Half Marathon Results, Tips and What I Learned!

One of my first goals of the year has been completed! Today I ran my first half marathon in 2:06:05; a 9:37 pace! This is a personal record for me and roughly 18 minutes less than I ran this race last year! After a tough week of not feeling well and two chiropractor visits for an upper back/neck issue, I am so glad I was able to power though and accomplish this goal.

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Here are a few tips and things I have learned about running races I thought I would share.

  1. Watch where you are running! This may seem like common sense but when you are running for a couple of hours you tend to try to take in the scenery. BUT…
    1. I almost wiped out from a divot in the pavement on mile 3 chatting with a friend I ran into.
    2. Then around mile 7-8 I had to jump last second to avoid running over a USED condom…..for real….eek!!
  2. There are some awesome people who come and cheer racers on! I LOVE them for taking the time to support everyone!
    1. My favorite signs included
      1. “Smile, you’ll run faster!” Even though I know it wouldn’t really make me faster, it did make me smile and that took away any discomfort I may have been feeling then.
      2. “Tap here to power up!” This sign had a picture of a ladybug and this guy was holding the sign behind the ladybug so you essentially high-fived him through the poster. I had 3 power ups along the way; the last one with about ½ a mile left! Hahah!
      3. “Worst parade ever,” just because it was funny!
    2. The only sign I didn’t like that I kept seeing was one that said, “It seemed like a good idea when you signed up in January.” Ummm, for people who haven’t run a race that long before that would be annoying! It annoyed me for some reason just because I didn’t think it was motivational, LOL!
  3. Running a race is uplifting and humbling!
    1. I came across two women running who were tied together with a loose rope. They would periodically hold hands to stay together. One of the women wore a shirt about supporting and giving to veterans. One of them was a veteran who I don’t think could see, or at least not well, and the other was her partner, leading her. I got misty eyed and ran behind them for about a mile or so because I found them inspiring!
    2. Around mile 9 I started punching my right quad a little because it was tight after the middle hill section. A lady ran up next to me and asked if I was ok. She looked to be about 70 or so. We chatted a minute or two and I discovered this was her THIRD half marathon so far this year….and then she ran ahead of me! WOW…bad-ass!!

What do you need to do to run a race? Make a training plan, commit and adjust as needed. Below you will find a picture of my training schedule I kept on my refrigerator. As you can see it was changed and marked up regularly. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes baby steps and persistence.

Training sch postrace

I feel so fulfilled after running the race today. But I also know that if that 70-year-old lady can run 3 half marathons in 4 months and beat me; well, I can still do better! And so can you for that matter! We are ALL more capable than we realize!!!

Now off to drink a congratulatory glass of wine and kick up my feet now that the kids are in bed!

Until next time… Thea

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Recognition (2 awards) and a Few Things About Me

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What great support there is in the blogging world!! I was recently nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award by my friend and fellow blogger Nicole at Mommy Talk! It reminded me that I totally got lost in the chaos of life and never thanked AND recognized another award I was nominated for. Shruti at DeepLifeInsights nominated me for the Liebster Award back on March 1st!! So Thank you BOTH so very much for your support and thoughtful nominations!!

Both of these nominations come with an assignment to answer a few questions and to share the love and nominate other bloggers! You will see the answers to my questions below along with who I have nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award!

  1. What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger? Honestly, I worry about everything! Is my grammar correct, is my post too long/short, and mostly, does anyone care what I have to say?
  2. What has been your greatest success so far in life? Being a Mom and wife! I put most of my effort and energy into raising my 3 young children and supporting my very amazing and hard-working husband.
  3. What made you start blogging? I started my blog to document my 2015 Resolution Goals. It’s evolved since I started and really I don’t think I have a niche like a lot of bloggers do. I post about whatever is on my mind; motherhood, fitness, recipes and so on.
  4. Which blog post is your favorite? Please provide a link. It’s a tie for me! My first vulnerable post was The Important of a Positive Inner Monologue, I cried writing it multiple times and it’s an important message I wanted to share about the impact of our own thoughts. The other is Respecting my Postpartum Body; another vulnerable post where I even included pictures of myself ready-to-pop pregnant and current pictures of my very average body! The feedback from moms struggling to love their bodies after babies was worth putting myself out there!
  5. If you could meet one blogger in person, who would it be? The Scary Mommy blogger. She has a lot of strong opinions on things. Some I agree with and some I don’t. I think it would be fun to discuss hot topics with her. I like a good conversation and debate! LOL
  6. What kind of music do you listen to? I have a pretty eclectic taste in music! I like almost anything but I’m not a huge country fan; even though over the past couple years it’s been growing on me a little. My favorite artists/bands include; Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band and I really enjoy classical music during the dreary fall and winter days.
  7. What’s your favorite dessert? Anything involving chocolate. If I had to pick ONE….peanut butter pie!
  8. Which social media do you like best to support your blog? Facebook, twitter or Pinterest? Facebook, only because I am a newbie to Twitter and a total virgin to Pinterest….I think I should get more involved on them but the time….?
  9. What’s your dream vacation spot? With kids or without? I feel like I’ve been on my dream vacation. My husband and I vacationed in Tahiti for our honeymoon. We island jumped, staying on the main Island a few nights, then Moorea for a few doing excursions, and lastly Bora Bora in an over water bungalow. BUT our next dream vacation we want to take, probably without kids, would be to maybe Scotland/Italy/France?
  10. What are you most passionate about in life? Fitness! I love to play sports, run, workout in any way. Working out is the best medicine! It’s free therapy, helps you feel better about yourself and keeps you looking your best!

