Postpartum Fitness Plans

While I don’t plan on having a regular “body after baby” type of blog series, I definitely like to use this blog as a place to keep me accountable in terms of my fitness and my healthy eating. Much like before I was pregnant, I plan on sharing my what I have been doing for workouts, healthy recipes and snack ideas, and to be brutally honest when it’s really hard.

It's hard to be sad when you get to see this from your front door!

It’s hard to be sad when you get to see this from your front door!

Having a second kid really rocks your world, you know what to expect in how a baby acts and what his or her needs might be, but you don’t know how the other child will react or how to make sure he or she doesn’t feel replaced. It is a constant balancing act. One I am extremely grateful to be a part, but it takes some trial and error.

Worth every pound :)

Worth every pound :)

That being said, I was very excited when I saw Gina post about the newest DanceFIT challenge. The Back to Basics Fall Fitness and Health Challenge, otherwise known as #DanceFITB2B. Basically it is a 30 day challenge with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. It is 30 days (September 14 – October 13) of unlimited classes, and includes a manual full of recipe ideas, workout ideas, challenges, and information for having a healthy lifestyle. There is also a private facebook group where we all encourage each others daily progress, get recipe ideas, keeping each other accountable, etc… So you will see me post on Instagram a lot with the #DanceFITB2B tag. The best part is that DanceFIT has a virtual schedule, which means I can take classes from the comfort of my own home, which is helpful, while we all learn our routine as a family of four!

I will also be working on some sponsored posts with Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness, they have offered me a free month of classes in exchange for blog posts about my experience with the fitness classes and mom meet-ups, and many other things. I will be including those workouts in my weekly round-ups, and at the end of the month I will have a discount code for all of those of you who are local and might want to give them a try!

With B1, I definitely didn’t feel the pressure for a while to lose the weight, but for this pregnancy, I do feel a little more pressure (from myself) to get the weight off faster. The first is that the sooner I get into a routine, the sooner I feel more like myself! Having a baby can sometimes do a number on your mental state, and while it is not as bad this time around, taking the time to fit in fitness is super important to me. THe second reason is superficial, and I will be the first to admit that. My husband and I are the koumbara for two friends that are getting married in January, while I am extremely happy and honored to be asked to do this, I also am thinking about how many pictures I am going to be in, stupid I know. So my goal is to get to a place where I feel comfortable. I am not thinking that I am going to lose a ton of weight all of a sudden, I just want to at least get back to my pre-baby size. I did however, order my dress in my current size, because stress will not help me at all, and I can always get the dress taken in!

The Dress, all black though!

The Dress, all black though!

I am excited for all the events that are coming up, and I am excited to just get back into my routine.

What are your favorite workouts and healthy recipes?

Why I Hate Blogging

Maybe hate is an excessive term, but I think a lot of bloggers can relate!

I have been blogging for over 4 years, it started as a hobby, at some point I started making a small amount of money and receiving products in exchange for reviews. I liked it, I felt like I gave real reviews, I shared when I wasn’t 100% happy with a race, product, or company, but I also shared when a company had an outstanding product, race, or customer service. As I got more involved with that part of the blogging world it seemed to be a lot to try to keep up with the blogging world, especially the fitness and healthy living blogs. I started taking less on, I basically stopped blogging regularly after my miscarriage, and really started taking inventory on the products I LOVE.

I find that a lot of bloggers, big or small, don’t have any company loyalty, they will blog for this apparel company one month and a month or two later rave about how another company has the best apparel…how am I supposed to believe either review. I’ve definitely reviewed different gyms, studios, shoes, etc… so I am not innocent of this either, but I do cast a side eye when I see the same blogger review multiple brands shoes over the course of a few months.

Those are of course the companies that I will continue to work with or will try to showcase on here. I don’t regret any of the reviews that I’ve done in the past, but I don’t want to feel any pressure to come up with these pinterest perfect images and to compete with someone who does this for a living. I don’t want to get burnt out again. I am finally back at a place where I am loving the posts I am putting out there, and I don’t want to move away from that.

