She’s Here…+3rd Trimester Workouts I’m currently Loving

I’m excited to announce the arrival of our new treadmill! ūüėČ
treadmillSince we purchased our house a few years ago, hubs and I have entertained the idea of getting a treadmill. We just weren’t sure of where to put it. We have three bedrooms upstairs, and while 1 sat empty for awhile, we knew sooner or later another babe would fill the space. Larry was worried that if we put it in our basement, he wouldn’t be able to use it¬†because he would hit his head on the ceiling. We decided, last weekend, to take that risk.
Instead of purchasing one from craigslist, we opted for a brand new one. I know this machine will be put to great use so I wanted to make sure we had something of great quality that would last us without zero problems. We purchased it from 2nd Wind and are very happy so far with the customer service and sale. They also delivered it and assembled it. I came home from work yesterday and there she was just sitting there, waiting to be used. 2nd Wind will also come out and service it if something goes wrong.
Buying the treadmill forced me to focus on decorating our rec room. Initially, we thought the space would be great for a bar. But then came the Princess Sofia tent, the Frozen ball pit, and a mini¬†trampoline and soon it became Madelyn’s play place. Larry’s dreams of¬†“The Bear Den” will have to be placed on hold…indefinitely ūüôā¬†Instead, I finally displayed the 2013 Chicago Marathon poster which depicts the Chicago lakefront running path-my favorite place to run. Around it, I have saved bibs from special races (PRs, first 5k/half marathon¬†after baby, etc). Before I hijacked Larry’s “mancave” I made sure he was okay with it and he was. So this is what we have so far:
IMG_4186My second favorite room in our house.
I cannot wait to actually use it for RUNNING! I was able to manage a slow jog for about 2 minutes yesterday and it actually felt pretty good, but I didn’t want to press my luck since it’s been many weeks since I last ran. So instead, I did a walking hill workout while watching Usain Bolt on Ellen. How crazy is it that he was on Ellen the same day our treadmill arrived?! After my hill workout, I did some barre-like glute and thigh work and then headed upstairs for dinner.
My workouts these past few weeks have slowed down dramatically while my motivation has ramped up. (Hello Ragnar Relay 2016!!!)
Things that work for me in the 3rd Trimester
  • Walking! Something that felt uncomfortable for me the majority of my 2nd trimester finally feels okay. I’ve been doing a lot of walking along the lakefront-trying to enjoy the weather while I still can. A have a few different 3 mile routes that I tend to stick to.
  • Riding my bike. I’ve been told that pregnant women shouldn’t ride their bikes because of loss of balance or something. I’m happy to say that my balance to still pretty great and bike riding is still working for me.
  • Elliptical. Hello¬†early 2000’s it’s nice to see you again. I can’t remember the last time I used to¬†the elliptical at the gym before¬†this pregnancy. But the elliptical reminds¬†me of the early days of college when I’d head to the Klotsche¬†center in my fold over cotton yoga pants and t-shirt with a Cosmo magazine in hand. My workout gear has slightly improved and I’ve since switched up the literature-making it a more enjoyable experience.
  • Spin class. My go-to cardio these days. As my belly grows and burpees and jumping around¬†are getting slightly more challenging, spin class has become my replacement when I want a good sweaty workout without the high impact.
  • Barre.¬†Always and forever. The only part I ever have to modify are abs and positions when the instructor has us on our bellies. When I can’t¬†get to a class, I¬†rotate through DVDs at home. My favorite substitute to an actual class are Physique57. They’re challenging, upbeat, fast paced and not¬†super cheesy.

My goal in this pregnancy was to stay as active as I possible could as long as it was safe.¬†I think I’ve done a good job of that. I still feel pretty good until I get to the end of the day and I have some¬†sciatic pain that I’m sure won’t go away now until I deliver, since we’re so close to the end. The only benefit of this is on demand massages from my husband. Maybe we can keep that tradition up post baby?! I’m hoping that staying active will help me come delivery day and to help me¬†bounce back a little quicker after the baby. And exercise while pregnant makes babies smarter…it’s¬†science!


