Ahhhh That First Run….AKA Slept in My Running Clothes Last Night

So since I moved I have gone running once…well now twice…


So last night I slept in my running clothes so that I would wake my bum-ass up and HAVE TO GO RUNNING!

It worked! Why the heck is it so hard to get me to do something that makes me so much better? Helps w. the crazy, helps wake me up in the morning and helps me feel better about me (and gosh darn it…people like me…had to continue w. the cheesiness)

So yeah. I RAN! IT WAS GLORIOUS! I am back on the running horse and I’m gonna kick some ass!

IMG_8024 IMG_8025 IMG_8027


My Mudrun Temp Threshold is Now 60 Degrees….aka MUDERELLA!

I did the Muderella mudrun this weekend (cuz I didn’t torture myself enough with tough mudder!) It was 45….and rainy….and it was cold…and wet….and muddy….and yeah. Sorry…this post is a bit of pity party!

LOVED the obstacles

We had crawling through the mud, piggyback rides (picture below!), climbing through a tube, climbing over a wall, planking over a ditch and shimming over. (the top 2 pics are ones that I am actually in, others from the website) I completed nearly all of them and it really made me feel like a rock star. The only one I couldn’t tackle was the rope climb. I will have to learn how to climb a rope….esp when its muddy. I kept sliding down!

chanstefCarry3 ChantalBalance

I bought a white mesh jacket to where over my windbreaker on purpose…just to illustrate the mud properly!

OH and Mud Run Tip: Where shorts or tight leggings. My partner in crime wore yoga pants that were bootleg, and they kept pooling under her feet!

Tough-TaTas New-Heights Dirty-Downward-Dog

Another bonus was that this was only 5 miles. But this one was just as tough as tough mudder due to the weather conditions! We had a ton of fun, but the really hard part was after. There is no area to really get warm, so you try to shower (with zero water pressure) to get the mud off your clothes, and then find ways to bundle up and then wait in the 1 and half hour line to get on the bus back to the parking lot. Thats where it really started to get tough. Waiting in that line, cold and wet. For an hour and half. OMG. Anyway I got sick as a dog and was super weak and nauseous for days after. The Husband was pretty much on his own with the lil guys and packing of the house for 2 days. (oh yeah, Ill do a blog update about the house progress later this week)

SO a new law has been enacted for this mama! If there is any water involved, must be 60 degrees or I am staying inside!

Unless of course these mudruns maybe make some beverages other than beer, like hot cocoa, available post race? please? pretty pretty please? I would have paid like an insane amount of money for a hot cocoa that day! (mmmm and now that sounds good…. I might be making a hot cocoa run)

On the bright side…my eyeliner stayed intact 🙂

IMG_6428 IMG_6436


Yeah…that was indeed Tough and indeed Muddy! The ONLY thing I have done that is more difficult is probably the twins birth. But this was def harder than when I had Charlie or Ethan! So # 2 on most physically hard, mentally terrifying thing I have done.

Someone from the same day posted this video on YouTube w. a go pro…Really shows you what is going on! Def Check it out!

Oh and please note that I didn’t subject my phone to the mud and water so I pulled a bunch of pictures from the Tough Mudder facebook page from the Saturday event.

Ok so Friday night prep included carbloading. Which as glorious! And then an early bedtime.


Our start time was 11:30am and Richmond (crazy cute lil town on the Wisconsin border) is about an hour away so we made sure to leave by 9. I wore water resistant shorts, sports bra and tank top. Put my hair in a Katniss braid. We got some coffee and made our way north! Parking was in a different area (and 20$) so you had to park and then take a school bus (OMG FUN) to the Tough Mudder starting area. Get in line, get your number and wrist band and go in to hang until start time!


There was a dude getting everyone all excited and warmed up and then you get in line to start (the totally don’t check your start time btw) Before you enter the race you are in another holding area after climbing a wall, they do some more amp up and stuff like that and away you go!


