Officially Published!!

SI parent

I usually don’t post twice a day (I have a hard enough time finding the time to post every other day), but I couldn’t wait to share some good news!

I just found out that an article I wrote for Staten Island Parent, a parenting magazine for the almost 500,000 living on Staten Island, has been published!  I don’t have the hard copy of it yet, but you can find the article on pages 42 and 44.

Full article:

Finding the Freedom to Exercise

We all feel that there is not enough time in the day.  Hours fly by, almost unnoticed by a mother taking care of her child(ren), driving them to/from school or after-school activities, chores/work, and cooking dinner.  She feels lucky to even have a moment to herself.

Sound familiar? It’s hard to imagine finding time to exercise on top of all these daily requirements. Thankfully, there are ways to exercise without paying ridiculous gym membership fees and spending hours of the day away from your loved ones.

Running is a relatively cheap and easy form of cardiovascular and aerobic exercise – all you need is a good pair of shoes (and a supportive sports bra!) and a plan.

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    ING NYC Marathon Opening Day


    Gorgeous Backdrop!

    One of the perks of participating in the 2011 Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge (FL5BC) was (and still is!) getting VIP access to some of the events organized by NYRR.   I received an email last week from Gabi, my favorite Foot Locker representative, asking if I would consider attending the ING NYC Marathon Opening Day to say a few words to the crowd about my experience with the FL5BC.  Since I love everything about the NYC Marathon and FL5BC, I said yes!  (PS. Blog post coming soon on an overview of this challenge and why YOU should consider applying!)

    The following pictures are a glimpse of what the day was like!  There were a few elite runners present (Ryan Hall and Kim Smith) who officially announced their intentions to run the marathon this year, as well as a handful of celebrities and professional athletes (including Amani Toomer, former NY Giants WR, and James Blake, professional tennis player and NYC native) helping give out entries and gifts to a few lucky people in the crowd.

    One of the highlights of the day was FINALLY getting to meeting Erica (from Erica Sara Designs) – she is even sweeter and more awesome than I could have imagined!!

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      Mother’s Day Traditions / Review + Giveaway of Erica Sara Designs

      So beautiful!!

      My family celebrates EVERY holiday, birthday, and special occasion by gathering at a family member’s home (usually my mom’s!) to enjoy a home-cooked meal and family time.  Four years ago, my older sister was celebrating her first Mother’s Day (my other two sisters and I did not have children at the time).  The decision of where to convene for Mother’s Day was left up to her.  She (somehow) convinced us to skip the home-cooked meal and go out to brunch at a popular local bistro.  The food was delicious, it was relaxing to share a meal without any of us worrying about cooking or cleaning, and we enjoyed dressing up and spending a few hours out of the house!  And so, a new tradition was born! This will be our fourth year of celebrating Mother’s Day with a delicious and enjoyable brunch!


      I was recently contacted by the sweet and talented Erica from erica sara designs to see if  I would be interested in hosting a Mother’s Day Giveaway on my blog.  Erica started her company offer beautiful and stunning jewelry at an affordable price.  She has a wide range of options including race bling, mother’s jewelry, gemstone collection, monogram and name pieces and a bridal collection (to name a few!).

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        Running a City


        My husband and I spent almost three weeks in Italy in July 2009.  It was a celebratory trip – I had just been honorably discharged as a Captain from the Army (after serving on Active Duty for 6 years) and my husband had just finished NYU’s Stern Business School.  We were both getting ready to start “life in the real world” and decided to spend some time abroad.

        Italy was a no-brainer for us – my mom’s whole family is Italian (very Italian) and I had yet to visit our homeland!  Paul was stationed in Vicenza, Italy for three years during his time in the Army and wanted to return.  We spent most of our time in Rome, Florence, and Tuscany.

        My husband and I are healthy eaters about 95% of the time; however, when we are on vacation, we let ourselves splurge and enjoy the local cuisine…but three weeks of pasta, wine, dried meats, cheese, and gelato is not a recipe for success!  We’ve gone on vacations before where we didn’t stay as active as we wanted and returned home feeling overweight, bloated, and unhealthy.

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          Running with music does NOT make me slower


          I’m a huge believer that while running can be a group activity, it is extremely personal.  What works for one runner may not work for someone else.  Through trial and error, we find what works best for us.

