Got on my race face

Not many pics in the land of food for ya today.


Bfast cookie 3

Thank goodness I made a breakfast cookie so it would be ready- the whole house woke up at 7:45! I haven’t set an alarm in about 6 1/2 months for anything, knowing my little sidekick would get me up with pleeeeennnnty of time to get ready for wherever we need to be. Well, someone got the memo that her dad was off work and slept in- totally fine with me.

I have some exciting race news, though! I’ll be running the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon or 10k this fall. I’ve been waiting for some inspiration to achieve a new fitness goal, and when they asked me to participate in their blogger panel, I called it destiny and decided to go for it. I’m not being compensated for my participation, but they’ll be flying me out there to run/walk/Zumba in one of the races that weekend (it will depend on my training and how I feel) and I’m exciting to meet those of you who will be out there, too. There will be a mocktail party the night before, if you’d like to come hang out (!) and other fun events- can’t wait.


If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, then you know that running and I haven’t always had the best relationship. I call running my ex-boyfriend– we’ve been off and on, and sometimes he seems more appealing than others. I usually stick with sprinting or HIIT intervals, but haven’t done any long distance running in a very long time. My two favorite things about running: the mental benefits (what a great way to clear my mind and zone out) and the triumphant feeling when it’s over. I also think I like running because it’s easily measurable- it’s nice to know that I’ve accomplished a certain distance. 

At the same time, looking back at my previous races, I’m not very happy with my attitude about running. I turned it into a competition with myself and started to feel like every run needed to be better than the last- something that’s basically impossible. I injured my knee, I overtrained with my teaching schedule, and took some of the fun out of it. While I enjoyed the chatting time with my girlfriends and the feeling of finishing a race, it’s almost like I needed an external verification of my body’s capacity. It’s silly now that I look back at it, but I felt like running races was another way of telling myself “you’re good enough.”

I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, and a lot to do with the fact that I have a set of ovaries, but my self esteem has wavered throughout my life. I’m sure many of you can relate, but I think we all have days where we feel great, other not-so-great days, and it ebbs and flows from there. Running made me feel proud of myself. 

(Here’s the part of the post where I add a super old running pictures)



Needless to say, my attitude about myself and my body has improved over time, and also changed a lot since I became pregnant and gave birth in January. I have never been more proud of myself, and there’s no medal or tacky shirt to show for it- there’s a healthy and amazing baby girl. It made me realize that my body is capable of so much more than I imagined, it taught me a lot about what really matters, and how to relax a little. I’m still going to dream big and make plans, because that’s part of who I am, but I’m easier on myself, and know I’ll be able to have a better attitude about training and completing a race in September. I’m not sure what distance I’m going to do- if I make it for the half, awesome, if not, I’ll be doing the 10k.

Getting picked up by the slow truck isn’t my goal, but I’m not going to focus on time. I’ll just be happy to be there, smelling the glorious salty sea air, and waiting to kiss that sweet baby (and amazing Pilot) when I get back home.

Is anyone running the Cape Cod race or another fitness event this fall? What’s your current training plan look like? Zooma is also hosting a race in Amelia Island, which is absolutely gorgeous- the Pilot and I have vacationed there and love it. Sunday is Runday here for now, so Monday I can take off and won’t overdo it with my teaching schedule.

Hope you have a great night!



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  1. Carrie on July 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I too had a baby in January and am just getting my running mojo back. Training for the Runners World 10K in PA on October 20th. Long runs will be on Sunday for me too. Trying to run at least 2 other times during the week and cross train 2 to 3 other days. Best of luck training!!

  2. Brittany on July 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I think this is awesome Gina and I like that you are going at it with the goal of running whatever you feel comfortable with when the race arrives. Best of luck with training. I hope your ex bf is good to you this time around. 😉

    I’m going to be in Boston the weekend before for a wedding. Too bad it’s not the same weekend.

  3. Michaela on July 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Cape Cod is sooo beautiful. Enjoy it and great luck!!

  4. Angie on July 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Hey! I’m from the Cape, so I may be biased but it’s really super awesome. 😉 Try to fit in a visit to Chatham, prettiest town ever. I’m running the Harwich Cranberry Half on Sept 30th. I’ve never done a half, so I’m a bit nervous. Have you shared your training plan already? I’d love to hear details.

