Goofus and Gallant: Postpartum Edition

Do you remember when Molly and I did a little healthy pregnancy series? The ones all about our eats and fitness throughout our three trimesters?

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No?

Yeah, didn’t think so – It’s been a few months (8 to be exact!) since our last post. But have no fear, today we’re back with the final edition covering our postpartum fitness routines.

Head on over to Molly’s space on the internet and read about how two different women focused on fitness post-baby.

In case you missed the first three editions, head on over for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

Meal & Workout Plan – Week of 8/17

Another week is upon us, time to get prepared! Fail to plan, plan to fail as they say.

Meal Plan:

  • Monday: Salmon + green beans + quinoa
  • Tuesday: Taco salad
  • Wednesday: Turkey burgers + baked sweet potato fries
  • Thursday: Oven baked fajitas + brown rice
  • Friday: Out – Maybe sushi again??
  • Saturday: Turkey-zucchini meatballs with spaghetti squash
  • Sunday: Leftovers

Fitness Plan:

  • Monday: Kayla Itsines
  • Tuesday: BODYPUMP
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Kayla Itsines
  • Friday: Kayla Itsines
  • Saturday: Run
  • Sunday: Teach BODYPUMP

Give me some meal inspiration! What is on your menu for the week?

#98 Treat Yourself Tuesday

The sun! It’s out and shining – Talk about a treat! It’s been RAINING consistently ever since Saturday so it’s nice to see the sun in the sunshine state ;) Kyle’s mom and grandma are visiting so I know they’re happy to finally have a beach day!

How about we talk about a few of my treats over the past week?

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Delicious eats! Like I mentioned, Kyle’s mom and grandma are in Naples and we’ve been eating really well ever since they arrived. Pizza on Friday night… Fish tacos for lunch on Saturday… Dinner out on Saturday night… Grilled on Sunday night… Shrimp linguine last night… I’m sure the rest of the week will be just as tasty. And perfect leading up to the 24DC that we are starting next week, ha.

Another food treat – I made a delicious batch of my Peanut Butter Berry Bars yesterday. They are soooo good and always a hit!

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I hit up Starbs for the first time in forever on Friday afternoon. I had a free coupon so I figured why not ;)

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The rest of my treats for the week involve a lot of fitness…

I made it to the gym during the day yesterday thanks to Grandma babysitting Dean. My first dreadmill run in months!

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I also tried out Kayla Itsines free week of workouts over the past week. My calves are STILL sore from Saturday’s leg workout. Woof. Has anyone tried these before? I think I’m going to go ahead and purchase them. I’m still not a huge fan of working out at home but I could easily take these to the gym with me if I need some extra motivation :)

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My workout buddy was back to BODYPUMP on Sunday with me, again thanks to Grandma babysitting :) I’m subbing tonight so we will get another couple’s workout. Woohoo!

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Kinda lame on the treat front this week – Hopefully next week will be better!

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What was your best treat over the past few days? 

How Pregnancy Has Changed My Approach Towards Health & Fitness

Hi friends! I’m excited to have my dear friend, Katie here on ONW for y’all today. Katie is a soon-to-be mama and always has the connections to the BEST events in Chicago. Seriously, if you follow her life you will wonder how she fits it all in! She has an awesome post today and I’m thankful she is filling in for me while I’m on mama duty :)

Take it away, Katie!

My name is Katie and I blog at Live Half Full, where I share my daily life to hold myself accountable to living a healthy lifestyle. My blog has held me accountable through many stages of life the past four years-training my first full marathon, wedding planning, crossing the finish line of my first triathlon after recovering from neck surgery last year and now through pregnancy!

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I met Becky originally through the Intuitive Eating Challenge a few years ago and then got to hang out with her quite often when she moved to Chicago before she left me for the Florida sunshine! Becky asked me to help her out while she takes care of her new little man and I happily obliged. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first baby in October, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on pregnancy so far.

Over the past four months, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much being pregnant has helped solidify my health and fitness goals. As someone who has struggled with dieting in the past and was always working hard at fitness goals, pregnancy has mellowed me out in a good way.

Instead of focusing on a diet or working towards a fitness goal, pregnancy has shifted my focus to taking care of myself the best I can. It’s been a great change and I’m hoping these habits will stick after I have the baby!

