What a year…2014 in Review

Wow, can you believe today is the last day in 2014? I mean, I feel like this year FLEW by, but I suppose I say that every year. I just feel like the older we get, the faster the years fly by–do you feel the same way?  So, it seems that it’s the “thing” to do for bloggers is to write a “year in review” post, so of course I am going to follow suit, but I am not just going to talk just about fitness accomplishments, I am going to do a full look at life in 2014.  I think writing this out helped me really think about what happened this past year.  I find sometimes that life moves so fast that I often forget what happened yesterday, never mind 11 months ago!  It’s nice to look back, think about what I am grateful for (so much,)  what went great, and not so great!  Life is all about these ups and downs, right? Having a place to document it and look back is really helpful for me and serves as a reminder when I forget (which is often!)

2014 EOY

These are in no particular order and not exhaustive of everything that happened this year, but its definitely some of the highs and lows. I bucketed them into 3 categories (Family/Home, Fitness & Work.)  They are just written however they come to mind, so it may be scrambled so bear with me.  Here we go:

Family/Home:

We celebrated Ashton’s 2nd birthday in February and even though we were both getting over the stomach flu, it ended up being a pretty great birthday! This little boy is the center of our world, which you all know if you have spent any time around this blog.  He has grown up so much since this picture was taken, he no longer has that baby face, he is growing into much more of a little boy each day!

ash 2nd birthday

Ashton had his first haircut, it was pretty traumatic for him but every haircut after that has been stellar, always with lots of smiles and ending with lollipops!

first haircut

We did a 2 year old photo shoot with Ashton and got our first decent family picture out of it!

Ashton 2 year pics

We did our first ever staycation for 2 weeks in August and it was awesome. We did a bunch of day trips and had a blast. Much to my surprise, you don’t have to go “away” to have a great vacation!

staycation

We said good bye to our sweet dog  Morgan after a quick battle with congestive heart failure. Putting him down was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do, but the poor guy is no longer suffering. I had 8 wonderful years with him and will hold those memories close.morgan

Ashton started soccer and I beamed like a proud mama, he loves it which makes me giddy! I have dreams of coaching his soccer team when he gets older!

ashton soccer

Ashton’s obsession with all things Dr. Seuss continued as he was the Cat in the Hat for Halloween! This is possibly a foreshadowing into the theme of his next birthday!

ash halloween

I finally had to say good bye to my trusty Toyota that spent nearly 200k miles with me. It was a sad parting but I bought a brand new car(a Subaru Crosstrek) that I am in love with! I don’t know if I will ever own another brand I love this car so much!

new car

We did a lot of home improvements this year including building a new deck and front stone walkway and we upgraded our electric systems (now to tackle the inside of the house!!) Anyone an interior designer out there?  I NEED your help!

new deck

I changed up my hairstyle and got bangs, not too drastic for many people, but I haven’t changed my hairstyle in well over 5 years, overall I really like the new look!

new hair

I read over 100 books this year (I keep track of them in the Goodreads App). I am a super fast reader and can easily finish most books in one day.  I am a binge reader and would much rather read than watch my beloved tv, so once I am hooked into a book, I am a lost cause, just let me read!

I won tickets to the Lady A in concert at the Boston Garden through a local country radio show and Erica and I had a blast at the show!

lady a

I saw my first Cirque show with Robyn, Erica and Matt.  While it wasn’t what I expected, it was pretty awesome to see how incredibly strong and talented these performers are and the stage theatrics were amazing!

mj show2

I had the stomach flu twice and strep throat 4 times.  Yeah, not so fun!  Given that I am someone who rarely gets sick, this was a tough year for sickness because it was all literally within a 4 month time period.

We took a weekend trip to Sesame St Place in PA and had an absolute blast with Ashton and our friends! Hands down it was one of the most fun things we did this year!

sesame st

We celebrated my mom’s one year in remission in April with my raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Foundation and running the Boston Marathon.  It was a big milestone for all of us, but we found out the week before Christmas that she was coming out of remission and now we have to fight like hell to get it back under control.

I had my 1 year anniversary of blogging in October and I am so grateful to all of you!  I love building friendships with all of you and look forward to continuing this is 2015!

Fitness:

For someone who doesn’t love to race, I raced more in 2014 than all my years of running combined! I did 7 races this year ranging from 5ks all the way to 26.2!

I started trail racing and did a series of 3 trail races where I had two 1st places in my age group and I came in 2nd in my age group in the 3rd one.  I placed 2nd in my age group in one of my 5ks and got new PRs in the 5k, Half marathon and Full marathon this year.

trail racing

I did 121 runs this year and 730 miles with my highest mileage months being 143 (January) and 141 (March.)  I logged every run in DailyMile (which was one of my goals for the year!)

