Est. August 9, 2018

Est. August 9, 2018

I write this post today with a heart full of so much love and as an official mommy to Olivia Lee. She’s perfect. I was always wondering how my birth story would go, and it started a couple of weeks early! Olivia just couldn’t wait a day longer and made her way into this world at 10:53 a.m. on Thursday, August 9th. Little did I know that on Wednesday night as I prepared to go to bed, when the clock hit midnight…my water would break (I’m sure one could make a Cinderella joke here somewhere). There are several things that people just don’t tell you or get wrong completely. For example, “oh it’s just a little trickle of water when your water breaks.” Um how about it’s like Niagra Falls and it doesn’t stop until you give birth!!

Luckily Josh and I had everything set for the most part so we snagged our stuff we packed for the hospital and headed out once my doctor called back and said to go. Fun fact, “Sweet Child of Mine” came on the radio when the hubs rounded the entrance to the hospital. We were arriving a party of two and will be leaving a party of three.

We went up to the top floor for labor and delivery and the “oh shit this is really happening” feeling was really setting in. I wasn’t having contractions until a whole half hour after my water broke so I was spared that pain until we were actually at the hospital. And boy did those contractions ramp the hell up quickly. Let me tell you, getting an epidural was the best decision I EVER made. While you can’t get up and walk around during labor, they had birthing ball techniques I could still do laying down. But as I was waiting for the anesthesiologist to make her way to my room, there were several things that were running through my mind.

  • Can this be over now?
  • He did this to me (looks over at hubs) how fucking dare him.
  • I hope I don’t do any permanent damage to hubby’s hand since I’m about to break it with each contraction I have.

I won’t get too graphic with the details, but an epidural doesn’t get rid of ALL the pain. No, no. There are rectal contractions that are just as bad almost as regular contractions. Then I was told that since I was progressing and getting closer and closer to 10 cm, I should be delivering my baby before lunchtime. (insert holy shit I don’t know if I’m ready for all this thoughts here).

After enduring some painful contractions, the doctor finally came in and told me that it’s time to finally push and have this baby. After buckling down and four pushes later, I heard the cries of my baby girl entering this world. It was both one of the most surreal, most emotional moments of my life having my daughter being handed to me for the first time. Suddenly nothing else mattered and nothing else dawned on me (i.e. the trauma my nether parts just endured). My healthy baby girl was in my arms. She’s healthy, has all 10 tiny fingers and toes, and she was perfect.

I’m still amazed that I made this tiny little girl and that I have this new role as her mommy. We stayed at the hospital for a couple of days after even though we thankfully didn’t have any complications that couldn’t be managed at home. I was bummed for having to stay at all…(I hate hospitals, they creep me out). We limited visitors to immediate family and before we knew it, it was time to bring our baby girl home.

Like every other first time parent, I was scared. Suddenly we were on our own to decipher what her cries meant…to swaddle her tightly enough, to feed her (breastfeeding is legit a full-time job), and to make sure she’s the happiest/healthiest baby. Luckily we’re blessed to have an amazing support group of family and friends to come and help with SO much as we focus on our little one from people bringing food to my mom (God bless her) coming over just to clean the house and drop off whatever we need. These first few weeks have been so hard, but whenever I look at her sweet little face whether her tiny little lungs are screaming or she smiles so big…it’s worth absolutely every lost hour of sleep and near breakdown. I’d do everything and anything for her. My little peanut has changed my whole world and all I can do is smile as my heart is just bursting with so much love.

 

Cheers,

Prepping for Baby

Prepping for Baby

With all of the wonderful chaos that goes along with prepping to become first-time parents, I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s the very reason why this blog has been so neglected, and while I had every intention to document my pregnancy journey, some things I’m happy to keep private. I mean really, no one needs to be filled in on how I was hung over the toilet for what seemed like a lifetime during my entire first trimester (technically it was morning sickness…but I also had mid-afternoon and late at night sickness so whatever you want to call it) it sucked. But I know that in the end, all of the aches and pains, gaining a ridiculous amount of weight, sleepless nights, hormonal rages….will all be worth it when I get to finally look my tiny little baby girl in the face. In just two weeks.

Sometimes I feel like prepping for our little one to arrive isn’t half as stressful as other people who love to give their advice. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about hearing what parents have to say and what’s worked for them when things got rough, but it’s all about the approach. I feel like every parent has their own style when it comes to raising their kids and I feel like there are some things that I know will not fly with my husband and I. Some parents are just…okay a little batshit crazy.