          For example, I take a day off before a long run and prefer to do a shakeout run after a long run.  I am rested for my long run and recover well from the back-to-back runs.  However, I know many runners who train the opposite way.  Sure, you can you argue all day about the benefits / drawbacks of each, but in the end, you do what you feel most comfortable doing.

          Another example – I wear a Garmin when I go on my “quality” runs (long, speed, and tempo runs) but I prefer to not use one on easy days because I want my body to dictate the pace – without being consumed with my pace.  I don’t judge those runners who will never run a mile without their Garmin or those who would never come within 5 feet of one.  Again, it’s a personal decision.

          I run with music.  Almost. Every. Single. Run.  I’m not ashamed to admit this.  I am a music lover – I enjoy everything about music.  Music makes me happy.  Which is  why I take it with me on runs – especially on long runs.  For me, there is nothing better than when one of my favorite songs come on my IPOD and I get pumped up and pick up the pace during mile 20 of that long run.

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            Happy Bump Day! (18 weeks)


            Happy Hump Day!!!

            I’ve been asked a lot recently to do an update on my pregnancy…I don’t want my whole blog to be focused on my pregnancy, so I have decided to update you on my bump on hump day every other week! =)

            I just started my 18th week of pregnancy!?!?  I don’t know where the time is going.  It’s both scary and exciting to think that in just a couple of weeks, I will be halfway through pregnancy #2.

            Since this is my first official pregnancy update, it’ll be more of an overview of my pregnancy so far…

            I started getting nauseous early in my 7th week (that’s when the lightbulb went off that I was pregnant) and it got progressively worse until the 12th week.  It was so bad at times that I spent large portions of the day lying down on the floor next to my son while he played.  I had major lulls in blogging/reading blogs/tweeting during this time because doing anything upright was a struggle for me.

            My diet was awful – I alternated between wanting to eat only fried food (umm, hello Wendys!) with having no appetite at all to not being able to even smell food.  There were countless nights where my son and husband ate dinner while I laid on the couch or in bed with my nose covered to prevent the smell of food from reaching me.  On top of the really unhealthy eating, I wasn’t running much.  Energy-wise, I felt okay, but the nausea totally consumed me and I actually felt worse when I tried to run.  I spent about 6 weeks eating poorly, not running, and just feeling terrible!! 

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              A Weekend of Sparkle


              I spent Friday and Saturday at the More Fitness Half Expo in NYC  – helping a friend run her Sparkly Soul Booth!  It was SO much fun.  Not only did I get the chance to meet tons of awesome ladies running the female-only race (held yesterday) and help sell a product I love and 100% endorse, but I was given a detailed account of how my girlfriend created this amazing small (but growing rapidly) company – from conception to launch to where they are today (8 months later).  I’ve been throwing around the idea of starting a company for a while and I walked away from the weekend with the confidence that it is something that I can do (more to follow on this – SOON!).

              One of the coolest things about being at a race expo in NYC was getting the opportunity to FINALLY meet many bloggers and twitter friends that I have been chatting with for the past 6 months!  I didn’t get a chance to take pictures since I was working, but I did get to chat with everyone!!  I met: Leticia, Jocelyn, Theodora, Jess (who I had met briefly back at the NYC Marathon in Nov), Gia, Amanda, Laura, Christine, Bernadette, Beth, Sarah, Kristine.

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                To wait or Not To Wait??

                My husband and I are not finding out the sex of baby #2.  We waited with our first child and felt that it made the experience exciting and special.

                I am not going to try to convince anyone that you should wait…I think it is a personal decision and from what I’ve experienced, most females feel very strongly about it – one way or the other.

                But I wanted to write this post to explain why we decided to wait – why it was the right decision – for us. 

                Waiting to find out the sex of the baby was all I knew growing up.  I remember my 2 sisters and I having a contest to guess whether our youngest sibling was going to be a boy or girl, how long, how much he/she would weigh…Waiting to find out was fun and exciting. Not to mention that all the movies I had seen that had the birth of a baby showed the husband coming out of the L&D room yelling, “It’s a…” and the extended family screaming and yelling.  I never pictured my husband coming out of the room saying anything but that.

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                  Dear Saucony: Please Make Maternity Running Clothes!