  5. Kate on July 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I loved everything about this post. I’m only 20 and don’t plan on popping a baby out anytime soon, but I loved reading about your journey through pregnancy and how it affected your perception of your body and health. I really benefitted from it, especially when you just took time to appreciate how amazing your body is and how far it’s gotten you. I’m training for my first triathlon in August and your’s, as well as other blog’s, have definitely helped me take a step back after a workout and say “wow my body just allowed me to run 3 miles!” instead of “my avg mile was 15 seconds slower than yesterday.” and that is a gift i hope to help share with everyone around me! so thank you 🙂

  6. Michele on July 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I know everyone is human and has their hangups… but it’s so weird to think that you have them about yourself! You put forth such an amazing, positive “face” for the blog, and you’ve accomplished SO much! We’re pretty much the same age, and I feel like I’ve done NOTHING with my life compared to you! You’re an inspiration, for lots of things… but also for your honesty about stuff that isn’t all roses-and-sunshine <3

    PS- I did a slight variation of the BOSU workout yesterday and got a thumbs up/impressed/shocked look from some dude lifting pretty intense weights. Figured I'd pass along the compliment 🙂

  7. Jessica Kempainen on July 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Congratulations! You can definitely do it! I think half-marathons are the most fun – not too short & not too long! I’m running in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon & in the Jazz Half Marathon (in New Orleans) in October! Mind over matter – keep it fun!

  8. mountain girl heidi on July 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I’m running my second marathon in September and my first 50K two weeks after that. I’ve lost a ton of enthusiasm as the summer has progressed (stupid midwest heat), but I’m trying to keep it together. I’m thankful to have a partner for the long training runs — without her, I doubt I’d be running. I’ve been stuck on running for so long, and I’ve decided that after these two races, I’m sticking to 1/2 marathons (more fun, less painful, and easier to train for). I also want to get back to the gym and start lifting and maybe do one of your shape up sessions. A few months late, yes, but better late then never, right? 🙂

  9. Abby on July 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I feel the same way about my body after having a baby. I pretty much feel like if I can carry, give birth to, nurse, and raise a healthy happy baby, I am more than capable of doing anything else (including the hardest of workouts). I am woman, hear me roar? Haha

  10. Alicia on July 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I know exactly how you feel!! I have lost 80lbs over about 2 years. I was training for the Army 10 Miler in October, but burnt myself out a month ago. That’s when I decided that running a 10k in September is a great accomplishment (and so is 2 miles on a Tuesday morning before a 10 hour work day). Running has to stay fun and enjoyable for me to continue to do it. And that really is the most important part. Glad to know someone else had a similar “eureka moment”!

  11. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance on July 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    sounds like an amazing opportunity! and you have a great attitude about it all–which is the best part! 🙂

  12. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on July 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Cape cod will be fun! I’m hoping to run my first 10k this fall!!

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    What a fun plan you’ve got! Good luck with training – basically, just run enough to finish the race, don’t get hurt, and have a blast. That’s how i approach ‘training’ most of the time and it’s worked for 20 years for me 🙂

  14. Maria on July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    My mom, 2 aunts, 2 cousins, and myself are all signed up and training for the Princess Half marathon. It’s not until February but we are all excited =)

  15. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Sounds like an awesome race! I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place for a fall run! Have fun girl! How did you score such a sweet set up?!

  16. Katie on July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Congrats! Cape Cod is beautiful and the run sounds great.
    I’m training for the NYC marathon and this post resonated so much
    with me. I’m working hard to run my own race, not compare
    runs and stay present. Thanks for the reminder!

  17. Corrie Anne on July 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Those races look so fun!! I wish there was one closer to Denver!

  18. Jenny on July 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Oh my gosh! North Falmouth is the town I live in! I will definitely have to check it out! I have been an avid reader for a while, so I would love to meet you!

  19. BakingSuit on July 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    What a fun looking race! I won’t be running it this year, but maybe next year.

    You mentioned something that hit hard to me and I really appreciate the reminder. I am one who wants to do better every single run. While many of my runs improve on the one before it, not all of them do and that really gets me down. While I’m capable of pushing myself harder and longer short term, that’s not the result I want long term so I have to cut myself some slack and remind myself not every one has to be better. Thanks for the reminder!

  20. @pluvk on July 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Congratulations on setting a goal for yourself and moving forward with it. I’m looking forward to your recap posts! Have fun!

  21. Brittany on July 27, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I live about and hour and a half from Cape Cod (or as us locas cal it ‘The Cape’) so I dont think I will be able to make the drive there. But if you are in Boston at any point durring your trip I would DEFINATLY want to meet you!!!!! There is this gym in Boston called Healthworks and it is only for women and if you wanted you might be able to contact them about teaching a zumba class at their boston location. I would die to take one of your classes.