I think another large part of why I got so burnt out on blogging is because of the expectation of how a HLB (healthy living blogger) acts or eats or works out. Maybe part of this is because of pregnancy hormones, ask Nick they are real right about now, but I think I would feel this way regardless. When I first started reading blogs (5-6 years ago) bloggers wrote real posts, ever link wasn’t an affiliate link, it didn’t seem to be nearly as shady, but maybe I was just naive.

When you are a HLB there is an expectation that you will be BEAST MODE all the time. You see the phrases “the family that sweats together, stays together”, #fitpregnancy, #noexcuses, I could go on.  I won’t lie, I love working out, it is a stress reliever for me, but when I read these blog posts about how so and so went a whole month without a rest day or an excuse, I kind of just roll my eyes, and then I think, is this such a great thing? Why is no one else questioning these types of behaviors?

Not all families or significant others can work out together. Their might be babysitting logistics, disabilities, you just might hate the same type of work out. I am 99% positive I could never get Nick to a barre or yoga class. We’ve done two races together, and have had a lot of family walks, but all of these things were for fun! I LOVE the alone time or girl time that I get when I go to class!

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I feel a lot of anger towards the posts that are all about how the best thing you can do when you are pregnant is to work out. I am not arguing that working out is bad, I have been working out regularly since I was cleared to do so, but that is not the only thing that is best for your body or baby. Eating a balanced diet, taking vitamins, seeing a medical professional that will monitor your progress, getting your home safe and ready to being your baby home, etc… those things are all just as important.

Pure Barre Baby

I don’t however like feeling guilty because I choose sleep over a workout, or resting over a workout. In real life, so many people have been supportive of this pregnancy and my workout regime, especially the instructors and staff at Pure Barre. Then I look at social media and I am overwhelmed by all the posts and images of #FitMoms. On top of it all, these women are sharing exactly how much weight they have gained or lost in their pregnancy. I’ve been what some would call “lucky” because with both this pregnancy and when I was pregnant with B, I was so incredibly sick that I ended up losing weight in the first trimester and was able to gain a healthy amount as the pregnancy went on. Some women gain 50 pounds, that doesn’t mean they ate cookies and donuts the whole pregnancy. Again, I feel like it is weird that these women share their weight amounts each week they recap their pregnancy or post-baby recaps. I like reading about how these women get fit after pregnancy, it gives me ideas, but their weight doesn’t help anyone but them, it just doesn’t seem important or relevant.

Now, lets talk about food. Every recipe is a super food or will give you super powers or something like that… Baking beans in brownies will just make me want to eat 5 of them, I’d rather have one really decadent dessert than have a dessert that doesn’t satisfy my craving.

Birthday Dessert

I know we all talk about the 80/20 rule, but where do those black bean brownies fall? It seems like a grey area to me. It feels like a lot of these people aren’t actually eating 20% indulgently.

It would be easy for anyone to say, well stop reading these blogs, but some of them have content that I actually love, or blogs that I have been reading for years, and so it is hard to just turn that off. In the past year many blogs have definitely been taken off my feedly list, but these posts seem to be popping up even on my favorites.

I’d be remiss to end this post on such a sour note. There are many things I wish I could change about the blogging world, I am sure a lot of people wish they could, but there are also things that I would never change.

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I’ve met some of my closest friends via Twitter or this blog! There is a group of moms who all had babies around the same time and we all met via Twitter/Instagram, none of us live near each other, but we are able to laugh, vent, cry, share all via a private group. It has been so helpful just to say is your toddler doing this exact behavior or is mine just a little crazy lately?

I’ve been able to attend amazing events, and I am incredibly grateful for every single opportunity! Like I said, I will continue blogging, but it’s going to be more about things and items I love and are an important part of my life (with or without this blog). I also want to be able to be more engaging with those that read (and comment). I haven’t responded to comments in far too long, and actually plan on doing that soon. I am hoping removing the HL part of blogging part for myself allows me to be more me and less traditional blogger!

What is your favorite and least favorite part of blogging or reading blogs?

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.

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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 Second Trimester and Gender Reveal!

