August 2015 Monthly Goals

I feel like I say this every month, but time is just flying by!  I wish it would slow down so that I have more time to enjoy my summer break, and more time to get things done around the house in preparation for baby’s arrival later this year.  And of course, more time for fitness too.

I had three goals for July.  And while I succeeded in reaching two of them, I fell a bit short in reaching the third.

july 2015 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 75 miles.

Grade: B

Without counting the miles that I’ll log later today when I complete the Road Shark Virtual 5 Miler, my current mileage total for the month of July is 61.5 miles.  This isn’t what I wanted to accomplish, but given how busy July was when it came to my social calendar, and a couple of days when my pregnant body was screaming for extra rest, I’m not at all disappointed with the progress I did make in reaching my mileage goal.

2.  Continue to listen to my body.

Grade: A

This past month I once again successfully listened to my body when it told me that I was too tired to exercise.  There were also a couple of days when my feet were very swollen, likely due to the high heat and humidity, so putting compression socks on and putting my feet up became a higher priority then getting to the gym or getting outside for a run.

3.  Enjoy the month’s social activities.

Grade: A

As most of you are well aware, its been quite a busy month.  Between traveling to Seattle for one wedding, co-hosting a bridal weekend full of activities for another bride’s wedding, as well as other assorted activities, I had a lot going on.  And not once did I feel guilty about putting in extra energy and focus towards those activities and taking that energy and focus away from working out.  Life after all is all about balance.

August is going to be just as busy as July was, especially with it including more travel and the last weeks of my training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach.  Now, more than ever before in my pregnancy, will it be critical for me to focus on using my goals to also help keep my life in balance.

aug 2015 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 75 miles.

Since I fell shy of reaching my mileage goal last month, I’m going after it again this month.  With two double digit long runs scheduled for this month, I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to successfully reach this goal.

2.  Continue to listen to my body.

Like I mentioned last month, this goal will likely be part of my monthly goal setting until the end of my pregnancy.

3.  Weight train at least once a week.

Weight training is just as important as cardio is.  And although I’ve had to make some adjustments over the past several weeks as the baby has gotten bigger, my doctor emphasized at my appointment this past week that continuing to do some light weight training will help make pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery easier.

4.  Work out at least three times while on vacation.

Later this month, Preston and I will be headed to Florida for a week for our babymoon and gender reveal.  While we’re in Florida, I know that I’ll be cutting back on my regular exercise, but I want to still get a work out in on three different days while we’re there.

5.  Enjoy the month’s social activities.

Its going to be another busy month when it comes to our social calendar.  This weekend we’ll be celebrating our wedding anniversary, next weekend I’m in my friend Jen’s wedding, the following weekend we’ll be headed to New Jersey for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, and then only a couple of days later will we be headed to Florida for our babymoon.  Its going to be busy, and I refuse to let myself feel guilty for one minute about needing to make modifications to my exercise routine in order to be able to fully enjoy everything.  That includes a current plan to move my last long run for Rock ‘n’ Roll training to either a Friday or Monday.

QOTD: What are your goals for August?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Motivation, Training | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today I woke up in my parents’ house in Illinois, eager for what lied ahead of me that day.

Four years ago today I felt like a princess as I got dressed in my wedding dress and thought about walking down the aisle.

Four years ago today I sat around my parents’ kitchen table playing a game of Skip Bo with my bridesmaids as I eagerly awaited leaving for the church.

skip bo

Four years ago today I walked down the aisle with my dad.

Four years ago today I met my groom at the altar.

Four years ago today I married my best friend, and then danced the night away with him and just over 100 of our friends and family.

Why yes, every single person in the room joined us for a Conga Line.  It was awesome!

Why yes, every single person in the room joined us for a Conga Line. It was awesome!

Four years ago today I started on a wonderful journey with my husband, and never imagined where life would take us four years later.

Four years ago today I never imagined that today we’d be pregnant with our first child, eagerly awaiting his/her arrival.

I cannot wait to see what the coming year has in store for us.  Happy 4th Anniversary, Preston!

