Zooma Cape Cod 10K Recap with Feetures!

Zooma-logo-FINALcrop.jpgIt’s kind of crazy to think It has been a whole year since I volunteered at Zooma Cape Cod, and now I have successfully finished the 2014 Zooma Cape Cod 10K. I am really lucky that I have been able to be an ambassador for this race two years in a row. The race is run by a great group of women, they not only enjoy what they do, but they make sure you enjoy your race. They have been nothing but supportive of me in the past year and I am extremely grateful for that.

ZoomaCapeCod2014AmbassadorsI am also really lucky to have these women beside me as ambassadors.

L-R: Jessica, Danielle, Dani, Amy, Nancy, Angela, Me, Jessica

I trained for the race, admittedly a lot of it was non-running stroller miles which ended up being a lot of walking & jogging. I stuck to my training plan for the most part while listening to my body, and I felt prepared. My goal going into this race was to finish. I needed to know that my body still had the ability to finish a longer race, I wasn’t prepared for a half, I knew that, but a 10K is still a long distance after I had been out of racing for over a year.

I made my way to Falmouth on Friday afternoon, I met up with Jane and Anna, we went to the Expo, had a celebratory drink and dinner at the hotel, and hit up the Zooma Mocktail Party courtesy of Honest Tea. I went to bed super early and my room was right next to the start line so I woke up periodically through the night because I could hear them putting the starting line together. I ended up waking up for good at 5 am feeling well rested. I fueled and tried to mentally prepare myself for the day. I hadn’t put on my Garmin since September 7, 2013 and it sort of hit me then, that this was my day for redemption. I didn’t need to feel like running a race was going to mess up my body or that running was bad for me. Today would be the day where I would prove to myself that getting back on the pavement would be good for me.

The 10K started right on time at 7:30, I started out way to fast, and it was so hard to rein it in. I knew that I needed to slow down but I couldn’t, the excitement, the people around me, I had a hard time. Of course about 10 minutes into the race my GI issues started flaring up and I started my run/walk plan of run 90 seconds walk 30 seconds. I made it to mile 2 on my target pace and that’s when the wheels started falling off. My nausea was making it really hard for me to keep on target pace, but I had someone waiting for me between mile 3 and 4 so I had to keep going. I ended up walking most of mile 3, I started run/walking about a quarter-mile before mile 4.

I saw my friends and they gave me that boost I needed, that reminder that I could do this, and I would finish strong. Once the course came off the bike path it wasn’t very shady and it started to become extremely hilly. I knew the course had hills, but I hadn’t trained very well on them, and it did a number on my quads and hips. I started walking more than running. I was a little bit frustrated with that, but I never let the negative talk creep in. I just kept reminding myself of everything my body has accomplished and this whole past year, I could make it another 1.2 miles.

Once I started seeing a ton of spectators on the side of the road, and I could hear loud cheering I started to pick up the pace, even if I felt a little sick I was going to run through that finish line, no matter what, and that is exactly what I did.

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I ended up coming in at 1:46:19 which is a pace of 17:10 min/mile (at mile 5 my pace was a full minute faster, ugh). And that time may be some people’s half-marathon personal worst, but for me it wasn’t about the time, it was about the race, and my mind, and finally letting go of the fact that running a race ruined my life.

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It wasn’t just the physical running of the race, I was working with Feetures (one of the race sponsors – everyone got a pair of socks in their swag bag) on a video project and they asked a lot of questions about my running and where I started and my goals for this race, and mentally it just got me into the right space to think clearly about what my real goals were. Mary Mac, Matt and Joe were an amazing team to work with and I am grateful that I was given this opportunity! (And if you noticed someone following me around with a video camera at the race, that’s why!).

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I am also super thankful that these ladies, and a few other unpictured friends, were at the race with me this weekend. Nick and B couldn’t make it, but I was a lot calmer than I thought I would be, and I definitely attribute that to these three. They all pretty much know what’s been going on personally with my miscarriage and pregnancy frustrations, so I didn’t have to explain how I was feeling. We all were there to have a fun time, and that is what we did, zero pressure. Having a girls weekend at a race is by far one of the best things I have ever done, and I hope that this is not the last one. The Zooma motto is Run. Laugh. Celebrate. I think we nailed this one.

pblzoomaIf you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know my favorite cross-training is Pure Barre. As I was hanging out near the finish line I ran into one of my favorite teachers, Kelly, who rocked her first half-marathon. It was refreshing to see so many familiar faces on Saturday!

