Embracing A Time of Transition

Last night I opened up my heart to my Instagram and Facebook followers. This morning, I realized that it only makes sense to share this same story on my blog as I can’t assume that everyone who reads my blog also follows me on my social media channels or is able to keep up with posts thanks to the lovely and often annoying Facebook and Instagram algorithms.  The words of wisdom, feedback and comments I received on Instagram and Facebook gave me so much hope this morning as I started this fresh, new day. Perspective can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Yesterday this perspective came to me in two forms and helped me balance the emotions that I’ve been feeling lately.

  • Hearing our Baby Girl’s heartbeat and seeing her wave to us during our 36 week sonogram as we learned that she is approxiamately 5 lbs 11 oz and is healthy and happy.
  • Receiving words of wisdom and advice from so many friends and readers, many of whom have never commented previously, providing guidance during this time of transition.

While I realize the below is perfectly normal for a person to feel during this time of transition, here are the feelings that have been weighing on my heart and soul recently as I have opened up my blog or social media platforms to post.

I have a lot on my mind tonight friends. Recently I’ve felt as if I’m at a crossroads.  I still think of myself as a health and wellness blogger who loves to inspire others to lead a healthier life through a balanced love of food, wine, workouts and travel.  But, as June 18th approaches, I feel more like a MOM and as if I’m approaching the beginning of a new chapter.

A few readers have reached out about my new blog header, saying that I’m claiming to be a mom before my child arrives. Others have asked how I can claim to be a runner, even though I havent run in months. Trust me, I’m living this identity crisis. Since September, I’ve been focused on providing a supportive, nurturing environment for our baby to grow ans thrive, so yes, I do feel like a mom already.

I find myself over-thinking every post, wonderinf if I’m isolating those of you who aren’t moms or not inspiring my runner and fitness friends in the way they once loved.

I don’t want to find myself in a place where I dread social media and worry about everything I write and say because then I wont be sharing my FULL self.  Instead, I’m going to say that if you want to join me on the ride to see what the next few months and years hold, I hope you’ll stick around and keep engaging. I won’t make any promises, except to post on here and the blog more often, and do my best to continue to inspire YOU ALL, regardless of where you are in your life.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, advice and two cents with me! I read and value every comment and opinion

Photo credit Alexis Mera Damen

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Tips For Spectating A Race


Saturday morning Bo and I woke up bright and early to spend a few hours in Prospect Park, cheering and supporting our friends running the 2017 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon.   As runners who have run races of multiple distances, we can appreciate how much spectators can change the mood of a race, especially half marathons and marathons.  While we were spectating, a few people asked us a number of questions, appearing very overwhelmed by the task they’d been charged with – successfully cheering and supporting their runner.  Here are a few tips for making your next spectating experience enjoyable and hopefully successful.

  • Review the course and choose your spectating spots in advance.  A day or two before the race, take the time to visit the race website, review the course, and figure out your spectating locations. If it is a longer race, such as a half marathon or marathon and you plan to spectate from multiple locations, ensure you allow ample time to move from one spot to the next. This will ensure that you are able to figure out the best method of transportation and route for getting there on race day and can share the information with your runners.  Keep in mind, on race day there will be MANY road closures which can impact your ability to navigate the area, whether by public transportation, taxi, Uber or even bike.  Once you figure out your planned spectating spots, share them with your runner.  This will allow them to look for you just as much as you’re looking for them as well as provide any feedback since they most likely have studied the course in advance. Make sure to note things like which side of the race course you’ll be standing, near which mile marker or landmark and what you’ll be wearing or holding. For example, for Saturday’s half marathon Bo and I stood on the runner’s right side of the course as this was the easiest side for us to access, we were right before the 10k marker and I told friends we’d be holding a sign.
  • Make a sign that will make everyone smile, not just your runner. I often see people holding signs that speak only to a specific runner such as a picture of that runner or something like “Go Ashley.” However, if you’re like most spectators, you will spend at least 20-30 minutes cheering in your spot before you see your runner so why not make a sign that can motivate everyone, including your runners?  I actually reached out to Twitter and asked a few runners for ideas in advance of the race since my creative juices weren’t flowing. Our sign made cheering SO much fun as we received hundreds of high fives, hollers, and smiles from both spectators and runners.  If you finish the sign in advance of the race, send a picture to your runners so they know what color the sign is and can watch for it on the course.
  • Know your runner’s pace and any tools that can help you track them. This is the part that is especially difficult for spectators who aren’t runners. They know that the race begins at 7 AM but they have no idea when to expect their runner to hit the 10k point where they are going to cheer. It’s important to check in with your runners and understand both their goal pace, i.e most likely their fastest pace, so they can help you calculate when you need be at each spot in order to see them. On Saturday there were many spectators who showed up to the halfway point only to realize they’d missed their runner OR were there entirely too early based on their runner’s start time and pace.  Keep in mind that just because a race starts at a certain time, that doesn’t mean your runner will start exactly at that time especially in larger races that have corrals and separate starting waves. For Saturday’s half marathon, some of our runners started in Wave 1 (7:00 AM) while many of our runners started in Wave 2 (7:40 AM).  We were able to use the NYRR app to track our runners on Saturday, which allowed us to see the exact time they started and their paces since the app tracked the runners using their timing chip. Since we knew this information, we were able to plan for a longer spectating period and wore comfortable clothes, brought coffee and breakfast with us and knew we’d have about 15-20 minutes of downtime when we could explore the park, relax or go to the bathroom if needed.