Posted in Miscellaneous | 45 Comments

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 12

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that Preston and I were in Seattle for 4.5 days.  We left early Thursday afternoon to drive to Philly to catch our evening flight to Seattle, and flew back to Philly yesterday.  After spending the evening with Preston’s family, we arrived back home just after midnight last night.  It was a bit of an exhausting trip, especially given that I’m 18 weeks pregnant, but I’m so glad that we were able to head to Seattle, the highlight of which was the wedding of two of my college friends Friday evening.

Preston and I at the wedding Friday evening

Preston and I at the wedding Friday evening

While in Seattle, we spent quite a bit of time catching up with my college friends, as well as doing some sightseeing.  My favorite area of the city was Pike Place Market.  I could have spent all day there checking out the farmers market shops and watching the flying fish.  It was such a beautiful place to visit!

Preston and I during our walking tour of Seattle

Preston and I during our walking tour of Seattle

We loved watching the flying fish at Pike Place Market

We loved watching the flying fish at Pike Place Market

Despite being out of town, I did still complete my long run on Sunday.  Preston and I enjoyed running along Elliott Bay during our 5.75 mile run, followed by an almost 1 mile cool down walk.  In addition to our long run, we spent quite a bit of time while in Seattle walking around the city.  Walking was our main form of transportation, which while exhausting was certainly the best way to see the city.

During our run along Elliott Bay

During our run along Elliott Bay

The past two weeks haven’t been ideal in terms of my training.  Between a busy bridal weekend a week and a half ago for one friend’s wedding and traveling to Seattle this past week, my schedule has been anything but normal.  I look forward to getting back on track with my usual training for the remainder of this week.  Its hard to believe that there’s only 5.5 weeks left until Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach!

Mon 7/20 – Rest day

Tues 7/21 – Rest day

Wed 7/22 – 3.31 mile run, 0.44 mile cool down walk

Thurs 7/23 – Travel day

Fri 7/24 – 10 minutes on the elliptical, 2.00 mile run, 0.45 mile cool down walk, lots of walking around Seattle

Sat 7/25 – Lots of walking around Seattle

Sun 7/26 – 5.75 mile run, 0.94 mile cool down walk, lots of walking around Seattle

Total Weekly Mileage – 14.54 miles (0.61 miles more than week 11)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 176.06 miles

QOTD: How do you keep up with your training plan while traveling?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Running While Out of Town

I have always been a huge fan of traveling.  Whether its to the beach or a new to me city, I love exploring new places and enjoying all of the various cultures and scenes that this world has to offer.

This year alone, I’ve run in Cocoa Beach while there in March, and in rural Illinois in May the weekend of my sister’s college graduation.  I especially loved being able to start and finish a run back in March along the beach.  Since the beach is my happy place, I love any and every activity that has to do with the beach.

Preston and I on the beach in Cocoa Beach after finishing a morning run

Preston and I on the beach in Cocoa Beach after finishing a morning run

Tomorrow, Preston and I will be headed to Seattle for a long weekend.  The highlight of our trip will be the wedding of two of my college friends Friday evening.  Since neither Preston nor I have been to Seattle, we’re looking forward to a couple of days of sightseeing and exploring the city.  And of course, we’ll both be packing our running shoes so that we can run in Seattle.

Since we’re staying downtown, I’m looking forward to heading to the waterfront along Elliott Bay and running along the Elliott Bay Trail.  According to Google Maps, our hotel is less than three quarters of a mile from the waterfront and trail, which fits perfectly with my planned long run for the weekend since I have 5-6 miles on tap.  This will allow us to run to the trail and waterfront and run a couple of miles along the trail before turning around to head back to our hotel.

And since its Seattle, we’ll also have the chance to run in much cooler and less humid weather.  That alone is something worth celebrating after the days of heat and humidity that we’ve had here in the DC area.  Hopefully that means I’ll arrive back at the hotel less drenched in sweat than I have been lately.

QOTD: When you’re out of town, do you stick to running on a hotel treadmill or do you explore the city you’re in during a run?

