Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pregnancy Update - Weeks 22 & 23

How far along/size of baby: I'm 23 weeks 3 days today. Baby is the size of a grapefruit or papaya (or whatever else these apps say these days). The baby, according to the apps, measures around 11 inches long (or more) and now is about a full pound!

22 Weeks (Left) & 23 Weeks (Right)
I think I look SO much bigger in the 22 week picture. Maybe it's the shirt, maybe it's the day, I don't know. Also, I always take the photos on Sunday when my week switches over but I take them at all times of the day. Oh and the ugly yellow socks have made a reappearance in the photos! NOOOOOO!

Maternity clothes: Definitely wearing whatever maternity bottoms I can. I have a couple workout capris, one pair of saggy-butt jeans, and just bought 2 pairs of shorts and a pair of leggings. I still wear the normal maxi skirts to work also. I have made some casual maternity shirt purchases that I have been wearing but at work I'm just wearing my normal non-maternity stuff.

Sleep: Still the same. I was never a great sleeper and everything wakes me up. Now I just get angry when the dog or husband does something that wakes me up. lol. I also did purchase the snoogle and I think it definitely helps me sleep better. It helps keep my hips and body more in line so my back and hips aren't as sore.

Best moment of the past 2 weeks: Feeling kicks! They feel like small stomach twitches but they definitely have to be kicks (right?) and they have been getting stronger. Nothing felt from the outside yet.

Miss anything: Same stuff. Not enough to care really. lol

Movement: Yup. See above. It's pretty funny sometimes when I feel the kicks.

Symptoms: Calf cramps when I stretch out in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. They can be SO BAD! Some slight nausea lately but it's pretty minor.

Food cravings: Not a whole lot of cravings for anything.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Have you started to show yet: We should just take this question out now. My belly is so big (I think). Sometimes I think it looks bigger than other times.

Gender: BOY!!!!

Belly button in or out: In. I won't even get started on my husband's nonsense! lol

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy. Getting excited. But I'm really overwhelmed at how fast this is moving.

Exercise: I'm still doing the same 4-5 days. It's pretty easy workouts these days. 2-3 days of running (3-4 miles each time), 1 day of bike trainer. I did do the elliptical last Saturday. Some walking. My runs are generally between 12-13 min mile pace. I have done faster and slower but this is the general pace these days with lots of walking included.

Looking forward to: Feeling the kicks from the outside so my husband can feel it.

Other: I finished the half marathon on April 1st. I have been meaning to do a blog post but it hasn't happened yet. Soon!

Also, I was playing mad libs with my husband (remember those??) and was laughing my ass off...until I had the sudden urge to break down into tears. Not happy crying, but crying crying. Ugh. Hormones.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pregnancy Update: 20 & 21 Weeks

How far along/size of baby: I'm 21 weeks 3 days today. Baby is the size of a large carrot or a banana (depending on which website/app you look at). The baby measures around 10.5 inches long and about 12 ounces. Starting now through the rest of the pregnancy, the baby is being measured from head to feet (instead of head to rump). Obviously these are not my baby's exact numbers but just averaged numbers based on the different websites/apps.

Left 20 Weeks & Right 21 Weeks (& after a run)
At least I have on blue socks and not those ugly yellow ones that I seem to be wearing in EVERY picture! Must be my Sunday finest!
Maternity clothes: Still just mainly wearing maternity pants/jeans and workout capris. I only have 1 maternity tank top that I wear right now. I'm just wearing all the same tops I was wearing before. Some of my smaller tops obviously don't fit but luckily I was once heavier so I have a few different sizes at home and still have some things that work.

Sleep: I'm not sleeping too bad right now but I do have some issues getting comfortable in the middle of the night or my hips or back bothering me. Not sure whether I should invest in one of those pregnancy sleep pillow things? Stacking pillows won't work because I don't have a lot of space in the bed and I'm constantly switching sides while sleeping because of my hips hurting. Anyone have or used those pregnancy pillows (such as the snoogle)?

Best moment of the past 2 weeks: Had the 20 week ultrasound and everything was looking good! I was very anxious the night before so this was welcome news! AND.... we learned we are having a little baby boy! It's nice to just know now and come up with names (and nicknames)!

20 Week Ultrasound
Miss anything: Panera Caesar Salad and a cold turkey sandwich. I know some people might eat some of these things but since I read it's best not to in order to be on the safe side, I'm just going to deal with it. I don't really need to eat these things.

Movement: I believe that I'm finally feeling some kicks! I'm still in the stage where I'm wondering...are those really kicks? But I'm pretty sure they are. It almost feels like muscle twitches. I just haven't had that "WHOA! That's a definite kick!" Although one made me giggle at work.

Symptoms: I have some leg cramping at night in my calves. And I believe I have ankle swelling because my work socks are just too tight (I only notice when I take them off), so I need new socks.