Hopefully, these tips will make spectating your next race easier and more enjoyable!

Your turn: If you’re a runner, what are your favorite race day signs?

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10 Things They Don’t Teach you in childbirthing class

Last week I had the opportunity to spend an evening learning and sweating with forty other pregnant women during Flex Studios Prenatal Event. The event included a prenatal-safe pilates and TRX workout followed by an open discussion session with an amazing panel including:

-Founders of Truly MD Jaime M Knopman, MD FACOG and Sheeva Talebian, MD FACOG (Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology)
-Chief OBGYN Resident at NYU, Meggie Smith, MD
-Pelvic Floor PT Abigail Bailes, PT, DPT, CSCS

The supportive and open discussion allowed everyone to ask any question on their mind, ranging from commonly discussed things like weight loss to less discussed topics like waxing and self-love. Since the session was so helpful for me, and the advice came from experts, I wanted to share ten things these experts shared with us that I didn’t learn in childbirthing classes or other materials I’ve read.

Ten Things They Don't Teach You In Child Birth Classes

  • Be kind to yourself and your body. When you are nursing, your hormones aren’t at their baseline state.
  • If you normally get waxed or shave, consider getting waxed right before your delivery! Reason being is that if you end up having a C-section, the nurses or doctors will quickly shave you, which may lead to ingrown hairs near the incision line. Moreover, the bandage for a C-section is often near the hair and can be pulled off when removing the bandage – ouch!
  • GET RID OF THE BIRTH PLAN. The more you try to control your birth the more likely you are to have issues. Feel free to have requests, and ensure your partner or doctor know these requests, but understand that for your health and the baby’s health, they may have to alter the plan.


  • Stay at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Enjoy a shower to help relieve the pain. Eat and drink. But, once your contractions intensify and are four minutes apart, make sure to head there immediately.
  • While breathing techniques are nice, at the end of the day, the best tip that these doctors give to patients is to push as if you’re pooping.
  • You may not immediately connect with your child and that’s okay, especially considering the state of your hormones following birth. However, make sure that you share your thoughts with someone whether it’s your partner, friend, doctor or loved one. 20% of women experience some form of postpartum depression and many never get the help they need.  There are some great resources and information available on the site postpartumprogress.com.
  • Speaking of nursing, it is not normal to lose all your weight while you’re still breastfeeding. you could probably say “it is normal if you do not lose all of your weight while breastfeeding” — some do and some don’t, most don’t! In fact, three of the speakers noted that they didn’t lose their last five to ten pounds until right after they finished nursing.
  • Using a pump after birth can help with milk production so do not fear the pump.
  • It is fine to use product such as Belly Bandit BUT you should wait 3-4 weeks before starting to use them and make sure to speak with your doctor. It’s important to ensure that you are no longer bleeding too much and that your uterus is starting to involute, a process that typically takes six weeks.
  • There is no upside in returning to workouts too early. While six-week is the blanket statement, it is important to listen to your body. If you have tears or complications during delivery, your body will need more time to recover properly. Also, keep in mind that your body is experiencing constant sleep deprivation, dehydration, and lack of nutrients during these first few weeks of motherhood so recovery does not happen as quickly as it does after running a marathon. Those same workouts and adjustments you did during prenatal workouts are great to leverage postnatal as the relaxin stays in your body five to nine months postpartum.

Your Turn – If you’ve given birth, what was the best advice you received? 

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