Posted in Travel | Tagged | 48 Comments

Weight Watchers Ice Cream Review

Disclaimer: As an Influenster influencer, I received vouchers for complimentary Weight Watchers Ice Cream bars.  I was not compensated financially.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Like most others, I have a sweet tooth that I like to satisfy.  However, the problem with most sweets is that they are highly caloric, and very high in sugar.  So when I received the opportunity to try out products from the Weight Watchers Ice Cream line, I was very excited to see how these products were different from other ice cream products.

Once I received my vouchers for Weight Watchers Ice Cream, I headed straight to the grocery store.  I was excited to see the variety of flavors that Weight Watchers has created, and the variety of taste buds that each of these flavors can appeal to.  With Preston’s input, we decided to try out the Strawberry Smoothie Frozen Yogurt Bars and the Cookies and Cream Bars.

The selection of Weight Watchers Ice Cream at my local grocery store

The selection of Weight Watchers Ice Cream at my local grocery store

Upon taking the bars home, I was very excited to see on the nutrition labels that both bars were low in calories, total fat, and sugar, at least when compared to other ice cream products.  With as hot and humid as this summer has been, I’ve been eager to eat my fair share of ice cream.  And let’s be honest, what pregnant woman doesn’t enjoy ice cream treats every now and then?  However, as I’ve been enjoying these bars, I haven’t once felt guilty about eating too many calories, particularly calories from fat.  And if you’re on a Weight Watchers plan, the strawberry bars are only 2 points per serving, while the cookies and cream bars are only 3 points per serving.

ice cream bars

Of the two bars, I especially enjoyed the Strawberry Smoothie Frozen Yogurt Bars.  I’m a huge fan of anything strawberry, and these bars definitely satisfied that taste bud.  Of the two, Preston enjoyed the Cookies and Cream Bars more, but he’s also more of a chocolate fan than I am.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with some ice cream without over indulging, I highly recommend checking out the Weight Watchers ice cream line.  Most major grocery stores carry them in their freezer sections.

QOTD: What is your favorite sweet tooth indulgence?

Posted in Food | Tagged , | 27 Comments

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 11

This past week can be summed up as long and exhausting, but super fun and exciting.  Although the beginning of the summer was on the quieter side in terms of social events for Preston and I, our social calendar for the second half of the summer is going to more than make up for it, and this past week was the start of all of the fun.  Having a busy calendar makes me very appreciative of the flexibility that 18 week half marathon training plans offer, especially when it comes to the scheduling of my long runs, since I barely had time to fit in a 4 mile long run this past weekend.

The excitement this past week centered around my friend Jen’s bridal weekend.  I spent a couple of afternoons after work last week running bridal shower related errands (I co-hosted her shower with two of the other bridesmaids), and then spent Saturday morning and early afternoon decorating and food prepping before the 3pm shower.  Since most of Jen’s bridesmaids are from out of town, we  decided it would be best to have her bridal shower and bachelorette party in the same weekend, so following the shower we headed downtown for an evening and night of bachelorette festivities.  By the time I made it home at 1am, this pregnant lady was beyond exhausted!

Highlights from Jen's Bridal Weekend. She's going to make an absolutely gorgeous bride at her wedding in two and a half weeks!

Highlights from Jen’s Bridal Weekend. She’s going to make an absolutely gorgeous bride at her wedding in two and a half weeks!

But the bridal weekend festivities didn’t stop there.  Yesterday we had a bridal brunch downtown.  After finally saying goodbye to everybody, I was finally home for the weekend just before 5pm.  I was exhausted, my feet hurt from wearing heels for as long as I did on Saturday, and I wanted to do nothing more than sit on the couch with my feet up.  I allowed myself to do so for about an hour before I finally dragged myself to the gym to complete my long run.  Not only was it a long weekend, but we were also under a heat advisory all weekend long due to temps that hit close to 100 degrees, and a feel like temperature much higher than that.  Thankfully, the A/C at the gym was working well, and I didn’t overheat during my 4 mile run yesterday.

4 miles

I know that this past week was just the start of a our busy social calendar, and that there will be lots of temptation to want to skip my planned runs.  I just need to keep reminding myself that getting my runs in, even if at a slightly slower pace or a slightly shorter distance, is better than skipping my runs altogether.

