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The Evolution of My Reasons for Running

13 Sep

When I first started running back in the day, my reasons were purely vain and selfish.

I did not want to be sluggish and fat anymore. That is all there was to it. I looked in the mirror, did not like what I saw and I wanted to change it. The situation was compounded with a failed relationship and I vowed to myself to get in shape. I wanted to be “hot”. After all, “hot girls” got all the fellas.

Reason #1 for Running: To get this bod.
C’mon, what girl doesn’t want abs like this? Seriously.

Courtesy of Runner's World

It took me about a month of running to realize that my body would never look like that. I just do not shed weight that way and the only way I could put in the time and energy to get ridiculous abulocity like that was if I did not work full-time and swore off cheeseburgers…for the rest of my life. But, in that month, something else happened, I started flirting with running…and I realized it was a relationship that I was not quite ready to part with.

I worked hard. I dropped more weight and I leaned up. I strength trained. I did speed work. And before you know it, I was dabbling in long distances.

Reason #2 for Running: To go for the gold.
It is no secret that I am a race medal junkie. In fact, I think most runners would be lying it they said it did not feel good to earn a race medal or win an age group or overall award.

Just when I thought it was all starting to come together (and that bod I had always wanted was finally starting to peek through), my awesomer half and I found out we were expecting. And EVERYTHING changed. The awesome bod was fading and I could no longer run far enough or fast enough for the race bling. But it was okay, because now my body was healthy and ready for this new adventure. Somewhere along the way, nestled in all the vain and ridiculous reasons why I was running, I had gotten healthy! (Say whaaaa!?) Over the years I had not only stepped up my workouts, but I had quit smoking, cut back on the drinking, and actually started caring about the food that went into my mouth. Even though I was not privy to the big cosmic plan, everything was really leading up to this…

Reason #3 for Running: To be a healthy parent and a good example for my child.

Yesterday, Brent and I went for a 3D ultrasound. (Really quick side note: Why on Earth do they call these 4D ultrasounds? Not sure what they are considering to be the 4th dimension here…) I saw my child’s face, his features, his little hands, and his little feet. Amongst the myriad of things we are supposed to teach him, we are responsible for guiding him on what it means to appreciate your body, take care of it, work hard with it, and fuel it properly. I did not have a good example of healthy lifestyle growing up and I vow to provide this for my son.

Though I would love to one day have that bod I was *almost* proud of and maybe even get toned enough to go for a run in just a sports bra and running shorts, I can no longer let that be the goal. And while winning is fun, it really isn’t what running is all about.

I would rather be known as the runner mom who showed her kid(s) what it meant to set goals, work hard, train hard, eat right, and achieve her dreams.

Maybe selfishness gets in the way and maybe I am a little vain, but I never thought I would be okay letting Reason #1 and Reason #2 go. But after seeing Reason #3 on the screen yesterday, I clearly have way better things in store for me.

Why do you run? Over the years have your reasons and motivations changed? What keeps you going now?

It’s Baby Jogger Day!

8 Sep


I get that some of you may not quite understand how super fantastic this is for my husband and I, but let me start at the beginning.  My love affair with the Baby Jogger begins here…

This past April, I was registered for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola Beach,FL.  This event was held a few weeks after we found out we were expecting and I decided that I was feeling good enough to race anyway.  Well, I didn’t so much “race” as I did “run” but that is beside the point.  Either way, I finished. 🙂

Brent and I got there a couple of days early to enjoy the beach and pick up my things from packet pick-up.  This event was sponsored by a local running store, called Running Wild(On a side note, let me just say that I LOVE going to running stores in different cities.  I love seeing different gear, brands, and how trends vary from city to city or region to region.)  The employees at Running Wild were super helpful and I think I talked to one of the guys for literally an hour about the New Balance Minimus Trail Shoes.  But I digress…

On the way out the door, I spied the Baby Jogger in the corner.  In my many trips to what feels like a billion different running stores, I had never seen a store that actually carried running strollers.  Even though we had many months to go before Baby Key was to arrive, I couldn’t help stopping and ooohing and aaaahing over it.  The owner of the store must have picked up on my interest.  Before I knew it, he was by our side, telling us all the wonders of the Baby Jogger.  Seriously, it was love at first sight.  This is a picture of the one we saw in the store.  I mean, really…could it be any more fantastic??