Food cravings: Not much. I might hear about something and think "Oooohhhh that sounds REALLY good!" But I can usually manage to not eat it.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope! Still good! I've been very lucky this was never much of an issue.

Have you started to show yet: Yes definitely. I feel large and in charge. lol. Although some people are still surprised when they find out I'm pregnant. They must think I'm eating a TON of cupcakes!

Gender: BOY!!!!

Belly button in or out: In. I keep telling my husband to stop harassing me on this!

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy.

Exercise: Getting a bit more difficult with the breathing aspect. And I'm tired. I've been consistently taking an extra rest day so mostly working out 4 days now instead of 5. But still running (mostly 2x/week) since I have the half coming up this Saturday.

Looking forward to: Getting the half marathon over and done with. And obviously I would LOVE to feel some stronger kicks so I KNOW that's what the heck is going on. I know I'll regret this later.

Other: I have the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Kentucky this Saturday, April 1st. I've been fighting a cold for about a week but it's on the downslide so I should be fine by Saturday. I know that I'll be able to do the and finish in the allotted time. And pace obviously doesn't matter. I will be running the 2:1 run/walk intervals that I've been doing for my long runs. I may need to walk a little more depending on the size of the hill or near the end of the race but I'm ok with that. And if I had to guess, I should be able to finish by 3:00 hours. If not that, then I should be able to finish with no more than a 14 minute pace if all things go as planned. My training generally comes in around 12:00-12:30 pace but factoring in hills, bathroom breaks, and additional walking... a 14 min pace sounds reasonable.  But if not, no worries. I'm not pushing myself, I'm not stressing, I'm just going to keep moving forward providing nothing happens. And I've been feeling fine on my long runs so I'm expecting to be fine. I'll update afterwards on the race.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 18 & 19

How far along/size of baby: I'm 19 weeks 2 days today. Baby is the size of a mango. Mmmmm mangos! They are so delicious! Anyway, the baby measures around 6 inches long (head to rump) and 8.5 ounces. Two weeks ago that was 5 inches and 5 ounces. This baby is getting bigger!
Maternity clothes: Yes! Give me ALL the maternity pants! I bought a couple work pants and a pair of jeans. The jeans I bought online for 50% off and they are a bit big and saggy in the butt. But it's fine. The work pants are from motherhood maternity and were an arm and a leg in price. But it feels so much better than my regular pants. Not wearing any maternity shirts except a plain black tank top. My shirts are mostly fine for now.

Sleep: Still the same. Some nights are better than others but I at least get up 2 times a night. Sometimes a lot more.

Best moment of the past 2 weeks: I heard the baby's heartbeat at the doctor's office again and it's always such a sweet sound! Heartbeat is in the 150's.

Miss anything: Not really. Maybe just wearing some of my old clothes that are the smallest size I own.

Movement: Nothing yet!  I'm impatiently waiting! Sometimes I think maybe...but nope. Just wishful thinking. Ha!

Symptoms: Not much going on right now. Shortness of breath is my main one.

Food cravings: Pickles and 7up or sprite. Not together. I've always loved pickles but they taste SO GOOD right now!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope! I'm good there!

Have you started to show yet: I'm not sure what happened but I feel HUGE now! I'm definitely showing. So if some people don't know at work that I'm pregnant, I'm sure they are wondering how I could be doing so poorly on Weight Watchers! lol. (No, I'm not doing WW while pregnant).

Left 18 weeks & Right 19 weeks
I don't like the sweater picture much but I didn't feel like changing clothes. And I'm thankfully getting a haircut! Also, Camo always likes to make her appearances in my photos.

Gender: I find out NEXT WEEK!!! EEEEKKKKK! I'm so excited! Still going with boy but girl has been running through my mind lately for some reason.

Belly button in or out: In. Hopefully this never changes. Side note: my husband says he thinks I'm getting an outie. He's crazy. Totally not! So much innie! He knows he's driving me crazy!

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy. But life stresses easily make me unhappy at times. I'm partially blaming hormones. But I'm seriously good.

Exercise: Nothing new here. Running 2x a week prepping for my half on April 1st! Among other workouts. Shortness of breath and bathroom breaks are the major problems here.

Looking forward to: First, finding out gender!!!!!! But obviously, wanting to feel some flutters or kicks. Waiting. Waiting.

Other:  I tripped while running outside in the dark alone a couple weeks ago and almost face (and stomach) planted. How I didn't is beyond me. I held on for dear life. I have to say I was pretty shook up from it and haven't run in the dark alone since then. Luckily with the time change, I shouldn't have to. 