Podcast Love

I first discovered Podcasts on my phone when I could no longer run and I was forced to walk {or waddle} while I was pregnant with Madelyn. I didn’t like listening to fast paced music while I was moving at turtle speed so I downloaded lots of pregnancy podcasts to prepare {and scare myself} for delivery.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Flashback…Woah belly!
After she graced us with her beautiful presence and I was back to running, it was back to listening to music and podcasts kind of fell away.  That was until the end last year.
I was out to dinner with a friend of mine when she started talking about podcasts, one in particular called Serial. I had no idea what she was talking about the time. It sounded intriguing but I kind of just brushed it off until I saw other people posting things on social media about it. I decided to check it out and immediate became HOOKED! And I got everyone around me addicted as well. I remember one Sunday morning my sister texting me and telling me she had laid in bed for hours just listening to it. Hastag lazysunday.
I was only behind a few episodes so I caught up quickly, each week waiting for a new episode to be released on Thursday. I listened to them in my car on the way work after I dropped Madelyn off at daycare (not child friendly). I would sit in my car in the parking lot once I got to work just to try and finish an episode.
After Serial ended (they’re coming out with a new season focusing on a new case), I went on a quest to add more podcasts to my collection. It was a nice change of pace for the morning commute. I listened to lots of them focusing on nutrition, running, parenting and relationships.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
1.¬†Serial. The podcast that started my addiction. The whole season tells one whole story-a true story about a murder. You hear from all the people involved and go over court records. It’s amazing.
2.¬†Balanced Bites.¬†Liz Wolfe¬†&¬†Diane Sanfilippo¬†discuss all things paleo. They talk about current events, places¬†that they’re going to be and go over Q & A session from their listeners.
3.¬† Marriage More. This is a Christian based podcast hosted by Jeff and Mandy Rose. They’ve been married for more than 10 years and they talk about complications in their marriage, love challenges to do with your significant other and ways to help better your relationships. It made me happy to hear that Larry and I aren’t alone in some of our marital disputes.
4. Another Mother Runner. How I did not¬†realize they had a podcast is beyond me since I’ve read both of their¬†books¬†and just purchased the¬†third, which I can’t wait to dive into!¬†Sarah and Dimity¬†interview guests and cover topics ranging from everything involving¬†nutrition to sports bras. I’d highly recommend this podcast to any female runner, not just those of the mother sort ūüėČ
Do you listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorites? I’m always looking for new and interesting ones to subscribe to.

Pumpkin Season!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! I just finished up week 14 of marathon training for Chicago and I’m well into week 15-PEAK WEEK! After this week is over, the mileage starts to decrease before the big day is here. I’m very excited and only a little bit nervous ūüėČ
Here’s how week 14 went down:
Monday: Barre Class
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core work
Wednesday: 9 miles @ 9:50. Had some Garmin issues along with rainy & windy weather, but I powered through and figured out what went wrong at the end.
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core & stretching
Friday: Barre class/stretch
Saturday: 18 miles @ 10:05. Played around with my pace for the marathon. Ended the last mile going uphill. Muy mal planning on my part. Weather was slightly cooler than what is normal for this time of year, but I refused to put away the shorts just yet.
photoSunday: Brunch with the family/rest day/took lots of naps and it was glorious.
On Sunday, I was feeling domestic. With last week’s cooler temps, I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up some baked goods. I had a counter full of zucchini and a cupboard full of canned pumpkin. Put the two together and I present to you, Paleo Pumpkin Zucchini Bread. It turned out so good (and made our house smell like Fall), that the whole loaf pan was gone with in two days. Oopsy whoopsy. I will be making another batch, experimenting with another type of almond flour. Maybe it will be done in time for a special house guest next weekend? ūüėČ ¬†I’d like to find an almond flour that works well in baked goods and doesn’t make my bread/muffins too “soggy”. It was good, but a little bit more “soggy” (as I hate the word moist!) than I would’ve liked. The pumpkin could’ve been the culprit too.

