Doing things that scare you {Falmouth Road Race Recap}

I’ve mentioned it in a few Instagram posts by now, but last weekend I ran the Falmouth Road Race. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s one of the most popular summer races in Massachusetts. I had never been, so I wasn’t sure why, but I knew I wanted to run it.

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Fast forward to last week when we were out to dinner with some friends, one of which has a family home in Falmouth and has run the race over 10 times by now. We were talking about the race and my urge to run it was even more real… even considering it was a short 4 days away.

If you know me, you know that when I get my mind on something, I can’t let it go, so when I saw someone selling their bib (shhh), I had to jump on it. Not only was it after I hit “send” on Venmo that I realized “Holy Sh*t! What did I just get myself into? I haven’t run much at all lately and haven’t run more than 4 miles in probably 3 years”.

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As I voiced this concern to people, everyone said “you’ll be fine! You’re so active and so fit. It’ll be easy!” While they were so kind to give me those words of encouragement, it wasn’t totally successful in quieting the negative words & thoughts in my head telling me it would be hard and that I would regret my decision to run a 7 mile race entirely untrained (in terms of running). I wasn’t afraid of not finishing, but moreso in what condition I’d finish in. Would I go out too fast and burn out too quickly? Would I cramp up? Would I have to stop a lot? What’s the slowest I thought I’d actually run it?

By the time Saturday night rolled around, I was a bundle of nerves, but luckily slept great. I woke up Sunday excited, but still very nervous! I got dressed, braided my hair, applied sunscreen, packed my throw away bag to hold my snacks & water and got ready to go. My friends Sheila and Amy drove me to the race bus pickup which was a good distraction and got me excited about it.

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I ended up getting to the race start over an hour and a half early, which left lots of alone time for me to continue to be nervous, lol. My sister texted me and when I told her I was nervous, she said that was so weird because I never get nervous. And she was right! Most of the time I feel confident about my abilities, but for some reason (likely because I didn’t traing), I felt SO nervous and scared! When I texted my concerns to my mom, she hit the nail on the head with her response and it helped to calm me down (funny how moms are always able to do that).

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Shortly after she sent that I ended up seeing a picture on Insta of a friend I used to work with so I ended up meeting up with her and her friend which was exactly what I needed – distraction from being nervous and people to hang with!

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Before we knew it, it was time to start. We were already sweating, so I was happy that the race started a bit slower than I normally would. The crowds were huge so it was a struggle to navigate them throughout the first handful of miles. Looking back, this was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to run slower than normal, which I think was necessary in order for me to finish the race feeling as strong as I did, rather than coming out too fast and burning out halfway through.

The course was incredibly beautiful – lots of rolling hills, gorgeous homes, views of the water and amazing spectators. I couldn’t help but get super emotional as I was running – there’s something about races that do that for me!

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The miles ticked away and I continued to feel good. I was getting negative splits as the crowds dispersed a bit, but I knew to still take it easy since it was a longer race than I’ve run in a long time. Around miles 4-5.5 I started to get super antsy. It was just a long, straight, flat part of the course entirely in the sun and I just wanted to see RM and my friends. I knew they were just before the 6 mile mark so it seemed like those 2 miles DRAGGED on. I felt hot, tired and ready to be done, however, seeing RM and my friends helped give me the push I needed as I forged ahead to the last mile.

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By this point, my feet felt like hot sausages stuffed in my sneakers, I was getting a blister, felt dehydrated and started to cramp up a bit. I paused for a brief moment twice in that last mile as I prepared for the big hill at the end. Leading up to the hill, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it without walking, but I did it, slow step by slow step and getting to the top felt so great! Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line and it’s hard to explain how amazing it felt.

I had done it. I had completed the 7 mile race. I felt good (all things considered). I was smiling. And I was so happy it was over, lol 😉

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As I continue to reflect on the race and the experience, I am so proud of myself for doing something that scared the sh*t out of me. I fought through all of the “I can’t’s” in my head and I proved to myself that I CAN. It was uncomfortable at times, but I am stronger for having done it – it truly is amazing what you can accomplish once you put your mind to it and give it a try.

I like to think of it this way: we can live our lives only doing things that make us feel safe or comfortable, or we can push through that and challenge ourselves by doing things that scare us a little or make us feel uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live my life doing the latter- it’s a hell of a lot more exciting and when you realize you CAN do things you didn’t think you could, well, it’s the most incredible feeling.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and to RM, Sheila and Amy for being so supportive while I was running!! Huge thank you to my friends at NB for inviting us to hangout at their after party, which was exactly what I needed! And thanks to Sheila’s parents for letting us stay at their Inn and then using their boat for the afternoon. It was a weekend I will never forget!

