Read her beautiful birth story, here.
Happy Mothers Day!
Read her beautiful birth story, here.
Happy Mothers Day!
Christmas is a magical day, especially when a toddler is involved.
This was Zoe’s second Christmas, and I had plenty of friends tell me, that at 16 months she would still be to young to understand. Well this little lady, understood plenty, and had a blast.
Let me start from the beginning…
Thanksgiving ended, and I was ready to start getting in Christmas mode. My favorite part about Christmas is the Christmas Tree.
December is for Tree Picking…
I always get a live tree.
I love picking it out, and cutting it down. Cutting down a tree, means it is always fresh.
This year we went to Middleburg Tree Farm to cut our tree down. We went early in the season, so there was an incredible selection. I normally like a Douglas Fir, (yellow green needle), but this year we switched it up and got a Blue Spruce. The Blue Spruce has a blue, gray needle, and our tree was absolutely stunning.
I tested out the Christmas tree lights, while Zoe played with them.
It took me three hours to baby proof the tree. I had to arrange the ornaments in a certain way so that they would be safe for Zoe. But once the tree was completely decorated, I explained each ornament to her. She was very good at just looking, and not pulling off the decorations. Her favorite ornaments were the monkey, and elephant.
We made an appointment at the Tysons Gallaria to see Santa. This worked really well last year, no line. Unfortunately, this year, with no line, and no one else there, which made it really hard to show or explain to Zoe what was going to happen. It is totally normal for children her age to be scared, and that’s exactly what happened.
I love to receive Christmas cards. So this year I decided I was definitely going to send one out. So I made one with Zoe on it, and love the finish product.
Although, I got them out early, I didn’t feel it was early enough. Next year, I want them ready during November, so I don’t have the extra stress of getting them done in time.
I displayed all of my the cards I received.
This year I hosted Christmas Eve. Erik and I made lasagna. I made my homemade sauce the night before, so all Erik had to do was assemble the lasagna. I also made a roasted beet and brussel sprouts salad. It was fun having everyone over.
On Christmas Eve, I stayed up late making my homemade granola. Filled them in mason jars, added a bow and tag, as my homemade gift.
I woke up early, to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Once all of my presents were wrapped we headed over to my moms.
It took three hours to open all of the presents. Zoe was really into the whole process. She would open the present, then want to open the box to play with the toy.
Everyone was happy, but exhausted. We ended up heading home for afternoon naps.
The sun was shining, and my run felt very rejuvenating.
We headed back over to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. Emily and Ryan made a salad and a rib roast. Everything was tasty.
Zoe played more with her tea set. She kept asking everyone if they wanted any. She would ask, “Cuppy? Tea?
Since note: (Zoe had an early bed time so she missed out on the Christmas Eve family photo, but she made it in the Christmas night photo.)
And of course I am beyond thankful that my 16 month old daughter, Zoe, had a magical Christmas season.
How was your Holiday? I hope it was warm and joyful!
copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily
(For those who are new to the blog, here’s a quick recap of October. If you’ve been reading skip first paragraph.)
October was such an amazing month! I closed October by setting a new marathon PR at the Marine Corps Marathon. This marathon was my 4th, and my first full marathon as a mother runner. It feels incredible finishing this marathon, knowing my daughter has been with me every step of the way.
The week after I ran MCM, I got the marathon blues. My training program was such a time commitment, but then my race went by so fast. And with no more future races to train for, I felt a little lost. I ended up almost signing up for the Richmond Marathon, which was two weeks later. I ultimately decided not to do it, even though I was totally trained to.
Because I had just finished running a full marathon, November’s focus was on recovery miles and fun running.
I went into November with out a plan. I didn’t track all of my runs – some were tracked on my Garmin, others on Strava. I ran two shorter races for fun- The Operation Turbo 5k and the Alexandria Turkey Trot/ Del Ray 5 miler. Both races I ran with Zoe, as I pushed her in the stroller. It was so fun!
Now it’s December! Although, it is just the beginning of December, 2016 is coming to an end. This year has been incredible and I’m hoping to end it as good as it began.
Because I am currently in off season, with no races to train for. I think it might be fun to participate in Runner’s World run streak. It is simply run every day until New Years, even if it’s just a mile. Find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily, if you want to follow along. Or participate by following Runner’s World on instagram @runnersworldmag and use #RWRunStreak when you post a run photo.
