11, my new favorite number?

11 miles. All done. 

11 incheslost (and counting, I hope!). 

Yup, I’m pretty sure 11 is now my new favorite number. Kicking lucky #3 to the curb (a favorite because it signifies being a triplet!). 

Another thing I’m pretty sure of? That I’ll be ambling around like a zombie for the better part of the day. Wow. 11 miles zapped every last bit of energy out of me. Even after a nice long, hot shower and a fueling breakfast (scrambled eggs and a bagel thin with peanut butter, mm), I’m still sort of out of it.

But today’s run was so worth it. It gives me full confidence that I can run all 13.1 of those miles on August 14 and will walk away from that race having ran a race I’m proud of. My #1 goal in all of this.

To finish what I started. And to run proud. 

And I have to say – I felt really good for the vast majority of our run. I made sure to stay hydrated (thanks again to the hubs for wearing the hydration belt!) and took a blox around the halfway point (which really helped). It wasn’t until about mile 8 or 9 that my knees started to yell at me. I remember this distinctly from the last half marathon training – my knees are definitely MUCH happier at the 7-8 mile distance, once I start going longer, they get a little cranky. Nothing some extra stretching and ice won’t cure. But after the knees starting acting up, it was distracting – but I’m happy to say I chugged along and even surprised my husband by going the final loop to make the full 11 miles (he was thinking we’d cut it to 10.5 since my knees were bugging me)!

Even more surprising? When I looked down at my watch at the finish line, it read 1:55:06. That’s pretty fast for me. And it made me SO happy to see. I was thinking we’d hit about 2:00 or so, but coming in under that felt like such an accomplishment! I’m still not talking PR or any race day time goals, but I am pleased with that number, I’ll at least say that. 😉

With just 16 days until the big day, I am loving how I’m feeling right now. Confident, strong, ready to kill all 13.1. Can I get a hell yeah??

Sharing the love

I’ve deemed today “Sharing the love – EatDrinkBreatheSweat – style.” 

…I love this blogging community. The outpouring of support and love after yesterday’s post on my husband’s new job was amazing. I still can’t get over the kind words from each of you. I’ve been re-reading them all morning! So thank you.  ❤

…I love celebrating the beautiful people in my life. In this case, I’m borrowing from Dorry’s post this morning and wishing Lindsay an amazing and beautiful birthday. She is seriously one of the kindest most loving people I have ever met. Happy day, my dear!

…I love sharing joyful moments with others. Especially when those joyful moments revolve around a shared love of fitness! The other night, one of my close friends Steph (she ran the last half marathon with us and is running the next one with us as well!), came to her first barre n9ne class with us.  She’s about to embark on the next 60-day challenge and naturally wanted to try a class first (even though she’s already committed to the challenge, haha). I LOVED sharing those moments with her – I could tell that she was getting a lot out of the class but it wasn’t until we left the studio and started to chat that I could tell that she was totally awe-struck by barre n9ne. It was the coolest thing ever – to finally have someone IRL to share barre n9ne with (other than my sister, obv!). The joy on her face was beautiful to see. I’ve never seen her THAT happy and smiley after a workout in my life. And we’ve done a lot of workouts together. HA! So yes, I’m thrilled to share my love of barre n9ne with another friend – maybe now I won’t come across as much of a crazy person when I talk about barre n9ne now. Maybe. 😉

…I love that I’m learning to be flexible and less tied to a set tried-and-true training schedule. Ever since I started training for the half marathon and embarking on the barre n9ne challenge, I’ve been giving myself two full rest days. For me – two rest days used to be unheard of (one rest day was hard enough to deal with!). But the beatings I’ve been giving my body lately and I KNEW that two rests were needed and have now become a welcome occasion (who knew?!). But lately – I’ve scheduled those rests days to take place over the weekend. Can I just tell you how nice it’s been to be completely unscheduled the past few weekends? No worrying about getting a run in before it gets too hot in the mornings, no trying to jam in a workout before  a day of summer fun. Nope. Just rest, and lots of unscheduled fun. It’s been kind of awesome. Highly recommend it. And kinda proud of myself for learning to re-think my workout schedule vs. sticking to “what I have always known.”

…I loved the look on my husband’s face last night when I finally got home from work and barre n9ne to give him a gigantic congratulatory hug and kiss. He opened the door and I said “hi, teach!” His smile, that look in his eyes – of pride, of relief, of joy – was the best sight I’ve ever seen.  So, so, proud.

