A Thanksgiving day PR

Well, it finally happened.

I PR’d my first race!

And, quite fittingly, it was my third time running the Wild Turkey Run on Thanksgiving Day.

So, five miles later and I PR’d at 51:28 which is just about :30 seconds faster than I ran it last year.

Not a HUGE leap but still – a PR! I’ll take it!

I’m especially thankful and totally felt that rush of gratitude around mile three (more on this mile in a sec) when I realized I was running and my knees did not hurt. Not a bit. So I picked up the pace, with a happy grin on my face that I, quite simply, am able to run. Again. 🙂

It’s #TheLittleThings, right?

So back to mile three, though. I was overcome by pride and giggly emotion at this spot on the route.


Because this is the loop that winds through the cutest neighborhood where ALL the neighbors come out to whoop and holler as we pass by with music blaring, horns blowing. A total riot…especially since, in lieu of a water station they have a bloody mary and beer station instead. HA! And no, I did not partake. 😉

Once we got past mile three I could see up ahead that we were winding our way towards that fateful spot in mile 12 of the half marathon where I took off like a bandit. Running up that hill and around the bend, I saw the finish line where the half took us this past September and wow, what a rush of emotion *again*. I, of course, physically felt WAY better passing by that finish line than I did during the actual half, but I digress. Just being there again brought me right back and pretty much confirmed that I will definitely do another half next year. I just can’t help myself!

One thing I did learn from this race is that I definitely had more in the tank at the end than I should have. I am so used to holding back during a longer run or race that I was holding back expecting the race to be a lot farther than it was. I did kick it nicely at the end but realized quickly that I should’ve been kicking it more throughout that last mile because I definitely had it in me. Lesson learned for next time!

Anyway, I’m psyched at the PR and ready to go off and celebrate all of the things I’ve been thankful for this year. I hope you all have an awesome, relaxing and food-filled day surrounded by loved ones.


I am thankful


Thanksgiving is almost here and I’m actually kind of surprised by this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and gratitude I”m feeling in looking back on this past year. Joel Osteen sums it up nicely in today’s daily devotional, actually:

No matter what may be happening in the world around you, you can always find something to thank God for. Gratitude is a powerful force that opens the door to God’s blessing. Having constant gratitude proves your faith in God because not only do you thank Him for what He has done in the past, you thank Him for what He will do in the future. It’s that kind of faith that pleases God. Constant gratitude also shows humility because when we are thankful, we magnify God instead of magnifying our problems. It gives us proper perspective and opens the door for God’s grace, favor and supernatural empowerment.

Even though this year isn’t quite over, that “winding down” feeling is certainly upon us. So, I thought I’d take today’s post to list just a handful of things that I am most grateful for from this past year – some are big things, but many are #TheLittleThings because let’s face it, those “little things” all add up to one gigantic feeling of gratitude and grace, am I right?

I am thankful:

  • For my family – that is stronger than ever, especially after what we’ve collectively experienced due to my sister’s serious infection this fall after the birth of the most beautiful little niece ever (see her blog recap here if you’re interested in her perspective – it’s unreal to re-read it myself and I was there to experience it!)
  • For my “sister friends” – who are also family to me in so many ways. This past year has proven to be one of those “take me or leave me” years for friendship and it’s actually been great to see who those true friends are in life that will stick by your side through thick and thin and will love you just the same.
  • For my sisters – we have bonded in ways I never thought possible this year. I honestly have no idea what I’d do without them and I”d rather not even think about it.
  • For my husband – who is, by far, the most loving, caring, and devoted husband ever. I love him so much. He keeps me sane when I go off the Type-A deep end, he makes me laugh (often at myself) and loves me as deeply as I love him. And damn, he sure makes a rockstar running partner, too (he better strut his stuff tomorrow – that 5-miler is going to be freezing!!)
  • For good health and ability – I am healthy, fit and strong. I’ve recovered from what was, in the grand scheme of things, a very minor knee injury and I’m back to being able to throw myself into new and fun challenges (hello, tri, hello another half??)
  • For memories – the EPIC trip to wine country being just one of them. Endless trips to the lake in Maine. A return to the Cathe Road Trip. Among others. I am thankful and grateful for those opportunities to travel, I know I’m lucky to be able to afford them. I do not take it for granted.
  • For challenges – conquering Kick, conquering the Wicked Half. Both proved to me that I am stronger (mentally and physically) than I give myself credit for. Also proved to me that I have a wicked competition streak too. 😉

Whoa. This is just the start of the running list of things I’m thankful and grateful for this year. I could go on and on. And THAT is an amazing feeling.

