Sep 30, 2013

Race Recap

Thank you all so much for the well wishes and birthday love, y’all know how to make a girl feel special!

Yesterday was, in a word, awesome.  I had an amazing experience, so very different from my first half, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t let that first one deter me from trying again!

I headed to Providence on Saturday afternoon, where I had a hotel room for the night so I didn’t have to get up at 3am to get to my race on time.  Saturday was the health/fitness expo which we had to attend for packet pick-up, so I decided to buy myself a little early birthday present.


I didn’t wear it on Sunday because I didn’t want to try something new for the first time, but I’ll give it a go on one of my training runs later this week.  I also did something a little crazy…I changed my corral to a faster pace! When I signed up back in March, I had no idea what to expect, so I put down that I expected to finish around 2:45.  My training runs had me coming in much faster than that, so I made a last minute change from the number 10 corral (2:45) to the number 8 corral (2:15-2:30). 

Saturday night was super low-key: I met up with my amazing friend Liz (who convinced me to sign up for this run back in March!) and we went out for a nice Italian dinner.  Liz was just as cool in person as she is online, but the poor thing had gotten a nasty cold the night before and was not feeling 100% for her first half L I’m so proud of her for pushing through it anyways, she did great despite having to stop every mile to blow her nose!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel where I got my things ready to go for the next morning, and was in bed by 9:30.

My alarm went off at 5am, and even though I felt like I had to get up every hour to pee (I was trying to stay well hydrated!) I did feel like I slept pretty well. I grabbed all of my stuff from the room and headed out by 6am to make the 15 minute drive into downtown Providence.

I met up with Liz and her roommate, and we hung out for a bit and hit up the bathrooms one more time before heading into our Corrals for the 7am start time.  This is the worst part.  Just waiting.
They didn’t get started right at 7, and they had wave release times for the corrals, so I think by the time I actually got going, it was closer to 7:30, about 7 minutes behind the first wave that was released.


I started off strong, but steady; I knew I didn’t want to wear myself out by going out too fast, but I could see that 2:15 pace group ahead of me and thought for a fleeting moment that maybe I could hang.  And then we hit our first hill.  I realized pretty quickly that the pace group was sprinting on the flats (close to an 8 minute mile), and then taking it slower on the hills; I can’t run like this.  I need to be at a steady clip for the majority of the way, and given that the first 5 miles of the course were mostly uphill, I lost sight of that 2:15 group pretty quickly.  Oh well, I figured so long as I came in under 2:30 I’d be thrilled (especially since that was my goal for my first half, which I ended up finishing in 2:47 because of the crazy heat!).  After that first 5, there was a lot of downhill, which was actually not as great as you would think…some parts were so steep you really had to slow down to make sure you didn’t injure yourself!  Around mile 6 I was feeling in the groove…and I totally got a runner’s high for the first time mid-run.  I got goosebumps on my arms, my eyes starting welling up with tears, and I thought to myself…”look at you! You’ve done so much this year, you have so much to be proud of!!”  Around mile 10, the course loops back on itself, so I was passing by runners who were 2-3 miles ahead of me…this was the toughest part of my run.  When you see runners going the other way on the road, mentally you think, well I can’t have much more to go before I turn around and I’m running on that side of the road! But it was pretty far…I think 2 miles total, but it’s hard to say.  My running apps were about ½ mile ahead of the course markings, so it made those last 3 miles pretty tough…Id’ get an audio update and say to myself, awesome, only 2 miles to go! But then I didn’t see the 11 mile marker right away; it was about 5 minutes before I did, and then I had to say the 2 mile thing all over again!

Then, as a cruel joke, the last big turn before the finish line was a pretty steep hill…to the point where I thought about walking up it.  I thought to myself “that finish line is right around the corner, you haven’t walked once yet, don’t give up now!”.  I put my head down and pushed through, and sure enough, I turned the corner and there it was, the finish line! I sprinted that last stretch to get myself there as fast as my legs would take me, and when I finally stopped to walk on the other side, I thought I might collapse! I grabbed my medal, some water, and chocolate milk and started to stretch before I remembered to turn off my running apps.  They both logged that I had run far more than 13.1, so obviously they had skipped at some point.


