The Good Stuff.

I’m sitting down to write this and it’s 9:06 PM on Friday night. My family is out for the evening and the house is insanely quiet. I had to take advantage of this momentary lull to actually FINALLY do some writing.

Over the past month, I’ve started at least 6 posts, only to leave them in my draft inbox. I can’t even sum up motivation to write lately, it’s so weird! If I had published a post, it would go something like this:

Monday- I ran today. It was a good run

Tuesday- I ran today. Bad run.

Wednesday- Guess what? I ran.

Thursday- I’m going to blow your mind right now-I ran today!

Friday-A day off from running.

Saturday- I ran!

Sunday-Wouldn’t you know it, I ran today, and it was longer than all of my other runs!

Mileage total: Lots of running and tons of some whining along the way.

I couldn’t bring myself to post those obnoxiously boring details and figured that no one would want to read that drivel anyway. I can chalk my lack of motivation and inspiration up to the fact that I am TIRED. The kind of tired that starts in your brain and works its way down to your toes. This kind of tired is the stealer most of my time and all of my energy.

This has been a year of learning and of good changes for me and my family. You may remember that I became a full time mom to my stepdaughter this past summer. I’ve never been so tired, happy, worried, proud, run-down, laughed so hard, cried so much, or been as confused and concerned as I have been over the past few months. I can’t describe it any better than that. If I had to use a word to describe 2015, I would go with “LEARNING”  or “NEW”. HAHA…and maybe “TIRED”.

I don’t have any kids of my own, so obviously, this was a giant life change. When it happened, we were still on summer break–this made it an ever BIGGER life change- My summertime life was pretty much me, on my own, doing whatever I want all day for 3 months. But into my life entered a sassy 8 year old.

I’ve been in her life since she was just 2 years old and since she was so little, she doesn’t remember a time that I wasn’t. We would have our visits with her on weekends and try to cram family stuff/friend stuff into those 2 quick days. It still never felt like enough time with her, though.

This past summer, I never expected to become a full time mom, and I didn’t expect to learn all the things that go along with it.  I know that I thought that when I eventually became a mom- it would come naturally to me and I wouldn’t have so many NEW things to learn. HA. HAHAHAHAHA. 

There have been mom fails.. like the fact that I didn’t know I couldn’t send my daughter’s medicine to school with her and I didn’t know she needed a note for every new person who picked her up. And there have been struggles that keep me up all night, like the struggle to get my little one to sleep in her own bedroom. And the struggle to establish routines with little things like showering and lunches and homework. So many new things. (Homework-I’m looking at you!)

There is exasperation…I find my myself at a loss for words sometimes because I literally do not KNOW what to do in some situations because I’ve never dealt with certain things before. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the time I’ve gone to my SIL, Mom and MIL for parenting advice. This is all brand new and I might as well have gotten a baby instead of an 8 (now 9!) year old.

Through all the confusion and exasperation, I have found that I’m adjusting.  I’m even adjusting my running! I used to do every single long run on Saturdays and I’ve been consistently stubborn with this for YEARS..Seriously, I can’t remember otherwise. I truly never thought anything in the world would change my routine of long run Saturday. Now I have a little buddy with me on Saturdays (my husband works) so my long runs are always Sundays. Things change, and you have to adapt to those changes and roll with the punches.

Most people don’t like change. I’ve always been a fan of it.  I like new things because it shakes things up and helps me grow. Without a doubt-this has been the biggest year of change for me. My best friend is fond of saying “Everything happens for a reason”. And as much as I used to hate when she would tell me that (it mostly came on the heels of a breakup), it is actually a 100% true statement. I know this little one needs me. So all the change and growth and learning and sleepless nights is to help her.To see her is like my heart is walking around outside of me. Its so weird and awesome and awful all at once.  

And I’m learning. I’m learning that some of my favorite times come when I least expect it. Aly and I have fallen into a Saturday morning routine and we make a whole day of having fun and I LOVE IT. We are beginning to develop routines and have learned that showers work best with the music playing on her IPAD, and all meals are to be accompanied with milk..not juice. Warm cozy clothes are the fave and jeans have got to GO. Homework is best done RIGHT when we get home, and when listening to music, we are in agreement that it should always be blared LOUDLY (preferably Tay Tay Swifty)

Little things mean so much more now too. Like when she gets out of bed and immediately gives me that big bear hug. Or when she spontaneously tells me she loves me. And when she falls dead asleep in my arms and I have to carry that little beauty to bed. Man I love that. These little details trump all the confusion and the worry and make every single struggle worth it.