I am more than a few weeks into the second trimester, and I truly feel like this pregnancy is flying! I didn’t announce here, but some of you may have seen on Instagram

BABYGIRLB

We are having a GIRL! I am so incredibly excited!! I would’ve been happy regardless, but it will be nice to have a little girl and a little boy in our house! Also, the addiction to buying girl clothes is real. I have had to put my self on clothes buying ban until she is born.

This pregnancy has been vastly different from what I remember with B1. I definitely felt like by the second trimester the exhaustion wasn’t as bad as it was in the first, but I guess I wasn’t chasing after a 3-year-old.

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Typical dinner shenanigans

I had a lot of sciatic pain with B1, and it has been touch and go this pregnancy, but of course I have had other aches and pains and almost fainted in Whole Foods the other morning. That was scary, but apparently also completely normal. From what my doctor told me standing still for an extended amount of time (in the shower, long church services, a long deli line…) can cause your BP to drop and leave you feeling faint, it was scary, but now I know how to make sure that never happens again.

I also have felt the second trimester hunger kick in. When I grocery shop I don’t vary from my usual stuff, but as soon as I get hungry nothing I have prepared sounds good. I have been eating a lot of egg sandwiches, homemade chicken salad, chicken sausage, and salad. I really really wish it was watermelon season, because I could probably eat an entire one every day and be very happy.

PureBarreBaby

My new favorite sticky socks! I am back at Pure Barre regularly. It’s been great to see everyone and the staff has been so helpful with modifications, as I have continued to grow, some things that felt fine even a week ago feel uncomfortable now so it is nice to have someone show me other exercises that work with what the rest of the class is doing.

Even though she is due the same month as B the maternity clothing is completely different. I lost 20 pounds due to severe sickness with B so I was in regular clothes, mostly workout clothes if we are being honest, until week 30. So most of my maternity clothes are dresses and shorts and tank tops, I had a few cardigans and one pair of maternity jeans, and that was it for maternity clothes. I am going to write another post on what I’ve been wearing in every day and for workouts, but it has been crazy how different my body is this pregnancy. I am carrying baby girl MUCH lower than I carried B, and I started showing much earlier this pregnancy.

I also started feeling kicks much earlier this pregnancy, and I LOVE it. Somedays it feels like she is stomping on my bladder, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Were your pregnancies very different or similar? 

Bouncing Back From Bed Rest

When I announced my pregnancy I also briefly talked about my modified bed rest. In case you missed it, I was diagnosed with a bleed on the gestational sac, which meant zero exercise. I was recently cleared to exercise, but I was incredibly nervous to jump right back into a studio class.

I was only cleared to do low impact exercises. Things like running, intense lifting, HIIT training were banned. I was also banned from spinning since I have only done it once and we are just being cautious. This means I can participate in classes like barre, yoga, pilates and any sort of stretching type of class and I can do as much walking as I would like.

I don’t feel like I am really limited, to be 100% honest, I probably wouldn’t have participated in running that much. I don’t typically run in the winter, and I wouldn’t want to risk a big fall, but also the bigger reason is fear. I know that running did not cause my miscarriage, but the fear is there, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I also really had been enjoying my studio classes pre-pregnancy, and I was excited to return.

So how did I return to working out? I knew I needed to take it easy and slowly get back into a routine. I become exhausted pretty easily, and I knew my muscles would be sore the first few weeks getting back into it. The two weeks I just did shorter yoga videos at home. I know that I don’t always push myself as much as I should when I am working out at home, so I was able to really keep the effort low and slowly increase it. I also only did 3 workouts a week, which was a huge decrease from the 6 weekly workouts I was doing pre-pregnancy.

Pure Barre Lynnfield

I finally went back into a studio class, and of course I had to start at Pure Barre. It helped that the class was a donation based class to support Jane who is running the Boston Marathon, for Team BIDMC again, this year! {Donate Here}

The studio emailed me the pregnancy modifications during the week, and I literally studied them. I wanted to make sure I knew what to do, because I knew that my first class would be overwhelming and I didn’t want to forget anything. I also told Cara, the teacher, that I was pregnant and that if I was doing something wrong to just let me know.

The class went well and I was shaking and burning right away, 3 months away was incredibly humbling, movements that were second nature to me when I was last in a class are now foreign to me. It is so crazy how much muscle memory I lost in a seemingly short time.

