August 05, 2014

Stepping out of my comfort zone (and Runner's World race discount codes)

Poor Noah has bronchitis. It started as just a hoarse voice when he got home from camp, and I figured it was from yelling and playing at camp. But the next day, he started coughing. A couple of days later, we took him to the doctor, and it turned out to be bronchitis and a sinus infection. I had bronchitis a few years ago that lasted a long time--about 5 weeks--and it was awful. My kids have had it before, and it doesn't last nearly as long with them, so I hope he's better soon.

This morning, the kids had basketball camp, but Noah obviously didn't go. I decided to get in a short run before taking Eli to camp, so I ran three miles on the treadmill. It felt harder than a couple of days ago, but of course I felt great when I was done.

I have some big news that has me about to burst with excitement. Runner's World has invited me to the Runner's World Half & Festival this October! It's very similar to the one in June that I attended in Newton, MA., only it's held in the city of Runner's World headquarters, Bethlehem, PA.

I absolutely loved my experience at the Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival, and I am doubly excited about going to Bethlehem. I remember reading about other bloggers' experiences at the RW Half last year, and I thought, "I really want to do that next year!"

When I discovered that the RW Half is the same weekend as the Detroit Marathon, I was bummed, because my younger brother, Nathan, is running his first full marathon in Detroit this year. Of course I want to be there for him, so I was thinking that I'd have to make a choice between the two. But I came up with a solution--it's going to involve a very busy weekend, but totally worth it!

I'll head to Bethlehem on Thursday, as planned, and instead of doing the Hat Trick (5K, 10K, and Half Marathon) like I did in June, I'll do the 5 & Dime (5K and 10K on Saturday morning). Then I can stay for a couple of seminars before heading home on Saturday afternoon. The seminars were one of my favorite parts of the weekend at the Heartbreak Hill Half! If you are in the area for this race, even if you're not running the races, you should definitely check out the (free) seminars. Bart Yasso's "My Life on the Run" is fascinating--I could listen to his stories all day long!

If all goes according to plan, I'll be back in Detroit just in time to pick up my race packet... for the Detroit Half the following day (so essentially, I am doing a Hat Trick, just in two difference cities). Race packets have to be picked up in person by 7:00 pm on Saturday. I'd like to run the first half of the marathon with my brother, then go cheer him on at around mile 20, and see him cross the finish line. So, the race weekend in October is going to be crazy, but definitely the good kind of crazy. I can't wait!

Like last time, Runner's World gave me some discount codes for anyone to use for 10% off the race registration:

Once again, I'm going to take it easy and run these races for enjoyment, not a PR. I love that this race is in October--gorgeous fall colors and perfect running weather. If any of you are going, and would like some company during the 5K or 10K, just let me know! When the time gets closer, I'm going to try to create a specific meet-up plan, also, if anyone is interested. Now that I know what to expect, hopefully I can come up with something more specific than "I'll be wearing a bright orange shirt" ;)

I've been thinking about something for a while, ever since reading an article called "I Wore a Bikini and Nothing Happened", and today, I finally decided I'm going to just do it. This may not sound like a big deal to some, but for me, it's huge--WAY out of my comfort zone! Today, I bought a bikini. My first bikini.

I am in no way delusional enough to think that my body is even comparable to those in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, but I'm tired of being so self-conscious of my flaws. There are tons of people who have loose skin, stretch marks, and other things that I feel self-conscious about (including being 15 pounds over my goal weight right now), and I see them in bikinis all the time.

When I was younger, I always wanted to wear a bikini just like all my friends, but I was too self-conscious of my weight. Then in my late 20's, I lost the weight, but was conscious of my loose skin and stretch marks. I even had skin removal surgery from my stomach, but I still can't imagine wearing a bikini. So, buying a bikini is a way for me to get over it already.

I love the title of that article, "I Wore a Bikini and Nothing Happened". I don't know what I expect to happen--people averting their eyes, pointing and laughing, or talking behind my back? The truth is that most likely, nothing will happen. Nobody cares what I look like in a bikini!

I'm not brave enough to post a photo here (yet). I'm going to wear it in public in Punta Cana, and hopefully I'll see that it's no big deal. Then maybe I'll post a picture here ;)


  1. That's awesome RW invited you to the festival in October. If by some miracle I win this cover contest I get to go too. That would be a dream come true!! You're gonna have a busy weekend but you can swing it.
    Your bikini post made me think of my first time 3 weeks ago. I wore one....and much to my shock...nothing happened (well except a little sunburn on never seen the sun skin;) Good for you and congrats on both the RW and bikini things!!!

  2. Wore one in July for the first tome since 8th grade. Guess what? Nothing happened! We are our worst critics sometimes. Love yourself and your body!

