39.5 miles in June and school is out!

You know you are a runner when you don’t round your mileage ;). You also know it’s killing me to see that .5 – it won’t happen again 🙂
  June is always a tough month, there are a million things going on. Here in the Northeast, school just got out (the last day for the boys was June 25). This means lots of fun end of the year events, field trips and school celebrations. Not great for running.  

Last night was my first night at the track. Definitely hard to get back in the swing of ovals. The beauty of the track is you can focus on intervals when you aren’t feeling it. We walked and sprinted to get back in the groove.

Previously, the boys participated in a running program and I ran with friends while they were in class. This year, we have baseball. I am still meeting my friend on Tuesday nights and will sneak in miles elsewhere 🙂

I realized while I was looking at my running stats how much has changed in a year. July is usually our best month because we have the set time at the track. We generally logged between 12 and 14 miles a week. Over the past year, we’ve increased our weekly runs and this is much more our norm.

The end of June taught me to take it hour by hour (day by day was a little overwhelming) and so far it is working. This hour is for chauffeuring, this hour is for teaching, beach, grocery shopping, etc. Thankfully, I included this hour is for running.

So far, we are soaking up as much summer fun as possible!! How is your summer going? Is it busy or does it slow down?

39.5 miles in June and school is out!

You know you are a runner when you don’t round your mileage ;). You also know it’s killing me to see that .5 – it won’t happen again 🙂   
June is always a tough month, there are a million things going on. Here in the Northeast, school just got out (the last day for the boys was June 25). This means lots of fun end of the year events, field trips and school celebrations. Not great for running.  

Last night was my first night at the track. Definitely hard to get back in the swing of ovals. The beauty of the track is you can focus on intervals when you aren’t feeling it. We walked and sprinted to get back in the groove.

Previously, the boys participated in a running program and I ran with friends while they were in class. This year, we have baseball. I am still meeting my friend on Tuesday nights and will sneak in miles elsewhere 🙂

I realized while I was looking at my running stats how much has changed in a year. July is usually our best month because we have the set time at the track. We generally logged between 12 and 14 miles a week. Over the past year, we’ve increased our weekly runs and this is much more our norm.

The end of June taught me to take it hour by hour (day by day was a little overwhelming) and so far it is working. This hour is for chauffeuring, this hour is for teaching, beach, grocery shopping, etc. Thankfully, I included this hour is for running.

So far, we are soaking up as much summer fun as possible!! How is your summer going? Is it busy or does it slow down?

Our time in Capri

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I traveled to Italy with my husband at the end of September. This was our first long distance, kids free trip. We’ve done a few weekends in New York City and many overnights, but it’s never involved planes or been for more than two nights.

We have traveled a bit and always walk A LOT. I packed a trusty pair of sneakers and cute shoes for the evening. Off to Naples we went!

I had heard that Naples could be a little edgy and I don’t speak the language. I decided to leave my running gear at home. Not to mention, I didn’t think I would want to run.

We arrived Sunday night at our amazing hotel. It was the rare occasion where the hotel undersold its location. We were right on the water with a pedestrian street directly in front of the hotel.
Our view…

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Being a Sunday, the Italians were all out for a stroll. All shapes, sizes, ages and family dynamics were out walking, running and riding bikes. It was fun to see a culture embrace getting out and moving together.

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As we enjoyed breakfast the next morning, we saw tons of people out running and I was actually a little jealous. I wanted to go for a run (this is definitely a new experience). Alas, I didn’t have my gear.

We ventured out for the day and walked a good portion of Naples before catching a ferry to Capri. The line for the funicular was extremely long and we decided to walk around. We saw a sign to walk up to Capri Town and decided why not. Off we went, uphill 😉

We found walking up gave us a great opportunity to stop and enjoy the view of the sea and lemon trees. We also saw cute entrances to homes. Even a cat scaling an iron gate. We were able to get a feel for the people who live between the sea and Capri Town.

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Once we reached town, we walked around and took in the beautiful scenery. After an amazing lunch, we walked around some more.

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Allowing ourselves to wander and climb some more hills. We found ourselves on the other side of the island and these amazing views.

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Eventually, we walked back downhill and went to the beach for a little while before catching our ferry back to Naples.

