The Mapmaker’s Children: Small Town Living

This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy, a novel about two women are connected by an Underground Railroad doll. Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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There are very few books that I’ve read for the book club that I haven’t liked, but this book stands out as one of my favorites! I love how the book weaves bits and pieces of history with two fictional storylines, it makes you believe that the whole novel could have happened.

I also feel like I could have taken this non-traditional review in a myriad of directions, but I feel like I’ve talked about a few of them a lot (miscarriage) or recently (teaching history).  It would be easy for me to take one of those topics, so let’s go with something that I haven’t really talked about. Small Town Living vs. Suburban Life.

I grew up in a very small town, so small that my high school was made up of at least eight different towns and our graduating class was still in the 200’s.

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Hello Vermont

As soon as I graduated high school I went to a small private college in northern Vermont, it wasn’t what I was looking for. I ended up at a college in Worcester, MA, maybe not the best city, but it was certainly more entertaining than anywhere in Vermont. After graduation Nick and I ended up in Somerville, MA, just outside Boston. Even though we moved around a bit in that area, we eventually ended up in a suburb 15 minutes north of the city.

I don’t have any qualms with small town living, there are tons of perks. I never needed to lock my car doors, I didn’t think twice about working third shift at a convenience store (although maybe that was a bit naive), and I was pretty trusting of the majority of people. BUT everyone knew your shit, and I mean everyone. Nothing was a private matter, and people would gossip endlessly.

Obviously, suburban or city life can be a bit more intimidating. The closer you are to an urban area the more likely there is for dangerous things to happen near your home or town. I believe you can find pockets of  communities that mimic small town life. Neighborhoods with lots of kids, school communities, etc… I also find that people aren’t always poking in your private business and spreading that gossip around, at least that’s been my experience.

I don’t hate small town life, it molded me into part of the person I am, I do know that I could never go back to that type of living.

Are you a small town lifer or do you prefer to be near an urban center?

My First Maternity Stitch Fix: April 2015

I still owe you all a Stitch Fix (<–referral link) review from October, but I cannot find the paper with the clothing information on it anywhere. Maybe once I finish cleaning my desk I will be able to get that out to you all.  After that last fix I found out I was pregnant and so I decided to put my fixes on hold. I wish I hadn’t since plenty of people received maternity items before it was made public that they were carrying those items. Oh well, you live and learn.

Because I was pregnant with B1 around the same time as B2 I thought that I would be fine with the clothes that I already owned, maybe buy a few tanks and t-shirts, but not much.  I was so wrong. I lost a lot of weight when I was pregnant with B1, and could wear workout clothes comfortably until week 30, and by that time I could wear maxi dresses and skirts, I bought one pair of maternity jeans, and maternity shorts, and of course tanks and t-shirts.

I was definitely a bit delusional thinking it would be the same, with B2 I didn’t lose as much weight, thankfully, and I am carrying her much lower than I carried him making even some workout clothes uncomfortable. I ended up purchasing some leggings (capri & ankle length) from Motherhood Maternity because they are cheap and comfortable. I also bought some t-shirts, tanks, and long-sleeved shirts at various places like Kohls & Target.

As soon as Stitch Fix mentioned they were carrying maternity & petite clothes I decided to give it try. I told the stylist exactly how far along I would be when the fix arrived. I said that I wanted layering pieces as we are transitioning into warmer weather, and I also mentioned that I have bridal and baby showers coming up and I wanted something to wear to those events. I mentioned no heavy winter types of items like jackets or heavy cardigans. So how’d we do?

First, I am very frustrated that I scheduled my fix for the earliest possible date (April 2nd) and as I checked the website it wasn’t even being put together as of April 1st. This is the second time this has happened to me, and considering the fact that the last time was 6-7 months ago is ridiculous. If they are having problems with fulfilling orders then they shouldn’t be accepting as many orders. I emailed customer service and received a rude email in response, telling me that the date a customer picks is the ideal date, but that they have 7 days to get the fix to the consumer. I combed through all the information online and I couldn’t find that specific information anywhere, not exactly the best customer service.

Now, on to the fix. When I read the card from the stylist the first thing I noticed was that they had zero options to send me in regards to my request for dresses and skirts. I don’t really understand that since they are everywhere during this time of year in the stores in MA. I do think that the stylist nailed my style in terms of colors and types of clothes though.

