This is How You Train with a #BustedAnkle

Remember back in November (GOSH that was a long time ago) when I did a dumb thing and my ankle ended up looking like this?

Not. Bueno.

Not. Bueno.

Well. It looks less like that now and more like a normal foot/ankle situation, albeit a little bit puffier than one would like. Two months of physical therapy later, and I’m still not allowed to run. Yet. My orthopedist made mention of “coming back to see [him] in a month if the ankle still isn’t better.” That was before Christmas.

For those of you that can count, Christmas was nearly a month ago. Ankle? Still not 100%. But, I’m waiting to make that appointment until my PT gives me a re-evaluation. (I really don’t want to have to do the surgery-thing. I want to avoid the surgery-thing as much as possible.)

Anyways. In trying to avoid the surgery-thing, my PT has me doing all sorts of fun things. Strengthening exercises, ultrasound, stim… and he’s cleared me cycle (THANK GOODNESS), do the elliptical, and walk briskly on the treadmill. So, I’ve headed back to the gym, with gusto, to continue to train and strengthen my sad ankle and try to stay in shape (a shape that isn’t a circle).

So, how do you workout with a sort-of busted appendage? Let me count the ways:


I’ve been spinning for about two years now and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one of my favorite things. I try to go at least three or four times a week. Lately, I’ve been going nearly every day. Because when my options are either spin or “walk briskly on the treadmill,” I’ll take spin every time. Not to mention the fact that it’s a great cardio workout and if you focus on form and power – it can be a great strength workout too. #quadzilla like whoa.

Spin is good for the soul.

Spin is good for the soul.

Weight Training:

I love lifting. Like, a lot. Because when you do it right, lifting weights burns a ton of calories, builds muscle, and works your whole body like crazy. I like to get in a session after a cardio workout, when I’m warmed up already. I haven’t been as disciplined about getting in the weight room in the last few months, and I’ve felt it. So, this month, I’ve made an effort to lift at least four times a week, and I feel SO much better.

Musclessssss. Sort of.

Musclessssss. Sort of.


Chick Vic is a real rower. I just like to hang out on the Concept2. This is a great upper body and core workout. And it doesn’t hurt my ankle which is an even better thing. I like to do this on days that I’m not spinning, because this wipes me out! Added bonus, if you row, you can be a cool cat like Frank Underwood:

Maybe I watch too much House of Cards...

Maybe I watch too much House of Cards…

I’m supposed to be cleared to run this week (I go back to my PT today), but in the event that I’m not, I’m going to ask about swimming. I haven’t been allowed to do that yet for fear of hyperextending my ankle, but now that it’s on the mend, I should be able to. Fingers crossed I get some good news today!

What are your favorite workouts? How have you coped with an injury? Because it’s just the worst.

Get moving! Sunday is Active Nation Day

I run. I row. I swim. I walk.

I exercise to stay fit. I exercise to relieve stress. It’s my therapy.

I never run to music. (I know, I know)  I always sing to myself when I swim and grunt to myself when I row. And yeah, I’ll admit it, sometimes I talk to myself when I walk.

I may be a lifelong athlete, but I’m far from a professional. Sure, I swam competitively for years and have run – and rowed – with some Olympic-level athletes. I’ve competed on the world stage in more than one sport. And I’ve tackled some of the hardest courses on water and on land.

row2Rowing with Genesee Waterways at worlds in 2010. I’m bow.

But I’ve never considered myself anything more than a recreational athlete.

And I am thrilled with that.

No matter the exercise, no matter my place, the result is the same – a happier and healthier me. I hopped on board when I learned about Active Nation Day, launched in 2012 by the Aussie-based fitness brand Lorna Jane to encourage women live an authentic and active life.

This year – the day is Sunday, Sept. 28 and marks the day’s global debut as Lorna Jane will be hosting events across the globe for y’all to learn and take part in a specially choreographed fitness routine.