Baby Jogger 25th Anniversary Performance Jogger

When we found out we were expecting, I immediately started scouring the internet and local baby stores to find THE BEST running stroller. (C’mon, does this surprise you?)  Once I laid my eyes on this one and took it for a test spin around the parking lot, I knew it was the one for me.  I love that it truly is a running stroller, not just a stroller that you can run with.  The no frills, no drag aspect of it is really appealing.  This stroller is definitely not built for a day at Disney World, but it is perfect for getting Baby Key and I out the door and on the road…marathon training together!

The owner of Running Wild went on and on about how durable the fabric was and how easy it was to care for (just get regular tune ups from a local bicycle shop!).  Oh, and did I mention that this sucker can hold a child up to 100 pounds!?  That’s a middle-schooler!  (Another side note…do not think for one second that I will be pushing a 100 pound child around.  If my kid is that big, he will be running WITH me…NOT in a stroller.)

I was sold…until I saw the price tag.  Then I frowned.  While awesome, I quickly realized that the Baby Jogger would be an investment.  With its substantial price tag (let’s just say that it cost more than our whole stroller travel system that we had picked out), I just knew we could not afford it.  Currently operating on one family income, we just knew that getting a Baby Jogger would not be feasible when we have the necessities like baby furniture, bottles, clothing, hospital bills, etc. to pay for.  Disappointed, we left the store.

I resigned myself to the fact that post-baby runs would be totally solo, without my sweet bundle of joy.  I continued to pull up the Baby Jogger website at least once a week, ogling the beauty of the Performance jogger.  (And c’mon…its even BLUE…perfect for my Future Ironman!)

Then fate stepped in.  Through an odd twist of fate and meeting the right person at the right time (though I truly feel these things are NEVER coincidence), a Baby Jogger presented itself to me!

Several months back, ultramarathoner, Paul Sibley, came to Baton Rouge to run 50 miles around the LSU Lakes to raise money for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.  One of his aid assistants was his sister, Wanda.  I went out to the lakes to congratulate Paul on this wonderful thing he was doing and watch him get started on his journey.  After he took off, I hung around a while and started talking to his sister.  We talked about running and children and then she casually mentioned that she used a Baby Jogger with all of her children and how great it was.  I sighed longingly and told her of my desire to have one but that it just was not a possibility for us right now.  And then she said those magical words…

“Oh, I don’t need mine anymore!  You can just have mine!”

WHAT DID SHE SAY?  HAVE IT?  Are you kidding me!?  I offered to pay her something…ANYTHING…but she insisted that she just wanted it out of her garage and into a good home.  I gladly took her up on the offer.  I have been warned that it is pretty old, needs a serious tune-up, a good cleaning, and possibly a new protective cover.  However, considering that it is free, I think I can figure all of that out.

So, today is the day we get to go pick it up!  It’s Baby Jogger Day!  Who knows, maybe it is one run away from falling apart…but hey, I appreciate Wanda’s generosity from the bottom of my heart and, if nothing else, it will at least get me and Baby Key out on the road at the beginning.

And maybe if I keep my fingers crossed and keep wishing and hoping, maybe Santa will bring Baby Key and me a NEW Baby Jogger for Christmas.  A girl can dream, can’t she?

Have YOU ever run with a running stroller?  Which brand do you have and what do you like/dislike about it?

I Ran on the Moon – My Anti-Gravity Running Experience

18 Aug

Okay, so while I didn’t *technically* run on the moon, I did get to experience anti-gravity running on an Alter G treadmill. There isn’t a whole lot in life that leaves me truly speechless, but after getting off this treadmill, all I could do was smile. I felt like I was back in the game…even if that feeling was only temporary.

The pants you wear feel like a wetsuit!

A couple of evenings ago, after a long conversation with my husband, I conceded to start cutting back on my outdoor runs. At almost 29 weeks pregnant, I am thankful for the time that I have been able to run outside, but it is just getting to hard. My options? The treadmill at the gym (which my husband found to be an acceptable alternative since the gym at least has air conditioner) or only walking outside. For me, walking is an almost painful activity. While not physically painful, the slow pace is mentally painful. I so badly want to be at full stride and going FAST!