This December, I also want to spend time focusing on strength training. It’s time to build some more muscle again and get stronger.
So this December is all about streakin’ with Runner’s World, building some serious strength, and spending time reflecting on 2016.
Has anyone done a run streak before?
copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily
It is really bitter sweet that this marathon training season is coming to an end. This will be my fourth Marine Corps Marathon. And although, I have trained and run this race before, MCM training 2016 has been by far the most special training season I have ever had.
Most marathon runners, train with a running group or running buddy. But for me, I have done every weekly run pushing my baby girl in our BOB running stroller, and every long run completely solo. It truly has been the most fun, most challenging, most special training season because I did it all, while caring for a tiny human, pushing my daughter every mile of the way.
Regardless of whether I … PR or not, I am most proud of the fact that I was able to manage a beautiful life-balance of wife life, motherhood, marathon training, and working.
When I signed up for this race, at 6 months postpartum, I was unsure I would be able to manage training for a marathon while being a new working mom/wife, but I did it. Once again, the marathon has taught me, that anything is possible.
I am so proud that after 40 weeks of pregnancy and no running, a c-section labor, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, etc. that I was able to physically get my body strong enough to begin to train for a marathon. And then continue prepare for this race during a record breaking hot summer, with an infant/toddler by my side. The female body truly is amazing.
A lot of people have asked me, how did I do it physically. How did I get strong enough to even start training for a full marathon, after 40 weeks of pregnancy and no running.
This is what I did…
At 7 weeks postpartum, I got the okay from my doctor to start working out again. I desperately wanted to start running, but I knew I had lost a lot of muscle. I knew I was weak, so I decided to exclusively weight lift/strength train for 6 weeks. I had to get stronger before I laced up my running shoes.
At 13 weeks postpartum, on Thanksgiving day, I went for my first postpartum run. It was a three mile run, and it felt amazing. But the next day I woke up with the worst knee and ankle pain.
I later went to my local running shoe store to get my form evaluated and fitted for new shoes. My body had changed, there was a great possibility that my running form was different.
Turns out my form was perfect and my shoes were a great fit, it was just going to take time for me to strengthen my ankles again.
For the next 3 months, I hit the pavement running a short 2 miles a day. On the weekends, I would try for 3-4 miles. Slowly, I was improving.
At 6 months postpartum, my daughter was ready to run with me in the stroller. She had strong neck control and was sitting up independently for two and half weeks. She was ready, and I was too. I was so glad I took the time before to build up my strength and perfect my running form solo. It made me ready to push that stroller.
At first while pushing the stroller, my stride was different – longer, slower cadence, but over time I found my mojo, and running with Zoe became one of my favorite things. Pushing a stroller and passing people on the trail made me feel strong and empowered. I have become a BAMR!!
Although, I always put my focus on how well my body preforms vs. what it looks like. Another great perk to training for this marathon is that running totally transformed my body. I have lost all the stubborn baby weight, and my body is leaner and more athletic.
My advice to any new mom…
Do not rush into it, and expect you will have your pre-baby body back. Actually, the truth is, YOU WILL NEVER HAVE YOUR PRE-BABY BODY BACK, but that doesn’t mean your body can’t be stronger, leaner, or even better than before. Just know that it takes time to get strong again, and embrace the process. And forget about what your body use to be, and start creating an even stronger better body. It is possible. Hello fit beautiful mom-bod!
I am most proud of beating the record breaking summer heat mentally and physically. And becoming better with time management. Everyone is on a “flexible” schedule in my house. The demands of marathon training, and the time commmitment was possible because I made it part of our morning routine.
When it came to the heat…
This summer was the hottest summer I have ever trained for a marathon in. It had record breaking heat, so it was definitely a physical and mental challenge to train in. All of us runners were out there together, chugging along with our hydration packs, giving eachother the thumbs up. There were times the heat got the best of me, and although, I made it through every long run, there were times I questioned, “Should I even run this race?”
Because of the heat my pace was significantly slower… It made me question, “Can my body run this race at the pace I want?” But, physically, I knew my body could do it, I just needed to get my mind prepared.