I’m loving that an Australian-based company is taking the fitness world by storm and has inspired the #LJMove movement. And why? In part, it’s because I’ve been Down Under more than once. Why’s that you ask? Well, my sister lives there!

sissiesAt a beach in Cairns while visiting in 2007

And while I’m there, I typically run, swim, walk and hike. In fact, on my last trip I was training for the LA Marathon and ran daily, and that included early-morning training runs and laps around Sydney Harbour.

sydney runSince #LJMove is a Aussie-inspired movement, meet my favorite place to run when I go to Sydney. Yep, the path near Royal Botanic Gardens and opera house.

bridgeWhen in Sydney, I run laps across the Harbour Bridge, pictured here. I did a 10-miler here once. LOTS of laps on the bridge.

To take part in the #LJMove competition and potentially win a $1,000 gift card for Lorna Jane clothes and accessories, post a video of you – or a friend, or several friends – doing the dance move on Instagram.

Wanna win those bucks? Of course you do. So here’s what you need to do to make that happen.

Check out the website to see where you can learn – and perform – the group dance en masse. Locations vary from Bondi Beach in Sydney to Santa Monica, Calif.

Download the Lorna Jane App. from iTunes nor check it out on Google Play.

Now dance and have fun! You may be a winner!


What’s your go-to activity? What inspires you to get moving each day? Tell me in the comments.

Celebrating Virginia

I’m blessed to be surrounded by a family of smart, strong and motivating women.

Typically, I chat about my fabulous mother. But last weekend, I headed downstate with my in-laws to celebrate my mama-in-law Virginia, for her 50th birthday.

V and I joined the Sebastiano family about the same time and have lots in common. We always enjoy baking together, shopping, hiking, chatting and visiting, even if we do absolutely nothing when we join forces. She is a joy and has a pure heart. Thank you for being you, dear Virginia! Happy 50th!

old sebFrom left, my father-in-law, sister-in-law and mama-in-law back in 2005.

Last weekend, my generous father-in-law treated Virginia and a few of her favorite family and friends to a weekend at Mohonk Mountain House, a stunning 150-year-old resort in New York’s Hudson Valley.  I had a fabulous time with my family, and the outing really reminded me how lucky I am to have such impressive and strong women in my life.

We ate, we hiked, we rowed on the lake. We toasted Virginia, and we celebrated one another. And of course, we were pampered at the spa, which is apparently the top spa resort in the country! (We do things right in our family.)

Mohonk is a stunning setting for any relaxing getaway. It reminded me of the resorts of yesteryear, when emphasis was placed on family activities and spending time together. There are no televisions in guest rooms, and I only saw one on property – which was playing a family friendly movie each evening. A high tea was offered each day. Nearly every activity is included – minus spa treatments and anything involving horses.

Here are a few images from my weekend. If you ever have the chance to visit Mohonk, even for the day, GO! It’s incredible.

mohonk7View from a hike around the resort. Wow, just wow!

mohonk6The gang’s all here to celebrate Virginia (center, front row) The candle might give her away!

mohonk1Me with my sister-in-law Lauren and Aunt Maria at dinner. We three shared a room and had a great time together!

mohonk9I love this side shot of V and her sister Dot. You can feel the love and joy

mohonk10Check out the view from our room/balcony.

mohonk8We spent a lot of time at the spa, and the gym, and we three also hiked a bit around the stunning property.

horseHorses! I need to stop laughing at this sign. I know I am misreading it, but I still find it hilarious. #imaybite

mohonk5Row, row row your boat! Lolly and I shared rowing duties. We loved it so much we went out twice!

mohonk11View from the water

mohonk12Group outing on our final morning

Tell me about your favorite family weekend getaway! Where do you go to relax? Would you hike, row or hit the spa? Have you been to Mohonk? Tell me in the comments!

Your medals and Olympic gold

You all have some great bling!

Last week I shared my special medals with you and learned about your favorite awards! Several of you shared some pics and stories with me as well. Thank you! Here’s our community album;


5kblingblue reader!

