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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Running @ 22 weeks pregnant

22 weeks and I'm feeling every single one of those weeks. Goodbye regular jeans, hello maternity tops and leggings. Goodbye sleeping through the night, why hello bathroom I haven't seen you in, oh I don't know, 20 minutes?

Physically, sciatica has been rearing its ugly head and I've been struggling with abdominal ligament pain. Neither of those are helpful when trying to maintain a regular running routine. 

On Friday, I was determined to go for a long run. I had two & a half free hours and planned on logging 10 miles. That didn't go so well. I ended up doing about 8.5, walking most of the way. 

At certain points, I had to stop myself from bursting into tears. To go from running with no pain to being barely able to run at all was so frustrating. I would have been ok with a gradual descent into walking but to be thrust into it with no warning - that was a little more then I could deal with. 

I took Saturday & Sunday off; took naps, drank lots of water, and just relaxed. I decided that I would try again on Monday on a trail near my Dad's house with no expectations other then to enjoy a beautiful, sunny (yet chilly) afternoon. I had to walk once or twice during the first few miles but then I was able to run pain free the entire 2.5 miles back to the car! 

I'll take it.

I think I may need to adjust my schedule and run every other day instead of running three days in a row. At this point, rest days are always a good idea.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and this year I'm thankful for a healthy family, a relatively easy pregnancy, and the continued ability to run.

It is a blessing to be a runner.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 21, 2013


If I was a super hero my fatal flaw would be pride.

Over the past week and a half, I've probably told about 5 people that, at 20+ weeks pregnant, I'm still running the same amount of mileage I was before I got pregnant.

Then Wednesday happened.

Pride cometh before the fall. 

My 4:45 am 5 mile run started out fine. Then at about a half a mile in the pain started. I knew instinctively that it wasn't the baby which would explain why I walked until it lessened and ran until I couldn't. Then I took my maternity belt off and the pain completely disappeared. I was able to run the rest of the way home.                       

Of course, my husband made me tell my Doctor at my appointment later that day. She gave me a look and then proceeded to tell me it sounded muscular and that if it continues I should stop running. I'm pretty sure all the color drained from my face and my breathing got a little funky at this point. She tried to make me feel better by telling me I could walk.

Obviously, she's not a runner.

The rest of the appointment went well. The baby is fine and other then the possibility of not running for the next 4 months, I am fine too.

I want to run. I secretly want people to praise me and be in awe of the fact that I'm still running. I want them to think I'm awesome.

Pesky pride.

Thankfully, I still have common sense and a low tolerance for pain. If I need to, I will stop running. I will cry. I will probably become a gym rat and practice more yoga. And I will definitely stop bragging about myself.

Now, I can only hope that my long missing ability to exercise self control will kick in and I won't eat my weight in cookies and other yummy holiday food. 

A girl can hope.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

8 Things You Might Not Know About Me

My friend Katie over at http://avoicecrying.blogspot.com recently caved into participating in a Facebook fad and posted about 8 things you might not know about her.

I want to be like her so I'm doing it too.

So here it is: 8 things you might not know about me.

1. I used to roller blade all over my neighborhood as a kid. I fancied myself a long track speed skater/figure skater extraordinaire.  
mine were not pink.

2. I am obsessed with the Olympics. Summer, Winter - it doesn't matter. I will watch any sport, at any time. Well, except for handball. Don't get me started on handball.

3. I have ulcerative colitis. Basically, the lower part of my colon hates life and becomes inflamed and swollen. Thankfully, I can control my flare ups with diet and medication.

4. White Christmas is one of my most favorite movies of all time. And not just at Christmas time. I know the whole thing by heart, including songs & choreography. I'm pretty confident that Bing Crosby would have had to get a restraining order against me.

5. I am a cat person. When I was born, my parents already had Fiesty, who used to guard me when I laying on the floor. For my 8th birthday, my Aunt gave me Oreo. I would hold him in my arms like a baby and sing to him. He died 3 months before I got married and I'm convinced he held on for as long as he did because he was worried about me. I still miss him.

6. I still sleep with a stuffed rabbit. My daughter asks for her sometimes when she's upset at night and then I can't sleep.

