Lessons Learned from Zooma Florida 2014

A little over a year ago, my 3 girlfriends and I were nervously awaiting the start of the Inagural Zooma Florida 5K. The blustery conditions made the run trying but the entire weekend was fun.  The four of us vowed that this would become a yearly tradition – a girl’s weekend of fun!

Four months ago, I found out that we were expecting our 2nd child. While the fatigue and morning sickness subdued my training for the 2014 Zooma Florida, I was still running 3 times a week and looking forward to getting a new PR in the race.

Then on the day before Thanksgiving I went to the bathroom and saw bright red blood. Soon I was cramping, and I was convinced that I was having a misscarriage.  An emergency trip to the doctor and a quick ultrasound revealed that baby was safe, but I had a small bleed at the sight of the placenta.  Bed rest would be my prescription for the next month.

December came – and with it the news that my bleed was gone and I could resume limited exercise.  My doctor told me that walking, low impact aerobics, and light weights would be fine.  But no running!  And with her words, my thoughts of a PR at Zooma died.

I seriously considered bowing out of the race, using my pregnancy as an excuse not to attend. Because the truth was, a 15 pound first trimester weight gain, had me feeling uncomfortable and unhappy in my body.  However, my girlfriends convinced me to go – reminding me of the fun after party and the trip to the spa that we’d booked. I recultantly agreed to go.

And I am so glad I did.

On Friday night, during the expo, I snapped a “bump pic” in front of the Zooma backdrop.  Everyone stopped to congratulate me on the pregnancy and give me props for doing the race pregnant. Nobody cared that I would be walking, or that I was a good 20 pounds heavier than the year before.

Lesson 1:  Celebrate what you can do instead of focusing on what you can’t do!

Saturday morning came and brought with it bright blue skies, a gentle sea breeze, and lots of excitement as we took our place at the starting line.  I gave my friends hugs and told them to run their best race – and took my spot at the back with the other walkers. Soon the race was underway, I found myself strolling briskly along the shoreline, noticing the foamy waves, the birds flying thru the air, and smiling and waving at the runners going by on the return route.  I felt happy, content – better than I had felt at the 2013 Zooma 5K.

Lesson 2:  Sometimes you have to slow down and appreciate the world around you!

50 minutes and 19 seconds went by and I found myself crossing the finish line, just a few minutes ahead of the first Half-Marathon finisher. Instead of feeling bad that she’d covered nearly 4 times the distance I had, in about the same amount of time, I was clapping and cheering for her as she crossed the finish line.

Lesson 3:  Comparing yourself to others is the thief of joy!  Rejoice with others when they triumph.

My girlfriends and I headed up to the after party, then to our rooms to get ready for our spa day.  As I donned my swimsuit and hit the steam longue, I realized that I wasn’t sucking in my stomach or worrying about the size of my thighs.  I was content in my skin – something that I hadn’t been long before pregnancy.

Lesson 4: My body is amazing – no matter the number on the scale.

I shared with my girlfriends all that I had learned during our Zooma Florida weekend. I told them that I looked forward to next year’s race – partially because I am eager to run again, but moreover because I love everything that this fantastic weekend teaches me each year.



Sunrise Circuit Workout

Good morning ya’ll!   It is Thursday and we are in the down-hill slide into the weekend!  While I look forward to every weekend, this one is extra exciting as the hubs and I will be having Part 1 of our 4 year Anniversary celebration.  This year we are celebrating our anniversary of the course of 2 weekends.  The first weekend consists of  activities that I planned and the second weekend will be all about the hubs.  This weekend we escaping to the neighboring town for an overnight stay at a hotel,  a 5k run for Charity on Saturday morning, and an afternoon of shopping. 🙂   How can I not love a guy who enjoys running and shopping with me?

I kicked off my morning with the Supreme 90 Day Tabata Inferno DVD.  The workout is 35 minutes in length and centers around Tabata – 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest. The various circuits consisted of either 2 or 4 moves that were repeated using the Tabata method until 4 total minutes had elapsed.   The workout was quick, but left me a hot, heavy breathing, sweaty mess.  So while I go shower and get ready for the day, why don’t you check out this circuit workout that I was inspired to create for you?

sunrise circuits


Your turn:  Do you like circuit style workouts? Have you tried the Tabata Method?  If you are married, how do you and your spouse celebrate anniversaries?