Wow, this is such a fun list of “loves” – I might have to make this a regular EatDrinkBreatheSweat feature! Of course, now it’s your turn – share the love with me! What are you loving right now!? I’d love to hear about it. 😉


I’m sitting here at a loss for words.

Truly stunned by the beauty and power of faith.

Of prayers answered.

And of the support system that surrounds me and my loved ones.

…and without getting into too many details (far too many to get into here!)…my husband, my rock and my best friend, is finally employed once again.

After over a year of searching and discovering and learning.

Of outlining his new path…towards his dream. To return to his roots as a teacher.

…and today, that dream became a reality for him.

For those of you who know my husband, for him to teach is innate. His father was a teacher (and an amazing one at that). His aunt and uncle both teach.

…he should have been a teacher from day one.

But alas, his path to teaching ended up being a much longer road to get there. A detour that led him to me (we met while both working at the same supermarket). A detour I’m incredibly grateful for, for that reason alone.

So today, to see him come full circle. Returning to his roots. Reaching for and following his dreams?

Well I sit here today, humbled.  Joyfully so.

Overflowing with faith.


Proudest. Wife. Ever. ❤

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”

This is exactly how I’d capture the barre n9ne 60-day challenge – and meeting Tanya – in a nutshell. It (and she!) has left an indelible mark on my life, on my sister’s life and continues to leave a mark today. Something I am eternally grateful for.

I’ve been wanting to share the “what’s next” in this barre n9ne journey and am finally ready to share…at least *some* of what’s to come.

For me, what’s been truly awesome about this challenge wasn’t so much about the physical changes to my body (which I’ve loved, don’t get me wrong), but the mental strength I’ve found and, maybe even more so – that this challenge gave me a chance to inspire those around me.

I know, I know… isn’t that what this blog is for?

And it is…but the blog has been more of a way to virtually reach people who are like me and love to work-out and stay fit and/or those that are trying to get and stay fit. And I’ve loved the outlet that my blog has been for me to channel that passion. But what the barre n9ne challenge gave me was an opportunity to both challenge myself and share those challenges on the blog, but it also gave me a chance to meet some awesome people through the challenge – at the studio (hello Tanya – rockstar!;  Julianna – fantastic instructor and all around good person), during class, on twitter and through blogging.  It’s been an outlet for me to find “me” – and the “me” I can identify with in others.

I’ve loved that the challenge became this new outlet for me – a way to share my passion, to hopefully inspire others to seek out new challenges and goals, and even a way to fill a whole that teaching Group Kick left once I stopped teaching last winter. And that’s sort of where the next phase of this experience is leading me. Tanya is kicking off the next 60-day challenge on August 1st – where she’s opening the challenge up to anyone and everyone who wants to transform their bodies (and transform it, they will!).

And who better to lead and mentor the next round of barre n9ne challengers through the next 60 days but the original barre n9ne 60-day challenges themselves – my sister and I!

I LOVE this next phase of the challenge – everything about it:

…watching the group of challengers get excited (and a little bit scared!) about what the next 60 days holds for each of them.

…hearing about their goals and what they hope to get out of the experience.

…sharing more about how this challenge has changed me indefinitely and passing along any learnings I gathered from my own 60-day journey.

…and encouraging each of them every single day of the next 60 days of their own transformations.

And why not kick things off in high style at a fabulous 60-day challenge launch party?? Yes, a launch party – complete with a demo class, a Q&A with yours truly (and my sis!), and lots of time to talk to the other challengers and potential challengers who attend the party to see what this 60-day challenge is really all about. It’s happening next Sunday afternoon at the barre n9ne studio and I think it’s going to be a blast.  <–if you’re in the area, seriously stop by, it’s going to be a TON of fun, I promise!

But seriously, I’m just so thrilled to finally have that outlet (beyond the blog) to inspire and motivate others to live their best life right now. And that’s truly what this challenge has taught me – how to live my best life. Every single day. And I cannot wait to experience the next 60 days with each of the barre n9ne challenges. I promise you ladies, it will be life-changing. Utterly and truly. Let’s kill it together, shall we?? 😉

Like I said, “No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever”…and I hope this 60-day challenge leaves an eternal mark on each of you. In the best possible way. 