And along with that you learn that a new chapter in your life has begun: It’s making sacrifices and thinking about the future All. The. Time. Its giving up sleep and nights out and learning to deal with the parent swap off of responsibilities. In short: It’s a lot. (Kudos to you single parent families out there!)I have so many questions! Does it ever get easier? (I don’t think it does) Will I ever have all of the answers? As much as I would LOVE to ask Santa Claus for THAT for Christmas…I don’t think that I could ever actually get all the answers. I’m learning that parenting is kind of a learn-as-you-go thing. 

I once heard a quote somewhere that went like this: 

To adopt a child means that my child grew in my heart instead of my belly.

I love this message and it rings true for a stepparent too. Since I’m a step-mom: There is always going to be a struggle. I can’t imagine that ever going away. We stepparents have different challenges. And with those challenges come different rewards. I’m learning that I’m probably Aly’s stepmom for a reason because that kid is turning into my little mini me and I love it. I’m never goingto be her “real mom” and that is ok. I’m her “other mother” and that is in its very own class of amazing-ness.

I sat down to write about how un-motivated I was to write about running . I started typing and this is what ended up coming out! I guess I just wanted to get all this out and it  ended up being pretty therapeutic. I know that I’m blessed to lead this little bitty life of mine and everything that is happening now makes me a very lucky individual. This is all “The Good Stuff” in life and not everyone is as lucky as me! So thanks for reading and I hope I didn’t bore you with my non running babbling! Next time, I promise it will be running stuff! Sometimes, that little thing called LIFE gets in the way and changes us. And if you are luck enough, your own life will be filled with the good stuff, too!


Pro’s & Cons of racing a lot

Happy Monday my friends!

One thing that you might have noticed is that I really like to run races. During the fall, it feels like I’m running one every weekend. There are sooooo many good ones! I would race every Saturday and every Sunday if I could afford it, and, if I knew that it didn’t drive my family nuts!

Because I like to save the best for last, I”m going to give you my cons first. I like to give you the good stuff at the end…That’s just how I roll!

1.) Racing a lot gets expensive. I sat down to do the math for 2015. I haven’t finished making the list yet but it is long so I’m a bit afraid… Between registration fees and potential traveling, you can spend a ton of dough!

2.) Racing “all out” on a consistent basis will indeed burn you out. I try to pick and choose when my racing efforts will be at my highest level of awesomeness. It doesn’t always go my way, but I do know there will always be a “next time.”

1.) Races help you run your goal pace. Something about the race environment makes you ready to push yourself harder than you would on your normal Saturday/Sunday run. There is nowhere better than at a race for you to practice goal paces!

2.) Races are FUN. Whether it’s a themed race or a race in memory of someone: THEY ARE FUN!!! Last weekend was the “Stache Half” and it kicked off “Movember”. This silly theme cracked me up and the runners had fake stache’s in their goodie bags. Prizes were also awarded for Best Stache! Little touches like that go a long way!

3.) Racing is a great social activity! Most longer races that I run have shorter options, too. It’s very easy to get a friend to sign up for the shorter distance! And, a bonus to running the short races like 5k’s/10k’s-I can pretty much always convince someone to run it with me!

4.) You get to see new places and check out new areas that you normally wouldn’t go to if it weren’t for a race. I don’t do much traveling for races, BUT I think that is going to change for 2016. I have my eye on a few key races for next year and I’m really looking forward to it!

5.) Even a bad race teaches you something: No runner can have the perfect race every time. I feel like the stars need to align, my stomach has to be perfect, itunes playlist must be on point, and if I’m really lucky?? I ((ahem)) have used the bathroom before the race. I’ve had just as many bad races as I have good. From every race, I learn something new that I get to take with me and apply to my next race. From my last race, I learned that when there are hills at the end of the course and you aren’t a lover of hills: you may want to rethink registering for that particular race. Or just don’t set a time goal. Just saying, Nicole, just saying…

6.) Racing a lot teaches you where your strengths and your weaknesses lie. During every 5k, I’m challenging myself on so many levels. 5k’s are a weakness for me. The marathon distance shows me all kinds of crazy strengths: That I am highly motivated during distance runs, that I love the long course that is the marathon, that I’m really good at visualizing the finish line. It’s also taught me that I need to keep putting emphasis on fast finish long runs and pushing my speedwork. Do a few races and you will learn your own strengths and weaknesses, I will promise you that!