Then you get into “oh what is your birth plan?” I can tell you now, no essential oil offering or meditation playlist would be able to substitute what an epidural can give me. SIGN ME UP. For the women who want to endure that pain, more power to you. If I have the option to NOT be in as much pain, why not? I think of it as, would you choose to have surgery without anesthesia and feel your insides being torn apart? Nope. No thanks. This of course is a hot topic among many. I’ve learned to respect other opinions, although in turn it’s important to reciprocate. It’s sad when people expect you to respect their opinions, but continue to disrespect yours. Instead of getting too stressed out, I’ve chosen to avoid the negative vibes as much as possible. In the end, as the parents, we have the final say as to what is best for our baby. Amen? Has anyone else felt pressured into doing/not doing something just because of someone else’s lifestyle or beliefs? It’s been over-the-top and rude. The following are the top 10 most annoying unsolicited opinions/actions:

  1. “OMG you’re getting vaccinated and your baby? You do know that it’s just a money scheme right? It’s totally not necessary”
  2. “You’re getting an epidural?! You could become paralyzed!”
  3. “I really hope you’re breastfeeding, otherwise there’s no way your baby will get the proper nutrients.”
  4. “Wait…you’re still working? (insert judgmental face here)
  5. “You’re only taking 6 weeks off for maternity leave? Won’t you miss your baby? That’s going to be so hard.”
  6. “I hope you’re getting sleep now, because you’ll be miserable once the baby is born.”
  7. “Wow you look SO pregnant today!”
  8. *Just walks up and rubs your belly without asking*
  9. “You must be SO miserable being pregnant during the summer.”
  10. *Insert several birth stories and graphic details here*

via GIPHY

I just can’t. It’s amazing how I’ve kept my hormones in check as much as I have and for this long. I should get a medal. Sorry, but I’m perfectly aware of ALL the possibilities that I might face when it comes to giving birth from a torn vag to possibly getting cut open to hemorrhaging among other scary health issues. Take a pill  (because I can’t) and calm yourself. You’re not helping anyone.

As a mom-to-be it’s things like this that dads don’t really have to put up with or bother with as much. And let me tell you, there are two types of moms: working moms and stay-at-home moms. DRASTIC difference. There are so many challenges that I will be facing being a working mom, but at the end of the day, I will be setting a great example for my baby girl. Will it be hard? No shit it will be. I’m sure I’ll cry the whole way to work while she gets to spend quality time with her Mimi, snacking, and napping like a little peaceful baby should. It’s what’s necessary to give her the best life possible. And because this momma is only going to give her the best. Sacrifices must be made. It will be hard, but nothing worth while ever came easy right? Pretty sure that’s what they say.

I’m now at the 38-week mark and she can come ANY time now. I’m really praying she does. I want to see that cute little face, hold that tiny little hand, and hold her close to me. The nursery is pretty much all set for her arrival too. Luigi is even trying to be patient, but it’s wearing thin. He can’t wait to meet his tiny human.

While I’ll miss feeling her kicks and not having to share her with anyone else, I’m ready to be not pregnant and to sport that mommy title. This will be one hell of an adventure.

Cheers!

Life is Sweet

Life is Sweet

Well how about that, it’s well into 2018 and this is officially my first post of the year. Gym & Tonic has taken a bit of a break…in every way, shape and form. In December in the midst of all the holiday craziness, I found out that my life as I knew it was about to change forever.

Yep, several tests later, (you know just to make sure) those two lines couldn’t have been more clear. I was pregnant. Or you know, when another test just spells it out for you.

The hubs and I have been talking about it for quite a bit and it only took a month of taking zero preventative measures for it to happen. Aside from being the happiest person ever, I feel blessed. Beyond blessed. Real talk, I thought it would take a lot longer or even kind of a challenge since I’ve been on the pill for so long. It was a scary thought. And speaking of scary, I didn’t know if I was even ready to be a mom. But when I found out that I could possibly be pregnant, I couldn’t want anything more. After it was confirmed with my doctor, it’s crazy how much love I felt for that little bean that was showing up on the ultrasound. Shit just got REAL.

So then started the challenge of keeping it from our immediate family until Christmas. We wanted to surprise them with our exciting news on Christmas morning. Not to mention get through all of the holiday craziness without a glass of wine in my hand. We got these custom ornaments for our parents and wrapped them up.

As Christmas approached, I was bursting at the seams to yell our news from the rooftops. Keeping this a secret was one of the hardest things we had to do, but we managed to surprise the crap out of our families and everyone was ELATED. <3 We waited to spread the news to everyone else until later, but now that everyone does know, it’s such a relief! And I love how the tip-off was that I was drinking water and didn’t have a wine glass in my hand at family events. Hey, this girl loves her wine #noshame.