Started off with running for probably a half mile and then you get to run in deep mud, lost my shoes multiple times!! And omg even walking in that mud is hard! The first obstacle was Kiss of Mud, where you pretty much have to belly crawl under barbed wire in…you guessed…mud! More running through corn fields and then the Berlin Wall. We needed our team for this one. The husband got me on his knee, then I was propped up to stand on his shoulders and climbed over the wall.WallClimb

More running and then ARTIC ENEMA! Gotta plunge under a fence into an ice bath…it was like 57 degrees out..this was evil and painful! Then you get on the other side of the fence, climb a wall and plunge again and then  have to crawl out of the box. I needed to get The Husband to help me out of the box, my legs went completely numb!

ArticEnema Artic2

Next up was Balls Out, this one is a series of ropes that you have to go across a long wall with. I made it like 3 out of 8 ropes and then..yeah…gotta work on my upper body strength! Next was Devils Beard, you have to walk under a pretty heavy net…with mud.. then you walk through a muddy stream for a half mile or so.


Next was Beached Whale, another one where you def need a team and you will def skin your knees! OMG IT HURT!


This guy on the other side said he would catch me when I went down…yeah he totally missed and I rolled down a short hill full of wood chips…good time. Covered in mud and woodchips now. Maybe this will be the next version of tar and feather? Next up is Mud Mile. OH WOW WAS THIS ONE MESSY! And full of lil rocks so really tore up my knees and elbows. Fun though and had all sorts of muscly delicious guys helping me up the hills!

MudMile MudMiles2 MUD

Now you trudge through a long stream once again. Very smelly swampy water, but it felt glorious after being covered in mud and having your shoes full of mud and rocks! (oh somewhere in there was warrior carry..The Husband carried me…I liked that one 🙂 ) At one point you could either go over or under a bridge. The water was up to the bridge and it was small, like 5 ft across. I thought I could do it, but the second I went under and my head hit the wood on top, I totally panicked. Uber claustrophobia hit and I backed up and opted to go over instead. But hey, got some of the mud out of my hair!

The next obstacle was Shawshanked. You crawl upward through a tub and throw yourself into water. This one had an hour wait…so we totally skipped it…


Then we had the tear gas. This one wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Smelled very menthol, like icy hot. Didn’t burn, kinda made breathing a lil hard, but not too hard. The only part that was tricky was that you couldn’t see so when you got to the end, didn’t realize that you had to go up instead of forward. I hit my head on the wood and thought I was lost. But figured it out 🙂

TearGas TearGas2

Next up was Liberator. This was all upper body strength You have to move pegs up the wood holes and drag yourself up. I tried, but didn’t get far so ended up skipping. The Husband rocked it though!


Next was Walk the Plank…this one looked really easy… I wasn’t worried. Turn out to be THE MOST TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE OF MY DAY! Kinda forgot I have a thing with heights. I get up there and Um yeah…Totally freaked out. Started shaking like a loon, the guy up there kept counting down from three to get me to jump ( he was totally sweet) and I would get like a half inch closer to the edge. The Husband was already down and was encouraging me to go. And then saw how scared I was and told me it was ok if I wanted to turn around and skip this one. But I did it. I jumped. And took like forever to recover from the flipping terror of heights. THIS PICTURE DOES NOT DO IT JUSTICE! ITS LIKE YOUR JUMPING FROM A DAMN HIGH RISE!


After this I started really feeling my aches and pains. It was roughly 7 miles in. My right hip and knee were in bad shape so we stopped doing any running and kept to walking. More mud and water and then you get to another wall climb. I was toast at this point, so was The Husband, not to mention you need your team and ours went a head at the last stream walk cuz we were wimpy slow 🙂 We also skipped Everest (going up a high ramp to get help from those on top) and Funky Munky (monkey bars) But we did go through Electroshock, which was the last obstacle. We opted to belly crawl through the mud rather than run through, and neither of us got shocked. PHEW! My cousin got hit w. one of those suckers and said it hurt like a BEOTCH!


AND THEN~ THE END! THE GLORIOUS END! THE TORTURE WAS OVER! GOT MY HEADBAND! The Husband and I were very much a mess, but this was nothing compared to after the mud mile. That one gave me a mud wedgie…srsly…it was weird.