Also, I fell down the stairs leading to our basement last weekend. My sock slipped and I probably fell about 3/4 of the way down the stairs. Luckily I fell all on my bottom end and didn't hit my stomach at all. Just a bruise on my arm from trying to grab the railing and a big painful bruise on my butt but I'm ok and I'm sure the baby is too. That also shook me up a bit.  If I make it to August in one piece, I'll be amazed. Sorry baby. I'm trying to be careful here!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Running O' the Green 8k

This past Sunday I participated in the Running O' the Green 8k in Tinley Park. I have done this race a couple of times before but this time I would be running while entering my 5th month of pregnancy, so things were going to be a bit different.

First, I love doing this race for a couple of reasons (pretty much the same reason I love doing ALL of Tinley Park's races).

1.  The race provides an option when pre-registering of getting the race shirt or not. I generally opt not to get the race shirt as I always have tons (and they are unisex) so I only have to pay $16! Not bad!

2.  It's a local race and getting to the start is never more than a 10 minute drive! Plus, I can park right in the lot to the rec center where the race begins.

3. You can wait in the rec center before and after the race to stay warm if it's cold outside. Which includes indoor bathrooms!

4. Tinley Park races offer TONS of food. This time around...bagels, oranges, bananas, granola bars, cookies, mini cinnamon rolls, mini Jimmy Johns sandwiches. And they ever rolled in pizza after a small delay. Yes please! It's pretty hard to justify eating all of this after only an 8k but ... whatever.

5. I can guarantee several friends will do it (or get suckered into doing it) and it's always fun doing races with friends!

On to the race. Since I was clearly not trying to PR this race (or even come close), I decided to do a run/walk interval with my friends Becky and Jannelle. They were doing a 4 min run/1 min walk interval throughout and I thought that sounded just fine for me!  We all met up for a pre-race photo (obviously!).
This photo includes MANY of my most favorite run friends!
We headed outside to the start about 5 minutes before the race was going to begin.  I have to say, I was MOST nervous going into this race due to not having any bathrooms on course. Yes, I know it's "only" an 8k. Yes I know an 8k is "only" 4.97 miles. BUT...I'm pregnant and as soon as I start running these days, I need to use the bathroom. No a pre-race jog doesn't clear this up for me. So the thought of running 5 miles without a bathroom to hop into was totally stressing me out! Haha! #PregnantRunnerProblems.

Becky, Jannelle and I started our 4:1 interval and did it throughout the entire race. I thankfully did not have to use the bathroom. Well, I did but I was able to make it through. lol. Ok enough of the bathroom situation. You aren't here for that. I felt good throughout the run. Some of my runs have been rougher lately so I was glad that it was a good day.  I think the baby is a runner and enjoys it. Good because I'm putting you in a kids dash as soon as I can! Haha! Just kidding little one! ... maybe.

My friends rocked it out, as usual. A couple even brought home some first place bling!

The weather was a bit windy but when the wind calmed down, the temperatures were actually quite nice. The race generally runs through neighborhoods with the last half mile on the trail near the rec center. All in all, another great race put on by the Tinley Park District! I'm glad I live so close (and lived in Tinley until I got married).

Next race on my calendar...Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, KY. April 1st. Gulp. Ready or not, here I come! All in all, I feel fine when running. I'm just slower. I do lots of run/walks these days. My breathing is just a bit more difficult. So I should be good to go for this half.

And I purposely haven't been saying much (or anything) to the non-runner about even doing this half because they don't understand. And everyone has an opinion. As much as I'm always willing to hear advice and opinions, I don't need them from people that don't understand and just judge. I'm not doing anything that will harm the baby. I just need encouragement and positivity in my life right now.

I also checked and the half marathon says there are 7 locations for bathrooms throughout the course. This makes a pregnant runner very happy.

Keep on running friends!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

16 & 17 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

These weeks are seriously flying by. I can't believe it was 2 weeks ago since I last did an update!

A few weeks ago, I was all about saying how unhappy I was with my growing belly. More with the shape of it as opposed to just growing a baby. I wanted to be a "pretty pregnant woman" with a nice "round" belly. And I felt as though I had some weird "2 belly" thing going on.

Since then, I've been trying to be kinder to myself. It's a baby. My "top" belly is not just food. It's actually really firm and is growing a human being! It's a beautiful pregnant belly and I should be happy that we are both healthy, no matter whether it's the "perfect" shaped pregnant belly or not! So let's just all be kinder to ourselves and our bodies, pregnant or not! Right??  Ok, back to the update!

17 Weeks (plus my cat Hazel)
How far along/size of baby: I'm 17 weeks 3 days today. Baby is the size of a pomegranate (or a turnip or a pear...depending on what app/website you look at). The baby measures around 5 inches and 5 ounces. I had to go back and double check my last post because at 15 weeks, baby was 4 inches and 2.5 ounces. That means the baby just double it's weight in 2 weeks!

Courtesy of "The Bump" app
Total weight gain: No new info. I have a doctor appointment on Monday. As of last time my weight gained since my first doctor visit mid December was about 9 pounds. I expect it to have gone up a couple pounds.