Now I can be that annoying mom-to-be complaining about how I felt like death for the entire first trimester (thanks morning sickness) and how 85% of my wardrobe is already obsolete because the only thing that made me feel like a functioning human being during that time was carbs. All the carbs. Bagels, croissants, toast, you name it…if it was a type of bread, I had it. And the gym? HA! The only exercise move I was doing was squatting over the toilet to dry-heave or vomit. And yet the craziest thing was despite how awful I felt for those many weeks, every time I saw our growing bean on the ultrasound, it was all worth it without a doubt. But seriously, those other moms who didn’t experience morning sickness at all or maybe felt a little off for a couple of weeks…oh how I envy you and I will simply say it’s not fair!!!

Fast forward to the start of my second trimester, this is supposed to be the “honeymoon phase” right? Yeah well that was a big fat lie. If someone so much as sneezes my way, I get sick. BUT cold aside, I do actually feel “normal” and I can start eating like a somewhat normal human being again so I don’t end up gaining 100+ pounds. Yeesh. The struggle. My current cravings:

  • PB&J sandwiches on sourdough
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Cereal (the sugar-filled crap that were staples in every family with kids) i.e. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frosted Mini Wheats, Frosted Flakes etc.
  • Anything with cinnamon
  • Orange juice

During my first trimester, I was ALL about the hot chocolate. I couldn’t get enough of it. Sweets in general were my go-to. Now, I need to calm myself and not give in to so many cravings. Or at least try?

Being a soon-to-be parent is stressful, but I’m so happy to have amazing family by my side. We got early testing done that revealed the gender and we’re happy to announce that we’re expecting a baby girl!

Yep, hubs will officially be outnumbered! I don’t know how some couples can wait. I get the whole “I want to be surprised” thing, but this girl is a planner. And I just HAD to know. I was going bonkers knowing the results were in and I couldn’t peak at all until our little gender reveal party. Yes we had a small one, don’t roll your eyes please. I know people think they’re obnoxious, but deal with it. 😀

 

Cheers!

Beat the Heat – Race Recap

Beat the Heat – Race Recap

Race weekend recap woohoo! Let me tell you, I’ve never had to push through a half marathon so hard like I did on Sunday. Chicago has set record-high temps for the past week – in the mid-90’s – and it’s September!! It’s supposed to be cool, fall temps!! Agh! That kind of heat this time of year is unheard of. Everyone knew it was going to be rough on race day. Race officials were letting the half marathoners drop down to the 5k race even. But hell if I was going to admit defeat! I didn’t train for weeks just to run a few miles and call it a day. I was going to finish the Chicago Half Challenge! But I was secretly hoping that I wasn’t going to die.

Packet pick-up was on Saturday afternoon so I met up with my running bestie to pick up our swag and packets. That day gave us a taste of what we were going to face for race day. But scorching heat aside, I was getting pumped!!!

For anyone questioning doing this half or not, DO IT. The whole experience is amazing and it’s so well-organized from the expo to the post-race fest at the end. We got our swag and samples (new stuff not to be tried until AFTER the race) and then headed out!

After we left the expo it was time to carb-load! We continued our tradition by snagging some Noodle & Co. pasta with a rice krispie treat. NOMS. This is essential leading up to every long distance run. Carbs. So many carbs. Give them all to me.

After we were full of carbs, we queued up some Netflix movies and I spruced up my playlist for race day (another must). Those training days really make you start to hate some songs. I knew that with the tough weather conditions ahead, this was a job for a lot of Metallica, ACDC, etc. Once we had everything set for the night, we prepped our race day gear and set our alarms for the early morning wake-up call!

Getting there is always a nightmare since they close off streets so damn early, but it’s worth it! By the time we lined up in our corrals, it was 90% humidity and temps were close to 85 degrees already. Challenge accepted.

By miles 7 and 8 my head started to stray and my pace started to waiver. The internal battle started already because of the humidity. I even started the race slower than usual because let’s get real here, I knew that if I wanted to finish the race and not injure myself, it just needed to happen. Many people didn’t listen to their bodies and didn’t properly hydrate and they were carted off of the course or on the sidelines at the emergency tents getting oxygen. It was no joke. That’s what happens when you push yourself beyond your limits. And is it really worth it? No. Now, I’m not an elite runner. I don’t expect to actually WIN the whole damn thing so it’s easy for me to say. BUT really. The body can only take so much. Although I sacrificed a PR, I felt a lot better at the finish. I accidentally took this picture stopping my music literally right after crossing the finish. Priority #1…locate ice towel THEN get my medal.