MUDDYafter Shoes

Gave our shoes to the shoe charity, showered (btw there was no getting warm at this point, pretty sure we were all slightly hypothermic) I bundled up in my sweats and layers that were in my backpack (they had a tent for ladies and one for gents to change in) (btw there was no privacy, but we were all too damn tired to care. I changed in front of the tent flap, but whatever, I wanted warm clothes!)

Got home and took a loooong hot shower, until that point I was still having major issues getting warm. Then VEGGED ON THE COUCH. It was the most wonderful veg of the couch ever. Took stock….Sunburn…tore up knees, jagged and never clean again nails. But Charlie kissed the booboos on my knees. The sweet lil guy 🙂 Crazy that even though it was cold and overcast, got cooked with sunburn. Note to self…next year use waterproof sunscreen! I will def do it again next year…this time w the goal of doing ALL the obstacles! So glad I did it though! I def feel tough 🙂

PostShower ScrapedKnees Suburn

Almost 24 hours until Tough Mudder….and I AM SO NOT READY!

Ugh I have been training, but should have been doing more! Def nervous about the Tough Mudder! I am going to go with as long as I complete it then I will be happy 🙂 The longest I have ran to date is a little over 6 miles. I am hoping that with the obstacles in between (and probably a couple of breaks) that I will be able to do 13 miles.


FullSizeRender (3)


TOMORROW: Wake up bright and early, good breakfast, lots of caffeine. The Team is all coming over around 9 and we are piling in the minivan to drive an hour north to Richmond.

START TIME: 11:30……..here we go

The Scale said WHAT??!?!…AKA…Totally Let Myself Slip UGH!

Ok so confession time. I have been bad both diet wise and work out wise the last couple months.  To be totally honest, I probably started slipping around Christmas. I can give all sorts of excuses, the holidays, winter weather/snow, new job, 4 kids/husband….but really its my fault for not prioritizing and for losing focus. At first it was just a couple slips…oh its Christmas, I can’t NOT have mashed potatoes. And the it was ‘Oh I have been good all day, I deserve this Creme Brulee’ and now its morphed into ‘I’ll start being good next week’ as I eat spinach lasagna, chocolate lava cake and some Cabernet.

Well I weighed myself for this first time in months this weekend AND HOLY WAKE UP CALL, BATMAN! I gained 20 freaking pounds in the course of 3 1/2 months. Gained back all I lost PLUS 10 pounds. WOW. I knew I gained some back, but yeah….that was shocking…upsetting….and has officially put me back on track.

I have Tough Mudder in 6 bloody weeks. I know I can run 6+ miles…and I’m sure some of the weight gain isn’t all fat, I HAVE been weight training, but not nearly as much as I should be. So that is getting upped. I have training appointments 3 x a week until tough mudder and I am going to run 3 x a week (probably 2 short runs like 2-3 miles and 1 long run 6+ miles and growing) and have 1 rest day. So upping my work outs to almost double. Now I don’t to ramp up to fast, so I will play it by ear and make sure to take an extra rest day if needs be.

BACK ON PALEO! LIKE NOW! No more cake, no more pasta, no more wine, no more beer, no more cheese, no more bad carbs and dairy! (at the very least until Tough Mudder, then I might put my light cheat day in for Saturdays)

Dinner yesterday: Shrimp w. guacamole and homemade bacon bits. Water. (Thats another thing I have not been keeping up on)

Breakfast today: Protein Shake w Almond Milk, Water, Hot Tea

Snack: Banana, Water

Lunch: Spinach salad w. Chicken

Snack: Larabar (coconut creme pie, if I remember right)

Dinner: ….Not sure yet but Im thinking Chicken breast w. lemon and capers with a side of asparagus.

Desert: Blueberries

SO HERE WE GO! I’M BACK IN THE GAME AND GOING TO KICK SOME ASS! So mad I let myself down, but going to turn that into focus!

WOW P.S. Just chose the ‘Losing the Baby Weight category for this post and was thinking how long its been since I used that one. Good Grief, Chantal!

Hiking…AKA…My Favorite Way to Burn the Calories!

