Social Media + Sponsored Posts + Things I’m Loving Lately

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Blogging has obviously taken a back seat lately. I haven’t written about anything except Boston training here. I’m finding that I can share more frequently via Instagram – photos with short blurbs of tips or lessons learned – that I’m able to do while commuting to or from work. It’s taken place of some of the blogging for the time being. (PS. Make sure you are following me – I’m doing an awesome giveaway later today!)

Prior to working out of the home, I was coaching and blogging as a means to help support my family. When my husband left his job at Hess in Dec 2014, we knew it was going to be a tough couple of years financially. We invested all of our savings into the company that he and his partner bought, he took a salary cut and there is no year-end bonus. So, obviously, I did what I could to bring in money for us. Returning to work was not something that made sense immediately since he was working long hours and traveling to Buffalo (where the company is physically located) very frequently (for a week at a time). It would have been hard to return to full-time work at that point.

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    Unplugged Week + First Time To Disney!

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    My family and I had a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Florida last week!! My husband found out about a conference in Orlando that he was going to attend and threw out the idea of me and boys joining him. Between the brutal winter so far, the increasing desire to take the boys to Disney and the ability to see my grandmother (who spends the winters about an hour outside Orlando) and my dad (who spends a couple of months each winter with my grandma), it was a no brainer.

    So after my 20-miler Saturday morning (first of training cycle – whoohoo!), we hit the road (we drove the 1,000+ miles!). Unfortunately, we left right when a snowstorm was hitting the east coast. We had checked the forecast and knew we would be getting some snow, but I kind of gave the side-eye to the “winter storm watch” (the snow accumulations have been way off the forecasted amounts up until this point). Plus, we assumed that the roads, especially I-95, the main interstate on the east coast, would be A-ok.

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      Behind the Scenes

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      I received a phone call from one of my good friends at NYRR – she was someone I had met during the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge journey and have remained in close contact with her.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in being filmed for an On the Run episode – an online series created/produced by NYRR.  With the NYC Half being the first race run on the streets of NYC since Superstorm Sandy, NYRR was putting together some segments on those running the race who were affected by the storm.  She was aware that I had organized the Race for Recovery, she thought I would be a good fit.

      A couple of days after that initial conversation, I was told that WABC had learned of my story and were interested in airing the segment on their channel during the NYC Half coverage on Sunday.  My piece is scheduled to air at 7:16am on Sunday, March 17 on WABC.  (More information can be found here.)  As soon as I find out the link on the NYRR website and/or the WABC site, I will share it!

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        Slowing Down the Treadmill

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        Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill and it just seems to be getting faster and faster…and that you will fall off if you hesitate for even a second?

        This is how I have felt the last few weeks.  Overwhelmed. Like I was holding down the fast forward button and couldn’t pick up my hand.  Like I didn’t have control.

        Don’t get me wrong.  Certain aspects have been positive.  I’ve nailed all of my tough runs and I’ve been blogging much more frequently (pretty much every day lately).

        But other aspects of my life seem to be running away from me.

        For the last month I have been a zombie.  I’ve been staying up entirely too late for the time I’ve been getting up…My to-do list is only getting longer and with later bedtimes for the boys (some nights around 830), I don’t start doing things until close to 9.  An 11pm bedtime with a 5am wakeup is not easy.  And on top of that, the sleep I have been getting is completely broken.  My youngest is going through a sleep regression so gone are the 10-12 hr nights.  We have been dealing with 2-4 wakeups a night.  He goes back to sleep easily but the wakeups mean I’m not getting more than 2-3 hours at a time.  I’m not complaining. I have a 5 month old so I don’t expect to get 12 hours of sleep a night.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  The lack of sleep finally caught up to me last week and I totally skipped my run Thursday and my swim Friday. I just could not pull myself out of bed.

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          Future Prom Date + 10 Mile PR

          Good Morning!!  I already feel like this week is dragging and it’s only Tuesday :/

          We had SUCH a fun day yesterday!  My girlfriend, Nicole, and her daugther drove from LI to spend a few hours with us (it was her first time on SI!).  Nicole and I met last year through twitter / blogging and were so excited when we found out our due dates were only 4 weeks apart.  It was a blast to go through pregnancy and now motherhood side-by-side with her. =)  We’ve been planning a playdate for weeks months and FINALLY put a date on the calendar! It was so much fun to meet her beautiful daughter, Olivia after seeing pictures of her from the first day she’s been born!

          Our little ones are only one month apart in age – Liv is almost 4 months and Ryan is almost 5 months!  I think they make a pretty cute couple…what do you think? BTW – this picture was totally spontaneous – we didn’t pose them or their hands!

          Nicole brought THE most delicious cookies I have ever tasted.  Seriously…Ever.  They were GF Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Garbonzo Bean Flour (the recipe for this tasty morsels can be found here). I don’t even want to tell you how many cookies I ate yesterday afternoon / evening – I totally blame it on yesterday being my first swim workout for IMLP training (more on that in tomorrow’s post!).