I am so happy I was organized enough. Planning a head is key to having good time manage. Making running part of our morning routine made everything doable.
I’m still mentally preparing. However, it will feel more real once I pick up my T-shirt and bib. The energy at the expo is always such an amazing feeling. This year Zoe will be with me. She’s my little side kick and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I also mentally prepare by coming up with race day mantas. This year’s training mantra is, “Let’s Run all the Miles.” I’ll use this during the race. I also like to wisper while going up hills, “climb climb climb, and fly down. And when the miles get tough, “keep moving forward.”
My favorite runs are always the ones I do during the week with Zoe. During this training it was amazing to run when she napped peacefully, or run when she was interactive- pointing at everything, waving at the cyclists. She talks to me, and she absolutely loves going over the wooden plank bridges on the trail. She is always a great help holding my cold water bottle on hot days, that would keep her cool. Then we would stop for a water break, she loves drinking from my water bottle.
However, I had some really great long runs too.
My favorite long runs were, my 12 mile runs, my 15 mile runs, my half marathon, my 18 miler and my 20 milers.
12 Mile Run – One of my first 12 mile runs, I ran with my sister Emily. This run was the only long run I had company for. The weather was overcast, and I felt great the whole run. We ran passed a really cool piece of street art and it made me obsessed with finding more are to run past.
12 Mile Run- Earlier, this month when my husband, Zoe and I visited Idaho, I went for a 12 miler on the Boise Green Belt. It was perfect running weather, such a refreshing treat compared to the heat wave we were having back home. I found a dirt path to run on, the sun was shining and the view of the Boise River was so gorgeous. So perfect!
15 Mile Run – In August, while I was in Martha’s Vineyard celebrating my daughter’s first birthday, I ran a 15 miler along the beach. It felt amazing, running along the ocean, with the sun shining and the ocean breeze.
I also saw a huge spider web, and kept seeing spider webs on every long run after.
15 Mile Run – All of my runs during this summer were done in 80 or 90 degree heat. I had a 15 miler on my schedule, but the weather man was calling for record breaking heat, and advised that everyone stay cool and drink plenty of water. Well, that’s not going to happen, when I am in the middle of marathon training.
I was dreading this long run. I don’t do well in the heat, but who does? I headed out early and went in the direction on the trail where it was the shadiest. Tree branches canopied over my head and I basically was running through the woods. The shade was good, but the humidity still made it sweltering, plus the shadiest part of the trail ended up being the hilliest.
I decided to turn my music off and listen to the audiobook, Born to Run. I listened to the chapter that talked about Scott Jurek running the ultra Badwater. It helped me get through the last tough miles.
I also found the other runners on the trail very motivating. One guy even gave me a thumbs up and hollered , “Nice Job.” This kind gesture, made me remember that even though I ran my long runs solo, I wasn’t ever really alone. There were other runners out there in that very hot day, running high mileage, just like me.
18 Mile Run- I chose to do my 18 miler on a Monday instead of Saturday because the weather was a little cooler. My mom watched my baby as I hit the trail. It turned out being a beautiful run, and I made great timing.
Half Marathon – My training plan had a half marathon scheduled for the same day that the Navy Half Marathon was scheduled in DC. Because the Army 10 miler is a couple week later (which is very popular) the Navy Half never fills up. So last minute I decided to register for it. Most of the other people I knew running it that were also running MCM were using it as a training run. I decided to race it and boy am I glad I did. I ended up running an awesome time, 1:53:54, and felt great the whole time. This race brought me my confidence back.
20 Mile Run – It is just 10 miles down And then 10 miles back. I decided to run this one from my house. It ended up being an awesome run. I came across another mural in Roslyn.
Then I jumped on the trail to have some gorgeous views of DC.
I finished in 3:40 so my timing was on point. It was good to get a really nice 20 miler done.
20+ miler – I normally always do a 21 miler, just because mentally it helps me finish. I run 5 mile easy runs during the week, 21 ends up being my longest run. Then during the race when I hit 21, I tell myself, “Oh good, it’s just my 5 mile easy run.” It works every time.
