Friday Five: Summer Eats

22 May

As always, I’m linking up with the BassAss DC Trifecta of Courtney at Eat Pray Run, DC, Cynthia of You Signed Up for What?!? and Mar from Mar on the Run, for their Friday Five series. I link-up because I get so many good ideas from the other bloggers. No.  I mostly link up because they give me a topic.  #LazyBlogger.  Seriously, love these girls for putting this link up together and I hope you go check them out!  I’m also linking up today with the Virginia Bloggers for fun activities to do around Virginia.

This week’s topic is your favorite summer fruits and vegetables but, I mean, really, didn’t I JUST write about my favorite fruits and veggies for spring?  How is it SUMMER ALREADY? I have eaten some amazing and delicious strawberries and the freshest asparagus and my fair, who am I kidding, more than my fair share of local wine but I didn’t get pizza, basil or local cider yet!

I love summer because everything is so fresh!  I know people don’t like to cook in the summer because it’s so hot, but with so many fresh fruits and vegetables there’s not much you have to do IN the kitchen, just eat your veggies nice and fresh and use the grill when you need to.

The most perfect summer food has to be the tomato.  We eat tomatoes all year and then when you bite into a fresh from the vine summer tomato you wonder what in the world you’ve been eating all year.  The summer tomato is glorious.

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Gazpacho, lemon water and a tomato basil salad.

I’ve written before about my love for gazpacho and the great recipe I use to make mine.  I also try and find the best gazpacho each summer at a local restaurant.  Cold soup is not everyone’s favorite, but I swear it is heaven in a bowl when it’s made right.  (Sticks, who is currently in the lead for Charlottesville gazpacho Aimee loves, you let me know when you’re ready.) The recipe I shared before is easy if you have a good food processor and a batch can last all week… but usually doesn’t… because it’s just that good!

Corn On The Cob, zucchini, fresh peaches (oh, here’s a little boozy peach milkshake I whipped up) and cucumbers are on our Relay Foods list almost weekly in the summer.

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Earn $30 off your order of $50 worth of groceries!

Our grill is broken and that needs to get fixed ASAP because what is summer without grilling all the meats and veggies and relaxing outside?

Cool tomato and cucumber salads with vinegar and salt.

Grilled zucchini with a little olive oil and parmesan.

FRESH picked corn on the cob.

And cool fresh peaches picked right off the tree at Carter Mountain.

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Peach pickin’ or peach eatin’ Girl?

Bring on Summer!

Now… where’s that Cider I didn’t get yet this spring?  RIGHT!  To Bold Rock we go!

Happy Memorial Day!  Enjoy this kick-off to a cool, safe, happy summer!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram… and of course Pinterest!

Summer Camp

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Oh summer.  Your long sunny days.  Your cool trips to the pool.  I am so ready for you!

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Summer 2014

Your ridiculous summer camp registration fees and pricing. Yeah, I’m not exactly thrilled about you.

For the second summer in a row we’ve decided to *mostly* opt out of camp and hire a sitter instead.  I can not wrap my head around paying over $600 a week to send two kids to camp. They are going to go to two camps each: a basketball camp and a camp with basketball, fencing and computer programming for The Boy and a theater camp and an environmental camp for The Girl – and also swim class for the girl, because we refused to get sucked into “swim team” until we’re sure she’s ready for that big of a commitment.

So now, in an effort to keep them happy, active, and not staying home staring at electronics for nine weeks, I’ve started pulling together lists of activities.  Of course it’s on Pinterest!

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Fairy Houses! Thanks, Pinterest!

On the top of the list is TAKE A HIKE to a swimming hole. We went hiking over spring break, but the water was a little high and cold so we didn’t hike the full distance, just skipped rocks and climbed over boulders.  This time we’re excited to hike a bit, swim some and find new hikes for the family.  I’d love your suggestions for hiking with kids!

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Go Ape!  I’d heard about this place a couple of years ago, but the Girl was younger and I wasn’t sure she’d love it.  Go Ape was at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo and the guys let me know that the location in Virginia has a kids option for younger climbers.  SWEET!  This is one that the sitter won’t get to go on – Momma wants to Go Ape too!

DOLLAR MOVIES! The cost of heading to the movies is horrible.  Thank goodness for the $1.00 movies in the summer.