I LOVE HIKING. The views! The nature! Its a great workout and amazing stress/anxiety reducer.

This all started when I was a kid and going for nature walks in the local forest preserve and up in the forest by my Grandma’s house in northern Michigan.


Every since then I have loved going out and being in the woods. Its pretty flat here in Northern Illinois, but we have a couple places that we can hike. Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks are somewhat local and very beautiful and have plenty of areas to hike, climb and many stairs to trek to really get a sweat going. If I can’t get out there then I go to the local forest preserves with the Husband and/or Charlie for a nature walk.  Here are some pics of our adventures through the US!

Matthiessen State Park in Utica, IL.


Really cool caves too!!


Close by, and more populated, is Starved Rock

Starved Rock

Took Charlie there after he was born, he loved it!

StarvedRockwBaby StarvedRockwBaby2

When I go on vacation, my number one thing that goes on the roster is Hiking…followed shortly by all the awesome foodie places and breweries/wineries.

Oahu, Hawaii….oh man, I loved going there, can’t wait to go back someday! (and yes…these are pictures…of pictures…)

IMG_3572 IMG_3574 IMG_3575

I cant get this one to flip for some reason DANG IT! But that’s a cliff jump into a lagoon! SO FUN!!!!!! (although I didn’t listen to my cousin and point my toes..kinda landed on my butt on the water and had a HUGE bruise, but so worth it!)IMG_3573

Colorado….The arena at Red Rocks…can imagine having this around to do stairs! IT WOULD BE AWESOME!

IMG_20130722_143137_992 IMG_20130722_144145_668 RedRocks

My absolute favorite to this day…is Glacier National Park in Montana

Highline Trail…This was about 11 miles long, total elevation gain of 1950 ft…


Ran into some goats!


And saw a bear cross the road….srsly…


The hike Iceberg lake..about 10 miles..1275 ft elevation gain with insane views



an amazing lake at the end….with icebergs….the water was um..chilly…(and deceiving! to get to that iceberg I had to wade in water that was above my waist!)

Iceberg IMG_20130714_143539_834

We also did the Avalanche Lake hike, this one was shorter at about 4.5 miles with a 730 elevation gain, but it was amazing. This was on the other side of the mountain pass and it was a totally different atmosphere. Very green. Lots of moss and huge trees. It was so pretty, and there we these birds that would whistle..and it srsly sounded like a coach whistle, so weird!

AvalanchIMG_20130720_104520_402 Montana1

Although about 2 months later I got to post this pic! Almost named one of the twins Montana!


I have also hiked around Yosemite in California and parts of Zion National Park in Utah but I so want to go back to all of these and then explore tons more amazing sites! I have to hit the Appalachians still and really want to go out to Oregon and Washington State…Oh the long list of places I have to hike still…and then…maybe Europe! Thailand! Japan! Manchu Picchu! who knows!!! Where has everyone else been? Where would you recommend goes to the top of the hiking list?


So I signed up for Tough Mudder along with The Husband and 3 of my cousins. Its May 9th. I have 4 months to train. Kinda nervous….OK A LOT NERVOUS. I’m glad I signed up for something that will give me major motivation to train and I’m loving that it is for Wounded Warrior Project. I have a family full of Marines and they have showed me how important this cause is. I am hoping to find more ways to get actively involved with this program. If you would like to donate to our fundraising page please go here (no pressure!!!!) and all proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Some of the obstacles don’t look that bad……and I’m fine with mud (as any mom of boys would be)UNDERWATERTUNNELS MUD BirthCanal

But then there are these… Yeah gotta work on my upper body strength…

HamsterWheel Dead Ringer

And then these….Tear gas….Electroshock stuff….I hear its way better than it sounds though.

TearGas Electroshock

Then there are the team obstacles…no worries there though, we have 3 Marines on our team and a Firefighter that will be hopefully running with us too, so we will kick some butt!

Logger hangover


I want to get up to running 7-9 miles for endurance training, maybe interspersed with spin classes and rowing machine

LOTS….and I MEAN LOTS of upper body training. Pull up, monkey bars, push ups, free weights. I’m not going to ignore the lower body though, that one carrying the log is gonna require a good strong set of legs! So here we go….WISH ME LUCK…. PLEASES….OMG….