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup shredded & zucchini
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients (first 4) in a small bowl. Set aside
3. Shred unpeeled zucchini and blot with a paper towel to squeeze out excess moisture
4. Beat 3 eggs in a larger bowl. Place the remaining ingredients (except zucchini) in the bowl, then mix on medium for about 2 minutes until all ingredients are combined. Add the zucchini and beat again just enough to incorporate.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running, until all of the flour mixture has been mixed in.
6. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan. You can also make muffins.
7. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Question of the day: What is your favorite pumpkin flavored thing to eat/drink/make?¬†I also love pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting ūüôā My fave!

The Family that plays Together

Happy Packer Day!¬†Madelyn clearly knows what’s up.¬†


I hope everyone’s week is going well. One day closer to the weekend and to my little cousin’s wedding! I’m thrilled to watch her get married, and I can still remember when she was born…how’s that for feeling old?!¬†

Al & her fiance at our wedding

We definitely started our week off with a bang. On Monday, Madelyn spent some quality time with her great grandparents¬†and my mom, while hubs and I hopped on the Amtrak and ventured down to Chicago for the Cubs vs. Brewers game. I can’t remember the last time I was at Wrigley Field for a game, but it felt good to be back in familiar territory ūüôā¬†

belmont stop

When we got into the city, we ventured into Old Town and visited the Fleet Feet there. Of all the stores to visit in Chicago…clearly I have a problem. I think I love this store so much because it’s my first experience with running stores. I remember calling my mom after my first visit there and saying, “They just have so much stuff for running!” I also participated in a few of their fun runs during my Chicago days. As we left Fleet Feet, it started to pour. We didn’t really have an agenda until the game, so we kind of ducked out from the rain and then decided to head toward Wrigley.


We ate at Mo’s Cantina before heading to the game. The day turned out to be perfect. Great weather and an awesome date, what more could a girl ask for?¬†


After the game we met up with Kristine for a few drinks and before we knew it, it was time to catch the late train back to Milwaukee. But not before stopping for some Lou’s. Of all the Chicago style pizza the city has to offer, Lou Malnati’s is my absolute favorite. That crust tho! Unbelievably delicious. Hubs ordered our pizza to go because he didn’t think we’d have enough time to eat there. His plan was just to have us eat it at on the train. I had a better idea. Instead, we sat in the park near our old apartment, shared some pizza and talked about the old times. This is the same park where we took Oliver on his first walk¬†and where we had our engagement pictures taken. By far my favorite place in Chicago. ¬†

IMG_00671Today, I met my mom for lunch at Sven’s Cafe. I haven’t been here in a while, but I stuck with my usual. Mixed greens salad with goat cheese, chicken, walnuts, grapes and balsamic. It never fails me. I also had an Italian soda with pumpkin. It was good, but just a tad bit too sweet for me. My mom had the coconut Italian soda and that tasted much better. ¬†


I also decided that today would be my last day of work for the week. I have so much to get done before this weekend and I want to spend some time with Madelyn before she heads down to Chicago (for the first time ever without us!!!!) to spend time with her grandparents for the weekend. I know she will have a blast, it’s me that I’m concerned about ūüėȬ†

Tonight, I was really feeling a bike ride. The last two runs (the only runs this week!) I’ve had have not been the greatest. My legs have felt heavy and I’m left feeling defeated. I don’t know if it was the humidity or the fact that I ate like crap this weekend (or both) but I haven’t been on my A game. So I decided it would be best to give my leggies a little break and head out for a bike ride with my entourage in tow.¬†

IMG_00811It felt really good to work my legs but in a different way. We rode up to Leff’s Luckytown for some food before the Packer game, and then rode our bikes back. The best way to consume “not so healthy” food. I told hubs it felt great to work off the food we just ate as opposed to just sitting there and letting it sit in our stomachs.