Getting the instructions! It even goes in REVERSE!

“Fast” is something I have not felt in MONTHS…until last night. To be able to supplement my body weight and remember what my body felt like at my pre-pregnancy weight was AMAZING. The pressure on my ankles, calves, and knees was totally gone. The best part was the ease in pelvic pressure from the baby belly. I can’t even begin to tell you how this has improved my attitude about running through the rest of my pregnancy. To have that brief reminder of how easily my body moved only months ago was just the encouragement I need and will certainly motivate me to work hard post-baby to get my training body back. The Alter G anti-gravity treadmill is officially a game changer for me.

I am RUNNING and it feels so GOOD!

Before my anti-gravity experience, I literally could not fathom how my running idols elite runners like Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe were able to run, no TRAIN, throughout their pregnancies. (You know, other than the fact that they are super humans.) After hearing that they used this equipment, I can definitely see how it helps elites train through pregnancies and recover from all types of injuries.

The advantages of the Alter G extend WAY beyond just helping this mama-to-be runner prolong her running routine. In addition to all of the medical applications of the anti-gravity treadmill, the Alter G is having a MAJOR impact in the sports industry.

According to their website, the Alter G can help with the following:
• lower body injury and surgery rehabilitation
• aerobic conditioning
• weight control and reduction
• sport specific conditioning programs
• neurological retraining
• overspeed training
• interval training
• lateral movement training
• backwards running drills up to 10mp in reverse
• hill training at up to 15% incline

This is the face of one HAPPY (and very pregnant) runner!

The biggest benefit for me personally is that it helps maximize fitness retention during sports rehabilitation, or, in my case, during pregnancy. Using the Alter G, I will be able to match the aerobic intensity of my previous workouts while lowering the impact on my body by using a combination of adjustable variables (weight – 100% to 20% supplementation, speed – up to 18mph, and incline – up to 15%). I have been so worried that all of the training I had done before getting pregnant would be GONE. Running on the Alter G as close to my delivery date as I can will only help me get back to my normal running routine (and marathon training!) as fast as possible.

As of yesterday, I had resigned myself to walking…but not anymore. My attitude and happiness towards running have been restored and I am completely positive about adding this new tool to my workouts. There is a new plan in effect as of right now!

Monday: 30-minute Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Tuesday: Happy’s Running Club
Wednesday: Yoga, slow bike ride, or rest
Thursday: 30-minute Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Friday: Walk around the neighborhood
Saturday: Walk around the neighborhood
Sunday: Rest

This is a schedule I think I can live with. I will still be running three times per week (HALLELUJAH!) and walking once or twice.

Over the years I have learned that running is more than the physical. The mental and emotional benefits that I get from running outweigh any amount of fat burned or inches lost. I am a firm believer that running keeps me sane and grounded. And thanks to the Alter G, I can look and FEEL like this after running again…

Four thumbs up from me and Baby Key!

Now I just need about $50,000 so I can get one of these at home. Any takers??? No? Okay, well…any suggestions…bake sale? Garage sale? 🙂
Have YOU ever tried an anti-gravity treadmill? Are you interested in them?

Encourage Your Fellow Runners…They May Need It More Than You Think

17 Aug

The other night before going to bed I sent out this Tweet:

“You just never know how much someone else could be struggling. Kind words and encouragement go far. #Perspective”

It got reTweeted. A lot. Apparently, there were lots of other people feeling the same way I was.

Often times, I send out Tweets like this as a result of something I have seen, witnessed, encouraged of others, or done for others. This Tweet in particular hit closer to home, as it was something I personally experienced. A friend of mine gave me some encouraging words and I am quite certain she didn’t even know I needed them.

Its time to get real…I have been struggling lately with my running…a lot. I won’t say that I am in denial that my running is coming to an end, but I can feel it tapering off quickly. My runs are getting much more difficult and where before I was limiting myself to no more that two days of running in a row, now I am down to every other day. I am thankful for every single day that I get to run.