  3. When we were in Punta Cana in January, we saw plenty of people wearing bikinis that probably shouldn't have been wearing them. But it's very European and I felt more confident because of that.

  4. Hahaha, I love that article! My favorite part is: "If I venture into the water in a bikini, the sight of my melanin-deficient Michigan belly might attract beluga whales. Sure, I could secretly live among them and learn their ancient ways, but I couldn't keep that kind of ruse up forever." I died laughing.

    I'm going to the beach this weekend and am also very excited to wear a bikini :) I can say that even as a "skinny" person I feel uncomfortable in a bikini! It's scary to go out in what essentially feels like underwear.

    Also just wanted to throw out that I did the RW half the first year they had it in 2012! It was a BEAUTIFUL course - very fall picturesque.

  5. I bought my first adult bikini at 21 when I was 180 pounds because I worked in a store at the beach that had super cute bikinis and I was seeing plenty of girls on the beach in bikinis with all different shaped bodies. And I was tired of waiting to be thin enough because in high school when I was 145lbs and a size 4, I still didn't think I was thin enough. I bought bikinis again last year at 205 lbs because I had lost some weight and wanted to wear them. I'm up to 225 now and I did buy a 1 piece, but I still wear a bikini when I'm by myself because it's just so much more comfortable! And whatever! There is no "should" when it comes to bikinis.

  6. you go girl! i'm hoping to feel brave and wear a bikini this november in the bahamas. we'll see but it's what i envision while at the gym!

  7. Stephanie From BelgiumAugust 06, 2014

    What a week-end it'll be ! I'd love to do a race the next time I come to the USA, I hope that I can make it happen :)

    I had read something else also smart :
    Want a bikini body ? Put a bikini. There. Bikini body.

  8. I've been a reader for quite awhile and know how hard it was for you to buy that bikini so congrats! You are not only an inspiration but you are an exceptional role model to us as readers, but more importantly, to your sons. By stepping outside what feels comfortable to you...ok, taking a giant're showing them that it's ok to be a little uncomfortable sometimes but to accept and love your body exactly as it is.

    We all have things we hate about our bodies. I'm overweight and I have many, many scars. I've had over 60 surgeries in the last 9 years relating to my kidney's including a HUGE scar from my kidney transplant. For many years, I've felt very uncomfortable with them and thought they were just hideous, especially because they are all in various stages of healing. However, more recently, I've kind of adjusted my thinking and started to look at them differently. No, they are not pretty, at all, but I earned every single one of these battle wounds because I fought, HARD, and won. I'm alive today and I look at these scars and now think about how strong I was to go through what I did and come out the other side.

    I'm telling you this because I know there are things about your body that you don't exactly feel comfortable showing the world but Katie, you've worked hard to earn that beautiful, perfectly imperfect body you have so you should proudly put that bikini on and celebrate it!!


  9. Katie

    You have the PERFECT BODY and you will be AMAZING in your bikini. Wear it like a rock star and build wonderful memories with your family ...that's what they will remember.

  10. That is awesome about the RW half and festival! I don't live too far from Bethlehem, trying to convince my husband to do the race with me. While you are there, visit the Bethlehem Brewworks (we got married at the Allentown Brewworks, same restaurant in a city nearby) - awesome food!

    1. Done! Got my husband to sign up for the 5k and my friend to sign up with me for the 5&10! Thanks for the discount codes and hoping I can run into you for a photo op :)

  11. Katie! I LOVE that you are going to wear a bikini on your vacation! When I've read your posts about bathing suits and swimming before I've always wanted to tell you to embrace what you've got and get on in there!

    A side note: I just got back from spending 8 weeks in Europe and let me tell you this: Nearly EVERY European girl and woman wears a bikini, no matter her size, shape, age. And many of them only wear the bottom half! It was helpful to all these beautiful girls and women enjoying the sun and surf and their friends/families rather than hiding self-consciously on the shore. It was a reminder that nearly everyone has an "imperfect" yet beautiful body. I wear one despite the cellulite and saggy belly skin from 2 pregnancies and my 11 year old daughter has worn a tasteful bikini since she asked for one (I have seen so many debates about this, and I firmly believe it isn't about being too grown up or trying to be sexy at a young age: it's about being a carefree girl who loves her healthy body!) American women could take some cues from the rest of Europe and just spend a little less time picking themselves apart and more time living a full life.

  12. My WW leader says the father from home she goes on vacation, the smaller her bikini gets. :)

  13. Girls will come up to me in the gym and comment on how they wish they could wear "butt shorts" (spandex type) too. I always tell them to just wear them! I could name 10 reasons why i shouldn't wear them but life's too short to wish it away! They are so comfortable and i certainly don't care about how other people look in their shorts so i'm sure no one else does either!