My favorite (thus far) is my first. I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon in 2011. It was a goal to complete a half before turning 30 – and beat it by a few days – and a milestone after fighting to lose weight.

Kyle blogs as Running Large



Here’s me wearing my favorite medal. It’s from the 2013 Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K in Orange Park, FL.

It’s really nothing amazing, medal-wise, but this was my first medal for my first 5K, and so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Jenn blogs as Runs with Pugs



This is a picture of my husband and I at the Marine Corps Marathon 2012. This was his first marathon and my third. I love this one because well, 1) it’s just awesome! 2) we ran for an awesome charity – Team Fisher House and 3) I got to run with my husband for 26.2 miles and we never get to run together.



All my medals are from rowing. I think Vic and I have a few that we earned together. Similar theme to everyone else – it was my first. Also, the ONLY medal I got in college. Four years of HARD work rowing Division 1 and that medal (and a watch) are all I have to show for it! (Don’t worry; I’ve won a bunch since this one, all in rowing.)

The medal is from the Atlantic 10 conference championships in collegiate women’s rowing. On the back it says:

2nd Place

I’ve only recently started running and have yet to get a medal for it, but I’m working on it.



It is from the Nike We Run Jozi 10K race in 2012 – a race that took us through the township of Alexandra – one of the poorest townships in South Africa. I initially entered this race just to be a part of the experience ( it formed part of a series of races held simultaneously in 34 cities and 17 countries, with a total of 400 000 runners taking part), but I got so much more out of it. It touched my heart.

We ran past shanties and shacks, with the poorest of the poor lining the streets and cheering us on with all they had. Old ladies were dressed in their Sunday best for the occasion; little kids dressed in threads shrieked with delight as runners high-five’d them; and grey-haired old grandpa’s shook their heads at the passing spectacle. This the medal reminds me to count my blessings and celebrate life!

Karien blogs at Running the Race.



My first one, Suzan said of the September 2011 Jailbreak 5K race. I had no idea how good that thing would feel. I had only been running a few months and from that moment on, I was hooked.



It was July 11, 2010 it was at Angels Stadium, The Big A in Anaheim it was called the MLB All-Star Game 5k.

I’m a life long Angels fan so getting to run through the stadium was awesome. The atmosphere was fun, I mentioned to a fellow runner that it was my first run, she told her friends and they were all super excited for me. AND my bestie drove up from San Diego to cheer me on.

Heather blogs at Heather in the Middle



I’ll admit, one of the first things I look at when planning to do a race is whether it has a medal. No shame at all, that’s how I roll (not that a lack of medal dissuades me).

One of my favorites is from Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10-miler in 2013. I heard about this race when I was new to running and it was the first ever that I placed on my bucket list. There were many emotions as I ran that day and it easily ranked as one of my favorite races that I’ve done thus far.

Mer blogs at Scoot and you can find her on twitter too!



Look at my shiny new medal! Just kidding. This gold medal from the 2012 summer Olympics in London belongs to Jenn Suhr, who lives just outside Rochester, NY, and last fall came to visit the paper I work for to speak about her Olympic experience and thank us for our coverage. She graciously allowed reporters and editors to hold and pose with her medal. It’s really heavy, by the way.

IMG_0792Oh, and she congratulated me on running Chicago Marathon 2 days prior, telling me how incredible she thought that was. Did I mention Jenn Suhr is pretty darn awesome?

(Side note. I really look short in this pic. I’m not. Jenn is incredibly tall and lean!)

Have you ever run a race just for the medal? Did you ever dream of going to the Olympics, like Jenn? What sport was your dream sport? (me? Swimming!) Tell us in the comments.

Chick Chat: Firsts

Everyone has to start somewhere. When our friend, Shannon, asked us to share some information about first starting out, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for a Chick Chat!

When did you first start working out – running, walking, whatever?