  22. Hayley on July 27, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I just signed up for my first half marathon! It’s in October in Healdsburg, which is wine country…apparently there are wine tents set up at the finish line 🙂 My training plan has been like this for each week: 1 long run (increasing mileage every few weeks), 2 medium runs, 1 short tempo run, 2 cross trains (bikram yoga for me), and one rest day. It has worked out well so far!! I’m up to 9 miles already on my long run days and have been getting stronger and stronger 😀 Good luck with training!

    • Hayley on July 27, 2012 at 2:57 am

      *medium runs = 4-5 miles, average pace
      short runs = 2-3 miles, either hills or intervals

  23. Melissa (Better Fit) on July 27, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Good luck with the race! I thought your comments about your point about feeling like you’re competing with yourself and proving something is so true for lots of people. It can be quite addictive in that way. I also think it’s a great way to clear your head, and this is probably my biggest reason for doing long-distance running when I choose to do it!

  24. Bek @ Crave on July 27, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Beautiful post about body image and loving your body! I actually despise running but do it because I suck at it and I love pushing myself and my fitness! I also love the buzz after I struggle through and finish!

  25. Teddie on July 27, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Hey Gina, I’ve been a silent reader of your blog for a while. I love following your circuit workouts, and especially enjoyed this last Summer Shape Up! I am running my first half marathon this fall in Amsterdam (my husband and I currently live in Belgium, so the location works for us). I have on and off days with running, but for the most part I enjoy it. I’m following the Hal Higdon, Novice 2 training plan, which seems doable to me. I’ve actually never done a race before! And the longest I usually run is four miles. I’m hoping my endurance builds over time. This post gave me another boost of confidence, and a reminder to be easy on myself. Good luck to you, and thanks for the inspiration!

  26. Anne on July 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

    That’s the beauty about running. Virtually all non-runners think it is impossible for them, I certainly did.
    Then they start running. If they stick with it through that first phase, they realize ANYONE can run. Not only that ANYONE can run and not hate it!
    Have so much fun those races sound amazing!

  27. Stephanie on July 27, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Aww I think I am running a half in Mass in October instead with my husband so Im not sure I could do two but maybe I could do the 10k. We could have had our baby “twins” meet! (if you are bringing her)

  28. Donna Boudreau on July 27, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Holy cow! I can’t believe that you’ll be in my neck of the woods. I’m signed up for a century (biking 100 miles) on the north shore that weekend but it’s held both days, you can do one or the other, or both. Hmmm….maybe if we ride on Sunday instead of Saturday I can make it down there.

  29. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on July 27, 2012 at 7:39 am

    That’s exciting about this opportunity! I bet it will be a blast to get to do this event with some other bloggers. 😀 Even though you haven’t always been bffs with running, it sounds like it’ll be more enjoyable for you this time around because of your new perspective! 🙂

  30. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because on July 27, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I’m not currently registered for any races, but my plans always include a few days of cross-training, like swimming, biking, or the elliptical. Anything to give my joints a rest 🙂

  31. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on July 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

    What a great post Gina! I think this race will be perfect and I love how relaxed you are going into it! I definitely need to take a lot away from this post because I think I am often just a bit too hard on myself…one of the reasons I don’t like running so much is because I think I’m not very good at it! This Zooma races sound like a ton of fun too! Perfect way to get back into running!

  32. Marie on July 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I have a similar love/hate relationship towards running. I just really want to love it, and I think if I stuck with it long enough I might. The Zooma races look like so much fun! What a great reason to spend a girls’ weekend in Cape Cod! I’m looking forward to reading about your training experiences. Maybe it will inspire me to do some running myself!

  33. Becky on July 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Hi Gina. I enjoyed reading your post. Good luck and most importantly, have fun with the race in Cape Cod. I have always signed up and completed races for the feeling I get when I finish and the rush of seeing all the people involved. But, I must say I haven’t done a race in a long time and its for the same reason you stated. It became a competition with myself. I always wanted to be better than the last time. Goals are a good things but it got to be too much and it took away the enjoyment of the race. So, I love exercising but I’m not so intense now, especially about running. So its a weird relationship! 🙂

  34. Shelley on July 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    You have such a wonderful, positive perspective. I struggled with those same feelings while running. There were races where I’d tell myself that I was just going to run for fun and enjoy it. Every single time I’d end up killing myself for a top 3 finish or to beat a previous time. So not fun after several years living like that. I stepped back and haven’t regretted it for a minute. I will go back when I have the right mindset, it will always be there! Good luck and ENJOY 🙂

  35. Becky on July 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I am training for my first 5k. I’m doing couch to 5k. So far so good. The 5k is Sept 29.