The other day before Happy’s Running Club, my friend, Theresa, said the nicest thing to me right before we got started with our run. I do not remember what she said verbatim, but she casually mentioned how good it was to see me out at running group each week and that I seem to be glowing more and more as each week passes.


I needed that. Badly. I needed the encouragement. I needed the extra little push to just keep on showing up. It is getting so much harder these days and it is so easy to find excuses as to why I shouldn’t go run…which REALLY bums me out.

I try really hard to put on the happy face and make it look easy. I assure you…its not. It is getting hard on me physically, and even harder on me mentally and emotionally. I know it sounds selfish and like such a “sacrifice” that seems so easy to make. Those on the outside are probably thinking, “How can she even consider not running a ‘sacrifice’ at all!? This is her CHILD she is talking about!” It should be so easy for me to think, “I am pregnant…its okay to not run, right?” But it isn’t easy. When you associate yourself with something you love so much, it isn’t easy to just put it aside…not even for a few months. Pre-pregnancy, I was running 30-40 mile weeks (if not more) and I loved every single minute of it. I feel so ashamed that I want to put the death grip on that level of training and not let it go.

I get frustrated when I go to my running groups these days. I want to be able to run FAST again. I want to be able to push out a full-on sprint. I want to still be able to talk full long strides and pump my arms as I run. I want to challenge my running buddies to see who can make it to that next stop sign first. I want to run hard…so hard that I can feel it in every muscle in my legs and core. I feel bad saying that I am jealous that they can all do that and I can’t. I feel so left out and I hate it. Sitting on the sidelines is not fun. While I support my running buddies and know that when the time comes (sooner than my ego would like, I am afraid) I will be the best support sign holder/pom-pom waver/cowbell ringer EVER for them at races, I would by lying to myself if I said that I wouldn’t much prefer to me running right along side of them.

My sweet running friends (those in real life and the awesome ones that I have found in the Twitterverse and blogosphere) keep reminding me that “it is only a short while” and that I will “be back in no time.” But right now, a few months on the bench feels like a few years.

Determined to make lemonade out of lemons, however, I am going to keep letting my friend’s kind words ring in my ears. I am going to make the effort to keep on trying and keep on moving…even if that means all I can do at run group is walk. I need it. I need the exercise and though I would like to think of myself as strong enough to not need it, I DO need the support of my running buddies.

And, of course, I plan on paying it forward. If I can’t push the heck out of myself right now, I can be the Master of Peer Pressure and push the ones around me. Making them better will only make me work harder post-baby to catch up with them. And I assure you, I will catch up with them.

How do you feel when someone randomly encourages you? How do you make the effort to support others…especially your fellow runners?

Today’s Awesome Factor = 8…and a half.

8 Aug

Normally, I like to keep my “awesome factor” posts in the 5-star range, but due to the latest happenings with my toes, this Monday morning got docked a few points. More to come on that in a moment…

Lots of fun stuff has been happening over the last few days, so I thought I would play catch-up today!

In case you missed my big announcement on Twitter last night, I have decided to enter the fit2Bmom Spring 2012 Model Search. I know I am not 5’ 10” with a face and body like Heidi Klum (when she was baby bumpin’ or after), but I am a real mama-to-be who thinks I might be a good candidate for this contest. The contest required a video entry so here is my submission. Let me know what you think! (On another note, could that video still be ANY worse?? Sheesh.)

At my race on Saturday, I snagged the cutest Brooks Running koozie. I know it’s not a big deal, but I like fun stuff like this. And, if nothing else, it’s making me smile on this Monday morning. Run happy!

I also have some other awesome race swag headed my way. The Louisiana Marathon has a special going on that if you sign up with the code “SPIBELT” you get a free SPIbelt race belt with The Louisiana Marathon logo on it! YES! I have wanted to try out SPIbelt for a long time and now I get to try it for FREE! I have always feared that these race belts would not stay put on my waist, but we’ll see. Very excited about this!

