Race Recap: Xterra Wildhorse Trail Half Marathon
November 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0
Yesterday I finished the Xterra Wildhorse Trail Half Marathon put on by Tampa Races who I do most of my runs with. I had a blast, even though the race was not what you’d expect from a typical trail run. It was my first race while pregnant and I did it mostly to get some trail experience before my trail full in two weeks. I found out about the half pretty last minute, so I actually continued on with my regular workouts the day before. I ran 7 miles and did a horribly hard WOD, so the rest of the day was all about recovery. To prepare my body I drank a ton of water, wore compression socks, took fish oil, ate plenty of food (and a lot of protein) and took Vega Recovery Accelerator (love this stuff). I also drank coconut water because old pre-race habits die hard. Saturday morning Richard and I made our way about 90 minutes from home to the park the race was held in. Pulling up I remembered I’d done this course before. Checking in was easy with not too many runners and I moved around to keep my body warm as the weather was wet and a little chilly. At 8am we sang the national anthem and started running. The group kept together at a slow pace in a large pack.. and then boom we come to a complete stop. Less than half a mile into the run we hit a woodsy part that we have to file single file into. Then we spread out again and come to another stop. This time I said a profanity because I remembered that this is that  race, the one with the stream and crazy technical parts. So, .8 miles into the run we walk through a stream waist deep. And then climb through the mud to get out of it. Chilly. And wet. My biggest challenge when running is just keeping my mind into it. Pre-pregnancy I was really motivated my speed and setting new records but I can’t do that right now. I’m much slower and it doesn’t feel like there are any other speeds for me. I paced myself slow and steady and focused on keeping good form and taking deep breaths to avoid side stitches. I was slow and steady until we came to a crazy technical part of the course with a long series of muddy and steep ups and downs. Grabbing on to roots, rocks and trees, it’s a challenging part where going fast isn’t really an option. The race description says, “the course is primarily wide double track with a fast, packed surface,” so I didn’t expect such a crazy course. My mind was racing. “High knees! Be careful! Slow down! Speed up!” I’ve run hundreds of miles on trails so I’m used to hidden roots and vines that will bring you to the ground. Ultimately I didn’t fall once because I was so hyper aware and careful. My stamina was good throughout the race, even though it was hard switching back to running after climbing muddy inclines. I didn’t pay attention to time and just tried to stay slow and steady and run as much as possible. Richard volunteered on the course so I got to see him at a water stop. Poor guy heard how challenging the course was and was a little worried about Clara and me. Still, it’s nice to get kisses in the middle of a race! Eventually, I completed the two laps and made my way through the stream for the second time. I saw I had just over one mile left and looked forward to a straight dash to the finish line. Instead, the last mile took us back into the woods, under low-hanging vines and over roots and fallen trees. The last mile sucked- I was so close to finishing but couldn’t go fast with the terrain. Then I came to this, a super steep (still wet) incline uphill. The downhill was just as bad. Eventually, I made it out of the woods for the last time and although the finish line was in sight, we were directed around a sunny, grassy field. Again, running away from the finish line to run back to it made that last mile my least favorite. But then there was my sweet finish line and a handsome husband waiting just behind it. I was done. Closer to my goals, I completed the half marathon. I finished in 3:18, a far cry from the 2:45 I had hoped for and the 2 hour half I ran pre-pregnancy. The super-technical miles took me 25 minutes each, so there were other factors at play. I wasn’t doing this race for time, but I still would like to have seen what my time would have been without the stream crossing and other unusual race additions. I’m excited to see the overall results too. On racing while pregnant: 1. Everyone was super nice. People would look back to check on me after really tough parts. Others made cute comments about running for two and how they couldn’t let me finish before them. It was nice to feel supported. 2. My mind has never raced so much during a WOD. I was thinking about the baby, thinking about how I felt and paying extra attention to my footing. I used to run to zone out; there was none of that in this race! 3. In all my thinking during the race I told myself that if I didn’t feel good at any point, that I’d have to drop out no questions asked. And that the same will go for this month’s marathon. I felt fine and don’t anticipate having to drop out of a race, but it is such a different feeling being responsible for a growing baby and having to be okay with letting go when necessary. 4. Finishing a race pregnant felt kick ass. Pregnancy has changed a lot for me: body, hormones, what I eat/drink, planning maternity leave, how I spend money, just knowing I’m about to be a mom. Running makes me so incredibly happy and fulfilled and it was INCREDIBLE to experience that bit of me, and with Clara inside of me. 5. I honestly think Clara liked the race. She’s usually really quiet but for the rest of the day she was bouncing around in my belly. I fell asleep with my hand on my belly feeling her roll around. I didn’t get a medal but I want to save the race shirt and bib for her somehow. Thanks to a husband who continues to support me- and who had a kiss and a plate of pancakes ready as I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t ask for a better partner. A plate of pumpkin pie and pancakes (on the way to lunch, obviously) is the best way to end a dirty, wet, awesome race. I’m pumped for the X-Country Marathon in two weeks!
Pregnancy Update and Baby Bump Bundle Review
October 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0

