Thursday, March 24, 2011

Race Recap and WHY I do this

I cannot believe I ran a half marathon. Seriously. And I am pretty sure no one else can believe it. When I started this blog a few months ago I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do the 8k I planned on running March 20th. Running 5 miles sounded almost impossible to me. Instead of struggling through an 8k, I pushed myself through 13.1 miles and loved (almost) every second of it!

Going into the race I said several time that I could take most any weather condition as long as it wasn't windy. Windy it was, my friends. It was cold and windy and early and I was nervous! Luckily, I had met up with a friend at her house before the race and she had a drunken neighbor still up from the previous night sporting board shorts and a denim jacket show up at the house for some pre-race entertainment. Most random thing ever, but it lightened the mood and took our mind off the jitters for sure. And there was an up side to the cold too. I wore one of the hubsters ugliest sweatshirts for the first half mile and then chucked it on the side of the road and said goodbye forever to that hideous thing! If only I would have layered up and really got some closet cleaning done :)

The cold definitely made the first few miles hard, but I got into a groove around mile 3 and really felt good the rest of the race. Seeing all of the people around me pushing through mile after mile was so motivating. There was a blind athlete, a women with only one arm and so many older runners...the list goes on. Mile 11 and 12 were my fastest miles by far because I am not very smart and thought I only had a mile left when I saw the 11 mile marker and pushed hard...when I saw the 12 mile marker and realized what I had done I refused to slow down because I am just plain stubborn. Seeing the finish line was the most awesome feeling ever! Well, the most awesome until I realized that our medal doubles as a bottle opener. Nice.
When I got home, I was craving the most random food combo...

Running this half made me realize WHY I write on this blog, why I share my experiences on facebook and why fitness is such a passion of mine. This is a way that I can reach people. A way that I can help by simply doing something I love. If I can motivate ONE person to make positive changes in their get in the gym when they would rather sit on the couch, to reach for something healthy when the ice cream is calling their name , to stay positive when all the odds are against them...then this is worth it. Having a friend tell me that she logged onto facebook, saw my race picture and was motivated to go to the gym after a rough week is literally the best feeling in the entire world. I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with your weight and I know that the key to turning that frustration into results is support. If this blog allows me to be that support to someone, I will write forever! 

In the meantime, I am looking for my next that I can drag the hubs into! Sorry, babe, but you owe me <3

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wardrobe Practicality....huh?

A few years ago I would have said "huh?" too. I mean, a few years ago I had no reason for my wardrobe to be practical. Anything in the name if fashion! Sky high heels, dangerously low rise jeans, and dry clean only were not hazards pre kiddos. I did not have to worry about running (in stilettos) after a to year old when he takes off into the road in front of Panera (Not that my angel would ever do that. Hypothetical, obviously.). I did not have to worry about my bum making an unwanted appearance as I sit down in the middle of a park to change an untimely, explosive diaper. I probably also did not call it a "bum," but that's beside the point. I did not have to worry about puke, food, boogers, etc on my beloved silk blouses. All of these, however, are not reasons throw style by the wayside and wear hoodies everyday. I think hanging on to your personal style while doing the mommy thing is not only doable, but really important. I feel a million times better when I am put together and I do not think I am alone here.

So, how do you do it? I think you have to reevaluate what is practical in your everyday wardrobe. I don't mean that these lovers to the right no longer have a place in my life. They have just been reallocated from everyday to date night :) The idea is not to replace your wardrobe with a mom uniform. While being a mom gives me the greatest joy, I am more than just mom. The past few years my wardrobe (and shoe collection) has definitely changed, but I still dress very much me. I don't think this:

is a bad trade off  for getting to do this... 
all day long! 
Today was the perfect example of how my style has changed to the practical. I bought and wore a pair of heels that my three years ago self would have barely glanced at...because there weren't four inches high. And you now what, I loved them! 

I feel totally put together, but ready to play (or chase a toddler across a parking lot). The shoes are from Target, one of my all time favorite stores, which means it is one of the hubsters all time least favorite :)

It took me a little while to find the place where my pre baby fashion could meet the new needs of my crazy two baby life, but I feel like I am getting there. When I am shopping I definitely think a whole lot more about the practicality of each item. Did having kids change your style? How do you keep your sense of"self" when your days are consumed by the needs of your kids?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back in Biz

What's up, friends? Sorry I fell off the face of the blogiverse for a (really long) while. After spending a glorious two and a half months in CA with the fam I made the trek back to good ole VA Beach and real life. It was amazing to have the love and support of everyone at home to get us through the holidays, but it was time to face the music and settle back into our normal (as normal as our life can be without our favorite man).  Along with settling back into home came all of the crazy, unexpected stuff that inevitably happens when the hubs is not around to fix/help/support/calm....