Of course the plan was to get into the studio 2-3 times a week and to do an at home workout 1-2 times a week, starting with this week. I was incredibly sore after my first class on Sunday, and had plans to go back on Wednesday, but of course #Blizzard2015 has had other plans for me. I can’t even exchange that workout for shoveling, per doctors orders, so I have been trying to get some shorter workouts in via video.

Have you ever been on bed rest? How did you bounce back?

Incredible For Two Fitness Giveaway!

I am thrilled to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing New Year giveaway. For Two Fitness is one of my favorite maternity brands and I am excited to wear it during this pregnancy! I know that finding clothes to wear and feel comfortable in during pregnancy can be tough, especially since your body can change so much! For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the New Year, that will not only help you during pregnancy, but will help you post-birth. Read the details below.

Happy New Year! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, and friends. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at $1000.  We have phenomenal prizes, including the newest offering from BOB – a Revolution FLEX  jogging stroller – plus prizes from ASICS, Ergo and Maison Drake baby boutique, and For Two Fitness – all facets of your healthy mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

ForTwoFitness

The grand prize winner will win everything you see listed here.  Prizes have been furnished by our wonderful brand partners in connection with a sponsoring ambassador (Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddy and Melody from Will Run For Margaritas). Here are more details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy:

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Grand Prize Giveaway items:

  • The New BOB Revolution FLEX single stroller
  • For Two Fitness maternity athletic outfit (top and bottom of winner’s choice)
  • Ergo 360 Baby Carrier furnished by Maison Drake baby boutique
  • Asics Running Shoes (1 pair of the winner’s choice)

Asics

Wow!  We are thrilled to give away these amazing prizes.  This contest runs from Monday, January 12th through midnight on Friday, January 16th.  Visit the For Two Fitness site to enterBe sure to follow @ForTwoFitness and our co-hosts @run4margaritas and @momslrb on Instagram in order for your entries to be valid.

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Thanks for celebrating the New Year with us!  Good Luck!!

 

I know I will be entering, will you?

A Very Exciting Announcement!

Lets just get right to the most important thing about this blog post:

BABYB2I never really talked about our post-miscarriage TTC journey, partially because everyone’s journey is different and what (eventually) worked for us may or may not work for someone else. It is also something that I felt was too personal to put on blast for anyone to read. I have no problem talking to someone one-on-one if you are interested.

How Far Along?

I am 14 weeks, my due date is early July, in fact it is two days after B’s birthday. We don’t know the gender, yet. We will be finding out, mostly because I have zero patience!

How Did You Find Out?

Since we were working with an Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) we had a scheduled blood test. About a week before the test I started noticing my exhaustion, I have always been a morning workout gal, and some days I would be more tired than others, but for a week I was constantly exhausted post-gym. I would climb back into bed and fall asleep immediately and Nick would have to wake me up once he was done in the bathroom. I had never had that kind of exhaustion before, except during my pregnancies.

I ended up taking a pregnancy test prior to my blood test, see zero patience, and the second line (aka a positive) never showed. In anger I tossed the test at the garbage. When I got home from the gym, I realized I didn’t actually get the test in the garbage, it landed next to it, so I picked it up and the second line had shown up, apparently I just didn’t wait long enough.

How Are You Feeling?

I am feeling much better than I was for the past 12-13 weeks. I just tend to have rough pregnancies, with B I was nauseous for the first 20 weeks, and I am glad this time around I did seem to start to feel better with the onset of the second trimester.

Now, I feel exhausted. Since B does not nap anymore it means mom does not get to nap, so I end up going to bed very very early every single night. I can also feel my sciatic pain creeping back in, I just hope it doesn’t fully set in for at least 5-6 weeks more.

How Is Your Fitness & Eating?

Food wise, I basically survived on potatoes, in any form, the first trimester. I had zero desire to eat any sweets or veggies. I tried to force one salad or veggie heavy meal at least once a day, but sometimes it just didn’t happen. I have also been obsessed with egg sandwiches, and I still am, unless I am in a rush I have one every morning for breakfast.