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Seriously love the packaging!

Romolo Connor Hammered Oval Link Necklace – $38

Romolo Connor Hammered Oval Link Necklace

I need to take necklaces off my okay to send list. I have only received one that I liked, but also this necklace is extremely heavy, and I think it is silly to send a long necklace to someone who will have an infant in a few months. If someone is breastfeeding, that necklace will only get in the way. Status: Returned

Rune Kile Maternity Ankle Zip Leggings – $58

Rune Kile Maternity Ankle Zip Leggings

When I pulled these out of the box, I was like crap, I wasn’t planning on buying any more pants, but I LOVE the look, and the fabric was super comfortable. Unfortunately they were too long. When I updated my style profile I also added myself to the petite selections, because I am very short. I pulled the maternity band of these pants all the way underneath my chest and they still bunched around my knee. Status: Returned

Loveappella Maternity Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top – $48

Loveappella Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top

knew as soon as I saw Leslie’s Maternity Fix this morning that this shirt was going to end up in my fix, mostly because I didn’t want it too. It reminded me of a shirt I got in my 6th Fix (that I didn’t end up purchasing), but in Leslie’s photo it looked extremely long in the back…

Loveappella Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top

Not the best photos, but I feel like it also looks long on me. I know this is a maternity shirt, but I want the items I keep to be able to transition well in to postpartum wear and maybe even long-term wear. It doesn’t look like a typical maternity shirt, so I think it could transition well, and it was extremely comfortable. My reservations are with the back of the shirt. Is it too long? Does it look stupid with my lack of height? Status: Undecided

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan – $68

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan

When I first pulled this cardigan out, I was like what am I? 65? This is an old lady cardigan.

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan

Then I put it on. It was so soft and so comfortable. I am not sure how I feel about the 3/4 length sleeves. I have plenty of shirts with them, so I don’t hate them, but I don’t have more than one or two cardigans/sweaters with them. It is also not a maternity specific piece, so I can obviously wear this postpartum, especially paired with a maternity tank and jeans or leggings, I will look more put together than I probably will feel ha. I just don’t know if it is worth the price tag. Status: Undecided

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top – $48

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top

As soon as I pulled this top out of the box I was in love. The deep cobalt color. The faux leather trim, the key hole. I definitely thought it was a keeper.

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top

When I put it on, I loved how it felt and looked, but I am not sure of the length. I have a decent belly to fill out the front and pull the length up, but I am worried that post-partum it will be more of a sexy dress than a nice fitted tank. Thoughts? Status: Undecided

I have no idea what to keep. If I keep all three items that I am on the fence about it would be silly to not keep everything as it would only be $10 more.

 

What Should I Keep?

 
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Favorite Maternity Workout Clothes & For Two Fitness Discount Code

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During my pregnancy with B I was constantly sick for the first 5 months, I was also commuting an hour each way for work, and had just finished my gym membership so working out wasn’t really happening. I lived in workout clothes when I wasn’t at work and I was able to wear regular pants until about 30 weeks. This pregnancy has been a completely different ball game, I was in maternity clothes much earlier, and I have been trying to be as active as possible.

In my miscarried pregnancy I had become an ambassador for For Two Fitness, obviously before I announced the pregnancy or ambassadorship I had the miscarriage. I kept in touch with the women at For Two Fitness and once I was off bed rest and in to the second trimester I contacted them about becoming an ambassador again. Luckily, they still wanted to work together!

Obviously, my entire wardrobe isn’t For Two Fitness maternity wear, and since this is most likely our last baby I couldn’t justify buying TONS of new clothes, so I am including the few items I rotate through very frequently.

GapAthleta

My favorite every day workout tight and capri are Athleta’s Chatarunga pant. I was apprehensive since there were zero reviews for any of the Athleta maternity pants. I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the High Belly Chatarunga Capri, and they are just as comfortable as the non-maternity ones!

A few months ago I went shopping with a fellow pregnant fan and we went to one of the few Gap stores that actually has a maternity section and I purchased the  GapFit Breathe Mesh Racerback, it was on super sale and I ended up buying it for $8. It is kind of baggy currently but I know I will grow into it and I won’t have to worry about it not covering my belly.