This 20+ miler was suppose to be my 21, but I was rushing out the door and didn’t get enough to eat. So around mile 15 my stomach started growling. I was starving. I ended this run at my car around 20.40 miles. I immediately went to Starbucks and grabbed a kind bar and a venti soy chai latte. Besides that, I ran through the sprinklers in Georgetown and hit up all the bridges including the 14th street bridge.
This training season I tried to be very active in the online running community. I joined two running groups, Oiselle Volee and Mom’s Run this Town. And although, I only went running with them once, I was able to get support from them by posting online.
I also noticed through Instagram that many runners were setting monthly goals. I decided to do the same.
JULY – AUGUST
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
Although, there were days that I dreaded running in the heat, and days that I worried if I could fit my runs in my busy schedule… Overall, I really enjoyed this training season.
You are dear to my heart Marine Corps Marathon. Always teaching me that the possibilies are endless.
No matter what happens race day, this training season has been unforgettable. And the best part is having Zoe by my side every mile of the way. She is not my EXCUSE… She is my REASON.
copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily
My sweet Zoe Annalise turned one on Friday, August 19th, 2016.
In honor of this amazing milestone, we had an unforgettable celebration for her on Martha’s Vineyard with our family and friends. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The birthday party was absolutely perfect. Everyone, especially Zoe’s Grams and Gramps, went above and beyond.
It all starts with a theme.
Every kid’s birthday party needs a theme. Because Zoe is only one, still just a baby, I being her mama, chose the theme for her party. And because we were celebrating at the Vineyard, a¬†mermaid seashell¬†theme fit perfectly.
I didn’t over do the mermaid seashell theme, I mainly included it in the sign I made her.
You can find tons of birthday banners and sign options on Etsy. ¬†However, I thought it would be more special if I made my own sign for Zoe. It wasn’t hard at all. The sign consists of mermaid paper which I found at the Paper Source. The letters to create the word, ONE, I found at Michaels. They were originally white letters, but to add sparkle I wrapped then in gold paper. The gold tassels and twine were also found at Michaels.
Another decoration I made was Zoe’s growth display. This by far was my favorite decoration. It has been absolutely incredible watching Zoe grow mentally, emotionally, and physically. Seeing her evolve has been one of my favorite things about motherhood.
Every month since she was born, I have taken monthly photos to document how much she has grown. By displaying her monthly photos, I was able to share her growth with all of our loved ones.
To make this growth display it was quite simple. I found gold sparkled cardboard numbers at the Paper Source. I hot glued two clothes pins on each number. One clothes pin was later used to attach the number to a twine rope. The other clothes pin was used to hold the monthly photo. Each number was attached to the twine in order, 0 (being newborn) to 12 months.
The color scheme for Zoe’s party was pink, tourquoise, and gold. We purchased balloons in those colors.
The balloons were a big hit for the kids at the party. It was Zoe’s first time seeing balloons. She loved them. All birthday parties need balloons.
PONY and DONKEY ride
One thing about Martha’s Vineyard that not to many people realize is that there are tons of farms.
Grams and Gramps has a good friend who owns a beautiful miniature horse and donkey. So they arranged for the animals to come to Zoe’s birthday party.
When the pony and donkey arrived it was an amazing surprise for Zoe and her 2 year old cousin Stella and 4 year old cousin Fin.
Side note: (Let me explain something quickly. This trip was HUGE for Zoe. Although, she took a short trip to SoBe, Miami, back in February, she was only six months old and most likely doesn’t remember much of it. So this trip was full of a lot of FIRSTS for Zoe. It was a new place, she had never been before, with new people, she was just meeting. At times it was very overwhelming for her, so she wanted my comfort. She actually didn’t really want to be held by anyone else and definitely did not want me leaving her side.)
Sometimes it takes Zoe time to warm up to an idea. Whether that means trying a new type of food, or riding a pony at her birthday party.
So when Zoe first got on the pony she was a little overwhelmed, but then she warmed up to the idea, and actually started to enjoy it.
The pony and donkey were absolutely beautiful and really sweet. They gently trotted around the yard while each child took a turn riding them.
After Zoe took a short pony ride, we set up her bubble machine. Zoe loves bubbles, they are one of her favorite things. Watching bubbles fill the sky definitely put a smile on Zoe’s face.