Mon 7/13 – Rest day

Tues 7/14 – 3.10 mile run on the treadmill, 0.37 mile cool down walk, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, shoulders

Wed 7/15 – 2.19 mile walk with Riley

Thurs 7/16 – 3.25 mile run, 0.51 mile cool down walk

Fri 7/17 – Rest day

Sat 7/18 – “Rest day” aka Bridal Weekend Day 1

Sun 7/19 – 4.00 mile run on the treadmill, 0.51 mile cool down walk

Total Weekly Mileage – 13.93 miles (6.62 miles less than week 10)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 161.52 miles

QOTD: How do you balance a busy social schedule with your training plan?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Friday Five – Favorite Races and Medals

Its always fun to sit in our office and look up at our medal display, which we put together last fall.  As I look at our medal display, I think back on many wonderful memories of incredible achievements at past races.  My medals remind of the races that I earned them at, as well as a variety of different memories and feelings associated with each of them.  Some of my favorite races and medals include:

1.  2015 Manassas Runway 10k

manassas10k

I ran this race at 5.5 weeks pregnant.  Despite having PRed the day before at the Jaguar 5k, I also PRed while running on the runway.  Its incredible that I was able to accomplish as much in one weekend as I did while so early in my pregnancy.

2.  2014 Christmas Town Dash 8k

CTD finish

This race was so much fun for so many reasons.  Not only was it a Christmas themed race, but I got to run through Busch Gardens Williamsburg and see the park decked out in Christmas decor.  It was a great way to kick off our Christmas celebrations last year.

3.  2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

post rnrvb

This race combined some of my favorite things: summer, the beach, and of course running.  Although it was very hot and humid the morning of this race, the weather didn’t put a damper on my spirit as I pushed myself towards a then PR.  And there was no greater way to celebrate than with my feet in the sand.  I can’t wait to run this race again in just seven weeks!

4.  2015 Shamrock Half Marathon

post shamrock half

This was a race that after getting into a major car accident less than two months prior to race day I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to run.  Little did I know that perseverance and hard work would pay off, and that despite physical pain that I endured during the race I was still able to PR on race day.  Shamrock, and the entire Dolphin Challenge, was an experience that I’ll never forget.

5.  2014 Disney World Half Marathon

IMG_1391

You didn’t think that I would leave my first half marathon off of my top five list, did you?  Words cannot describe the emotions that I felt after I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon.  I’m beyond thankful that Preston ran the race with me, as it made it that much more meaningful to cross the finish line holding his hand.  I cannot wait to run another race at the place where I ran my first half marathon.

QOTD: What is your favorite race medal?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , , | 54 Comments

For Two Fitness Racerback Tank Review

Disclosure: As a For Two Fitness® Ambassador, I received the Racerback Tank in Royalty in exchange for my honest review.  As always, all opinions are my own.

The entire time that Preston and I were trying to get pregnant, one thing not far from my mind was the desire to stay active during my pregnancy.  Thankfully, once we found out that we were pregnant, my doctors gave me the go ahead to continue running and working out.  As I started to think about how I’d dress my pregnant body on a daily basis, I also contemplated what I’d wear while working out.

That’s where For Two Fitness® entered the picture.  I ordered my first tank top only a couple of weeks after finding out about the baby, well before my regular workout clothes became tight and uncomfortable.  From day one of wearing the For Two Fitness® tops, I’ve felt well covered and very comfortable while running and performing other fitness activities.

Feeling great after a run in my For Two Fitness Racerback Tank in Royalty

Feeling great after a run in my For Two Fitness Racerback Tank in Royalty

There are so many things that I love about the For Two Fitness® Racerback Tanks, including:

  • They’re lightweight and made of very soft fabric
  • They’re made of breathable CoreFX fabric
  • They’re long enough to cover my growing bump, but not so long that I feel like I’m wearing a bag
  • They’re form fitting to my bump (when my regular form fitting work out tops started to become uncomfortable I wore looser workout tops, which after becoming drenched in sweat became heavy and uncomfortable)
  • They’re great for both indoor and outdoor workouts – I’ve worn them both at the gym as well as during outdoor runs
  • By following the recommended care instructions (machine wash cold and line dry) the tanks have maintained their size, shape, and color
  • I feel great when wearing the tanks
  • Unlike most other maternity clothing, I’ve found the For Two Fitness® line to be comparable in price to other athletic apparel companies
I've been loving my For Two Fitness Racerback Tanks!