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I have a pair of capris, preemptively purchased in the beginning of my last pregnancy and I live in them at home, but because it has been so cold with so much snow I haven’t really worn them out to the gym. My favorite For Two Fitness capris are hands down the Ultimate Micro-Plush Fitness Capri. I know I can wear them all the way through this pregnancy and after! The material isn’t heavy or too spandex heavy, it is a nice balance of the two.

I of course love the fun tanks that have sayings, though if that’s not your thing they have plain racerback tanks as well. Since I have been on a running ban, the Running for Two tank I had previously bought isn’t exactly ideal, but I love that there are ones that are more versatile. My favorites are the Toning for Two, Training for Two, and Sweating for Two! I love how soft the tanks are, I’ve had some problems with maternity tanks in the past. Sometimes after I wash them they start to feel itchy or just generally uncomfortable. This is not the case with these tanks, I’ve washed mine at least once a week and they are still as soft as ever! I know that sometimes it seems silly to buy something like this when you don’t know (or do know) if you are going to get pregnant again, but it is so important to get well-fitting maternity clothing, at least a few essential pieces that you can get a lot of wear out of, and I can attest that you don’t want to spend your entire workout adjusting an ill-fitting top or pair of pants.

I don’t ever wear t-shirts to work out so I can’t speak to the comfort of those, but I plan on purchasing a long-sleeved tee and I will let you all know my thoughts as soon as I get it! Now you can get some great For Two Fitness gear as well and use the code CUPCAKEKELLYS for 30% off! This code is only valid for 30 days, it ends 04/06/2015, so make sure you grab the gear you want now!

What is your favorite piece of maternity workout gear?

The 13th Gift: Surviving Loss

This post was inspired by The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith, memoir about how  random acts of kindness transformed her family’s bereavement and grief during the holidays. Join From Left to Write on October 28th as we discuss The 13th Gift. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I knew when I signed up to review this book that it might be a bit hard for me to read, I think the one thing that allowed me to actually sign up was the fact that it is based on a true story, I knew there wouldn’t be some unrealistic story line or fairytale ending. That being said, this is hands down one of the best books I have read via my relationship with From Left to Write. If you are feeling a little down with the holiday season approaching, please read this!

In case you are new to the blog, From Left to Write bloggers don’t write traditional reviews, we take a piece of the book we are inspired by and write a post from that theme.

Grief is something that I unfortunately have a decent amount of experience with. My maternal grandfather passed away shortly after the new year when I was very young, and a few months after that, right around Easter, my maternal grandmother also passed. They lived in California and I was in Vermont so while I have some really great memories, I didn’t have a close relationship due to distance.

This past holiday season was incredibly hard for me, it’s no secret that I had a miscarriage last September, but while everyone was getting excited for everything holiday related, I was finding it hard to get off the couch and put up any decorations. I wandered aimlessly through the stores. I bought B any toy he pointed out that he wanted (always a bad idea). My MIL ended up coming and helping with the tree and the decorating, and I didn’t want B to ever have any memories where Christmas didn’t have this magical spirit about it.

IMG_3783I decided I needed to pull myself out of it, I needed to surround myself with loved ones and to make these wonderful memories with my family. While B wouldn’t be getting a sibling, he would be getting involved in these traditions that he could one day help me show to a sibling.

The first was participating in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap (only a few days left to sign up this year). B helped me with the baking, and both he and Nick helped with the taste-testing.

The second was creating trays of cookies for our neighbors. This is something that my neighborhood used to do every holiday season and my sister and I loved it. I knew when I was an adult I wanted to continue this tradition, so I did. Baking makes me happy, delivering delicious treats was my way of passing along that feeling!

The last thing I did was host a cookie swap at my house for my girlfriends (and their kids if they have them). This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I started when B was 5 months old, and I hope to continue for many many years to come.

Although it seems like cookies helped me with my grief, and I will fully admit that I ate entirely to many last holiday season, there was also plenty of time spend with our families and closest friends. Closing myself into my house was not something I should’ve been doing, and I am grateful for the people who made sure I didn’t.

These things didn’t change the fact that I was sad and grieving, but it helped remind me of the important things and people in my life, that they were still here, and while the loss was incredibly hard and sad, there will always be people there for you to pick you up when you are down. Let them pick you up.

What are some of your holiday traditions?