I checked in with the official numbers later in the day, and this is what I saw for my official time:


HOLY CRAP!! I CAN’T BELIEVE I PULLED THAT OFF!!! That’s about a 10:40 pace, waay faster than I’ve ever run that distance before, especially when you consider all the hills involved!  I have to admit…I’ve got a bug now…I want to do it again and finish under 2:20!

I’m so happy I decided to do this for my birthday, it’s such a great way to compare my progress from one year ago, when I was barely able to run 30 minutes straight without walking, and even since June when I ran my first half and ended up having to walk/run the last 5 because of the insane heat.  Either way, I feel great about yesterday, and I’m thinking about doing something crazy and signing up for another one in a couple weeks!

Sep 27, 2013

The other thing

I have to say, I was FLOORED by the response I got from Monday’s post about giving up on clean eating….it turns out, that a lot of you feel the same way, and were very supportive of everything I had to say on the subject, so thank you for putting me at ease….I was really afraid to write that one!

I mentioned that I had come to 2 major conclusions last weekend, and the clean eating thing was one of them, but today’s post will be about the other.

It’s not so much a realization, but an acceptance thing...the same thing happened to me back in May/early June, and I’m not sure why I expected it to be different this time around, but here it is:

My body just doesn’t drop pounds when I’m running long distances. 

Now, granted I haven’t been doing 100% with my diet…but part of that is tied to the fact that I’m always so hungry! Like famished, insatiable hungry.  Like a salad ain’t gonna cut it sista hungry.  Like audible growling from my tummy hungry.  Like I could eat an entire buffet worth of food and still want dessert hungry.

This shit is no joke!

Can’t. Stop. Eating.

It’s really hard to get through the day lately without thinking about food constantly.  I’m trying to chug water, but I’m literally having hunger PAINS it’s so bad! I have to accept that I’m not running for weight loss; I’m running for mileage, and my body needs fuel to have the endurance to make it through over 2 hours of continuous effort.

Last year, on my 30th birthday, I set out to run for 30 minutes straight with no walking.  It was a struggle, but I did it.

Sunday is my 31st birthday, and I'll be running my second half marathon…13.1 miles on my 31stbirthday.   13.1 miles!! It doesn’t matter what the scale says that day, it matters that I’ve come so incredibly far in this past year of my life, and I’m going to celebrate that accomplishment when I finish this race.  And yes, I’m going to eat whatever I want that day, not just because it’s my birthday, but because I’ve been running my arse off and I deserve to have a day where I’m not obsessed about the food I’m eating and the calories it contains.

In the next few weeks, I’ll really focus on getting my eating back on track, but for now, I’ve got a half marathon to run!

Sep 23, 2013

Coming Clean

I have been living in denial for the past 2 weeks.  I’ve been going through the motions, getting my exercise in every morning like I’m supposed to, and then shoving everything in sight into my giant pie hole to completely undo all of the hard work I put in every morning.  I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a serious stress/emotional eater, and I’ve really struggled with that over the past few weeks.

Why is it that a salad is so emotionally unsatisfying!? Especially when the option for pizza…or bread…or any form of carbohydrate (or chocolate!) really is right there, readily available. 

I finally decided to step on the scale this weekend, and I was not happy with what I saw (though I wasn’t really that surprised).


Over the past 14 days, I’ve gained back 4 and a half pounds. 

So I came to 2 major conclusions over this past weekend.  I’ll save one of those for a separate post, but today I want to focus on my revelation on clean eating…and why it’s not for me.

I know, blasphemy, right?! I really struggled writing this post because it makes me feel like a failure…like everyone who’s anyone in the weight loss and fitness industry screams EATING CLEAN IS THE ONLY WAY TO EAT!!  So I’m giving up too easily, right!?
In my opinion, no….so just hear me out. For me, I know I will never be one of those people who eats food for fuel and never for pleasure.  I have formed too strong of an emotional connection with the eating process,  and at 30 years old, I’m not sure that’s something I can ever truly break.  Now, that being said, I’m not totally throwing in the towel, I’m just going to try to find something that works for me, and maybe a few of you out there will find some inspiration from my modifications and try to do the same.

