#likeagirl

I can’t watch this video without getting tears in my eyes. For many reasons, this video is powerful. empowering. sobering. uplifting. As a new mom, I hope I can teach LJ (and future children) that girls can do anything, and being a girl it isn’t a “bad” thing.

Imagine how the world can change when the rules are rewritten. When “like a girl” doesn’t have limits, when it isn’t an insult.

I’m proud to run #LikeAGirl

What do you do #likeagirl?

transamerica & rock n roll los angeles

I’m in Los Angeles and the weather couldn’t be more perfect! The sun is shining, there’s a nice breeze, and I’m wearing shorts in October.  I’m in LA to run Rock n Roll LA and my mom and LJ are with me. Life is pretty good!

Similar to RnR San Francisco and Philadelphia, I’ll start from the last corral (and I’m the very last person to start!) and for every person I pass, Transamerica will donate $1 to ASPCA, an organization that works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide. I’m so proud to support an organization that values animals and their lives.

Join me at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 24-25. You’ll have a chance learn more about Transamerica, meet me and the Transamerica team, and ask questions related to running and training. Be sure to stop by if you have questions about training, running, nutrition, and more. My favorite part? Guess how many runners I’m going to pass and you’ll have a chance to win prizes (at the Transamerica booth)!

Transamerica, Rock n Roll, and {will run for margaritas} will follow my progress, check us out for more info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Transamerica
Twitter: @Transamerica
Pinterest: http://tr.pinterest.com/transamerica/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willrunformargaritas
Twitter: @run4margaritas
Instagram: http://web.stagram.com/n/run4margaritas
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/run4margaritas/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RnRMarathonSeries
Twitter: @runrocknroll
Instagtram: http://instagram.com/runrocknroll
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/runrocknroll/

Army Ten Miler {race report}

Army Ten Miler weekend is always one of my favorites.  It’s been a mother/daughter tradition (+ husband, and now sisters) since 2007 when I moved to DC!  At the time my parents were living in Florida, and my mom would come up every year to hang out and run the race.  It’s our thing and that’s why it’s so special to me.

This year we qualified for PRIORITY REGISTRATION, which is a pretty big deal if you ask me.  Priority registration is given to all U.S. service members and runners who have participated in 7 or more ATM races.  And with race capacity increasing every year, it’s more & more important to have this option.  Registration was a breeze; definitely a plus when considering running/registering for a race.

I had to sit out the 2013 race because LJ was just one week old.  However, the 2014 race fell on his FIRST birthday, and I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate him (and me).  A lot happens in one year!

I didn’t train quite like I wanted to, and ATM was sandwiched between 2 half-marathons, so I decided to use the race as a training run.  Training runs take the pressure off, especially since I’m so competitive.  My sister was running with me, so I knew she’d keep me on track/pace for the race we planned to run.

Race day was a little chilly, and we probably waited a little too long to check our gear.  If I had been racing, I wouldn’t have made this mistake… but again, low pressure race, low pressure expectations.  We did a couple jumping jacks, checked our gear, and made our way to the porta-potties with what we thought was enough time before the race start.  Wrong!  With 35,000 runners (a new increase for the 30th Anniversary), there weren’t nearly enough porta-potties.  And when I say not enough, I mean it was the longest porta-potty line I’ve ever waited in at a race (and I’ve run A LOT of races in my life).  I was in the first corral, but my sister was in the second, so we planned to start with the Green Corral.  Nice try.  It was another 20 minutes (after the green corral started) before we made it to the starting line, weaving in and out of other corrals to make our way to the start.

While a 20 minute penalty doesn’t seem like a huge deal, especially for a training run, the course was already completely congested.  At Mile 1, we were walking up the hill by Arlington National Cemetery (yes, walking) because the course was too crowded.  And quite frankly, it didn’t get any better.  The course and roads are only so wide – an extra 5,000 runners makes a huge difference.

Even though I was frustrated (even for a training run), I kept reminding myself that it was a beautiful day for a run.  And it was.  The weather was perfect.  And on top of that, I am thankful that I’m able to run.  The most inspiring thing about Army Ten Miler is watching the Wounded Warriors run the race.  It can’t be easy – but you never seem them complaining.  Instead, they persevere though the pain.  It’s really quite humbling.