I really have to hand it to the race officials and volunteers. They were so prepared. There were plenty of hydration stations armed with Gatorade, water and cups of ice cubes. And about halfway through, they had misters and some stations even broke out hoses and were spraying people down. At mile 10 a woman (bless her heart) dumped half a gallon of water on me. It’s moves like this that kept me going. That and the “punch here for more horse power” signs. The crowd support was amaze-balls as usual. This was the standard feeling of every runner after the race.

After I snagged my first medal, they also handed out the most delicious popsicles in addition to the traditional bananas and other salty snacks. BEST DECISION EVER.

After getting my shit together and realizing that yes, I did cross that finish line and survived that brutal race, I got my third medal for finishing the Chicago Marathon Half Series Challenge. HOLLLAAA more bling!

And although the last thing I want to do is eat after a half, I have to force myself to do it otherwise I feel like I want to puke up my insides. I mean, I DID burn 2,200 calories. That pretty much means I can justify eating any damn thing. Including the pizza they were serving at the post-race fest. Shortly after, I reunited with the bestie and we of course took several celebratory selfies. WE DIDN’T DIE! YAASSS!

Although the runner’s high was real for this race, I’m looking forward to chilling out for quite awhile and not training for another half anytime soon. I think I had to wash off three layers of salt off of my body once I peeled myself off of the train. The best was connecting all three medals that formed the Chicago skyline. How epic is that for a medal Monday?

This race definitely tested me mentally and physically. While I didn’t PR on time, I really pushed through and my training pulled off in the end. Here’s to another successful race day and yay for being sore AF today!

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Who Runs the World?

Who Runs the World?

Who runs the world? Well, me…literally because like an idiot with no sense of direction, I made a wrong turn and added a 5k onto my already long run. #SundayRunday. But I’m jumping forward a bit. With half marathon training at its peak, I’m logging some serious miles. The race is at the end of this month and that means…NEW SHOES. I’m so happy to review my first run with my new Brooks Glycerin 15 running shoes. I’ve gone back and forth wearing Sauconys and Brooks mainly because with Brooks, they usually felt a little heavier than my Sauconys, although they had great support and cushion for long distance runs. HOWEVER, after running with the new Glycerin 15 shoe, Brooks is back in the game. They are SO much lighter (like my Sauconys) and they seem to have even more cushion than before. Some reviews mentioned that the toe box was smaller, however I didn’t think so at all. I always order a half size up for my running shoes to begin with. My test run was about 4.5 miles and I certainly had happy feet from start to finish. I mean, as a runner, when your new running shoes arrive…I can’t slap my Garmin and running clothes on fast enough.

Since they passed the shorter distance test run, I couldn’t wait to try them out for Sunday’s long run (that was supposed to be 11 miles). As stated earlier, because I have zero sense of direction, my run turned into 14.5 miles with SO many hills. Now if that wasn’t a test for these new shoes I don’t know what would be. Oh and let’s not forget that it was insanely humid and hot outside. Of course. This also means my schedule has since been cleared for the rest of the day. Yay me for getting grocery shopping out of the way the other day…because this girl isn’t doing SHIT for the rest of the day. Well…except for eating my calories back. The amount of salt that was coming off of me was disgusting. It was even more disgusting when my furbaby Luigi sauntered on over and started to lick my arm. Does anyone else’s furbabies do this? What a weirdo. But since I survived my run and made pretty good time despite the heightened anxiety of possibly being lost, a post-run selfie was obviously in order. I didn’t die, I made it home in one piece…and my new Glycerins didn’t fail me. Holllaaaa.

 

I also need to give a shout-out to the hubs for running his very first 5k! Well by now he ran a couple more, but man am I so proud of this guy. It only took me like…8 years to get him into it, but…SUCCESS MUAHAHAHA. One day I went off on my run and he went off on his and we got back right around the same time. Full disclaimer, he kind of wanted to kill me for snapping a selfie since he kind of felt like death afterward and I was all “but first lemme take a selfie.” Me: deal with it. 😀

 

Running aside (yes I know, there’s more to my life than running) I was a bachelorette for the latter part of this week. The hubs was away at a convention and this girl got some serious chill time in and caught up on some reading and trashy TV shows that the hubs loathes entirely. I’m currently reading What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan and I’m OBSESSED. I’m really digging this new author and can’t wait to read more from her. If you’re looking for your next suspense novel, I highly recommend it! Other books I have lined up to read are:

Really, Half-Priced Books is my go-to, especially when I want to discover new authors. And with an extra 20% off Labor Day sale, I filled my basket to the brim! #booknerd.My sister also had her house warming party yesterday, she’s such an amazing hostess. She cooked up the most amazing spread for brunch and had mimosas ready as soon as you walked in. I need to take notes….or take a cooking class. Haha. After the party I managed to get together with the bestie for some girl time and snagged some awesome back-to-school deals. I love benefiting off of something that I no longer have to worry about. Nordstrom Rack is seriously my jam. As someone who REALLY is working on spending less and budgeting more, this place is amazing. By the end of the day, I was ready to Netflix and chill. Luigi agreed. He also serves as a great blanket.