I had my first DNF run during my Boston Marathon training cycle and ran through the Polar Vortex for 16 long weeks!

I crossed off my #1 fitness bucket list item this year when I ran the Boston Marathon in April.

0027t

I did my first racecation, a half marathon to benefit Cystic Fibrosis in Michigan with some of my work favorites! I even PR’d without trying (and running 6 miles before the race even started!)

photo 5

I have done yoga regularly for a full year and I have also adding spinning to my weekly cross training! I even completed the T25 Alpha and Beta Phases and felt awesome doing it!

I got to test out the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill which was super cool!

photo 4

And sadly, one of the lows in my fitness bucket is that I finished off the year by ending my stint teaching Group Power.

Work:

I feel like this year at work was insanely busy but there were only a few “big” things that happened–

I took my first work trip since having Ashton to Chicago for a conference, and then traveled to Philly, Madrid and Buffalo by the end of the year.  Not as much travel as I did pre-baby but more than enough now that I have a little one at home!

madrid

And the most significant thing that happened this year on the work front is that I left an old job and boss that I loved to explore a new job in the same company and feel like I have finally landed where I belong and it feels really good!

Whew!  Did you make it through all of that?  I am sure I missed a ton of things but all of these things came to mind when I sat down and started writing.  2014 was a year of change for me.  A new job, a new car, losing Morgan, learning to embrace the unknown, taking chances, knocking things off my bucket list, making time for the things and people who matter most for me and walking away from those people and things that don’t make me a better person.  It was also a year of setting boundaries and expectations, with myself, my work, friends and family.  I learned a lot about myself this year and surprised myself in many instances. I have grown in many ways this year, and really, that is all I can hope for with each passing year, that I become a better version of myself as I gain more experience in life.  I still have a lot to work on, but I know I will get there with time, support and patience!

So…now we are shooting into 2015 in just a few short hours…what’s on the horizon?  Your guess is as good as mine, but you better believe it will be filled with lots of sweat, laughter and love. Thank you all for a great year, I truly love you all and the friendships we have build over this past year and wish you a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and I look forward to hearing what 2015 has in store for you!

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Question of the day

How was your 2014? Highs? Lows? Goals for 2015?

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hi my friends, it’s been a while (a week to be exact!) I’m sorry that I have continued to be MIA during my vacation and holidays.  I have been spending my vacation playing and soaking up every moment with Ashton and my family. I didn’t mention it last week since I only posted on Monday, but we found out at the end of last week that my Mom was coming out of remission and it kind of put a damper on things.  There is never a good time to get news like this, but a few days before the holidays is kind of the worst time for it to happen.  I spent a few days trying to wrap my head around this and getting focused on what we need to do moving forward.  My Mom’s doctors are super aggressive and she had a body scan immediately and we have an appointment next Monday at Dana Farber where we hope to have more answers and a plan of attack.  In a way, it’s been great to have this time off to spend with her.  I know she has really enjoyed all the extra time with me and Ashton and it helped to put the holidays back in perspective for me.  You can’t get missed time back with those you love, so you have to take advantage of the time you do have with them! So, between this news and running around after Ashton, when it comes time to sit down at the end of the day, I just haven’t had it in me to write up a post, but I promise it won’t be like this for much longer. I go back to work next Monday and things will hopefully get back to “normal.”  I am still being very consistent with my workouts, even with all the chaos of the holidays, which makes me really happy, so let’s take a look at what last week looked like!

Week: 12/21-12/28

Monday: I did the Asylum Back to Core video in the morning before Ashton woke up.  I didn’t sleep well and was up super early so I figured I would bang out my workout so I had his naptime to finish wrapping the few last minute things I had picked up for Christmas.

Tuesday: We spent the morning running errands and I was already beat come naptime but I knew I had to get the Asylum Strength video done and that is just what I did.  It’s amazing how tired I was before the video but once I get moving, I felt like a new (much sweatier) person.

Wednesday: We woke up late and were rushing to get out of the house in the morning.  We always spend Christmas eve with my family and I like to get there nice and early so I have the whole day to be with them, help them get ready for our big dinner, etc.  Thankfully it was a rest day for my Asylum program so when we got down to my Mom’s, we went out for breakfast and were able to relax all day and just enjoy each other.

mom ash and i xmas

Our annual Christmas dinner was great and there were about 20 of us, with almost all of us doing this dinner for the past 30 or so years, pretty crazy! Ashton also surprised me with this beautiful to the moon and back necklace from him (courtesy of my Mom!)

moon and back necklace

After the dinner festivities were over, Robyn, Ashton, my Mom and I headed back to our house to get ready for the big day!