Grandpa and me comparing bumps

We’re at 22 weeks!

Time is flying by! I’m not sure if I’m really busy or if I’m really lazy and just don’t want to admit it, but free time seems to dwindle by the day! Since bullet points are so much easier than paragraphs, here’s an update: - I can’t believe the absolute baby fever and baby jealousy I have even though I have a perfect little baby growing inside of me. Patience! - I still haven’t had a single craving, just tons of random aversions. I can’t stand avocado and sriracha even though those used to be my favorite foods. - My doctor had a “talk” with me about my weight gain. I gained double the recommend amount in the first 19 weeks. Maybe my baby is just made of muscle? :) Since then I’m tracking what I eat in an effort to be more mindful. - Richard is mesmerized by this little girl and always has her on his mind, as evidenced by this reusable toy pad at a toy store we visited: - I used to think babies were cute and small, but lately newborns terrify me. All I can think about lately are those huge limbs and facial features clawing out my lady parts. - A hot mom I know told me “pushing a baby out is FUCKING AWESOME” and I have a whole new perspective on birthing this baby. I now I find myself really looking forward to earning that badass badge.

Post-12 miles at 21 weeks.

- I’ve been running longer distances and it feels a whole new level of amazing. I have a marathon in mind and as long as things keep going well, I’ll waddle that next month. (My doctor is in full support.)

- The bump feels great while running but I have to overcome little moments of worrying about the baby. But I can also worry about the baby when I wake up and realize I’ve rolled onto my back, when I don’t eat enough veggies and when I’m emotional. So if I feel good, it’s probably all good. - I’ve finally entered the honeymoon stage of the second trimester. I thought everyone was lying, but that sweet spot of having a cute bump, having energy and finally not having symptoms does exist. And I never want it to go away.

Baby Bump Bundle Review

I first found out about Baby Bump Bundle on Twitter and kind of freaked out.

Curated handpicked pregnancy products by trimester for expecting moms, gifts for baby, and nursing essentials for new moms.