Now I get to pass on the love to some great bloggers I know! I nominate the following:

I would like each one of you to answer the questions below, and also link your post back to me so I can see your answers!! Then pick 5 more people who you would like to nominate, and come up with 10 new questions of your own! Can’t wait to learn more about you all!

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. What was your most popular post? (include a link) And was it also your favorite?
  3. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
  4. What is your favorite hobby (outside of blogging)?
  5. Do you have any special talents?
  6. Who is your biggest inspiration in life? And why?
  7. What is your favorite TV show?
  8. What is your goal with blogging?
  9. What is your biggest regret in life? If you have any.
  10. What is your greatest success in life so far? (had to steal this one from Nicole)

Thank you again to Nicole and Shruti for your nominations!!

Until next time…. Thea 🙂

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10 Way Not to “Lose Yourself” in Motherhood

It’s so common to lose yourself once you become a Mom. You spend a majority of your time caring for your children, caring for your spouse, cooking; cleaning….the list goes on! So it makes sense that during that time you can start to lose yourself a little when you’re rarely putting yourself or your needs first. So here are a few things I do to hold on to the person I once was, the person I am and the person I want to continue to be.

1) Keep your Hobbies– Before I had my first many people told me I was going to need to quit my hobby of playing sports. I was playing on 2-4 recreational soccer leagues a week and softball in the summers. Clearly, I was going to need to cut back but why would I need to stop playing all together? I felt like I got flack from people when I was insistent I was going to go back after the baby arrived. It’s something I LOVE to do! It keeps me active, I see my friends, and play with my sisters. Oh and it’s a great stress reliever as well. I’ve continued to play, usually only once a week for soccer and I’ve kept summer softball, which I play with my husband on a co-ed league. It’s been great to get out 1-2 times a week and it’s helped me to continue to feel like the same person I have always been! Whatever your hobby is, reading, writing, gardening, scrapbooking or exercise; I encourage you to keep making just a little bit of time to do those things

2) Curse– I used to have a bit of a potty mouth. I am now reformed since I am with my children basically 24/7. But when I’m out with adults sometimes it feels good not to have to worry about what I say! Tossing out an F bomb or a Holy S***, somehow becomes relaxing and refreshing!

3) Lean on your Spouse– If there is anyone that truly knows you, it’s your spouse. They’ve known you before, during and after children. They are your partner in everything; your supporter, confidante, champion, and your love. Talk to them about anything and everything. Lean on them and it will help you keep centered.

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4) Stop Worrying About what Other People Think! I used to want for people to like me. I still do in some ways because I try to be a kind and thoughtful person; and I genuinely care. But spending time trying to please others just ends up making you try to be someone you’re not. So stop worrying about others and focus on you! You’re got enough to worry about supporting your children and husband.

5) Be Ridiculous! In the summer I like to roll the windows down, with the wind blowing in my hair, sunglasses on, jamming to some tune that is now considered “Classic Rock,” and sing my heart out! Sometimes, I try to convince myself that I am super cool while doing this! It takes me back to a time when I was young and carefree; a version of myself that I think of fondly. Bring that girl of the past out sometimes, even if you’re alone and there’s no one to see her. Keep her present!

Sunglasses

6) Keep having Sex! Yes, I went there! I tell people being a mom is the most amazing and exhausting thing I have ever experienced. Well, the exhaustion part for parents can really put a damper on the lovin! I can’t tell you how many couples I know who are rarely having sex. Remember before you had kids when sex didn’t take the effort? Well, those days are likely gone, but the effort is worth it! Make the effort, make the time. The connection with your spouse, the stress relief, the link to that once carefree sexual person; it will keep you feeling like YOU!

7) Have a Cocktail– As a mom you are always “on.” At any age there are little eyes always watching, observing and learning from you. Give yourself a break and have a drink everyone once in a while. Hell, make plans to go out a couple of times a year to really let loose. Going out on the town with some girlfriends to drink and dance the night away…. that keeps me in touch with my love to have fun self!

wine

8) Take Time for Yourself- This is the HARDEST thing for any mom to do; working, SAHM, it doesn’t matter. We ALL love our kids and want the best for them and taking time away from them is hard. Go for a massage, take a bath, or even a 30 minute drive to Dunkin Donuts to sip coffee alone and check Facebook. That little bit of time can be rejuvenating and all you need to recharge.