I’m an architect, so I’m going to relate a few things to my design world for a second here, bear with me.

To me, clean eating is like modernism (or modern architecture): characterized by simplification of form, and an absence of applied decoration.  To many, modernism represents “clean lines”, but to others, it can feel too harsh, coming across as cold, sterile, and impersonal.  Modernism started the trend that houses are “machines for living” but most people (myself included), don’t want to live in machines, we want to live in warm, comforting environments.  Clean eating is sort of like this for me…very simple concepts, but a little too strict/harsh for me to follow all of the rules (eat to live, not live to eat), which leads to me TOTALLY falling off the wagon.

My personal style is contemporary..similar concepts of modernism with clean, simple lines, but with a more organic, subtle, and warmer touch.  Simply put, it’s a style that’s a little more “homey” and a little less “museum gallery”…a style you could actually see yourself living in.  This is the style I need to find for my diet.  Less harsh.  More comforting.  Livable.

So what would contemporary clean look like?

For me, I think I need to allow myself to have a little indulgence every day.  I’m not talking a huge one, but this whole cheat meal on the weekend thing is detrimental to me.  I feel so deprived that when it comes time for my cheat, I eat like a fat kid at a buffet, and it never stops at one cheat meal, it turns into a weekend long gorge fest.  And then there’s weeks like I’ve had recently, where I feel so stressed, and I feel like I’ve deprived myself for so long, that I DESERVE to have that bagel (cookie, ice cream, pizza, pasta…you name it!).  Ultimately, I think I need to have a little something every day so that I don’t feel deprived, and so that I don’t let it build up for so long that I go buck wild when it’s time for me to “cheat”.

And there’s that word again….cheat.  Why do we have to label foods as BAD or GOOD? Why can’t all foods be ok just in moderation? I really can’t imagine life without chocolate…or ice cream…or pizza…so why do those have to be BAD foods? Can’t they just be considered foods that are ok occasionally/in moderation? The whole mental aspect of “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT” just makes me want it even more!

So I don’t know if I have all of the answers just yet, but I’m going to experiment a little this week to see if I can find something that works for me…something where I feel like I’m not depriving myself but still following relatively healthy guidelines the majority of the time.  Progress, not perfection, right!?

I’m still pretty crazy at work, so stress is a huge factor, but life will always be stressful, so I’ve GOT to find a way to fix this broken relationship I have with food, and fast!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments on this, I’m always interested in how others deal with these same issues!

Sep 13, 2013

Debbie Downer

Warning…Debbie Downer is in town, and she’s brought her pity party with her…..


I’m in a serious funk this week, and I’m sorry because I know my posts show it.  I don’t want to discourage or bring anyone else down with me, just letting you know that I’m human and I’m having a rough week.  My diet has COMPLETELY gone out the window.  I’ve eaten everything I shouldn’t have this week, and I’m feeling bloated and awful today as a result.

I overslept today and only got one of my workouts in instead of my planned double day (but I guess that’s better than nothing right?)

I have so much work to do that I’m pretty sure the rest of my month is going to be miserable.  I just feel like crying. I didn’t even have my Shakeology shake this morning because I’m all “what’s the point if I’m just going to eat crappy anyways”…I know, it’s an awful attitude, and I’m trying to snap myself out of it, but for now, I’m just having a day, so bear with me.

I don’t have any words of wisdom today.  It’s Friday the 13th, and my luck is down and out.  I hope you had a better week than I did, and I hope I can get over this hump over the weekend.

Sep 11, 2013

Confessions of a fat girl:she's clawing her way out

Confessions of a fat girl: she’s still in there scratching and clawing her way out, and I have no willpower over her when I’m stressed.

I’m here to tell you that I’m struggling this week.  I’m writing this from work..where I am still plugging away even though it’s 6:30pm and I should’ve left an hour and a half ago…the same office where I was stuck until almost Midnight last night and until  after 8 on Monday too.  It’s been a week to say the least, and convenience food has gotten the best of me.

