Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

We got the first significant snowfall of the season on Sunday with about 2 feet of snow and some wild winds...and we are getting another 5-8 inches tonight and the temps are in the negatives today...which resulted in a lots of stuff indoors. I'm just getting over bronchitis so I did not want to push my luck with too much outside time in artic temps and wind (even though I just love running in the snow).

Lola wanted to make cookies and lemonade while snowed in on Sunday. We got so much snow, my hometown was even featured on CNN!!

We had all the stuff to make peanut butter cookies so I was not disappointed in that option (oatmeal is my fav but we are out of raisins). I always have stuff to make lemonade!!

I even got all fancy and used two glasses fitted together and did my best impersonation of Tom Cruise in Cocktail...which Lola found comical. Then I could not get the glasses apart very easily, which she also find quite funny.

I had to laugh when she got out her play Disney Princess camera and took pics of her snack....I wonder where she ever go an idea like that???? ha ha ha


Sunday was also the day that we were finally able to open our #TeamRev3 Secret Santa gifts!!

This was mine....

I still have not figured out WHO my Rev3 Secret Santa is...and no one is giving me any hints. MY first guess was Jordan but, I was wrong.

I then guessed Susan and she has not replied so...

Monday was the first day of the #RunnerBox #FitApproach challenge and the challenge was to run one extra mile.
In addition to teaching 5 classes (2 of them cycling) AND doing my own quick circuit workout, I got in 3 miles on the treaddy.

Today the challenge is PLANKS! I've SO got this...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Funday: A Little Challenge

I've been battling bronchitis since just after Thanksgiving and I am finally turning the corner to feeling better. Today we are getting hammered with the first big snow storm of the year and I SO want to head out and run for a bit. I just LOVE running in the snow. One of my most memorable runs ever was on New Years Day, a nice 9 miler in a storm it was just amazing. Silent, quiet and peaceful. No one was out...it was just me, the snow, the birds and the sounds of crunching underfoot....Ahhh. I do love Maine. Though, I would be totally happy with 8 months of summer, 3 months of fall and just 1 month of winter. Spring is just muddy here...

Anway, I got this email from Fit Approach last week for a fun little fitness challenge and I thought I would join in!


             Mark your calendar!

12/16: Run an extra mile today!
12/17: Hold a plank for at least 30 seconds!
12/18: Share a favorite motivational quote!
12/19: Workout with a friend today!
12/20: Share your 2014 New Year's Resolutions!


Take a photo for "evidence" showing that you completed the challenge for the day, and share the photo on Twitter and/or Instagram! The top five participants will receive a FREE box from RunnerBox.

Use hash tags: #runnerbox #sweatpink and tag @FitApproach @runnerbox in all of your Instagram photos and Twitter posts. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Motivation: Mentally Strong

I cannot take credit for this post, for I am simply sharing the list that was written by Amy Morin, LCSW..which I found on Forbes.com

Through my own journey to a better me, I have gained some of the mental skills listed here and I am still trying to hone others. I think that life is so much about how YOU react to what is happening around you, not WHAT is happening around you. 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!


1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

RELOAD: Fat A$$ Friday!!

This post is now THREE YEARS OLD {and 2 days}. Lots of things have happened in that three year span of time. 

  • 140.6 is not longer just a dream on my "list", it has been accomplished and it was awesome. I love looking forward and finding new ways to challenge myself. 
  • I can check off the box that states I want a career in FITNESS-I am now a CPT, a Coach and Group Ex instructor. I get to spend my days getting others to their goals, one step at a time! 
  • After I started following Sonja when I was "just a runner" and she was on Team Trakkers I dreamed of "someday" being on a team like that...and BOOM! I am heading into season 3 as a member of Team Rev3 Triathlon
  • I have been a part of an amazing project and film-From Fat to Finish Line-with 11 other inspiring individuals that will MOTIVATE you to chase your dreams and make it happen! 

This blog is still going-even if I don't blog daily like I used to-as I evolve as a person and athlete, this will too! I have stories of OTHERS I want to share and I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for me!

So, here is a visit back to Fat Ass Friday--one of my favorite, and most popular posts!


Several people who know me now but did not know me during my "fat years" have a hard time believing that I was really as fat as I say I was. To those of you (and you know who you are) here it is. Proof in pictures. Yes, I really was more than 100lbs heavier than I am today. Yes, sadly it is all too true. 

A big plate of chicken wings must be in my peripheral.
 So, when I was at my parents house a couple weeks ago and my Dad wanted to show me some pictures from not so long ago--pictures from my Fat Days-I could not wait to check them out.

I used to hide from the camera because when I would see the pictures, I would not recognize the woman I had become. I had never struggled with my weight and to be walking around at this size was foreign to me. 

What I saw in my head did not match the person I saw in the mirror or in pictures.

Now when I look back at those pictures it is a bit of mixed emotion for me. On one hand, I am proud of myself for finally saying "enough is enough" and making the decision to take control of my life. On the other hand, I am saddened to know that at one time, I was in a very different place.

I don't know what's worse: the double chin or the double belly roll

oh.my.  Back fat rolls!!