And lastly, I believe I have broken a toe…or two. This is why my Monday is not rocking an official Awesome Factor rating of 10 or higher. Last night, while overzealously putting my laundry away (read = feverishly putting my laundry away because I thought my dinner cooking on the stove was about to start burning), I stubbed the ever-lovin’-MESS out of my toes. I have never ever EVER stubbed my toes this badly. They immediately turned red and started swelling a little. Thinking I would be fine, I went to bed later that night and tried not to worry about it.

This morning, however, was a different story. The two smallest toes on my left foot are now black/purple and DEFINITELY swollen. Luckily, my job has a full service medical center on site. I went to see the nurse this morning and she is pretty positive they are broken. I did not get X-rays done because even if they are broken, unless the toes are deformed (which they are not), there isn’t much they can do about them anyway. So, she just taped them up nice and straight and sent me on my way with some supplies. Superb.

Oh, and the best part…based on how bruised one of the nails is, she expects me to lose it. SUCK. If I am going to lose a toenail, I want it to be from “earning it” from my running or training…not from doing something stupid. :/

I fear this foot issue will put a cramp in my running this week and at this point in my pregnancy, I really *REALLY* can’t afford to have anything sideline me. I am so thankful for every day I get to run and I am not ready to sit out just yet. Until my toes are back at 100%, I still plan on walking. This girl has to do something to break a sweat.

How are things going in YOUR world today? What do you think of my fit2Bmom video? Do you think I can win? Have you ever broken your toes (or anything else)?

Pregnant Runners are NOT Mommyrexic.

3 Aug

I am going to try very hard to approach this subject with the severity and attention this issue deserves while also trying to express my personal views with how this issue was presented. Please keep in mind that I am not a healthcare or fitness professional and that these words are only my opinions. This post may end up being long, but I beg you to hang with me and read this in its entirety.

The other day while playing around on my friend, Katye’s blog (Legs On The Loose), my attention was brought to this clip that was presented on the Today MOMS segment of The Today Show.

(Note that NBC does not allow me to embed the video. This is only a screen shot. Please feel free to click the image to view the segment completely.)

There is so much here that upsets me. On one hand I want to be sad about the issue of Mommyrexia, while on the other, I want to punch someone about the women they have chosen to be the “face” of this problem.

First, let’s tackle the issue of Mommyrexia.

I understand that these days, with magazines showing us how mamas-to-be are “supposed” to look, the pressure is on to stay “hot”…even while carrying a child. The photos nag us to get back into pre-baby shape (or better) immediately and we feel like we are not doing our “job” if we aren’t rocking our pre-baby jeans within weeks of delivery. Knowing that there are pregnant women out there that are starving themselves, exercising to extremes, and practicing unsafe habits that endanger not only their lives but their children’s lives deeply saddens and concerns me. That is no lifestyle for a non-pregnant woman, but especially not for a pregnant one. Anyone with an eating disorder or body image/self-esteem issues, or who feel that being Mommyrexic honestly describes them should immediately seek counseling or medical attention.

Now, that being said…I would like address the WAY the Mommyrexia issue was presented.

Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders are REAL diseases. I am in NO WAY trying to make light of this. However, I do not think that showing celebrities who have not ever admitted to having an eating disorder is appropriate or responsible on behalf of The Today Show. I agree that some celebrities seem unusually thin, but to assume that they are that way because of an eating disorder is presumptuous. These are women who do not have 9AM to 5PM jobs. In addition, they can afford personal trainers, hours spent at the gym, organic foods, nutritionists, etc. to help get them back in tip-top shape as soon as possible. And some of them actually ARE gifted by the High Metabolism Gods or Gene Pool Fairies. For almost all of them, looking slim and fashionable is their JOB. Most mothers and moms-to-be that I know have a regular day job and then have to fit in exercise, fixing meals, cleaning, family time, and everything else around it. We cannot be expected to hold ourselves to the same standard, nor should we. I know that women do it all the time, but comparing ourselves to celebrities is impractical. We are not in the same league.