I’ve made it enough of a habit that I’m sticking with my workout routine, so I got up this morning at 6am even though I was running on too little sleep and still got my T25 in for the day, but I’m draggin for sure, and I know the crap I’m shoving into my piehole isn’t helping.  The thing is, when I don’t have time to think about my meals, and a donut is in front of me, and I haven’t slept enough…I give in.  And the pizza that the office provides? Oh and the cookies to thank the team for their hard work? DAMNIT.

My diet has gone to shit this week.  I’m not drinking nearly enough water, and I’ve let Diet Coke sneak back into my life because I thought I could use the caffine.

I’m going to be honest with you…the next few weeks at work might be just as bad as this one, and I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.  I guess this is the real test since I won’t have as much control over my schedule when a baby comes into the picture, but I can tell you right now that if I’m judging on my behavior from this week, I’m not ready.  This lifestyle change shit is no joke.  It’s hard work, but I've come too far to fall off track now! 

It’s just hard to remember those things when you’re running on too little sleep and there’s a donut right there…..

Back to work I go L

Sep 9, 2013

T25 Alpha Round Complete!

I know, my posts have been so erratic lately, and I really am sorry about that.  I’m trying my best here to squeeze it all in, and it’s honestly just impossible sometimes to do it all!

Last week was pretty awful…I started with my traumatic run experience on Monday, a water logged phone that left me feeling totally out of my element for half the week, a crazy schedule that made it impossible to eat dinner at home even once, and a shit-storm at work that had me working 50 hours in 4 days.  So needless to say, I think I get a pass on no posts for the end of last week (Please??)

Anyways, I did want to give you my mid-way update on T25.  I’ve officially completed the first round of the program (the “Alpha” round), and as of Saturday, these are my stats:


While my weight loss isn’t ideal, LOOK AT THOSE INCHES!! I can’t believe how much this program is changing my body, I’ve never seen these kinds of results with any program before, and that includes those intense hour long Bootcamp classes that I was going to!

These last 20 pounds are the hardest, I knew that when I started, but I’m getting a little ansy to see more scale movement, and I know that my diet is a HUGE part of that.  I didn’t do myself any favors last week with my eating because my schedule got so crazy, but yesterday was a disaster…I’m talking all day gorge fest after my almost 12 mile run!

I have such a hard time when I run long distances keeping my eating in check…it just makes me so hungry!  I’m going to try to reign it in this week, so I’ll try to keep you updated on how I’m doing!
In the meantime, if you're at all interested in T25 and/or Shakeology, comment below or shoot me an email ( as I do have a few spots left in my upcoming support/accountability group!
Here's to an awesome week!


Sep 4, 2013

A Fresh Start for Fall

If you frequent the blog circuit, you may notice a trend lately…starting over.

A lot of people have found themselves falling so far off the wagon that they are starting over from square one.  Some have just let the summer get the best of them and are starting again, a few steps back.  Some never fell off, but didn’t make any serious headway either.

I know what this is like.  I’ve been there more times than I can count.  I’m certainly not perfect (no one is), so the important thing to remember, is that it’s about Progress, not Perfection.  Take it one day at a time, and make good decisions for yourself and your health.  Just. Keep. Swimming. 
People ask me a lot how I stay motivated, and a big part of my answer is this blog.  It’s support and accountability from people like you, reading this very post, that keep me going when I want to quit.  Now I know that not everyone has a blog, nor does everyone want one…but this is where I can help.  It sounds like a lot of you are looking for a fresh start this fall, so this may be just the thing you're looking for!

I’ve been chatting a lot with my pal Brandi who blogs over at Thin after Twins, and she’s had a rough go this year.  She’s starting her weight loss journey all over again, and asked me if I’d be willing to help.  I am so thrilled to help Brandi get back on the right track, and I’m so confident that she can do this! She’s starting T25 next week because she was so impressed with my results, and is even giving Shakeology a go to see if it will help jumpstart her weight loss.  I’m really excited that she’s diving into this holistically, because exercise alone can’t change your body, you NEED to have your diet in check too, and Shakeology will make sure she’s starting off on the right foot!  I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't out run your fork!

So what’s going to be different about this time for Brandi? What will make sure she doesn’t lose her mojo after a few weeks? 
Motivation to Just. Keep. Swimming. 
I’m starting a private FB group for Brandi, and for anyone of our followers who wants to give Shakeology a go for 30 days.  Are you curious about Shakeology? Want to see what it can do for you?
If you join this challenge, Brandi and I will be with you every step of the way, cheering you on, sharing our own highs and lows, and making sure that you just stay on track.