Maternity clothes: No but I really need to start. I ordered a pair of jeans and workout capris online and bought a tank top and casual shirt at target. I desperately want to get some maternity work pants because I just can't deal with a button and zipper squeezing my belly anymore! (Edited: bought 2 pairs of work pants tonight. I can bet you I'll be wearing one of them tomorrow!)

Sleep: About the same. Some nights are better than others but I at least get up 2 times a night. Sometimes a lot more.

Best moment of the past 2 weeks: Not much as happened although I'm definitely getting bigger. Not sure if I have a "best" moment these past 2 weeks though. Whomp whomp. Definitely next time! (Edited: We got our first baby onsies as a gift! SOOOOO CUTE!)

Miss anything: Not really.

Movement: Nope.  But I'm patiently waiting! Hopefully soon!

Symptoms: So many... Out of breath frequently (like just walking down the hall). And I believe I was having some round ligament pain on Monday. That was not much fun. I've definitely also got "pregnancy brain." I forgot to take off my shoes at the beginning of my barre class once (and you are supposed to be in just socks), and sometimes I forget the names of my coworkers when I go to say "hi" to them. "Hi!... Uh..." *Walk Away* Oops.  Otherwise, normal fatigue and some headaches. A little lower backache sometimes but nothing to be concerned about.

Food cravings: Not a whole lot these days. Just food.  Give me all the food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I think my aversions are going away. Nothing is really making my stomach churn. But nothing is really sounding outstandingly appetizing either. Except maybe pineapple and grapes. Yum!

Have you started to show yet: Yes. So much yes. I thought it was just a food belly but it's not. I have gotten so much bigger in the last two weeks. And I feel it.

Gender: Not sure yet. Finding out March 21st!  My guess would be a boy.
Belly button in or out: In. Hopefully this never changes.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy.

Exercise: Same as before. Trying to stay active. Running 2x a week, did a prenatal kickboxing video. I try to walk at least 10-20 minutes on lunch at work when it's nice out. I am giving myself an extra day of rest after my long run (8 miles) this past Sunday. I think my body needs it these days.
Looking forward to: Feeling a kick! Come on baby! Tell me you're there!  Also, finding out the gender.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to the gender of the baby?? 

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Workout Routine

I mentioned in my last post that I was still working out regularly even though I was pregnant. I still work out about 5 days per week right now, although my intensity level has decreased some (with good reason, obviously). It's my first pregnancy and so figuring out what workouts are good to do or what things might not be good to do can be a bit difficult and a bit nerve-wracking at first. 

My first priority is obviously the baby. But, working out and maintaining a fitness level is really good for the baby (and momma). So I read posts on the internet, asked some friends that went through this recently, and asked my doctor. Combining all of this with how I feel, I decided what I think is the right way for me to handle working out and pregnancy.

I'll admit though, it's difficult mentally. Am I doing to much? Can I be doing more? Should I do this ab workout? There is so much information out there and so much conflicting information, that it becomes overwhelming. And with being pregnant comes difficulty breathing, shortness of breath. Add running to that and some days, it's difficult.

With that said, I wanted to run through a typical 2 weeks of working out in the day and the life of a "pregnant runner."  I generally schedule rest days on Monday and Friday. So I try to do something all other days, even if it's a light/short workout.

Also, for comparison, I generally ran 3 days a week prior to becoming pregnant (around 9:45-10:30 pace), biked 1 day a week, and did "something" else (barre or bike) the other day.

Saturday, February 4th - Saturday, February 11th

2/4, Sat. - Barre class (1 hour)
2/5, Sun. - 5 mile run @ Waterfall Glen (56:33 - 5:1 intervals - 11:18 pace)

2/7, Tues - Prenatal strength workout at home (YouTube, 25 mins)
2/8, Wed - Bike trainer (12.5 miles, 45 mins)
2/9, Thurs - 3.8 mile run (Group Run, 42:54, 11:04 pace)

2/11, Sat. - 5 mile run (57:30, 11:30) - I really struggled this day
                  5.1 mile outdoor bike w/ Derek (28:22)

Sunday, February 12th - Sunday, February 19th
2/12, Sun. - Gym workout (20 mins stair climber, 20 mins elliptical)

2/14, Tues - 3 mile run (35:35, 11:50 pace)
2/15, Wed - Bike trainer (10 miles, 37:35)
2/16, Thurs - 4 mile run (group run, 42:39, 10:39 pace)

2/18, Sat. - Barre class (1 hour)
2/19, Sun. - 7 mile run w/ friends (1:25:54, 2:1 intervals - 12:16 pace)
                   25 mile outdoor bike (2:08:18)  - I was a really nice weekend. lol

So, I didn't swim even though I was starting to go. I just didn't want to go to the pool and leave wet and cold. Also Derek was working late and I opted to stay and do things at home so I was there for the animals. And last Sunday, it was in the 60's, so might as well do a million things outdoors. I've also slowed my pace for pretty much everything I do, at least a little bit (bike trainer, stair climber, etc.).