Jar o’ Booyah

This is so happening. I am creating my jar this weekend. LOVE THIS IDEA! And definitely including the Carlton Dance!

Bubbles and booyah

photo 1 (3) The Booyah Jar

Sometimes, I need a box of booyah To-Go. I’m just going to put this out there: when I travel (whether it be for work or vacation), I am really bad at coming up with my own bootcamp-esque workouts to supplement my runs (uh, and more importantly – even just motivating myself to just do them!). I’ve gotten much better, but I don’t always love having to sit and plan out a full body workout for each day in between sipping margaritas. Running is so easy – all you do is tie up your sneakers, put on some good jams and go. Since I’ve been working so hard and training for my half, with lots of strength training thrown into the mix, I don’t want to lose my guns when I go to Florida (I read some alarming statistics on how quickly you can lose muscle mass –…

View original post 586 more words

Supercharged Burpees….with an audience

My trainer showed me this move and I am really loving it for a good part of my arm work out at home. It’s a  with free weights and it works arms, chest and back. Love it! I do 3 sets of 15

Start in push up position, gripping weights…and watch out for Godzilla….he was preparing for attack according to Charlie. Feel free to do this with knees down. I had to do that for my last set  🙂


Next lift up right arm for a single arm row, concentrate on bringing in the right shoulder blade. Then repeat on the left. And keep your butt down so you are working your core (had to repeat some pictures because I kept doing that!)

IMG_3176 IMG_3180

Now a push up (The Husband got all sorts of enjoyment here…kept telling me he didn’t get a good shot and made me hold it FOREVER! Lucky he is cute…) So please excuse my abysmal form..neck should be straight and arms at a 90 degree angle. I was busy fake swearing at The Husband. (Charlie was there…had to keep it clean…kinda) and didn’t want to repeat 🙂


Jump forward and stand up


And then a shoulder press (Isn’t my shirt awesome!? My cousin Katie bought it for me, says ‘I run to burn off the crazy’…yup!)


And repeat! Of course there were a ton of comments from the peanut gallery, including The Husband, Charlie and the Twins…but got through it! Oh and Godzilla survived…


Workout: Leg Day W Baby!

So today I am going to work my legs and add some baby action to step it up a notch. Lets start with Sit and Stands. This one is super easy but with the added weight is very effective for glutes. I do 3 sets of 20. Concentrate on keeping your weight on your heels, exploding up, and keeping baby to chest. (Don’t mind the goofy expression on my face….I was entertaining an 8 month old)

IMG_2449 IMG_2450 IMG_2451

If you really wanna go crazy….try two babies! Just kidding….coordination with two babies is….interesting.

IMG_2455 IMG_2453

NEXT: Wall Sit -60 seconds. Did this 3 times. Make sure legs are at a 90 degree angle and keep back flat against the wall. Great for quads and glutes.


Side Squats. I do 3 sets of 15 for each side. Start by standing up straight, the step right leg to the right and squat down on your right side. Go as far down as you can, again concentrating on keeping weight on your heel and make sure your knee doesn’t go past your ankle. Return to center standing position and then step to the left and squat to the left. Now I’m not crazy about these pictures. I could have gone lower. So start easy, but if you can, go deeper into the squat.( HA I just noticed the Charlie photobomb behind the couch) (OH and yes…that is Darth Vadar with a santa hat behind our christmas tree)

IMG_2461 IMG_2462 IMG_2464

Lunges -3 sets of 15 on each side. Start with right foot in front, left foot on toe, and lunge forward. Knee doesn’t go past the knee. Concentrate on driving the left knee straight down as far as you can. I like to tap the floor with my knee and then go back up. Quads will burn.

IMG_2465 IMG_2466

Calf Raises. 3 sets of 20. Very easy. Stand up with feet shoulder length apart and then go up on your toes. Concentrate on calves. (My adorable Klee Kai, Lyla is photobombing with her fuzzy cuteness.)

IMG_2468 IMG_2469