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When it comes to food, I’ve basically been following this “plan”:

  • Eat what I want– I gave up dieting over three years ago, but it took pregnancy for this to really stick. Blame it on the hormones, but throughout my pregnancy I have had a distinct need for exactly what I wanted to eat at any point it time. It’s almost humorous how much more enjoyment I’m getting from food these days. And, I’ve found that eating what I want does not cause me to just eat junk- I’ve craved salads, green smoothies, fruit and nutritious meals! And yes, I’ve craved some junk- but it always balances out and I never feel guilty.
  • Eat when I’m hungry– Again, another concept that I was working towards pre-pregnacny that finally stuck. Instead of being focused on portion control, I focused on my hunger levels. When I am starving, I eat enough to satisfy myself. And when I’m not that hungry, I eat a small amount to fuel what I need. It’s been really nice to gauge my hunger and I’m hoping this sticks around post-pregnacny.
  • Focus on fitting in as much vegetables and protein as I can– Now that I have a child growing inside of me, I have unlimited motivation to fuel my body with nutrients. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t eat- ice cream, chips, etc.- I’ve been focusing on fitting in as much of the nutrient dense foods as possible. This means adding a vegetable to every meal, making sure I’m eating enough protein and generally eating for energy. It’s been working wonders for me and I’ve felt great! So much so that I think I’ve learned a permanent lesson of how I want to treat my diet from here on out.
  • Drink tons of water– Similar to my hunger cues, I’ve been intensely aware of how much water I need throughout pregnacny. Which has basically meant keeping a water bottle with me at all times and refilling constantly. This is never something I struggled with, but something that’s been reinforced the past four months. Hydration is the key to feeling my best!photo-258-1024x768

Similarly with exercise, I’ve been following these “rules”:

  • Do movement that feels good– For my pregnacny workouts, I’ve stuck to the things that I enjoy, feel good doing and look forward to. For me, this means prenatal strength workouts at home, lots of walking and spin and yoga classes here and there. Because I’m listening to my body, I look forward to working out and am motivated by the fact that staying active gives me energy. It’s as simple as that!
  • Don’t beat myself up when I miss a day– Even though I feel my best when I stay active, there are some days when I am tired and have no desire to workout. In the past I would have forced myself to workout, which sometimes still happens when I know it’s just mental, but more often than not I give in. Taking care of myself is my number one priority right now and sometimes skipping a workout is the better choice. It feels good to have my own interest in mind and I think this will stick after I have the baby as well.

As you can see, this “plan” and “rules” are meant to be lighthearted. And that’s the thing- pregnancy has lightened me up and in turn I have stumbled upon the healthy, balanced lifestyle that I’ve been working so hard to achieve. It seems like all it took was this baby to come along and cause me to reset my expectations. It’s been a great change and I’m grateful to have an experience that is changing me for the better.

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You can follow along my pregnancy journey at my blog or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Looking forward to connecting with you all!

What big life changes have caused a shift in your perspective when it comes to health and fitness? What are your current “plans” and “rules” when it comes to eating and exercise?

How I’m increasing my step count

Quite recently I’ve had a major Fitbit dilemma.

Do I wear it? Do I leave it on the counter? Do I bother to sync it with my phone? But mostly, whyyyyyy are my steps so lowwwww?

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I’ll admit, I used to think that it was crazy that everyone couldn’t reach 10k steps per day. Now I totally get it. Sorry for being Judgy McJudgerton – Karma!

While I love the quietness of the complex we have in Florida (If I never have to hear the damn Chicago Metra or L again, I will be a happy girl!) and that I have a car again after 4 years of living sans vehicle, I do not like the fact that we have to drive most places.

There are pros and cons to everything, right?

Because I’m tired of being a lazy behind (and I don’t want to fill up my gas tank each week), I’ve come up with a plan to increase my step count. Could I be any more Type A?

Moving on…

I thought I’d start with my initial step goals. On my running/spinning days, my goal is 12k steps. And on my rest and/or BodyPump/Yoga days, my goal is 10k steps. While not easy, these should definitely be attainable if I make a conscious effort. If I’m doing the math correctly, that should get me to around 80k steps per week. While nothing near the 120k I was getting in Chicago, I think it’s a good place to start until the weather cools down here :)

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Wait, am I really asking for the weather to cool down? Who am I?

Anyways, I digress… Onto my plan!

Step Count

1. Take Mitchell for 2 short walks each day. Our complex has a cute little lake with lots of wildlife that he loves watching. It takes about 15 minutes to walk around the lake and getting him out and about twice daily is good for the both of us. I just have to be aware of the heat index so the furball doesn’t roast ;)

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2. Get up at least once per hour. Normally I drink a ton of water and Spark so I have to get up regardless (LOL!) but a little reminder to get up and move around each hour can never hurt.

3. Unless I’m severely injured (I don’t see this happening – nor do I hope it happens! – in the near future.), walk around the apartment while I’m on the phone. I swear I’ve been on the phone with the cable company, the insurance company, the moving company… basically every freakin’ company under the sun since we’ve moved… Think of all the steps I could have achieved while “sitting” on hold!