There’s a first time for everything…

…in this case, a first time experiencing a professional photo shoot, barre n9ne-style, of course!

And let me tell you, the sheer thought of a professional photo shoot made me SO nervous! Even though I have so much to be proud of, so much to be excited about, having a camera staring me in the face was all I could think about all week last week. And yes, I was awfully quiet about it on the blog and on twitter, I realize. And that was mostly by design. I wanted to avoid hyping it all up and making myself even MORE nervous.

And guess what? It worked like a charm! Even though my Lululemon purchase didn’t arrive in time (FAIL!!), I still walked into the studio with an extra bounce in my step. I was excited. I felt confident. And yes, even pretty. I was having a good hair day (well worth the sweatfest it took to dry my hair in nearly 100% humidity!), my makeup looks perty and my outfit worked. Nothing too crazy – just my favorite tank top (and up until now, my only Lululemon gear!) paired with the only long yoga pants I own that aren’t faded! (thank God my package arrived over the weekend, cannot wait to wear my new groove pants and astro crops, all bought in the “we made too much” section, woohoo!). My sis was nice enough to bring an extra tank for me to swap into halfway through the shoot.

Once the photographer got settled, it was time to get started. I was up first – just a few solo shots to get warmed up (where the photographer warned me that the more unnatural/uncomfortable the pose felt, the better it looked on camera – something I’m totally taking his word for!!). Then we moved into a couple of posed shots doing various moves from barre n9ne – to show us “in action” if you will. These shots were the most fun – well,  actually that’s a lie. The most fun shots were with my sis, Tanya and I at the end of the shoot. Especially when Tanya shouted out “we totally should have brought wine to this shoot!” – and man, was that a fail on our part, the shoot would’ve been that much MORE fun!! It felt like one gigantic celebration of our hard work and I ended up loving every minute.

And NOW, I can’t freaken’ wait to see the pics! The photographer promised them this weekend (untouched) so we could pick the ones we wanted them to finalize for us. These will go on the barre n9ne website (we *are* spokesmodels afterall, haha) and will be used to promote the next 60-day challenge (which I’ll blog about tomorrow) that kicks off August 1. <—LOTS to talk about here in a future post, I promise!!

In the meantime, here are a couple of pics I snapped during the shoot – so much fun! And reason #3,456 why the barre n9ne 60-day challenge has been (and continues to be) such an amazing experience…

Tanya posing with those evil gray balls 😉

Me (in outfit #2) taking pics while waiting for the photographer to finish with Tanya’s pics

And Jo – in her outfit #2, hot stuff!

Can’t. Stop. Sweating.


And I knew it the second I stepped outside that this would be the end-result.
Total sweatfest.

I guess that’s what happens when your long run ends up being on the hottest day the Boston area has seen in ten years. Hottest – and also the most humid. I swear it was like running through soup, humidity felt like it was at 100%.

So I guess you’re all wondering  — “did she make it all 10 miles?”
The answer is no.

And I’m totally fine with the 7 miles we put in this morning. Which is a transition for me. I’d normally sit around beating myself up after for not doing the workout “as planned.” But smarts kicked in for a change (doesn’t always happen!) and I knew it would be safer to cut it short than to push it out another 3 miles. It was just too muggy, too hard to breathe and honestly? I wanted to finish this run and feel proud of it – that I pushed it, but not so much so that I’d feel downright sick afterwards. Score one for me?

Speaking of transitions — I got to thinking about my training last summer versus this summer. And how I felt, how I trained, how I reacted in certain situations.

I am pretty sure one of three things would have happened if this was the “me” from last summer:
…I would have taken one look at the forecast and canceled the run outright; or
…I would have attempted to run but given up about 2 miles in; or
…I would have attempted the run but felt panicky and nervous about how I’d feel during such a tough weather run that it would end up being the worst run ever.  

But the “me” today tackle the run today entirely differently:
…I woke up and bounded out of bed, excited that today was our long run day.
…I set foot outside and knew the muggies were pretty bad and wasn’t afraid. I set my mind to running this long run, and running it well.
…I kept my pace up and made sure to hydrate throughout (thanks to Scott for once again being the iFitness hydration belt wearer!).
…and finished the 7 miles strong, a dash through the sprinklers and with a huge smile on my face. Proud of what I accomplished. Not frustrated that we didn’t do what we “planned” to do mileage wise.