Essentially, they offer modern day gift baskets for new moms and moms-to-be. Treats during pregnancy are the best things ever; a little pampering goes a long way. I have never been so excited to check my mail. Finally, this well-packed, exciting little box made its way to my doorstep. Inside were amazing little gifts all wrapped in tissue paper and a little sticker.Here’s what was in my bundle: - Expecting More DVD with 6 workouts from Sara Haley- haven’t tried yet but it looks good! - Fitbook mama2be Fitness Journal- really cool idea, though I’m more of an app/laptop tracker than a pen and paper. Would be a great gift for someone at the beginning of their pregnancy. - Vapur collapsible water bottle- super convenient. Really enjoyed on our recent road trip. - Sweaty Band headband- love these!!! Such a treat and great for working out in. - Two Two Degrees snack bars- delicious. Easy, healthy nutrition. My Review: The Baby Bump Bundle is awesome. The products were all things I’d buy on my own in colors and flavors I like. It was an exciting surprise to open the box and I really appreciate the focus on health. The would be a great gift for a mom-to-be or new mom, or for a mama to herself! Bundles start at $30 so it’s pretty reasonable. What is your favorite treat product? What would you want in your box, mom or not?
Raising a Beautiful Daughter
October 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Growing up I wasted a lot of time, confidence and opportunities thinking I wasn’t pretty enough. I remember the first time I thought I was fat. It was first grade and everyone was sitting with their legs extended out and I decided my legs were bigger than the girls’ next to me. I decided my legs were fat. Growing up my dad talked a lot about how if I’d only (run, not eat carbs, etc), I could look really good and would criticized women’s bodies out loud. My mom would grab parts of her body and criticize them in the mirror. Thanks to genetics, I learned I have those same “problem areas” too. When I was 16 some bad things happened in my life and I needed to feel in control. So I adopted an eating disorder. I didn’t have my period for 18 months and got pleasure from counting how many bones pushed through my skin. I found some balance when I started running. I started appreciating my body for what it could do more than just what it looked like. Still, I clung to numbers on the scale and would emotional eat to cope with my feelings. In a moment I could write you a list of what is “wrong” with my body or the things I want to change. I could tell you the number I wish saw on the scale and at exactly what weight I start to hate my body. Because of my imperfect body, I’ve starved myself. I’ve over-exercised myself. I’ve said horrible things to myself in the mirror. I’ve cried over the scale. I’ve said no to sex with my husband. I’ve taken weeks off swimming because I didn’t want to get in a swimsuit. I’ve compared myself to my friends and I’ve put myself down in front of others. I’d like to say it stopped when I started CrossFit. It definitely got better. The entire CrossFit culture favors strength over looks, though vanity and judgment still sneak in. Then I got pregnant. I went through quite a love/hate journey adapting to my changing body. At first I covered myself up from Richard and dealt with a lot of fat talk. Now I’ve grown to be so proud of what my body is doing, even if my body is even farther from the perfect ideal I’ve wanted it to look like for so long. Now I know my body is strong and beautiful and capable. I’ve wasted a whole lot of time thinking I wasn’t beautiful. And, funny enough, chasing a certain ideal of beauty kept me from discovering what my own beauty was. It kept me from being strong. I absolutely cringe thinking of my daughter ever having some of the thoughts I’ve had, ever thinking she’s not good enough because a part of her body isn’t how she thinks it should be. I want my little girl to get lost in books, to run free, to laugh, to dream, to ask questions, to share, to love and to strive to make the world a better place. And I know fat talk will never get her there. Instead of comparing herself to other girls, I want her to befriend them. Instead of hating her legs, I want her to see what they can do for her. Instead of thinking she should weigh a certain number, I want her to be thankful she is alive. I know I’m not perfect and I will mess up. I may struggle with my post-baby body and I may even talk down about myself in front of her. But I want her to know that before I even meet her I think she is the most beautiful girl. I want her to know that she was made from love and that she is enough, without ever doing anything. I want her to know she will always be beautiful and that we will love discovering who she is and who she grows to become. I want her to know that she was perfect and beautiful before she was even born and nothing she does in her life will ever change that.
How to Name a Baby
October 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0
The scenario of most of my life: craft big plan, write big plan down, scratch entire plan and go a different way entirely. Naming this baby inside of me was no exception and brings me to tears every time I talk about it. I didn’t pretend to be connected to my baby for the first half of my pregnancy. I cared for the baby, but I thought of it more as a pain in my ribs and something that was still far off in the distance rather than my child. And then we had our first ultrasound and gender reveal. I’ll save the really sappy details for my private journal, but it was the best day of my life. Hands down. Every single thing inside me changed and every “mom feeling” turned on. I was in love and started to count ten little fingers and ten little toes like they were the only things in the world. Then we moved to a different angle to see the gender… it’s a girl! She is such a beautiful girl. In most of her photos she was smiling and she has the sweetest little smile. And that little nose! We even got the best view of the bottoms of her feet. One thing I realized in the ultrasound was how precious and feminine she was. She was very delicate (and not just because she is so little). She kept her hands up by her face and even had one knee tucked in, which is how I sleep every night! We’ve had a running list of names for years now and all of our girl names were a touch masculine (Carson, Parker). I immediately knew none of our names suited this girly little girl and we wiped the slate clean. It wasn’t any big moment but after the appointment we flipped through a book of baby names and I spotted a name I had heard a million times but had never caught my eye until now: Clara. It never made it onto my names list and it’s not in my top ten, but I couldn’t shake it. Playing around with it I matched it with the middle name June, which has some significance since we were married in June. I couldn’t shake the name. We did our research on other names and regardless of how much we liked other names, they weren’t for our little girl.

The day we hit 20 weeks and decided on a name.

Friday we were dreaming about our baby in the sweetest baby section of a store in downtown Savannah and Richard told me, “I think Clara June is her name. Let’s do it.” And I cried. And cried some more. So, that’s how to name a baby. Let it name itself. Because I have no idea how Clara June even ended up as an option, but that is undeniably, perfectly our little girl’s name.