I didn’t have the training run I was hoping for, and honestly it was my least favorite Army Ten Miler, but it was fun to keep the tradition going and run ten miles to celebrate my LJ.  I’ll be back next year, and will make sure I allow enough time to hit the porta-potties and the race start.

{final thoughts}
I’ve never said anything bad about the Army Ten Miler!  In fact, it’s my favorite race I’ve ever run (which is why I keep coming back).  But the 2014 race was my least favorite.  The course was entirely too crowded.  I work in the running industry, so I’m intimately familiar with races/registration.  I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again:

“When you start adding numbers (in this case, runners) in order to make more money, you take away from the runner experience.  Experience is everything!  If you want people to keep coming back, and promoting the race, you have to make sure that runners have a positive experience at your event.  The second that changes, the race loses appeal.” – melody parry jones 

And for the sake of Army Ten Miler, I really hope that doesn’t happen.  Please consider lowering the race registration numbers for 2015.  Additionally, I did not like the new course.  There’s something really fun about running down Independence Ave with runners and spectators as far as the eye can see; the course change, and running through Pentagon City, just didn’t feel right.

I’ll end on a positive note – THANK YOU to all of the volunteers and soldiers that make this race possible!  Your enthusiasm and support does not go unnoticed.  Thank you again!

 

{stats}
Time: 1:26:26
Place: 6468/26307
Division: 351/2415
Gender: 1532/12387

 

Did you run Army Ten Miler?  How did you do?  Share your race report in the comments section!

{race report} rock n roll philadelphia

I can’t believe how quickly September came & went (or the whole summer for that matter).  I had grand plans of half-marathon training – speed work, long runs, and tempos – but between LJ, work, and life I just didn’t get around to training like I wanted.  I crammed a couple of long-ish runs leading up to Rock n Roll Philadelphia and crossed my fingers it would all work out.  Thankfully, it did.

Race Weekend
We arrived in Philly on Thursday via Acela.  It was LJ’s first train ride and he loved it; lots of looking out the window, laughing, and trying to move all over the place – I’m so thankful we have a happy, easy traveler.  BJ, LJ, and I woke up Friday morning and took a nice run through the city.  I had to work the expo in the afternoon, so it was nice to spend some time with my boys.  After breakfast, I headed to the expo – my favorite part about race weekend!  I started with a Q&A with John Bingham; we had a great time catching up, talking about the Tomorrow Chaser Program, and understanding what it means to be a mother runner.  After Q&A, I headed to the Transamerica booth to hang out and talk with runners.  People had a chance to guess how many runners I would pass, and it was fun to hear their guesses.  There was a huge range, from 62 runners/dollars to 20,000 runners/dollars (when only 19,000 signed up, ha).  After the expo we headed to dinner at Alma de Cuba, a Stephan Starr restaurant.  This post isn’t meant to be a restaurant review – but if you’re ever in Philly, you must go.  It was amazing!  We took a family walk on Saturday morning before I headed to the expo again for Q&A, lots of chatting with (nervous) runners, and seeing (and meeting) some friends (Pavement Runner and meet Chris Heuisler, the RunWestin Concierge).  It was fun to connect with so many different people.

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Race Dayrnr3
After a not-so-great night of sleep, I was very thankful for an 8am start time.  I was able to wake-up on my own (or with the help of my human alarm, LJ), take a shower, nurse LJ, eat some breakfast, and hang out before walking to the start, about 1 mile from our hotel.  It was a nice morning, albeit a little humid (as in 97% humidity at 6:45am).  My only commitment was an on-stage interview before the race – but then I had time to relax in VIP before starting the race (last!).  I guessed it would be 30 minutes before I started, approximately 1 corral every 60-90 seconds.  I was way off.  It was 50 minutes before I started the race – a lot of time to try to make up.  The first 4 miles of the race lead runners past signature Philly landmarks including S. Penn Square and City Hall – and I tried to enjoy the sights as much as I could (although, it’s a little difficult when weaving in-and-out of runners); the remainder of the race is a sort of out-and-back loop along the Schuylkill River.  The scenery was really pretty and the course was shaded, which helped with the high humidity.  I was holding an 8 minute pace for most of the race, and while it felt laborsome at times, it was a comfortable pace.  The hardest part of the race – and trying to run 8 minute miles – is the amount of weaving I have to do; it’s definitely a mental challenge.  Around mile 8, I remember thinking that I was ready for the turnaround point and ready to start counting down the miles.  Thankfully, around the same time, I passed a runner and she yelled “Hey, are you the runner that started last and is passing all of these people to raise money for charity?!”  With a big smile on my face, I turned around and said “Yes! That’s me – thanks for your dollar!”  She then proceeded to tell all of the runners around her what the goal of the Tomorrow Chaser Program is.  It was awesome!  Not too long after, the end was in sight.  I could see the crowds and I knew I was getting close to Eakins Oval, there’s always such great energy toward the end of the race!  With 1 mile to go, I picked up the pace and really sprinted up the last hill (thanks for that, ha).  It felt great to be done!