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            Be Your Own Runner

            My boys

            Yesterday’s workout didn’t happen until 6pm.  I guilted my husband into taking yesterday off (a rarity for him) after his hockey weekend (his team lost in the semi-finals btw).  When he’s home, my desire to run disappears because I’d rather spend time with him and the boys.

            Between his being home, our contractor beginning work on the moulding in our house (YAY!), and my mom and niece coming over for a few hours, the day totally slipped away from me.

            I knew that if I waited until after the boys went to sleep for the night, I would 100% NOT be running.  And I would 100% regret it.  So at 6pm, I nursed the little guy and then headed downstairs for a planned easy 6-7 miler.  I took Sunday off – not because I was tired or sore but because my heart wasn’t in it. Ever have days like that?  I just didn’t want to think about running or goals or the marathon.  Just a day sans running.

            Yesterday’s run was exactly what I needed.  I started off slow and easy – 8:27 pace and kept increasing the pace.  I kept telling myself that I would stop picking up the pace at the end of that mile, but I felt comfortable at the end of each one, so I kept speeding up.  7 miles in 52:12 – 7:27 pace:

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              Help Me BECOME ONE!

              Become One Kona

              So I’ve been keeping a little secret…

              I have applied to Become ONE!

              got chocolate milk? is having a contest which will give two lucky winners the Ironman experience of a lifetime.  This program includes:

              • A customized seven-month training program in their hometown with elite IRONMAN coaches
              • Seven months of lowfat chocolate milk to refuel and recover between workouts
              • Entry into 3-5 IRONMAN training events, to be determined by their coach
              • Any equipment or gear necessary to train and fully recover effectively
              • Entry into, and 2 round-trip airline tickets and lodging for, the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona-Kailua, Hawaii

              For the past two years, I have signed up for Ironman competitions, had them on my racing calendar, begun training…only to find out I was pregnant.  Pregnancy and my two little boys are the best things in my life…but I’m definitely itching to fulfill what has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

              2013 is going to be the year I call myself an Ironman.

              But I need your help!  

              Part of the application process required creating a video to explain why we should be picked, why we want to be an Ironman, why we would inspire others…

              I would LOVE any help spreading the word about my video and any likes/comments on the site (youtube) itself (if you think I should be picked!)

              Thank you so much for your help!!

              My application can be found here. 

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                Runner’s World Weekend

                This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Runner’s World Half & Festival Weekend.  FitFluential, Runner’s World, and ICON fitness invited 25 bloggers to the RW Half & Festival in Bethlehem, PA, in order to meet editors and running experts, run one (or more) of the races, and get some exposure out about the race and weekend.

                I had no intentions of running a race so soon after my son was born, but I also knew that this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.  My attending (and running one of the races) would be based on when my son was born – I would only attend if he was 4-5 weeks old – old enough to be out and about for a few days but young enough where he was still super portable and not really on any sort of schedule.  Well, he cooperated and was born within the small window necessary for us to attend (it’s clearly a sign he wants to be a runner!).

                Thursday

                When we first got to the hotel, we were given a welcome bag that had some awesome goodies: RW Big Book of Marathon & Half Marathon Training, a Running SkirtMediterranean SnacksSwiftwick socks, Sweaty Bands, and The Stick.

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                  What’s Beautiful?

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                  When do you feel most beautiful?

                  Is it when you are all dressed up for a special occasion?

                  Or when you have your hair or makeup a certain way?  Or wearing a certain outfit or accessory?

                  Or maybe you are like me and it’s when you accomplish a goal?

                  At that moment, I feel unstoppable.  I feel strong.  I feel beautiful.

                  One of the first times I really experienced this was during the summer of 1999.  I spent six weeks going through Cadet Basic Training (CBT), also known as “Beast Barracks” at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  I do not remember a lot about that summer…it’s mostly a blur of images and moments that remain in my memory.  But I remember the last day – we were on an 18 mile road march back to West Point after spending a week living in tents outside.  The ruck march was a requirement in order to successfully complete CBT and begin our first academic year at West Point.  The route was extremely tough – there were several large hills (including a ski slope) we had to climb – all while carrying our rifles and 35 pounds in our ruck sack.

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                    Friday Night Cry Session

                    I normally don’t complain on here or blog about things that get me down.  I try to stay pretty positive and would consider myself a glass-half full kind of girl.

                    But the recent pain in my lower back has made the last two weeks extremely tough:

                    • I’m frustrated that the pain is affecting my parenting abilities.  I haven’t really taken my son anyplace lately because of my inability to keep up with him – so no park visits, no walks, no trips to Target or other stores.  He’s a vivacious 18 month old who wants to run around and play and the pain is preventing me from allowing him to do this.   I’ve also been told by the chiropractor to pick up my son as little as possible.  While he definitely prefers to be running around, there are countless times when he wants to be held during the day.  How am I supposed to not hold him or carry him up the stairs at bedtime?  It’s pretty hard to expect him to understand why mommy no longer can pick him up.
                    • I haven’t run since Tuesday, July 10th.  Today is Day 11.  This is the longest I have gone in over three years without a single run.  Although I’m still praying to be able to run soon, I am losing hope and am already planning and expecting the worst – that I will not be able to run until after delivery of baby #2.
                    • It’s been SO hard to stay connected via social media.  I’m so proud and happy of all the other running mamas out there, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a tinge of jealousy each time I read a post from some of my favorite running-for-two ladies: Janae, Sarah, or Nicole.  They are all running AMAZING miles still and I ache to be running with them.  It’s also extremely tough to read about everyone training for fall marathons, getting long runs in, and being so enthused about running.  So my reaction is to disconnect and mope (I know – I act like a little kid in this situations).
                    • I made a stupid decision.  I began transitioning to minimalist shoes three months ago – so during pregnancy.  Do you ever do something that you know in your gut is not the smartest but you do it anyway?  Well that is what I did a few months ago.  I’ve been wearing the SAME shoes since 2007 – and have had no injuries or issues.  About three months ago, I decided to try out some low heel-to-toe drop shoes.  I slowly transitioned my way into them and have been wearing them for about 2/3 of my runs.  Based on what the chiropractor said today, it likely helped cause the pain that I am dealing with now because the change is too much for my body to adapt to (while it’s dealing with all the other changes going on).  So if I do get the chance to run again during pregnancy, it’ll be back to my Mizuno Wave Alchemys.

                    I reached a breaking point last night.  I had just returned from an afternoon with my son at my mom’s.  I needed to get some lab work done for my OB-GYN and had a chiropractor appointment with a second doctor (for a second opinion) and my mom watched my son for the afternoon while I went to both.  My husband was in the city meeting up with some friends for dinner and drinks, so after putting my son to sleep in his crib, I walked into our bedroom, plopped on the bed, and proceeded to ball my eyes out for a good solid 10 minutes.

                    There are times when a good cry is the best medicine.  Last night was one of those times.

                    But since I do try to stay positive, there is some good news to share.  I went to a new chiropractor yesterday.  He diagnosed me over the phone a few days ago based on what I told him and confirmed his diagnosis yesterday: Posterior Pelvic Pain (aka Sacroiliac Joint Pain).  This is what I initially diagnosed myself as having.  He is a sports chiropractor and RUNS – so he understands my desire need to get out and run.  My Sacroilliac Joint (SI) was misaligned.  He realigned it yesterday as well as massaged out / stopped the muscle spasms that I had.  He wants to see me three times a week for the next few weeks.  I have to ice and do a series of stretches for a good portion of the weekend.  He is hopeful that I will be up and running soon – but has already cautioned me that some women do not get the relief that they hope and have to deal with pain until labor.

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                      4th of July and Why I Need To Run

                      Pretty good stride for an almost 18 mo old!

                      Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!  My husband and I took our son to the beach for the first time this year.  I knew he would enjoy the sand and water, but I wasn’t prepared for HOW much he would love it. It was a perfect day.

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                      I haven’t posted much since last week…I wish I could blame the busy weekend and holiday, but in reality, my lack of blogging has been tied directly to my lack of running.

                      I ran yesterday for the first time in a week – I honestly can’t remember the last time I went SEVEN days without a single run (I didn’t even go that long after my son was born!!).  I attempted running five days last week…but due to some pregnancy side affects (I won’t go into detail as it’s TMI for public consumption), I was unable to run.

                      I don’t know if there is anything more frustrating than having the desire to run – setting the alarm each day,  getting dressed and even heading outside to stretch – only to find that you physically can’t run.

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                        Feature on BlogHer!

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                        I received an email yesterday from one of the editors at BlogHer informing me that they loved one of my recent posts and were planning on spotlighting me and the post on the BlogHer homepage and the BlogHer Moms tab!

                        It’s a post I really enjoyed writing…but especially enjoyed reading all of the amazing and honest comments from fellow moms.  My hope was (and still is) that it helps those expectant moms who may have put on “too much weight” during their pregnancy despite eating healthy and staying active – as you can see from the comments, there are MANY healthy, active women who put on more than the recommended weight.

                        If you haven’t read the post yet or want to head over to show some love, here is the link on the BlogHer site!

                        Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – do they really help moms?

                          FitBlogNYC: Friends + Inspiration + Awesome Swag = Day to Remember

                          Oakley's newest sunglasses - designed for the active, yet stylish woman!

                          I’ve been looking forward to FitBlogNYC for over a month now – it was going to be my first “real” blogger/tweet-up event and I knew there would be oodles of twitter and FitFluential friends that I would FINALLY get to meet.

                          It did not disappoint.

                          A few highlights of the day:

                          – Got to catch up with some old friends (LeticiaErica, and Christine) and meet so many that I’ve been chatting with for months (NicoleKatie, Jessica, and Cat – to name only a few of the many, many girls that were there).

                          – Four fabulous FitFluential ladies chaired an informative, upbeat, and fun seminar on How To Turn Your Blog Into a Business.  Two of them in particular have me SO much about social media, twitter, and blogging – Kelly Olexa (CEO/Founder of FitFluential) and Carla Birnberg.  Being able to meet Kelly and Carla, in person, after months and months of interaction through social media felt surreal – but they are exactly as they portray themselves on their blogs and videos.

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