As you can see, my runs are kind of all over the place, pace wise. I'm trying to figure things out right now. The problems I'm having are shortness of breath and the fact that I have to use the bathroom every 5 seconds. Obviously both totally normal pregnancy running issues. But it can be frustrating nonetheless, especially when all the port-a-potties have been removed for the winter. I peed in the bushes twice this past week. I'm not proud of that, lol, but I have to do what I have to do.

I tried the 2:1 intervals with some friends last weekend because my solo run the weekend before was miserable (mentally). I'm signed up for a half marathon on April 1st and I will be almost 22 weeks pregnant. I signed up for the insurance so I can back down if I don't think I can do it, but I really want to do it. So my weekends right now are for trying to figure out the best long run strategy for me to get through the half comfortably.

Some runs feel great, some aren't so great (mostly breathing). But all in all, I feel fine running. No tummy issues or anything. I think baby likes it. I mean, it's going to be a triathlete... and apparently a soccer play (according to hubby). Haha!  I'll do an update on how the half marathon training is going in a few weeks.

For those interested, I'm doing Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky on April 1st. Come join me! I hear it's beautiful but really hilly (hence trying to get some hills in my running schedule).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

14 & 15 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

As of today, I'm 15 weeks 3 days. The time is flying. And thanks for all the wonderful comments on my last post about running the F^3 Half Marathon.

So let's see what's been happening the last couple weeks, shall we?

15 Weeks - Cameo by "Camo the dog"

15 weeks - Trying to be funny and "create" a bump
Yes, I tried to "create" a bump in the second picture to be funny. I'm tired of just being "fatter." I want to look pregnant. Not like I'm just eating ALL THE FOOD. Don't be fooled. I have two bellies (always have, I hate it). A top belly and a bottom belly. The baby is in the bottom belly. But my top belly is just getting bigger. I'm waiting until the baby makes the two bumps one. lol. Yes, all my insecurities laid out for you!  I think my insecurities are stemming from losing 40 pounds right before getting pregnant and now gaining weight again.

How far along/size of baby: I'm 15 weeks 3 days today. Baby is the size of a large navel orange! Wow! I think that seems pretty big! The baby measures around 4 inches and 2.5 ounces.

Total weight gain: Weight gained since my first doctor visit mid December is about 9 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Not quite yet but I did order some jeans that were 50% off. I'm hoping they fit when I need them. I've definitely moved from my smaller pants size back up 1 size though. Thankfully I have them from when I lost weight last year.

Sleep: I was never a good sleeper. I always woke up several times a night so this is no exception.  I definitely get up at least 2, sometimes 3 times to go to the bathroom at night but it has gotten better from before. I definitely hate the nights I get up every 1-2 hours ALL NIGHT LONG. Those are not too often now though.

Best moment of the past 2 weeks: Hearing the baby's heartbeat when I was 14 weeks pregnant. That was the first time I actually heard it and it was more amazing than I thought it would be. Seriously, I was on cloud 9 for two days.

Miss anything: Not really. Eating a cold turkey sandwich sometimes.

Movement: None yet. Still too early.

Symptoms: I'm still pretty tired but much better than I was during the first trimester. I have a general lack of energy right now. I'm still working out but my motivation to even get up from the couch is lacking. Also it's weird, but I say that I can "feel my uterus" which I think sounds weird. But I can kind of feel the lower area when I'm pretty much doing anything...walking, running, moving in general.  I also have had some discomfort in that lower area periodically. My guess is that it's my uterus expanding... ?  Also, I get out of breath pretty quickly.

Food cravings: Fruit. Sweet things. Bagels.

Anything making you queasy or sick: The thought of greasy pizza or ground beef was turning my stomach a bit. It "might" be starting to go away though because pizza kinda sounds good right about now.

Have you started to show yet: No I don't think so. Again, I think my belly is just filled with food.

Gender: Not sure yet. Finding out March 21st!  My guess would be a boy.
Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: A bit of both right now I think. My lack of energy and being tired makes me moody.  At times I feel a bit depressed.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited about everything.. but you know... life takes a lot out of you mentally sometimes.

Exercise: Still exercising. Just not as vigorously. I think I'm using baby as an excuse. But I'm running (2-3x/week), indoor biking (1x/week), swimming (on occasion), barre classes (1x/week), and workouts at home. Oh and I did the stair climber and elliptical this week. I'll give a general exercise update post soon. I generally work out in some capacity 5 days a week.

Looking forward to: Finding out the gender on March 21st. It almost can't come soon enough. Also, really looking forward to having an actual bump and feeling movement.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

F^3 Half Marathon Race Recap

I signed up for the 2017 F^3 Half Marathon reluctantly around October.  The reason I signed up was that A LOT of my friends in the Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club were doing the race. It's so much fun when there are so many people you know.  Also, my running had been improving and I thought that maybe I could have a decent half (definitely not a PR, but decent nonetheless).