Check Presentation
The best part of the Tomorrow Chaser Program is being able to connect with the charity partner and present the check to them.  For Rock N Roll Philadelphia I was raising funds for IM ABLE Foundation – an organization that builds and supports active lifestyles for individuals with disabilities.  I was able to meet the founder, Chris Kaag, a disabled US Marine and present the check to him.  When he realized that I had raised (and passed) $7,889, I thought he might cry.  It was such a wonderful moment!  To IM ABLE Foundation, that check is able to help a handful of people with disabilities.  And for that, I’m thankful.

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Final Thoughts
15,608 runners started and finished Rock n Roll Philadelphia.  I passed 7,889 runners, raising $7889 for IM ABLE Foundation!  I was so excited!  I’m so proud to be a part of the Transamerica team, creating better tomorrows for people.

I feel really thankful that some of my family could be there to see me finish the race and present the check.  A huge THANK YOU to BJ, LJ, my sister, and her bf, and a great friend from college for supporting my racing endeavors.

RnR1

Who’s running LA?  I’ll see you in a couple of weeks…

 

For more miles, motherhood, and margaritas, follow me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willrunformargaritas
Twitter: @run4margaritas
Instagram: http://instagram.com/run4margaritas
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/run4margaritas/

transamerica & rock n roll philadelphia

Can you believe its already September?! It seems like it was just April and I was running RnR San Francisco! This weekend I’m teaming with with Transamerica and Competitor Group to run Rock n Roll Philadelphia.

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Similar to RnR San Fran, I’ll start from the last corral and for every person I pass, Transamerica will donate $1 to IM ABLE, a foundation that was created to build and support active lifestyles for individuals with disabilities.  The mission of the IM ABLE Foundation is to remove obstacles that prevent people affected by disabilities from being physically active by providing grants, resources, fitness opportunities and motivation. IM ABLE changes attitudes about the potential of disabled individuals by redefining what is possible.

I’m so proud to support an organization that empowers people!

Join me at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on September 19-20.  You’ll have a chance learn more about Transamerica, meet me and the Transamerica team, and ask questions related to running and training.  I’m leading a Q&A session on Friday, September 19, at 1pm and Saturday, September 20 at 11am; be sure to attend if you have questions about training, running, nutrition, and more.

My favorite part?  Guess how many runners I’m going to pass and you’ll have a chance to win prizes (at the Transamerica booth)!

Transamerica, Rock n Roll, and {will run for margaritas} will follow my progress, check us out for more info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Transamerica
Twitter: @Transamerica
Pinterest: http://tr.pinterest.com/transamerica/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RnRMarathonSeries
Twitter: @runrocknroll
Instagtram: runrocknroll
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/runrocknroll/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willrunformargaritas
Twitter: @run4margaritas
Instagram: http://web.stagram.com/n/run4margaritas
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/run4margaritas/

acai warrior bowl

Inspired by an acai bowl from a local establishment, I set out to re-create a healthier, organic version.  My acai warrior bowl will become a breakfast (or actually, anytime of day) favorite.  It’s so tasty and delicious – but most important, quick to make.  And because I use my VitaMix, there’s only one thing to clean (my kinda snack, especially with an on-the-move baby).