Food is really important to me. I strive for quality, organic, and local. One of my absolutely favorite things about New England is the fresh seafood, so of course that is what we had at Zoe’s birthday party.
The morning of Zoe’s birthday, Erik went clamming with his brother Ian and cousin Frank to catch some fresh wild clams. They also caught some scallops and the mussels (shown in the photo) were store bought, but also wild caught.
We had clams on the half shell. And the combination of clams, mussels, and scallops made for a perfect pile of steamers.
There was no question… We also had to have a lobster bake. My absolute favorite shell fish. Ten lobsters cooked to perfection, smothered with butter, made for a delicious main dish, potatoes and corn as side dishes.
We also had a watermelon, basil, feta salad that my sister prepared. Watermelon the queen fruit of summer is Zoe’s favorite. The salad was refreshing and put a smile on Zoe’s face.
For those guests that do not eat seafood we had other salads and beef tips.
There was definitely too much food, but something to please everyone’s palate.
The next day we enjoyed a homemade seafood stew. (Side note: it’s always good to have leftovers from a lobster/clam bake, that way you can make a seafood stew or lobster/clam chowder.)
People say… “A baby’s first taste of cake is her first real taste of sugar.”
Zoe took a short nap during dinner. Which made her refreshed and ready for her first real taste of sugar.
Her Grams made three cakes, a Strawberry Shortcake, a Sheet Cake which said Happy Birthday Zoe, and then Zoe had her own personal smash cake.
Zoe loves fresh fruit and she loves bread, (pita, bagels, pb&j), so my thought was she would dig right into the cake. This was not the case.
She actually loved the candle lit on top of her cake…
But the minute everyone crowded around her and started singing happy birthday she cried.
She actually didn’t even like the cake at first, but once she had a few tastes she started to enjoy it.¬†
Zoe loved opening her presents. She was actually able to tear the paper and was curious to see what was inside. She got a lot of fun toys, books, and cute clothes. She is one lucky baby.
We ended the celebration with a bang, literally. August 19th, the Vineyard has a firework celebration similar to the 4th of July. Everyone goes to see the fireworks. We were lucky to be able to watch them on a private beach that belong to the local Boat Club, that way we weren’t smushed in between a mosh pit of people.
Because Grams and Gramp live right up the hill from the town and beach it was just a short walk down East Chop to see the fireworks.
Because we weren’t super close the sound didn’t bother Zoe until the finale. It was so cute watching her eyes get wide as she pointed her little finger to the sky, lit up with colors.
Fireworks was definitely the ultimate way to end our first year celebration together.
This celebration wouldn’t have been nearly as fun, with out our loved ones. I am so thankful to everyone who traveled near and far to be with us at this very special milestone. It was so amazing getting everyone together!
MOTHERHOOD & FATHERHOOD
A friend of mine, congratulated me. She said, “Happy first birthday to Zoe, and to you…happy first year as a mother.” ¬† This reminded me that although, Zoe’s first birthday is an amazing milestone for her, it is also one for Erik and I.
When Zoe was born, I became mama and Erik, daddy. Over this first year, as I took monthly photos to record how Zoe changed, I too have changed, we all have. As Zoe reached each milestone, Erik and I have grown deeper and deeper into parenthood, becoming more and more acquainted with our new roles and identities as mama and daddy.
Motherhood is interesting for sure… but I have never felt more passionate, this confident, this beautiful, this much joy, and I have never felt this much love.
This has been one very special unforgettable year!
Happy Birthday my sweet Zoe!
Copyright : 2016 sweat1xdaily.com
This first year has been one amazing year, full of the most fun, a little chaos, lots of new memories, so much joy.
It has been truly amazing watching little Zoe grow, explore, discover, with eyes wide…seeing everything for the very first time.
It has been an incredible year of growth for all of us. As she learns new things, we learn new things about ourselves. As we teach her, she teaches us.
Thank you Zoe, for making my life so complete, and filling it with so much love, beauty, and joy.
In honor of Zoe’s first birthday, read her cBirth Story!
I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!
I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.
My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!
WEEK Day Training with the stroller.
During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.
If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)
And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.
I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.
The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.
Weekend running, long run.
The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.
Week 1- long run 8 miles
Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.
It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.
My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.
1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.
Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.
However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.
I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.
Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.