 

And now that August has come to an end, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and HELLO fall. We’ll be dismantling the pier soon and bringing in the boats (which is always a sad day) but I must admit, fall is my favorite season. Bring on the cozy sweater weather, bonfires, changing leaves and breezy fall running. So goodbye, summer. It’s been real.

 

XOXO

Live Your Best Life

Live Your Best Life

Why hello there August! July was filled with music and travel and it was pretty much amazing. August has a lot to live up to. It’s been about two years since I took a whole week off since I started my job almost 2 years ago now. Crazy right? I have so much going on, leaving work for that long gave me extreme anxiety. But as my director told me, “don’t worry…the place most likely won’t burn down while we’re both gone at the same time.” So I took a deep breath before I left work, activated my out of office response to my email and completely disconnected for a whole week. The hubs and I meet up with his side of the family way up north (in the middle of nowhere) and rent a bunch of cabins along the lake. It’s serene, it’s peaceful, it gets me back in touch with what really matters.

Living the cabin life is one of my favorite things and really, it could save me from my shopping addiction. It’s a place where the average person probably thinks Burberry is a type of fruit and Gucci is a type of fish. The cabin life is all about nature, slowing down, and revitalizing the soul. While we were on vacay, we usually come prepared with our own food and I always make sure to bring my own coffee (his fam doesn’t drink it….that’s fine I don’t have to share! :D)

I woke up pretty much every morning and was met with the calming sounds of the lake and started the day out with a run. Mind you, I was paranoid beyond belief. Being so out in the middle of nowhere and among many trails and woods…there are bears. There are many things that ran through my mind every morning as I started my run in these parts:

  • It’s too quiet…why is it so quiet…?
  • I’m going to die for sure.
  • Isn’t this a scene from Deliverance?
  • OMG what was THAT noise?! *jumps 10 ft up in the air
  • I should really steady my pace…what if I come across a bear and have to run for my life?
  • If I am being chased down by a huge bear…I should zig-zag right? That will confuse it and slow it down right? Oh please God let that be true.
  • I’m so stupid for running out here alone.
  • All of this extra adrenaline running through my body is doing amazing things for my pace.
  • Maybe I should run with a machete next time…what would Leo do?

Source

  • No, I don’t think I could bitch-slap a bear. I’d die.
  • I’m making these hills my bitch.
  • Next time I need a running partner. Survival of the fittest?
  • If I got mauled by a bear, how long would it take for anyone to find my body?
  • YES I finished my run and lived another morning!!!! Okay now to take a million selfies until one is sufficient.

What can I say? Take a city girl out of her environment and of course she instantly thinks a bear is going to take her out. I mean that’s a totally rational way to think right? I would say that I kept up with the healthy life while I vacay but who am I kidding? There was A LOT of day drinking going on. Aside from the vodka and wine though I was totally on track. MyFitnessPal doesn’t need to know that I totally fucking lied when I just logged 2 glasses of sangria….what really happened is between my liver and me.

But the hubs of course…he was on his A game. He didn’t have ANYTHING to drink (what a weirdo) and really I couldn’t have been more impressed. With all of the late nights of EVERYONE snacking on shit, he barely had any of it. We hiked around Copper Falls that was an hour out from where we were staying, but it was TOTALLY worth it. The hike was amazing.

And the hubs…bless his soul…while I was cursing myself out for snacking too much the other night…he snapped this pic of my leg gains. He was all, “See? Shut up.”

When we got back from vacay, I returned to work completely recharged…but totally not ready to check my thousands of emails. (It took 3 hours to completely get caught up on emails alone).

The week we returned, fortunately I had more to look forward to than getting caught up at work. I had THREE concerts lined up. There’s nothing like breaking up the week like rocking to Sir Paul McCartney with the hubs and good friends. I saw him in 2012 and he absolutely did not disappoint for round 2. Beatles music will always have a special place in my heart.

He of course brought the house down with “Live and Let Die” fireworks and all and closed with his classic “Hey Jude.” My friend and I vowed that we both needed to get Beatle lyric tattoos.