Thursday: Christmas morning started off slow in our house with Ashton and I sleeping in.  Once everyone was up, we tried to get Ashton excited to open his gifts, but he just wasn’t that interested.  What???  So we waited a bit, ate some breakfast and we started by opening our stockings.  Once again Ashton was slow to start but once he got into it, he ended up opening all his gifts, then mine, Robyn’s and my Mom’s. It was really cute as he asked if he could help us too!  The whole things took about an hour and then we had a TON of new toys to play with, which we did until lunch and nap time!  Once Ashton was down for his nap, Robyn was busy preparing for our big Christmas dinner (and our 12 guests), my mom took a nap with Ashton and I did the Asylum Speed & Agility video and then took a shower. Everyone started arriving at 3:30 p.m. and we hung out, watched Christmas movies and ate!

me and erica

After everyone left and we got cleaned up and Ashton went to bed, my Mom, Robyn and I watched The Interview, which you could rent for $6 via YouTube.  We really liked it, we love the humor in Seth Rogen’s movies and I was really excited we were able to watch it in the comfort of our own home instead of going to the theater to see it! I wish all new movies were released this way!

Friday: On Friday morning, we woke up, ate breakfast and Ashton and I brought my Mom back home.  Robyn was working so after we left my Mom, we ran some errands.  Once Ashton went down for his nap, I did the Asylum Vertical Plyo video and then got cleaned up.  We ended the night with grinders from our local pizza shop and Robyn and I watched a Netflix movie.

Saturday: We had Ashton’s sports program in the morning and it was Robyn’s turn to play with him so I just watched.  After sports we went to a bunch of stores scoring some HUGE post Christmas deals on Christmas decorations.  That was seriously a workout in and of itself.  After we got home and refueled, Ashton took a nap and I did the Asylum Strength video. I think this may be my favorite of all the videos, I just love the controlled burn!!

Sunday:  It was a rest day from Asylum but we took down all our Christmas decorations and tree which was quite a workout when you are trying to keep a toddler from breaking all your ornaments and decorations! 🙂  I also started up the #30dayyogachallenge from Instagram through DoYouYoga, so I did Day 1 which was a hip opening routine and called it a day!

So, as I said, it was a bust week with Christmas, but my workouts this week were great and I didn’t get derailed with the holidays, which I am really grateful for.  I am still following the Asylum workout schedule and can’t believe I just started the 3rd week. It’s actually going by pretty quickly and I am already planning “what’s next” in addition to the #30dayyogachallenge, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday my friends–I will see you all on Wednesday with a recap of 2014!

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Question of the day

How was your week? What was the best part of the holidays for you?  What were your favorite gifts (to give and receive?)

Weekly Wrap Up

Hi my friends, sorry I have been MIA the past few days, there is just so much to be done to get ready for the holidays and not enough hours to do it.  I hope I can be more consistent blogging after Christmas, but until then, it’s Monday and I have been consistent with my workouts (a HUGE win) so let’s look at the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week: 12/15-12/21

Monday: My Asylum schedule stated it was a rest day so that is what I did.  While I stayed really active throughout the day, I am finding I definitely need these rest days that are scheduled because man, I am BEAT with these workouts!

Tuesday: On tap was the Asylum Speed & Agility video.  I jumped out of bed and did it first thing in the morning so I had the whole day to run errands.  When I was finished, my headband was SOAKED in sweat, like when I rang it out, there was a lot of sweat coming out.  During the video, I am wondering why I am doing this but by the time I am finished, I LOVE it and feel strong!

Wednesday:  I did the Asylum strength video. I find that I really love this video because I love to use weights in my workouts (and it gives you a bit of a rest from so many plyometric moves!)  I have been using 12 lbs dumbbells and while normally, 12 lbs weights would feel too light in my regular workouts (I usually like to be in the 20lb range), I totally feel the cumulative burn with the amount of reps in this video.

Thursday: I spent the morning/early afternoon at my Mom’s with Ashton and my sister but once we got home and Ashton went down for this nap, I did the Asylum Back to Core and boy did my back feel it. There is this swimming move they have us do towards the end that is a total killer!  I ended up spending the evening on the heating pad because

Friday: On Friday, I did Asylum Vertical Plyo video as soon as I woke up.  As much as I like this workout, this video is one of the hardest for me because of all the jumping.  My calves take the brunt of the pain in this workout, but thankfully, I haven’t had any residual pain post workouts, which I hope continues.