BUT, I'mmmmmm baaaaaack! The good news is that I did not stop blogging because I was failing with my fitness quest. The opposite really! My madre, bless her heart, has been with us for the past few weeks and I have been taking full advantage of my live in nanny grandma. I have been living part time at my gym...I missed it so!

Anyway, I do have a point for this post. And it's a good one :) It's not original by any means, but I had a break though today and wanted to share it with all of you! I have said this before and I will say it again, I love excuses and will use them if I can. So, because I know that about myself, it is so important to set myself up for success. When it comes to food, I have to make eating healthy easy and quick or I will use that as an excuse and choose a less than healthy option. I have a ton of little tricks to make this happen, but the one I finally tried and cannot fathom not doing now is cutting my veggis when I get home from grocery shopping rather than when I need them. Ummmm, what, you're bored and totally not impressed with my less than ground breaking advice? Well, have you tried it? Seriously, cutting all my veggis has changed my daily eating habits. It makes it so, so easy to add them to eggs in the morning, stir fry at dinner, a salad is basically already made for you at lunch....fabulous! I never did this before because it seemed like a waste of time, but really it was a waste of food and money because I would have veggis go bad before I even used them. I have upped my veg intake so much and grab them for a snack because they are all ready to go. Give it a try, you will thank me :)

This drawer makes me a little too happy!
(p.s. does anyone have a recommendation for reusable little bags? I have using all the ziplocks, but they fit so much better than tupperware...)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Things I am loving, Copycat Edition

I love, love, love blog posts like this. It is fun to read (hopefully) honest reviews and get ideas for products, recipes, etc that you may not have thought of yourself. I am going to make "Things I am Loving" a regular bog feature, but thought it was appropriate to use my first one as a little tribute to the things I am currently loving because another blogger inspired me to try them.

The first thing I am loving is a skin care product. After Veronika's glowing review (her blog is the cutest, fyi...check it out!) I decided to try Philosophy's Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads.

It was instant love for me and these little guys. They are not harsh on my sensitive combo skin and my face feels so refreshed after I use them! I cut them in half as Veronika suggested and it works like a charm (plus makes them last twice as long :).

Number two my new breakfast obsession. Actually, I am totally lying...I have eaten this for every meal of the day and as a snack multiple times in the past few weeks. I got the idea from Gina at The Fitnessista. This girl is a serious inspiration as a military wife and health/fitness lover. She had me at goat cheese! Anyway, easy, quick, delish...I am sold! Seriously, try this! Toast a piece of wheat bread, spread with goat cheese (Trader Joe's has individual goat cheese medallions. So easy!), top with a little salsa (the hotter the better) and an egg or egg whites. You're welcome.

The third thing I am loving at the moment was brought to my attention by the lovely Elizabeth at Behind the Dressing Room Door. First let me say that this blog is the best concept ever for busy mama's. She goes into Anthropologie (only the most amazing store ever) and tries on tons of clothes, her own picks and reader requests, and then posts reviews of the pieces. I feel much better ordering something online when I have seen it on and reviewed by a real person. And I am sure the staff at Anthro appreciates her limiting my trips in store with two crazy kiddos. Win win :) Anyway, on to my latest love.

This top screams spring to me! I might be cheating putting it in a things I am loving post before it is actually in my hands, but I can't help it...I love it that much already!! Small side note: the top is Spledid, a brand I love for their cute, casual CA vibe and the just did a line of their kids wear for Target. It is to.die.for and my kids will soon own each and every piece there is! 

Hope you enjoyed my first things I am loving post. Maybe in the future it won't be so random!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wrangling the Girls

Did you guys know you can actually do some serious damage to your bod by wearing a sports bra that does not provide enough support? Well, I obviously didn't because I have been wearing cheapo sports bras from Target for as long as I can remember. And, let's be honest, my chest is not small.

I don't know why I have never invested in a good sports bra. I guess it is easier plunking down a chunk of change for a pretty lace number that it is for an ugly, plain athletic one. But if you think about it, it's probably even more important to wear a quality bra while working out than it is any other time. I came to this realization after an unfortunate running incident that involved my less-than-supportive Champion bra creeping up above my boobies around mile 2. Ummmm, not where is is supposed to be. I cannot believe I am writing this on the internet, but I'm telling you people...get a good bra before this happens to you!

I took the plunge yesterday and got two quality bras, and I am happy to report my run today was gloriously bounce free :) I am so glad I did this because, guess what? I (along with 80% of women) was wearing the wrong size bra! It is crucial to go and get fitted, especially if you have had kids and especially, especially if you have nursed said kids. My bra size went down (wooohooo!) since having my kiddos.