Secondly, to show images and video clips of pregnant runners and assume they are Mommyrexic is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY irresponsible. I really expected more from The Today Show. To presume that women running through their pregnancies are only doing so to be “skinny” is atrocious. For many women, myself included, running is just a way of life…it was before I was pregnant, and to not include this activity during my pregnancy would seem odd. As runners, it is part of who we are. Very few female runners I know run to be skinny. I am not saying they don’t run to be fit and in shape, but “skinny” is very rarely a word that is tossed around. Running through pregnancy doesn’t automatically imply that these women are scared of gaining weight, that they aren’t eating, or that they are practicing unhealthy habits. Quite the contrary, staying active during pregnancy typically indicates a mama-to-be is more concerned with overall fitness, eating healthful and nutritious foods, being conscious of adequate hydration levels, taking vitamins, and staying healthy in general. Odds are, these are habits she had pre-pregnancy and plans to have post-pregnancy…to bridge the gap and practice these things DURING pregnancy only makes sense.

I want to make it clear that I do understand that by the end of the clip, the doctors are saying it is okay for women to continue exercising. But to have this commentary following the words “Mommyrexia” flashing across the screen seems contradictive and confusing for women who might be trying to educate themselves on the issue. Furthermore, if the topic of the segment was Mommyrexia, why did they only interview a woman who exercised and lost weight the healthy way? Why did they not interview a woman who was honestly Mommyrexic? I fear that by showing the words “too skinny” and “mommyrexia” on the screen followed by images of happy pregnant runners may inadvertently reinforce that “old school” mentality that, as pregnant women, all we should be doing is sitting around on the couch growing a baby.

This is NOT the picture of Mommyrexia. It is a picture of AWESOME.

Running through pregnancy is a perfectly safe activity under the guidance of a doctor or healthcare professional. In fact, you are seeing more athletic wear companies like For Two Fitness, fit2Bmom, and Mom Bod Fitness catering to mamas-to-be because being active is a GOOD thing! But to show women running (happy, smiling, and waving at the camera no less!) and plaster them with the negative shadow of being “mommyrexic” is not fair. In fact, one of the pregnant runners shown in the clip was Cindy Lynch, the founder of From what I understand, Cindy’s image and video was used for this segment without her explicit permission. (Note: This video was not obtained unlawfully.) These images were taken out of context and this, in my opinion, is thoughtless and potentially unethical journalism. There are many “old school” people that still believe it is absurd and preposterous for a woman to even want to run though pregnancy (often staring and yelling their opinions as we go by), but to show one who is doing it to keep her and her baby healthy and then imply that she is Mommyrexic seems dreadfully irresponsible…especially when this could not be farther from the truth.

NOT Mommyrexic

As a pregnant woman I will be straight-forward. As of today, I am 26 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I run, cycle, swim, or do some form of exercise EVERYDAY. I count calories. I drink crazy amounts of water. I also occasionally fret over the number on the scale and the roundness of my body (that seems to be getting rounder by the second). Did I do all this before I was pregnant? Of course. Will I do this after Baby Key arrives? All signs point to “yes.” Does it mean I have a problem or that I am Mommyrexic?? Gracious, no! It means that I am a health-conscious woman who wants to maintain my level of fitness, gain a healthy amount of baby weight, keep my vital signs in check, and be the very best version of me that I can be when my sweet bundle of joy enters the world. How can I or any other fit mamas-to-be be faulted for that?

Again, I completely understand that Mommyrexia is a serious and dire issue. But equating Mommyrexia to a mama-to-be who is just trying her best to stay fit does not seem like a fair comparison.

What do you think of the video? If you are a pregnant runner, how did seeing those images being associated with Mommyrexia make you feel? In general, what runs through your mind when you see a pregnant runner?

I am a runner. I am pregnant. Please do not STARE.

27 Jul

I knew the day would come when I would start getting “the look”…the wide-eyed, head-shaking, disapproving look of someone who thinks it is preposterous that I am running…pregnant. (Oh, the horror! The HORROR!) It happened to me for the first time, or the first time that I actually noticed it, last night. And, to be honest, it caught me completely and totally off-gaurd.

I am now at the point where I am obviously showing. I keep trying to convince myself that I am not really “out there” yet, but I think I am in denial. You know, especially when people in my run group who had not been there in a couple of weeks see me and say, “Whoa! You have really popped out there, haven’t you!?” Yeah, so, I am *officially* baby bumpin’.