7.) I GET to race. I never, ever take that fact for granted. I get to run and that is a precious gift that I’ve been given. I’m fast, but not the fastest, but I am damn good at what I do. I GET to RACE. How lucky am I??

Do you like to race? Do you do it a lot?

2015 Baystate Marathon Recap 

Congrats to all of my fellow Baystate Marathoners who completed the half or full this past weekend! It was a very cold and windy day and we DID IT!! I’m sorry for the delay in the recap, but today was really the first day that the fog has lifted from my brain because I have been so very sick.

Before I launch into my recap, I want to say THANK YOU to the Baystate Marathon race director, Glenn Stewart and the Baystate staff. This is the second year that I have been their official race blogger and its an honor to represent this amazing race. It’s run by the Greater Lowell Road Runner’s (which I just proudly joined!) and they put on a terrific day for runners. Their tagline is “for runners/ by runners” and it really is. The expo is run by its members and always feels very home-y to me. I say it all the time-The Baystate Marathon is my favorite marathon. It’s well organized, staffed, and I always feel completely safe when I’m running it. The course itself is terrific and usually there are some gorgeous trees to help get your mind off the 26.2 miles. This past Sunday did not disappoint. If I wasn’t running a race, I would have stopped a whole bunch of times to take pics because the trees were STUNNING!! (Sidenote: I had the honor of being #10 this year because I was the very first person to register. This is how much I love this race:))

Let’s back up to taper week: Wednesday, I began to develop a slight cough but didn’t think much of it. Thursday, the cough progressed and I could feel it taking root in my lungs and couldn’t stop coughing. I asked my IG running community for help and was BLOWN away by their quick responses: Since last Thursday, I’ve been drinking Emergen-C and special teas, swallowing Zinc, downing Apple Cider Vinegar shots, making homemade concoctions, and sleeping/hydrating a TON. These things helped the congestion in my lungs a little bit but the cold still worsened. By Saturday, it was in my head, and by Sunday, I couldn’t even pop my ears due to massive head congestion.

I really weighed my options because lets face it– doing a marathon when you’re sick isn’t very fun. There are a few other full marathons that I’ve always been interested in so I thought about signing up for one of those with the hope that my cold would be gone by then. But my brain kept going back to these thoughts:
-I’m perfectly tapered for Baystate. What would happen if I pushed the race out 1,2, even 3 weeks??
-My family was ready to come to the race
-I trained all summer along the course

So I told myself that even though I didn’t know if I could meet my goal for the race, I would still go out and try my very best. If I ended up feeling worse, I knew I could call my husband or my dad to come and pick me up. (I didn’t have a fever, and if I did? I definitely wouldn’t have done the race.)

The weather dawned bright and sunny…but COLD. I didn’t want to wear a lot of layers during the race, so I figured I’d just try to keep on the bulky layers until I got warm. I thought that I would be warm by the 2nd mile (that’s my typical mile that I throw my clothes away) I wore my original Lionness skirt, this sports bra, black arm warmers, black compression socks, pink tank top, cute new Chica bands headband I bought at the expo. 

It was a whole lot colder than what I’ve been used to lately. Before Sunday, the coldest run that I had done so far was 50 degrees. My Garmin says that it was 28 degrees and I think that feels right! I got to the start at 7:30. My dad got as close to the starting line as he possibly could and dropped me off. He told me to call him if I needed a pickup. I didn’t have long to stand and wait around and for THAT, I am so grateful!

I saw a few friends before the start, dropped off my bag, and lined up with the 3:15 pace group. My plan was to stay with them through the half and if I felt good, I could branch out on my own. If I wasn’t feeling like I could go any faster-I would try to stay with them, or, as close to them as possible. BUT… This was my plan pre-illness. I definitely felt that it was doable, but with a head/chest cold,  I had no idea what would happen.