Tomorrow, I have a barre class on the workout schedule and then taking the day to chase Madelyn around while trying to smuggle her with hugs & kisses. it’s funny, I’ve spent a whole month away from her so you’d think a weekend would be no problem, but it never gets easier.¬†

What’s on your workout agenda for the weekend? Any other fun plans?¬†I’m also headed to a marathon Q & A session at PRO this weekend! I’m thrilled for that!¬†

Rock N Sole 1/2 Marathon Recap & a PR

I hope everyone had a great week! ¬†I decided to take a break from my busy life and sit down and write a race recap. ¬†Last Saturday I ran my 6th {and best!}¬† half marathon.¬† A co-worker of mine and I have been “training” for the Rock n Sole Run in Milwaukee.¬† I use the term “training” loosely because¬†I didn’t really¬†stick to a plan this time around but I did make sure to get a few longer runs in there.¬†¬†The longest run I did was 10 miles and that was the week before our race.¬† I didn’t have any real expectations for this¬†race, given the winter we¬†had.¬† My goal was just to go, have fun and do the best¬†that I could.¬† ¬†RnS Half 2014This was my second year participating in the Rock n Sole Run.¬† Last year, I ran the quarter marathon.¬† The course was¬†very different this time around, but it was a major improvement.¬† We started in the Third Ward, ran south¬†toward Bay View, came up the Hoan Bridge from the south end, down Lincoln Memorial drive, up Lafayette hill, back around the Oak Leaf trail, back down the hill by UWM, south on Lincoln Memorial drive until the finish.¬† The course had a few serious hills but also had some nice declines where I was able to make up my time.¬† The Hoan bridge was by far the worst climb.¬† It was¬†an uphill climb for about a¬†mile, after¬†we made it over the bridge, I turned to Jen and¬†said the “worst part is over”.¬† She reminded me that we still had to run up Lafayette hill.¬† Although that one’s steep, it’s really short so in my mind I’d rather take the short and intense¬†hill over the¬†long uphill one.¬† I lost my running partner at the decline from the bridge.¬† I always use the momentum on hills to guide me down faster, whereas she keeps the same speed-something we already knew about our running styles going into this race.¬† We said from the beginning that we’d stay with each other as long as we can, but if¬†one gets ahead, it’s not a big deal.¬† The course¬†flattened out on Lincoln Memorial drive as we ran¬†past the¬†Calatrava and along the lake front.¬†¬†Even after the run up the bridge, my legs felt really good.¬† I looked down at my watched and saw that I was averaging 9:18 min/mile.¬† Something that I’ve¬†never done¬†for a half marathon.¬† I thought about slowing down because I didn’t want to¬†burn out but I was already 1/2 way through the race so I just kept with it.
RNS SplitsBefore I got to Lafayette¬†hill, I started to slow my pace because I knew what was coming (the awesome advantage of¬†being very familiar with the¬†course!).¬† As I ran up it, I shortened my stride and took my time.¬†¬†I felt my legs start to tighten up¬†and my¬†breathing became short.¬† I made it up that hill without having to stop and walk but at the top of it I told myself that I needed to¬†slow down my pace and get my breathing under control otherwise I was in a for a¬†tough finish. I slowed down for about a block or two, got my breathing under control and was¬†back at it for about¬†a 9:14 min mile.¬† As I was running on the Oak Leaf trail and I kept thinking about my running partner and how I wished we could’ve¬†kept pace with each other.¬† Just as I was about to head downhill back toward¬†Lincoln Memorial Drive, I felt a tap on my shoulder…it was Jen!¬† I was so¬†thrilled that she¬†caught¬†up to me!¬† As we were making our way downhill I told her to just let the momentum carry you down…like running downhill when we were kids!¬† It worked and she was able to keep up with me¬†for the rest of the race.¬†¬†I looked down at my watch and knew that I was right on pace for earning a PR.¬†¬†Shortly after mile 10 I spotted some port-o-johns.¬† I had been needing to use the restroom from about mile 4 and couldn’t hold out any longer.¬† I told Jen to just go ahead and that I would catch up to her.¬† I¬†finally caught up to her when we had a 1/2 mile left to go.¬†¬†I finished the race in 2:03:54, shaving about 7 minutes off my best time.
              Time for a mani!
The race as a whole was very organized.¬† I ran with my own water belt, but there seemed to be enough aid stations, port-o-pottys and entertainment along the way.¬† The only thing I could recommend that they do differently is to have a cover over the gated bridges…I hate running over those!¬† Also, at the start of the race, I saw a girl fall into a construction hole…the cone wasn’t enough of a warning to keep her from taking a tumble. ¬†Luckily, she was okay. ¬†All in all, it was a great race and I’d be back for it again next year. ¬†The course was beautiful and the weather was perfect…everything you need a great race!
And of course there was beer and live music at the finish line ūüôā WIN & WIN! Not a bad way to end week 1 of marathon training either.

