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My child is officially ON THE MOVE.

29 Jun

I thought seeing the ultrasound was just about the coolest thing ever…and then he MOVED…and I FELT it.

When we first saw Baby Key moving around on the ultrasound, it was reassuring because the technician said everything was progressing perfectly and normally. I could see him moving but I could not feel it yet. That all changed last night. After I got home from Happy’s Running Club, Brent and I grabbed a quick bite to eat, I took a shower, and then we headed off to bed. Right after I laid down, I felt a nudge…from the inside! I immediately thought, “What was THAT!?” And then I realized, it was just Baby Key saying, “Yo, mom! What’s up?” I started giggling and immediately told Brent. We laid there for at least another hour feeling the kicks and marveling about how awesome it all was.

Was it my rockin’ run at Happy’s? Was it the good mood I was in from seeing all my #RunLA fam? Have I just been eating my Wheaties? Who knows. All I do know is that this child is on the move! As soon as I woke up this morning, he was at it again!

Am I growing a little track star? Is he already doing speed work in there? Is he running laps or dreaming of his first 5k? Maybe he’ll be wearing a gold medal in the 2032 Olympics for sprints and relays? A mama can dream! Or maybe he’ll be a famous soccer player? His daddy sure wouldn’t mind that!

These should make @RunBimma proud. 🙂

I feel so blessed in so many ways these days. I have this amazing, supportive husband, I have this awesome little man who is getting stronger everyday, and I have all of super motivating new running buddies.

My husband + my #RunLA fam = the best cheering squad EVER.

I’m really not sure what I would do without them. They understand when I am having a bad day and they freely dole out the high fives on a good day. And I have to say, post-run sweaty hugs from running buddies are the best. It excites me to know that after Baby Key arrives he will have all these active, healthy role models to look up to. Plus, it will be kind of fun bringing the BabyJogger out to the Happy’s Running and Varsity Sports groups. Baby Key is going to be spoiled from all the attention, I just know it. 😉

Being Back of the Pack is Humbling

27 Jun

If you have ever come in last at anything, you know what I am talking about. If you have ever come in last at something that you used to be good at, then you especially know what I am talking about.

Being at the back of the pack is about the most humbling spot for any group run/ride or race participant. I know this first-hand, as I have been pulling the caboose in a lot of group runs and rides lately. It is such a weird feeling and I will be honest…it is taking time adjusting to it.

At the first of the year, I had been really working on my speed and had FINALLY started placing (first even!) in my age group. Let’s not get carried away or anything…I was never in the position to actually win overall or even get overall female, but I was definitely improving!

2nd place in age a TRAIL RUN!

I should never have taken that “runner’s high” for granted. What I wouldn’t give these days to just come in at the middle of the pack. 🙂

At the group ride on Saturday, out of about 8 riders, I came in last…even after the mountain bikes and cruisers. I am keeping the same cadence and pushing with the same intensity that I have always cycled with, but I am just going slower. More weight just does not move as fast. At my last few group runs, I have certainly rocking last place…even cutting the route miles if I feel like I need to.

Coming in last and being forced to take it down a notch has certainly humbled me. It takes a lot of guts to get out there and do something, knowing good and well when you start the activity that you are not going to be awesome at it. Please don’t think that I’m trying to toot my own horn or anything, because I’m not. This post is dedicated to ALL of the “back of the packers” out there. I am inspired by your perseverance.

I know that I am only going to be getting slower, and (for now) I am okay with that. But I want all of those hanging at the back with me to keep pushing and keep getting faster. Just remember to pat me on the back as you are passing me by. 🙂

Where in the pack do you fall? Where do you want to be?

Today’s Awesome Factor = 12.

15 Jun

After my realization yesterday that I needed to just accept what my limits are right now (however temporary they may or may not be) and just go with them, my whole attitude changed. I decided that this is just the station in life I am currently at and all I can do is make the best of it! Seriously, it was as if the heavens opened up and rays of sunshine started beaming down. You know, something like this…

How could this not make you smile? 🙂

Surprisingly, I found some motivation at my job (a complete miracle in itself!) and the afternoon passed super quickly. I got really excited about my Tuesday night running group because we had three visitors and I got to turn virtual Twitter running buddies into in-real-life running buddies!

(Please overlook my all-white running ensemble. Apparently I packed my running clothes with my eyes closed.)

L to R: @DubyaWife, ME, @Bambi_P, @JenZenator, @RunBimma

And 3.0 miles and 36:00 awesome minutes later, here we are rocking that post-run glow! And yes, even with 4 weeks on me, Ms. Jen Z still beat me in. Wings on her feet, I tell you!