Concert #2 was Dierks Bentley. I love this man’s music. I wasn’t always a country fan. In fact…I hated it entirely. Now, it’s almost all I listen to since it’s like a whole new world of music has opened up to me. I think what really did it was this transition the whole genre is doing into sounding more like pop music. Anyway, once I was introduced to a number of hits…I can’t get enough! Oh and I failed to mention that before vacay, my sis and I went to go see Sam Hunt and Maren Morris. UH-mazing. It was so much fun and of course we sang the shit out of every song like crazed people.

By the third concert, (Jimmy Eat World and Incubus) I was totally concerted out. Both of us got a bottle of rose and picked out a spot on the lawn until it was time to tap into our inner teenager. #roseallday

In addition to all of the summer fun, I had to keep my half marathon training in mind as well. I’ve got my last half marathon of the year coming up in late September. So far, I’m not going to lie…I’ve been kicking some ass. I have the hubs to thank too for being so motivated with his fitness goals. It makes me keep my shit together.

With the relatively mild summer, it’s helped me get my longer runs in on the weekends. I’ve also been trying NOT to eat the whole damn fridge after training. The struggle is real. I hope everyone is having a great summer!!! As for me, it’s time to train HARD.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Fitness Squad

Fitness Squad

So within the few couple of months, this household, for the FIRST time has been focused on eating clean. I don’t know what happened, what clicked, but all of a sudden the hubs decided once and for all to dump the Pepsi and eating out and shoot for some healthy weight loss goals. He’s officially even hit the big 30lb mark! Proud wifey? Yes. The changes in him haven’t been just physical either. He’s been able to do more, his heart burn has completely gone away, and he just feels better in general.

A tiny part of me is like, “really…it’s ONLY been a month and here he is making these huge milestones in no time at all.” #jealous. But really, I’m so proud, I really can’t throw any shade his way. It really has made a difference now that he’s on track with me. I’m now officially 10lbs away from my ultimate goal weight. Tips?

  • We’ve been keeping track of what we’re eating through MyFitnessPal. If we want to eat out, we make healthier, conscious choices.
  • Mindful eating. I can’t stress this enough. How many times have we just had a movie night and just ate snacks even though we weren’t that hungry?
  • Not eating after 7 p.m. This is tough, but I’ve really noticed a difference adding this rule to my diet.
  • Making sure we’re hitting our protein goals and cutting back on empty carbs.

Have I had some slip-ups? Um yes. Exhibit A:

We went to a concert and I got this gigantic margarita…yes in a can (what has life come to?) All in moderation right? Meanwhile there’s Josh beer-less, Pepsi-less…just drank water. This guy has so much self-control. I must admit, I could learn a thing or two.

Fourth of July weekend doesn’t make things any easier either. It helps that we keep each other in check and his progress really does motivate me even more. This long weekend has also done a TON of good for my mental health. Fireworks by the lake, getting enough sleep at night, swimming, family time, it’s the best.

 

Hope everyone had a Happy Fourth!

The Runner High

The Runner High

Today is Sunday Runday! Also, RACE DAY. It’s been way too long since I posted (sorry…life happens and I don’t have time to write about it.) BUT I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and why not start with a post after my first half marathon of the year?! HOORAY! Although, it was a rough month of training and it led to a ton of pre-race day anxiety. For whatever reason, I’ve had this really odd stomach bug that made my stomach spasm randomly and made me not want to eat ANYTHING. So odd. My energy level was totally fine, no other symptoms. So needless to say, between traveling for work and dealing with this stomach issue, training was rough. That’s the last thing you want to have happen the last few weeks leading up to the race.

That being said, Saturday was packet pick-up and it heightened my anxiety to an all-time high. I couldn’t even eat normally so how the hell was I going to get through 13.1 miles? Challenge accepted. It helped that the hubs had my back for this one. He actually got up at 4:30am with me. He’s definitely not a morning person, so major hubs points were earned.

Stomach issues aside, at least the weather was absolutely perfect. Overcast, slightly cool with a light breeze…and of course…an epic playlist queued up. Everything from Beyonce to Metallica.

Even though I was battling some pretty bad stomach issues, I didn’t stray from my race day routine. This includes:

  • Carb-load with pasta enriched with protein topped with turkey meatballs for dinner (yum).
  • Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more.
  • Mix up that playlist for some fresh tunes.
  • Charge the Garmin and wireless earbuds. (I’ve had to run a half in silence…no…it’s not fun.)
  • Prep the peanut butter and toast for race morning.
  • Hit that bathroom before heading to the corral!! (You’ll be sorry).
  • Stash toilet paper in your gear check bag (again if you don’t, you will definitely be sorry).
  • STRETCH.
  • Have a hydration plan throughout the race. (map out water stops or have it on you).