Saturday: Today was a rest day but I had soccer with Ashton in the morning and then cleaned the house which I am counting as a workout because I definitely worked up a sweat.  Then, we decorated gingerbread men, and anyone with kids knows that doing any kind of arts & crafts is WORK (and tons of fun!)

decorating cookies

Sunday:  We woke up, ate a quick breakfast and headed into Boston to see the big Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall and walk around for a bit. This has become a yearly tradition since Ashton was born and it’s really nice, since Robyn and I met when we both worked in Faneuil Hall together, so going back there is like a little walk through memory lane at all the places we used to frequent when we first met and started dating.  Ashton also got his first taste of a cinnamon pretzel! He ate almost the whole thing…no wonder he didn’t want much lunch afterwards 🙂

me and ash faneuil hall

When we got home and Ashton took his nap, I put in the Asylum Game Day video.  This is the first time I have done this video as it doesn’t start until mid way through the program and I can see why, it would have scared the crap out of my if this was thrown my way in the first week.  This video is NO JOKE. I don’t know if I have ever been so winded in all my life, it was brutal.  It is also the longest video at 60 minutes (most are around the 40-45 mins range) and while 15 minutes may not seem like a lot, I was counting down the seconds!

All in all my workouts this week were great (and really tough.) I have been following the Asylum workout schedule to the T and it’s no surprise that I really enjoy having someone else tell me what I need to get done everyday. I really just like to wake up, look at the calendar and know what I need to get done. I never question it, I never make excuses, I just do it because it’s what my training plan says. I am one of those people who does SO MUCH better with a set plan like this than just winging my workouts. I am almost 1/2 way through this program and while it’s still REALLY tough, I enjoy it!  Let’s hope this loving relationship lasts! 🙂

Happy Monday friends–it’s going to be a crazy week with the holiday, so have fun and be safe!

 

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Question of the day

How was your week/weekend?  What did you do?

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends….another Monday which means another Weekly Wrap Up!  I have been thoroughly enjoying my vacation and being able to sleep in (6:00-6:30 a.m. is sleeping in to me and its GLORIOUS!!)  I have also been loving doing my workouts in the comfort of my own home! It’s the little things you see!! 🙂  So here is what last week looked like for me!

Week: 12/8-12/14

Monday: I wanted to run, but my knee was a little tender and given that I had raced the day before, I wasn’t going to push it. I did 30 mins on the sweat master (the stair climber) I got in 3,000 steps and was dripping sweat. I swear that machine slays me, a 10 mile run is easier than that is for me…I keep telling myself the more I do it, the easier it will get.  I think that is wishful thinking though!

Tuesday: I had plans to run but I woke up to an unexpected ice on the road.  I actually slid off my driveway into my neighbors yard, fun times!! It took me over 2 hours to get into work so I missed my morning workout and the commute home was no better so it ended up being a rest day. If it wasn’t my official last day of the year, I would have just worked from home but I had a ton to wrap up in the office so I braved it.

Wednesday:  I ended up going into the office because we had a tour that was previously planned of our fulfillment center that I really wanted to go to, which was a good excuse to take my favorite Wednesday morning spin class and it was awesome.

Thursday: I decided that I was going to start the 30 day Beachbody Asylum program, so that is what I did.  I did the Speed & Agility video in the morning and then taught my Group Power in the evening.

speed and agility

Friday: I did the Asylum strength video.  You want to know what I hate?  When you think you are really good at something then you do a workout that laughs in your face–yeah, that is pretty much this video in a nutshell.  I already have a love/hate relationship with this program and I’m only on day 2, it just hurts so bad when you are in it, but then you feel badass when you are done….thank goodness its only 30 days long!

Saturday: It ended up being a busy Saturday between Ashton’s soccer in the morning, running errands and then I had a hair cut during his nap so I didn’t get my workout done until after Ashton went to bed.  Thankfully Robyn made plans with some of his friends so he went out and I popped in the Asylum back to core video and got my sweat on and then took a shower and passed out!

Sunday:  I did the Asylum vertical plyo video during Ashton’s nap and I was spent.  I rallied afterwards to go on a family hike for a few miles but when I got home and looked at the schedule for the next few days, I was THRILLED when I saw that Monday was a rest day!  Thank goodness, my body needs it!

ash hike

This week ended up being pretty good and I added in an additional day of workouts (I usually only do 5 days). My body is trying to adapt to the Asylum program but it’s HARD.  I understand now when they say this is the next step up from the Insanity program. I love Beachbody programs and really loved Insanity, but this brings it to a different level. I think I am going to love it–I mean, I kinda already do after I am done with the workouts 🙂  I am giving myself this vacation as a little break from my normal workouts with the hopes that this shake up with be good for me.  Every once in a while, I need a complete shake up of my routine to keep me engaged and I hope that Asylum is just that!  Wish me luck!