Other than my belly poking out, I am trying to keep on keepin’ on as much as possible, in as much as the same way as before, but with my activities modified as I feel I need to. When I found out I was pregnant, it never really crossed my mind to not run. I mean, surely women did it all the time, right? I used to have a step aerobics instructor who taught classes until she was 8 months along. If she could bop up and down on a step, I could keep running, right? After consulting with my doctor, explaining to him that before getting pregnant my body had been used to some serious weekly mileage, he agreed to let me keep running as long as I felt that I could. I promised him that I would listen to my body and use common sense…and then I went on my happy little runner way. No big deal.

And it was not a big deal…until I got “the look” last night.

Last night’s group run took us up along the Mississippi River levee. I love this route because it is a straight out-and-back route that allows me to see all of my fellow runners. These days, my back-of-the-pack runner status lets me take in all the views and really watch the group as a whole. It is really fun to see that many people participating in a hobby they love so much. Ah, I digress…

Anyway, what is different about the levee route is the number of spectators. Keep in mind that these are not intentional running spectators, they are just people who happen to be up on the levee, enjoying the view of the river…they also just happened to get caught in our flash mob of running awesomeness.

NOT me, but she's my hero!

I have never felt my pregnant running was awkward until last night…about 1 mile into our route. At this point, I am up on the levee, shuffling along running, taking in the beautiful view of the pink sky across the river. Turning my head back in front of me (I really should be more careful about watching where I am going anyway) I see this older woman ahead pointing at me (obviously at my belly) and whispering to her husband. As I get closer, I actually hear her call out to me and say, “That isn’t good for the baby, you know!”

Say what? Did I really just get called out…by a total stranger?

By the time my brain wrapped itself around what this woman had said I was well on my way down the route and was not able to respond. Besides, I am not sure if I would have even wanted to break my stride and interrupt my run to do so. I have read plenty of articles on pregnant running (after all, I wanted to know what I was getting myself into), and I new the stares and comments would come at some point. However, I figured I would be prepared with some snappy, well thought out, and educated come-back about how I know my body better than anyone else and that, when done with care, running was a perfectly acceptable activity for a woman with child.

I missed the boat on this one. Oh well. I have no doubt that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I better think of that snappy come-back pretty quickly. I have a feeling that I will need to whip out my “why pregnant running is okay” factoid card more often in the coming weeks. I suppose it just comes with the territory.

So, just as a courtesy, if you are out there tearing it up on the road and you see a baby bumpin’ runner, please don’t stare or give a look of disgust. Jog on over to her, give her a high five, and tell her to keep on keepin’ on!

Have you ever run through a pregnancy? Have you ever run through some sort of injury or in a situation that caused you to get disapproving faces/comments from others? How did you respond to that?

SLOW is totally the new FAST.

6 Jul

At least in my world it is. My body only moves in two speeds these days…slow and slower.

After my completely WRETCHED performance at Happy’s Running Club last night, I am still astounded as to how this happened only the day before.

2011 BASF Freedom Mile

How do I go from getting 2nd in my age group on one day to *barely* being able to squeak out a mile at my running group? Just goes to show you…during pregnancy, your body can literally change from day to day. Some days are good, some are not. Its funny how on “good” days, I am so quick to ride that high, but on “bad” days, I beat myself up about it SO badly. It is such an adjustment when your brain is saying, “Go faster, you turtle!” but your body is saying, “If you don’t slow down, I’m going to snap your legs off at the ankles just to prove a point.”

C’est la vie.

I am definitely at the point where my body no longer wants to run like a gazelle speeding across the savannah. No, those days are history…at least for a little while. But, all hope is not lost! I recently came across this article (thanks, @sbarrouquere) about the benefits of slow running. I mean, I knew that all the elite runners spent most of their time running “slow” (keep in mind that an elite athlete’s “slow” is my hauling you-know-what-I-am-about-to-die pace) but I never really thought of all of the other benefits that slow running offers. The article mentions that slow running is “the foundation of your running house.” When you think about it, this is so true. The slow run is what EVERYTHING else builds from. For now until the end of October, I will just plan on taking care of my “running house.” This means no new renovations, no crazy upgrades. I want to keep a solid 5k foundation and be able to build from there once Baby Key arrives. That, I can handle.