I know a lot of you are not hard core exercisers, and really focus more on your diet to lose the weight.  If you’re that kind of person (or even if you’re a hard core exerciser who needs help with your diet) then this month’s focus is for you.  If you need some help getting back into your groove (and staying there), consider joining us...what have you got to lose (except some extra weight?)
I know some of you are curious about this product but a little concerned about the investment. 
Did you know that they offer a 100% 30 day money back gaurantee?

So there you have it! To participate in our group, all you have to do is buy a bag of Shakeology from me here, or contact me at if you have any questions. That's it!

AND since it's our birthday month, we'll be giving away a FREE BAG of Shakeology if we have 15 participants by the 23rd!

September is all about cleaning up our eating.  I’ve started a #fallcleaning challenge on IG, where I’ll be posting daily tips to clean up your diet this month (follow me @babebeforebaby), and I’ll be starting every day with Shakeology to make sure I’m getting the energy and nutrients I need.

This September is bringing big changes for everyone, and I’m so excited to see what you’re all capable of!

Sep 3, 2013

Traumatic Labor Day Experiences

Long weekends are awesome…until Tuesday rolls around and it’s that much harder to get out of bed at 5 am for a double day of T25!

Seriously though, apologies ahead of time for no fun pictures in today’s post; my phone (which also serves as my camera) is down for the count..which involves a crazy story about my long run yesterday.

The weather was pretty crappy here all last weekend with high heat and humidity (humidity was over 94% all weekend!) so I decided to save my long 11 mile run for yesterday, with the plan to skip yesterday’s T25 workout and double it up this morning (I did do a double day this morning, and I’m already feeling it!)

I drove out to a local paved trail which winds through the woods, about a 15 minute drive from my house.  I checked the weather on my phone before I left, and although the humidity was still in the high 90s, no chance of rain until after 4pm.  I figured I’d better get it over with sooner rather than later, so at 9:30, I headed out for an out and back 11 miler (5.5 out, then turn around and come back).  It started sprinkling around mile 3, which was no big deal, but around mile 5, the skies opened up and it began to pour.  I was thinking, ok, no big deal, just a little water, right? (AKA, I’m officially that badass chick running in the rain!)  Then, I saw one of those giant, light up the entire sky, flashes of lighting, and directly after, a GIANT crack of thunder that I literally felt in my bones (ok, so no longer a badass, more like a dumbass running in the lighting).  This storm was literally right over my head.  And I was running through the woods…among trees, with no shelter.  I tried to stay calm, I figured if I kept running I could get away from it.  But the rain got more intense.  And so did the thunder and lighting.  And before long, the trail started flooding, and the water level was coming up over my sneakers.  Eventually my music started to skip, and I realized my phone was probably getting soaked inside my hydration belt where I was carrying it.  So I picked up my shirt and pulled it over the belt, but my shirt was already dripping wet.  The water level was now up to my ankles, and I realized I couldn’t run through this anymore and needed to call for help; I was still a good 4 miles from my car.  My husband was at work, so I wasn’t sure who to call, and my phone’s touch screen wasn’t working because it was too wet to register my fingertip.  I used the voice activiation to call a answer.  Tried again with another friend…no answer.  Asked Siri to send a few 911 text messages.  No answer.

I started to panic.  I figured I had better start running because standing still wasn’t going to get me anywhere.  I was sopping wet, and sweat started running in my eyes, burning to the point where I couldn’t keep them open, and wiping with my drenched shirt wasn’t helping.  I was on the verge of tears, when finally I heard back from the first friend I called.  She text messaged me, but at this point even that function had stopped working on my end.  I asked Siri to call, and got a hold of my friend who agreed to drive out to my rescue.

Talk about traumatic.  In the end, I think I went about 8 miles, but it’s hard to say given the fact that my phone died and I was using that to track my mileage.  It’s home right now, sitting in some rice, hopefully coming back to life by tomorrow….fingers crossed!

So…that was my labor day…hopefully yours was a little better!

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