Weekly Training Plan: 3/11/13 – 3/17/13

Okay,so this post is a few days behind schedule. I normally post my weekly workouts – which I’ve now started calling my weekly training plan – on Sundays.  But I was so busy living life on Sunday that there was no time to blog about it.

Better than never, I suppose?

3-11-13 thru 3-17-13

Last week, I told you that the hubby and I would be following an 8 week training plan from Men’s Health for our weight training.  But after a few workouts, we realized that while the plan was challenging, it didn’t fit our lifestyle at the moment.  To complete the workouts, we needed to be in our home gym from 45 minutes to an hour.  And when you’re the parents of an active 3 year old, it is hard to find that much time to spare – or to keep her occupied with other tasks for that long.  Frustrated with what I felt were less than stellar workouts, I suggested to the hubby that we commit to the Supreme 90 Days DVD series. 

The series is similar in style to P90 or P90X but only a fraction of the cost. I picked up my set for $20.00 at the local Dollar General.  The hubs and I have dabbled with the workouts in the past – and have gotten a good burn – but have never fully followed the suggested plan. Now we are.  I love the fact that the workouts can be completed in my living room and require minimal equipment.

Last night, we took the first DVD “Chest & Back” for a spin.   Our daughter was able to color and play in one corner of the living room – even opting to join us for a few of the moves. (i.e. sit on our backs while did push-ups).  At the end, she grinned and said “I love working out with you, Mama & Daddy”.

That alone is reason enough to follow the plan.  But the fact that my chest/back muscles are groaning in protest this morning means I got a great workout in – in only 30 minutes.  I’ll be talking more about the DVD’s tomorrow (as well as sharing the hubby and I’s before pics and stats).

Your turn:  What’s on your training plan for this week?

Workout It Out Wednesday: Best Body Bootcamp Week 6 and a DVD Review

I have entered the final phase of Round 4 of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. I have to marvel at how quickly the time has gone. I would credit that to the fact that Tina changes up the workouts every two weeks which drastically reduced the chance of boredom or burnout.

For Week 6 the suggested schedule was as follows:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Cardio 20 min quick steady state Cardio Intervals Optional 20-30 Moderate Cardio Cardio Intervals 20 min quick steady state Optional Cardio Day
Strength Strength A Core Strength B Core Strength C  

 Not only is Tina big on changing up the workouts, she stresses that we should be flexible and make the workouts work for us.  So instead of doing the cardio workouts that Tina suggested in her plan, I either ran or a did a new to me workout DVD, Burlesque Jazzercise.

The Burlesque Jazzercise DVD was an impulse by a few weeks ago when I was browsing the fitness aisles at my local Walmart.  I never took dance as a child – but have fallen in love with it as an adult (evidenced by the dozens of dance workout dvd’s I own).  Moreover, one of my favorite bloggers, http://pbfingers.comis always raving about Jazzercise so I decided to buy it.

I took the DVD for it’s first spin last Monday.  The warm-up started out slowly…according to my Bodybugg I was only burning 2 calories per minute.  The workout was supposed to be just 20 minutes which left me wondering if I would get a decent calorie burn or not.  But then the instructor (Shanna) started into the heart of the workout. And my own heart rate jumped up!

The choreography is pretty simple – hip wiggles, sexy walks, twists, etc. – nothing that would really require a dance background. I will say the pace is fast, so you might want to watch the DVD a few times to really get comfortable with the steps.  For me, I ended up burning roughly 130 calories in 20 minutes which was a great burn!

The only negative I have to say about this DVD is that there is no true cooldown or stretching post workout.  I had to do those on my own.  But aside from that, I was quite happy with this workout. In fact, I am considering purchasing a few more Jazzercise DVD’s to add to my collection.

Your turn:  Have you ever tried Jazzercise?  Do you own any dance type workout DVD’s?

Work it Out Wednesday: #BestBodyBootcamp Week 4

It’s a busy Wednesday on this end of the computer screen, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet.  I hope ya’ll won’t hold it against me.

Starting Weight: 150

Current Weight: 144

Favorite Strength Move from Week 4: One Leg Deadlift

Alright, off to tackle my ever growing to-do list. Do you have a favorite strength move? Share it in the comments!

Work it Out Wednesday: Best Body Bootcamp Week 2

Phase 1 of #bestbodybootcamp is officially over and I have to say that I’m loving the progress that I have seen in just two weeks. I am officially down 4 pounds from my starting weight. More importantly, I can see definition in my arms, legs and core that wasn’t there before.