Happy Monday my friends–make it a great day!

 

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Question of the day

Anyone done Asylum before? Other Beachbody programs?  How was your week of workouts?

Highs and lows

Over the past week or so I have been thinking about writing this post, it took me a bit to get it out, but here it is….my highs & lows over the past month.

highsandlows

As many of you know, I started a new job about 6 weeks ago, while the first few weeks were REALLY tough, once I started week 4, I felt like I finally hit my stride. I was confident in meetings, knowing what my colleagues were talking about, I was using the right language and generally understanding my new role, how I could contribute and I began implementing some critical projects.  It felt good, I remember sitting in a global marketing team meeting when everything just kind of clicked, I sat back, took in what was being presented and was able to contribute something meaningful to the conversation.  It was at that moment when I realized I made the right decision to move over into this new role.

Change is never easy, change for someone like me is even more difficult. I am not a risk taker by nature, but I took a big risk.  I gave up a promotion for this new role which was really hard for me.  I was scared and while many call this a leap of faith, it felt at the time like I was being pushed off a cliff and was free-falling, but it turned out okay.  This past week I was passing the VP of our sales team in the parking garage and he asked me how I was liking my new role and I could honestly tell him that I was loving it.  While it still has it challenges and I am still very much learning, I truly get excited by the work I am doing every day and for the first time in a really long time, I feel like this is exactly where I was meant to be.

It’s strange for me to say that, because I loved my last job.  I don’t mean to sound braggy, but I know I was great at my last job.  I worked really hard and took pride in being an expert at what I did.  I adored my team and my old boss is one of those spectacular people, you know, the salt of the earth kind of people?  The hardest part of me leaving my old role was my boss.  You know the old adage, people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.  While I usually agree with that, it was not the case in my recent move.  But, in hindsight, my last job, while wonderful, was not where I belonged.  While I was given opportunity to grow and was challenged, I never felt the level of excitement that I do in my current job.  Seeing the work that I am doing, that is going out to patients and actually making an impact in their lives is truly an incredible thing to see and feel.  While this new job is not without its challenges (more working at night, evening events that means more time away from my boys, etc) overall, I feel like this position was made for me and it’s where I belong and will allow me to reach my future goals and that is such a great feeling. I feel invigorated, I  mean, I have been on vacation since Tuesday evening and I went into the office on Wednesday and have worked for at least a few hours on both Thursday and today and I don’t mind at all, that is how much I am enjoying myself.  It really is a great feeling.

Now, clearly my new job is my high, but this post is titled Highs and lows, so here comes my low.  Last week I received an email from my fitness director at the gym alerting the team to some schedule changes.  Our club is part of a local franchise of fitness clubs and they want to move all their clubs to a schedule where the classes start on the hour.  I have been teaching Group Power since 2007 and while I have significantly cut down the number of classes I teach a week since I had Ashton (I’m down to only one class now from six) my Thursday night class has always been at 5:30 p.m.  They are now moving the class to 6:00 p.m. and I had to make the very hard decision to stop teaching it as of January 1st.

While a half hour shift doesn’t seem too drastic to most people, it would really impact my home life.  Currently, I get out of work early on Thursday, I race to pick Ashton up at daycare, I drive him to Robyn’s work where we do a hand off at 5 p.m. and I drive to the club with just enough time to get changed and get on stage to teach at 5:30 p.m.  My class ends at 6:30 p.m. and I clean up the fitness room and race to get home a little after  7:00 p.m., just in time to brush Ashton’s teeth, give him a quick bath, read him a bedtime story and tuck him in for the night.  If I continued to teach this class, it wouldn’t end until 7:00 p.m. and I wouldn’t get home until after 7:30 p.m., meaning I would not get to spend any time with Ashton.  I am just not willing to give up what very limited time we already have during the week for this class.

In a way it was a really easy decision, time with Ashton is too precious, but in another way it was brutally hard to say those words.  Even as I type this I have tears in my eyes.  I LOVE teaching, there is nothing better than helping others realize their potential and reach their fitness goals…it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of so many people’s fitness journey and it have been a really fulfilling part of my life for many years, but right now, it’s just not fitting my current life situation.  I hope that one day in the future, maybe my work and life situation/schedule will be different and I can come back and start teaching again, but for now…I have to focus on what is most important and that is my sweet little boy.  Last night I told my class that next week will be my last class and I was met with a lot of shock and questions, but also a lot of thank yous, good wishes and hugs.  I know next week’s class will be bittersweet, I just hope I can hold it together and make it though.