You can play with different flavors, different fruits, different granolas.  Now matter how many times or ways I make it, this acai warrior bowl is delicious!

warrior bowl

Ingredients
1 package Acai (I use Sambazon from Whole Foods)
1 c organic strawberries – 1/2 c for blender, 1/2 for topping
1 banana – 1/2 banana for the blender, 1/2 for topping
1/2 c water
1/2 c ice
splash of OJ
topping: 1 cup granola – I like my homemade granola, or Michelle’s granola

optional: chia seed, flax seed, kale

Directions: Combine all ingredients in the order listed above.  Blend on high until smooth.  Pour mixture into bowl, top with reserve strawberries, banana, granola.  Garnish with fresh mint.

Enjoy!

why i breastfeed my baby: world breastfeeding week

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to talk about baby feeding.  To me, baby feeding and breastfeeding are the same thing.  Me, feeding my baby.

I love breastfeeding LJ.  It’s one of my favorite things about being his mom.  I need him just as much as he needs me.  

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breastfeeding

breastfeeding in public (without a cover!)

I feel very fortunate that I’ve had success with breastfeeding.  Lincoln latched right away, and we’re almost 10 months into our journey.  It still blows my mind that I can feed my baby (and keep him alive) with my boobs. I had some new mom struggles – LJ sounding like a seal while eating, oversupply, a few trips to the Breastfeeding Support Group at the hospital, and my fair share of homemade lactation cookies – but we kind of click.  And it’s a beautiful, wonderful (breastfeeding) relationship.

Breastfeeding is easy (and by easy, I mean I can do it anywhere, anytime).  If we’re out to lunch and LJ is hungry, I can feed him.  At the mall, yep, I feed him there too.  On an airplane.  On a train.  In the car (parked, of course).  Whole Foods.  Museum.  Library.  Church.  You get the point.  If my baby is hungry, I’m going to feed him.  And when he’s hungry but I’m not with him, I pump (a lot) so he can continue to have breast milk.  I pump when I drive.  I pump when I’m pumping gas.  I pump in hotel lobbies.  I breastfeed and I pump, so my little guy can eat.

I never realized how {controversial} breastfeeding was, until I had my own.  Sure, when I was 16 years old I wondered why a mom would feed her baby without a cover.  Boobs?!  I don’t want to see those.   But I was just a kid.  I didn’t know any better.  Moms telling other moms to cover up, to stop feeding their baby in public, to go to the bathroom.  Well, moms, you should know better. We need to support each other!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the Starbucks story here.

{final thoughts}
My plan is to breastfeed for a least one year, and longer if LJ wants to keep going.  I don’t want to put a hard date on anything.  I’m going to miss it, but feel so thankful for the time I was able to spend with LJ during this crazy, cool ride.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week.  I hope I can use my journey to help normalize breastfeeding (even if in a very, very small way). Whether you breastfeed in public, at home, or in a cave, I hope we can support moms who want to feed their baby whenever and however they choose.

 

 where’s the craziest place you’ve fed your baby?

 

note: I realize that not all moms can breastfeed – or want to breastfeed – their babies.  this post is not intended to offended or make anyone feel bad.  breastfeeding (and in public) is a choice.  as long as your baby is healthy and striving, you are a rockstar, no matter how you feed your baby.

 

{video} Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco, Transamerica Tomorrow Chaser

Do you remember when I ran Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco in April?  As part of the weekend and commitment with Transmerica, I had a personal camera crew following me (pretty awesome if you ask me!).  The video is finally live and I’m so excited to share it with you!

I love running – it’s totally changed my life – and I hope you get a glimpse into why & how.

Enjoy!

 

Why do you run?

 

For more margaritas & running, follow me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willrunformargaritas
Twitter: @run4margaritas
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review: ergobaby 360 baby carrier

I love baby wearing.  It’s so easy and practical.  Plus LJ loves being able to see the world for a different point of view.ergobabym&l

Ergobaby recently came out with a new carrier – the Four Position 360.  I was intrigued, especially since LJ was outgrowing his other baby carrier.  What I loved most – and different from other carriers – is that I can wear LJ four ways (most carriers are two ways).    The Four Position 360 Baby Carrier provides four comfortable and ergonomic ways to wear baby: Front-Inward, Front-Outward, Hip and Back carry positions. You should see LJ front-outward facing when we’re at Whole Foods or Target; he’s seriously funny and knows how to get the attention of the whole store (he’s such a ham).