Books. Books. Books. Weekly visits to the library are a MUST in the summer.  I’d love suggestions on what six-year-old girls and ten-year-old boys might like to read. The Girl is done with the Ladybug Girl series and Ramona Quimby and needs something a little older.  The Boy LOVES the Mike Lupica books, but maybe we can get him to read something not sports related this summer?

Crafts. Crafts. Crafts. Let’s call this activity STEM instead, so I feel like they’re still learning something!  The kids really love their Kiwi Crates and Tinker Crates, so we’re pinning tons of activities for the kids to create fun, dirty, slimy, messy projects and opportunities to cook, design and build.  Have you heard of Kiwi and Tinker Crates?  They are boxes, shipped once per month, filled with age appropriate crafts (Kiwi and Koala for younger kids) and Tinker Crates more focused on Science, technology and engineering. The girl is six and is OBSESSED with the kiwi crate craft projects and the Boy is ten and has built a hydraulic, a working motor, a lamp and more in recent months.  He had an Erector set and legos but ignored them both.  The Tinker box has sparked his imagination and he can’t wait to see what he receives each month.  This was a great Christmas gift idea and it’s keeping them happy on rainy weekend days.  Give it a try using this link to save $10!

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The Girl LOVES Glitter. GAH.

Shoe Tying:  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get The Girl out of flip flops long enough to learn to tie her shoes.

Bike Riding: Gram (my mom) wants desperately to take the kids on a bike ride.  The Boy needs some help and the girl needs to start.  The scooter is SO fast and SO easy, why would they take the time to learn to ride bikes?  Well, THIS SUMMER, I hope they learn.  There are a lot of great trails around, we’d love to get them out and enjoy them! How do you get your kids out of training wheels?  What’s your favorite trail to ride?

And the rest of that jazz…  and finally, summer wouldn’t be complete without swimming and splash parks, fireflys caught in mason jars, making popsicles, chasing ice cream trucks, watching fireworks and celebrating the freedom from a scheduled life.

I’m excited for summer.  I just hope the kids are ready for all that we have planned.

What are you doing this summer with your kids?  Do you have any great summer time activity tips to share? PASS ’em on!

Sparkle On,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram… and of course Pinterest!

This post contains some affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Us 4 Carters! 

Pittsburgh Half – Accomplished Goals

20 May 527

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As I mentioned yesterday, I was not in the best mental state to run, let alone run one mile thirteen times. I was not in the best physical shape to run one mile thirteen times.

But I woke up at 4:30 am, with one of the children sleeping soundly next to me and I looked at his sweet face and thought you deserve a momma to be proud of.  I snapped at you last night because I was tired and I was upset with myself.  I started this journey to be a healthier mom and I’m going to do that.  Today I can prove that.

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Doubt set in, I went to a curvy runner support group and the ladies yelled FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED.  GO. TRY.  DO NOT STOP. So I pulled on my big girl pants and woke up DOC sleeping with the other child in the next room and off to Pittsburgh we went.

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Again, easy peasy drive in. DOC dropped me off at the corrals, I found the VIP  restrooms (thanks P3R for THAT!) and headed to Corral D.  The Sweeper Corral.  The back of the pack.  Curvy Athletes are us.  These are my people for life and I love them all.  There I met a great Pittsburgher named Danielle.  She was my life line.  There are six people I met along the route that saved my life.  The woman I mentioned yesterday, Heather, who dragged my ass through miles 6 – 11, Danielle who got me in the right mind from Corral to mile 2 and found me again at 11.  Flag guy who cheered me over bridges and kept me on pace. And the beep beep girls who made me laugh, kept me from quitting and showered me with love, water, ice and happiness.  I may never see these four women and one man again but I will cherish them always.

OK, so.  You know I finished.  But this is how.

Mile 1 is a freaking freak show.  I hate mile one of every race. The Charlottesville 4 Miler is crowded, I’ve fallen at the Foam Fest, the Muddy Buddy was a muddy gross mess of muck… Pittsburgh was as awful as the rest.  I typically run alone.  You can not run mile one, you just survive mile one.  I was thankful to have Danielle in the Corral and through one to two with me.  We adjusted pace, music, underpants.  We survived.