 

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull Concert Series Sponsored by Cricket Wireless

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Cricket Wireless. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

It’s no secret that Nick and I love spending our date nights going to concerts. In the past two years we’ve been to Keith Urban, Billy Joel, Matt Nathanson, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, and Jay Z…just to name a few. Each concert experience was a different one, all well done and I had an amazing time, but I really think that going to concerts in the summer is the absolute best, at least in New England! Most outdoor venues have tons of activities, rock climbing, food trucks, basically anything you could think of!

I was pretty excited when I found out the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull were touring together, but unfortunately I was out-of-town the weekend they were in Boston. Since the tour is being sponsored by Cricket Wireless they are really enhancing the fan experience and by setting up some awesome activations and Cricket Wireless aims to give people something to smile about (#STSA)! Take a look at the activations:

  • Cricket Stage – A 10X20 stage erected at select tour stops where fans can hop up on stage and give their best “headliner” pose. Participants can share their 360 images on their social channels via “share kiosks” around the stage. Photos will be entered into a sweepstakes where a winner and 3 guests will get a trip to the Miami Latin Grammy Street Party. All participants of “The Stage” activation receive Cricket ear buds.
  • VIP Meet & Greet – A backstage VIP area will be set up backstage. Meet&Greet participants will get to meet Pitbull or Enrique and take photos on a Cricket step & repeat.
  • Selfie Station - Mirrors in the ladies room encourage fans to snap selfies and post to their social channels. They can take pictures of all the fun they are having at the concert to share with friends.
  • Ask Enrique – Fans can win a trip to the Pitbull and Enrique tour stop in Atlanta, meet Enrique in person and ask him that burning question they have.
  • Hologram Standee Billboards – Located at high-traffic spots within the activation venues, holograms of Enrique and Pitbull will create completely lifelike images of the musician for concert goes to check out!

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I don’t know about you, but this sounds like an amazing concert and experience to me! Did you get to experience the tour?

Check out more about this concert series and get pumped up on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Stitch Fix #6: September 2014

Disclaimer: Some links are referall links. Not a sponsored post.

Stitch Fix

I was pretty excited to get my first Fall Stitch Fix, I specifically requested the same stylist that I have had the past 3 fixes, while I haven’t kept more than one or two pieces, I felt like the style and fit was on point. I also requested fall type clothing. Leggings, tunics, long sweaters. I also keep requesting a colorful statement necklace that has a long chain, and I ALWAYS request low price points. My previous stylists were always able to do this for at least 4 of the pieces, usually just one was in the $100ish range, if that.

I scheduled my fix for Monday, because I had tons of things going on at the tail end of this week and I just didn’t think I would have time or remember to get the return pieces in the mail. Monday at 5 pm came and I realized not only had I not received my Fix, I hadn’t received the normal email that notified me that it had been shipped. I reached out to customer service and was able to resolve that. Annoying, yes. A deal breaker, no.

My fix came, and I pulled out the note, and usually the notes are long. They explain why the stylist picked the pieces for you, did they see it on your pinterest page, did it meet the requirements you requested, etc… This note stated that Jackie could not be my stylist and listed the 5 pieces, that’s it, very curt. I pulled out the price sheet and the lowest price was $34 and that was a necklace, everything else is over the $50 mark, which was a bit frustrating.

Pixley  – Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace – $34

Pixley Leighton Metal Necklace

Finally, this is the style that I have been asking for, but it is all silver, I wear a lot of clothes that are single colors, I want some fun jewelry to jazz up these items. Also, I feel like this is expensive for a necklace. Returned

Collective Concepts – Ronaldo Graphic Print Lace Detail Tunic – $68

COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Ronaldo Graphic Print Lace Detail TunicWhen I first saw this on the styling card I thought I was going to hate it, but I love the color scheme and the lace detail on the back. Again with my broad shoulders, it fit and buttoned but there was an awkwardness around my shoulders, and that price, yikes. Returned

Market and Spruce – Xander Short Sleeve Woven Back Sweatshirt – $54

MARKET AND SPRUCE Xander Short Sleeve Woven Back Sweatshirt

At first I didn’t like this piece, it was like a mullet shirt. Comfy in the front, party in the back. But it was soft, and I think it looks good on me. But I am struggling, I don’t know if I can justify the $54 price tag. HELP! Undecided

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Kut From The Kloth – Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pant – $68