Like I said initially, I love Zooma, I love the women that put these races on. The volunteers are always amazing, and the hotel is beautiful and accommodating.  That being said there are a few things I wish were different. Those that run the 10K don’t get a location specific medal. The half-marathoners got a cute Cape Cod scenery medal, while the 10K participants received a generic Zooma one. I also wish their was a more breakfast friendly option post-race. Last year I got a lunch when I was done volunteering, which was around lunch time. This year I got my food by 9:30 am, and the last thing I wanted was a chicken salad or hummus wrap. Overall, I couldn’t have had a better weekend, I am already looking forward to 2015!

So what’s next?  I am ready to get back into running, or at least try to. I think I might start a bit smaller with 5K’s and try to get my speed back to where it used to be before I tackle another long distance. This weekend, however, was everything I needed it to be. I feel ready to get back into running and I feel confident that my body is mine again.

Thank you to Zooma for covering my race entry in exchange for a review about my experience!

Barracuda: Fitness Goals

This post was inspired by Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, a novel where former Olympic hopeful Dan destroys his swimming career and his attempt at redemption after prison. Join From Left to Write on September 30th as we discuss Barracuda. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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In case you are new, I belong to an online book club, From Left to Write, we read books and review them in non-traditional manner. Basically, we take a theme from the book and write from that. It can be the overall theme from the book, or just one small piece that stood out to us.

I’ll be honest, as I write this I have not finished this book. Life has been crazy busy, and the book has been a slow read for me, unfortunately when I have 5 things on my plate, this goes to the back burner because the book just hasn’t kept me wanting more.

One theme that has stood out is fitness goals and dreams. When I started working out and enjoying working out, my whole life changed. I started have goals outside of my family and career. I am not just talking about losing X amount of pounds or looking a certain way. I am talking about real, clear-cut goals, they started with running a 5K, then PRing my 5K time, and it has snowballed from there.

NWMSFWhen I first started working out, it was crazy to think that I could run a 5K, or even a 10K. I have now completed TWO half-marathons! I’ve run countless 5K’s, a few 5 milers, and 5 10K’s. Sometimes it’s hard to think that this body, that I feel like has let me down recently, has been strong enough to do all of those things.

My long-term running goal is to run Boston. I am not delusional, I am not a BQ (Boston Qualifier) type of runner, I would have to run for a charity that I am close to. I am not against that, I think that charity runners are amazing and are real runners even if they didn’t qualify. Boston is not an easy course, but it is one I grew up cheering at, I’ve watched many friends cross that finish line. It is my ultimate running dream.

Pure Barre LynnfieldBut what about my other fitness goals? While running will always be the sport I come back to and the sport I love, I dabble in other things fitness related. My short-term goal is 100 classes and completing the Fit for Fall challenger at Pure Barre Lynnfield.

Someday, I would love to be a fitness instructor. I have a teaching background, and I have a passion for fitness, I think that I would be great at it. I am just not at a place in my life where I could do it.

Some other goals I would love to meet:

  • Become a yogi. Yoga is something that I need in my life, but it’s not something I do often enough.

Yoga

  • Become less fearful about taking Spin classes. I’ve taken one spin class in my life. It was 7 years ago and it was awful. Things have changed since then and there are a ton of boutique studios where I am sure I would have a great experience, but that overwhelming fear still holds me back
  • Get my half-marathon time down, I’d love for it to be 2:40 or less. This is a goal that will take time and dedication.
  • Be a fitness role model for my son and my future children.

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What are your fitness goals?

 

Lorna Jane #ActiveNationDay!

Before I get to the post at hand, I blogged at The Infertility Voice sharing my story.

Disclaimer: I am being provided with a MNB Bracelet as part of campaign through my relationship with Fit Approach, as always all thoughts are my own.