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Questions for you: Have you ever run the Falmouth Road Race? Do you like to run races? When’s the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

 

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Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Recap & Winners

For those of you who made it through the entire challenge- nice work!! If there’s one thing I learned throughout this process, it’s that challenges are hard to sustain for 3-4 weeks. I know that I lost a lot of my challenge mojo right around the 2 week mark, so if you can relate- know that you’re not alone! The thing though, is that I don’t care if you did 2 days, 2 weeks or 24 days- I was just happy to see you participating even a little bit! The goal of each challenge was to make you happier, healthier and fitter- whether by food choices, movement choices, good deeds, etc.- I wanted you to move through the craziest month of the year with some purpose and deliberate choices that made you more present in each and every day.

In my 2 week check in, I shared how I went about each challenge, which was a fun way for me to take a look back and in turn, get motivated for the final push. But, I think what I enjoyed most about the challenge was seeing YOUR check-ins. I know it can be challenging to take photos of everything and post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, but seeing your creativity with the challenges and seeing you DO them and participate with me and the others was incredible. You guys pushed me to continue and give it my all, so I thank you for that.

I’m here today to share the “winners”, but I put that word in quotations because everyone who participated was really a winner. You took the time out of your busy schedule to do something to better yourselves or others and that is worth a big pat on the back! Although I asked you to check in and post on social media how you were going about each challenge so that I could see who was participating, even if you were holding yourself accountable with your own tracking sheet that’s totally fine. We are all motivated differently and that’s what is so fun!

But, with that said, I have to give a big shout out to Lauren Hudak and Courtney Iacocca- congrats, ladies! You are the winners of the challenge.

Lauren is my downstairs neighbor and I’m so fortunate that we have been able to become friends over the past year and a half. She has run a number of marathons (super fast, too!) and was afraid that this challenge would interfere with her training. After I explained that it wasn’t a fitness-only challenge, she decided to participate and throughout the 24 days challenge, she did not miss a single day and posted photos each day of her participating in the. What I loved about Lauren’s participating was that she often included co-workers and friends to take the stairs, go for a walk and bring lunch. Her posts and challenge executions (weird word to use, but had a writers block!) were so thoughtful and deliberate and even after long days at work, she would still make it a priority to move and release some stress.

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Courtney and I work together and I had the chance to get to know her when she participated in my bootcamp back in the fall. I remember her emailing me saying she wanted to just try one class and go from there since she wasn’t “good” at working out. Well, the day after our first class, she came into my office and paid for the full 4 weeks saying she loved it and felt so welcomed and able to do everything we were doing. This made me SO happy, so you can only imagine how happy I was when she decided to participate in my challenge. Courtney had to travel for a few days and still got in her workouts and other challenges. She tried a new yoga studio and has made it part of her routine to get there when she can. She tried new recipes and learned to grease the baking sheet better 😉 She paid it forward by giving her tow guy a Starbucks gift card. Courtney’s enthusiasm throughout the challenge was so awesome- congrats, friend!

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To refresh your memory, the prizes are as follows:
New Balance has been gracious enough to donate 2 awesome gym bags! I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER have too many gym bags. This one looks like a great size, too!

new balance bag

**DRINKmaple has also agreed to provide each winner with a 2 pack of their Pure Maple Water drink. I was luck enough to get a chance to try a sample and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big coconut water fan, so this was a great substitute.

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**A caddy of 16 mixed larabar bars. Larabars have been a longtime favorite bar of mine- have you tried them? Most of the flavors are made up of only a few ingredients, which is key for me. When I look at ingredient labels of other bars, I’m always astounded at how many ingredients there are! A 16 pack should keep you happy for a while 😉

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**Lastly- a customized workout and/or workout video from me! The workouts I post on my blog normally may not be what you’re looking for, so with this, you can tell me exactly what you like/don’t like/want to work on and I can go from there! I can even do a real time workout video for you to have and use.

SO, Lauren and Courtney, please email me at burpeestobubbly@gmail.com with your addresses and I will get your information over to the companies so they can ship you your goodies. Also, please include what type of workout you’d like me to create for you: video, HIIT, strength, core, full body, super sets, time workouts, stations, etc. Take a look at my workout page if you need some ideas on what you’re looking for!

Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated. I was so happy to see friends from college and the gym, as well as friends from the blog world participating- you ladies did awesome! And, if you’re interested in another challenge, let me know 🙂

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3 (Final Week!)

Hello, hello! Can you believe we are entering into our LAST week of this challenge?? For me, the past 3 weeks FLEW by… I literally cannot believe Christmas is in just a few days.