This is a transition that I’m really proud to share. I think it shows growth, maturity, strength in how I’ve evolved as a runner. And it gives me even more confidence in my abilities leading into August 14 and the YuKanRun Half Marathon.

I got this. I know I do. 🙂

“But I’m not a fast runner…”

“But I’m not a fast runner…”

Those were the words I blurted out to Scott on our run yesterday when he kept pushing me to run faster for the last mile of our run. We actually ended up in a heated debate about the topic right after we finished.

I was frustrated because I felt like he was pushing me too hard, that he wasn’t taking my abilities into consideration. Or that he wasn’t seeing how hard I was trying to run faster – even if I didn’t look like I was running faster.

His retort? You are a runner, you CAN run faster. You are holding back to much, saving too much for that last mile. Stop doubting. Just run.

And you know what? He’s right. By me saying “I’m not a fast runner” – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I think I can’t do something, or that I’m not cut out for something, then my mind and body are going to follow suit. But, if I harness the confidence I’ve been building and the mental endurance I’ve been so focused on during this round of half marathon training, then who am I to say “I can’t” or “I’m not…?”

This is something that I was thinking about all day yesterday and it struck me that my blog friend over at Sunshine on my Shoulder wrote something similar on her blog. About “believing the lies” – those half-truths or “lies” about ourselves that we choose to believe.  She’s right – it’s a choice to believe those things. Just like it’s a choice to remain positive in the face of adversity, it’s a choice to believe you can and you will.

It made me think – why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we put ourselves in a box like that? We can do anything we put our minds to, yet so often – our minds try to tell us otherwise.

So today? I focused on the mind-body connection during our run. We were supposed to run 5 miles and instead ended up running 7 miles (7 of the 10 mile route we’re aiming for on Friday, actually). You’d think that sudden change in distance would cause me to start letting those doubts creep in. But guess what? I pushed them down. Even though my legs were tired from the previous two days of running (and barre n9ne class). Even though I was sleepy when we got started.

I pushed and I pushed.

And as we rounded the corner near our house – that last half mile staring me down. This is where I’m usually prone to slowing down vs speeding up.  Instead of pulling out all the stops, pushing hard, envisioning that finish line coming up on August 14.

So that’s what I did today.

I pushed it.
I ran fast.
Yes, me.

No idea what the speed was but it was definitely an uncomfortable pace. I was breathless at the end but quick to high-five Scott who was beaming with pride that I did exactly what he’d wanted me to do yesterday but had fought him on.

I ran fast.

Because guess what? I can do anything I put my mind to. Including running. And running fast


According to Wiktionary, willpower is defined as follows:

Willpower: The unwavering strength of will to carry out one’s wishes

I kind of dig that definition of willpower versus the more-traditional definition that talks about self-control as a form of willpower.

Because truth be told, willpower can definitely be about self-control. As in, I’d rather have scrambled eggs and toast with peanut butter for dinner than those cookies I was talking about on twitter yesterday with Amber, Sam and Jess. 😉

But, willpower can and does mean more than that to me. Especially as it relates to my continued healthy living journey I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Now that the official barre n9ne 60-day challenge is behind me, for example, I’m reevaluating how I approach each class. Asking myself “how can I push myself harder, challenge myself more, experience more?”

The simple answer to that is willpower.

Pushing myself to hold those plies at the barre as long as I can, letting my legs shake versus giving them a break during a set and not getting to that “hurt so good shake” that invokes such change if you let your body get to that “shake” moment in class. This is a big area of focus for me – getting to that shake, focusing on letting my body do something my mind wants to tell me isn’t possible.

…Believing that I can hold that plie for 30 more seconds.
…Believing that my body can handle it and pushing through the flash of self-doubt that happens right before I’m about to give up on those last few seconds.

That’s what I focused on almost entirely during last night’s barre n9ne method class. And you know what? That willpower, that sheer determination to get through the set? Hell, that sh*t works! I held almost every single move at the barre last night for the entire set (count ’em – three sets for every single move…).

…Because I CAN do it.
…I’ve just been letting my brain dictate what my body does.

Similarly, during yesterday’s AM training run, there was probably at least six times when I thought to myself, hmmm…maybe we’ll turn around a little early. Or, maybe this 6.5 miler isn’t meant to be today. Maybe I should do 4 today, 6.5 another day this week. Maybe I should stop.

