 5 and 10. If you are brand new to working out or weights, err on the cautious side and go lower- You can always buy higher weights later.

-Get a yoga mat. You’ll be sweaty and they’re easy to clean.

3.) Do I need to have a gym membership? Nope. See above. I’m sure you could do all of the exercises in a gym, but i like to limit myself in looking like an ass in public ( i save that for 5k races): I am seriously dripping with sweat and cursing and sometimes almost falling over with exhaustion. I like the privacy of my own home for that!

4.) Do you like BBG? I freaking LOVE it. I have seriously never been stronger or sore-er in my entire life.

5.) Do you think it’s making you faster? I get asked that all the time and that’s tricky. I do a whole heck of a lot of speedwork so that contributes. In my opinion, the extra strength training is not hurting!

6.) What about the jump rope? Do you use it? Ok NOBODY asks me that but i have to put it in here that I have STOPPED trying to JUMP ROPE. I am SO BAD AT IT and i have ZERO desire to improve my jump roping skills. I jump rope in place. I think if you are the kind of coordinated person who can actually jump rope and not trip and fall–that is excellent and you may see even more results than I am. I will tell you that if there was a contest for world’s best jump roper in placer- I would win. #canttouchthis. So i wanted to include the above fun fact in here for all of you uncoordinated people clumsy like me to tell you that I’m seeing results with my pretend jump roping!

7.) How did you save the PDF? Did you print it out? When you buy the guide, you have 24 hours to download & save it. I saved it to my laptop and my Ipad. I know girls who have saved it to their phone’s, but I don’t have enough room on mine. I also didn’t print it out because that would be a huge waste of paper. It’s really easy to use on any device.

8.) What do you use for a timer? The IPhone has a built in timer so that’s what I use!

9.) Are you being paid to do this workout?  I FREAKING WISH. I bought it with my own hard earned money and I’m not being sponsored. Just a girl who wants to get Strong. :)  I figure that by now, SOMEONE must be wondering that little fun fact so I wanted to disclose it to you.

10.) Did you buy the nutrition guide? No I didn’t. I eat really healthy as it is, and I’m pretty good at making wise choices for what I put into my body.

I want to also touch on a few points that I think are really important:

-I have said before that I didn’t buy this workout to lose weight, and I swear I mean that. As any chick in her 30’s will tell you: cardio just doesn’t cut you up and make you defined the same way it did for your body in your 20’s. Sad, but true. BBG is making me the best version of ME. Everyone’s results are different, and No two people will have the same things happen for their bodies.

-I wanted a strength workout that was easy to follow. One that I could do whenever I want to, whether that meant M/W/F at 5:00 am or T/TH/F at 8:00 pm. The beauty of it is that you can do it whenever YOU want to do it.  That’s pretty freaking priceless.

-When you see the transformations on IG that Kayla posts, you might think that it’s really an image based program with millions of girls taking selfies of themselves as they continue to become obsessed with their own image. However, if you take the time to read some of the captions on the pictures: You’ll see that it’s so much more than that. It’s “finding your strong” and being more comfortable and happy with who you are. Kayla is constantly addressing this in all of her transformation posts. She wants her workouts to empower you and make you happy with YOU. That was another reason I chose it.

-The online empowerment on Instagram for BBG is HUGE. If you already have it and follow Kayla or any BBG girl- you know what I mean. They are so encouraging and helpful. I think that a workout that empowers women and brings out the best in everyone is pretty great. Women all over the world are paying one another some pretty high compliments-I think that is fantastic!

For more info on BBG, you can go Here. You can also download a free week and sample it out!  

Any questions that I did not address, PLEASE ask away in the comments so I can answer away! 

Training Week July 13-19th, BBG Week 5!

If I was to sum up this week with one word, that word would be “sore.” I kicked my trash all day, every day!
Monday-6.44 miles, 8:10 avg pace

Tuesday- BBG Week 5, Legs & Cardio. 8 mile tempo run.

Wednesday-AM: 7 easy miles-super hot, super hilly, wanted to jump in the pool I don’t have (I NEED A POOL!)
PM: 2 untimed miles at the track for Summer Fun Run!

Thursday- AM: BBG: Arms/Abs. OWWWWWW.
PM: 4 mile warmup, 3 miles of 400s (6x400s) at the track club!
These splits were awesome-I’m telling you: Track work has made a huge difference in my running, HUGE.

Friday-BBG Week 5, Full Body. No running!!!

Saturday-19 miles, 8:36 avg pace. I was really, truly, 100% not in the mood to run on Saturday. I was physically dragging myself out of bed and could have slept all day (even though I had slept 11 hours already!) Thank you, to YOU, “lady troubles” for dragging me down on this long run! My legs felt like concrete blocks and my abs/arms/even my toes were sore. (BBG was killer this week!)
I knew that if I didn’t hit the roads on Saturday, I would have been forced to run on a 93 degree day on Sunday..So….sometimes, you’ve just got to suck it up, buttercup! I did my long run along the course for my next marathon: The Baystate Marathon! It was awesome to have a change of scenery from my typical long run routes, and, even though my body was feeling really sluggish-the miles at least passed by very quickly!

Sunday:7 miles. I really didn’t want to run on Sunday and procrastinated a LOT. It was so hot and humid that I opted for the dreadmill. (that is how you KNOW it is hot: If i’m choosing the treadmill over pavement!!) I just wanted to get this run DONE so I opted for some faster miles. 51:51 for 7 miles, 7:24 avg pace. I did the last 2 at a 6:54/6:40. This past winter, I was training for Boston and a 6:40/6:45 mile on my treadmill made me want to cry and I would constantly express my frustrations swear at how damn difficult that pace felt. On Sunday-> It felt pretty dang doable and I like that! Progress is my favorite!!

BBG Thoughts: 5 weeks have gone by and that is crazy to me!! I can’t believe I’ve already been doing it that long. This week was intense-but i freaking loved it. I’m crazy sore, did exercises that I’ve never done before, and it was so much fun! I showed my husband my progress pictures and he was all “WHOA. Who’s that girl? Can I have her number?” (he is so funny ;)) My Abs are rock hard and I’ve lost a couple inches in my waist. Like I’ve said before- I didn’t start BBG to lose weight, but it ended up happening anyways. I love how strong my whole body feels. It’s that hurt-so-good-kind of sore and me likey.

56.2 miles for the week, 8:03 avg pace. I haven’t hit a 50 mile week since March, and this week was my 2nd highest mileage week for the year! I’m bringing my mileage back up, up, up!

And I just have to show you some fun pictures:

My garden looks SO good. I can take credit for about three of the plants, that’s it. The rest is all my husbands creativity! He has done a wonderful job at making our backyard into “the compound”

And this is his current project!! It’s a hot tub area! Woo hoo!!! It is already beautiful and it’s not even done yet. IMG_7335

I worked HARD all week, so I celebrated with this little yummy cocktail! I made simple syrup from my dad’s raspberries. I froze half, and made syrup with half. THis particular martini tastes like the red raspberry martini from Cheesecake Factory and it is heavenly!!!

My Nephew KILLING it at the Fun Run on Wednesday! 

My little Beans. Love her. 

Again…so cool!

This beauty came in the mail on Saturday….2016, I’m coming for ya. Watch out!IMG_7329

How was your weekend? Tell me something fun that you did!