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Turns out I didn’t need to go running, there was plenty of exercise to be had. The ability to walk up and explore was one I don’t take for granted, but am so happy we did it.

Do you walk when you travel? What’s your favorite place to visit?

Find your passion and be authentic #FitBlogNYC

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Two weeks ago (where does the time go?) I ventured to New York City to attend Fitness Magazine’s Fitness Blogger Meet and Tweet, also known as #FitBlogNYC. I was lucky enough to attend last year (you can read the recap here) and have been dying to go back! This time, I made it a little easier on myself.

Rather than waking up at 3 a.m., I went down the day before and stayed with one of my good college friends and her family in Brooklyn. Win/win – less sleep deprivation and catching up with my friend :). I was already more relaxed and knowing I would see some familiar faces made it even better!

I ventured over to the Mercedes Club in a bit of a drizzle, but not the expected down pours. As always, I was early and able to meet a few bloggers while waiting for the event to open. It was fun, but also a little nerve wracking as I hoped to see familiar faces right away.

Once we had our badges and schedule of events, breakfast was served and the seating area was set-up inside. Last year, it was beautiful and we enjoyed the roof deck. I picked a spot in the middle and center.

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First up was Betty Wong with Holly Rilinger talking about The New Formula for Fitness Success. Holly was awesome! She is a 5’4″ former pro basketball player; clearly she knows a thing or two about working hard and finding success.

Holly spoke a lot about finding a form of fitness that you like and can be passionate about. She talked about checking in with yourself every three or four weeks to see if you are still enjoying what you are doing and getting the desired results. Good nutrition and enough sleep were also important topics discussed.

Holly recommended scheduling enough sleep like a workout or meeting. She mentioned that the human growth hormone is made when you achieve REM. In other words, if you are working out hard, eating right and not sleeping enough – you won’t get the same results in energy/weight loss/muscle development.

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Next up was Dr Marci Goolsby talking about CrossFit, Mud runs, Marathons! How to Stay Healthy in a Hard-Core World. The primary take home from Marci is that most injury (regardless of the type of fitness) comes from doing too much too soon and not paying attention to nutrition. She recommended trying something out for a while before going all in.

There was a real emphasis on eating well and fueling the body. Marci spoke about women who stop menstruating and how important it is to talk with your doctor if this happens. It is often a result of poor nutrition and needs to be looked at in a timely manner.

While it’s important to keep moving, it’s also important to listen to your body. If something hurts enough to change your stride or movement pattern, it’s time to see a doctor. Always better safe than sorry 🙂

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The last presentation before lunch was Carla Hall, co-host of The Chew as well as cookbook author and business owner. I cannot say enough good things about Carla. Ultimately, much of it will be in another post. Her energy is infectious and she has a great sense of humor.

She is adamant that people should not give up foods traditional to their culture for a diet. Carla suggests moderation or finding small ways to keep flavor and tradition while being a little healthier. Along these lines, she was quite clear that Thanksgiving is not a good time to try a completely new menu. Try new sides, but keep the primary foods traditional.

While maintaining tradition is important, playing with different spices is a great way to change up recipes. She suggested using your favorite protein source and finding many different ways to prepare it. Carla also stated that you shouldn’t cut out all fat. A little oil, butter or cream can go a long way and will keep you from looking for it elsewhere.

After all this talk about food, it was time for lunch and it was amazing!!! I had the lemon chicken, grilled veggies and quinoa salad. All of it was delicious 🙂

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After eating, it was time to visit sponsors. Of course I had to plank with Aliah from The Get Fit Diva for the Tonalin booth.

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I have to say, I loved the Balance Bar and Luna bars. We also received a fun tech shirt from Eddie Bauer and it’s awesome! Of course, new sneakers from Hoka One One and lots of networking.

Sadly, my phone isn’t holding much of a charge and it spent this time on the charger with these other phones 🙂

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I enjoyed catching up with Nikki from Get Fit with Nikki, Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama, Christine from Love, Life, Surf and finally met Carly from Fine Fit Day in person!! After chatting away, it was time for one last presentation.

Bianca Jade, Anne Mauney, RD and Laura spoke with us about My Digital Brand is My Business. All three women were inspirational and savvy business women. The big take home from this discussion is to find your passion, work hard and be true to yourself.