L to R: @Bambi_P, @JenZenator, ME, @DubyaWife

After the fun, we had delicious sandwiches provided by Jimmy John’s (crazy delicious AND they deliver!) and Tin Roof Beer…which, of course, I could not partake in. It smelled good though! On a side note, we toured the Tin Roof Brewery a while back for a BR Tweet-up and it was really fun to see how it was made.

It is amazing the kind of boost that you can get from being around positive, motivated people. Seeing my regular running buddies, along with a few new ones, really helped give me a new energy!

Tonight, I’m mixing up my training a little bit. Brent and I have decided to join a group ride called Wednesday Bricks at Alligator Bayou. The route is around 13 miles and the group keeps about a 15mph speed. I’ll have to push it in my Trek, but I think I can keep up! And, if not, the route is a loop so it isn’t like I can really get lost. We have been wanting to get in on a group ride for a long time and we are ready to take the plunge! Like with the group runs, a group ride will probably help me increase my speed, keep me motivated, and pick up some new tips and tricks on cycling. And I am sure I’ll meet some really cool new cycling/triathlon peeps! Bonus!

Trek WSD 7.3 FX

On top of all of THAT, we are now less than 24 hours away from knowing if Nugget is a boy, girl…or both!  How exciting!  I am so anxious and the suspense is just about to kill me.  I hope I am able to sleep tonight!  I better ride hard this evening so I wear myself out.

On a scale of 1 – 10, my awesome factor today is totally at a 12. I plan on riding this high as long as possible. 🙂

How do you mix up your workouts or keep them from getting boring? What is your awesome factor today?

A Few Words for the New Runner

18 May

I got the most fun phone call from an old friend this morning! She has decided to give running a try and she needed some advice on shoes, sports bras, etc. This particular friend has recently modified her eating habits by cutting out sodas, counting calories, and limiting the fast foods. While that successfully lost her a significant amount of weight, she has now plateaued and is ready to fire up the ol’ metabolism and kick it into HIGH GEAR! I’m so excited for her!!

I’m going to be honest, when I started running, I thought it sucked. SUCKED, I tell you. I thought those people who said they loved running were just liars…or crazy…or both. After a few times running, I realized why it sucked so much…because I literally NO idea what I was doing. I had all the motivation in the world, but I was killing my body and running just about as inefficiently as possible. Oh, and did I mention…I was also running in Nike Shox. GASP! (Running…in cross-trainers?? Oh, the horror!!)

After several tries and feeling miserable, I knew I had to be doing something wrong. So I started talking to EVERYONE about running…people that worked at the running stores, people online, random people I stopped around the LSU Lakes. I tried to gather all the info I could on apparel, shoes, form, technique, hydration, nutrition, etc. I bought every running/fitness magazine I could find. I inundated myself with information. And something must have worked, because everything started getting easier. Before I knew it, I was enjoying running! Woot!

To get me to this point, I was offered A LOT of advice. Here are my Top 3 things that made a difference to me:

1. Get yourself a pair of REAL running shoes.
For the love of Pete, PLEASE do not just go down to your favorite big box sporting goods store and pick out some that look “cool.” I beg you to find your local running specialty store and be properly fitted. This will save you from (some) injuries and will help you understand WHY you need the shoes you do. Understanding your form and foot strike will make all the difference in the world.

Suacony Fastwitch 5

2. Invest in BodyGlide.
This stuff should be considered a miracle product. I was advised to purchase this product about 7 years ago when I started walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. In all of my 60-mile walks, half marathons, and marathon, I have NEVER gotten a blister. Seriously, I could literally bathe in this stuff. With its no-odor and non-greasiness, I give a big thumbs up! I’ve doused my feet in it and I’ve even been known to put it around my chest and shoulders to prevent rubbing by my sports bra.

3. Join a running group or find a buddy.
There are going to be days where you feel unmotivated. That’s just the way it is. There are going to be days when you are sore and feeling down and you don’t feel like running. It happens. You know what the best cure is? A running buddy to offer you a hand, pull you up off the ground, and offer you encouraging words. Social running groups are worth their weight in gold. In fact, I run in two different groups per week (Happy’s Running and Varsity Sports). I’ve been able to make new friends at all different levels. The faster people give me motivation to push a little harder, and the slower people remind me to be encouraging to others…as we’ve all had to start somewhere.

Me and my new running friend, Andrea Bonnette.