Clara June Stephens.

My Fetus Loves CrossFit- CrossFitting While Pregnant
September 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
I think part of me has procrastinated so much on getting this post out because I was scared of judgement. I know I’m pushing limits and defying a lot of the info out there on what I “should” be doing and I didn’t know if I was ready (or could handle) comments that in any way said I wasn’t doing the best for my baby. There are too many unknowns in pregnancy already to have comments add worry. And then I read this article from CNN about CrossFitting while pregnant. And it pissed my off enough to publish this damn post and be one voice out there saying I am pregnant and vigorous exercise (mainly CrossFit) is good for me and my baby. My midwife approved my activities. She said to stop when it doesn’t feel right and to drink a ton of extra water. “Even heavy lifting? Like, setting PRs-heavy-lifting?” I asked. “Absolutely!” she said. CrossFit during pregnancy is keeping me sane. It’s a healthy choice for me, my baby and, honestly, for everyone around me. I took more days off in my first trimester, didn’t push so much and ate terribly, and I’ve all around never felt so bad (and in more ways than just the 1st tri problems). I feel my best when I’m exercising- my nausea, weight gain and constipation are second thoughts and my focus is on the task at hand. And that feels great. I can’t believe it still has to be said, but pregnancy is not a disease. It is not a disability. It is not weakness.
“I think it is sad that people would compare my weight lifting with smoking and drinking. Or call me a poor mother for keeping fit and strong during pregnancy. “There is an obesity epidemic in our country with diabetes on a rampage. People need to embrace a healthy lifestyle and for babies it starts in the womb.”  -Lea-Ann Ellison (the kick ass mom in question in the article)
In fact, I think I’ve never been stronger. After all, I’m still a wife to Richard and a mom to four dogs. I still work 40 hours every week, workout, visit friends and clean my house… but now all while growing a human. Strength, not weakness. Pregnancy is a long list of unknowns. Eat the right things, take in enough water, avoid stress, get plenty of sleep, exercise (but not too much). There’s no Perfect Pregnancy Guide for all women to follow. From talking with other women, I’ve gathered that none of our experiences are even close. I remember when I hit my second trimester and my midwife told me I couldn’t be on my back at all. I hardly slept for days because I would wake up at all hours, terrified that I may have rolled on my back! I was exhausted and stressed out from over-stressing about what was right and wrong. We don’t get ultrasounds and doctor visits daily. The baby doesn’t have an iPhone to text me what he’d like to see more of or less of. So for the most part I read the information, talk to my midwife and then listen very carefully to my body. And at the end of the day I trust that my body is performing as it was created to perform and everything will be okay.
“The real deal here is that our society does not get pregnancy and birth….To all that criticized this woman and the rest of the women out there for doing their best as mothers, GET A UTERUS and/or EDUCATE YOURSELF.”this awesome article written in response to the headlines
The First Workout I was signed up to WOD later the day we found out we were pregnant. I was scared to move or breath hard or really move my body. Richard watched me with worry on his face and I couldn’t think of anything but the baby the whole time. CrossFit Now I’ve found a sweet spot of knowing my preggo limits and reminding myself to still push hard. For example, heavy deadlifts are out until this baby comes out. On the other hand, squats feel fine and I’m not going to ditch my heavy squats just because I don’t feel like doing it and have a convenient excuse that’d get me out of it. I CrossFit 5-6x/week and RX most of the movements (except for those darn DU’s and pull-ups). I run slower than everyone else and pace myself a little differently, but otherwise you wouldn’t know I was pregnant. I also sprinkle hot power yoga and running into my weeks. I feel amazing.

A few things to note:

- Obviously, I never want to endanger my baby. I won’t do anything that could risk complications. And when it doesn’t feel right, I slow down, modify or stop. - My midwife supports lifting heavy, being upside down and anything that feels fine. - I am surprised at how much I can feel when something isn’t right. Heavy deadlifts pull my pelvic floor muscles so I keep the deadlifts to around 75% of my previous max or less. Whatever feels right. I also lose my breath easier and spend a solid minute just standing there waiting for my breath to regulate in the middle of some WODs.

What I’m doing now:

- I stopped box jumps. I’m clumsy anyway and the risk of falling is too great. - I scale back on tire flips and heavy deadlifts. - I find modifications for back and belly exercises.