I could barely even hear the National Anthem being sung because my ears were blocked. And I don’t remember a whole lot about standing in the starting corral-I think i was a little surprised that I was running a marathon and it felt a little surreal. I blame that on the cold meds…. BLAAA. I had a thick fleece on over my cute outfit, and underneath that-a throw away sweatshirt and gloves. I disposed of the fleece right as the anthem was finished being sung..seriously…it was SO DAMN COLD that I could hardly bear to part with it. I didn’t even realize until I sat down to write this post that I took no pictures of my race outfit, and no pictures of me at the starting line.. It really didn’t even occur to me. I was way too nervous about racing while being sick since it’s something I’ve never done before.

The gun went off promptly at 8 (I love that) and we were off!

  I tried to snap a good picture of my pace group leaders shirt but it was tough!

Miles 1-9.
I learned from my mistakes of running in a large group from last year: The orange cones lining the course  tripped me up…a lot. I didn’t want it to happen again, so I stayed at the back of the pace group. It was primarily men and just 2 other girls… If I fell….I would have gotten stomped on by really tall men!

I didn’t shed my gloves until mile 7…and even then I was really hesitant to do it. I was a little sweaty and it was either toss the gloves-or toss the sweatshirt. I didn’t want to get to a situation where I was suddenly walking and freezing and wishing I hadn’t thrown it away so the gloves were tossed. As soon as I tossed them, I immediately cooled. I’m now wondering if I should’ve kept the gloves and tossed the sweatshirt because I never warmed up again and kept that damn ugly, old sweathshirt on for 26.2 miles. (and it was an old zip up shirt that I think I got from high school!)) 

I stayed with the pace group this whole time. Everything still felt good, and I figured I had a good chance to hit the goal I wanted to hit.

Mile 10.
My cute running partner Kristina told me to look for her family  at mile 10 and I ALMOST MISSED HER and the GIANT AMAZING sign she made me!! I asked her how I was doing and she said GREAT and that the 3:15 pace group was right ahead of me and that my goal was going to happen. She told me she’d be there for the second loop and I’d see her at Mile 20.

Mile 11.
Tra la la la la! I get to see my friend again at mile 20! Yay!

Mile 12.
Rourke Bridge- See my friend Marli and I’m SO thriled that I face planted into her to give her a hug. She tells me to keep going and that I’m doing GREAT!

Mile 13.
I’m tired.

Mile 14.
I think the pity party started right around then. I didn’t want to be there, I wanted to go back to bed, I wanted to be warm…I wanted a lot of things. I think this was also when I realized the 3:15 pace group was a little farther ahead of me than what I’d planned. I thought to myself “It’s ok! The 3:25 group hasn’t passed me yet! I’m good.”

Mile 15/16/17.
My breathing started to feel really laborious (that’s what happens when you run IN the cold WITH a cold, duh), and I saw the 3:25 pacer’s shadow over my shoulder as they slowly passed from behind me.(((SIGH))) #Sadness. It’s really hard to remember a lot of details from around that time besides hitting the WALL. I WANTED to go home with Kristina when I saw her. Or call my Dad. I just didn’t want to be there anymore and marathons are dumb, and running when you’re sick is dumb and I probably was even thinking that running itself is dumb. Sniffle sniffle, cough cough, and cue the Waaaahhmbulance!!

I hit the 30k in 2:24 and I remembered that when I did Stu’s 30k back in March, I ran that in 2:45. I realized things might not be that bad after all.

Mile 19.

Mile 20/21
I see my beautiful friend, running towards me! I tell her how sad I am about the 3:25 group passing, and she lets me continue to cry and moan to her. Then she tells me she’s going to run with me for a little while. (company is amazing during a marathon, FYI) She starts telling me funny stories of her day of spectating. She gets me out of my own head. Along mile 20, I also saw my beautiful running partner S! I almost missed her TOO because I was looking down at the road! She brought her kids to cheer me on and it was amazing! I only wish I could’ve stopped to hug her, but I’m not sure I would have finished if I did that!!!