I’m humbled by it.

Contented by it.

Centered by it.



(more) confessions of a fitness blogger

I have *another* fitness blogger confession to make.

While there are so many things I love about blogging, there is one thing I don’t like about it.

It causes me to compare myself to others, and not in an entirely healthy or balanced way, either.

Let me explain.

I’m a very competitive person, this much you all know, right? I like to constantly challenge myself, this much you also know, yes?

Well – lately I’ve found myself criticizing myself and really struggling to keep and maintain a healthy and balanced outlook on my life and my approach to health and fitness. I’ve had doubts.( Interestingly enough, my fellow blogger friend Tina just posted something sort of similar on her blog today, too. Check it out.)

And I’ve pinpointed the main reason for it: I’ve been comparing myself to other fitness and healthy living bloggers who take a much more restrictive (for lack of a better word) approach to fitness and healthy eats.

You all know by now that this is one fitness blogger who loves to eat, loves to drink, loves to be merry (as my blog tagline so very clearly states!). So, I’ll never be that blogger who eats a very strict diet and very rarely indulges. Instead, I’d go out on a limb to say that I indulge on a daily basis. Now I’m not talking about a “pigging out” style indulgence – but something as simple as a piece of chocolate after dinner (or two…) or a glass of wine “on a school night” if the day was particularly stressful. And thus far, I’ve been proud of that.

I’m also proud of my approach to fitness. Yes, I workout almost everyday (I’ll admit I used to take rest days very infrequently but I’ve since realized that a rest day is just as important as a workout. Your body needs active recovery between workouts to perform at it’s best the next time you hit the gym, the weights, the pavement, etc.). And yes, there are some days that I’ll do a workout in the AM (STS for example) and then take a spin class or a Kick class at night. But that isn’t a daily thing for me – but maybe a once or twice a week thing for me. I try to maintain a balanced, smart approach to my workouts. And regardless,  I certainly fuel my body accordingly.

So why am I reiterating all of this to you here? Well, it’s partly to remind myself that I am, indeed, still “doing the right thing” if you will. I’m not letting that pendulum swing too far to the left or to the right…in other words I’m not swinging towards an overly restrictive diet and an overtraining route to fitness, nor am I swinging too far to the other end of the spectrum and getting too lax with my eats and my workouts.

It’s balanced. It’s me.

I’m also saying all of this to remind all of you (IRL friends, bloggy friends, anyone else out there poking around on this here blog!) that it’s a slippery slope. It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all – of being the most “restrained” fitness blogger there ever was amongst your circle of blog friends. It’s also easy to let those thoughts swirl around in your head, those comparative thoughts that poke holes in your confidence, causing you to doubt yourself and your approach, as well as your reason for being so committed to healthy living to begin with.

I’m here to say that I’ve been there – and I could feel myself veering towards that unhealthy mindset recently. Hence my “confession” to you all here tonight. It happens. You just have to be able to recognize that you’re prone to overly comparing yourself to other fitness bloggers (and in some cases, your IRL friends, colleagues, etc.) and remind yourself why you’re the awesome person and fitness blogger that you are, unique in every sense of the word. <—pep talk to self.

Long story short:

I am who I am.

I’m balanced.

I’m healthy.

I’m fit.

I’m happy.

I’m strong.

I’m content.

And for that, I am proud of who I am, and thankful for taking a needed step back today to realize it. #TheLittleThings.

(and now, where’s that piece of post-dinner chocolate I was looking for…)

Ahhh, runner’s high

I’m baaaack!

I finally got my run on this weekend after patiently waiting for my knees to recover. And, all that waiting was totally worth it!

I loved everything about it – from putting on my cold running gear (Under Armor running tights, my Wild Turkey Run dry-weave top from my first 5-mile race on Thanksgiving three years ago) to strapping on both of my patella straps,  setting my heart rate monitor and double-knotting my laces.

I felt at home and excited to hit the road.

And slightly nervous, too.

Nervous that my knees wouldn’t be ready (they were).

Nervous that I’d suddenly lost all of my running endurance I built up during half training (it’s still there, a wee bit rusty but nothing a couple weeks back in the saddle won’t fix).

Nervous that I’d lost my love of running after being away from it for what felt like eons (I didn’t).