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Mile 2 is my favorite mile.  You break out of the crowded mass of people (or, you know, get left behind with your people! I love my people, slow, interval walk runners, chatty friends.  Love them.) You start to get your groove at Mile 2. I saw one of my favorite human beings on the planet, my nephew Sean and his fraternity the TKEs from California University of Pennsylvania.  The showered me with water and smiles and high fives.  I knew if I got to through the first 5K at least I didn’t embarrass myself in front of my nephew.

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Miles 3 – 5

I found Danielle again after my selfie stop and we went through the Bridges.  The Bridges are the best and worst part of the entire 1/2.  There are cheering people on the bridges, they keep you going.  The views are amazing and I love the views, so it’s nice to slow down… like so so slow that you really get to see what’s around you for the first time in your life.

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Here’s Flag Guy!  He was not an official pacer, but he was MY pacer through the bridges.  He would yell out “12 minute mile.  We got this girl. 12 minute miles.”  I assume I was the girl whose back he had.  People cheered “USA USA” when he came through.  I’m not ashamed to say I felt proud to run with him for a bit.  533

The woman in blue pants and I had the same goal/fear.  Don’t die.  Don’t get swept.  When I’d see her later on she cheered “We didn’t get picked up by the sweeper.”  I love my people.  They get me.  They make me feel not alone.

And then the West End bridge came.  The Bridge into Southside.  What a view.  What a perfectly perfect moment.

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The bottom of this bridge is the 1/2 way point.  It was where I knew I wanted to get to feel successful.  Further than I’d ever run in one day.  I was going to get there and I was going to be ok with it!  However, this is where I picked up Heather, the woman who I mentioned saved my life in yesterday’s post and The Beep Beep Girls (Annika and Jennifer).  They were running 30/30 splits and their little timer Beep Beeped to alert us when to run and walk and they were so much fun that I thought, hey, keep going!  You’re feeling good, the music is fun, you are still doing this and you can probably go another mile or two.  And we kept great pace together through the Southside from 7-10ish.  We danced with sorority girls, we sang along, we chided cheerleaders for not cheering hard enough, we cursed hills.  It was a blast.  I love my people.

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runnerofsteeland then…. BONK. Crash. CRAMP.

Along about mile 10.5 – 11 I started cramping up BAD.  Charlie Horses set into my thighs.  I told Heather to run ahead, she was doing so great.  I stopped at a med tent.  They told me to sit.  I yelled NO!  I was to scared to sit. Sitting meant quitting. The spread some icy hot or something on my calves, they couldn’t get up my pants to my thighs.  I just kept rubbing the cramps out.  One of them said “The Sweep Truck is about two miles back if you want to wait”!  NO! I screamed, grabbed a cup of ice and limp/ran out of the tent.

I was ahead of the sweeper!  I was ahead of my goal!  I didn’t have a police escort!  I was only a 5k from the finish!  I could do a 5k.  5ks are MY JAM.  I got this!!! By GOT THIS I mean, that’s what I told myself.  I didn’t infact have anything except the determination not to quit!

I found Danielle again!  I have no idea how I had gotten ahead of her but after the med tent, there she was.  I was so thankful to find her.  A friend.  A life line.  My people. DOC texted that they’d arrived at the finish line and that my pace was good. I wrote back that I was cramping up hard and needed to find some bananas.  He wrote back that he’d find some for me at the finish but that I was doing great.  He knew I could do it! I could not quit.  My reasons for running were at the finish for me. IMG_0247

The last 5K was awful. The Birmingham Bridge is a dirty B.  Forbes Ave, I hate your guts and Boulevard of the Allies you’re dead to me.

I was still cramping up in my thighs and my calves were tight.  I was hot.   I tried to go back to my thirty 30 intervals but it was more like fifteen seconds of jog and five minutes of limping. It was the hottest it has been on any run I did this spring.  The sun was hot and I had been in it for three hours.  Those that finished in 2-2.5 hours complained about the heat – they might have run faster – but we were in that heat longer.  Danielle and I kept getting together and separating, but she went ahead.  She was finishing so strong!

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A lot has been written about Back of the Pack runners.  Being at the back of a distance race is awful.  There were no oranges left, only water and gatorade.  I never saw a salty snack that I desperately was counting on.  One band was loading up their gear, they’d called it a day. Some say there was a station passing out beer – no beer for me.  But those that were out there were beautiful.  The little girls dancing in the street passing out dandelions and lollypops.  The Pitt drumline.  The rest stop that had shut down but that had left piles of ice. Those that high fived me. Thank you for being there.  For not giving up on me!