In case you’ve missed the other weeks of the challenge, you can find them here:

Happy, Healthy, Fit: Week 1

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 2

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3

Here are the 3 final challenges for the week and series:

Happy, healthy fit week 4

*Monday 12/22: Go to bed 15 minutes early. At this point in December, I’m sure you’ve had plenty of weekend parties and after work get togethers and are generally pretty beat. For this challenge, all I ask is that you go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally do. I am REALLY looking forward to this!

*Tuesday 12/23: Plank challenge. Planks are one of my favorite core exercises because they target so many muscles and increase your general core strength, balance and stability. I posted this plank workout a few weeks ago (Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}), so if you tried it then, it’s time for round 2 today 🙂

4 minute plank workout

Remember that there are always modifications and you can do the planks with your knees on the ground, you can do an elevated plank on a coffee table and if you’re looking for a more advanced option, try lifting a leg!

*Wednesday, 12/24: List 5 things you’re thankful for. I’m really looking forward to this challenge and to see what you’re thankful for. This time of the year is full of so many crazy things that can cause us to be stressed and overwhelmed and to lose sight on things that make us happy, that we are thankful for and that we couldn’t live without. So, I ask you to share 5 of those things with me!

Have fun- finish the challenge strong with me 🙂

 

Happy, Healthy, Fit: 2 week check-in & prize announcements

Good morning! I wanted to pop in quickly to see how the Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge was going for those of you who are participating. I know I tend to lose some steam after the initial “newness” of a challenge wears off, so in case anyone else is like me, hopefully we’ll all get amped up again to finish off the challenge with a bang! The biggest motivation thus far has been seeing YOUR check-ins, posts, pictures, emails, etc. The fact that I’ve got so many of you participating along with me is sometimes just what I need to check off a challenge for the day. Let’s recap!

Week 1

  • Push-up challenge– You guys. No matter how many push-ups I do, they never seem to get easier! With that said, this was tough!

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  • Take the stairs– I may only be on the second floor, but I made a lot of trips up and down as I forced myself to use the bathroom on the first floor.

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  • No Equipment Workout- I did this body weight workout and loved it!! Looks simple enough, but it kicked my butt!

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  • Give a compliment- I complimented one of my associates on her sweater and complimented my downstairs neighbor for her involvement with charities and a Christmas toy drive.
  • Pay it forward- Ha! I was so nervous for this challenge. I’ve always thought it was cool to buy someone a coffee or a drink or pay their toll, but I had never done it… at least for a stranger! My first experience was a little rocky, as there were misunderstandings, but I was able to pay for the person behind me so it all worked out.

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  • Full body workout- I went to the baby gym at the Exeter Inn and completed some running, walking and weight lifting.
  • Go through your clothes & donate- Well, the clothes may still be sitting in the back of my car, but I did go through my draws and closet on the day of the challenge! It always feels good to weed through some clothes and remove what I don’t wear anymore.

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Week 2

  • Burpee challenge- Love this one, of course 😉 Rocked them out in the 6am hour after a run
  • Lower Body Workout– I did this booty burner workout. Gets me every time!
  • Bring your lunch to work- I packed it, although I ended up finishing at my client site early so I ate it at home. That counts, right?

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  • Morning yoga/stretching/foam rolling– This was such a nice way to start the day! I really should try to do it more often because not only is it great for my body, but my mind, too!

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  • Donate– I kept thinking I would see a Salvation Army stand or get asked at a store, but sadly, it never happened. We did, though, donate from the back of a ketchup bottle, which was to support Veterans.
  • Try a new recipe– I didn’t get a chance to try a new recipe from a book, but I DID make these beauties- interested in me putting together a recipe?

Ok, SO! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, who wants to know what the prizes are for the top 2 participants?? Here’s what goes into picking those people:

  • Active engagement on Social Media! It’s easiest for me to see you participating when you do this and it also creates a group atmosphere. You can do this by posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Remember to tag me (@Burpeestobubbly) and use the hashtag #happyhealthyfit !
  • If social media isn’t your thing, feel free to email me or comment on any post letting me know you’ve participated.
  • How many challenges you’ve completed- I have a tracking sheet that I’m updating based on check-ins, so, again, if I don’t know you’re participating, you won’t get proper recognition and credit 😦

And for the prizes….
New Balance has been gracious enough to donate 2 awesome gym bags! I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER have too many gym bags. This one looks like a great size, too!

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**DRINKmaple has also agreed to provide each winner with a 2 pack of their Pure Maple Water drink. I was luck enough to get a chance to try a sample and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big coconut water fan, so this was a great substitute.