#Bestbodybootcamp really focuses on making the most of your time- so Tina uses interval workouts for the cardio portion. Each of the workouts can be scaled to your ability.  Take last week’s, interval A workout. Tina’s guidelines were:

Warm-up: 5 mins
Increase: 2 mins
Recover: 3 mins
Repeat for 6 intervals
Cool-down: 5 mins

For me that meant, increasing to a 5.5 mph jog and recovering at a 3.5 mph pace. I burned around 350 calories in just 40 minutes.

To sum up Phase 1 of #bestbodybootcamp, I’ll say that the workouts were challenging but doable, short on time but highly effective, and fun! All necessary components of a great workout.

Check next week for my thoughts on the first week of Phase 2.

Over to you- do you prefer steady state cardio or intervals? Why?

Zooma Florida 5K Recap

Late Friday evening, my 3 closest girlfriends and I arrived at The Ritz Carton Amelisa Island for the Zooma Florida Half Marthon and 5K! This was the start to a much-anticipated, much planned for and much-needed girls weekend. After checking in at the front desk, we headed to the race expo and packet pickup. 

Since we were arriving at 7:30 p.m. – the expo was pretty empty which meant packet pickup took a mere 2 minutes and we were able to talk longer to each of the vendors.  The Zooma races are designed to have a “girl’s getaway” feel which carried over to the expo. The expo was small but had a great boutique vibe.  We loaded up our swag bags with samples of Muscle Milks, Hint Fizz sparkling water, and enjoyed chatting with the girls from Handful Bras .

Once we were done at the expo, we headed up to our room, dropped our bags and headed back out for food. We opted to keep things quick, easy, and simple.  Our decision lead us to Zaxby’s were I had a grilled chicken salad.  A quick run to Wal-Mart followed dinner, then we were back at the hotel. While we our snuggled into bed early (10:00 p.m.) we stayed up chatting and laughing until nearly midnight.

The alarm came far too early at 6:00 a.m.  With 4 girls who all had to get ready (yes, we are the girls who put on makeup before a race) we needed the nearly 2.5 hours before the 5K started.  As we got ready, we decided to open the door to our balcony. We thought that a gentle sea breeze would wake us up a bit more. HA! There were no gentle sea breezes blowing – instead the winds were over 20 mph and bitterly cold.  Not the conditions we expected – but we all agreed that this race was just for fun.  Once we were all geared up – it was photo time. 


Amy and I were nearly twins and it was totally unplanned. One of the things I loved most about our gear were the shirts we had printed to wear. They have our group name (Country Bumpkin Runners) and nicknames on the heart crest and our favorite bible verse on the back. We got lots of compliments on them during the race.


Around 8:00 we started making our way down to the course. The 5K course as an out and back right on the beach. We intended to jog for a bit to warm up but with the wind blowing so hard, we were getting blasted with sand.  So instead we huddled up and tried to stay warm.

Promptly at 8:30 the race got underway. My knee felt good, my legs were loose, and for a few minutes I thought I might PR.  But about the mile mark, my chest started burning and my energy levels bottomed out. I should mention that for the first half of the 5K, we were running directly into the wind.   I kept running but mentally I wanted to quit.  It hurt to breathe and my pace was slowing with every step.  As the turnaround point came into view, I saw my girl Marcy.  She too was struggling. We walked for a bit and decided that we’d run 3/1 intervals on the way back.  We jogged to the turn around and suddenly we felt like we were flying.  We ran our intervals and slowly began to pass other runners.  In seemingly no time the finish line came into view, and just like that we crossed.  Marcy with a time of 39:30 and me with a time of 39:45.

Amy and Lane finished a few minutes later. And we all complained about running in the wind as we sipped our post-race water and nibbled our post-race bananas.  We stood on the beach watching a few more runners come in and then headed up to the post-race party.  We stretched out on yoga mats from Muscle Milk, sampled Barefoot Wines, and enjoyed a lovely brunch on the lawn behind the Ritz Carlton. There was a band playing, recovery yoga happening, and free post-race massages from the Spa at the Ritz Carlton. 

The atmosphere at the Zooma Florida 5K and Half Marathon was nothing short of amazing.  All I ever saw were smiles, all I ever heard were words of encouragement and support, and everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives.


