Archive for November 2014

#Microblog Mondays - A case of the 'Mondays'

Monday, November 24, 2014

#Microblog Mondays?  Read more about it here!

Glass is half-empty today...wah wah wah...Monday morning rant ensuing... 
I was up most of the night with a sick child (2nd night in a row).  Poor baby B has a bad cold and a fever.  He is staying home with Daddy today.  It will be nothing short of a miracle if we are all healthy for travel this holiday weekend.

It is pouring rain and my umbrella is broken.

I dropped my lunch and smashed my banana trying to juggle 2 bags, a coffee, an umbrella, and a security badge.

I have a hideous headache.

Work is sucking the life out of me.  Seriously.  Work.  You.  Can.  Shove.  It.
A co-worker of mine keeps taking candy from my candy dish to put into hers even though I have politely asked her twice NOT to do that anymore.  WTF?!
To try to better my shitastic morning...

Some 'Ladies and Gentlemen, The Best of George Michael' (yes, I'm a cheese-ball).
And this trio:
 Come on me out here.

Happy Monday everyone!

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#Microblog Mondays - The MuTu System (for diastasis recti repair)

Monday, November 17, 2014

#Microblog Mondays?  Read more about it here!

Back in June, I bought the MuTu system in an effort to try to further self-repair my broken belly.  Since I don't really need help with the weight-loss and diet portion of things, I opted for the Focus Program instead of the 12 week one.  
Very gung-ho, I started it right around the time that I was ramping up my marathon training and you can probably connect the dots that I didn't get very far.  One only has so much time to spend on working out when they have a young child.  So yeah, I quit after a week.  I vowed to return after marathon training.
Here I am; my marathon is complete.  My diastasis recti still bothers me and I have heard nothing but good things about the MuTu System.  I'll try to check in regularly on this and will try to keep up with it.  Cross your fingers that I can make some improvements here.  Oh yeah and stick with it this time.   

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Back to body image (read at your own risk)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Maybe it is because the marathon is over and I have a large amount of time that has been freed up due to the lack of training, which has given me more time to think. As fast as my negative body image went away, it decided to make a return with an evil vengeance.

My sister and I had a conversation a few weeks back about our biggest insecurities and issues. One of my biggest is my body, which as you all know by now, was exacerbated by the number that my pregnancy did on it. No matter what anyone tells me, I will always feel inferior. It seems that no matter how hard I work out, I still can't achieve the body aesthetics that I think "look good".

I have always been a perfectionist. I am not sure exactly where it started. Many people will argue that first-born children tend to be more "Type A". I would have to agree with this. As a child (just ask my mom!), I was always the best behaved, super-organized, and most responsible child of the bunch. I started ballet classes at a very early age and was taught that discipline and structure were two of the most important keys to success in life. I remember my dance teacher inspecting our lunches as we waited between classes or rehearsals. She would throw out food that she thought was going to make us fat even though I weighed under 100 lbs until I was a junior in high school, I felt like I had to adhere to those strict standards of eating throughout my teenage years. Getting into running junior/senior year of high-school kept me rail thin, or maybe it was the combination of being cross-country captain, track captain, school VP, school leadership member, honor society member, dance team captain, and the prom queen. I didn't really have any time to eat or obsess over my body. It just was what it was, but I was fine with it. I NEVER "partied" or got into trouble even though I was friendly and well-liked by most of the people at school including the most popular and the least popular.

Once I got to college, I did what you might refer to as rebel against my "miss perfect" lifestyle. I drank very heavily, ate total crap (and lots of it), didn't exercise, hooked up with random guys, and started getting bad grades because I either didn't go to class or I fell asleep during it. As a result, I gained a lot of weight freshman year. So much weight, if fact, that if you were to look at the picture on my college ID and a look at a picture of my taken last week, you would swear that it was not the same person. When I started dating my husband, I had settled down a bit and lost weight and although I wasn't the specimen of fitness, I had youth on my side.

In my mid-late 20s I started running a lot more and got into racing, marathoning, and healthy eating. My husband and I went to the gym almost every day of the week...together. He would go lift weights and I would do some cardio and light-weights. I would eat bags of veggies for lunch and cut-out all harmful fats and sweeteners. Looking back on pictures of myself during that time now, I think I looked really great. The best in my whole life, actually. Muscular, but lean. I remember a high school classmate commenting on a FB picture that I had posted and him saying how great I looked at that time. I ate that up, but deep down I didn't necessarily believe him. I could always look a little better.