The times, they are a changin’.  I am beginning a new phase in my career and laying to rest another phase for right now.  It’s wonderful and sad at the same time, but all we can do is move forward and make the best of what we have, right?

Have a great weekend my friends!

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Question of the day

Tell me some of your highs and lows lately! How do you deal with the lows?

What are your weekend plans?

Jingle 5k {Race Recap} and a PR!!

A few weeks ago, Robyn texted me asking if I wanted a free race registration to the Worcester Jingle 5k.  After almost 10 years, this man asks the dumbest questions! 🙂  Of course I wanted a free race registration!!  His work was a sponsor of the race and as part of that sponsorship, they got a certain number of free entries and only 2 other people in his company were interested. Their loss…my gain!

On Saturday afternoon I went to pick up my bib, which was the quickest bib pick up ever, I was literally there less than 2 minutes!

bib jingle 5k

It poured for over 24 hours, so I was not confident in what the weather was going to look like, but thankfully the rain must have ended late in the evening because when I woke up it was dry.  However, it was freezing cold!  At first I was a bit annoyed the race started at 11 a.m. but I think in the colder months, due to daylight and weather, a later start time is better because it gives you a few hours to let the temperature rise a bit more.  When I arrived and parked at 10:30 a.m., it was 33 degrees out and WINDY.   Yikes! I hadn’t run outdoors in a month or so and I knew I was going to pay for it!

My friend Michelle was running the race too and we had texted the day before and made a plan to meet each other when we arrived. We took a quick picture and I met her friend from CrossFit and we made our way to the start line.  At this point, my fingers were already frozen, even with gloves on. It’s amazing how much of a baby I am now running in the cold when I spent all of last Winter training through the negative degree temps of the Polar Vortex! I actually wanted to bail on the race because it was so cold but because I wasn’t able to run my Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, I felt like I HAD to run this one!

jingle 5k 3

I had VERY low expectations for this race since my knees have been hurting so much lately and my mileage is almost non existent.  My main goal was to stay in the mid-high 8’s and not walk.  Pretty much my goal for most races.  We listened to the national anthem, I put in my headphones, started my music and Garmin and we were off.  As usual, there was a HUGE bottleneck of slower runners for the first 1/2 mile or so but I didn’t mind, I settled into a pace that felt good for me and listened to words being blasted into my ears.

There were no mile markers until we hit mile 3 and I missed all my splits on my Garmin as I was too focused on my music. I had absolutely no idea how I was doing and only looked down at my watch twice, once was at around 1.3 miles and the last time was when I stopped it at the finish.   It was weird, I got into almost a trance like state during the race, it’s not something that has every happened to me before.I didn’t feel like I was moving too fast or pushing myself too hard and I didn’t care about my pace, I just kept looking forward and putting one foot in front of the other.  I don’t know if it was because I was so cold that I just zoned completely out and my body was just on autopilot, but I don’t really remember much about the race other than there were A TON of turns and I kept making sure to run the curves. There was one point when my saliva choked me as it was getting caught in my mouth/throat and my lungs were burning. I had a quick coughing fit, but I just pushed through. I actually didn’t feel like I was working too hard and my legs felt good.  The only time I felt like I was pushing hard was when  I rounded the final turn, saw the time on the clock and pushed it until I hit the timing mats. My Garmin read 22:22 which seemed ridiculous to me, it had to be off.  I didn’t believe that I could have shaved that much time off my previous PR considering my knee issues and lack of mileage lately.  I knew it wasn’t the official time, but I knew it was good for a PR since my previous PR was 24:04.

I quickly ran through the mats, was handed a bottle of water and downed it.  I walked over to the side and they had hot pizza and bananas for the runners.  I don’t like to eat after I run so I just drank more water.  I took a quick picture right after I finished, this is the I am so happy I am finished pic.  My lungs were burning from the cold and my face felt frozen in place so it hurt to smile–but I was done and that felt great!

jingle 5k 2

I waited at the finish for a few minutes and my friend Michelle finished around the 25 minute mark and a few minutes later her friend crossed. We made our way to where they were posting the final results in live time.  My official time was 22:17!!!  A 7:10 average pace??  I am still shocked, I didn’t think I had it in me.  This was WAY, WAY better than I could have ever anticipated when I started the race.