On the other end, I was reluctant to sign up because I wasn't sure if I would end up getting pregnant by then. Also, you just never know what the weather will be like in January in Chicago.

There happened to be a discount code for $10 off in October. I wasn't pregnant yet and so I thought, if I do get pregnant, I probably would be newly pregnant and still be able to do the half marathon. So I signed up. Why not. Plus is was "only" $50 so worse scenario, I didn't HAVE to do it if I couldn't.

Then I got pregnant in the beginning of November. Faster than I anticipated.  I found out on Black Friday but wasn't really sure how far along I was. I'm not "regular", if you know what I mean. But I calculated based on that anyway and then calculated how far along I would be for this half. I thought as long as I was feeling fine, I would still be in the first trimester and still be able to run.  I also asked my doctor if I could still run and she said yes, just to watch my heart rate.

So I kept up with my training plan. My friends didn't know yet so I had to make sure I wouldn't be running too fast with them on the long runs. Luckily I was feeling good, they were doing their long runs at an easy pace, and we took walk breaks every 1.5 to 2 miles as needed.  I ended up doing two 10 mile training runs for this half. I didn't want to run more than that for training.


I was able to tell everyone before this day that I was pregnant, which helped me out in being able to take my time during the run without people wondering why I was running slowly and walking often. (I know that's all in my head and no one really cares how fast I'm running). Anyway, I had thought about wearing a sign on my back indicating that I was pregnant for fun, but wasn't sure if that was weird. My friend Jill made me a fun "baby on board" sign that I absolutely loved and decided to wear that. If nothing else, I figured it's good for people to know I was pregnant so that if something happened, people were aware for an emergency purpose.

I was pretty nervous about running this half, despite having run almost 30 half marathons, most of which were since 2011. This was the first time doing it while pregnant and there is just a lot to think about with that. I had been fueling with bananas and cliff bars on my long runs instead of with the normal gels in an attempt to be more "natural" with my fueling. I brought a cliff bar and a Huma gel just in case I needed it.

I also ate more for breakfast because I'm always hungry these days. Normally before a half, I would just eat oatmeal and then a banana before the race. This time I ate a rice cake with peanut butter at home, oatmeal in the car, and a banana before the race. Hopefully that would do the trick.  I also decided to wear my hydration belt so I had my own water in addition to the aid stations so I could make sure I was well hydrated.  Yes, I was definitely nervous!

I carpooled with a few friends, which is always nice. Met up with more friends at Soldier Field (the start and finish for the race), which was also nice. And waited in the nice and warm Soldier Field with real bathrooms for the start, definitely nice!  I went to the bathroom twice but I was sure that I would have to go during the race.  The week before this half, my running started getting harder (more out of breath) and I always had to pee on my runs. So I knew without a doubt I'd have to hit a port-a-potty during the half. 

As always, we took a group photo.  Meet part of the Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club.

I, of course, had to take a pre-race photo of my first pregnancy half with my Baby on Board sign.


Prior to the race, I wasn't sure what my "plan" was. I mean, clearly I wasn't going to attempt a PR. I wasn't even going to try to "run my best race." I mean, I'm pregnant and didn't want to exert myself too much. I also didn't want to "bomb" half way through.  My goal for the first time in a long time was just "to finish."

How to accomplish this goal? 

- I thought about doing what I did in training and maybe run 1.5 miles and take a walk/fuel break.

- I thought about doing a 5:1 run/walk interval. There was also a 2:30 pacer that was supposed to do that interval so I thought about joining them. I decided not to join the pace group though as I figured I'd lose them when I went to the bathroom.

- I thought about just running until I needed a break.

- I thought about doing a 9:1 run/walk interval.

My ultimate plan was decided when I started running. I decided to do choice number one, which was mostly what I did during training. I decided on running 1.5 miles and taking a 1 minute walk break (which turned into a 1 or 2 minute walk break depending on what I needed).

Here's how the race went down.  I had to use the bathroom as soon as I took my first run step. No joke. I rolled my eyes at that. I decided to wait until hopefully mile 4 or 5.  When I got to mile 3.5 and there was a bathroom, I decided to stop and use it just in case the other wasn't for a while.

I tried to keep my pace steady and slow. I tend to run faster than I want to because I'm just used to running that pace. And a few times, my run pace was a bit too fast. For the first 10 miles, I kept to my plan. Run 1.5 miles, walk 1 or 2 minutes. I ran a straight 2 miles from mile 5-7 just because I decided I felt fine and I would wait until the turn around to walk.

I was pretty happy that I kept my intervals for the first 10 miles. However, by mile 8, I knew I needed to use the bathroom again. Luckily I was able to hold off until after the race. I did NOT want to stop again! Also by around mile 8, I was starting to get fatigued. I could feel my butt muscles getting sore. I was just trying to keep hanging on as long as I could. 

