august workout wrap-up

I can't believe it's the last day of August! Fall is just around the corner, and that's truly my favorite season to run. The air is cooler, the trees become beautiful, and running outside is downright pleasant. It's still super hot here though, so I'm grateful I've been able to accomplish anything this past month in terms of running. I used to do monthly running wrap-ups before I got pregnant with Porter, and I'd like to transition it to "workout wrap-ups" instead, since I'm doing a lot of swimming, too. 

I started working out at about 4 weeks postpartum with the okay from my OB since I had a remarkably easy recovery. I was still feeling pretty weak and wobbly, but I got out there and I started with light runs about a mile long. August was supposed to be my big push month for running, but I ended up hurting my calf. I was in the middle of my longest postpartum run - 3 miles - when I felt my calf lock and then pull sharply. I could barely walk.

I had to give it about a week off, then I started back up again right at one-mile runs. I'm sticking around two to two and a half miles right now, and I'm just going to stay at that point until I get comfortable. 

In terms of swimming, it was a landmark month for me in August! I finally got back in the pool. I don't think I've been in the water since Spencer was about 7 months old. As someone who competed for 17 years in the sport, I find it really difficult to motivate myself in a pool unless I'm training for something. So, getting a race in the books was a huge help, and now I have my sight set on my next race - Swim Miami 10k in May. It's a long way away, but I think it will give me adequate time to train, especially through Ryan's deployment.

Needless to say, it was a pretty good jumping off point for me this month in terms of working out. I have a long way to go, and I have a bunch of weight I hope to lose through healthy diet, using Weight Watchers again and working out. But, all things considered, I'm pretty pleased. I look forward to making even more progress in September because I truly believe one of our biggest needs as parents is to set a good example for athleticism and hard work for our children.

August Stats:
Number of Runs - 8
Average Distance - 2 miles
Fastest Running Pace - 9:26
Number of Run Races - 0
Number of Swims - 6
Average Swim Distance - 2,000 meters
Number of Swim Races - 1 (6th Overall, 1st of Women, 1st in Age Group)

snippets and snapshots

Summer is winding down, and having two littles this year makes me anxious for fall and cooler weather. This summer has been brutal. I can deal with heat, but heat plus humidity has been hard. Spencer overheats easily, and Porter gets heat rash in the humidity, so it's been hard to have them outside, despite wanting them to be. Lately though, it's been hot but had a nice breeze, so we've had a bit more desire to enjoy the sunshine. And yes, Mr. Judgey-Pants down there is doing very well working in the Bumbo.

I've also been taking advantage of the weather to run a bit more. Running (and swimming) are my happy places, and being able to escape and get a quick workout in has been really helping me A) get rid of this mombod and B) clear my head of all the stressors and upheaval we've dealt with lately.

Spencer has been into everything lately, which is both awesome and terrifying. He's learning how everything works, and what he doesn't yet know, he's on the brink of discovering. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love having him come into the kitchen to sample the food before it's served. I love how curious he is about ingredients and how things work. Like that acorn squash…he needed to nibble on it a few times to deem it worthy of dinner.

He's become an avid "reader," too, which makes me so happy! Every night, Ryan reads him a bedtime story, and every morning, we read a book when he gets up. Once we get his toddler room in a row, I'm hoping to have all his books lined up and easily accessible for him. You see, our house isn't huge. We knew we'd outgrow it by the time we had to PCS, so Spencer will be moving to our guest room soon, and Porter will join him soon after. The boys will share a room, and I'm thinking a nautical nursery is in order…but more on that later.

I'm trying my best to take more pictures lately though, so I'm hoping to do a post like this for posterity every now and again, if only to remember the little things. These boys are growing up so fast, and I don't want to forget this time!

lake george 2.5 km open water

This past weekend, Ryan and I braved the 3.4 hour trip from Black River to Lake George, NY for me to compete in a 2.5 km open water race. I haven't competed in a proper open water swim since the Boston Sharkfest in 2013, so it's literally been three years in the making. Ryan's been trying to convince me for a while to sign up for a race, but I've kept putting it off for one reason or another. This time though, I decided to make it happen. 

We left Black River around 6:30 PM on Friday, and we finally made it to Queensbury, where we stayed the night in one of the only available rooms in town. It's a summer resort town, so it was insanely busy, and we booked late. Guys, it was legitimately the worst place we have ever stayed. We got in at 10:30 at night, unloaded the boys, got Spencer settled, and Ryan discovered a live squirrel in our toilet. I'm not joking.

They gave us a new "non-smoking" room that smelled like an ashtray and was barely cleaner than one. I had half a mind to just sleep in the car, but we made it work, and we both got a grand total of about 3 hours of sleep. (Never, ever stay at King Hendrick Motel & Suites). We got up at 5:30 to start the final 30 mile drive to Hague, NY for the race, and finally got there for the last 15 minutes of race check-in. Let's just say, I didn't expect much from this race at all. I didn't get to warm up, I barely had time to plan my attack of the course and I went in the water cold. Literally.

The race was so well-executed by the staff though, that it would have been hard to have a bad race. The water was about 10 degrees warmer than the air - and crystal-clear. The course was well-marked, too. Keep the yellow buoys to your left on the way down, turn around the green buoy, keep the orange on your left on the way back, then race to the blue arch. Simple enough! I decided to start at the front of the pack. It's always risky with elbows and knees as people fight the start crowd, but I didn't want to have to fight my way forward if I was doing well, either. It was a good move!