Lorna Jane started Active Nation Day in 2012 as a way to help women live an authentic and active life. September 28 (THIS SUNDAY) is #ActiveNationDay! Lorna Jane will be hosting events all over the world where women can learn and take part in specially choreographed routine. This year marks the Active Nation Day’s global debut, so lets all up those participation numbers skyrocket past last years!

 

To get involved get the Lorna Jane app for your iPhone or Droid! You can even unlock a special badge for participating in Active Nation Day! This app is full of features that will help you live your best live through Move Nourish Believe!

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You can even be in the running to win $1,000 to Lorna Jane! Lorna Jane is a brand about women. They are continually trying to inspire a more active future for women, and to inspire women to be active as much as possible! So how does that affect you? Show Lorna Jane your #LJMOVE and enter the contest to win $1000!

How do you do that? Well, it is 4 easy steps!

  1. Do the #LJMOVE, film your move or take a photo
  2. Upload the video or photo ton Instagram, Twitter or Facebook
  3. USE the hashtag #LJMOVE and #ACTIVENATIONDAY (make sure your settings aren’t private, otherwise Lorna Jane won’t see your entry)
  4. Inspire others! Tag your sporty sisters to do the #LJMOVE too!

Don’t know what the #LJMOVE is? Check out the video below!

 

I am definitely participating in #ActiveNationDay, though it might be a bit slow since I will be coming off of my first race in over a year. Are you going to participate and try and win that $1000 prize!?

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Stitch Fix #5

It’s actually been awhile since I received this Fix (affiliate link), probably close to a month actually. Summer was just super busy and I kept forgetting to upload the photos and write the post.

Stitch Fix

I am sure most of you have heard the information on Stitch Fix. Just in case I will give you the cliff notes: Pay $20 for a styling fee, fill out your information, they send you 5 items and you can keep all or none. The $20 can be applied to your order, if you keep nothing you lose your $20.

I requested Jackie again, and I will continue to do so as long as I request boxes, even though I don’t keep all the pieces I get from her, the styles are pretty much on point.

Just Black – Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean – $78

Just Black Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean

Sorry for the blurry photo, I just realized it was like this. I loved the cut and color of the jeans and I really wish they fit better. I just couldn’t justify the cost for the fit. Returned

Pixley – Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee – $44

Pixley - Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material TeePixley - Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee

I loved this shirt when I saw it on someone else’s blog and I pinned it on My Style board, unfortunately it just didn’t look great on me. It was a bit too boxy for my frame. Returned

41Hawthorn Alessandra Striped & Colorblocked Blouse – $54

41Hawthorn Alessandra Striped & Colorblocked Blouse

Again, this was something I saw on a blog and requested, for me it was cut too high in the arm pit and the material was a bit itchy and wrinkled easily. Returned

Market & Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee – $44

Market and Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee

I loved this top and had pinned it on Pinterest, in a different color, this shirt is so soft and comfortable, I knew immediately I would keep it! Kept

Bay to Baubles – Diaz Leaf & Bead Charm Layering Necklace – $32

Bay to Baubles - Diaz Leaf & Bead Charm Layering Necklace

This necklace matched some earrings I purchased in another fix, but it tangled so easily, a few wears and it would end up in knots. Returned

Have you gotten items from Stitch Fix recently? Leave your links below!

Stich Fix #1, #2, #3 and #4

Weekly Updates: 09/15/14 – 09/21/14 (Zooma Week 7)

weeklyworkouts.jpg I can’t believe how close Zooma actually is! It’s crazy how long I have been thinking of the 10K, my GI issues have persisted so it definitely won’t be a PR, and I am okay with that. I think it will be nice to be back to the racing scene, even if I am not really competing.

Monday, September 15 – Cross Training. Nailed it. Took a night class at Pure Barre and it was a tough one that’s for sure. It probably didn’t help that I was up at 5 am because Nick had a very early doctor appointment (7am!) I pretty much went straight to bed as soon as I got home.

Tuesday, September 16 – 60 minutes. This ended up being a little less than 60 minutes and that’s mostly because I was not prepared for the downpour that happened towards the end of my time.