Kut From The Kloth Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pant

I am bummed that I got these, and that they were super skinny and low-rise, not exactly super mom friendly. I tried them on, but I felt like a plumber. Returned

Kensie – Adolfo Faux Leather Elbow Patch Sweater – $98

KENSIE Adolfo Faux Leather Elbow Patch Sweater

I knew that even if I liked this sweater I would not be purchasing, it is just way to expensive, it was also pulling a little, not a good sign. I did find it at Macy’s, same price as above, so I am going to keep an eye on it, because it was super comfortable and it is something I’d like to add to my wardrobe, just at a lower price. Returned

I think I will give it one more go until 2015. I am hoping Jackie will style me again, and I really hope that I will receive a box full of items that I love!

Stitch Fix #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5

What do you think, should I keep the orange sweater? What has been the best thing you’ve received from Stitch Fix?

Dataclysm: How Do We Choose Our Relationships?

This post was inspired by Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, where he analyzes online data to find out that people who prefer beer are more likely to have sex on a first date. Join From Left to Write on October 9th as we discuss Dataclysm. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I will be honest, I haven’t quite finished this book yet, it is pretty fascinating, even for someone who has never used an online dating website. I think one of the themes that stood out is why we choose our partners, and for the sake of this post, and friends?

Do we choose based on looks, first impressions, etc? I think sometimes that we make our decisions based on what we’ve seen during our lifetime. Do you hang out with a group of people who constantly parties? Maybe that is what you are into, but would you naturally make that decision?

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For me, my life growing up wasn’t super structured, there was a lot of uncertainty, and I can see that in the relationships of my former friends and family. I craved the structure, someone who was comfortable with being settled and not having this really fast-paced lifestyle. To me this is not boring, this is real life.

Sure, we do exciting things and have taken fun trips, but I love the fact that Nick and I can sit at home and watch a movie and have fun. My husband is one of the most sensitive and responsible people I know. For a lot of people that translates to boring, but not for me. I grew up in a chaotic lifestyle, and this is exactly the type of life I want to raise my child in.

I also have chosen my friends to be similar, I don’t like having people who are unreliable in my life, if I can help it. It’s taken quite a few of my adult years to cut out the people who aren’t reliable or supportive. This doesn’t mean that my friends have to be in the same situation as me. Some of these friends are single and have yet to had children, and yet I am closer to them than I was with some friends that are married with children. Now, even though the friends circle is a bit smaller, I have a group of friends that I know I can count on 100%, no matter what the situation is.

Did you choose a partner with a childhood similar to yours or completely different? What about friends, do you keep all your old friends around even if your views aren’t the same?

The Fitness Games App Review

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

TFGapp.comI have gone through a ton of workout apps on my phone, or even apps that just encourage a healthier lifestyle, like Lose It! and a water tracking app, I even have my own app that was done with my husband. To say I am experienced in this arena is probably an understatement. I like trying out new apps, I can appreciate both sides of the business when it comes to this stuff.

The Fitness Games is an app that tracks your workouts in real-time and then you can compete with other users.

First step: Download the app (iOS or Android) and make a profile!

Profile Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will say that the directions on how to make things private were confusing and only showed up once, there was no way to find them again. I ended up emailing the guys that created this app and adding them as a friend to make sure what I wanted private was private. They were incredibly fast with their response, but it would be nice if the directions were easily accessible.

2. Start tracking workouts

TFGWorkouts

It was incredibly easy to find your workout or input it if the workout wasn’t already listed.

3. Challenge others to a workout!

Running Outdoor ChallengeYou can choose different types of workouts for challenges

Full Body Workout Example

4. Join the Facebook Group to get to know other users and to get daily motivation!

TFG Banner

Overall, I like the idea of the app. I think it is a great way to interact with others and motivate them, without sharing your run details or gym location for the crazy stalker types out there. There are also over 250 exercises with videos, pictures, and descriptions performed by nationally certified personal trainers. I do wish that you could let it run in the background while using it. I also wish that you were able to do Cardio workouts before upgrading. Since the app is free there are in app purchases. While I don’t have a problem shelling out my own money for apps, I want to know more details of how the app works before that happens.

What’s your favorite Fitness App?

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.

ZoomaCapeCod2014

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.

ZoomaCapeCodFeetures

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!

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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