5 Things Friday

Hey guys! ¬†TGIF. ¬†What a week it’s been! ¬†Work was super busy and Madelyn was home sick from daycare for two days. ¬†No bueno. ¬†But she’s back to her happy self, just with a runny nose. ¬†So for 5 things Friday, I decided to share the 5 highlights from my week.

1. ¬†36. 47. 97. ¬†Remember when I said that I was interested to see how attending Barre on a regular basis (3-4 times a week) would help me with pushups on my Air Force PT test? ¬†Last year, I did 36 in one minute. ¬†This year, I maxed out at 47 before the minute was up. ¬†I lost 2 inches off my waist, and shaved 40 seconds off my 1.5 mile time. ¬†I raised my overall score from a 91 to a 97. ¬†It’s nice to see hard work pay off.

2. Finding balance. ¬†The key to life. ¬†I stayed home with Madelyn on Wednesday and hubs stayed home with her Thursday. ¬†By Thursday afternoon, she was back to her normal self and so I dropped her off at daycare this morning for a 1/2 day. ¬†I took today off because my work schedule changes slightly next week. ¬†I had the perfect morning: Interval Barre, Chai tea latte at Milwaukee Public Market followed by the first pedicure I’ve had in over a year. ¬†After all my running and marathon training, it was well deserved and LONG overdue. ¬†After my pedicure, I picked little miss up from daycare and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Whole Foods hot bar. ¬†My lunch date was surely the highlight of my week.


3. ¬†Pizza Pizza. ¬†Today was Madelyn’s first day eating pizza. ¬†She LOVED it! ¬†I found a really good dairy-free frozen pizza at Whole Foods. ¬†The “cheese” melted perfectly and she couldn’t get enough. ¬†I will definitely be buying this in the future.

daiyapizza4. ¬†More race Bling. ¬†Two days ago,¬†I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon of the year. ¬†That makes this numero 5 for me. ¬†A little nervous for a few reasons. ¬†It’s on March 15th. ¬†The weather has been less than stellar (I think it reached 2 degrees today) and the longest run I’ve done is 6 miles‚Ķon a treadmill :-/ BUT I’m running with my mom and it’s her first 1/2 marathon ever! ¬†So this one isn’t for time, but for moral support. ¬†I can’t wait to add another medal to my collection and another sweatshirt to my clothing collection ūüôā

racebliing¬†5. ¬†I bit the bullet. ¬†I’ve been eyeing this up for almost a year now. ¬†After talking to several people about their Fitbits and reading online reviews I decided to try it out for myself. ¬†I was especially interested in it after reading an article in Runner’s World about how sitting is the new smoking, especially for runners. ¬†I consider myself a fairly active person. ¬†I workout 5-6 times a week but I find myself sitting A LOT throughout the day. ¬†I’m hoping this little gadget helps get me up and moving throughout the day and analyzes my sleep at night, which I know I don’t get enough of.