Kristina and I hit mile 21 and she told me that she has to turn around and get back to her husband and cute little baby. She said that she KNEW I was going to finish and at that moment? I knew it too. I am 100% positive that I would’ve given up if it weren’t for her words of encouragement. She was really sore from her tempo workout the day before, but she still pushed me to get my pace faster because she knew exactly what I needed at that exact moment. I’m forever grateful for what she did for me! Never underestimate the healing power of friendship!!

Mile 22
4 miles left? I can do 4 miles in my sleep! I picked up the pace a little because I was almost done!

Mile 23.
I felt so strong mile 23! I started to pass people and dream of a martini and French fries!

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but my stepdaughter was going to be at the finish line with my SIL, my MIL, and my niece. I said “my family is at the finish line” over and over in my head and it became my mantra. I was so excited to see my little’s face!!

Mile 24
This was my slowest mile, and I don’t know why. My legs felt like they were moving fast but my split ended up being an 8:58.

Mile 25…almost there…Mile 26…yay! I happened to look down at my watch at exactly 26.2 miles and it read 3:25:50. I guess it’s a PR from my 3:28:07… But it’s not official so I have a hard time considering it an actual PR.

I crossed the finish line, officially, with a 3:28:33. 26 seconds off of my “official PR”, and pretty far away from the time goal I had set.

Over the first few days of being sick, I think I went through the denial stages and I definitely struggled the most with “anger.” Of all the times to get sick (and I’m NEVER sick): its the week of my big race. What dumb bad luck. But you can’t plan everything, and I definitely trained like a bad-ass for 4 months and did the hard work. “It is what it is” and I DO know that I had a terrific time-whether I was sick or not. A 3:28 is fantastic: It’s a BQ with lots of cushion . I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I usually do during a race. I just love this course and to be sick while running it…well. It just wasn’t as fun as it normally is for me!

Some fun pictures from the day…

This is right where my family is standing. I’m waving both hands because they were on BOTH sides of the street, haha.

I was immediately a popsicle after the finish and I regretted not packing a blanket in my bag. SO freaking COLD outside!!

  This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. You can’t really tell, but that’s my little one bundled up in this coat. SHe was hugging me for so long telling me she was proud of me. It meant the world to me that SIL captured it :)

This is my girlfriend Kaey who volunteered that day. She had a bunch of friends who were running and thought it would be fun to volunteer. I LOVE her. Anyway, someone snapped this pic of us and I know for a fact that I was feeling like I was going to pass out right here and Kaey walked with me for a while until I got my feet back! Thanks girlfriend!

  Kaey made us some signs :)

Family hugs :)

After the race, it was off to our local watering hole! (We go to the same place every year.) Every year-> my niece and I take a picture together. I love that she comes to all my finish lines, too because she’s the funniest/sweetest thing!

Being silly with the hubs :)

The SILS and our photo bombers!

Me with my little ladies :)


And some of the professional pictures:


See?? I told you I kept the sweatshirt on ALL DAY!


This pic above?? THIS is my very favorite racing photo of ALL TIME. And I run a whole lot of races so THAT is saying something my friends!

This years medal were STUNNING. They are red to signify the LAST of the bridges that the runners cross (it’s red :))


I didn’t get the time I wanted, but you know what? It was still a very good day. I ran my favorite race and was blown away by all the support I received. I felt the love all around me! That’s the most important thing. I had my family there for me, my friends, and all of YOU in my THANK YOU.

I have to say that running is a lifetime sport for me. That’s always in the back of my mind. And, I’m learning that PR’s and official times don’t define me. You are great even without the “great” times. That being said… I will get my goal someday and I’m not worried about it :)

And oooone more picture:


This is a “throwback” to my very first Baystate Marathon. You can see how little Aly is! She was only 5 here :) I will never forget this race, as long as I live: This was the first time I was ever able to break the 5 hour mark with a time of 4:17-I think it was a PR of about 45 minutes for me. Knowing that I could do something so amazing gave me a LOT of hope. I’ve kind of taken that hope and run with it over the years. I will never ever give up on my dreams, and neither should you. It’s ok to miss a time goal you set for yourself because it just gives us more inspiration to go out and knock it out of the park next time.


Thank you for reading this really obnoxiously long post :) And as always, Run Free, Run Strong my friends!