4. Fit in a 30 minute run or spin class 3-4 times per week. My knee is still healing so I can’t overdo it with running, but spinning is a great alternative when it comes to cardio. I don’t love spinning (like I seriously have to bribe myself to get to class… it’s a real struggle) but once I’m done, it feels good to get a good sweat in! Also, my gym is about 4 miles away so once my knee is all healed up, I can run to the gym.

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5. Per Laura‘s advice, I’m going to attempt to walk to shops and restaurants that are the same distance away that I was used to walking in Chicago. Within walking distance right now are a few nail salons, a bank, Target, Publix, Panera, a pizza parlor (yum!), World Market, Jimmy Johns… the list goes on. I can totally trek it to those joints even if I get a few odd looks from fellow Naple-ites.

6. Park at the far end of the parking lot. If anything, this should save my car from door dings ;) And maybe fit in about 500 extra steps. Every little bit counts!

7. Take a family walk post-dinner. One of the great things about living in Florida is that Kyle and I can actually have dinner together AND see each other for more than 30 minutes on weekdays. We always used to take walks after dinner when we lived in Minneapolis but quickly got out of the habit while living in Chicago since we didn’t eat until 8pm. In addition to fitting in a few extra steps, my tummy will feel much better with a quick walk in the evening.

I can definitely notice a difference on the days I don’t make it to my step goal. I feel sluggish and “blah”. With a little bit of effort on my part, I’m hoping I can start incorporating more steps into my life!

Do you have a pedometer? If so, what is your average daily step count? What are some tips you can add to my list?

Friday Favorites – Fitbit Flex Review

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!!

I’ve been waiting for this day for what seems like forever. While my break won’t be quite as long as my college winter breaks, I cannot wait to have a few days off :)

I want to first thank you all for the great discussion and debate on yesterday’s post. I appreciated all of the different perspectives and thoughts about IE. Also, I hope you understood that parts were overly dramatic to get my point across. #dramaqueen

Today I’m excited to link up with Katie for Friday Favorites!

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And although, I don’t have a huge list of favorites, I am sharing my review one of my favorite Black Friday purchases – The Fitbit Flex! That counts, right Katie?

I wanted to test out my new Flex for a few weeks in order to share an accurate review with y’all so thank you for being patient.

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Overall, I LOVE my Flex. I never knew how many steps I was taking a day, how much energy I was burning and so forth and the Flex is able to track it all.

It pushes me to take more steps and made me realize that it isn’t as easy as I thought to reach 10,000 steps/day. If I don’t walk to and from work or the train plus workout or walk Mitchell, there is NO way I’d reach my step goal daily. It was eye-opening to me to realize how much you actually sit and do not move in a desk job! There is an alarm you can set to vibrate at whatever time interval you choose if you would like a reminder to get up and walk around.

I wore it while sleeping the first few nights after I purchased it and it was interesting to see how many hours of restful vs. “awake” sleep was tracked. Conclusion: I am a solid sleeper ;) I have sensitive skin, however, and ultimately decided to skip the sleep tracking function to keep my skin from getting irritated.

I love the “bracelet” that holds the actual Fitbit and you can buy them in multiple colors, you know, in case you want a pink band (ahem, Katie – your fav!)! The bracelet blends into any outfit and I’ve only had one question to what was on my wrist. I told the inquirer that it was a prison tracker and they looked at me like I was serious/insane.  I cracked up at their response and had to show them that it was actually a Fitbit ;)

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If you link your Fitbit up to your phone via the app, your get fun updates throughout the day that tell you how many steps you have left.

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You also get alerts when you’ve gone over your goal. My Type A self loves this ;)

Now to my personal pros and cons for the Fitbit Flex:

Pros:

  • Easy to set up for your body by entering age, weight, height, etc.
  • Tracks EVERYTHING – Steps, Miles, Active Minutes, Calories Burned, Water Consumed, Sleep and Weight Goal Progress (if you choose one).
  • Easy-to-use iPhone app and computer app
  • Long battery life – approximately 5 days!
  • The bracelet does a fun little light show and vibration dance when you hit your step goal. This always makes me do my own happy dance too :)

Cons:

  • Can take up to 7 minutes for the bracelet to sync with the app – ain’t nobody got time for that! Typically, it syncs up and shows your current stat updates within 1 minute.
  • Could cause negative/obsessive feelings for those easily influenced by numbers (calories burned, etc.)
  • Does not track steps when walking on treadmill (it does for running but not walking)

I am glad I picked my Fitbit Flex up on Black Friday! It definitely motivates me to stay active and/or get moving if I stay sedentary too long. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to better track their activity level!