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I knew the Ergo would be great for quick, every day events: errands, grocery shopping, house work, walks around the neighborhood. But could it function – both from a fit and comfort perspective – on more rigorous adventures? I decided to put the Ergo 360 to the test!  A couple of weeks ago our family ventured to Shenandoah National Park for a  a four mile hike and I decided it would be best (and easiest) to wear LJ.

We started the hike with LJ in the back carry position.  It was so comfortable, for both of us, that LJ fell asleep 15 minutes into the hike!  He slept for about 40 minutes and seemed snug (as a bug in a rug) for the entirety of his nap.  After his nap, I moved him to front -outward facing so he could see what was going on: colors, trees, animals, etc.  He didn’t get upset once and liked both positions.  I would say that back facing was more comfortable for me during the hike (but that would be true about any carrier; I mean, it makes sense that you wear a backpack on your back).  Another great feature, is that the Ergo is breathable and fairly lightweight; we didn’t get hot once, even in the heat of the summer.  Overall, the Ergo withstood the test.

{why ergo 360}

  • Correct Baby Ergonomics Babies will always be in an ergonomic frog-leg, seated position with knees even to or above hips, and spine in curved “C” position
  • Maximum parent comfort (from petite moms to dads)
  • Versatility with four wearing positions
  • Baby weight range: 7- 33lbs (newborn with infant insert)

{where to buy}
I ordered my Ergobaby 360 from authorized dealer, Maison Drake.  Maison Drake offers everything for baby, child, and mother. I’ve ordered quite a few things from MD; customer service is wonderful and orders arrive quickly (which is what I need when I’m ordering something for LJ!).  Plus, there are so many great brands to choose from (a few of my favorites: Aden & Anais, Milkmakers (when I don’t make my own lactation cookies), Chewbeads, and more).

Use code MDSAVE15 to receive 15% off your first order (Ergobaby included in this deal)

I can’t say enough good things about the Ergo 360.  If you’re a babywearing pro, or new to the art of wearing your baby, the Ergobaby 360 is the way to go. You’ll love being able to move baby around based on activity, age, or comfort- and it’s so easy to use!

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For more margaritas & motherhood, follow me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willrunformargaritas
Twitter: @run4margaritas
Instagram: http://web.stagram.com/n/run4margaritas
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/run4margaritas/

And Maison Drake:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maison.drake
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaisonDrake
Instagram: http://instagram.com/maisondrakebaby

 

 

For full disclosure, I won my Ergo 360 from Maison Drake.  MD was hosting a pre-order special; for every customer that pre-ordered the Ergo 360, they were entered to win it for free.  I pre-ordered and was lucky enough to win my carrier for free.  I was in no way obligated to write a post about the Ergobaby 360 – but loved it so much that I wanted to share my experience.  Opinions are my own.

 

recipe: lactation cookies

I love breastfeeding LJ!  It’s one of favorite things about being a mom, I love the uninterrupted one-on-one time with him.  Just the two of us.  But with the introduction of more solids into his diet, and some mild stress on my part, I noticed a slight decrease in supply.  When I only pumped one ounce during a recent pump (and normally get 4 ounces), I kinda freaked.

So I did what any crazed-want-to-breastfeed-my-baby-at-least-one-year new mom would do.  I headed to the kitchen and whipped up a batch of lactation cookies.  Good news, they taste just like the real thing.

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Keep in mind, you will need a couple of “secret” and not-available at your local grocery store items.  I suggest buying all items before trying to make these; you don’t want to get through half the recipe and realize you don’t have Brewer’s Yeast (aka milk-making magic).

Ingredients   image

{wet}
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flax seed (ground)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs (I use cage & antibiotic free from Whole Foods)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
*mix water & ground flax seed together in a small bowl and mixture let sit while combining all other wet ingredients

{dry}
2 cups oat flour (found at Whole Foods)
4-5 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast (this is the magic so I like to add 5)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

{the sweet stuff}
3 cups rolled oats
1 package semi-sweet
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1/2 walnuts (optional)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix water & ground flax seed together; set aside (about 5 minutes).  Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, also add flax seed mixture .  In another bowl, stir dry ingredients together.  Combine everything (wet & dry) in large bowl and add the “sweet stuff”.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with Olive Oil/Pam spray.  Spoon balls of cookie mixture onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown.  Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Enjoy (and happy milk-making)!

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