Incase you are on the hunt too, here are the bras I got. The Lululemon 50 Rep Bra and a Moving Comfort Fiona Bra. I got the first in black because even I am boring like that sometimes and the second I let my one year old pick the color, purple...mama's girl!! So far I am in love, but I think after years of the wrong bra anything with a little support would be amazing. I will post reviews after I have the chance to really put them to the test

...and put them to the test, I will...uhhhh, with a HALF MARATHON in March! More details about that insane decision soon :)

Anyone have a favorite, supportive sports bra?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Motivation with a capital M

Motivation has always been my problem when it comes to running, well working out in general really, but especially running. I always have great intentions and then I come up with great excuses. To keep myself motivated I have to play games with myself in my head. Geez, when I type that out it sort of makes me feel a little nutso, but whatev...I can't be alone here. Right? ...Right?!? Anyway, I thought I would share a few things that are motivating me right now. These things change often, I gotta keep it fresh or my motivation starts to dive.

My biggest motivation right now is this guy:
Having the hubs deployed is the ultimate motivation. Once you take a day or two to drown your sorrows in chocolate and wine (not that I actually did this or anything...) it is time to start getting into homecoming shape! Not seeing G for seven months makes me want to look damn good when he comes home! And this motivation goes two ways because you can sure as heck bet he is heading straight to the ship's gym upon reading this. Have a good run, babe ;)

Another current motivator:
Ummmmm, who could not be motivated when they look down and see PINK shoes? Oh, wait...probably just me. I really am though. I look down and get a little giddy boost from that splash of pink :)

And one more:
My first race ever! I am running the 10k relay with an awesome friend. So, while 5k is no big thang to lots of people, it is pretty darn exciting to me. When I told the hubs that I was going to take up running while he was gone he literally laughed out loud. I am not in horrible shape, but running has NEVER been my thing. I used to wake him up early on a weekend morning, force him to run with me and then turn around and beg him to stop after less than a mile. I decided if I could survive a deployment I could do anything - becoming a runner included. Day one of deployment, I laced up my sneakers, loaded up the double Bob and took off. I wanted to stop, a lot. But I didn't and was beat by the time I got back to the house I thought I had really, really pushed myself...and then I wanted to cry when I looked at my mileage. .93 miles. That's right, not even a full mile. So, I quit. A month later I realized I needed to run. I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. So, I started again and I have stuck with it and much to my surprise I LOVE it! I do not love every second of every run, but I LOVE how I felt today when I ran three miles in less than 25 minutes today. I can be a runner, and in some weird way that makes me feel like I can do anything. I am planning an 8k this spring and maybe (even though I am still a little scared to say it out loud!) a half marathon in the fall. 

Okay, that was not supposed to turn into my running saga...but in the spirit of motivation, maybe that will motivate one of you! What do you use for motivation to workout?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mixing fitness and fashion. WHAT?

So, a friend of mine made the comment that she too works out at nap time in her house and as a result wears workout clothes most days all day long (Hi, Tarin!). I had to laugh. I can totally relate. There have been many days like this for me as well. I have noticed, however, that I feel better on days that I am "put together". Motherhood has definitely changed my version of put together, but it did not change the fact that I like to have some makeup on my face and cute shoes on my feet.

So, as my (rather large) collection of beautiful (insanely high) heels sit in my closet and collect dust, I have come up with ways to look and feel put together on a daily...okay, maybe not daily...let's say most daily basis. One of my little tricks is making my workout clothes pull double duty. You can find me at the grocery store in workout clothes often, but you wouldn't necessarily know it because I wear them like regular pieces of my wardrobe.

The day I read Tarin's comment was the perfect example. My running tights were doubling as leggings and I just threw some easy pieces over them to make my outfit feel complete. Perfect mom solution: easy, quick and comfy! Sure it would have looked better with an iron and a hairbrush, but hey, at least I am not that mom running errands in huge sweat pants and stained t-shirts, right?!?

Running tights: Lululemon wunder under crop
Tunic: Old Navy chambray tunic (old, but similar here)
Jacket: Liquid (aslo a few years old)
Scarf: A little gem mama put in my stocking!
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Baby Groovee satchel
Boots: Miz Mooz Isben (I bought these guys on for half price! Love!)
And I am not often without my gold wings...gotta keep the hubs close to my heart!

Do you ever use your workout clothes as part of other outfits? Am I the only crazy that thinks this is okay?

Small disclaimer: I am not knocking other mom's who do not get up and put on a face full of makeup every day, or head out of the house in lounge clothes. That is me sometimes. I have just noticed how much more ME I feel when I make the effort and thought a few easy tips could help other mamas.