I had a pretty clean start, and I only got a couple elbows in the ribs. People were actually quite considerate, and race officials warned us early on that unsportsmanlike conduct would result in a DQ. I felt strong...out of shape, but strong. I focused on sighting mid-stroke and just kept a fairly clean tempo. I didn't try anything heroic. I had no idea where I really was in the pack, but I just kept pushing, and I upped my tempo on the back half.

I finished in a time of 43:15.06, which was a little better than I'd expected. I'd hoped for around 45 minutes, since I've barely been training, and I wanted to just use this race as a bit of a stepping off point, if you will. I finished 6th overall, and I placed 1st of all the women, so I was pretty excited about that! Next year, I'm hoping to do the 10 km there. Now, I'm just getting ready to start up cross-training and pool training more seriously and register for my next race. We're looking seriously at the Swim Miami 10km, but who knows?

Ryan was amazing this weekend. He watched the boys while I did my race and managed to stay sane keeping both a toddler and a baby content. I can't thank him enough for supporting me and encouraging me in this because I don't think I could do it otherwise!

It was a pretty great weekend full of both good (the swim) and bad (the hotel) memories with my sweet family. I think I had a bit of a letdown after getting home yesterday because I had so much fun competing again, but I'm going to use it to fuel me going forward. Moms can still have fun and compete, too! Who knew?

five on friday

It's Friday, and I want to recount five things I love this week because...FriYAY! Since going back to work after 5 weeks of maternity leave, I've really had to reprioritize my life to get everything done. It's not a bad thing, but you'd better believe it's one heck of a transition from one little to two. And so, when the weekend comes, you'd better believe I'm totally on board to celebrate the little accomplishments, the little victories and the little things I've really loved this week. So, here goes! I'm linking up with North Carolina Charm, A. Liz Adventures and Hello Happiness.

1. ROKA swimwear 

^^^ image via

For the record, that's my childhood best friends' booty up there - crazy, right?! But seriously, she's the reason I discovered this shop. Since I've been working on getting my butt back in the pool to train and have a 2.5k open water swim at Lake George tomorrow, I've needed to get some new swim gear. ROKA is amazing and has a full line of triathlon, swim and running gear worthy of lusting over. I got the above bikini in black and white, and I'll be ordering the one-piece next. Pro-tip...size up two sizes.

2. Koo de Ker

^^^ image via 

When I lived in SLC, I used to frequent this shop all the time. Now that I live across the country, it's not so possible anymore. Koo de Ker remains my go-to for great style and great prices though, and since I need to update my wardrobe like whoa, this is my new main squeeze! The best part? They'll ship your way when you order through instagram for just a $5 flat fee!

3. Bachelorette Shenanigans

This time last week, I was headed down to Bethany Beach, DE for my little sister, Kristina's, bachelorette party. It's crazy to think that my baby sister is getting married in less than a month, and her man, Josh, will officially be a part of this family. Sidenote - this was my first solo trip sans kids (and husband) in forever. I felt lost (and scarily free). And guess what? We had a blast. So many more wedding festivities to come in the next month.

4. Fall Weather

While in NH last week after the bachelorette party, we experienced what can only be described as our first taste of fall! The oppressive humidity died down for the day, and we embraced the crip breeze, venturing out for a walk in the Albany town fields with the boys. Wearing sweaters and warmer clothes felt so nice after such a long, hot summer, and we loved it. 

5. Moscow Mule Mugs

^^^ image via 

Swoon. These Moscow Mule mugs from Pottery Barn have my heart. There's something about the clever detail of the handles, plus that amazing copper sheen. I think we might have to invest in a monogrammed set of these beauties for the holidays because #adults. 

a refocusing, if you will

There is something about blogging that is innately confusing. It's like a private journal of your innermost thoughts - all made public for the world to see. Sometimes it's a little bit too much to do. For a while there, I decided to quit my blog. Nothing bad happened. Nothing negative. I just didn't want to sit down and type stuff out anymore. But here's the thing - and Ryan convinced me of it - this blog is like a journal of our family's life together.

We have two precious little boys now! Spencer is a toddler through and through. He's all boy, and he has one heck of a strong will. Porter is a sweetheart (most of the time), and he's almost 3 months old, which is just madness. Cue photo dump...

After having a pretty huge success with my little blanket business, I decided to take a step back because I was starting to get overwhelmed. I'd started it as a therapy. It became a chore, and I was so stressed all the time that it was no longer worth it. We don't need the money, and I'd rather spend my time with my boys this summer - especially because Ryan will be deploying this winter.

It's come to that time again. Deployments. Separation. Family challenges. And yet, I feel good about it this time. I chose this life. I chose my husband, and I chose the challenge. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder if you let it. I'll spend next year working hard and traveling with Spencer and Porter, awaiting Ryan's return. We've got a trip to South Africa in the works, as well as many visits to Oma and Opa in New Hampshire.

I'm also taking the time to really focus on me. I have goals, people. I want to be active and swimming again. I want to run and be fit - for me - not for anyone else. I have a race at Lake George this weekend, so Ryan and I will travel there with the boys Friday evening. It's just 2.5 k, but I'm so excited to flex those competitive muscles again!

It feels silly to put some sort of "resolution" out there, but I feel like I need to. So, here we goals, and a firm testimony of what and why I'm refocusing...

1 - Family and faith first. They're my rocks, and they're always my top priority.
2 - If it stresses you out, it's probably not worth it. Enjoy every little thing.
3 - Do your best at all you do, rather than overload yourself and half-try at everything.
4 - Compete...with yourself, with others, with your own personal limitations.
5 - Love. Love your life. Love yourself. Love your family. 

And so, I'm back in the game. I'm going to document our life. Not what I think people want to read. This is for us.