Preggo CrossFit Tips:

-Consult your doctor first. - Make sure your instructors know you are pregnant. The coaching I receive is different now (I squat slightly wider to make room for the belly) and my coaches have helped me with modifications mid-WOD. - Drink plenty of water. And then more and a little more. - Wear a supportive bra and breathable clothes. They go a long way! - Watch your body temp and heart rate. Realize you may have to rest more now than pre-pregnancy. - As long as you are low-risk and have your doctor’s approval, always take information from the web in with a grain of salt. I even disagree with mods from CrossFit Mom.  Find what works for you and avoid feeling pressure to perform a certain way during this time (or ever).
A New Life
September 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0

Forget living like you’re dying- live like you’re having a baby!

I may complain about constipation and admit that I don’t feel connected to my baby yet, but the truth is that pregnancy has already changed my life in more positive ways than anything else.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Slowing Down

I love being around kids because they bring you back to the basics of life: they play in the rain, laugh a lot and don’t sweat the small stuff (unless they’re toddlers). I want to embrace every moment of being pregnant and adding to our family so I’ve evaluated the things clogging up my life. We cancelled our hulu account and, since we never had cable, are finding more time at night to put on music and simply talk. I avoid always having technology around me. A few weeks ago I had the most amazing moment, all because I had my eyes open. So many blue birds travel through our back yard and I love them. One tired afternoon I paused my chores to rest on the bed and look out the window. There’s a tree right outside the window and it was moving so gracefully in the wind. And suddenly a big, gorgeous blue bird landed right in front of my window on one of those branches. I watched closely as he examined the area, eventually darted down to the ground and came up to the branch. It was beautiful and absolutely made my day. And I never would have seen it if I was scanning facebook on my iPhone.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

At Ease

I’ve become more relaxed about everything. I was never an overly-anxious person, but I can’t believe how carefree I’ve been since getting pregnant. By living in the moment and trusting that everything does in fact work out in the end, there’s not really any space for worry. That new job I started not long ago at Sommer Sports? It ended up being terrible and I left shortly after finding out we were pregnant. Without spending a day worrying I found a new position that’s more than I could ever ask for. It all works out.
“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith, Joy in the Morning

It’s a Good Body

I feel at home in my body. My body is a vessel and it’s doing something amazing. I’ve left old ideals in the dust and am embracing these new wider hips and and extra scrunches of fat around my body. Richard loves my pregnant body, too. It’s romantic how in love he is with my changing shape. By appreciating what my body is doing I’ve learned to appreciate it for more than what it looks like.
 ”We have a secret in our culture, it’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm

Making Us Time

Eventually our kids will grow up, move out and create families of their own. When that times comes, I’ll still have Richard. I love what we have now and our bond staying strong is a huge priority as we take on new adventures and challenges. We are making it a point to go on more dates before baby and just connect more about our day. We’re also talking about those little things that bother us… because we know little things can become big things with no sleep and a crying baby. We’re getting to know each other on a deeper level as we talk about our feelings through this process of growing a baby.
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. Henry Drummond

Love Bigger

Sure, it’s sappy. And yes, it probably has something to do with hormones. I feel like my capacity to love has increased, as well as my desire and patience to do so. As much as pregnancy often brings attention to me in a crowd, growing a child is selfless in many ways. As I loosen the reigns on my own needs and wants, there’s a little more space to give love.
 “I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Joining the League

I’ve always felt like a kid when talking about having children. Warnings from people who are parents and my own family were endless. We were told to wait, wait, wait. We were told how hard it is. Well, now we’re pregnant! While we’re not parenting yet, we feel like we’ve joined the league in a way and are comfortable with making decisions on how we want to birth, parent and more. Nobody else will be able to do this for us.
 “You never understand life until it grows inside of you.” ― Sandra Chami Kassis 

Going For It

I am a planner and tend to be very reasonable and conservative when spending money or making plans. I love practicality. Those tendencies led us to a profitable budget that is paying for this baby, but now I’m learning to loosen that grip every now and then, too. This is a fact: our life will not end when we have kids. But we understand things will change, so if there’s something we want to do, the time is now! Since finding out we were pregnant we’ve crossed more off our bucket list than ever before. We’re going to plays, canoeing with alligators,  trying new restaurants and taking day trips from coast to coast.
 ”A grand adventure is about to begin.” – Winnie the Pooh
It’s funny how the things that matter in life are so much more simple than what we may have guessed growing up. I wish I could go back to 17-year-old me, tell her to appreciate the little moments and show her a glimpse at how beautiful her life would be.
Another Pregnancy Post
September 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm 0

My first pregnant CrossFit photo and my belly is hiding...

