Thinking Ahead: Exercise Post Baby

Little Brother is due to arrive any day now, and while I have loved most moments of pregnancy this time around, I’m VERY ready to have this baby in my arms instead of my belly, and to reclaim my body as my own at least a little bit.


The only exercise I’ve been able to do for the past nine months has been walking, and even that has fallen by the wayside as I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks and all my energy went into keeping baby in for a few weeks longer. But now I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m starting to look at my jogging stroller with stars in my eyes, because soon I’ll be able to hit the pavement.

Pre-pregnancy, my goal was to run a marathon in January of 2019. I gave myself a full two years to train, but one of those years has been handed over to pregnancy. Since I’ll be starting over from scratch after the holidays, I’m trying to decide if I want to keep that goal of the 2019 marathon.

My husband thinks I’m a little crazy to be considering training for such a long distance with a new baby and while breastfeeding. My fitness level when I had JC seven years ago was…well, nonexistent. I didn’t work out at all, and he was two before I discovered running. I also did not nurse him, so the whole breastfeeding thing will be new to me. When I think about all those hurdles, I wonder if maybe my husband is right, and if giving myself more time would make the experience more pleasant all around. Maybe I should make a 2019 early spring half my goal? Or focus only on shorter distances during the next 12 months? All I know is I NEED a goal, or there will be a lot of sitting around making excuses.


So am I crazy to try and train for a marathon at this point in my life? Should I find a new fitness activity altogether for awhile, like a dance class, or a barre class, or something totally different? I want to honor my body as it heals from this round of childbirth, and I want to provide it with the energy it needs to feed baby and be healthy overall. Of course, losing the baby weight will be good–but even more so, I just want to be moving again.

Did you run while you were pregnant, or did you switch your fitness routine drastically when you were having and raising young kids–or for another reason? Did you nurse while you were running? I’d love to hear your tips. 



A Bump in the Road

I’ve hit a little bump in the road of my two-year marathon training plan.

A baby bump, that is.

Big brother JC fondly refers to him as Nugget, and we are all over the moon that our newest addition will be joining us around Thanksgiving.

As we all know, a baby changes everything–and this baby is no exception. The only exercise my doctor cleared me for is walking and swimming. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I finally feel like actually doing those things. My first three months growing our little Nugget were pretty rough–in addition to my husband starting a new job and our family moving, I added morning all-day sickness and pretty intense sciatica to my list. Those days mostly seem to be behind me, and I’m excited to feel like a person again. Plus now I have a cute little belly that looks like I’m actually with child, and not just with cheeseburger.

I’m super envious of all the mamas-to-be out there that are still running daily and doing their normal fitness routines. To be honest, at first I was a little bitter. My first pregnancy with JC was rough, and I always swore that if I did it again I’d be super fit and healthy. Despite the changes I’ve made during this pregnancy, like eating healthier, my body seems to have its own ideas on what it can handle. However, Nugget is looking great and in the long run, that’s really all I care about. I’ve come to terms that me and my bump won’t be running any half marathons together and that my two -year marathon plan is on pause. However, it doesn’t mean I plan on being a slug on the couch (at least not most of the time). I’m just going to have to find my own version of healthy and fit, and I look forward to sharing it with you over the next 6 months.

Did you stay active during pregnancy? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks. 




Virtual Runs: Yay or Nay?

My life is beginning to fall into a runner’s pattern again: maintenece runs on Tuesday and Thursdays, long runs on weekends. Training goals highlighted in my calendar. And the best part: races.

I love race day. It’s why I run. I love the energy and the comraderie at the starting line and the swells of emotion at the finish line. And since those things are so important to me, I generally don’t like virtual runs. I enjoy T-shirts and medals as much as the next girl, but the bling isn’t what drives me. 

However, there have been a couple of virtuals that have had me reconsidering my stance. Like the Hogwarts Running Club. They raise money for various charities and have virtual race themes like the Fantastic Beasts 5K and the Platform 9 3/4K. They all have adorable medals. 

I also have a hard time saying no to the virtual  runDisney Running Shorts event. I didn’t do it last year, but I just saw the announcement that it was returning for 2017. 

I think I’ll consider registering for one if we vacation at Disney this spring or summer. It might be fun to cover the miles for the virtual while at a resort. 

Another virtual race I always think about is the Celebration Half, which is run in Celebration, Florida. Their virtual goodies are always really nice–especially those raw threads T-shirts–but I’ve never pulled the trigger. 

I’d love to hear about your experiences with virtual runs–love them or hate them? Do you run them for charity? Or to keep yourself motivated between races? 

Tips for Travel Wellness

The last year has seen my family and I traveling all over the United States, from our Hawaii/west coast trip last spring, to southern Florida in the fall, to our most recent: a week in Arizona. Before 2016, I would not have considered myself a traveler. 