                  30 weeks with baby #1

                  Exercising, specifically running, during pregnancy has become increasingly popular over the last decade – many women I know have continued their active lifestyles throughout their entire pregnancies.

                  These days, there are maternity lines for almost anything you may want – casual clothes, formal wear, swimwear, pajamas – even pantyhose!!   I love it.  Our bodies are changing and it’s wonderful that we have so many beautiful options to show off our growing bumps.  Some large companies have even started maternity lines – Gap, Loft, as well as a whole slew of companies focused on maternity jeans (7 for All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity, to name a few).

                  However, it makes me wonder why there are no maternity running clothes offered by any of the big name running companies…None. Yes, there are activewear options offered by maternity companies or even running clothes sold by small businesses that saw the need for running clothes for the pregnant woman.  But nothing from Saucony, Nike, Brooks, Champion, etc.

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                    Strong women in my life

                    me and annie2

                    From an early age, my mom taught my sisters and I that no dream was out of our reach…that we could achieve anything we put our minds to.  Even to this day, if I am struggling with self-doubt, my mom will sit me down and ask me Why can’t you achieve this?  Why NOT you?”.  She set the stage for me to believe in myself – to always push a little bit harder to reach a certain goal.

                    I have always been surrounded by successful, type-A, confident women – my mom, my three sisters, and my three closest girlfriends from high school have all exceeded a hundred times over with what they have tried to accomplish in their lives.   So it comes as no surprise to me that I still find myself drawn to the same types of females as I get older.

                    Being around strong women makes me stronger.  I see what they accomplish, I’m proud of/for them, and I feel empowered to go after my own impossible dreams.  It has nothing to do with being competitive or wanting to outperform these ladies…Being around their accomplishments and seeing/feeling their drive to succeed gives me confidence in MYSELF that I can follow in their footsteps and do something similar.  These strong females are strong in mind, body, and spirit – they embody success.

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                      Ironman 70.3 Texas

                      Chatting with Tim at the post-race press conference

                      Note: This post will highlight some of the photos of the day (caution: there are A LOT!).  It is not meant to be a race results post – if you are interested in reading the full story about the results, click here.  

                      Sunday morning began bright and early – we met in the lobby at 545am.  We checked out and drove to the start/finish/transition areas (they were all in the same area).

                      When we arrived at the race location, we were given Media Passes which allowed us to walk to the swim start – pretty awesome!  

                      By the time we got out there, most of the professional men and women were already in the water warming up…There were a few still making their way to the docks to jump in the water – including the eventual winner, Tim O’Donnell.

                      The swim was held at Moody Gardens’ white sand beach, in the protected Offats Bayou.  From what we were told, there was a good chance of rough water, but on race day, the bayou was pretty calm which allowed for some pretty fast swim times.

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                        Got Chocolate Milk?

                        Source: Weber Shandwick

                        My weekend in Galveston, TX was a whirlwind.  I’ve been a spectator at many races before, but I had yet to experience it as official media.  (Tomorrow’s post will cover the IM race)

                        As I mentioned in a post last week,  I was recently contacted by representatives from the REFUEL | “got chocolate milk?™  campaign to come to Galveston to meet Chris Lieto, participate in the unveiling of his new ad, and watch the half-Ironman.

                        I flew into Houston late Friday afternoon and met up with the other 4 bloggers who were participating in the weekend’s events:

                        –     Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat
                        –     Kelly from According to Kelly
                        –     Ray from DC Rainmaker
                        –     Ben from Everyman Tri

                        I started Saturday morning with a sunrise run – eight (or so) hot, humid, and sweaty miles along the beach.

                        After the run, I stretched and drank water in my room (and finished the first Hunger Games book!!) in preparation for a scheduled group run at 9am.  When I made my way down to the lobby, I found out that we were going to have some pretty awesome company on the run – Chris Lieto!  He was incredibly friendly and down to earth.  If you didn’t know he was a world-class triathlete, you would never assume it from talking to him. (Note: If you aren’t familiar with Chris’ bio, I would recommend spending two minutes and reading it – he didn’t start doing triathlons until he was 25 years old and even had to overcome an accident that fractures his foot in over 50 places which doctors felt would prevent him from ever running again)

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