So if you are just getting started, CONGRATULATIONS and a big HIGH FIVE to you for starting on this new journey to health and happiness! Take it one day at a time and remember to enjoy the scenery!

For some other ideas and tips on getting started, check out @bekkib73’s blog! I’ll also leave you with this quote that I stole off of Louisiana Running Company’s facebook this morning…

“There is no limit to what you can imagine. And with commitment, with effort, what you can imagine you can become. Put your mind to work for you. Believe that you can do it. The world will tell you that you can’t. Yet, in your belief you’ll find the strength, you’ll find the ability, to do it anyway.” Ralph Marston

For my veteran runner readers, what advice do you think is important for someone just starting out in the sport?

The Runner’s Rite of Passage

27 Apr

So here I sit at work…looking like THIS.

It's sexy, I know.

(Please don’t judge me by my awesome purple argyle socks from Target or my uber sexy Doc Martens steel toe work boots.)

Last night, at the Happy’s Running group I must have pushed it a little harder than I should have. Don’t get me wrong, I was by no means a speed demon out there, but my knees, calves, and ankles are having a harder time adjusting to this extra 15lb of baby weight than I’d like to admit.

No worries, a little icing (Thanks to my handy dandy Peas Cold Therapy from CVS! Ha!), a little elevation, and a little stretching and I should be good to go again tonight to stay on my half marathon speed training program.

The occasional sore muscle is certainly nothing to be seriously complaining about, but it got me thinking. What was my “Runner’s Rite of Passage?”

You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all had that injury or running issue that, once conquered, made you think, “I am a RUNNER! I made it through! I have ARRIVED!”

When I first started running, it was the shin splints. But I was able to conquer that by getting better shoes, adjusting my running form, backing off on my mileage and then building up properly again.

About a year ago, it was Achilles tendinitis in my right ankle. This SUCKED. It took me out for almost a whole month! However, I was able to conquer it with rest and a good, tight ankle compression brace. I also committed to refusing to be a slave to the treadmill. The continuous identical foot strike motion from the treadmill was wreaking havoc on my ankle. So, I took my training outdoors and never looked back! I still hit the treadmill
on super cold or rainy days, but I mostly like to kick it outside.

This past February during the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, I developed the ULTIMATE Runner’s Rite of Passage. That’s right…the dreaded BLACK TOENAIL.

Look, I know its gross and I’ll even do you the favor of not posting a picture of it. If you’ve never had one, consider yourself lucky. If you have, wear it like the badge of honor that it is! You earned it with all those miles!! (Okay, so its not quite as cool as a medal or trophy, but deep down, you know it means that you’ve been training like a boss!)

So, after blisters, sore muscles, shin splints, achilles tendinitis, and now the black toenail, I feel like I have arrived. I AM A RUNNER!

What was the biggest Runner’s Rite of Passage YOU have conquered?

Happy’s Running Club, Calendar, and More!

14 Apr

I have been SO busy getting this race calendar together! Whew! Talk about putting together a lot of information! I hope it will be helpful to you (my future readers). I know just making the list got me all excited about the fun events coming up this year! So many runs and races to do (both competitively and just for fun)!

This past Tuesday night, Brent and I ventured out to the Happy’s Running Club in downtown Baton Rouge. I really enjoyed it and it felt SO good to be around so many other runners again! I’ve missed it. It’s definitely A LOT larger than the SMRG (Saturday Morning Run Group) we had going in Greenville! The best part is, with so many runners, no one is really left behind. There is always at least one other person going your pace (or a little faster if you need someone to push you). Afterward, there was salad and pizza and the beer (and water) was a-flowin’! (You know this momma-to-be wasn’t having any of that beer, but the pizza was tasty!)

I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on the run, but c’est la vie. I’m having to adjust to this added baby weight slowing me down. It really has taken some getting used to. I’m used to being able to sustain a 9:00min/mi pace (okay, okay…I know that’s not “speedy” by any definition of the word, but its good for me), but I just feel SO slow now. On Tuesday evening I was able to do 3.05mi in about 32:30. *sigh* It’s okay…I’m not slow, I’m just pregnant. I’ve gotta keep telling myself that. 🙂

No run last night. I opted to attend a function with Brent at LSU. It was fun, but I missed getting outside for my run and some fresh air. Though I will say, the TCBY afterward was a nice treat.

We plan on giving the group run with Varsity Sports a whirl tonight and I’m excited! There are 3.5mi and 5.5mi loops. I plan on doing the 3.5mi loop with Brent, even though I REALLY want to do the 5.5mi loop. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it anyway. 😉