7. I stop at the halfway point during a run to take a breather. It started when I first started running when I thought I would die if I didn't take a break. Now, I just do it out of habit.  

8. I never wear makeup. I can count on one hand the number of times I have; one of those being my wedding day. When I was old enough to start wearing lipstick, my Dad told me if I did my lips would turn white. I believed him and here we are.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Great Debate

When my husband and I were dating and talking about the future, we had a very important conversation.

Live Christmas tree vs. fake Christmas tree?

I was adamant that our future household would never ever EVER allow a fake tree to darken our doorway.


Going to the tree lot and picking out the perfect tree was a rite of passage in my family. Akin to picking out the perfect spot on the beach. I took my responsibility very seriously. Even after my teenage angst took some joy out of the magic of Christmas, I still loved the sight and smell of a fresh tree.

My husband grew up with fake trees and could not understand my unwavering devotion. He, being a smart man, realized I was not going to bend and joined me in picking out a tree for our first Christmas together.

Over the next few years we moved, lived on a second floor with an unforgiving flight of stairs, moved into a college dorm apartment, traveled for most of the holiday months, and basically humbugged decorating for Christmas.

Now, we have two kids, ages 5 & 3, and decided we should probably make more of an effort to get into the holiday spirit. We still travel a great deal so a live tree isn't a good option. *gulp* A decision was made. We would buy a fake tree. 

Off to Target we went. I tried to soften the blow by having the kids pick out their own ornaments and being overly enthusiastic.

As I write this, the fake tree is assembled, the lights are on, and the ornaments are up. It's the perfect height and evenly shaped. I don't have to water it, or worry about needles. But it still makes me a little sad. Not that I had to compromise - it's what's best for our family right now - more like a tradition of my childhood has ended.

In the end, live or fake, decorating our Christmas tree is a way to spend time together as a family. A way to share in the joy of the Christmas season. I really miss the smell, though.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Running while Pregnant: The Basics

More and more women are making a conscious decision to stay as active and healthy as they can be during pregnancy. It's not uncommon to see pregnant women of all belly sizes walking, working out at the gym, or running. 

running while pregnant- thumbs up!However, I've noticed that most women are also unsure about what they can do during pregnancy. Once they are assured, by their doctor of course, that physical activity is safe; they are unsure about how to go the distance.

This list is by no means exhaustive; just a few things that have stood out to me as I ran during my pregnancy with my daughter and now during this pregnancy.

*Please make sure that you clear any and all physical activity with your doctor*

You Should Already Be a Runner - If you weren't already running before you got pregnant, I wouldn't start now. Running is hard. Running while pregnant is even harder. If you want to be active, start walking. Ask your doctor for options that are safe for you and your munchkin.
If you are an already established runner - keep it up! At 20 weeks, I'm running roughly the same amount of mileage I was before I became pregnant. It takes me a whole lot longer to cover the distance but I'm getting it done. 
The key for me is the long run. Once I get started and complete a few miles, I don't find it difficult to go long and slow. My shorter weekday runs are harder because I'm usually trying to get back in time for my husband to leave for work.

Ditch your watch - Unless you are an elite runner, you will not be setting any PR's while pregnant. The goal here is to stay active, burn off those extra "I just had to have that _______" calories, and maintain a sense of who you other then a baby incubator. 
I'm still using my Garmin to keep track of my distance. Just recently, I switched my screens so I see the time of day and not the time elapsed. It's much better for my self esteem.

Running Clothes - In the beginning stages of your pregnancy those cute Lululemon tanks tops will still look cute. As your pregnancy progresses, they just won't cut it. You'll probably be able to keep wearing your favorite shorts or pants but shirts are another story. 
At 20 weeks, I'm still able to wear my loose fitted running shirts but those days are rapidly passing. During laundry time, I've started scouting out my husband's running shirt collection. Even his men's mediums will give my belly more room and prevent a draft.
If you're not blessed with a husband that runs, you can wear your shirts for as long as its comfortable and decent. After that, you could scope out Goodwill or even wear a (gasp!) cotton t shirt. 

Shoes - I wouldn't recommend wearing shoes that have a ton of miles on them if you're running while pregnant. Things are already creaky and funky and old shoes will not help your cause.