Enter the world of miscarriage and infertility. Thinking that we would pop out a baby by the age of 30 due to our super-healthy-lifestyles turned out to be a total mind f*ck.  I gained weight, lost muscle, lost pride and self-respect while trying to have a child.  I started to really loathe my body in a way that went much deeper than its outside appearance.  I can remember the absolute darkest day of my life.  I had just gotten home after finding out that I was losing my 3rd pregnancy.  I called my mom hysterically crying telling her that I wanted to die.  It was hard to get words out to express everything, but I know that she was incredibly concerned.  I was so angry with my body.  I remember thinking that I would so much rather be dead than have to deal with this again.  I got into bed and put the covers over my head and wished so hard that I would not wake up.  That was the absolute worst and lowest day of my life.  I had never hated my body more.

Thinking that finally having a baby would fix all of my body-hating issues has proved to be untrue.  While my body finally decided to allow a child to grow successfully, it was not without lots of permanent "bruises" and battle scars.  I will never be able to get back to my 20-something body because, no matter how hard I try, I have imperfections that either can't be fixed at all or can only be fixed with expensive "cosmetic" surgery.  I am constantly reminded of what I won't have again when I am bombarded with images of the super-fit (and young or gifted in the gene department) women on a regular basis. 

Last weekend was the perfect storm of body-hating resurgence.  A huge "party" at my husband's CrossFit gym in which several (as my husband refers to them as) CrossFit pin-up ladies were in attendance (Google if you are interested in what this means).  They were all scantily clad in sports bras and almost see-through spandex booty shorts, sporting golden tans, washboard abs, doing squats and hand-stand pushups while all of the guys, including my husband, and all the girls for that matter, had to clean up the drool that landed on the floor beneath them.  My MIL, who came at my husband's urging, loudly proclaimed that all of those women were "gross and manly" and she would "never want to look like them".  Even though several people around us gave her the stink-eye, she got a few extra points in my book.  One of the pin-ups, who I found out was recently married, was shamelessly flirting with several guys.  Other married guys were flirting with other ladies that were in attendance.  The whole thing made me so uncomfortable.  I could not get out of there fast enough, not to mention I stuck out like a super modest sore thumb wearing long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

Why am I comparing myself to these women that I wouldn't even really want to look like?  Maybe it is because I know that my husband thinks they are hot and I feel like I don't even come close to looking like them.  Maybe it is because I feel so self-conscious when naked and don't enjoy having sex like I could be because I feel terrible about the way my body looks.  I feel like they look so perfect and so they must have perfect (sex) lives, which I know deep-down isn't true, but I still can't shake the negative thoughts and the idea that things must be perfect for them because they look perfect.

Once again, another evening was corrupted with a heated discussion about CrossFit and how much I hate it last night.  The time commitment, the obsession, the overwhelming amount of super-fit 20 something women that work out 24/7 and put their bodies and looks above (seemingly) anything else in life that seem to want to wreck good homes.

I stopped therapy in the summer because it wasn't helping.  Maybe the therapist wasn't for me.  I'm not sure.  The thing is, I know what the issue is.  It is deep-rooted insecurity of my whole self with my body image being one of the top contributors.  I always feel like I am somehow not good enough.  I am not pretty enough or hot enough and somewhere deep down I worry that my husband might come to realize this someday and leave me because of it.  What I fail to factor into this scenario is the fact that my husband (obviously) married me for more than my physical self because there is so much more to life that how you look.  When we die, our bodies stay here and decompose.  No one is going to be stunningly gorgeous or having amazing washboard abs that guys fawn over when they turn 80 years old.  I mean come on, that is reality.  What will endure until death is personality, wit, humor, etc.  I just need to keep reminding myself of this when I start to get into that loop of negative self-talk.  I need to build up my self-esteem that my years dealing with body-betrayal took away from me.    After all, could one of those pin-ups run a difficult marathon in 3.5 hours with 30 mph head winds after a broken nights sleep (nursing an 18 month old)?  My body may not be perfect ever, but it can surely rise to the call of duty when it has to.           

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NYC Marathon Recap

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Are you ready to hear all about my NYC Marathon experience?  If you continue reading this, you will get to do just that and will probably learn more than you ever wanted to about it!