Do you have a Fitbit? Have you checked out Friday Favorites yet? What are you up to this weekend?

Pile on the Miles – Week 4 Update

It’s BLACK FRIDAY!!!!! As much as I hate the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving, I love Black Friday ;) And no, I’m not one of those crazies that will wait in line to get into a store right when it opens. I like to go out a few hours after the stores open Friday morning – Early enough to still catch the sales but late enough to avoid the mobs of angry shoppers!

So, as you read this, I’m most likely out battling the crowds and looking for some great deals on Christmas gifts (and gifts for myself…).

Since I’m out piling on the miles while shopping, I thought it was perfect timing to share my Pile on the Miles challenge update, hosted by Monica!

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I plan to do a short recap each Friday  to keep myself accountable and to make sure I’m making progress on my 100-mile goal for the month of November!

So, how’d I do this week?

  • Friday: 1.5 mile walk
  • Saturday: 3-mile run + 2.5 mile walk
  • Sunday: Body Pump + 2 mile walk
  • Monday: Vinyasa Yoga + 3 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Nada
  • Wednesday: 3.5 mile run + 3 mile walk
  • Thursday: Barre Class + 2.5 mile walk

TOTAL Mileage for Week 4:

21 miles!!

Woohoo!! Counting in my 85 miles from the past three weeks, I’m 106% of the way to my goal!

And I have 2 days left – Let’s see how many miles I can pack on over the next 48 hours :)

How many miles do you think I’ll end up with for the month of November?  Have you been piling on the miles?

Pile on the Miles – Week 3 Update

It’s time for my Pile on the Miles challenge update, hosted by Monica!

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I plan to do a short recap each Friday  to keep myself accountable and to make sure I’m making progress on my 100-mile goal for the month of November!

So, how’d I do this week?

  • Friday: 4 mile walk
  • Saturday: 5-mile run + 3 mile walk
  • Sunday: Body Pump + 2 mile walk
  • Monday: Cardio Kickboxing + 4 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Absolutely nothing :)
  • Wednesday: Play Tough Class (It was TOUGH!! – Stair runs, bosu balls, ropes and TRX) + 5 mile walk
  • Thursday: Spin Class + 4 mile walk

TOTAL Mileage for Week 3:

27 miles!!

Woohoo!! Counting in my 58 miles from the past two weeks, I’m 85% of the way to my goal!

I will most definitely be meeting my goal – especially since the short work week next week gives me more time to walk and run outside! That is unless I break both of my legs or something catastrophic happens over the next few days which is entirely possible if you’ve ever seen my clumsiness in action ;)

How are you doing with your challenge? Have you been piling on the miles?

Pile on the Miles – Week 2 Update

I’m a day late on my weekly Pile on the Miles challenge, hosted by Monica. It was a busy week, forgive me? :)

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I plan to do a short recap each Friday (just a day late this week!) to keep myself accountable and to make sure I’m making progress on my 100-mile goal!

So, how’d I do this week?

  • Friday: 3-mile run + 1.5 mile walk
  • Saturday: 3.5 mile walk
  • Sunday: 4 mile walk
  • Monday: Cardio Kickboxing + 2 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Yoga + 2.5 mile walk
  • Wednesday: Spin Class + 2 mile walk
  • Thursday: 2-mile treadmill run + 2.5 mile walk

TOTAL Mileage for Week 2:

23 miles!!

Woohoo!! Counting in my 35 miles from last week, I’m 58% of the way to my goal!

Obviously my miles are a lot lower than Week 1 – I’m not going to be doing 15k’s each weekend ;)

This challenge definitely pushed me to walk more to work this week. There were a few days where I was so tired (work has been killer this week…) and just wanted to take the L in but after walking, I felt so much more awake and extra walking is good for the body and mind!

How are you doing with your challenge? Have you been piling on the miles?

Long Beach Half Marathon – Race Recap

As I shared after the race on Sunday, Kyle and I both ran the Long Beach Half-Marathon this past weekend – not the full marathon as I had originally planned.

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This was my 2nd half-marathon – the first being the Monster Dash in the fall of 2011 – and I was definitely much less prepared for this race than my first.

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I steadily trained for the full marathon from May-August but after the move to Chicago, starting a new job and finding out about some health issues, my training basically stopped. I didn’t stop running altogether but I wasn’t running more than 4-5 miles 3 times per week. Definitely not marathon (or half-marathon) training runs!

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Anyways, onto the race recap!