And at last I saw it. After the longest stretch of Boulevard of the Allies we started the long slow hill to the finish line.  I was in tears.  Bittersweet.  I was going to be a finisher and I was in so much pain I couldn’t run through the finish line.  I smiled for the photographers.  I am a Runner of Steel.

Some might see this and see a slow time.

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I see this and think GOALS ACCOMPLISHED.

I lived.

I didn’t get swept.

I didn’t come in last.

I did it before I turned 40.

Everything I hoped to accomplish!

Thank you City of Pittsburgh.  Thank you my people.  Thank you DOC, The Boy and The Girl.  Thank you Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. for an unforgettable weekend and the VIP massage at the finish from Massage Envy was one of the better moments of my life.  Thank you UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon for a day I will celebrate the rest of my life.

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Ok. So there you have it. The real life story of how I didn’t fully train for a half marathon and still finished a half marathon. Or, you know, ran one mile, thirteen point one times and became a Runner of Steel.

Sparkle On,

Aimee

PS:  If you ever choose to run the Pittsburgh half or full marathon, pay for the VIP experience.  It’s worth every penny for that massage, the food, the bathrooms. You’ve probably trained for three months or more – you deserve that VIP experience.  And who knows, I might see you there next year.  (Oh God, did I just say that?)  #GAMEONPGH

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Pittsburgh 5K Recap: The Day I did EVERYTHING wrong

19 May

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As an official blogger for the Pittsburgh Marathon I was gifted with an entry into the 5K  (because I was already registered for the Pittsburgh 1/2 because I was a charity runner for the National MS Society) but all opinions are all mine!

First things first.  I did not follow a training plan. I was woefully under-prepared for the weekend.  I was terrified.  But I was committed to doing this, for people with multiple sclerosis, to prove something to myself, to make DOC and the kids proud of me, for a lot of reasons, I knew that I would TRY my hardest to complete the Steel Challenge.  I would do the 5K on Saturday and I would attempt to do the half on Sunday.

But what happened was craziness.  Because the kids had school Friday we didn’t leave Virginia until late afternoon, so I missed the opportunity to check in and pick up all of my blogger stuff and 5k and half packets until Saturday.  No biggie. I’ll pick them up Saturday.  I got this.

I woke up at 4:30 and zipped right into the city.  Parking was a breeze.  Getting my 5K packet was easy peasy.  SO MANY VOLUNTEERS!  The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon (P3R) and the city of Pittsburgh have their shiz together putting on all of these events.  Easiest event pick-ups ever.  I parked right next to THE GREATEST BALLPARK EVER (PNC Park, duh) walked right up to the packet pick-up and then walked across the Roberto Clemente bridge and headed to the host hotel for my blogger stuff.  A quick little one mile walk.

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I met an incredible man who volunteers at the finish line, who volunteers at the food shelter, and ALSO rides in the BikeMS and has raised almost $100,000 for the National MS Society over the years.  I just happened upon him and he helped get me to the host hotel.  I was so thankful to stumble upon this man who helped me to remember one of my reasons for running:  #FinishMS. (I remember I told DOC has name when I got home, but now I can not remember it!  Sir, you are amazing, thanks for all you do!)

I got to meet this group of incredible folks at the start line thanks to a tweet up organized by Steff and Sparkly Soul headbands.  IMG_0255

Chelsea, Steff, Mar, Pirate Girl Running, Jennifer, and many many more including a woman, who was with her adorable son, who would save me on Sunday.  (Literally, her cute, loud little yinzer self yelled at me on Sunday “hey! I met you yesterday! Run with me!” kept me from quitting.)  Running in Pittsburgh, in a field of absolute strangers and a few people I’d only ever chatted with on twitter or followed on instagram, I found friends and supporters and inspiration.

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And then we were off and I kept the pace my own, nice and slow.  It was a great, relatively flat run, compared to what I had been running here in Virginia to prepare for the hills I’d heard about on the half route.  Despite the friends I met at the start line, it felt very lonely.  There was a woman banging pots at mile two and I smiled my face off at her.  She was the most enthusiastic cheerleader I saw all weekend and I was so happy to see her.  She brought back memories of my childhood.  But this was my race to run.  I was prepared for the 5k and I was thoughtful throughout the race that “no matter what happens tomorrow, you are a Runner of Steel Today.”IMG_0174

And I finished in a great time for me!  I believe this was a PR.  I was very proud of myself.