Wednesday, September 17 – Cross Training. Another great pure barre class! I ended up going to the 6 am class, and then meeting some girlfriends and their kids for breakfast. It was a bit of a drive so I was hangry by the time I got there! Also, 3 adults and 4 kids out in public was a total success!

Thursday, September 18 – 60 minutes. I went a little longer then scheduled because of Tuesday’s rain. I am definitely feeling a bit stronger. I will say, I am LOVING my ASICS GEL-Pursue shoes, seriously they are making this training cycle.

Friday, September 19 – 6 miles. So this did not really happen. B was still recovering from a cold and I didn’t feel super comfortable taking him out in the weather we were having, especially since he refuses blankets in his stroller now. I did take a pure barre class so that should count for something right?

Saturday, September 20 – Rest. I ended up taking an early morning barre class, and I ended up doing an hour-long walk. The barre class ended up being sorta frustrating, the GI issues are now effecting my barre workouts as well. I was practically in tears during the ab work because I am so frustrated with the issues. I know that the meds that are causing this are worth it in the long run, but what is happening now is so frustrating.

Sunday, September 21 – 90 minutes. I ended up only doing an hour, my GI issues were flaring and I really needed to take a break.

How was your training this week?

ASICS GEL-Pursue Review

Back in 2007, when I first started working out regularly, I met with a personal trainer. Nick and I were getting married and I wanted to get in better shape. I had motivational issues, working my first full-time job, wedding planning, and trying to have a social life was taking its toll, getting up at 5 am to go to the gym before work (I was a morning person before kids too) and sometimes going after work took a lot of effort.

My trainer made a deal with me, if I logged a certain amount of workouts, cardio and strength, for 3 months, he would buy me a pair of shoes. The shoes were a pair of Asics, my first real running sneakers. I couldn’t tell you anything else about them, except they were lime green, but I did run my first 5K in them.

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Those shoes started my journey, and while there have been a few shoes in between, some of which I truly did love, no shoe brand has been able to update a shoe and keep my feet happy.

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These are our old asics that we use for house and yard work!

I was recently contacted by the team at Asics and they believed that I embodied their mantra, Better Your Best. This is something I truly am passionate about, I am not competing with anyone but myself. I want to be a better me, and continue to get stronger and faster! They asked if I would review their new shoe, the GEL-Pursue, the shoe was featured in the September issue of Runner’s World as the Best Debut Shoe. They wrote that the GEL-Pursue delivers equal parts cushioning and stability in a shoe that rides a bit lower.

asics gel-pursue

asicsGELpursueRW

I have taken these shoes on a plethora of runs, some with B and the stroller, and most recently a few solo jaunts. One thing that I love about Asics is that their wide fit truly is a wide fit. I don’t have any overhang like I do with other shoes, my entire foot is comfortable and snug. While my training hasn’t been as great as I hoped it would be, my feet didn’t have any issues after almost a year of no running. The ASICS GEL-Pursue is a great shoe for neutral runners and it retails for $110.  These are one of the best pairs of shoes that I’ve ever worn, they offer the same support as all the other Asics I have worn, but they are not as heavy (8.7 oz) and have a lower drop, which is something I have grown to want in my running shoe.  I know to others that the shoe might seem heavy, but to me it was lighter than all the other Asics I have owned and run in.

Some other great features about the ASICS GEL-Pursue:

  • Impact Guidance System (I.G.S®) – enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Cushioning Systems – Mitigates shock during impact and toe-off phases, as well as allowing movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

There are more pros, but I don’t want to make this post too long. My only complaint is that there is only one color scheme for the mens and women’s shoe. Obviously comfort is the most important thing, but I can’t say I wouldn’t love these more if they were pink! If you want to try and win a pair of your own, check out this post! I am really excited to run in them at Zooma, and even though it won’t be a race PR, it will be an emotional one!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

Do you remember the shoes you ran your first race in?

Weekly Updates: 09/08/14 – 09/14/14 (Zooma Week 6)

Have you RSVP’d to the Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea on Friday, September 26 from 7-8 pm at the SeaCrest Hotel yet? Make sure you do that ASAP!