By mile 10, I decided to bring my run interval down to 1 mile. By this point, I was actually struggling to keep running 1 mile.  I was feeling fine as far as the baby went. My legs and butt were just fatigued and I was really feeling it at this point. I managed to stick with the 1 mile run intervals the last 3 miles though and I was pretty proud of that.

As far as the sign on my back, let's just say I did get lots of comments. All the comments would come at the same time and then there would be a long break of nothing, then more comments, then nothing. Once at mile 5, I was taking a walk break and eating half of my cliff bar (more like stuffing my face), when a few women ran by and congratulated me. I thanked them with crumbs in my mouth, looking like a stereotypical hungry pregnant woman. lol

I got lots of "Congratulations!" comments, I also got a "good job pregnant lady!", which I thought could have been phrased better, lol. But my favorite were these 2 guys in bright yellow jackets that played leap frog with me from around miles 8 through 13. "Congratulations! I could barely get myself out here and you are doing it for 2! You are awesome! Way to go!", etc etc etc. They were so much fun and definitely helped brighten the end of my run. They also introduced me to someone after the race! I think they were truly amazed a pregnant woman was running. I was too guys! I was too! lol

I finished in 2:25, which wasn't bad considering that's what my halves were last year before I lost some weight and started improving them. I was pretty happy to have been under 2:30. No, I didn't set a time goal. I didn't really care as long as I finished and did it safely for the baby. But the time still made me a bit happy!

Around mile 2
Getting rough somewhere probably around mile 10 or so.
You can also see my favorite guys in yellow jackets just behind. I LOVED THEM!
Finished. Done.
For fueling, I was glad I brought my own water. I drank at the aid stations maybe twice but I liked having my own water to drink when I wanted to drink it. I ate half the cliff bar. I also chowed down a package of the Gatorade chews they handed out like I'd never eaten before!

After the race, I gladly took a bagel and proceeded to inhale that as well. Clearly I was hungry.

We met back up with our friends inside, I went to the bathroom, took some finisher photos of myself and sat down for a while. All in all, I was glad it was over, happy with my accomplishment, and did nothing for the rest of the day!

Happy Finisher
Don't mind my hair in the photo. I had a hat on during the race and didn't care what I looked like afterwards!  Half marathon at just about 13 weeks the done column! Thankfully.

Sweet medal and I loved being able to stay warm before and after the race inside Soldier Field.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

13 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

Happy Tuesday friends!  I was trying to decide if I should do weekly (or every other week) pregnancy updates on here or not. I know not everyone wants to read about it but I decided to do it, if nothing else, for me. I think it will be nice to be able to look back after all this is over and remember these moments. So without further ado...

Let me preface this "13 week pregnancy photo" with this... I'm really not liking this photo. I know it's because I've gained weight and I know the weight gain is partially because I'm cooking Baby Taylor so I'm trying to be ok with it but still... ugh. lol. I'll get over it when I get more of a "baby bump" and less of a "eat all the cookies/I'm bloated bump."
13 weeks
How far along/size of baby: 13 weeks 2 days . Baby is the size of a peach or lemon (depending if you like it sweet or sour! lol). At my 12 week scan, baby was around 2.5 inches and should now be close to 3 inches long! This baby is growing fast!

Total weight gain: Weight gained since my first doctor visit mid December is about 5 pounds. I also never got morning sickness (I know I'm lucky) so I was still able to eat just fine.

Maternity clothes: Definitely not yet. But I will admit I did pull out my one size larger work pants to feel more comfortable this week. I am still working my old ones too though. I figured, it's the second trimester now. Time to embrace the pregnancy.

Sleep: I do get up more to use the bathroom. I always did get up at least once. Now I generally get up 2-3 times on average. Sleeping is ok and if I have problems, it's more with "other issues" than being pregnant.

Best moment of this week: Getting my 12 week ultrasound last week and subsequently getting the call from the doctor saying the genetic screening tests came back "low probability" so that means things are looking good. Also making my 20 week appointment was exciting!

Miss anything: Not much. Maybe eating cold lunch meat type sandwiches. Every once in a while, I miss drinking a glass of wine.

Movement: None yet. Still too early.

Symptoms: There was a good stretch where I was SO TIRED by mid-afternoon that I wanted to put my head down at work by 4:00 p.m. Luckily it's getting a little better. Still tired but not as bad. Also headaches were a pretty constant thing recently.

Food cravings: I had a pretty good craving for Chinese food (with fried food like orange chicken). I tried to limit it to once a week. Also carbs. But I love carbs anyway.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. Sometimes the thought of ground beef turns my stomach a bit but I'm fine with cooking and eating it. So just the thought.