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I walked back with two of the ladies I met and realized I was getting tired and hungry so I headed back to my dads and picked up the family and we headed back into Pittsburgh to visit the Expo and a draft day party at Heinz field. I drank a lot of water.  A LOT.  But I don’t think I ate enough.  I got a nasty headache.  The kids were not as into the expo as I wanted so we barely saw anything.  I just wanted to get my half packet and leave.

The Boy ran a treadmill mile at the GNC area of the expo.  That’s about all I had energy to take pictures of. It really is a GREAT expo, well planned, plenty to see and do.  I was just tired and the kids weren’t helping the issues.

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We all headed over to Heinz field, played ON THE FIELD, and had a great time.  DOC insisted that I eat something so I split a (really disgusting) pizza with the kids and then we headed back home.

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After we got back, we went out for dinner, my headache wasn’t gone, I wasn’t really as hungry as I should have been, The Girl fell asleep on me so I only had one arm but I ate some and again consumed as much water as I could.

When we got back home I looked at my fitbit.  The day before I was to run a half marathon I had really failed at resting my legs and walked/ run over ten miles.  Now I was under-prepared, under-nourished, had tired legs and I was not in the mindset to get out there and run on Sunday.  I broke down and cried.  I yelled at DOC.  I snapped at the kids. And I fell asleep after deciding that on Sunday I would run a 5k and then call it a day.  I was prepared to not finish.  (You know I ended up changing my mind)  But I was totally prepared to be a failure.  I went to sleep upset, angry with myself and feeling like I was about to let everyone down and with a 4:30 a.m. alarm set.

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Have you ever been in a bad mindset before a race?  What did you do?

Until tomorrow!

Sparkle On,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Friday Five: Five Ways to Organize your Fitness Gear

14 May

HAPPY FRIDAY! We made it.  One more week.  So much fun going on this month that the weeks feel like they’re flying by.  Between kids activities, hiring summer sitters, getting settled in at work, ramping the fitness back up after a little resting after the half, the surprise party the Hubs and my mom threw me last weekend and a disaster of a mother’s day thanks to a child we think has allergies.

OH RIGHT. I just blew past a kind of big deal.  Last Sunday I turned FORTY. DOC and my mom and a bunch of friends and their kids kind of surprised me.  I didn’t know what or who was happening but I knew something was.  It was perfect.  I wish I had brought our good camera and made sure to take a picture with every person that was there so I could remember it forever.  Thank you Doc. Thank you Gram.  Thanks to my brother, sister-in-law and niece for coming all the way from Fredericksburg. Thank you friends. Thanks Boy and Girl (who were upset they weren’t in on the surprise – but they can’t keep ANYTHING a secret.)

The sunset was absolutely beautiful over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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The kids all had a great time, playing football, helping me blow out candles, cut the cake, and playing with whipped cream.

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DOC brought my Steel Challenge medals to show off.  Love him and thankful he’s so proud of me.  11036038_10152983971372659_5515321361948908959_n

 

And I turned FORTY.  It happened.  I’m still processing how I feel about that.

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Onto the Friday Five topic for today.  Thanks to the girls at the Friday Five Link-up (Courtney, Mar and Cynthia) I don’t have to THINK about what to talk about on Fridays.  But oh heavens.  Today’s topic is a rough one:  Five Ways to Organize your Fitness Gear.  I’ve been a wee bit of a mess in the organizing lately.

As you know, I just started a new job.  I’m between offices (the person I’m replacing is sticking around to help train me so I’m in a temp office) and figuring out my work schedule and the kids new schedule (since I moved from part-time to full-time again) and yada yada yada.  Excuses.

SO.  Starting NEXT week, I’m committed to being super organized with my gear and this is how.  See, when I put my plan out into the universe I’m more likely to stick to the plan.

Some people use the drawer at work for files.  WHO keeps files anymore?  That’s what the computer is for!  I use my file drawer to hold my workout wardrobe.