Water -  As a pregnant runner expect to consume an ocean full on a daily basis.

Have a Potty Plan - This is vital. You WILL have to go to the bathroom while running. Maybe even more then once. Especially if your baby lives on top of your bladder.
Make sure you know where the nearest bathrooms are located on your route. If all else fails there is always a bush. It wouldn't hurt to carry some TP in a baggie that you can ditch at the nearest trash can.

Naps - If you run while pregnant, you will need to nap. Maybe not everyday but at least once or twice a week. I joked yesterday that I only have a certain amount of energy to expend everyday and working out or running in the morning uses it all up. By the afternoon, I'm pooped. Thankfully, I can nap. If you can't, make sure you are getting enough sleep at night - even if you have to go to bed before the rest of the world. 
Funny Family Ecard: I love all of my children equally. Except for the one that naps. I love that one more.

Maternity belt - when I first shared my crazy yet fabulous baby news with my online running group, my friend Shelley, an avid runner, told me I needed to get a maternity belt. For the month I had it before I lost it, it was very helpful. My lower back has been bothering me during this pregnancy and the belt gave me the support I needed. 
If I still can't find mine, which I'm sure I put in a "safe place" somewhere, I'm going to get another one because I think it will be the key to keeping me moving during the later weeks. 

Prenatal Yoga & Massages - Stretching works wonders for the pregnant body. Having someone rub those stretched muscles is even better. I recommend both VERY highly. 
I try to do yoga at least once a week. I use a video that I ordered from Amazon and I have also used YouTube videos. Again, use common sense. If you've never done yoga before, I wouldn't start while pregnant. You can google gentle stretches and start small. 
A good prenatal massage is worth the time and money. After 20 weeks or so, I try to get one once a month. It really helps with the little aches and pains that pop up during pregnancy. 

Most importantly: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND BABY! If you're tired, take it easy. If something doesn't feel "right" or "funny" tell someone. Logging a 3 mile run is not nearly as important as taking care of that amazing little person in your belly. 

Happy Running Mommies!

Related posts: Running @ 18 weeks pregnant & Running @ 20 weeks pregnant

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Running @ 20 weeks pregnant

This past week was the first week that I've actually felt "pregnant". I had to nap or risk falling asleep while talking to my children. I lost my maternity belt and I almost cried about it. Every room is my house is screaming for me to throw things away.

running while pregnant- thumbs up!Running was even hard. I ran about 10 miles during the week and each and every one of the miles felt impossible. My 5 mile run on Wednesday felt like I was slugging through knee high mud.

Recently, I've been doing my long runs with my running partner and today she left me all by my lonesome to run her first half marathon. I know. How dare she! (I am so ridiculously proud of her!) The original plan was to get up early and log 12 miles, but my daughter and a yucky cough that kept us, nixed that idea. I revised the plan and decided to celebrate reaching the halfway point of this pregnancy, 20 weeks, by running 10 miles.

In case you were wondering, it's hard to run 10 miles. It's even harder to run 10 miles when you're A. 20 weeks pregnant and B. your Garmin battery dies at 3.44 miles so you have NO idea how much further you need to go, or what time it is.

Despite the dead Garmin, which I continued to try to shut on and off at stop lights and an encounter with a dog, I kept plodding along. I plodded and plodded, ate some energy chews, and enjoyed the beautiful fall morning. Apparently, it took me a really long time because my husband was waiting for me in the driveway when I turned the corner of our street. I got a kiss and a lecture about how I'm pregnant and stubborn and I need to carry my phone with me on long runs.

I have to give my husband credit. He doesn't bat an eye when I leave for a run, or go to the gym. He supports me in my desire and need to stay active during this pregnancy. But this morning, he was nervous and I'm going to be a good wife and do what he tells me to do. So, if you see a pregnant woman trying to figure out how to play Plants vs. Zombies while running, you'll know it's me.

In case you can't read it my shirt says "still waiting for my uterus to fall out.*" Makes me laugh EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

*You can get one of your very own awesome waiting on my uterus running shirts here.*

Related posts: Running @ 18 weeks pregnant & Running while Pregnant: The Basics