Have you started to show yet: Again... is it too many cookies or is it baby? You decide! lol

Gender: Not sure yet. Will find out at 20 weeks. My guess would be a boy.
Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: I think I'm happy most of the time but definitely have my moody moments. Ask my husband.

Exercise: Still doing most things like before just with slightly less intensity or speed. Ran the F^3 Half Marathon last weekend. Swimming, barre classes, spin classes and indoor bike trainer.

Looking forward to: Listening to the baby's heartbeat at my next doctor appointment on February 6th. I haven't heard it yet. I just know it was 155 bpm at my 12 week ultrasound.

Hope you enjoyed my 13 week update! F^3 Half Marathon recap to come.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Running Plans

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post! I was really excited to share the news with all of you!

A question I get often is ...

Q: Are you going to keep running?

A: I'm going to try but will listen to my body.

Of course, I've read a lot about running while pregnant. And some of my run friends have become pregnant in recent years. What I do know is this (in a nutshell)... it's ok to keep running while pregnant.

Here's the slightly more in depth answer. Yes, I can run while I'm pregnant. In fact, it can be good for me and the baby to keep up my physical fitness. My doctor and chiropractor both confirmed this with me when I asked them. Here's the general rules of thumb for me...

1. Watch my heart rate. I will not be able to go as fast as I once did (nor should I). I need to slow down now that I'm pregnant. As far as what the right HR is when pregnant? A lot of articles say not to exceed 140. My Doctor told me not to exceed 160 for more than 20 minutes at a time. And many other articles I read said that 140 was an older standard and that it depends on your level of fitness going into the pregnancy. I will follow what my doctor says. And basically, I will run at a pace that feels comfortable to me. I can tell when I'm pushing my pace too much.

2. Stop running if something doesn't feel right.  I've been running a long time. I'm not a new runner and I'm aware of what my body is trying to tell me while running (pregnant or not).  So if something doesn't feel right, stop. The most important thing is the baby. Not my miles or my pace.

3.  Things might change when my "bump" gets bigger. I've read a lot about how your weight shifts when you start getting a larger belly and that may make a difference on how I feel while running.

4. If I ever feel like running is not comfortable for me or that maybe I shouldn't be doing it, I am going to stop. Yes, I'd like to keep running throughout my pregnancy (at least through month 6-7 or something. In fact, I have a half on April 1st that I'm signed up for). BUT...I'm perfectly fine if I need to stop and not run anymore. I'll simply do more walking. And yes, I will probably be doing a run/walk combo when I'm getting a little larger. Whatever feels most comfortable. But I know people that were able to run throughout their pregnancy and I know people that really couldn't or just didn't feel right. I will take it week by week and run by run and keep seeing how I'm feeling. am I feeling so far??  Pretty good actually! Yay me! I didn't have any morning sickness or nausea to contend with in my first trimester (more about the first trimester later when it's officially over), so my energy levels were pretty decent. I was tired, but otherwise I'm fine. So besides slowing down a little, I've been able to keep training for the F^3 Half Marathon that's coming up this Saturday.

I'm actually not sure what my plans for the F^3 are. Obviously, I'm not going for a PR. Obviously, I'll be happy to just be able to complete it. I've been running with a walk/water break every 1.5-2 miles on my long runs right now. So maybe I'll just keep doing that based on how I feel? I thought about doing a run/walk interval of 9:1 or 7:1 but I'm not sure if that's even necessary. So we will just see how things go this Saturday. This will be baby's first half marathon, after all! Go baby go!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Big News!

So I eluded to BIG NEWS on my last post. And since it's been shared with family and it's been shared on facebook (it's not official until it's facebook official, amiright?), now it's time to share with my blogging family!

My husband and I are expecting a little runner in the beginning of August! Everyone keeps telling my husband "good work," like he really had a hard job with this one! lol.

I'm about 11.5 weeks pregnant now. My ultrasound last week put me at 10 weeks. I have a half marathon on January 28th (F^3 Half Marathon), which I'm still planning on doing. I've gotten in two 10 mile training runs. I'm just planning on taking it easy and walking when necessary.  More on this half and another half soon. But baby is happily running with me in the womb! Go baby go!

I was just excited to share my news with you all. As much as I know not everyone wants this to turn into a baby blog, it's part of my life right now so it will be there. Hoping to have a good balance of baby, running, and life in the blog.

Baby is upside down - 10 week ultrasound

Our facebook announcement was triathlon themed. "New triathlon relay team member makes its debut August 2017!" Let's just say, some didn't get it or scrolled right past it. Oh well, we tried to be creative! In this photo, I'm the swimmer, Derek is the cyclist, and baby is the runner (we got baby shoes on clearance. Score!)

The below picture was taken before the one above and is considered the cutest "outtake" ever! I probably like it better than the original. Our dog, Camo, came and sat down like this with the baby shoes between her paws, ALL ON HER OWN! This was not a posed photo. I think it looks like she's protecting the baby. Awwww!!!! So much cuteness!