Incorporating BBG into Marathon Training

I haven’t mentioned BBG in a while and lately I’ve gotten a few emails regarding beginning the BBG program while also being in marathon training. Even though I’ve written about the basic FAQ’s of BBG here and here, I thought it might be beneficial to a lot of runners out there who have questions about how I incorporated BBG into my running.

For those of you who have NO idea what BBG is, I will sum it up briefly: “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 combinations are killer.

Serious truth..

When I first started BBG, it was the beginning of June. As some of you know-I’m a teacher and have the summers off. (don’t hate me!) Without an 8 hour work day, I had bunch of extra time in my schedule so it really was the perfect time to begin a strength program like BBG. I started BBG as a way to tone up more, get stronger, and to just be a better “me.” While I was still in school, I would run in the morning, and on BBG days-I would do that after work.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with BBG the way I did-But it happened. I saw changes in my body that I have never seen before and I found the workouts to be high intensity, challenging, and fun. I love that I can do the workouts in my house. I also love that there is no one barking orders at me. I’ve never been the biggest fan of workout classes because I don’t really like instructors telling me what to do, or correcting me if I’m doing it wrong. It’s not that I don’t want my form to be correct- I just REALLY hate attention being drawn to me and people starting at me. So….the fact that I can get a good sweat on in my living room with my own music blaring in the background is pretty awesome to me.

After the 12 weeks of BBG, I have found myself to be a stronger, fitter, leaner version of myself. Running is my true love, but it just doesn’t give me the same tone and definition that it did in my 20’s. I love the moves and challenges of BBG. I’m now on round 2 of weeks 1-12 (you can buy the 2nd edition for weeks 13-24, but at this time, I chose to just restart at week 1) During the 2nd round, I’ve found that I’m actually better at it than I was the first time around.

Feeling so strong!

For the first 10 weeks, I didn’t skip a single workout (That’s kind of a big deal!). It was a new & exciting challenge and I loved mastering moves like burpees (love them), commando’s (I can do them well but I still HATE them) and I lunged like a BOSS.

The setup for the majority of BBG weeks is:
Monday- Legs
Wednesday-Arms or Arms & Abs
Friday-Abs or Full body.

For me, the toughest workout is the legs day. It leaves me VERY sore for a couple days. This was the workout that I struggled with the most: No matter what, it seemed to get in the way of running. Doing it on a Monday meant I’m leaving myself pretty sore for a tempo or track workout on a Tuesday. During 2 out of 12 week, the “legs” day falls on a Friday. This was great for my speedwork, but bad for my long run. I tend to do my long run on Saturday mornings and I’m extremely stubborn about swapping it to Sundays. Doing BBG on a Friday, long run Saturday is just sooo much soreness, I can’t even EXPLAIN it to you except to say “try it and give me a call after and I’ll listen to you whine.” I ended up making the decision that if/when legs day fell on a Friday, I would swap it over to Mondays.

All of the arms/abs/full body workouts still leave me sore, but it’s not the same as the leg soreness (for me). Please note that everybody is different, and what makes ME the most sore might not make YOU the most sore. I already have a solid core and strong arms from doing pushup and planking daily, and I think that’s why those workouts are easier on my body. On runs the day after an arm or ab workout, I would feel the muscles that I worked-but it was more like a “good sore” vs. “hate my life” sore. Does this make sense? I hope so. So for example: if I had an arms/abs workout on a Friday, I would be okay for a long run on Saturday.

Sometimes, I would end up on the floor like this after BBG…
Weeks 11 and 12 were a little bit trickier for me to handle because I went on vacation, became full time mom and went back to work all within a two week span. I still completed Weeks 11 & 12, but they were more spaced out. I did 2 workouts a week instead of 3 and it took me about 3 weeks to do those last 6 workouts. I finally completed the full 12 weeks of BBG during the 3rd week of September.

By now you’ve probably started thinking to yourself how the heck did she actually do the workouts and run? Or that I’m crazy for doing all of this strength training while training for a marathon. Or maybe you’re thinking both things? The first 10 weeks, my workouts typically looked like this:

Monday-Running: Off, BBG Legs.
Tuesday-AM: Speedwork (Tempo or track workout), typically 7-9 miles
Wednesday-AM-Easy run (8-12 miles), PM*-BBG Arms
Thursday- Speedwork (Tempo or track workout), typically 7-9 miles
Friday-AM Easy run of 5 miles or OFF, PM-BBG Abs.
Saturday-Long run, 16-20 miles
Sunday- recovery run.