So the Zooma Florida 5K was not my fastest race ever but I’d have to say it was definitely the funniest!

Have you ever ran in unexpected conditions on a race day?  Anybody ever run into 20+mph winds?

Work it Out Wednesday: Best Body Bootcamp Week 1

Good morning!  I hope this Wednesday morning finds you enjoying a beautiful day.  I am sitting here at my computer, sipping on piping hot cup of coffee, and savoring the silence.  My days are often hectic, busy, and LOUD so I really cherish the few moments of quiet each morning before the day really gets start.

So last Monday, Tina  launched Round 4 of her famous #BestBodyBootcamp.  And boy did week 1 kick my butt….  But before we get to that, let’s take a look at my official starting point.

start of bootcamp

My offical starting weight was 150. I wanted to take measurements but time got away from me. I will take measurements today and share them next week.  Bootcamp is 8 weeks long, so my goal is to lose 8 pounds brining me to a finishing weight of 142.

Now, let’s talk about the workouts.  Can you say challenging?  Each week, Tina gives the participants 3 weight workout and 2 cardio workouts, with the option of adding a 3rd cardio workout in if you are feeling up to it.  For the first phase (each bootcamp is broken into 4 2-week phases), the weight workouts were comprised of 2 full body + cardio circuit workouts and a core + cardio circuit.  The cardio workouts were 2 interval workouts that are scaleable to each person’s fitness level.

Since I am babying my knee right now, I opted to use the treadmill and walk for my interval workouts.  Following Tina’s guidelines, I managed to burn close to 250 calories in a mere 40 minutes – just walking.  That’s pretty good.  And by week’s end, every muscle group in my body was sore – indicating that I had been challenged.

While the workouts repeat in the first and second week of each phase, Tina makes minor tweaks – like changing the lifting count – which keeps your body guessing and alleviates boredom.  And just about the time, you think you’ve got it ….BAM…..a new phase starts along with new workouts.

Okay, so can you tell I’m a fan of #BestBodyBootcamp??  If working up a good sweat and having sore muscles wasn’t motivation enough, I have dropped 2 lbs in the first week of bootcamp.  WOW!

Well, I hear my daughter calling which means it’s time for cartoons and cuddles.  I’ll catch ya later.

So tell me, have you every done Tina’s #bestbodybootcamp?  What workout are you loving this week?

Work it Out Wednesday: Leslie Sansone’s Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan

Happy Hump Day, Everyone!  Look at me – launching my 2nd new series on the blog this week. I must be on fire …lol…let’s see if it lasts.  My ultimate vision for Work it Out Wednesday’s is to use it as a space to review various workouts – from DVD’s, to magazine workouts, to the plethora of suggestion on Pinterest. Sure, they look promising and perhaps even fun – but are they.  Each week, I test out the workout and then share with you the calories I burned, my impressions of the workout, and where I think it could fit into a fitness routine.

Since I am actively participating in Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp, I will be using Work it Out Wednesday’s to share my weekly recaps – at least for the next 8 weeks.  Since I am only on the 2nd day of bootcamp,I am not ready to give my weekly recap.  So for this first installment, I will be reviewing Leslie Sansone’s Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan.



What the workout claims:  Each day you’ll burn loads of calories with “Your Daily Walk” and then target-tone a specific muscle group with “Your Daily Strength.”

What the workout consists of:  5 daily workouts – Monday: 3 Mile Walk + Ab Session, Tuesday: 4 Mile Walk + Arm Session, Wednesday: 1 Mile Walk + Leg Session, Thursday: 2 Mile Walk + Chest & Back Session, Friday: 5 Mile Walk + Full Body Stretch

My results:  My calorie burns ranged as little as 100 calories on the 1 mile walk to nearly 350 for the 4 mile walk.  

My thoughts:  The calorie burn was not what I would call a “big burn” or a “load of calories”.  However, I did burn more calories than I would just sitting on the couch. The strength segments were composed of very basic moves and would likely not be challenging for more experienced lifters.  With that being said, I think spending $10.00 for this DVD is not a bad investment. If you use walking as your primary means of exercise, this DVD is a great substitute to walking on the treadmill or on days when you can’t get outside.  For those of you who prefer other methods of cardio,  I could see using these workouts on active rest days…and would HIGHLY recommend them for someone who is just easing into fitness.

Your turn – Have you ever tried one of Leslie Sansone’s DVDs?  Any workouts you want me to review?