I hadn’t been on a plane since before 9/11 when I hopped on that 10 hour flight to Oahu in April. But now that we’re packing our bags and exploring new destinations regularly, I have a few tried and true tips I wanted to share.

Bring your favorite water bottle: Most airports have filling stations, and it will save you money (and calories!) durning travel and when you reach your destination. 

Eat at the right local times: One of the things that has helped me most with jet lag is eating meals according to local time, even if I’m not that hungry.

Hit the grocery store, even if you’re staying in a hotel…I try to keep snacks where we’re staying and carry some with me to keep me from snacking on unhealthy & expensive food while I’m out being a tourist. On the last trip I kept carrots, veggie dip and cheese & crackers on hand for munchie momemts. 

…But enjoy eating out every now and then, too. Eating out is fun and relaxing. As a mom, I don’t want to prepare and clean up after every meal while I’m on vacation. When we travel, my family tries to avoid chains we can find at home and look for food unique to the area. 

Arizona has awesome Mexican food. Epic amounts of queso, anyone?

Put a white noise app on your phone. Between time changes and loud hotel neighbors, sleep can be in short supply on some vacations. I downloaded the classical album my son falls asleep to at home to help him on the road, and I can fall asleep listening to the gentle sound of rain even in the middle of the desert. 

Relax. It’s a vacation, remember? It can be easy to try and see everything when you’re in a new place. When we went to Hawaii, I knew it had the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so I wanted to see it all, and we did. But if you ask my son what his favorite part was, he’ll be quick to tell you it was the night we all piled into bed together and watched The Wizard of Oz long past his bedtime. Pick your top must-sees and maybe a few back-ups, but take advantage of the hotel pool. Break a usually strict bedtime or screen time rule. Let yourself sit on a balcony and read for hours (that was my personal favorite this time around). 

How do you stay on track with your wellness when you travel? Where is your favorite place to travel to? 

The Strangest Thing I’ve Ever Done to Reach a Fitness Goal

I’m officially two years out from my marathon goal! It has been really fun to watch all my runner friends on social media arrive at Disney for WDW Marathon weekend and know that, in 24 months, I’ll be one of them!

But I still have a long way to go–and I’m excited to get started working my way up to marathon level. To kick things off, I did something pretty strange.

I quit the gym.


I had been feeling a little burnt out by the classes, and I really had to drag myself there. So–despite the new year and the influx of new resolution members–I handed in my 30 day notice.

Obviously, I am not resigning myself to a slovenly life of Cheetos and Netflix (although at the end of this post-holiday week, that sounds pretty good). I am focusing on 5K training for the next few months, and have a few 5Ks on the calendar. First one up is the Hot Chocolate 5K at the end of January.

I’m really looking forward to getting out of the gym and finding some fun in my fitness this month. I’d love to know–what do you do when you feel burnt out at the gym?

Are you Going Streaking?

No, I’m not changing my blog settings to NC17. But I do want to talk about streaking.


Fitness streaking, that is.

It is popular among my people to have a run streak from Thanksgiving to New Years–pledging to run a certain mileage every day, from holiday to holiday, no exceptions.

I’ve never managed a holiday run streak–I usually fall off the proverbial treadmill mid-December when the pace gets a little too crazy or the weather gets a little too chilly. However, since I’m really trying to finish the year on a strong fitness note, I decided to commit to a fitness streak this holiday season.

After tossing around a few ideas, I’ve decided to have a “1 mile or 30 minutes” streak this holiday season. In addition to my usual workout schedule, I want to make sure I get in 1 mile or half an hour of extra activity. If I do it, I’m giving myself a prize: a new raw threads T-shirt that I’ve had my eye on for awhile.


Are you going streaking this holiday season? Do you reward yourself with things when you hit a fitness goal?

Up The Weights

I have clearly been listening to Taylor Swift a little too much while working out, because when I sat down to write today, this little parody of “Blank Space” came out. You’ll have to sing it to yourself, because trust me–you don’t want to hear me sing! What do you listen to when you work out?


Nice to meet you, never been
Never set foot inside a gym
Machines, treadmills, ellipticals
I don’t know where to begin
Oh my God, these heavy weights
Boy, I feel so out of place
How will I ever keep pace?

New outfit, KT tape
I belong in a fitness magazine
Gonna try to change my shape
My magazine said it will be easy
So hey, show me how
I’m dying to see how you work out
Grab a water bottle and a resistance band
I’m going to work out every day—even weekends.

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left
And I’ll up the weights

Heart rate high, pushing through
Trying to keep it inside the zone
One rep done, three more to go
Then I can think about going home
I joined the gym, it’s what I want
I prepaid for 6 months
Desperate to see the results to come

Screaming, crying, can’t do more
I can’t even lift my phone
Gonna pass out on the floor
Can somebody drag me home
Oh my God, help me please
I think I’m drunk off my protein
But I’ll come back each time I leave
‘Cause we all know I’m a chubby girl dressed like a yogi.