  36. Stacy Marie on July 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

    What a cool event! Love that you’re going into it planning on running what feels best. I’m training for the St. Louis Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October…I’ve never done a big fancy race like that (I’m more of the community race kinda girl), so I’m excited. My husband coaches cross country and included a zumba day in my training for me, so sweet! I run 3 days/week, elliptical 1 day/week and zumba 1 day/week.

  37. Tori on July 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

    That’s awesome that you are doing the ZOOMA Cape Cod! Can’t wait to see how it goes for you because there is a ZOOMA Austin I’ve had my eye on for awhile now 🙂

  38. Lauren T on July 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

    After a tough run this morning, this was just the reminder I needed! Thanks! I’m training with the Couch to 5K program for my first race ever this fall! I’m a beginner runner so even running 2 miles straight is an accomplishment for me, and I need to keep this in mind while I’m training and have tough days.

  39. Emily @ on July 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

    That’s SOOOOO awesome! Those Zooma races look so awesome but there hasn’t been one close enough for me to go. I hope you have so much fun and can’t wait to hear about your preparations for it! Congrats!

  40. Michelle @ Running with Attitude on July 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Congrats Gina! I’m one of the ZOOMA Cape Cod Ambassadors so I look forward to meeting you in September! Good luck with your training 🙂

  41. Eva @ Committed2Nutrition on July 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I absolutely love this post..can I click the LOVE button?! You are amazing, really, you are. What an inspiration to stop being so hard on ourselves and realize that our bodies can do so muc more than we give credit for. A baby is truly a miracle in me eyes. That is awesome you are going to the Cape for the Zooma Race! Sounds like a lot of fun and the cape is AWESOME!! I used to live im Boston and went to the cape a few days – never a bad time 🙂

  42. Irene on July 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Yay!!! Way to go Gina! I’m hoping to run my first half on Oct 13, so I don’t think I’ll be able to make it up to Cape Cod for this race, but I’m tempted to try for the 10K! Would love to meet you after reading your blog for so long:)

  43. Melissa on July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Oh, that’s near me! I’ll try and get down to see you. I wish I could run, perhaps I could walk it!

    • Fitnessista on July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

      you totally could!!

  44. melissa on July 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I’m thinking of doing the Bisbee1000 ( in October, which would be my first race. It’s 4.2 miles with ~1000 stairs mixed in (a little ambitious for a first race? we’ll see….). I’ve started training (also doing the couch to 5k plan) and if I can stick with it another week, then I’m registering for the race. I’ve always HATED running, but I recently moved to a place that seems perfect for running (lots of dirt roads, beautiful views, no traffic ever except for wildlife), so I thought I’d give it another try. And registering for a race seemed like a good way to keep motivated.

  45. Amy on July 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Have soo much fun running this race. Falmouth is beautiful, a little hilly tho. I wanted to run it but have a wedding the same weekend. Enjoy!

  46. Mi-an dela Cruz on July 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hey Gina I signed up for the diva half marathon oct 7 here in long island! I’ve been thinking of doing a 10k before it and this race ur doing may be it! And I’ve always wanted to meet you! The woman behind the blog! 🙂

  47. Joelle (on a pink typewriter) on July 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Way to go Gina! I have a tumultuous relationship with running too, so I totally relate.. I just signed up for the Marine Corps 10K and I’m hoping that’ll be a good distance to get back in the game with. 🙂

  48. Cassie Wright on July 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Good for you, Gina! I’m a fellow Tucsoner and have been following your blog for the past year to get inspiration while I too underwent a transformation from an athlete to a pregnant athlete to a mother athlete. Needless to say, the physical transformations you note are almost incidental to the psychological ones that follow. I’m so happy to see women able to get their fitness groove back on postpartum. As someone trying to finish her PhD and go on the academic job market this fall, with a fulltime working husband sans daycare, I’ve had to be pretty creative about how to fit in a regular workout schedule postpartum. And, as you note, breastfeeding always adds a creative bent to the traditional fitness regime. But, I’m hoping to also run a 1/2 marathon in Phx, AZ in Oct with some fellow new mommy friends. Like you, and others, long runs on weekends, with 2-3 short runs during the week is the goal. I’ve currently set a “30(mi) for 30(days)” goal to get me started. Good luck and happy marathoning. I must admit, I’m jealous of the Cape Cod location. Looking forward to reading about your training progress.

  49. Lisa on July 29, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You’re coming to my neck of the woods! (I live outside of Boston). I’ll be interested to read all about your training up to the race, and I hope you have a great time in MA when the time comes. Good luck!

  50. tara on July 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Hi, I just recently found your blog & love it! I live in south Mass and was considinng doing this 10k! Hopefully I will bump into you that weekend. Good luck with the running training!

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