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**A caddy of 16 mixed larabar bars. Larabars have been a longtime favorite bar of mine- have you tried them? Most of the flavors are made up of only a few ingredients, which is key for me. When I look at ingredient labels of other bars, I’m always astounded at how many ingredients there are! A 16 pack should keep you happy for a while 😉

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**Lastly- a customized workout and/or workout video from me! The workouts I post on my blog normally may not be what you’re looking for, so with this, you can tell me exactly what you like/don’t like/want to work on and I can go from there! I can even do a real time workout video for you to have and use.

All I need you to do now, is comment below or in some other form (twitter, instagram, facebook, email), telling me how many challenges you’ve completed up to this point- I’ll check back in at the end 🙂 Stay strong for the remainder of the challenge- we’ve only got a handful of days left!!

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3

Good morning! How did you do with Week 2 challenges? I’ve been enjoying the small, daily “task” or challenge as it helps me stay more present and gives each day a purpose. I want to recap my challenges thus far, so hopefully I can do that later this week. For now, let’s talk week 3!

Happy, healthy fit week 3

*Monday 12/15: Give up sugar for the day. Ugh. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and while I may have enough self restraint to not eat 4 cookies at once, it’s still an issue. Today, I challenge to you remove all sugar from your diet. This is probably going to be the hardest challenge for me, because although I try watch and limit my sugar intake, it still creeps up on me. Read your labels, make food yourself and make sure you’re not adding any sugar in your coffee or tea. I know this is a tough challenge for all you fellow sweet-toothers, but we can do it!

*Tuesday 12/16: Try a new workout class. There are so many amazing fitness studios in and around the Boston area (and I’m sure there are just as many in other states/cities, too!) just begging for you to try one of their classes. The beauty about almost all fitness studios, is they offer a free first class, or at least a discounted one. Also, if you chat with them and explain what you’re interested in and how much you’ve been wanting to try a class, you may even be able to get a free one! If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a new class to try, I list a bunch of great studios in this post. My plan is to take a morning class at The Club as I’ve never taken a full class there. Maybe some gym friends would like to join?!

*Wednesday 12/17: Meditate. Remember how I added 10 minutes of meditation/quiet time time during Lent? Well, it was great throughout those 40 days, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ve done it once since then. It’s always something I’m telling myself I need to do, but, like yoga, it just doesn’t happen enough. Today I challenge you to take 10 minutes for yourself to meditate or just sit quietly and breathe. Try not to focus on your thoughts- let them come in and go right back out. RM gave me a few meditation apps to suggest to you guys. He does this almost daily and enjoys all of these- search for them in the App store: Simply Being, Yoga Nidra, Power of Mind. There are dozens of other free ones, too. Let me know what you do!

*Thursday 12/18: Walk during lunch- This is something I try to do every day, but sometimes (and more often than not recently) work just gets the best of me and I don’t make the time to sneak away for a short walk. Today though, I’m challenging us to step away from our desks and get outside for some mid-day movement. It’s a littler harder when the weather is cold, but I always feel so much better after!

*Friday 12/19: Upper Body Workout– I LOVE working my upper body, and have found that short upper body workouts are a great finisher after a run or other leg-based cardio. Here are some to choose from, but if you don’t like any of those, try this: 60 seconds each, 3 rounds: bicep curls, alternating shoulder presses, upright row, tricep dips, push-ups. Otherwise, here are some I’ve posted on the blog in the past:
Wednesday Workout: 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Body Weight Upper Body Blast
Wednesday Workout: Upper Body Tabata Workout
Wednesday Workout: 30 Minute Upper Body & Core Super Sets Workout

*Saturday 12/20: Treat yourself! I think I was most looking forward to this challenge 😉 Today is all about treating yourself. What’s something you’re currently lusting over? New workout top, new mittens, a massage, manicure… you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be anything big (it is holiday season, afterall, so I’m sure extra money is being spent on gifts), but it’s about getting yourself a little something that puts some extra pep in your step. I’m thinking a Fitbit is something I’ve been lusting over… hmmm…

*Sunday 12/21: Core workout. Sunday’s tend to be lazy, lounge around the house days, right? The beauty of this workout is it can be done in your pajamas in front of the TV 🙂

4 minute plank workout

If you don’t like this workout, feel free to choose from one of these:
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Warm Up Your Core!
V-Sits and Leg Lifts and Planks, Oh My!
Wednesday Workout: No weights? No problem! {Cardio & Core workout}
Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}

There you have it! Have fun with the challenges this week and remember- we’re almost through the 24 days, so don’t give up now 🙂

Questions for you: What was your favorite day of the challenge last week? What will be the most challenging thing for you this week?