Week 2- long run 9 miles
Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)
The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.
Week 3- long run 6 miles
Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.
The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.
I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.
Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.
Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.
This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.
It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.
Training PLAN and Apps
The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.
Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.
Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.
So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.
Well that’s all for now!
Which marathon are you training for?
This year has gone by way to fast, my baby is turning one soon. (We only have two monthly stickers left to use.)
Zoe turns ONE, August 19th, 2016!
Which means her first official birthday is approaching…
I wasn’t going to over do it… (she won’t remember any of it.) However, because my guests are traveling to the Vineyard for her birthday, of course we are going all out. Plus, I love a really good party.
What makes a good party…
Choosing a theme is always fun, but it is also a helpful way to stay on track.¬†
The theme I chose for Zoe’s birthday is seashell, mermaid. Because we are having her party at the Vineyard, this fits perfectly. It will be fun when she is older (not that I’m wishing for her to get any older, just stay a little baby, Zoe…) to see what birthday party theme she chooses for herself.
Choose invitations based on your theme. Also decide whether you want to send snail mail, or an email option.¬†
I chose an email option. I used paperless post for my wedding save-the-date, and because it was so easy to use, I decided to use it again for Zoe’s birthday party invitation.
This time I used the free app, and designed the cutest invitation. They have some really awesome free templates, so it didn’t cost me anything at all – invitations can be expensive.
I also love that I can tell when someone has opened the email, but hasn’t yet responded. This eliminates the question of whether a guest has received the invitation of not.
What will the guest of honor be wearing?!
There are a lot of options for a one year old’s birthday outfit. Some baby girls wear tutus. Some wear a onesie saying, “One,” “My First Birthday.” Some wear a birthday hat.
I’m still finalizing Zoe’s outfit. I can’t wait to share it with you, but I’m leaving it for a surprise. It will definitely be on the birthday party recap post.
Who comes to your party makes a difference in what food you choose, what activities you do, etc. For example if you are going to have more babies and children at your party, you may need to consider kid friendly food options, and food allergies.
Over the last 10 months, some of my closest friends have had babies, and Zoe and I are also always open to meeting new mamas and baby friends.
So yes, she does have some baby friends, but because the party is in Martha’s Vineyard, the people coming are mainly family and close family friends.
Choosing a venue is ideal. It will set the mood of your party. Again, you will need to consider who your guests are, and how long your party is.¬†
The original plan was to have a casual party on the beach. But because it is one of the busiest weekends on the Vineyard, Zoe’s grandparents suggested we have the party at their house. This is an awesome idea because now we don’t need to provide transportation to the beach, which is on the other side of the island. Plus, now I can have all the cute decorations I want.
When choosing food for your party, consider the venue. What type of food is the area known for, what is locally grown? Also, who are your guests? Do you need to have kid friendly options, and consider food allergies?
Because the guests coming to the party are mainly adults, and Zoe will eat anything, I am not to concerned about food allergies or kid friendly options.
However, I am hoping for a menus full of seafood, such as lobster and clams. We will be on an Island off the coast of the Cape. So lobsters and clams are fresh – it’s a New England thing.
Again specialty drinks can be based on what the area or venue is known for. Also consider your guests and what time your party is at.
We are keeping our drinks simple by having beer, wine, and depending on how many guests we have, we may make watemelon margaritas or sangria. Of course Zoe will eat plenty of watermelon and drinking her milk.
When it comes to a one year old birthday party, the cake is one of the most important parts. Traditionally, in the USA, you give your one year old her own personal cake to smash. It’s called cake smashing, and it is suppose to be your baby’s first taste of something sweet.¬†
Zoe’s Grams normally bakes a homemade cake for everyone on their birthday, and it is always delicious. As far as I know, she will be making a cake for Zoe’s birthday. And Zoe has never had cake before so it will be super fun to see her smash in it.
Cake smashing requires a high chair or space for baby to smash into it. I’m hoping I can figure out a high chair for Zoe. It is always cute to decorate the high chair with a banner and balloons. I want Zoe to have her own special chair or space for cake smashing.
Choose music based on your guests. Are people going to be dancing, or do you just need music in the background.¬†
Zoe loves music and she loves to dance, so we’ll be playing her favorit songs. I’m going to just use my iPhone and speakers.