Cam – I feel like I’ve been working out forever… it started with dance when I was a kid, then swimming and belly dance and yoga when I was a teenager.  I started R.I.P.P.E.D. after I had my daughter and worked with a personal trainer for lifting weights and strength training to lose baby weight.  The running came when my trainer suggested it for cardio.  I was skeptic, but my friend Jana asked me to do this awesome thing called Ragnar and I really didn’t want to be left out.  So basically I started running so I could hang out with my friends.

Victoria – I started walking  – then – running regularly a few years back  as cross training for crew. I first ran a minute, walked a minute. Then increased it to two minutes of each, then three and so on. Soon enough, I ran a mile. Then two. Then three.

Meri – When my elder son was 15 months, I learned of a new franchise called Stroller Strides. Within the first year I had such great success with the program, I went on to become an instructor. During the last seven years, I’ve picked up different classes along the way: Jazzercise and Bikram yoga.

I had a couple of false starts with running, I’d attempted the Couch 2 5k program once or twice. However, I first started actually running two years ago when I got my treadmill. My weight has always fluctuated but with running, I’ve been able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and that’s important to me.

Jess – I started running in late 2011 because all of my friends were doing it, and they’re pretty cool chicks so I thought “I want to be cool, too!” It’s maybe not the best reason to start up a healthy habit (maybe I should have started because I wanted to be, you know, HEALTHY), but that’s what it took.

My love affair with yoga has been going on for much longer, since 2001 when I took a class my first semester of college. Prior to 2001, I was pretty much a bump on a log. Except when I was dancing, of course!

Bec – About five minutes ago. Okay, no, about 16 months ago, but I’m still very much a newb. All of my adult life, I’ve had an on again/off again relationship with exercise. But if I’m honest, it was mostly off again. I just… didn’t like it. Last winter, I started Zumba and my first C25K attempt right around the same time, partially because I felt like it was time to change my life and my body, and (bigger) partly because, like Jess, all of my friends were doing it. Baaaaah. Hee.

Brooke – I’ve been active my entire life- dancing, running, teaching aerobics, practicing yoga. I’ve gone through phases where I’m less active, or I’m more into one thing than another, but I’ve always exercised. I’m fairly athletic (and competitive, ha), so it comes easy to me. I also enjoy it, which helps!

Vic's first rowing regatta.

Vic’s (middle) first rowing regatta.

What newbie mistakes did you make?

Cam – Newbie mistakes would be under-eating and under-hydrating. I never took myself seriously as an “athlete” and kind of blew off any warnings about taking care of basic needs first. I was a horrible eater and didn’t properly fuel my body. As a result, I’d puke after every race. I now have this complex, when I see the finish, I get nauseated. It’s my greatest fear to toss my cookies in front of everyone at the finish line.

Victoria – One of my big newbie mistakes was not investing in decent running shoes right away. The proper support makes all the difference! I also didn’t understand the importance of replacing shoes every few hundred miles. The tread wears – for me, rather unevenly – so when my feet or ankles start feeling a bit sore, new sneakers are always my first line of defense.

Meri – What newbie mistakes didn’t I make? I started with the wrong shoes that created such pain and blisters that I was absolutely miserable. I figured since I was already miserable, I’d attempt barefoot running, on the treadmill, without any training or preparation. I signed up for a mud run as my first 5k. I didn’t cross train at first and had horrible IT band issues. But I feel like this is all a learning process and you just pick things up as you go. There’s many things that I try once and then say, “Well, I won’t do that again.” But so many more that I try and feel elation.

Bec – So many. All of them? Maybe. I ran faster than I was ready to. I ran longer than I was ready to. I did a Zumba class and a two mile run back to back (owwwwww). But the most common mistake I made, one that I’m still making today, is not trusting my body to tell me what it can handle when I’m running. My body is fine, chugging along, and my brain gets right in the way by thinking we’re not ready for this. Guess which one wins? I’m working on not running “in my head” so much, but that is definitely a work-in-progess.

Cam's first 5k - she's the one chatting on her phone on the far left.

Cam’s first 5k – she’s the one chatting on her phone on the far left.

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Cam – I wore the wrong shoes for so long, and lived with horrible joint pain. I wish I would have had my feet evaluated years ago.