First off, let me explain how difficult it was actually getting to NYC for the marathon.  Period.  No, I am not talking about my car dying, or traffic, or getting lost.  In the week leading up to the marathon it seemed like everything that could go wrong did.


  • As B and I attempted to go up and get ready for bed, he somehow managed to fall down 3 wooden steps and hit his head.
  • I panicked, called 911, and the first responders showed up.  
  • Long story short we ended up in the ER for most of the night.  Luckily he checked out ok in the end, but it wasn't without a ton of worry on the part of my husband and me. 
  • Got a call from my mom letting me know that my Aunt had passed away.  She was old and had been sick with cancer for sometime, but it did not make things easier to take.  She always sent me a card on my birthday EVERY single year of my life with $5.  So incredibly sad.  
  • Got a mid-day call from daycare telling me that B was throwing up, but with no fever or other symptoms.  Immediately I thought...concussion.  
  • Left work immediately and took him to the doctor.  He checked out ok, neurologically, though.  They told me that he might be coming down with something.
  • Got an email from daycare saying that a child was diagnosed with Coxsackie...again.  Uh oh.
  • Had to keep B out of daycare (24 hours after throwing up) and fully expected to be dealing with HFM again, but luckily he never threw up again and actually behaved quite normally all day.  PHEW! 
  • I didn't get much work (or packing) done though since I had to watch him.

So that brings us to the actual marathon weekend.  I'm going to recount as much as I can so read at your own risk!