Choose decorations based on venue, theme, and guests.¬†
Decorations are my favorite part. They can transform a venue. It is the small details that really make an event unique and your own.
Zoe is going to have a bubble machine going at her party. This adds character but is also fun for kids and babies.
The colors are going to be combination of pink, gold, and tourquoise. We are going to have a couple special things for Zoe but that’s a surprise and I’ll update you on this in the post I write about her party. But the picture above is a hint.
Choose whether you will need a professional photographer or whether you will manage to take photos yourself.
I’m planning on taking photos the whole time using my iPhone. Photo are very important to me.
Anyway, I’m excited for this vacation and this party. It is going to be so refreshing to escape this heat and go up North, and be at the beach.¬†
A one year old birthday party is so special. I can’t wait to celebrate Zoe. She has done so many incredible things this year, and deserves the best party ever.¬†
But most of all… She is my little love, who on August 19th, 2015, changed my world, making me a mama, a better person. My heart is full of love.
I hope this helps you plan your own baby’s one year old birthday. Can’t wait to share with you her birthday recap. Look for it on the blog in late August.¬†
On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2:15, my sweet Zoe got baptized at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town, Alexandria.
Getting Zoe Baptized was never a question. We were definitely always planning on it. However, I waited until she was 9 months old, the perfect time.
It is such a special ceremony that I wanted to make sure it was celebrated properly. I didn’t want to rush into planning it, until I actually had the time to dedicate towards planning.
The early days of motherhood were the absolute sweetest. It was those days that I had the opportunity to get to know my sweet Zoe and watch her up close as she got to know the world. Sometimes those days and nights were long and overwhelming, but I focused on snuggling Zoe, as I also settled into my new identity as Zoe’s mama.
The last thing I wanted to do was use any of that sweet time towards planning. So I waited to plan her baptism until I was ready to plan.
Turns out, at 9 months old, Zoe is full of playful personality. And June is the best month for a baptism, because the weather is warm enough for baby Zoe to wear a cute white gown.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town, Alexandria, is one of the oldest and most beautiful Catholic Churches.
Although, I was not baptized at St. Mary’s (I was baptized at Our Lady of Lordes) it was special for me that my daughter had the opportunity to be baptized at the same church I went to as a child. The same church that I received the sacraments of reconciliation, holy communion, and confirmation. It was special and tradition.
In most cases when you receive a sacrament with the Catholic Church there is a mandatory class before. ¬†When I mention – “Oh, at my baptism class…” People always roll their eyes, or gasp…”You had to take a class.”
The classes don’t bother me at all. I actually like them. Sacraments are important and the Church isn’t just going to hand those out to everybody. They want to make sure you understand why you are receiving the sacrament. They also want to prepare you of what will happen that day, and your responsibility for the days to come. The priest teaching the class also will help clear up any questions or concerns you have.
BAPTISM GOWN and ACCESSORIES¬†
As you all know, fashion is very important to me, so of course Zoe was dressed up in her absolute finest.
I love a unique, hand-made, one of a kind dress. So that is exactly what Zoe wore. I was so thankful that my Aunt Lynda was able to make Zoe her beautiful baptism gown. It was made from the softest summer fabric in the warmest white. She added the sweetest ivory details.
All of the accessories she wore I bought from, One Small Child. The lace bonnet is in the color ivory. It is beyond stunning. The shoes are a soft white/ivory combination, which added a sweet touch.
My daughter’s feet are very petite so it is always a challenge to keep shoes on her. During the baptism, she got so excited she started kicking her feet, so the shoes slipped off. But I’m still glad I had them.
The combination of the bonnet, shoes, dress, and bloomer, really made her look like a doll. This special outfit is definitely one I will keep forever.
The ceremony was very traditional, however, Zoe was the only baby baptized that day. Because of this we were able to go right upfront and crowd around her.
Erik held her the whole time. Father Andrew (the priest) blessed her by placing a cross of oil along her chest. We being her parents, and Jackie, her now God mother, mimicked the prist, rubbing a cross of oil upon her.
Zoe giggled, cooed, and babbled.
Father Andrews lit a candle.
Then we took her over to where the holy water was. The priest poured the water over her head. At first it seemed refreshing and cool, but then it trickled down into her eyes. She cried for a couple seconds, but then was back to giggling, cooing, babbling, wet hair and all.