In addition to a bruised ego, last night’s run left me with seriously sore calves and ankles. I know EXACTLY where this pain is coming from. It is my own fault for not stretching and doing the proper strength training I had been doing. My excuse has been a lack of time, but I have to start making more time for strengthening my muscles, even if that means cutting my cardio (running) time shorter. After I walked in the door though, my whole attitude changed as I saw these jewels waiting for me!! WOOT!

New calf sleeves! Hallelujah!

The plan for today is to take breaks at work to work in mini-sets of lunges, squats, and calf raises. My lunch hour will be spent stretching…and stretching some more. Tonight, I plan to put on my new calf sleeves and hit my neighborhood for a little solo running. Group running rocks, but maybe I just need some time alone tonight to find my zen.

So, from here on out, slow I go (channeling my inner Kara Goucher the whole way). You might even find me walking. (I know, right??) But, you WILL still find me out on the roads…tearing it up at a speedy “mall walking” pace. I might even give those blue-haired old ladies down the street a run for their money. Please keep those giggles to yourself. 🙂

How do YOU feel about slow running? Do you work slow runs into your training? Do you feel defeated on days when your body forces you to take it down a notch?

Today’s Awesome Factor = Back flip!

1 Jul

Okay, you know…if I could *actually* do a back flip, I would. But I don’t think that would be too smart with a baby bump, so today, I’ll just say that I would do a back flip!

I do not know if the runner’s high I got going this morning on my run decided to stick with me throughout the rest of today or what, but today is rocking!

Here is the hit list of how my day has gone…

It is Friday…of a holiday long weekend. HEYO!
This is completely worth celebrating all on its own.

Run 1 of the Day: 6.2mi in 01:18.01
I got some major support from by running buddy, Jeremy, and even though it was hot, we managed to get through it. Thanks, buddy!

Smoothie King Muscle Punch Plus (with no Turbinado)
After my run, I was so hot. I decided to cool off with a smoothie from Smoothie King. I have tried just about every other chain smoothie joint from coast to coast and Smoothie King is my favorite. And with only 266 calories but lots of flavor, the Muscle Punch Plus with no Turbinado is my “usual” when ordering.

Great phone call from my sweet husband!
My husband has been in Houston since yesterday and had a BIG meeting today…one that could mean a lot for our little growing family. He called to say the meeting went REALLY well and that he was headed back home to me! Big hugs are awaiting his return!

Checked yesterday’s mail (yep, I’m a slacker) and got these goodies! Woot!

Decided to kick my feet up (to prevent pregnant runner cankles!) and read my new Runner’s World
Yes, for a whole hour I laid on the couch, feet up, reading a magazine. What has gotten into me! Oh, and did I mention that 16 & Pregnant was on? Yep, that completed the trifecta. I love trash TV. Got inspired for a second run later in the day by this…

Made a delicious lunch for myself!

Spinach salad, strawberries, and cashews!

Got an e-mail saying I had been selected as a Mommy Blogger for Woman’s Hospital!!
Woman’s Hospital is the hospital where I was born…and where Baby Key will be born. It is the most amazing facility and I am completely honored to be able to share my mama-to-be and future mama stories with their readers! Plus, their fitness center is where I have been doing all my training for the upcoming Rocketchix Triathlon at the end of this month!

Run 2 of the Day: 1.12mi in 00:14:34
Slow, but so what? Today is rocking and I’m not letting it get to me. Today is all about celebrating victories!!

Checked today’s mail (trying to stay on top of things!) and got some surprises!

Adorable onesie from my in-laws!

Super cool stickers from Brooks Running!

Now I’m off to take a shower, do some laundry, make my grocery list, and start dinner for my husband who should be home soon! I feel like Super Girl today!

On the plate for the weekend is…art show tonight, family reunion/swim party/husband’s birthday celebration tomorrow on , church picnic on Sunday, and 4th of July race and baby shopping at the outlet mall on Monday! And, of course, I’ll get in some running and biking time as well.

Let’s get the weekend started!! WOOT!

How is YOUR day going? What victories are YOU celebrating today? What fun things do YOU have planned for the long, holiday weekend?

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. 😉