I swore this wouldn’t turn into a pregnancy blog, but, this is another pregnancy post. I’m pregnant. It’s what’s going on. I’ll think of other things to talk about soon. Tomorrow I will post about CrossFitting with a baby in my belly, but for now here are my thoughts at 17.5 weeks: - I can feel my skin stretching. It doesn’t feel good. - I’m oddly self-conscious when baring my belly in public. And, yes, I think part of that is that everyone knows I had sex to get my belly. - The more I learn and grow the more I’m becoming this liberal, free-thinking mama ready to defy stereotypes… and the more scared I am to broadcast my honest feelings about pregnancy and the perceptions about it. - I’ve been loving and accepting my new more round body more, although I miss feeling sexy and carefree in my own skin. Spontaneous, fun sex is less likely when it feels like the baby is kicking my stomach into my ribs. - Don’t like being the center of attention? Too bad! Everyone loves baby bellies. I’ve finally learned that I don’t have to answer, “fat, bloated, constipated and gassy!” every time someone asks how I’m feeling. “Pretty good!” is sufficing. - Pet peeve of the year: people who roll their eyes when I tell them (solicited.. I don’t go around blurting these things out) that I’m excited for a natural, drug-free birth. So many people have told me that it’s going to hurt too bad and I’ll get an epidural. Funny enough, the women who delivered naturally say the opposite. - You know all those cute photo collages of women every day or every week of their pregnancy? Yeah, we’ve done none of them. We have a few photos of me in a bikini. - There’s a lot of deep, dark parts to pregnancy that they just don’t tell you. We have doubts about becoming parents and worry that we won’t love our child. I haven’t bonded with the baby like I thought I would by now. It’s all normal and makes for great conversation. - The world is pregnant. I am so grateful for the miracle that is pregnancy, but you’ll never realize how many people receive that miracle until you’re pregnant! I swear pregnant bellies attract each other. Tomorrow: how I’m CrossFitting with a baby belly and a photo where it actually looks like I’m pregnant. Any questions?
Review: Mix My Own Muesli
September 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Klara with Mix My Own emailed me about her healthy breakfast company and asked if I’d like to give it a try. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you why I said yes, so here’s what I thought of Mix My Own! Here’s how it works: you decide you want a new, healthy option for breakfast. You visit the Mix My Own site and begin building your muesli or granola or cereal mix. You add in your fun mix-ins. Name your custom mix. Go to checkout, pay about$5 for shipping and get your mix to your doorstep in about two days! Your options: 1. Base like five grain bircher muesli, whole grain honey almond vanilla granola, organic multigrain flakes and organic ancient grains flakes. 2. Base Ingredients like organic quinoa flakes, raw/toasted wheat germ, crunchy whole grain coconut granola and whole grain rye flakes. 3. Fruits like organic apple chips, freeze dried bananas, dates, goji berries and mulberries. 4. Nuts & Seeds like cashews, chia seeds, organic coconut, pistachios and pumpkin seeds. 5. Extras like organic acai powder, organic cacao nibs, organic ground cinnamon, matcha tea powder and vanilla bean. And BOOM. You have an awesome muesli mix to prepare at home and enjoy. My “Dog Day” mix was full of flavor with a large portion of mix-ins. There were huge chunks of walnuts and just enough of the seeds and dried fruits. It was heavy on the cinnamon so I prepare mine with some plain rolled oats. Some thoughts about Mix My Own:  - easy to go back to different sections and add more to your base - all selections loaded in the handy sidebar so it was easy to track my design - love the amount of organic and raw selections and that I can add ingredients twice :) - the actual mix was stuffed with ingredients I really enjoyed the ordering process and final product with Mix My Own. It’s not in my budget to use as a daily breakfast, but I can see it as a treat or a great gift. I can imagine mixes for college freshman, new parents or a health nut’s birthday. Have you tried Mix My Own? What do you enjoy in your muesli or oatmeal?
Zooma Inspired Yoga + Run Race Recap