Instead, it was an awesome run – not more than 4.5 or so miles, along a very familiar route near our house. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but it was just so nice to find my groove again with my favorite running partner by my side checking in on me every so often to make sure I wasn’t stubbornly running on a knee that wasn’t quite ready yet. (Hmm, does my husband know me well or what?? hehe)

And, even though my knees did ache just slightly by the end, it was nothing like it had felt before. I promptly iced them down and they felt fine the rest of this weekend. I even chose today as my rest day to make sure my knees had plenty of time to recover.

Of course, now I’m itching to run again before our third annual appearance at the Wild Turkey Run near our house on Thanksgiving. I am totally jazzed for Thursday’s race this year. Not only because it’s our third time running this race and it’s always a lot of fun (and a great way to kick off a foodie filled day!), but because I’m able to run it (I was worried I wouldn’t be able to this year) and I’m hoping to run it faster than I did last year (51:45 last year). That’s the goal, anyway. 🙂


As we inch closer and closer to Thanksgiving, I’m feeling especially thankful this year, a feeling I plan to recap on Thanksgiving Day. But for now, I’ll leave you with my #TheLittleThings for this weekend – an awesome time with some of the best friends this girl could ever ask for last night at “Friendsgiving” at my best friend’s house. Great food, great wine, lots of laughs…what more could you ask for in life really, right??

Take one! With wine in hand!

Take two! Check out that spread!

One week later – results and ruminations

Well – it’s been one week since I threw down the Core Fusion gauntlet on myself.

Just one week later and what have I got to show for it, hmm?

  • I feel stronger and dare I say, taller? (I use “taller” in relative terms, I am *just* 5’3″ afterall)
  • My core feels more like a core and less like a hindrance
  • I notice the impact it’s had on my other workouts (namely Kick, actually)

You’ll note that I don’t have pictures or anything to share (I didn’t take any, nor did I take measurements) – I mean really, it’s only been a week since this little “challenge” began and besides that, I’m not necessarily looking for just “surface” results here. I’m looking for strength and a core that will take me places. Not six-pack abs (this reminds me of Tina’s recent post on abs, which was awesome btw, and I totally agree with her).

So – for all intents and purposes, my Core Fusion challenge this past week has been a successful one. And for reasons that I’m proud to share as I stated above – and I’m psyched that I finally found a core workout that I’m confident I’ll stick with. FINALLY!

It is interesting, though (this is where my “ruminations” are coming in for the day…), that after just one week, I have a great new outlook on my goals for the cold winter months ahead. While I’m still planning to commit to a triathalon this coming summer as well as another half marathon at some point next year, I’m also excited about the little goals I’ve tucked into the back of my mind. I’m feeling a little bit less antsy and a lot more focused and I love that. I’m focused on building a strong core this winter, building additional strength through my third round of STS (starting meso 2 next week, woo!) and getting back into running now that my knee appears to be on the mend (can I get an “amen!”). Oh yeah, and how can I forget my quest to learn how to swim at the ripe old age of 31?! 😉

Clearly, I”m in quite the thankful mood today. Pretty fitting given next week is Thanksgiving – which I cannot believe is already upon us! I’m excited to run the Wild Turkey Run for the third year in a row now – it’s a great route, and is actually right around the same spot as the Wicked Half starts so I’m sure it’ll bring back loads of memories, too!

If I could share one #TheLittleThings thought for today (I feel like this entire post has been one big thank you, actually!), I’d say this: I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to continue to push myself physically, I realize that not everyone has so many fitness options at their fingertips and am so grateful for that. This is probably why I am so motivated to find new challenges to try, among other reasons. 😉




Motivation mojo – where are you hiding?

Let’s call this a mini “Confessions of a Fitness blogger” post, shall we?

I’m not always motivated to workout.


I know, I know. Despite what you all may think – I do have moments where I fight with myself to get ‘er done.

Case in point – here’s what’s been running through my head the past hour or so…

God, what a day. I really need to get my workout in tonight.<editor’s note – was supposed to hit Ride this AM, but the rain, coupled with a slight scratchy throat and I nixed it for fear of coming down with a cold which would be bad, bad, bad>

<sigh> But I’m hungry. And tired. And grumpy. And I miss my couch.

Buuuut Sunday was my rest day and today was supposed to be a cardio day sooooo…

And that’s where I stopped and thought to myself:

SELF! What is your motivation today???

Well – my friends, my only motivation for working out tonight is to SHAKE OFF this mood I’m in. As I’ve said a million times before, nobody ever regrets going to the gym when all is said and done.