But I have to embrace FAT JEN because without going THERE...I would not be here. And you know what? HERE is a pretty great place to be! And now we are working on FrankenJen (but that is a different post all together)

Running-it does the body (and the mind) good! Sept 2010

My husband is an absolute rockstar for sticking with me thru thick and thin (pun totally intended!!). When we started dating I was in pretty good shape and then over the next several years I just blew up. 

Then one day something in me just snapped and that was it. I had a plan and nothing was going to stop me until I achieved my goals and lived my dreams. 

Much healthier and happier, Michelle and Me at the Mainiac Sprint Tri Sept 2010

Along the way those goals and dreams changed and grew. The goals got bigger-the dreams became a reality. I found a new self confidence in being able to achieve things I never thought possible. I discovered just how strong I can be and how far I can push myself.

I have met some amazing people along this journey. Quality people who don't care what label lines my clothing or what bag I am carrying around. People who inspire me and motivate me to achieve new goals and dream even bigger than before.

When I started on this path, the thought of running one mile without stopping seemed impossible.
I could not wait to run my first 5k race.
I cried the first time I ran 5 miles without stopping.
I celebrated my first real push up with a big ole "HELLLLLL YA!"

Today I dream of running 26.2 miles after biking 112 and swimming 2.4~and with absolute truth I tell you that I will accomplish this. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will be done.

Today I dream of taking my passion for health and fitness and making it my career when I return to the working world.

Today I dream of inspiring others to reach for their goals-no matter how big or how small.

Reach deep down inside of yourself and find that fire that ignites your soul. Let that desire fuel your motivation to do the work necessary to be a success. Achieve the things you never thought possible. Do not let anyone or anything stand in your way or deter you from your goals.
It can be done.

What do YOU want to achieve? 
What goal do you have in your sights?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide

Wondering what to get that endurance junkie in your life?? Here are some ideas...

Just an FYI, none of this content is sponsored content or advertisements. This is just a compilation of items I love using and think that any endurance junkie in your life will love them too!!


sweat proof and awesome

I got my TriBling last year and I just love it. I wear it all the time and do not take it off. It is a constant reminder to me of the amazing journey that has been triathlon. I recently added a 140.6 tag to my necklace, courtesy of Old Pool Glassworks. This is a great gift for the male or female on your list because the pendant comes in several different sizes and you can pick from several different styles of chain or choker. 

For the runner, they have a new PACE version pendant that was recently released as well

So, music is NOT allowed in triathlon but who says you can't rock in during training or use these to watch movies on your tablet or phone while spinning away the miles on the trainer. These are sweat proof and do not fall out for the most part. I cannot ever go back to regular ear buds after using these. Plus, they come in fun colors. Available online or in big retail stores like Target. 

Inspire Talk for Women

Tri Fly IV Carbon 
I have worn many types of cycling shoes and these are BY FAR the most comfortable shoes I have worn...and they hold up very well. I hammered mine this past season and beside the sick smell, they are still in great shape. Light, breathable, quick drying and colorful!! Love love love these!!

The Easy Shot!

Not sure what size or brand to get your giftee? How about a simple gift certificate to your local running store? That way they can get just what they need and/or want! I know I got a very generous GC one year to my local shop-Maine Running Company-and hubbs could NOT have made me happier! It's win/win!!

How about covering the race entry fee for your loved one? I know that when my Dad picked up the tab for my first half Ironman, I was thrilled over-the-moon excited! When you do a lot of races or BIG races, those fees can really add up. Or for the newbie to running/triathlon/fitness, a race on the calendar is a good way to keep motivated and stick with a training plan! 

I discovered this item this year running the Ragnar Relay...and when I saw they made it in PINK, well of course I fell in love with it. Versitle since you can wear it with anything and it'll keep you safe for those early morning/late day runs in the dar. And you won't feel like a construction worker. Available in yellow too. 


Balega Socks: The Enduro 4 No Show is my go-to long run sock, the Enduro
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Injinji Socks-I love these versatile socks for every day wear, trail running and any distance run. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the "toe socks" but I like 'em!
SPORT Original Weight Micro Black

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Diaper Cream
Ok, so really...don't laugh. Yes, DIAPER CREAM. I was given a jar of this by an Ava representative to try after weeks of me talking about a chafe here and irritation there during training this summer. She would say "I have a cream for that..." and sure enough, she did. I have used this cream on chafe, burns, rashes and skin irritations for myself and Lola. I love this stuff!

Diaper Cream

luxuriously formulated with organic oils & herbs, rich in shea butter, and packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids  to hydrate, comfort, protect and soften skin. Acts as a gentle barrier cream that moisturizes and protects skin, prevents redness, and soothes diaper rash and irritated skin.

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Lip Balm
Just good stuff in this lip balm. No petroleum. No junk. Just good stuff and soft lips. 'Nuff Said
lip balm with spf 15
You can order Ava Anderson products through Michelle's page or any Ava representative you know. When ordering with Michelle, use party # 19194 during checkout. 

at $15 from Target, these gloves are a great stocking stuffer or gift for your favorite running buddy! The fit is great, I love the little grip dots on the palm AND the "smartphone" fingertips actually work! And I wont cry if I lose these like I would my very nice and very expensive cycling gloves...

what triathlete wouldn't want to find THIS in their stocking on Christmas Morning??

...and you can even "share" it with friends. Crazy. Awesome.