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1.)  Sunday is Laundry Day.  We do laundry, together, mostly, by sorting by drawer.  Girl shorts, socks, undies, dresses, shirts, pjs, boy shorts, socks, undies,shirts, pjs,  DOC shorts, socks, undies, pants, shirts, comfy clothes, my pjs, hangup clothes, workout gear.  Everything has a stack and everyone puts their own clean clothes away.  (In an ideal world.  Utopia. Usually, I find that some kid has dumped their basket in the closet or right back into the basket and piled dirty clothes on top of folded clothes. And then… grounded from electronics happens. But I digress.)

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You know I love this bag!

2.) Instead of putting my clothes away like a good girl. I pack up five outfits: bra, capris, top, socks into one bag and lug it all in on Mondays with hats, extra deodorant, body glide, sunscreen, headphones, heart rate monitor and workout plans.

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3.) After work I switch to workout gear and pack my work clothes into a dirty bag.  I’ll keep the dirty clothes at work so I don’t have to run home with them.

4.) Run to workout.  Workout.  Run Home.  This is like three miles total with a HIIT workout in the middle.  This all depends on the kids camp and school schedule that is making me insane.  If I can’t do this after work, it will happen during lunch.  I have a very detailed schedule of when – but will – all of this happens.  If I do workout at lunch I do have wipes and dry shampoo and some other tricks stashed in my fitness drawer to make me tolerable in the afternoons.

5.) Pack up sneakers, headphones, hat etc. anything I wore to workout that I’ll need again for the next day. And start over again.

If I don’t pack once at the beginning of the week and keep some spares of everything in my office, I’m bound to forget something and bail.  I know I’ll bail for a missing bra or socks – those are MUST HAVES for working out. I have to “organize myself well”.  This path to wellness won’t happen without better organization and it starts on laundry day.

Tell me, how do you organize yourself and your fitness gear for your workouts?  If you work outside the home, how do you maintain a schedule for your fitness and how do you organize yourself for the week?

For more tips from folks far more organized than me be sure to click the link-up at the bottom of Cynthia’s post today!

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Make it a GREAT weekend!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

What’s That I Said?

14 May

I believe when I started this blog, long long ago in a far different time and place, I shared the words of my friend Jen

Blogging is Cheaper Than Therapy.

I blogged last week for therapy and shared how sharing my fitness journey is hard sometimes because I still get hurt by backhanded compliments that make me feel like I’m not losing weight fast enough or that I’m not enough in some way to be ok talking to you about my wellness journey or to give advice to someone else.

I’ve allowed myself to hear the noises in my own head.  My inner fat girl, inner mean girl that says, you can’t get dressed to go work out because you have to run to the store tonight so you can take your rolls to the gym but your rolls aren’t allowed in the grocery store.  Workout when you get home.  And then I never workout at home.  When I let the voices in my head keep me from my own wellness – the voices have won.  Don’t negotiate with the voices.  Silence them. Be stronger than them.  Get moving.

There are women out there, like me, sharing their stories.  Making me feel NOT alone.  They are back of the pack slow runners like I am and there are women faster and slower than me.  The fact is THEY ARE DOING IT.

One of the women in a fitness support group on facebook asked yesterday about how to get over feeling self conscious about running in public.  She was afraid to run, except in secluded places, because people might see her running.

My response was pretty witty so allow me to share:

Don’t you know how self-absorbed everyone else is? I’m kidding. Kind of!

So many of us feel the same – that is why we’re all here. Just think…. if someone else sees YOU doing it and says “hey, I can too” you CHANGED THAT PERSON’S LIFE! I like to believe that me running, me sharing pictures of me being curvy at events is going to help someone else be motivated to be healthier for them, their kid, their spouse…. And maybe that’s me being conceited, whatever, when I quit caring what others thought of me and thought that maybe my changes would help someone else – my whole mindset changed.

BE THE CHANGE. Start with you.

I’m not perfect.  I judge myself.  I think about how I must look showing up to the kids events all sweaty still from a workout or running the bleachers at their practices trying to get the weight off, while other moms play candy crush and gossip.  But I KEEP DOING IT!    Embarrassing myself or not – I can not give up.  I can not stop trying to get healthier for me, the kids, DOC and our future.

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First 5K Muddy Buddy April 2012

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Last 5K Pittsburgh 5K May 2015

For more on getting active, feeling great, and building a support system of other women who are trying to feel better themselves, these three women are building tribes of women and offering smart sound advice:.