What was the highlight of your week?  My PT test was a pretty big deal, but watching Madelyn wave and say goodbye for the first time probably takes the cake.  She said it at least 10 times before I left out the door today.  Melts my heart.

My Favorite Fitness Apps

Happy New Year!¬† How did you celebrate?¬† We went to dinner and then went to my sister’s for¬† NYE house party-if you’re going to go out, house parties are the best option in my opinion.¬† Things got a little cray and I woke up with a slight headache New Year’s day.¬† Not my intention at all, BUT I did manage to drag myself out of bed and head to Barre Bee Fit: I wanted to start the year off on a good note ūüėȬ† And guess what?¬† I felt much better after a sweat session!
So, I finally finished reading¬†Gone Girl. OH MY GOD!¬† This book was a page turner and kept me up¬†last night waaaayy past my bedtime just so I could finish it.¬† The ending?¬† You either love it or hate it.¬† I¬†was¬†dissapointed¬†at first until I read the author’s explanation and it made total sense.¬† There’s a movie coming out in October 2014 starring Ben Affleck-I can’t wait for that.
So now that we’ve got our 2014 goals in place, I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite health and fitness apps.¬† I love discovering new apps that help make life a little¬†easier {Chase lets us deposit checks right from our phone-I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a bank}.¬† I’ve listed a few of my favorites here and hopefully you’ll find something new-to-you that will help you stay healthy this year.
1.¬†MyFitnessPal.¬† It’s a free online calorie and food tracker.¬† You can sync up with you facebook friends or contacts and send each other motivational messages too.¬† Their food database is HUGE!¬† Be careful though, users can add in nutrtional information¬†and sometimes it can be inaccurate.
2.¬†Water Your Body.¬†¬†Is drinking more water on your list for the year?¬† This app is GREAT for keeping track of your fluid intake.¬† You can even set up your phone to send you reminders to drink throughout the day.¬† Coffee, water & tea all count…wine does not ūüėČ
3.¬†Healthy Out.¬†¬†I just downloaded this app so I haven’t had much experience with it, but I can tell that I’m going to love it.¬† It’s an app that gives you restaurant recommendations and menu options based on what dietary preferences you choose.¬† You can choose low fat, gluten-free, lactose free, paleo, etc and it will tell you what dishes at local restaurants meet your criteria.¬† It also lists¬†the nutritional information.
4.¬†Caynax HIIT.¬†¬†I’m a big fan of HIIT¬†workouts when¬†there are time constraints or when you just want a good, sweaty workout.¬† This app lets you design your own HIIT workouts and sends out a beeping noise when it’s time to change your¬†intesity level-so there’s no having to stare at the timer throughout your workout.
5.¬†PumpUp.¬† This app customizes workouts for you based on what you’re looking to accomplish.¬† You decide if your goal is to lose weight, get toned, build muscle, be healthy.¬† Then it asks your fitness level, how much time you want to spend workout, and whether you’re at home, gym or traveling.¬† It also asks what equipment you have available to you and then creates your own personal workout.¬† I love for when I don’t really know what I want to do at the gym and rather than walk around aimlessly, I have a plan of action.
6. Nike + Running. ¬†Whenever I forget my Garmin or I turn it on and realize it’s dead, this is my go-to GPS run tracker. ¬†I love this app. ¬†Sometimes even better than my Garmin. ¬†I love that your Facebook friends can send you cheers along the way, something really inspiring during those long, tough runs. ¬†It also gives you pace and distance updates through audio and you can choose a power song if you have a song that really gets you moving.
What are some of your favorite apps, fitness or other?¬† I love the retail me not app and Target’s Cartwheel app!¬† I always manage to find coupons or save money with those ūüôā