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left
And I’ll up the weights

Just want to be in shape, but it’s torture
My trainer says, well, I warned you
Just want to get in shape, but it’s torture
My trainer says, well I warned you

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left
And I’ll up the weights.

Why I’m Going to Work Out Like Its My Job

Fitness is not my job.

I’m not a model. I don’t get paid to post gym selfies or get sponsored by Nike, LuLuLemon or runDisney. I don’t make money off my blog. Working out is something I fit into my life, somewhere between motherhood, homeschooling, writing, and running my household.

So is it really a wonder that I’m not meeting my fitness goals?

I’ve been struggling for years to make working out and wellness a priority in my life, and I’m beginning to think that the core of the problem is that I consider it a dispensable part of day. And it shouldn’t be.

Being healthy shouldn’t be a negotiable part of my life. Sure, if I miss a workout or gain a few pounds, I’m not going to lose my job. But in the long term, I could lose so much more.

Maybe it sounds dramatic to think like that. But my family’s health history reads like the who’s who of illness: diabetes, depression & anxiety, food intolerances, multiple sclerosis. It was all sort of easy to ignore in my twenties–life was fast-paced and I still fit into the clothes I wore in college. Then sometime after my 30th birthday, my metabolism changed. Those huge Italian meals I ate a couple times a week started catching up with me. I got tired. I have all the resources to be healthy right in front of me. Clearly, my issue is mental.

And so starting today, I’m going to work out like its my job. Maybe I won’t be getting paid in money or sponsorships (although that would be  nice, right?), but that doesn’t mean I won’t get compensated. I’ll get paid in more energy, in a smaller pant size, in a happier disposition and less anxiety. I’ll get paid in more happy, functional years with my family.

And that will make me far more rich than any paycheck could.

Does working out fall to the bottom of your list? What keeps you from working out and achieving the healthy lifestyle you want?

A Confession and a List

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I thought a lot about looking for my new “healthy” home over the three day weekend. But before I go into that…a confession.

Remember that race that I really wanted to do? The one I was talking myself out of?

Yeah, I did it.

I walked the 10K slow and steady, and loved every minute it. I’m feeling pretty good today–my injury stayed silent and the only discomfort I’m feeling is to be expected after walking 6.2 miles cold turkey. I’ll do a full race recap later this week.

Now, on to my list!

By some gift of the fitness gods, ClassPass is having a 50% sale for a 3-month membership. How is that for timing?!? So I’m going to sign up for a plan that gives me 5 classes a month. Here are the first classes I’m going to try:

TRX. I’ve done this before and loved the workout. I’ve had a hard time finding a class that JUST uses TRX, so I was excited to find one on the ClassPass list.

Rock Climbing. There’s a climbing gym that has always intrigued and slightly terrified me. Time to give it a shot.

Barre. I’ve done barre classes before, so I’m giving myself this one as something familiar while I’m trying out some new things.

Also on my agenda for this month:

Take advantage of my early-riser kiddo and go for a walk before it gets too hot.

Go to free yoga & fitness classes offered by retail/running stores in my area. 

Try to encourage some of my friends to join me so that I’m more likely to keep it up. 

How was your weekend? Did you take time off your workout & nutrition schedule or stick to it over the holiday?

Is There Life After Running? Finding a New Healthy Home.

If you’ve been following along on my journey for awhile, you know that I was a COMPLETELY non-athletic child, teenager and adult…until I got a wild hair in 2012 and signed up for a runDisney race. I then became hooked, and it was thrilling to enter a world of health and fitness that I previously didn’t even know existed. I was healthier than I’d ever been before, and it was great.

An injury in late 2014 caused me to stop running. I keep trying to run again…and the injury flares up. It’s so frustrating. My favorite race happens here in Atlanta on July 4th. It’s a 10K, and I didn’t sign up for the lottery back in March, because I knew it wouldn’t be good for me. But now I’m right on top of it, and I’m seeing all these people prepping for it…and I have to talk myself out of signing up at the last minute. Even though I know I’m not prepared in the slightest. Even though I know I could hurt myself.

(What in the heck is wrong with me?!?)

I’m struggling with finding where I fit in with fitness now that I’m a “recovering runner”. I miss the training plans and the excitement of race day. I miss the runners high. I miss the jeans I fit into 3 sizes ago.

I’m trying to find my new healthy home. Is it yoga? TRX? A barre studio? I don’t know. But I do know I’m tired of sitting on my tushie waiting for it to come to me. So I’ve decided that it’s time to try everything, even things I never thought about doing before–because, quite honestly, this time 10 years ago I NEVER, EVER thought I could love running like I do.

This weekend my goal is to list out all the fitness things I want to try, even if they scare me. I know my new favorite thing is out there.

What do you do when you want to switch out your fitness routine? What workout do you love that surprised you?