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We woke up bright and early and fueled with bananas and peanut butter before heading over to the race. Our hotel – The Long Beach Courtyard Marriot – was only a few blocks from the race start and finish lines!

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Our race was supposed to start at 7:30am but because of the masses (like 10,000+ – not kidding!) of people running the race, we didn’t actually cross the start line until 8am and we were one of the first groups to start!

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The overall course was gorgeous. We had great views of Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean but man was the course crowded. We were weaving in and out of crowds, trying not to trip ourselves in order to pass other runners throughout the ENTIRE race. I expect this to happen during the first 2-3 miles of every race as people overestimate their pace but passing people for 13.1 miles is a little ridiculous.

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Because of our delayed start time, we made a quick bathroom pit-stop around Mile 3. That 1-minute break was much needed and I was actually happy to be able to focus on running rather than my full bladder!

Since I was following Kyle’s lead throughout the race (This was his 1st half-marathon and since I didn’t really have a training plan/goal, I decided to stick with him as a running buddy.) we made quite a few water stops over the next several miles. I didn’t drink at all of them – I don’t like the way water feels sloshing around my belly while running. He also requested a few walking breaks – one around Miles 7, 8 and 10.

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Once we hit Mile 10, I knew I could not walk again or I’d never be able to start up running and make it across the finish line so I continued on ahead of Kyle.

As a side note, I’ve decided that running buddies are key to long runs and races. Those last 3.1 miles were killer and I hit a major wall that probably would have been much easier to overcome had I been running with someone.

Speaking of hitting a wall – I want to give a shout out and a HUGE thank you to all of the race spectators. Your cheering, funny signs, bite-sized candy and orange slices made those last few miles bearable and also made it possible for me to finish the race! Who knew that a granny telling each runner that they were a sexy beast, a tiny Milky Way and sucking the juice out of an orange slice could fuel me for a few miles??!

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On Mile 11 (or Mile 24 for her…), Monica from Run Eat Repeat zoomed past me! I love her blog and was pretty much in blog-celebrityville for those few moments. You can give me the Creeper McCreeperton award for the race because I snapped a photo of her as she passed by.

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Yep, I’m that creepy.

Anyways, I eventually made it across the finish line and man, why is that last mile always so emotional??! Spectators are cheering, you’re delirious and I always have to focus on breathing in order to not break down into tears, hyperventilate and/or collapse from sheer exhaustion.

My official time was 2:18 – slower than my first half-marathon time of 1:52 but still okay considering that I didn’t train and haven’t ran more then 4-5 miles in the past month.

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Kyle’s official time was 2:23! I was impressed considering that he came to the race after spending a week in Russia, it being his first race of this length and only making it up to a 9-mile run during his training. Yay for Kyle!

After donning my medal (they gave me the full marathon medal since my bib was for the full) and shoving a bag of Cheez-Its, a Rice Krispy Treat, a banana and fruit snacks down my trap, Kyle crossed the finish line. And yes, I was able to eat that much sugary-carby goodness in less than 5 minutes. My body craves some major carbs to replenish its energy stock after a race of that length and I couldn’t chew the food fast enough!

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Once we got our finisher’s photo, we wobbled back to the hotel to clean up before gorging ourselves with pizza and beer. Typical.

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So what are my overall thoughts?

It was a beautiful course but I just can’t recommend the half to anyone. It was way too crowded to be enjoyable and probably actually quite dangerous at some points because of thousands of runners. I actually overheard a spectator call us a herd of wildebeests. (I’m sorry sir but the only time I’ll respond to the term beast is when the word sexy is in front of it!) I think the full is another story – I’d love to try that one out, maybe next year??!

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I’m not sore in the least. (Pre-publishing edit – I was actually sore 2 days after the race but only my glutes… apparently they can power me through 13.1 miles ;) ) I’m really shocked about this considering my lack of training. It just goes to show that other types of fitness like Body Pump, Yoga and Cardio Kickboxing keep you in damn good shape and are just as important as actual running when preparing for a race!

After being able to finish this race, I think there’s something to be said for under-training. Yes, you need to be able to run and be in great cardiovascular health to run long distances but your muscles should not be fatigued. My muscles were fresh and ready to run and that they did. I also have a little bit more “fluff” right now than I’ve had the past year(s) – moving and stress do a number on the bod – and that probably powered me through the race as well… and don’t worry, I’m workin’ on it… with Body Pump and Cardio Kickboxing on my side, I’m determined to be back into my normal shape by the holidays!

How’s that for a super long post? If you’re still here, I’m glad because I really wanted to share with you my thoughts about the race and running a half-marathon without training!

What are your thoughts on training for long-distance races? What’s the longest distance you’ve ever run?

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