  14. Oh Katie--I just wrote about this. I have gone back and forth. When I first got to my goal weight, I was DAMNED if I was going to keep my fear of showing my excess skin, lumps and bumps to the public from wearing a suit at public pools. I worked HARD to get to a normal weight and wanted to be able to do normal things. I did wear a one-piece suit at a pubic pool a few times. I had a long-sleeved, knee-length cover-up that I wore to the very edge of the pool. Taking it off was so hard. I haven't gone out in public in my suit since that first summer (2011). This weekend I went to the city pool to see my 4-year-old "fish" granddaughter swim. She was delightful! And I was shocked! There were people of every shape and size IN SWIMMING SUITS at the pool and nobody cared. Nobody was staring at me, in my shorts and 3/4 sleeved top (my daughter-pin-law talked me into changing into shorts so I could at least wade into the zero entry side of the pool, I had planned to wear my capris). Everybody was just there enjoying time in the water with their family and friends and didn't care about how anybody else looked in their swimming suits.

    A bikini? You've got the body for it! But I also know how much courage it takes to wear it out in public. You are far more aware and worried about your flaws than anybody else is. No pictures are necessary here, but we will want to read your story because we are SO PROUD of you Katie! I even wrote a blog this week about my experience at the pool and how I really need to "Just Get Over Myself."
    as did Sean Anderson at

    Your feelings are so common, but you have worked far too hard to let your own apprehensions keep you from experiencing all that life has to offer.

    If we can get past the belief that everybody is looking at us, we will be better off in everything we do!

  15. I am now bummed I wont be in PA this year!! I would love to finally meet you in real life :) I will be in Baltimore for the half there. If I survive my first full on 10/5 that is LOL. I heard a rumor that they changed the PA course this year to ease up on the relentless hills. The course is beautiful and I had a great time but it was TOUGH!

    I guess I just need to get out to Michigan!

    Oh and I think it is awesome you got a bikini!!!

  16. I just bought my first bikini too! I typically wear a tankini style skirted bathing suit (and prior to the invention of the tankini, I did a one piece with swim shorts and a t-shirt!) and for my honeymoon, if I got fit enough, my goal was to wear a bikini. But I'm not at my fit goal yet (and probably won't be for a while, these things take time!) and the honeymoon is coming up soon! I was planning to go the tankini route as usual but I decided hey, why not!? I'm not where I want to be but I have done a lot of work so far and the only person I'm going to know there will be my soon-to-be-husband. So I ordered a very tasteful one (Freya Revival Sweetheart top & swim short) since I knew the string bikini look is not for me and I really wanted some underwear and butt coverage! And I am going to (hopefully) rock it, although it does make my nervous!

  17. I love the message you are sending! Be healthy and work hard, but love yourself no matter what size you are! That's how it really should be.

    Hoping to adopt!

  18. I highly recommend the Five & Dime :) I wish I could do the races again this fall but the timing doesn't work. Although I'm bummed we won't be able to see each other. Hope you have a great time!! And love, love this message about accepting your flaws and loving ypurself for who you are.

  19. The RW races sound like fun. Do you know if they do west coast ones? Also, congrats on the bikini! You're going to rock it and look great and healthy while doing it. I love how you're setting such a positive example of health and acceptance of yourself for your kids (and all of your readers!) to see.

  20. Aw man, I was ready to register for the RW race and hope to meet you since PA isn't too far. I checked my schedule and I have races the 4 weekends prior so I thought 'Sweet, I'll do it' but then I realized it's the same weekend as the Baltimore Marathon and I wanted to go cheer on a friend. Maybe there will be another opportunity one day.

    I'm so proud of you for buying a bikini. You are going to look so cute in it. I was setting up my reward system and got a lot of suggestions to buy something I never would have worn. I kind of ignored them and told my husband the only thing I would have never worn before was a bikini and I didn't know that weight loss would change that. This gives me hope that one day I will change my mind.

  21. You enjoy your 1st bikini experience! Wear it and rock it! I bet no one will be doing any of those things our minds have convinced us are happening (making fun, laughing, etc.). Usually people are too engrossed in what they're doing. And who knows? Someone may be looking at you and wishing they could rock a bikini like you!

  22. I am SO happy for you!! I completely know what you're saying and have struggeled with the bikini thing too. The probably is, it's the only bathing suit that fits me now, lol! Why is it so hard for us to accept our bodies and accept the ability to show them off...we may not be "perfect" by someone else's definition, but we are perfect for US! :)

  23. When you are in Punta Cana you will see that people of all shapes and sizes wear whatever they want, that is part of what I love about going south.

    I disagree with comments about people wearing bikinis 'who shouldn't be' - who says they shouldn't be?

    You will totally rock it, I have no doubt.


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