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Monday, September 8 – Cross Training. I went to an evening Pure Barre class. I ended up taking an evening class, and as much as I talk about being a morning person, I don’t hate the night time classes. I do hate getting home super late, and the parking issues ha.

Tuesday, September 9 – 55 minutes. Today was B’s first day of preschool, and it was pretty overwhelming for me, I did however get to do my training on my own. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I am currently on some temporary medications to help with some of the fertility issues I have been dealing with and the medicine is taking a toll on my GI system. Any time I started doing anything faster then a slow jog my body started revolting and I had to find the nearest bathroom. I feel like Zooma is definitely not going to be a PR, and will be more like a power walk 10K…

Wednesday, September 10 – Cross Training. I went to my 75th Pure Barre class! I am so close to that 100 class milestone!

Thursday, September 11 – 55 minutes. School drop off for the B man, and then off to walk/jog the 55 minutes for me. Again, my GI was not happy with the running, but I am able to walk fast very comfortably.

Friday, September 12 – 5.5 miles. I took a Pure Barre class in the morning, still trying to get in lots of classes for the Fit for Fall challenge. I did not end up getting my run though.

Saturday, September 13 – Rest. B was up the night before getting sick all over our bed, I ended up being able to get out of the house on my own for a bit and did 3 miles instead of the 5.5 on yesterday’s plan.

Sunday, September 14 – 85 minutes. I went to Pure Barre in the morning, then I took B out for a bit in the afternoon so Nick could get some last minute work done. Thankfully this ensured I could get me 85 minutes in. Again, it was walking/jogging, and not running.

How is your training going?

The Underground Girls of Kabul: Raising Boys

This post was inspired by The Underground Girls of Kabul by journalist Jenny Nordberg, who discovers a secret Afghani practice where girls are dressed and raised as boys. Join From Left to Write on September 16th as we discuss The Underground Girls of Kabul. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Underground-Girls-of-Kabul-FL2W-Book-Club The first book for September is a bit heavy. If you’d like to read a bit about it you can read this modified piece from The Atlantic. The author talked to many families in Afghanistan, where it is not just nice to have a son, it is necessary. Regardless of your financial stature, if you do not produce a son you are not a worthy woman, and your husband should be embarrassed. This has led to a society where women will say that their daughter is a son, and will present the child as such. This is used for two reasons, the first is that many believe this will lead to the next child actually being a son, and also because the child can help out. The “boy” can get a job and make money, can escort the women in the family outside the house, etc…

This led to me thinking about raising boys vs. raising girls. I obviously don’t have a girl, but I have some friends that do. Coming from an engineering college, a lot of these women raise their girls with dolls and frilly pink. They have tractors and trucks, and toys that generally are labeled boys toys. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with raising your daughter that way, but I think there is a double standard. When a girl chooses a truck over a doll people think it is great, bend those gender stereotypes, but if a boy is seen playing with a doll or something pink they are immediately labeled gay or fruity or a pansy, etc…

Personally, my son can play with whichever toy he wants. He loves Cars and Legos (we have about 1000 of each currently strewn about our living room), he loves getting playing in the dirt and racing his Tonka trucks down the driveway, he also Frozen and Sofia, and at preschool the two toys he loves the most, right now anyway, are the lego table and the doll house. He wasn’t the only boy who gravitated to the doll house either, and no parent had a problem with it. If he showed up with the Sofia backpack he wanted, he already had a Cars one at home, I don’t know that all parents would have taken it in stride. My fear isn’t that my son would want to play with girly toys, my fear is that other parents or children will make fun of him for it.

What would you do if your son wanted a Sofia backpack?

Preschool, Asics, and 5 Things My Kids Will Never Know

Yesterday was ridiculously hard for me. It’s been a year since the worst day of my life. Clearly we aren’t any closer to having a child than we were back then, which can be super frustrating.

On top of all that we sent B off to preschool, he did wonderful, he wasn’t upset, he had fun, it was pretty much everything I could hope for. I, on the other hand, was a total mess. It was very lonely being by myself. I got my Zooma training in, and ran some errands, and then I picked B up.