  • Saturday morning, my Sister and BIL met us at the hotel and took the baby for an outing while my husband and I jogged to the marathon expo and got my number.  It was about a 4  mile run, round-trip, and it was raining pretty hard the whole time.  The expo at the Javits Center was insanity.  It was so huge, but very well organized.  I was able to get in, get my number, get my shirt, and then walk around to the different vendors before heading back to meet up with my Sister and BIL to grab some lunch.  I had to be careful not to eat anything that might upset my stomach so I stuck with an egg-white omelet with herbs (ok...I snuck a few fries), which was a safe and tasty bet. 
  • Saturday afternoon, we got back to the hotel and put the baby down for a nap.  Since there was really nothing that we could do while he was napping, we took a nap, too.  First nap I have had in a while and it was quite nice!  After the nap, I worked on decorating my race shirt with my name and laying out all of my stuff for the next morning. 
  • Saturday night, my husband ordered me an awesome half of a roasted chicken with sauteed veggies and roasted potatoes for dinner.  It was a perfect race night meal.  After eating (and getting the baby to sleep), I ordered a 4:30 AM coffee delivery, set my alarm for 4:25 AM and called it a night.  Thankfully I got an "extra" hour of sleep with the time change and B only woke up once.
  • I woke up bright and early and started my pre-race routine.  The coffee was delivered right on schedule, which really helped to get me going.
  • I wore: a long sleeve Lulu shirt, w/ a Lulu bra & tank underneath, my black Lulu shorts (can you tell I'm obsessed with Lulu?!), Features socks, Zensah compression sleeves, my Nike Lunar Glides, cheapo black gloves, headband, RayBans, my Garmin, my homemade pace band for a 3:24 marathon (haha), a "throw away" fleece, and a "throw away" pair of sweats.
  • In a bag I brought: extra "throw away" sneaks to wear in case it was muddy, chapstick, water bottle w/ Coco Hydro in it, running "fanny pack", 2 packs of Annie's fruit snacks, a banana, baggie of cereal, applesauce, BodyGlide, 3 trash bags, hand warmers (x2 packs), extra toilet paper, an extra water, $60, credit card, ID, and my husband's phone (since I have the iPhone 6 plus and it is HUGE).
  • I headed over to the NYC Public Library to catch the 6 AM bus to Staten Island.  
  • Security was pretty tight, but fairly well organized.  They had police and volunteers checking bibs before you could get into the bus corral, again in line for the bus, and then again before you could get on the bus.
  • I felt like I was the only person from the US on the bus that I got on.  No one around me was speaking English!   
  • The bus ride over took almost an hour and about 40 minutes into it I realized I had to pee.  There was lots of traffic, even at that early hour.    
  • When the bus got to the "Athlete's Village" everyone filed off the bus and walked almost a mile to the village.  Security was even tighter.  We had to have our bibs checked and re-checked, had to go through metal detectors, and had to have our bags searched (and I think they also went through the detectors, as well).  
  • Of course, once I was in, I made a beeline for one of the hundreds of port-o-potties they had there.  
  • So I got to the village around 7 AM and my wave didn't start until 10:05 AM.  It was about 40 degrees, cloudy, and extremely windy.  Luckily I had brought trash bags and hand warmers with me.  I literally huddled for several hours in my trash bag along with thousands of others.  There was really no where to go to have the wind broken.  I sat next to a guy from Brazil for quite a while.  It was his first trip to the northern part of the US and, needless to say, he was freezing!
  • Waiting was so hard.  I was literally in denial that I was about to run a marathon.  My teeth were chattering and I just could not get warm.  It was a pretty miserable wait.
  • At around 9:30 AM they called wave 2 to get in line.  I made one last stop at the porto and then filed into the corral.  One of the most miserable things about the whole experience was taking off those "throw away" clothes!  
  • I pushed up to the very front of the corral and heard a few guys say that they were also in the wrong wave, meaning that they should have been in wave 1, so I felt like I wanted to stick with them.
  • They unhooked the corral gates and everyone pushed up to the starting line.  I was mid-wave 2, but tried to get as close as I could to the starting line once they took down the gates.
  • The gun went off and it was several minutes before I started actually running.  I sauntered over the starting line since most people around me were barely moving.  This was exactly my panic-scenario...not being able to run because the people ahead of me were too slow.  
  • Going across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was beautiful, but so windy.  I was also very focused on passing people to get to a place where I could just run straight ahead.  Even though I told myself I was NOT going to weave through people during the first 3 miles, I did.  People were stopping randomly on the bridge to take selfies or pics of others.  I get that people wanted to commemorate their experience with pictures, but at least they could have stepped to the side to do so!  I clocked my first mile at 8:28, which was much slower than my targeted pace of 7:46 so I really stepped it up for mile 2 and hit 7:06.  BIG MISTAKE!
  • My 5k split was 23:47, which was an average 7:39 pace and still way too fast.  For some reason I got this idea in my head that I could bank miles.  Ha.  No.  In case you were wondering, it doesn't work like that in a marathon.  Maybe a 5k, but not the marathon.  Silly me.
  • Running through Brooklyn was exciting because my sister was parked on the course around mile 7.  As soon as I got into Brooklyn I started looking for her.  She said she had a sign so I figured that I would be able to easily find her.  Nope!  There were way more spectators that I ever could have imagined.  It was incredible.  People were blasting music and several punk bands played.  It was so cool!  I had my name on my shirt and it was incredible how many people were cheering for me as a result.  I felt super special!  :)
  • My 10k split was 47:29, which was a 7:38 pace.  Way too fast.  I felt good though until mile 6.5 when I started to get familiar shooting pains up my right calf.  Sh*t, I thought.  Not good.  I guess this is what happens after huddling in a trash bag for 3 hours and then then trying to pass hundreds of people while going up-hill from a dead stop.  Oops.