And so, that’s that. I WILL get my cardio groove on tonight, probably in the form of a Kick workout in front of my TV. It always does the “shake-it-off” trick, that’s for sure.

AND since this blog is oh-so-good for that thing called accountability? You bet your ass I”ll be back tomorrow to report back on how that workout went. 😉


#TheLittleThings for today – I’m thankful for this blog for letting me be me. For letting my voice shine through, even when in the form of a “confession” like tonight’s post turned out to be. AND a huge thank you to all of you for helping me to surpass the 20k hits to my blog which I happened to notice last night. How cool! Here’s to 20k more hits and then some. 🙂


Mini-core (fusion) update and some (hopefully) good news

Alright, so I’m now well into my own Core Fusion challenge and the verdict?

I’m in love.

I FINALLY like – dare I say love – to work my core…FINALLY!

I’ve always battled with sticking to a core workout that I actually enjoyed doing and one that works.

Well my friends – I think (((Core Fusion))) is it.

(Thank you Exhale – especially for all the twitter love you’ve given to me today, love that you’re all following my little challenge this week!)

Today I did another round of Core Fusion: Body Sculpt – the same workout I did yesterday and owwwww, my glutes and abs were hating me by the end. But you know me and my love of DOMS? They’re baaaack. AND – that ab curl is slowly, slowly, slowly getting a smidge easier to maintain…just a smidge, but hey – that’s progress, right?

So anyway, as an update on my schedule for this week – tomorrow I’m taking a day off from Core Fusion to get my Ride on and then Thursday and Friday I’ll get back to the Core Fusion challenge.

And then Saturday – well, what do you think is on the agenda that day?

Well – that brings me to my (hopefully) good news…

My knees feel SO much better that I think I’ll finally be able to get back to running this weekend! You have NO idea how happy this makes me…wellll – you probably do since I’ve been whining blogging about it for weeks now, huh?

This is my certainly my #TheLittleThings for today – happ(ier) knees at last! Fingers crossed that it keeps up by this weekend. Or trust me, you’ll be hearing it from me. 😉

Core Fusion + Kick=Rockin’ duo

Well, today officially kicks off (no pun intended!) my self-imposed Core Fusion challenge. And because I was craving a cardio burn after yesterday’s rest day, I chose to pair it with a Kick workout at home first.

Hello match made in heaven, much

It was an awesome duo! As my post title suggests, it rocked my socks off!

Couple things I noticed right off the bat:

  • I was much more aware of my core during Kick.
  • My kicks and jabs were stronger and more grounded because my core was held firm.
  • My ab curl during Core Fusion: Body Sculpt? Well it sure wasn’t perfect but it was much-improved!

And this just one day into the official start of my Core Fusion challenge – but a couple of weeks after I first (re)introduced Core Fusion back into my workout regime after far too much time spent away from it.

I’m totally impressed already with the improvements I’m seeing and cannot even imagine what the rest of this week will bring.

I may have a problem though – where will I fit all this Core Fusion action once STS starts again and I can run again?? A problem for another day I suppose (and a good one, at that!).

In other Core Fusion news – I had a total fitness geek-out moment today when Fred DeVito, co-creator of Core Fusion and founding member of Exhale Spa – not only started following me on twitter (before I followed him, no less) but he tweeted out to me, giving a shout-out to my blog and my Core Fusion Challenge! For your viewing pleasure:

A #30 day challenge student using #core fusion dvd’s to reshape her body + strengthen her core! I am here 4 U, baby! http://bit.ly/cpni3l

YES. That was his last tweet and it was to ME! AND after that, we DM’d back and forth a few times where I soon learned that he’d be heading to the Boston Exhale Spa in December to teach a few classes. He invited me to join, shall I call that a personal invite or what?? Of course, I’m definitely SO there!!

Anyway, my geeky fitness gal story ‘o the day. Hope you enjoyed it. And for the record, let’s call that my #TheLittleThings of the day, too. A two for one, what could be better, right? And yes, I’m on a total endorphin high since I just finished working out and feel like I’m typing this post a mile a minute. Don’t mind me. 😉


In other news, I had a chance to see my sister and my super-duper-most-adorable-niece-on-the-planet on Sunday and LOVED every minute of it. I don’t think it fully hit me just how much I missed her until I saw her, got to snuggle with her, cheek-to-cheek and kiss her soft little head.