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It was really great to get some miles in without pushing a non-running stroller. I have been testing the new Asics Gel-Pursue, courtesy of Asics, and I have been loving them. I feel like I am running on soft pillows. It’s been awhile since I had done any running, so it was nice to have shoes that really catered to my feet. I will have a full product review coming to you in the next week or so!

asics gel-pursue

I mean this really is an Asics family.

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Nick and I were talking the other day, and I was telling him about a road trip I took in college from Vermont to D.C. (where my sister was). There was a part of the trip where we took a the wrong split on the highway and got seriously lost. We ended up having to find a non-sketchy gas station to get a new map and directions. This led us to having a conversation about things our kids will never have to do.

1. Use a paper map. Now that everyone basically has a navigation app on their phone or a GPS system, paper maps are pretty much obsolete… and unless you are visiting the middle of nowhere you’ll never use one.

2. Listening to the radio all day to record your favorite new song on a tape. I hope I am not the only one that did this. I also had a walkman and a record player, so there’s that….

3. FLOPPY DISKS. I still have some from college that had info on them, I mean they are probably buried in a box in the basement, but I still have them.

4. Bringing your film to CVS or Wal-Mart to get it developed. I am not trying to start any drama here, but when I was in high school and college if I wanted photos I had to take them with film and let someone else develop that film. I feel like way fewer people took nude photos that they would be embarrassed  about if the whole world saw, since the tech developing would see them, and probably show more people who worked there.

5. Wanting to bail on plans, but because no one had cell phones you couldn’t. I didn’t have a cell phone until the end of my senior year of high school, not like the service was great where I grew up anyway, so if I made plans with someone I could never back out, especially if it was after work or after school, because I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of that person.

What things from your childhood and teenage years do you know that your kids won’t know about?

Weekly Updates: 09/01/14 – 09/07/14 (Zooma Week 5)

Before we get to this week workouts, I just wanted to share some information on the Zooma Cape Cod Race! There is a 10 Mile Training Run hosted by Marathon Sports of Mashpee, it is this Saturday, September 13 at 8 am in Mashpee, make sure you RSVP if you plan on attending!

There is also a Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea on Friday, September 26 from 7-8 pm at the SeaCrest Hotel, and you will get the chance to mingle with all the ambassadors as well! Make sure you RSVP for this event as well! Now on to how I handled this weeks training plan!

weeklyworkouts.jpgMonday, September 1 – Cross Training. We were having a few people over for a BBQ so I was cleaning and prepping since 8 am. I didn’t get a chance to get to barre for a class since they had a modified schedule.

Tuesday, September 2 – 50 minutes. I took a barre class at 6am and had planned on getting my 50 minutes in after the fact, but I had a marketing call and by the time I was down it was too gross out for B in the stroller.

Wednesday, September 3 – Cross Training. I took another barre class. I am participating in their Fit for Fall Challenge, similar to the one I completed in March, it is to complete 40 classes in 60 days, starting September 2 and ending on October 31.

fitforfallpurebarreThursday, September 4 – 50 minutes. I had planned on getting this in after B’s preschool orientation, but I started feeling really sick on Wednesday night. I went to bed at 9 pm, woke up at 11 to change out of sweat soaked pj’s and take my temp (100) and then went back to bed until 7:30 am. I got B ready for school and off we went. With no AC and lots of kids and parents wandering around, I started feeling nauseous and my temp started to rise back up. I went back home and laid low.

Friday, September 5 – 5 miles. I was still feeling pretty weak, so I ended up taking another rest day.

Saturday, September 6 – Rest  Day. I felt like I had taken enough rest days, so I took a Pure Barre class with Jane, then in the afternoon I did 50 minutes at a very slow pace, just to get the time in.

Sunday, September 7 – 80 minutes. I got 50 minutes of slow walking in, I had plans for most of the day, and I couldn’t fit in the entire 80 minutes, unfortunately.

FOOD: Again, I am keeping mum on this for a bit. I had some test results that were unexpected, so until I get all results I will be postponing this section.

Are you planning on attending the Zooma Mocktail Party?