Jingle 5k Results

At this point, the sweat was starting to dry and the wind was whipping around so we decided to walk back to our cars, but we stopped and took a quick picture in front of the beautiful tree in Franklin Square.

jingle 5k

Post race they emailed us to look up our pictures.  There was only one pic I found of myself just as I crossed the finish line….AND…we have further confirmed I take the WORST race pics…like EVER–seriously! What am I do with my face?  I think I am breathing out hard, at least that is what it looks like to me.  I have never  had a great race pic taken of me–ugh!

finish line sara

Overall, I am glad I didn’t back out of this race because I wouldn’t have gotten this PR.  However, that means I need to up my game for the next race.  Seriously, what is wrong with me? I am so competitive with myself, I need to get a better handle on it! HA!  Anyways, a bunch of us raced this past weekend and there were PRs everywhere, but I want to give a special shout out to Mike, he totally rocked his race and ended with a HUGE PR after shaving 7 minutes off his time, 7 minutes is CRAZY!  Congrats!!  I love seeing you all out there rocking your races!!

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Question of the day

Anyone else PR this weekend?  What do you have on tap for the rest of the year for races?  Shout it out!!

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends…did you all have a great weekend??  I did, even thought the weekend felt like it flew by, but don’t they always?  Last week was a whirlwind too with a quick business trip that landed me in Buffalo for less than 24 hours.  Even though it was quick, it really helped to make the end of the week go by quickly.  This is my last full week of work in 2014.  As of Tuesday at 3:45 p.m., I am on vacation until after the New Year!! #sorryimnotsorry So, let’s look at what the week looked like!

Week: 12/1-12/7

Monday: I did a 3 mile progression run starting a 8:57 and increasing every 1/4 mile until I had a mile left and then increased it more often until I ended at a 7:30 pace. I was a sweaty mess and I loved it!  However, my knee didn’t love it so much–boo!  I have been having a lot of tenderness right under my knee cap, I may need to go see my ortho soon but I have been trying to hold off!

Tuesday: I intended to run, but ended up doing a full body lifting routine because my right knee hurt to bend so I couldn’t run. 🙁

Wednesday:  I took my am spin class and it was awesome.  The music and workout was so hard, but that burn so good kind of feeling?  Yeah, that’s the one!  My knee was still pretty tender but I needed a good sweat since I had back to back meetings from 8:30 a.m. until I walked out the door at almost 4 p.m.  It was a long day but I always feel better when I know I got a good workout in.

Thursday: I had a 9:30 a.m. flight to Buffalo, so I had a car pick up at 8 am from work.  I was able to get in a quick 3 mile run, showered and got ready and walked out of our offices exactly as the car was pulling it.  Perfect timing, huh? I spent the rest of the day traveling and then in the hotel on conference calls and working, then had a dinner program in the evening.

Friday: I was travelling back to Boston from Buffalo in the early morning, so this ended up being a rest day.

Saturday: It was my turn for soccer with Ashton (we alternate weeks so we both get to get on the field and play with him.)  While I usually try and do something during Ashton’s nap, I had a TON of work to get done, so that is what I did for 2 hours while he napped.  I didn’t feel so bad about it because I went to pick up my bib for my race on Sunday and knew I’d get in a run the next day.

Sunday:  I ran a local Jingle 5k, the race recap will be up on Wednesday, but it ended with a PR! 🙂 I wasn’t expecting to PR, hell, my expectations were just to finish without stopping since my knee hasn’t been loving me lately, so whole day I was on cloud nine!!

So overall, it wasn’t a terrible week, I ended up with 5 days of workouts and 2 days of rest which is pretty normal for me.  With this being a very short week for me at work, I am going to be slammed and frantically working to ensure everything is wrapped up before I leave on Tuesday night. I know I will have to log in and get work done while I’m on vacation but not having to get up at the crack of dawn and drive into the city everyday is a HUGE bonus, so I don’t mind at all!

Happy Monday my friends…I leave you with this….


monday

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Question of the day

Highs & lows…tell me about your week!

 

Holiday Photo Shoot

Hey friends, how’s it going?  We’ve made it to the half way point in the week, thank goodness!  It’s pretty dreary here in Boston today, cold and raining, but I am heading to Buffalo for work tomorrow morning, where I am sure it will be much colder, so I am trying to be positive about the weather today!!  It’s all about perspective right?  Anyways, a few weeks ago, my beautiful and talented friend Danielle texted asking if I would bring Ashton in for a holiday mini-photo shoot.  She has a very busy and successful photography business and had a last minute cancellation for one of her famous holiday mini sessions so I was thrilled that she offered to take some shots of Ashton.  I didn’t have a Christmas outfit lined up for him so we improvised with only a few hours of notice and while I was worried, I think it turned out okay.  Ashton had a blast during the photo shoot, playing with the props and being a general goof. Well, I just got the proofs back and I LOVE them!  He is such a little ham!

He loved the snowballs…thankfully we kept him from throwing them!!