  • When I got to 7 miles I started to slow down to look for my sister.  I could not find her.  I looked from miles 7-9 and did not see her.  I was kind of upset, especially since my calf was seriously hurting me and I was starting to favor my left leg.  Seeing her would have really made me perk up, but no dice, unfortunately.
  • I didn't realize that so much of Brooklyn would be up hill.  This bothered my calf a ton.  I stopped enjoying the surroundings and started thinking to myself. "If I quietly slink off the course and take a cab back to Manhattan, will anyone notice?"  Then I remembered that lots of my friends and family were tracking me in real-time.  So yeah, that might have confused them.  I kept on going.  At mile 10 I ate one of my packs of fruit snacks and that gave me a little pick-me-up.
  • I got to the 1/2 Marathon point at 1:41, which made my average pace 7:44.  I was definitely slowing down, but I was still on track to make my goal.  I was very worried though because both of my legs were starting to feel heavy.  Cardiovascularly speaking, I could have gone faster, but my legs were just not having it. 
  • Around mile 15/16 my Garmin decided to stop working.  This was right after I had gone across the Queensboro Bridge, which in my humble opinion, was the most difficult part of the race for me and where the wheels started to fall off.  It was so windy on that damn bridge.  The wind blew dirt, dust, leaves, and trash at us.  The hill (which is the upside of the bridge) seemed to go on forever.  I passed so many walkers and dejected runners, but I know that I slowed down, too.  I had no idea how much I had slowed down though because my GPS malfunctioned.  This really hit me hard in the moral department.
  • Running through the streets of Manhattan was cool, but the wind made it super challenging.  There were points where I felt like I wasn't even moving though.  The miles felt like they were getting farther and farther apart.  
  • By the time I got to 30k, my time was 2:26.  I had slowed to a pace of 7:49.  I had no idea how fast I was going because I was so far off my pace band at this point.  I made the decision then to just finish the best that I could.  My legs were feeling really bad and it was a struggle to move one foot in front of the other.
  • Running on 5th Avenue was pretty awesome.  There were so many cheering fans.  Even though I started to go into survival mode and stopped paying attention to the little things, I did see this, which made me chuckle:
  • Those last 5-6 miles, second to the Queensboro Bridge, were the most abysmal.  By the time I got to 40k, I was really slowing down.  I hit 3:19, which is an 8 minute pace.  My pace between 30k to 40k was about 8:30 per mile.  You could say that I hit the proverbial wall at this point.  I was pretty devastated, but continued soldiering on because I couldn't give up now.  So many people around me had also hit the wall, but harder than myself because the amount of walkers that I passed was astounding.   
  • Running though the park and seeing the mile 25 marker gave me a renewed spirit.  In my anger and sadness about slowing down so much, I had forgotten about my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  I tried doing the math in my head (which, I'll be honest was not exact and quite difficult) and figured out that I might still have a chance.  I picked up the pace as much as my lead heavy legs would let me.
  • The course was marked with the last 800 meters, then 400 meters, and so I tried to play mental games with myself to say that I could sprint that out with no problem.  I passed people left and right and had several near misses with people that would randomly stop or zig-zag in front of me.  
  • Then I saw the finish, in all its glory, and I "sprinted" across.  I don't remember what the clock said because it was running from the first wave and was ahead of me by quite a bit.  I was just so happy to be done.   
  • Walking through the finishers chute was a challenge.  I received my medal.  I got my finishers bag.  I got a Mylar blanket.  I shuffled, slowly, with all of the other marathon finishers through the park.  
  • It was at this point that I remembered that I had tracked myself on my husband's phone so I decided to take a look.  There is was (along with over 40 congratulatory text messages from family and friends).  My finishing time was 3:30, about an 8 minute average pace.  So far over my goal, but a solid Boston qualifier. 
  • I started crying because so many emotions hit me at once.  Happiness to have qualified for Boston (a life-long goal).  Sadness and anger to have come so short of my goal and what my coach thought I could do.  Pain because my legs had seized up and walking was so difficult.  Confusion as people tried to point me in the direction of the exit.
  • Getting out to the family reunion area seemed to take forever.  I just wanted to sit down with a cup of hot coffee and put my feet up.  I also cooled down very fast and started to get shivery.  I walked several blocks until they gave us a pretty sweet fleece poncho to keep us warm.
 The long walk...
  • I finally met up with my husband and the baby about an hour after my finish.  I had looked for them briefly during my last few beleaguered miles, but couldn't pick them out of the huge crowds of people that lined the streets.  I was SOOOOO happy to see them.  
  • We had to walk many, many, blocks back to our hotel because the roads were closed, no cabs were getting through, and there was no way I could walk down into the subway.
So there you have it.  I didn't quite hit all of my goals, but I hit some of them.  The race was harder than I thought and the conditions were difficult with the wind and all.  I heard somewhere that it was the slowest NYC Marathon since 1985.  That made me feel a little better.  I DID qualify for Boston and hope to run it is 2016 if I get accepted!

Thanks for all the congrats on my last post.  You all are great supporters!!  :)

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#Microblog Mondays - I did it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

#Microblog Mondays?  Read more about it here!


It was incredibly challenging due to the really high winds, but I finished the NYC marathon!  I have been slowly creating a post about it over the past week, but I have been so incredibly busy at work and at home that I haven't had time to finish it.  I'm glad it is over with because my body is tired and is welcoming the rest, but I feel like I have a huge hole in my life right now where I spent so much of the last 6 months!  No goals or new challenges right now, which I tend to thrive on.  In trying to come up with something over the weekend, I came up with one that may be impossible, but who knows...a sub-19 5k.  Stay tuned!   

I made the New York Times!!

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