Did I mention the swag? I’m embarrassed to say, my arms were a little sore the next morning from carrying all of these fun treats home 🙂

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Overall, it was an amazing day!! Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to attend a future event 🙂

If you attended #Fit Blog NYC please leave your recap n the comments 🙂 I love seeing everyone’s perspective on the day!

Running with friends

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When I began running, it was all about me. I didn’t want anyone else running with me. Sometimes on the treadmill was ok because I could go at my own speed. I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s workout.

Now, I hate running by myself. I’ve been walking on the treadmill to keep moving and often clear my head before teaching a class. Running has become social.

I love it in the summer when I run and walk with friends at the track. Again, it’s like the treadmill. People can go ahead or slow down at their own pace, but we are all there together. Somewhere along the way, running with friends has become a huge highlight of my week!

It’s my “me” time, the equivalent of meeting for coffee. I don’t know when this happened! There are so many strange phrases coming out of my mouth. For example, “it’s only _ miles” or “I wish I brought my running stuff on vacation”. The craziest was this past week.

My running friend and I had scheduled a 5 mile run on Friday afternoon. Her daughter wound up being home with a stomach bug (life of a mom) and she had to cancel. I was genuinely disappointed. I looked at my husband and said I can’t believe how bummed I am about not going for our run.

On my way to teach, I thought of a friend I might be able to talk into joining me. The running gods smiled down, because there she was running on the treadmill when I got to the gym. I mentioned going for a run/walk in her neighborhood AND she said YES!

I was psyched! Of course the weather was cold and wet. It was supposed to clear, but typical New England – it didn’t. I called after my last class to see if she was still game and she was! We ventured out for a 3.25 mile run/walk.

Her long legs made her fast and we only walked for a little over .25 miles. It was great 🙂 We chatted along the way and I found myself explaining that I love getting out and catching up while running.

I can still see the irony as a friend last year told me how great it is to run and talk. I thought she was CRAZY! Who can run AND talk, that’s just insane. Somehow, this has become my reality. I love running with friends. The mileage is secondary to getting out and catching up.

Not to mention, it keeps me accountable. I’m not going to be the one wimping out when the weather isn’t perfect or I don’t feel like it. I have an appointment, somewhere to be and someone counting on me.

I am capable of motivating myself to workout, but why make it less fun? As the winter months approach, I may be stuck back on my own. Right now, I plan on keeping it outside and with friends as long as it’s safe.

There is nothing like the fresh air and quality time with friends.

Do you exercise with friends? What has surprised you about leading a healthy lifestyle? Do you prefer being outside or inside when exercising?

Kayla is Simply Healthy!!

I am so excited to introduce you to Kayla!  I first “met” Kayla through twitter when I began blogging.  Since then, we have shared exercises, stories and cheered each other on in our running adventures.  I love seeing what she’s up to and right now, it’s training for the NYC marathon and she’s running for a great charity!!  Here she is..

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What was your aha moment (when you decided to exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle)?

I have always been active, playing soccer since I was a tot and running track since 6th grade. I continued on through college and played both soccer and ran track at the University of North Dakota. After college, I transitioned from being a hurdler + soccer player to taking on “longer” running and ran my first 5k and 10k. I also took up yoga and pilates, I loved how they made me feel lean and strong in a different way than the heavy lifting I was required to do in college. 

Did you go all in or build over time?

A little of both! I definitely enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have a schedule to follow or practices to be at, so I built slowly over time because I knew I wanted to create a life long passion.

Do you prefer exercising alone or in a group?

Both! I love running the trails alone, road running is way more fun with friends and I enjoy group exercises classes (Zumba, pilates, yoga) to mix things up!

What’s your go-to form of exercise?

Trail running!

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What’s your favorite time to workout?

Lunch time….I’m big on the #runch concept…6 miles for lunch is the most refreshing and rejuvenating way to spend my lunch hour, a quick shower and I am pumped to be back at my desk working.

Does music motivate you?

It does….it releases my inner hip side, too. It is the only time I listen to pop!

What’s your must-have song?

Right now, I am huge on Lissie or Trampled by Turtles. 

How many nights a week do you cook dinner? 4-5

Do you meal prep or make it as you go? 