Hold up. Stop?? Um…no. Not an option.

So, considering I was “option-less” – I did just what I set out to do. I ran 6.5 miles. Even though it was muggy as hell out at 5:15 in the morning. Even though I was lethargic and sleepy because of it. Even though I was so thirsty and just wanted to give in. I ran and I ran. THAT is willpower. Determination. Strength.

As I’ve mentioned to you all before, this training cycle (the half, and the 60-day challenge) has been largely about mental strength and determination. And yes, willpower. This is where I’m discovering new-found confidence. Because I’m finally believing, trusting, commiting.

So yeah, me and willpower? We’re apparently becoming fast friends. I’m thinking maybe BFF’s by the time we get to the half on August 14. What do you think?

Speaking of willpower, confidence and strength – please go check me out over at the barre n9ne studio blog where I pour my heart out about how amazing and incredible the barre n9ne 60-day challenge has been for me. Y’know, since I clearly can’t stop talking about it, thinking about it, walking on clouds because of it. 😉

It’s not over.

60 days.
40+ barre n9ne studio classes.
30+ training runs for the YuKanRun Half marathon.
11 inches lost.

That was part of my facebook status update on Friday. One would assume that the 60 day challenge, then, is over. That it’s “back to the norm” for me here at EatDrinkBreatheSweat.

Not so fast. It’s not over. Because guess what? This is my new normal. My gym membership has been canceled. My schedule (which I’ll share in a minute) for this week includes plenty of barre n9nc classes and of course, plenty of running given the half is in less than a month. Looks a lot like I’m still in “challenge” mode, right?

Well here’s the thing…this challenge,  the “official” part of it may be over. The 60 days may have come and gone. But it’s not over. This is me focusing on the journey and not the destination. This new normal of mine has no definitive end date. Because a healthy lifestyle (much like healthy eating) doesn’t stop and start. It’s a lifestyle. It’s MY lifestyle.

This may sound like a “no duh” to some of you fitbloggers out there, but it was an epiphany of sorts for me. One that came to me as I drafted my ‘challenge’ testimonial blog for Tanya over at the barre n9ne studio blog (going live later this week, don’t worry – I’ll give you a heads-up!). I am in it to win it. I honestly can’t wait to see what the next 30, 60, 90 days at barre n9ne have in store for me (and my sis). There are lots of exciting things brewing, that I promise to share (I know, I keep saying that) in future posts.

For now? I’m still walking on clouds over here thanks to my new favorite number 11 and am so excited to dive into another week of killer workouts.

…as promised:

Sunday – rest
Monday – 6.5 miles;  barre n9ne method
Tuesday – 4.5 miles; barre n9ne lean & tone
Wednesday – 5-6 miles; barre n9ne arms & abs express (new class, woohoo!)
Thursday – barre n9ne long & lean legs; barre n9ne fusion
Friday – 10 miles
Saturday – rest


I’m sitting here trying to draft this post and I’m honestly at a loss for words. ….which never happens. (just ask my husband!) 

Today, 60-days in and the barre n9ne challenge has left me, well…transformed.

I talked a lot about how I hoped to feel when we started this challenge.  And this word still very much defines how I’m feeling now that the official challenge is over: Refined.

I am me refined. 

It’s as if someone took a paintbrush and gently brushed me into a new shape.

…a thinner more curvy waist. (it’s where I lost the most inches, which totally shocks me)

…longer, leaner legs (that I swear, I didn’t even realize I had until I looked in the mirror during class the other night…).

…toned, strong shoulders that I’m damn proud to see in that mirror.

…a strong core that gets me through some of the toughest barre work I’ve ever experienced.

But most of all? I am confident. I feel so much more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever felt in my life.

And I’m so freakin’ proud. Because I did this.  

I guess that’s what 11 inches gone (forever) does.
(yes, I said 11 inches!!)

I am me: refined. 

<editor’s note – I promise….lots more to say about the challenge, the next ‘phase’ of the challenge, etc. in a future post. This post was all about capturing my exact feelings after getting home from class last night. I didn’t want to let them go…so thank you, for indulging me…but more importantly, for supporting me. Your words of inspiration have been so encouraging and amazing to say the least. xoxo>