September 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Saturday morning my friends Jenny, Janna and I piled in Jenny’s car at 4:50am to make our way to Jacksonville for the Zooma event Inspired Yoga + Run. It was early and we were sleepy, but the trip ended up being well worth the effort. Google Maps had trouble directing us to the Sea Walk Pavilion on Jacksonville Beach, but we eventually found the party, parked super close by and headed to the check-in table to claim our free tank and a little stretchy wristband that served as our bib or ticket to the event. The check-in process was like the rest of the event- friendly, relaxed and easy. How awesome is this race tank in a woman’s cut?! The event kicked off with a 55-minute yoga class at 7:30am and we unrolled our mats on the dew-covered grass. There was plenty of room to spread out with a clear view of the stage. The yoga teacher had a mic so we had no trouble hearing her directions. The class was very gentle and all-levels-focused. I appreciated being encouraged to take each pose wherever I wanted to, even if it was skipping it for child’s pose. There was a yogi on stage following the practice to serve as a demonstration but it was more confusing than if the teacher was practicing. The teacher often directed to move the right side when the yogi was moving her left side and so on. There were several confusing moments, but overall the beautiful location and glow of the sun more than made up for having to double check my position. The class was fun, relaxing and even a little inspiring. It set the tone for a great day. After the class we had about 10 minutes to get ready for the run. We loaded our mats back in the car and ditched our shoes in the grass. There wasn’t an official start line or timing gun so we actually ended up starting a few minutes behind everyone else. As we were about ready to start I was able to meet Allison who works with Zooma and invited me out. She explained the course was 1.5 miles out on the beach to a water station and 1.5 miles back. She encouraged us to go farther or turn around earlier, a relaxed offer I really appreciated! We were so blissed out from the gorgeous weather and relaxing yoga class that we opted for a walk in the water over a run. We took our time and chatted while observing the inspiring quotes placed along the way. We took the relaxing theme a bit further and turned around at the first mile marker making our walk three miles instead of two. We wanted to get back to the food! I think Jacksonville Beach is a pretty amazing location to walk or run! There were a few Zooma ladies who cheered us on near the finish line and welcomed us back. They directed us back near the pavilion to enjoy some goodies. I loved the brands at Zooma! I grabbed some hint water, Chobani yogurt and a KIND bar. It was plenty of food to refuel from the light morning. I appreciated that it was all so tasty and healthy, too. (FYI: Coconut Chobani is incredible.) There weren’t many shaded places to sit at the end and it was quiet without any music so we headed back to the car and continued on with our day, We spent a few more hours in Jacksonville before heading back to Orlando. I really enjoyed the Zooma event Inspired Yoga + Run. It was a relaxing, beautiful day that really catered to all levels and encouraged guests to enjoy the event at their own pace. The event was on the smaller side so checking in, finding a spot for yoga, grabbing food and parking was a breeze and we didn’t wait for anything. Parking close to a race or event is priceless, especially in the Florida heat! The beautiful tank is a huge bonus, too. Finally, an event T-shirt I will actually wear! If I could change anything, I would add more to the after-party. The event was great and post-race food was a treat, but there wasn’t much of an atmosphere to hang around and enjoy it. This was my first Zooma race and I’m on my way to check out the rest of their race calendar now. I like the way they approach events and would love to enjoy another day with them and friends! Have you ever participated in a Zooma event?
Things I’m Loving (and not)
September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0

Things I’m loving right now:

- All of your sweet comments on my 10 Ways to Know You’re Pregnant post.

- Not having to suck in my stomach anymore.

- Telling Richard daily, “can you take out the trash/feed the dogs/kill that roach/pay the bills? I’m carrying our baby.”

- Knowing I’m close to that cute pregnant belly stage and away from the bloated-constipated look.

-Setting PRs in CrossFit while simultaneously growing a human from my lunch.

- The boobs.

Things I’m not loving right now:

- I can’t run. I can’t even breathe! Sometimes I feel like I’m going to die from climbing one step of stairs.

- Belly rubs. Just don’t do it.

- Always talking about all things baby.

- This is the worst kind of baby fever- I still want to steal other people’s kids and I know I have one of my own, but it still looks like an alien and is trapped inside me.

- I’ve traded wine and pumpkin beers for ginger chews, aloe vera juice and GasX.

- Everything is bigger. Even my elbows feel bigger.