Victoria – I initially tended to overdress, and overheat. It’s good to remember you’ll heat up generally 15 degrees while running, so it’s a GOOD thing to feel chilled as you head out the door for a 3-4 mile loop. You’ll warm up five or so minutes in and will be thankful you don’t have to haul extra layers along for the next few miles.

MeriFor so long, I just thought that I couldn’t run. I had such a lack of confidence when it came to running. I wish I’d gotten past that sooner because running is so freeing. To know that I’m capable of running great distances is incredibly rewarding. For me, it’s about doing it and I’m glad that I finally got to a point in my life where I believed and wanted it enough to do it.

Jess – My newbie mistake was giving myself permission not to be amazing at what I was doing from the start. I set really, really high expectations for myself, so it’s easy to get frustrated when I’m starting something new. Learning curves are not for the impatient, but I’ve learned to really force myself to just enjoy the process. I’m not going to be the fastest at the race or the most limber in class, but I can keep learning and growing within my respective practices. That’s what it’s all about!

Bec – That it gets easier. Well, no, it actually gets harder, but you get stronger and it doesn’t feel so hard. Yeah, that.

Brooke – The most important thing, for me, is consistency. You won’t improve if you’re only running once each week. Run easy, run hard, run fast, run slow, run/walk. Just go for a run! At least three times each week, if you can.

Once you finish your run, you have to stretch. Running tightens everything; you’ll feel great the next day if you take some time to loosen up while your muscles are still warm. I usually stretch for at least ten minutes.

Also, find some support! I don’t mean in a bra, or the perfect sneakers (though those are obviously important too). I mean, find a friend to run with you. Find a friend to talk to about running. Most activities are more fun when you have a buddy to do it with you and this sport is no different.

Mer's first 5k, the Philadelphia Down & Dirty mud run.

Mer’s first 5k, the Philadelphia Down & Dirty mud run.

We’re all at different points of our fitness paths. When did you start out? What sort of newbie mistakes did you make? What’s something that you wish you could tell your past self?

Chick Chat: How else do we scoot our doots?

Because we’re not just about running. In fact, some of us are barely about running. Ahem.

But when we’re not running (and working and raising kids and cooking and eating and talking about cooking and eating), we shake our little rumps in a variety of different ways!

We spin. We lift. We DANCE. So, here are the variety of ways we get our move on.


Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I wake up at 5:10. Twenty minutes later, I’m warming up with a couple of miles on either the treadmill or elliptical. From there, it’s stretching and keeping one eye out the windowed front of the gym, waiting for my trainer’s car to roll into the parking lot.

“Ron alert!” Our friends on the treadmill always call over to us.  They strength train on other days so they know just how appreciated this “warning” is – it lets us mentally prepare for the next hour (and finish up conversation).

Within this hour, I shut my mouth and listen. I lift heavy weights, do lunges with sandbags on my shoulders, drive my knees up while stepping on a box, and hold planks for two minute stretches. Burpees, sprints, tire jumps, tricep dips. I count reps in my head and try to remember the order of the exercises, which is difficult when your mind is just wondering where is the coffee?

I’ve been working with my trainer for a year and it’s made me a stronger person, both physically and mentally.



When not running, I typically take a spinning class at the gym, walk with friends or toss around my trusty kettlebells. I’ll do an obscene amount of crunches, often with a weight in hand and take an occasional yoga class. (Let’s face it. I’m not flexible and my balance is all off.) But for my favorite non-running activity, I grab an oar and  row, row, row my boat with a few friends.

Crew is a team sport and I am lucky enough to live near some pretty fantastic waterways, the Genesee River and the famous Erie Canal and to row with some pretty incredible women. In the spring, summer and fall, we hit the water in a sweep shell (that’s a 4-or 8-person boat where each rower has one oar.) Rowing is an incredible full body workout – it relies on a rower’s core strength and technique, both of which take years to master. Nope, it’s not all about your arms, that’s a myth.

