If my son wasn’t due to be born in early 2016, I don’t know how it could possibly top 2015. This year has been so amazing for so many reasons. Here are my top 5 take aways from an amazing year with a few highlights at the end.
The 2015 Boston Marathon: Don’t start a race where you don’t belong!
I ran the 2015 Boston Marathon in April in under 4 hours. Not only was the weather cold and wet on race day, but I also had to train in the record breaking cold and snowy Boston winter. I was pretty honest in my recap at how un-enjoyable the experience was. The entire time I repeated, pain is temporary, glory is forever. I also promised myself that I didn’t have to run another marathon again if I finished in under 4 hours. I finished with a time of 3:57. There were many factors that went into my misery and success. I blamed myself for starting with a corral whose pace didn’t match mine, the bad weather and being 3 weeks pregnant (which I now think is silly). I credit my amazing coach Jess for giving me a plan that allowed my body to be ready to hit my goal despite my own self doubt. I did not think I was going to be able to pull it off, but I did.
In hindsight, I really think the problem was taking advantage of my “VIP” race entry from adidas and starting early to avoid the rain at the start. This led me to have zero running buddies, less fans along the route and often found myself running by myself with zero support on the roads. I see people starting all the time in corrals they don’t belong in. If you walk the first mile (cough cough Nike Women’s Half) don’t start with the 8 minute milers. Not only are you annoying to faster people behind you who now have to dodge you but you’re doing yourself a disservice. Start with people who run or walk your pace and you will enjoy the race more!
2. Boston Marathon Training: Running in snow/winter doesn’t have to suck.
Prior to last winter, I would always stop running between Christmas and late March just about. I hated running in cold weather. It just wasn’t enjoyable to me and therefore I would give it up. While I was able to start my runs later than most charity groups, I kind of loved my winter mornings out on the course training for the Boston Marathon after a snow storm. There was something special about being one of the crazy ones to embark on a 16 mile journey without knowing if the sidewalks would be shoveled. With the right gear and fuel, running in the cold was not nearly as bad as I thought. Despite saying never again (see above), I’ve already contemplated my next Boston.
3. Fit In Paradise: Don’t be afraid to say yes, even if it scares you
This one is gonna be cheesy. My manager and I worked on the Marriott Fit In Paradise deal for a year. When it finally came time to sign the contract, I had just found out I was pregnant. How could I travel non stop during my first trimester shooting fitness videos in the Caribbean? I was so nervous I would have the worst morning sickness or that I would blow up immediately and look terrible on camera. I was also nervous about the baby. Could all that travel be safe for my little fetus? Water in Mexico, airport security radiation, limited hospital access in foreign countries, etc? Miraculously, my boy did not give me much morning sickness and I was able to shoot most of the fitness videos without people knowing I was pregnant.
Similarly, I said yes to ClassPass when they asked me to run a half marathon at 29 weeks pregnant back in May. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it, but I said yes and I did it! I haven’t run since to be honest.
4. SFit Gym: Get out of your comfort zone.
While I’m very proud of my YouTube channel and my blog, I’ve been looking for different ways to expand my brand to help more people online. In 2015, I debuted the SFit Online Gym. Originally I wanted to just shoot a fitness DVD but it became something bigger. I was nervous to say yes because it sounded overwhelming to come to LA once a month to shoot 12+ fitness videos in 3 days. The videos are intense 20 minute workouts. I’m by myself and they take a lot to coach and do at the same time without sounding like a donkey who can’t breathe.
The flights took a toll on me but I missed quite a few of the epic snow storms back in Boston. The final product really blew me a way though. I put so much of my own time and sweat into creating these effective, challenging and time efficient workouts that I couldn’t be more proud to call the club my own. We have a fun challenge starting January 4th complete with a workout calendar, recipes and more. I’m due January 6th so again, I’m nervous about keeping up with all of you but the plan has been created and I know I never could have done it if I had stayed in my comfort zone.
5. First Time Mommy: Everyone is a critic. Ignore the haters.
Why didn’t I listen to Taylor Swift??? When I announced that I was pregnant, I received more well wishes than I ever could have imagined. My reveal video had 30K+ views in the first 2 days. Prior to my announcement, I was getting some “fat” comments on my videos and continued to do so even after I shared my good news. Then when I shared my half marathon plans in October, people started saying that I was going to have a miscarriage and “What kind of selfishness is this?” etc… I posted a picture this weekend on my Instagram of me in a proper plank and got a bunch of concerns for Diastasis Recti. The best advice I’ve been given is that when you are a first time mom, everyone is going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Listen and then do whatever works for you. Yes, I want to breast feed. I hope I can but I know for some people it was really freaking hard and they just couldn’t. I don’t know if I want to have a natural birth. Labor sounds really painful and the epidural sounds quite nice. Why people feel the need to leave comments like, “I would NEVER have an epidural!” with a shaming message for considering one is like saying, “I’m voting for Donald Trump.” Just because it’s a choice you have doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right one or something I agree with. I still don’t know if I’m going to get one. I’m going to wait and see how quickly labor progresses for me and how high my pain tolerance actually is.