9) Exercise– Who are we kidding ladies, our bodies change after children in many way. Even if you have never been someone who exercised, working on your body will help you keep respect and appreciation for it. Your body may never be the same again but loving and accepting it will make you feel comfortable and confident. The added perk with this is setting a good example for your children. When I run on the weekends my oldest always wants to run with me. After I get back we always go on our own little run just the two of us!

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10) Never Give up and Keep Dreaming! The reality is that as the years go on our children will need us less and less. Someday they will be grown with families of their own. I know that I’ll always need my parents love and support. I need it now still as an adult, but I don’t depend on them like I did when I was a young child. We are living our lives now! So don’t give up on some of the things you love to do, want to do or dream of doing. Keep a notebook, make a bucket list! Just never give up and keep on dreaming!

Doing these things has helped me keep myself during these early, demanding years or motherhood. Well, mostly anyway! And that in turn is helping me be the best Mom I can be to my three beautiful children!

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Until next time….Thea 🙂

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Ultimately, I really just want my kids to be nice!

kindness

There are many things I want for my children. I want them to be happy, confident, successful, hardworking….the list goes on! But more and more I am realizing, the #1 quality I want my children to possess, is kindness.

I feel like in our society today, being nice is so under appreciated. This is a generalization, but I feel like our society is focused on getting ahead, parents want to give their kids a “better life” than they had growing up, and our children have a sense of entitlement. The most basic expectations we had as children, please and thank you’s, seem to be a rarity with the children of today. Let alone, general kindness to others. Bullying is a norm for young children to deal with in schools, on the bus, at the playground…..where has our sense of compassion gone? I’m not sure if it’s because there are more distractions with technology today, for parents and children that everyone is fighting for attention; or if our society overall is just under valuing the basic benefits and value in being kind!

While growing up my Mom always told me if someone’s being rude, picking on you, don’t lower yourself to their level, just “kill’em with kindness!” It was great advice that I still use today. Now there is a point in which you have to stand up for yourself and I also learned from my parents to not stand for being disrespected; but there is a way to stand up for yourself without lowering yourself to someone else’s level.

I’ve been trying to teach my oldest, Piece’s, who is in Kindergarten, to simply call people out on their behaviors. If someone is being mean, simply tell them, “You’re not being very nice right now,” and if someone else is being mistreated to stand up for them. Sadly, I don’t think this is a common practice among young children these days….

In my personal experience and opinion, being a kind, polite person generally leads to getting kindness in return. The age-old saying of, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” is most definitely a simple and true one. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect; I have times where I should think more before I speak. But in general, I feel being nice has helped me be more successful in my career and has made me a better mother, wife, friend…the list goes on.

karma

I’m not a very religious person, but I believe in karma; I believe that the type of energy we put into the world comes back to us in that way. The more positive, polite, kind I am the more and more I will get that in return. So that is what I am trying to teach my children. And I hope more than anything that they continue to grow into strong, hardworking, confident and most importantly NICE people!

Until next time….Thea

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Recipe

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This bread has been a favorite in our house for years!! I got the recipe from an old co-worker and over the years I’ve updated it to try to cut the sugar and overall calorie content. (It originally called for almost 3 cups of sugar and a cup of vegetable oil!!)

With my new clean eating endeavors this year I have converted this to a much healthier, yet still awesomely delicious family favorite! So here’s what you need!

  • 1 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 3 & 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour (or flour preference /required for your diet)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (this is debated with clean eating, but it’s only a 1/2 tsp)

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease two 9×5 loaf pans.

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Step Two: In a large mixing bowl combine honey/maple syrup, apple sauce, coconut oil and eggs. Beat until smooth.

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Step Three: Add water and blend well.

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Step Four: Stir in pumpkin puree and spices.

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Step Five: In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and blend with a spoon until just mixed (pumpkin chunks are good).

**Optional: Add dark chocolate chips, nut of your choice, or unsweetened coconut.**

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Step Six: Pour into pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Once it comes out clean it’d done.

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Step Seven: Remove from the pans while warm, cool on Rack and store in a sealed plastic bag to retain moist texture.

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    Now enjoy!!!

0412151727Recipe Details

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 3 & 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour (or flour preference /required for your diet)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (this is debated with clean eating, but it’s only a 1/2 tsp)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease two 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine honey/maple syrup, apple sauce, coconut oil and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add water and blend well.
  4. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and blend with a spoon until just mixed (pumpkin chunks are good). **Optional: Add dark chocolate chips, nut of your choice, or unsweetened coconut.**
  6. Pour into pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Once it comes out clean it’d done.
  7. Remove from the pans while warm, cool on Rack and store in a sealed plastic bag to retain moist texture.

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