I’ve been loving my For Two Fitness Racerback Tanks!

Interested in trying out For Two Fitness® for yourself?  My For Two Fitness® 30% off discount code is valid until this Saturday, July 18th.  Be sure to use code DANCING2RUNNING at checkout.

QOTD: What do you look for when shopping for fitness apparel?

Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Shrimp and Chorizo Kabobs Recipe

For me, kabobs is one of those recipes that I can’t imagine going an entire summer without making.  There’s so many different variations of kabobs that can be made, and one of the great things about kabobs is how easy it is to meet a variety of taste buds for an entire group of people simply by varying the protein and/or vegetables placed onto the kabob skewers.

Preston and I often make steak kabobs, but last week decided to mix things up after I saw an ad in a magazine featuring chorizo on kabob skewers.  This led to Preston and I contemplating how to mix things up in the kitchen, and the idea for Shrimp and Chorizo Kabobs was born.

kabobs

Ingredients:

15-20 large shrimp
12 oz chorizo
1 large zucchini
1 large red pepper
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbl dried basil
1 tbl dried oregano
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut zucchini into slices and red pepper into chunks (they need to be large enough to stay on a kabob skewer).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, place the zucchini slices, red pepper chunks, garlic, basil, and oregano.  Coat vegetables with olive oil (approximately 3 tablespoons).  Add sea salt and pepper per taste preferences.  Mix well, set aside, and let marinate for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better).
  3. Slice the chorizo into slices.
  4. Peel the shrimp if it hasn’t already been peeled.  In a bowl mix the shrimp with olive oil (enough to coat, approximately 2 tablespoons) and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place chorizo, shrimp, and vegetables onto skewer sticks.
  6. Cook kabobs on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.
  7. Serve kabobs alongside your favorite starch.  I served them with brown rice.

QOTD: What is your favorite combination of protein and vegetables to make kabobs with?

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Who Wants to Be a Road Shark?

Disclaimer: As a Gone for a Run Ambassador, I received a complimentary virtual race entry.  I am not being compensated financially.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Just when you thought the Gone for a Run Virtual Race Series couldn’t get any more fun, it does!  The next race in their race series, the Road Shark Run Virtual 5 Mile Race, is being held from July 31st-August 2nd.  The weekend of this race could not be more perfect in the timing, as that weekend is when I plan to run my next, and second to last, double digit long run as part of my Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon training.  Running a virtual race for five miles of my run sounds like a fun way to help break up the miles!

I love running races as a part of my training, including when I ran the All 4 Run Virtual 4 Mile Race earlier this month

I love running races as a part of my training, including when I ran the All 4 Run Virtual 4 Mile Race earlier this month

When I envision a runner as a road shark, I picture somebody who is fearless and ready to attack any circumstances that come their way, much like how a shark is often on alert and ready to attack in the water.  If the summer weather in your neck of the woods has been anything like it has been where I live, its been hot, muggy, very rainy, and just downright sticky.  I’m ready for the long days of summer sunshine to make a reappearance, and maybe if I attack the roads running like a shark I can help Mother Nature bring back the summer weather that I’m after.

So who wants to join me as a road shark in two and a half weeks, taking on the road to attack a five mile race?  As always, the Gone for a Run swag doesn’t disappoint.  For the $32 registration fee, you’ll receive a gender specific tee, race bib, magnet, and the always coveted race medal.  In order to receive your race packet in time for race weekend, be sure to register no later than July 21st.

Photo Credit: Gone for a Run

Photo Credit: Gone for a Run

What are you waiting for?  Head over to Gone for a Run’s website and register now!  And great news: use code SHARKDANCING to receive free USPS standard shipping for your race packet.  But don’t wait, as this code for free shipping expires on Friday, July 17th.

QOTD: If you were planning a virtual race, what would the theme of the race be?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , | 27 Comments