ASHTON 9

Ashton also loved the reindeer, he kept saying, “Mama, I like reindeer!” and kept petting it like a dog!  The Winter set Danielle handmade was beautiful!  She is so talented.

Ashton 8

This is his new thing, ask him to smile and he gives this scrunched up face and then starts cracking up!  This picture captures him perfectly!

Ashton 7

A more serious picture, is it me or does his hair always look reddish in pictures?  And he clearly inherited my pasty white skin..poor kid, I guess he got more of my genes than I thought!

Ashton 5

I think this one my be my most favorite, I think I am going to have it put on a large canvas for our house!

Ashton 3

Here’s that funny face again!

Ashton 1

And to top it off…last week we got our pics done with Santa…so this is the 2014 edition!  There were no tears this year and he got on Santa’s lap and had a nice conversation with him about blue trains, so I’m calling it a win!

Santa 2014

 

Have a great day friends!!!

 

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Question of the day

How is your week going?  What’s the weather like where you are right now?  Anyone live in Buffalo?

Weekly Wrap Up

Holy cow–Happy December 1st!!  I know we all say it, but seriously, this year FLEW by–didn’t it?  I feel like we were just celebrating the holidays last year and here it is again!  I feel like the years fly by so much quicker now that I am older. Anyways, it’s Monday and I am back to work. I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving with your friends and family! I loved seeing everyone’s updated on IG and Facebook, it looks like everyone ate well! 🙂  I thoroughly enjoyed my week off but I really like having a bit more structure in my days, so in a way, I am glad to be back at work.  Yeah, I am a bit crazy! 🙂  I had a pretty decent week of workouts given that it was a holiday week and I was on vacation and I *think* I have finally figured out my next fitness goal…stay tuned for more info!  So, here is what my week looked like!

Week: 11/24-11/30

Monday:  I got up early and did T25 Total Body Circuit followed by T24 Abs.  I was a sweaty mess and it felt great. I luckily was able to get in a quick shower before the electricians came to the house to do some work and then I continued to clean and organize my closet. It’s still really clean as we start the second week!

Tuesday: I wanted to get in a quick workout before heading out for the day so I did T25 Lower body focus while talking on speaker phone with Erica (my SIL.)  Let me tell you, trying to have a conversation while working out is TOUGH, but it did make the workout go by a lot faster.  After I was done I headed out for a few hours of Christmas shopping.

Wednesday: We were expecting a big snow storm so I got up early and hit the road to pick up my Mom and get back home before the storm got bad.  By the time we got home and got settled, a workout just never happened.

Thursday: Well, we got that big storm and because of all the snow and ice, I didn’t make it to my Turkey Trot. I was super bummed as I had been really looking forward to the race. I have never done a Turkey Trot before, but my safety is more important than a 5k. I stayed home and Ashton greeted me with lots of snuggles in bed, so that was a win in my book.  During his nap I did T25 cardio and then PiYo upper body. It felt good to get a sweat on before we had our Thanksgiving dinner–especially since Robyn made me my favorite…Key lime pie!  AHH!

key lime pie

Friday: We woke up Friday morning and brought my Mom home and then hit the mall for Christmas pictures with Santa.  Here is Ashton waiting in line.

waiting for santa

Thankfully there was only 1 kid in line before him, so we were in and out quickly.  Once I got Ashton down for a nap, I broke out a new fitness workout I haven’t done before, Beachbody’s Asylum Speed & Agility.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, I wanted to puke at the end of this workout, it’s TOUGH.  I haven’t been pushed that hard since doing Insanity and while it hurt so bad, I loved it too.  Sick isn’t it?

Saturday: We had soccer with Ashton and then right after I went Christmas shopping with Erica.  I had great intentions of buying for a bunch of people but I just didn’t find what I was looking for.  I ended up only getting a North Face for Ashton and then bought myself a few scarves, a new pair of UGG slippers and a new North Face–oops.  We were gone for about 4 hours and that was my workout. I was still kind of sore from my Asylum workout.  After Ashton’s nap we put up the Christmas tree.

tree 2014

Sunday: It was a beautiful day with temps in the low 50’s, with all the snow we had on the ground, we took Ashton sledding for an hour before lunch and then when he went down for his nap, I did PiYo Buns.  I was still sore from the Asylum video but needed to do something.  This was just enough to make me feel like I worked but not over doing it!

Overall, not too shabby for a holiday week.  I have 7 more work days until I am on vacation until the end of the year!  Once I am on vacation,  I am planning on starting a new workout program since I will have more time to workout.  I am sure you will hear all about it here 🙂  Whatever you do today, make it great!

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Question of the day

How was your Thanksgiving? What was the highlight of the day?  Best food you ate?