As everyone got into their corral, it looked like it was about to rain, luckily for us…it didn’t. Phew.

Once we got started, I have to say those first couple of miles felt like they took FOREVER. And if you’re a runner, you know that those beginner miles are always lying little bitches. Stay focused, it will get better.

At least it did get better for a little bit. I mean, while you have Bruno Mars blasting through your ear buds and you’re enjoying the view of Chicago’s beautiful skyline…how can it not? Well at around mile 8, my stomach started to spasm again like it had been for the past week. (Queue internal scream). I slowed the pace a little and luckily, it started to settle. This race was a challenge and with each mile marker, I knew I was that much closer to victory…and that damn medal.

Although my stomach was acting up, I never stopped once. I hydrated with water and Gatorade…and crossed that finish line strong. Hollllaaa!!! VICTORY.

Crossing that finish line is something that all runners crave. The line that separates them from meeting their goals. When it’s crossed, it’s that euphoric feeling of “holy shit I was in so much pain and now…this feeling of finishing 13.1 miles and this shiny medal makes it all worth it.”

I met up with my running bestie afterward and of course took several, mandatory post-race pics.

Another awesome thing about finishing a half marathon is that you can eat whatever the helllll you want for the rest of the day. I mean come on, when my Garmin says I burned 2,005 calories….you better believe this girl is not going to turn down some yummy food.

NOM.

Also, I look forward to secretly wearing my OOFOS sandals at work tomorrow. #dontcare #tryandstopme.

Recovery mode, engage.

 

Cheers!!

 

 

Weekending Like A Boss

Weekending Like A Boss

You know how sometimes you feel like your life is ending? Like when your phone smashes on a hard marble floor? Not only that, but you’re also trying to network with people at a work event and your whole body warms over and you feel like you’re going to puke after eating something that REALLY didn’t agree with you? Yes, I had quite the week. Luckily, the Genius Bar at the Apple store saved my life (I might have hugged them profusely) and I will forever stay away from gamble salads that have a bunch of god knows what in them. I’ve come to find out that I’ve developed quite a few food allergies over the years. Needless to say, I was THRILLED by the time Friday rolled around. Let the weekend begin!!

Not only that, but Chicagoland was teased with a little bit of summer weather. This girl even got a sunburn one morning!! But let’s back up, last weekend was my daddio’s birthday and in true runner’s fashion, I just ran to my parents’ house to 1. get my run in and 2. wish him a happy birthday asap. Sorry for the sweaty, smelly greeting Dad haha at least your other daughter isn’t a crazy runner. :p

 

Also, I got him a Fitbit Charge 2 and I have to say, I’m a bit jealous. I have a Garmin I only wear when I run, but I think it would be pretty nifty to see how many steps I’m getting in and connect with my other Fitbitters (because I’m competitive like that). Because of family health scares, I felt like not only would this fit the bill for his interest in techy stuff, it’ll really help guide him  and motivate him to move around more since he works mostly from home now. I love him a whole heck of a lot.

Half marathon training has officially started as well which is another reason why I wanted to test myself and pack on the miles that weekend. On average, my mileage has been somewhat on the low side (5-6 miles per run). Time to ramp it up! The race is mid-late May so the weather should cooperate for the most part when it comes to training. It’s just a matter of being good with cross training and stretching properly so I don’t injure my hamstring tendon again (knock on every solid surface). I tend to run based on how I feel which doesn’t always coincide with my training schedule…that’s when I get in trouble. Going too hard too much is just a recipe for disaster.

My survival guide to half marathon training includes:

  • Training in the morning on the weekends (hell if I’m going to get a long run in past noon).
  • Keeping race day in mind. (No one likes this day to come and feeling completely unprepared).
  • Staying focused on my race day goals. I would like to beat last year’s time, so that means no slacking and keeping my nutrition in check!
  • Taking care of my body. This means avoiding that extra vodka drink and empty calories that will just slow me down the following morning.
  • There’s no time for excuses. Really, everyone has at least 1 hour in the day to get some training in so make it count and get it done.
  • Maintain a realistic schedule. If I know I have a long work day ahead, I’ll get my workout in before then because God knows my head won’t be in the game post-multiple meetings later.
  • Train smart. Again, this goes back to me stretching properly, incorporating more crosstraining during the week and building more muscle and flexibility to avoid injury.

And really on weekends like this one, I’m more than happy to slap on those running shoes and go out for a long run. It’s a great way to reset the body too after indulging a little too much during the week. So many birthday celebrations, so much good food. Not to mention, my playlist was ON POINT. Has anyone else jammed out to the new Chainsmokers album? So much YASSSSS.