*During the summer months, I would run early in the morning and do BBG later in the afternoon. AGAIN, keep in mind that I wasn’t working so it was easy to fit into my day.

BBG is only 28 minutes but it’s 28 very intense minutes. It’s the easiest and hardest workout I’ve ever done. I say “easy” because after a few reps—even a rhythmically challenged dodo like myself can pick it up, and “hard” because it’s a solid 28 minutes of working your *** off. There is no denying it: I’m dripping with sweat & exhausted when I finish, and I love it. With the exception of jumping rope (I pretend to jump rope by still doing the motions as if I’m really jumping rope because I just CAN’T do it), I’ve never modified any of the moves. Unless I physically can’t do a move, I leave it as is because I don’t want to cheat myself out of a great workout.

Right now I’m on my second round of BBG and I’ve just finished week 1. Since I’ve got a marathon on Sunday, I decided to completely give in to the last week of taper and not do any BBG. My body will be much happier on race day if it’s well rested! As I mentioned above, I finished the 12 week program the 3rd week of September. I loved/love every minute of BBG and I decided that going forward, I wanted to keep up with it. I’ve been back to work for 1 ½ months and I’m facing new challenges in life: I’ve got a 9 year old and I’m learning all kinds of new mom things! Trying to keep up with everything is a lot of work.

Running is, and always will be, my true love, and it will always take precedence over BBG. What works for me (right now) is a 2 day week of BBG, and sometimes one of those days in on a Saturday or a Sunday. I’m not placing any pressure on myself to do it. If I did? I would be SUPER stressed trying to cram every little thing into my day and when I did get a change to do BBG, I would feel like I’m forcing it on myself. It’s so dark in the morning that I end up doing the majority of my runs at night. If I can get my booty out of bed at a decent hour in the morning, I will cram in a few miles on my treadmill and do BBG at night while my daughter is doing homework. I still see results even though I’m doing it 1-2 times a week. I try to look at it like this: Even 1 workout a week is better than NO workouts a week.

The last two weeks, my schedule has looked like this:
Sept 28-Oct 4:
Monday: BBG Legs Week 1
Tuesday: 6 miles (PM)
Wednesday: 6 miles (PM)
Thursday: 6 miles (tmill/PM)
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 2 tmill miles followed by BBG Arms & Abs Week 1
Sunday-16 miles

October 5th-October 11th:
Monday: 4 miles (PM)
Wednesday: 7.5 miles (Track workout in the early afternoon)
Thursday: 6.35 miles (AM), PM BBG-Week 1 Full Body
Friday: 5 miles (PM)
Saturday: 11 miles (AM)
Sunday-5 miles (AM)

So you can see: It took me 2 weeks to complete Round 2/Week 1 of BBG, and during the 2nd week, I only did one workout. I would have started week 2 of BBG however, Oct 5/11 was a crazy busy week and I just couldn’t fit it in anywhere.

My advice to runners looking to incorporate this program into their lives and don’t have much time because LIFE gets crazy is this: You’ve got to learn to adapt. Don’t put pressure on yourself. If you know you have a busy week ahead of you, try to fit it in when you can. There have also been weeks that I have done two days back to back with BBG. It is what it is. Just like with running: If you WANT to do it- you will.

I hope this super long post is helpful to those runners out there who have been inquiring about this. Please comment here if you have a question, or email me at :)

Happy Running,  my friends!

Since we last spoke…

What a busy few weeks!!! I’m so sorry I haven’t been blogging! I have to say, it feels really weird not to be on a regular posting schedule. I wish there were more hours in the day and that I could have solid hour to put towards blogging. (((SIGH)))

But the good news is–> There is a lot of great life stuff happening lately. That is the most important thing!

Two weeks ago, my little buddy said she wanted to come for a run with me. So we laced up, and out into the world we went! She did really well and made it about half a mile before stopping/dying of thirst/complaining. I told her we HAD to do an entire mile though and we walked/ran the rest of the way. I have NO doubts in her athletic abilities…check out girlfriends stride- She’s a natural!