After the ceremony was over, we spent time in the church taking pictures. Then we headed to the after party!!
After the ceremony, we all headed over to one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town, Columbia Firehouse.
This restaurant use to be an old fire house. It has a really cool dining room and outdoor seating. The food is also really delicious.
We started with drinks and then ate dinner. Zoe was so exhausted from her baptism, that she actually napped during dinner.
At the end, Zoe’s baptism day was lovely. We received her candel that burned during the ceremony, a small cross quilt, and a certificate from the church. I also gave her a gift – her first pair of white pearl rosary beads.
Happy Baptism Day, Zoe!¬†
¬© 2016 sweat1xdaily
I’ve written a little about my postpartum fitness journey. But I have yet to tell you about my experience with starting to run again after pregnancy.
Well I am back at it, running that is. As I said in previous posts the minute I got the okay to workout again I hit the gym, NOT the running trail. I chose to weight lift and try to build my strength back as much as I could before I went to pound the pavement.
It is true what they say, if you don’t use it you loose it. I stepped in the gym and belly flopped attempting to complete a single push up – just trying to put in perspective how much strength I lost during my pregnancy. Anyway, it was important for me to put on some muscle gains. I have heard to many times before, woman running hard after pregnancy, ending up injured and in PT. I wanted to avoid this, by getting strong again first.
Anyway after exclusively lifting for 6 weeks at 14 weeks postpartum, I decided I was strong enough to run.
The 2015 holidays approached and I debated on signing up for a family friendly easy 5 mile turkey trot. After much thought I finally decided NO. I didn’t want to be rushing out the door to run a race (even though it was only 5 miles) Thanksgiving morning- the holidays are busy enough. Instead, I would find the time on thanksgiving, on my own schedule to take a short casual run while my baby napped.
This run would be my first postpartum run. This run would be my first real run since the 2014 Turkey Trot. Yep, I hadn’t really ran in a full year. After the 2014 Turkry Trot I found out I was pregnant with Zoe, and from then on and through out my whole pregnancy my fitness goals changed. It was no longer about me pushing hard, taking it physically to my ultimate limit, but rather about us, and making sure I brought a baby girl safely into this world.
So on thanksgiving, I ran my first run post pregnancy. I grabbed my Garmin and laced up my Newton Gravity running shoes. I started my run a little slow, but picked up the pace. I ran my regular 5k loop around the neighborhood – mainly flat- one uphill, one down hill. To my surprise it was pretty easy. I ran the whole way. I felt great. I was running a 9:30 min/mile. Not as fast as I use to be, but not bad I thought.
I woke up the next morning with the worst knee and ankle pain.
They say the main reason for knee and ankle pain in female runners is usually because of a problem with the hips. During pregnancy everything expands to make room for baby, this is especially true for your hips and rib cage. Hips can even get tilted forward during a vaginal birth because of excess pushing.¬†
Although I had a c section, I knew my body was different. Could this mean my form changed? Could this mean I needed a different running shoe?
When I woke up with knee/ankle pain I went to my local running store. They put me in a new pair of Newtons and got me on the treadmill to evaluate my form. Turns out (they said) my form is perfect… Which also means, there was no magical shoe to quick fix my problem. I was slow and just needed to keep practicing. It had been a full year since I moved my body like that and I just needed to get those fast twitch muscles moving again and strengthen my weak ankles.
Now at 5 months postpartum I am finally running more like I use to. The knee pain and ankle pain is gone – a fresh new pair of shoes helped. Also because of weight lifting, my lungs and heart are strong – the endurance is there. The endurance is there but the speed is not (and I was not a super fast runner before – I was average, not slow though.) I can keep going long and far on the trail, but my legs just can’t go any faster. So now it is time to strengthen my core and focus on speed work.
But here is the truth:
Any mama that seems to have jumped right back into it after they had a baby, is full of shit.¬†
The raw honest truth- it may hurt. It is going to take time to feel comfortable finding my stride. It is going to take time to rebuild, speed and endurance again.
But once I do, I’m going to be stronger, faster, better runner than I have ever been before.
And since we are being honest, I am already feeling stronger and faster.