Katie at  KatieK Active: Katie isn’t just selling workout clothes for women of all sizes, she’s building a community of women who #DefineBrave.  Getting fit at any size shouldn’t have any barriers. Visit the KatieK Active site to shop, visit Katie’s blog to learn! To shop use the code AIMEE15 for 15% off and free shipping!

Jill at Running with Curves is fearlessly, bravely sharing her story and working to help other women on their fitness journey.  It isn’t about losing weight – it’s about finding and owning your own health.

and Julie at Fit Mom Revolution is a mom who has been through the yo yo dieting.  She learned to stop beating herself up and letting herself love herself enough to get healthy and is out there helping other women do the same.  With Love Your Body Challenges she’s helping women to change how they look at themselves!

Find your tribe.  Join me on Facebook so we can ask each other the hard questions, like how do I get my thighs to stop rubbing when I run (BODYGLIDE).  Whatever you do – remember to LOVE YOURSELF.

Go.  Be Awesome.  Sparkle on.
Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

(Disclosure, I am a Katie K Active Ambassador and do receive compensation when you purchase outfits through me.  I am in no way compensated from Jullie or Jill – I just think they are badass for helping all women finding fitness at any size.)

Friday Five: Sharing the Fitness Love

8 May

Today’s Friday Five topic is Five Ways to Share Your Love of Fitness. I’m not really in a place to share about fitness right now.

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Yeah, that’s kind of what this week has been like.  I can not stop the hungry that attacked after last weekend’s Steel Challenge. I am up five pounds.  I’ve researched and this is totally normal.  I just need to get this back under control.

I need to share race recaps of both the 5K and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon…. but next week.

I did not anticipate being this tired, this hungry, this unmotivated to workout. I’m not sore.  I’m just hella lazy.  I will cut myself some slack because I ran and walked more than 24 miles last weekend and started a new job this week.

Onto ways to share the topic of the day — sharing your love of fitness, running and living a healthy lifestyle.  Or.  You know.  Annoying the crap out of everyone.  (Did you see this article?  Cracked me up, but does have the sting of truth). I’m always afraid that sharing my excitement for a new workout or completing a race will annoy people.  I also don’t want anyone to think I’m always Clean Eating and happy about running.  I so totally am not. I mean – did you see what I ate after the finish line Sunday?

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(#WycWyc, I gave the kids the Smiley cookies I received at the finish line.  That is totally wycwyc, y’all and you KNOW IT!)

So, in order to be real and honest, I have to share my truth, struggles, and successes.  Five pound gain – struggle.  Sharing cookies – success.  At my old job, I really felt like I had a strong support system for my fitness and wellness goals. I had a workout buddy.  We ate lunch together so I never packed or ordered food that wasn’t a healthier choice for me. The week after I left, they had a junk food party because I was finally gone and they could eat junk food around me without feeling bad.  Nice, huh?  I appreciate that people don’t like to eat junk around me because I typically don’t, but damn, that was harsh to see the instagram pictures of their doughnuts. Like a thank god Aimee’s gone party.

Much like I’ve spoken of a couple of other times on here, I’m very much in need of people to support me. I need friends and family to help me stay accountable.  I love my fitness and wellness groups on facebook that I’m a part of and its why I keep blogging and sharing on facebook, Twitter, and instagram. However, I judge myself so harshly when I do slip up and I also take the words and actions of others very much to heart.  I get my feelings hurt easily.  So, it’s hard to share everything.

A “you look so nice in that outfit – keep running and you’ll finally start to see the pounds really come off” comment from a loved one puts me in a total tailspin. A backhanded compliment is really my favorite things ever in life. (where is that sarcasm font?)  Poor DOC gets “can you believe she effing said that to me? AUGH! People!  GRRRR….” A LOT. I know that the INTENT is kindness and support… the outcome is far different.

Sharing fitness and wellness is a struggle, but one I’m so proud that I have done.  I’ve met so many amazing people, got to try a lot of new races as an ambassador, got to try new products, learned how to prepare healthier foods for the people that live with me (Doc, the girl and the boy!), and am a healthier happier person than I was in December of 2011.  This is a new life and I’m so thankful I get to share it!

Sorry, this totally isn’t a usual Friday Five.  For Five ideas about sharing fitness check out my girls (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!)  for their Friday Five Linkup!

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Make it a great weekend.  Love your mommas.  Love to all of YOU MOMMAS!

Remember

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Go, be AWESOME.
Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

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