I love rowing and the feeling of skimming across the water. I love that all rowers in a boat need to work together to pull as one.

In the winter, I often join friends at a local rowing center, in indoor tanks and to use the ergs, also known as rowing machines. As much as I try to pretend we’re on the open water, we never are. It not the same, but it is wonderful to have that year round option.

Vic Scoot Crew

I love to dance.

Let me repeat that: I. Love. To. Dance. If it were possible, my entire life would be one of those choreographed song and dance numbers you see in the movies. Flash mobs excite and delight me. I wake up in the morning singing (lately, it’s been JT’s “Mirrors”). I jam to my iPod on my commute to work. Sometimes I dance down the halls at work. What can I say? I’ve got the rhythm inside.

So, when I’m not running (which is quite often these days, as I’ve mentioned), I am dancing. I dance in front of the mirror. I dance for Bug. I dance for Bug and Mister Jess. Occasionally I dance for strangers, although this is purely accidental.

I have no idea how many calories I burn, or if I even burn any at all. I just love to do it, so I do. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the case for all forms of exercise?

P.S. I also do yoga, but dancing is more fun to talk about. JAZZ HANDS!

 Scoot Jess Dance
My other exercises are numerous.  Right now, I’m taking yoga, boot camp, boxing, Bulgarian Bag exercise and R.I.P.P.E.D.
R.I.P.P.E.D. is full body workout circuit.  It’s in its 11th season so the routine is constantly changing. Each letter stands for a set of exercises which is about 6-9 minutes long.  R is for resistance, I for intervals, P for Power, P for plyometrics, E for endurance and D for diet making for a 50 minute total body workout.  R.I.P.P.E.D. is by far the best all encompassing workout I’ve found.  It works every single muscle and it’s constantly evolving so there’s very little chance of plateau.  I’ve had the best results with R.I.P.P.E.D., I lost over 30 pounds and was certified as an instructor a couple years ago.  Whenever I’m feeling like my workout needs a kick in the ass, I go back to R.I.P.P.E.D.  There really is nothing like it.
Scoot Cam Ripped


Does shopping count as cross training? No? Well, let me know if that changes, okay?

My pre-pregnancy cross-training consisted of stroller walking and the occasional hot yoga class. Now I’m trying to be smarter about it- it’s not just about running, it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, right? I’ve started lifting weights and doing squats, lunges and all kinds of ab work.

I’ve also subscribed to Barre3 online workouts. Barre3 is a blend of ballet, yoga and pilates. The online workouts are awesome because I can set my iPad on the kitchen counter and work on my fitness right there. And oh my, do I feel the burn with these exercises.


I’ve always been sort of an exercise butterfly, flitting from thing to thing. I get obsessed with something and then it passes and before I know it, there’s a pile of things related to that fad in the corner of my room, collecting dust.

That is, until I found Zumba. When I say I love it, I am not exaggerating. Not even a little. And if you had told me two years ago that love and exercise would ever come out of my mouth in the same sentence, I’d have slapped you silly. Okay, well, I’d probably just have shot you a really dirty look from my couch, but whatever.

For me, Zumba transcends exercise and calorie burn (although it is amazing in both of those respects). Zumba is like an awesome Latin/Hip Hop class for grown ups (with no scary recital costume at the end of the year). I have so much fun in a Zumba class that I forget I’m working out until I feel the burn the next morning.

My schedule hasn’t allowed for as much Zumba as I’d like lately, and my ‘fluffy’ class is no longer going on, so I miss it! (And I miss my Katie!) Katie was the best damn Zumba instructor ever. She played awesome contemporary music – lots of Pitbull – and just had fun with it. I even liked it a little when she played Fire Burning, the routine for which could knock me flat on my butt.

So, with my schedule dying down a bit, my plan is to head back to Zumba and shake this weight off, humming Pitbull all the while.

Scoot Bec Zumba
So that’s how we get our proverbial burn on. Besides running, tell us how you get yours!  And remember, our Road ID giveaway ends tonight at midnight!