I also made sure to get a good, leisurely walk in with the hubs. Basically, I took advantage of this damn good weather every chance I got. Give me sun. Give me fresh air to just inhale all day long.

Training aside, I got some quality big sis time in this weekend. We did some major damage shopping and caught up on the latest with each other. Why Free People? Why must you have all the cute things? I picked this tunic up because…obviously.

 

Not only that, but I got my puppy fix in. How can you have a bad day with this silly face staring back at you? #cutenessoverload

 

 

I would totally be fine with having another day off with this weather. Lazy Sundays just can’t be a thing when you haven’t seen amazing weather like this in MONTHS. It’s instant happy. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Cheers!

Just Do It.

Just Do It.

No, I’m not talking about Nike. So many times, we talk and talk and talk about what we’re going to do, what we want to do, yet we stay in the same place. Because well…we’re either lazy or just complacent. For me, other things just get in the way of my goals and I lose sight of my priorities. HELLO this needs to stop. After my annual review at work (which went amazingly well) it really turns on that light of self-reflection. What do I really want? What am I really working toward? Where do I want to be in five years personally and professionally? Do I really want to binge on Netflix and drink that fourth glass of wine? All important questions. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m approaching 30. (Inhale….exhale….).

Source

So far, 2017 is going pretty well. (Knock on every piece of wood). We’re only a few months in, but I’ve had quite a few accomplishments:

  • I made the conscious decision to not register for as many races this year. Not because I don’t love running anymore (let’s not get crazy) but really, it’s insane how much I’ve spent on race registrations. Even more importantly, I wanted to stop training so much. I want to get up and say “hey yeah let’s run 4 miles today” or “hmmm I really want to run 8 today since it’s so damn nice out.” Abiding by a training schedule is just really damn annoying sometimes. It’s about time I start running for me again and not for a T-shirt and bling. Did I just say that? Don’t tell anyone…
  • I’ve been getting great feedback from the big bosses at work. My job continues to challenge me and push my limits and that’s what really makes me thrive. I love it there and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Sometimes I feel like I might have a mental break because of everything I’m working on, but…whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Haha.
  • Cutting carbs. Yes, this is an accomplishment. I’ve been avoiding bread, rice, pasta like the plague. Does this mean I don’t want to constantly go to my local bakery and stuff a giant loaf of french bread in my face? Absolutely not. And celebrating birthdays make it especially difficult. Can I get a high-five for only taking a bite out of this red velvet cupcake and not devouring the whole thing?

  • I’ve been more aware of my needs over my wants. This has to do with a lot including everything from my diet to avoiding overspending on things. And HOLLLLAAAA for finishing paying off medical bills from before you had awesome health insurance! #adultingproblems.
  • It’s a work in progress, but I’ve downsized my closet. Of course the hubs doesn’t notice since he’s always only had just a sliver of our huge walk-in closet….BUT there’s progress. I’ve reinstated rules like if I haven’t worn something in over a year, it gets donated or if I bring in a new piece of clothing, that means something else needs to move on out! The struggle is real. I feel like a hoarder when it comes to clothes. Someone please help. I have more sports bras than Serena Williams.

This weekend was prime outdoorsy weather though. This girl is ready for SPRING. Bring it!! On Saturday I went to my favorite boxing class and Sunday morning was spent running around the neighborhood and racking up those miles. It felt amaze-balls. However, what did not feel so amaze-balls was how it went from coldgear weather to tank weather by the time I ended my run. #runnerproblems.

Other exciting things that happened include me needing new glasses because…well when you get old, you slowly go blind. I of course took a million years picking out the perfect frames. I knew that I wanted to go bold and yet that didn’t seem to trim down the selection by too much. One of the receptionists there was a huge help and I walked away with some new frames whenever I want to opt out of wearing contacts.  I ended up with these Coach frames:

Now that we’ve established that I should never quit my day job and become a model, let’s move on to some goals. I’ve started to write up some ideas for what might be a series of short stories or a book. I’ve gotten the little push/motivation I need to start and I’m excited. I’ve also decided that whenever I wonder if I’m ready for kids, I should remind myself how I feel going to Costco on a weekend. How’s that for a lane change? But really, Costco turns into a zoo come Saturday/Sunday afternoon. Can’t I just get my army-sized pack of apples and chicken in peace?

Now that I’ve meal prepped for the week, and caught up on some much-needed reading, I’m set to start this week! I’ve been reading The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do. I’m pretty excited to dive even deeper into this book. A review will come soon enough!

As for Sunday night…well…this is as productive as it got.

 

Cheers to a new week!