I even admitted to my dad, after seeing Scott with Isabel in the other room, rocking her to sleep (he’s like the “baby whisperer” I swear) that “I was so screwed” now that Isabel has both Scott and I smitten beyond belief. We were both on the no-kids-just-cats bandwagon forever…and well, now, we’re on the “welllll…maybeeee….someday” bandwagon. Dammit! 😉

Confessions of a fitness blogger

I confess.

Not only do I not know how to swim, but…

I hate working my abs.

I hate stretching or anything to do with yoga-like moves.

I get bored and have no patience (which probably has a lot do with my go, go, go mentality and my severe lack of flexibility, ha!).

But – one of my goals this year was to build a stronger core.

So far, I’m doing ok, but not great at meeting that goal.

Plus – I just finished the first mesocycle of STS and the program calls for an “active recovery” week which means no weight training, mainly stretching, cardio, and, well – rest. (let’s not even get me going on how much I hate to take rest days *gasp*).

So what’s a girl to do, when:

  • Cardio options are limited given bum knee issues
  • I can’t weight train this week (or shouldn’t for maximium results with the next phase of STS which is all about building muscle definition – hypertrophy)
  • And, I need to focus on my core, desperately.

Well, it’s time for a self-imposed Core Fusion challenge. This week coming up I am going to do mostly just Core Fusion workouts at home mixed with a couple of Ride classes and a Kick class.

And that’s it.

I envision my schedule looking something like this:

Sunday – likely a rest day or Core Fusion

Monday – Core Fusion (Body Sculpt)

Tuesday – Core Fusion (Pilates Abs)

Wednesday – Ride

Thursday – Core Fusion (Body Sculpt) and Kick after work

Friday – Core Fusion (Pilates Abs)

Saturday – cardio TBD (seriously hoping I can run by then)

Sounds pretty good, right? I’m trying to tell myself that it’ll be fantastic but I know (based on this morning’s Core Fusion workout) that I will have bouts of frustration because I can’t hold the ab curl moves long enough or because I seriously miss runner’s high (and STS for that matter). But, I’m sticking to my guns and seeing how this pans out.

Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll confess that I now love to work my abs.

Hey, it could happen. 😉


#TheLittleThings – today, I am thrilled to see the sun shining and to hear that the weather forecast for this weekend includes milder weather. We’ve had a bout of dreary, dark, cold weather this past week so the sheer thought of sunshine on my face makes me smile. Truly a little thing, but makes a world of a difference on my mood. (remind me again why I live in New England??)

Perceptions and aspirations


You guys totally impressed me with your responses to my last post where I posed the following question:

“If you could describe yourself with three words, what would they be?”

I then posed the follow-on question:

“Do they describe who you are today, or who you aspire to be?”

And from the sounds of your responses, you are who you want to be today but it’s also who you’ve aspired to be.

I’d agree with that, personally.

I feel proud of who I am – I feel comfortable in my own skin, I feel confident, happy and centered.

Ask me that a few years ago – if I felt I was where I was meant to be or had grander aspirations, and I’d probably say I wasn’t quite there yet.

I think that partly has to do with who I’ve emerged as in the last few years, really being able to “own it,” (let’s just call that “maturity” too, vs. age, ha!) but also has to do with changing my own self-perceptions as well. Perceptions vs. reality – now that’s a nuance in and of itself, right?  I’ve got to say, though, a lot of those self-perception changes have come from blogging for me – I’ve learned so much about myself just by using this blog for jotting down whatever is going on in my head, just letting those words come as they may. And it’s been hugely eye-opening for me.

It’s also been my own personal motivation machine, this blog. I’ve challenged myself in so many more ways this past year than I probably would have otherwise – yes, I’m a girl who loves a good challenge, but I don’t know if I”d go out on a limb as much as I’ve done this past year if this here blog wasn’t keeping me accountable. 😉

This gets me to my next point…aspirations.

I aspired to be a Kick instructor.

I aspired to be a half marathoner.

I aspire to be strong, fit, healthy, and balanced.

Done, done, and done.

I’ve been looking for the what’s next and well, my sister pretty much settled it for me. While I DO still want to do another half marathon next year (yes, I’m putting this down in writing for all to see), I will also join my sister in learning to swim and in completing a triathalon next year.


Now it’s real.

I better get moving…er, swimming??


#TheLittleThings – let’s not forget, those, right? I’m thankful for a super-cute outfit I’m wearing today (black wrap dress, tights and naughty monkey heels)  that’s put a little extra spring in my step and even got me a compliment in the kitchen while making my oatmeal at the office. And you’ll all be pleased to know that I accepted the compliment rather than brushing it off like I”m prone to doing. 😉