Now I am feeling at about 90%, and I am trying to make super healthy meals for us to eat. Since I am exhausted I try to make things that will last 2-3 nights so that I only end up really cooking 3 times a week, plus one night of pizza or some sort of takeout. I’ve been making a lot of veggie heavy soups or chili’s, perfect for cold weather and for laziness.

Fitness on the other hand has been at a standstill. There was a hemorrhage on the gestational sac, of course after a miscarriage hearing that freaked me out. Especially since I could spot or bleed during my pregnancy. It hasn’t happened, thankfully, but is still scary just to think about.

So this meant that I was on a modified bed rest. It meant absolutely no lifting (which a 3-year-old DOES NOT understand), no physical relations, and no exercise. Basically I did the bare minimum and felt like a crazy person. The bleed is now gone, thank goodness, and I can get back to a normal routine. I’ve been taking it easy slowly getting back into it with yoga at home, but I am looking forward to getting back into the studio(s) very soon!

How Did B React?

He is super excited. He helped us pack up some residual baby toys and some of his stuffed animals for the baby. He loves to talk to my belly and tells the baby how much he loves it. I can’t wait to see him as a big brother, I think he will be amazing, even if he did tell us “baby girl or baby nothing”.

Will You Be Blogging About Your Pregnancy?

I will probably post updates occasionally, and include how I’m feeling with my workout recaps. but I just can’t remember to do the photos and the weekly recaps.

So glad to finally share my marvelous news and link up with Katie again!

Any other questions I missed? 

Weekly Updates: 09/22/14 – 10/05/14

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Monday, September 22 – Cross Training. This was the start of my last week of training before the Zooma Cape Cod race.  I ended up taking the morning Pure Barre class, I know, no one is surprised, but man is it harder getting out of bed early, because it is pitch black out when I get up!

Tuesday, September 23 – 30 Minutes. I took an early morning Pure Barre class followed by a quick walk around the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 24 – Cross Training. I ended up cancelling my barre class at last-minute. Some of the medicine I am currently on is making me feel nauseous (no I am not pregnant) and I just could not get out of bed in the morning.

Thursday, September 25 – 30 minutes. I took a Pure Barre class then did my 30 minutes while B was in school.

Friday, September 26 – Rest. For the most part, I took it easy. I did a little bit of running for Feetures, but other than that it was a very relaxing day!

Saturday, September 27 – ZOOMA 10K. Finished :)!

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Sunday, September 28 – Rest. A much needed rest day. I did enough to get my legs moving and the blood flowing, aka walking around the grocery store and outside, but I was definitely sore so I took it easy.

Monday, September 29 – Pure Barre. – I took an early morning class, and I just took it easy. I told the teacher in advance that I would be taking breaks as needed. The seated ab work was definitely the most difficult for me.

Tuesday, September 30 – Pure Barre. I took a late class, really I wanted to keep my body moving, and also get in my 40 classes for the Fit for Fall Challenge!

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Wednesday, October 1 – Rest. I was supposed to go to barre, but again, I wasn’t feeling good, and I just need to learn to listen to my body, not just my brain.

Thursday, October 2 – Pure Barre. My meds were at full force and I regretted that workout a little bit, not because it was a bad workout, but because I was hot flashing, sore and just all around not feeling 100%.

Friday, October 3 – Pure Barre. After going to bed super early, I hit the morning class, and even though I wasn’t feeling on my A game, I wasn’t feeling as bad as I was the day before. This was class #89 for me. Only 11 classes until I get those 100 classes and sign the bar!

Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 – Rest. We decided to spend the weekend with some family, and I decided to take some rest days from classes.

FOOD

So, some updates. I was getting some blood work done and I tested positive for Celiac, aka Gluten, this is a disease, it is not trendy it is a lifestyle change, 100%. It caught me off guard, for sure. I re-tested, and I tested negative on the second test. However the test is scaled, 0-3 is a negative, 4-10 is a positive. My positive was at a 5, and my negative was at a 3. Unfortunately, in order to take these tests you have to eat gluten, and I don’t eat a ton of it anyway. I am going to re-test, just to be 100% sure since I do have some rare markers of Celiac. That is why things in the food department have been wonky.

How was your week in workouts?

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

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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!

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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.

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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!