I also ran a race- Surf Town Half Marathon in Rhode Island. I should really get around to doing a recap for it, but time is not my friend. So I’ll sum it up in just a few bullet point sentences:

-I loved the course-It was really pretty, along the ocean, and very flat (until Mile 11)

-I ended up cancelling my hotel and driving down the morning of the race.. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive. Highways make me nervous and so do long solo drives-This definitely contributed to me not doing as well as I had hoped. Live and learn!

-It was PERFECT racing weather: overcast and slightly misty.

-Official time: 1:37, 16th/1004 females

-I was ok with my time.. I had originally set my sights on a PR for this race. BUT..I know long drives slow my legs down. Anything over an hour and I can really kiss any goals I have goodbye. It ended up being a great tempo run for me. When I was all done-I had a ton of gas left in the tank, and I felt that I could’ve done another 13.1 miles at that speed.

A reader sent me this pic…As you can see-I zoomed it in a little :) So cool!

Had some big confidence boosting workouts including a solid ladder workout, all faster than the goals I had set. BOOM.

Registered for Boston….

Ran the longest, slowest long run EVER. This was an exercise in building my mental game for my marathon as well as getting time on my feet: I ran the two double loops of my upcoming marathon (Baystate Marathon). The first loop was fantastic. The 2nd looped dragged on and on and i HATED IT. But I did it & I know that on October 18th: I will be running my race and reflecting back on this particular run while dominating Baystate. :)

Oh, and back to Boston-I have been accepted…Yay!

I also said goodbye to my beloved Garmin. RIP, 610. We had many good runs together! There were many tears & a 12 step program towards my acceptance of its passing. (moment of silence for Garmin 610)

Another confidence building workout: Mile repeats, old school and with a stopwatch! I felt so hardcore..

My husband is an angel and surprised me with a new Garmin. His reasoning for purchasing this model? “It is better so we are getting this one.” Love him.


Family Outing: My buddy did a 2 mile walk with SIL & my niece while I ran the 5k. It was a Superhero themed race to honor the late son of my friend Scott. It was an awesome day and we dressed as matching Wonder Women! I won 2nd place overall female. (Got outkicked in the 2nd mile-my legs were tired from the mile repeats 2 days before!) Official time 21:02, my Garmin read 20:50.

I got to run into an old friend there too and it made me so happy! She heard my name being called at the podium and ran over to find me. I love good surprises like that!

Aw. Love him.

This run made me SO happy. I set a goal for myself a year ago to break 2:40 in a 20 mile run. This thought never left my brain. To me: 15-18 mile runs are a lot easier to run faster. There’s something about 19/20/22 mile runs that make me slow down. So this run made me very excited!


OH yeah–I don’t know that I’ve ever said this on the blog-but Dave McGillivray is my personal hero. He is the race director of the Boston Marathon but SO much more than that. He has run across the country twice, done many Ironmans, and there has even been some swimming across the English Channel. He is the pioneer of raising money for charities and his first trip across the country started with him raising money for the Jimmy Fund. He is a stand up dude. I met him once before and have a picture with him too. He has a book called “The Last Pick.” I highly reccommend it–> I reread his book every year in the taper weeks before Boston. I think Dave is the only other person on the planet who loves the Boston Marathon as much as I do. Anyway–MEGA RUNNING GEEK MOMENT—He was running the Superhero race. AND I MET HIM. I put away my shy, quiet girl, channeled some bravery, walked right up to him, shook his hand and told him he is my hero. I didn’t even ask him to take a pic with me because I was too nervous. THis one is from my friend Scott so I’m including it here for you to see! Dave is 2nd from the left  and my friend Scott is on the right:)

You might also recognize another well known man in this pic-Team Hoyt was there as well! They are equally as amazing!

Last long run before Baystate-first 8 @ 8:13 pace, 2nd half 7:35 pace. Feeling real good about those race goals. It was chilly-50 when I started. It felt sooo good to do a long run in this kind of weather! I love this watch and how the VO2Max predicts your race times :) The watch knows me so well! ;)

TODAY is my buddy’s 9th birthday! We have big plans for her big day!

And this is where I leave you! Happy Hump Day! I hope you have a great long weekend and get Monday off too!

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!