Both…totally a mix depending on what we have going on during the week! If we are busy, I prep ahead of time, but my girls (ages 5 and 3) both love to help in the kitchen and it is a great way to bond after their days at preschool + daycare.

What’s your favorite recipe? We love making curry!

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?

My two amazing little girls! But after that, I’d have to say running the 2014 Los Angeles Marathon for Every Mother Counts to raise awareness for maternal health in the United States and around the world. The race day itself was 95 degrees warmer than my “warmest” long run in Northern Minnesota, I was dizzy, hyperventilating and walking for a good chunk of miles towards the end. But I finished, with the biggest smile on my face and knowing that I was running for moms around the globe carried me through what was the toughest run I have ever endured. 

What is your current goal? 

I’m running the New York City Marathon on November 2 for Every Mother Counts! I am working to raise awareness and funds for this incredible organization and their projects around the globe. I would love to run a certain time, but most of all, I want to run happy and healthy and experience this bucket list race to the fullest while running in my Every Mother Counts singlet. I am going into this race knowing I am lucky to have experienced two healthy pregnancies and deliveries. But it isn’t because I live in the United States. In fact, the United States ranks 60th (behind even some developing nations) in terms of maternal health. This ranking puts the United States on par with Afghanistan and Central African countries.

Today, 800 women will die giving birth. That’s one woman every two minutes. This happens every single day. Approximately 287,000 women die each year as a result of pregnancy and/or childbirth.

You know what?

90% of these deaths are preventable. With access to skilled birth attendants (midwifes, doctors), technology (ultrasound machines), medication and transportation, 800 more women would become mothers today.

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We have the tools and the know-how to save these mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, teachers, doctors, caregivers and community leaders—if we make it a priority.

Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We inform, engage, and mobilize new audiences to take actions and raise funds that support maternal health programs around the world. 100% of the funds raised by Every Mother Counts go directly to the programs and initiatives they support around the globe.

This year, to support maternal and child health around the world, I challenge you to take action. Stand up and support the women who are pregnant and giving birth here in the United States and around the globe.

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I am running to make sure that other moms don’t have to. Many moms to be have to walk for hours, even a day to reach medical care during their pregnancies. I am taking on the New York City Marathon for Every Mother Counts. You can support my 26.2 miles by donating, every dollar raised goes directly to the work of Every Mother Counts. I am proud to run to raise awareness of maternal health in the United States and the globe. I ran the Los Angeles Marathon for Team Every Mother Counts in March and was honored and humbled to carry mothers around the world in my heart throughout the race.

Thank you Kayla for sharing your story and your passion for Every Mother Counts!  I can’t wait to hear about your NYC experience 🙂

Want to share your own Simply Healthy experience or suggest a friend or family member?  Email me at SimplyModernDance@gmail.com 

Please ask Kayla any questions or support her in the comments!!

Running to heels ~ Mighty Meehan 5k

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I have always heard good things about this race and wanted to check it out last year, but we had committed to a different race. We hadn’t run a race in a month and were looking for one to check out.

I saw the signs for this race and realized we could squeeze it in before attending a family wedding. It seemed like the perfect morning activity. The weather was beautiful and we were greeted by this sight…

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My husband had looked up previous years and we knew the field was generally around 1,000 entrants. By far the largest field we have run with!

The start was great and a little too fast for me. I wound up with a nasty stitch in my side and had to walk around the one mile marker. Thankfully, I had this to look at as I was beyond frustrated!

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It wound up being a blessing. I was behind the people I couldn’t keep up with and now I was with a pack that I could maintain the pace. Unlike the race in August, I was feeling like a failure and had to really push myself mentally. I wanted to walk again, yet not because I was so exhausted I had to. I was tired, yes, but not walking tired.

I kept the pep-talk going. I can do this, keep going, one foot in front of the other, don’t go past a certain pace – guess what?!?! I did it and I finished strong. It certainly wasn’t my best race, but I had some gas left to push hard through the finish and even passed people coming in.

We scooted home post race and got ready for the wedding. It was a wonderful time had by all 🙂

Post race and dancing in heels, my legs were a little sore – a happy, proud sore!!

Have you run before a family event? What’s the largest field you’ve run with? How did you find exercise this weekend?