Archive | Momma-To-Be RSS feed for this section

Chicago Marathon Mama!

13 Oct

I’m not a pregnant runner.

I’m a RUNNER…who happens to be pregnant.

By now, most of you have heard of Amber Miller. Well, if you do not necessarily recognize her name, you might know her as Chicago Marathon Mama. Being a pregnant runner, as soon as this article hit the Associated Press, it was e-mailed, facebooked, and Tweeted to me…about 1,000 times…about every 5 minutes. In short, Amber Miller ran, jogged, walked, and waddled through all 26.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon and then went on to deliver a beautiful, healthy baby girl only hours later.

Amber Miller

My first reaction to hearing about Amber’s story was…

WHAT!? Who on EARTH would even ATTEMPT a marathon at 39 weeks pregnant??

Oh, wait…is that the pot calling the kettle “black”?

How easy it was for me to hear her story and think that she is absolutely nuts! And then it hit me, this is probably what people have been thinking about me all along. I have absolutely no reason to pass judgment on this woman for running the Chicago Marathon at 39 weeks pregnant, and, quite honestly, if I still felt capable of a marathon, I cannot say that I would not be “crazy” enough to do the same thing. At 37 weeks, I am pleased to still be squeaking out a 5k distance before getting tired and winded, but I am pretty sure if I had a half marathon in me, I would most definitely have raced the Gulf Coast Half Marathon this past weekend…baby bump and all.

The more I think about it, I guess the more jealous I get. And I mean that in the best and nicest way possible! While I realize that many women at 37 weeks cannot even get through 1 mile without being miserable, I still wish I could get through marathon miles like Amber Miller. I would give anything to be able to run 13.1 miles and then walk another 13.1 miles! Achieving a personal best time aside, I would love to be able to just put those kinds of miles in…at any speed.

Amber Miller deserves the equivalent of 10 medals for her 6 and a half hour finish time. I thought it was funny how most of the articles about her made sure to point out that this finish time is about 3 hours slower than her average marathon time. Ummm…hello? Does it matter!? There are some marathons that have 8 hour course time limits, so at 39 weeks pregnant, I would say a 6 and a half hour finish time pretty much makes her a speed demon!

Many of the articles about Amber Miller have also brought up the question…

Is running throughout a pregnancy SAFE?

In short, YES. As long as you have discussed this method of exercise and level with your health provider and have been given the green light, there is no reason why a woman should not be able to run during her pregnancy. Granted, if you were not a marathon runner BEFORE becoming pregnant, it is not recommended that you take up that high of intensity running, but there is no reason a woman cannot continue the level of activity of what she was doing pre-pregnancy throughout her pregnancy.

As I continued running throughout my pregnancy, I was often asked, “How long will you be allowed to continue running?” My doctor never gave me a deadline or week limit of when I had to cut off or taper my activity. Honestly, he would not have needed to. My body has been the best indicator of what activity or level of running I should handle. Some days I feel good and can still get out a half mile at a time, some days it is a walk only. As long as I listen to my body, I know I will be fine.

From what I have read about Amber Miller, this is the same parameter she has been working with. Everyday, she just did what her body felt up to. It just so happened that on October 9, 2011, Amber’s body felt up to putting in 26.2 miles. GOOD FOR HER! I think that rocks!  To me, there is nothing irresponsible or “wrong” about her desire to run the Chicago Marathon.  After all, she is just doing what her body was used to doing…running.

Today, I’m feeling up to 4 miles. Do I wish it was 26.2? Sure. Am I still thankful for the 4? YOU BET!

So, should pregnant women be allowed to run marathons? Absolutely. In fact, maybe there should even be a special category for them. 🙂 I think any woman “crazy” enough to run a marathon pregnant *coughMEcough* deserves some sort of VERY special finisher’s medal! A baby AND some race bling? SIGN ME UP! HA!

What do YOU think of Amber Miller’s story? Do you think she was crazy for running the Chicago Marathon? Do you think she put herself at risk for running it?

Things October Brings

3 Oct

October is, by far, my favorite month! Even though Christmas is my favorite holiday, the month of October always seems to bring extra special things. This year, it brings extra EXTRA special things! Here are just a few reasons why October is a good month…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I am a huge supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and have participated at many levels in several chapters of this organization. I have run in more Race for the Cure 5k races than I can even remember, have walked in five 3-Day for the Cure events, and have crewed one 3-Day for the Cure event. In fact, I am even in a promotional video for the 3-Day for the Cure! Granted, I am in it for 0.27 milliseconds, but hey, I am in there! Breast cancer is a disease that has personally affected my family and I do everything I can to help support finding a cure for it. I secretly fear that one day I will be diagnosed, as I am in a genetic “high risk” category. However, I do the best I can to help keep my body strong and healthy by eating right and getting exercise so that I am able to handle anything that may or may not come in the future. I believe that all the research being done to find a cure is worthwhile and I believe that we will see a world without breast cancer. Every woman deserves a lifetime!

The Saints love tatas, too!

Dropping Temperatures and Fall Fun
October ushers in wonderful things like cool snaps, decreasing temperatures and fall festivals. While I realize that Autumn technically starts in September, it is during the month of October that I really feel like fall is upon us. Leaves start turning and falling off the trees and I can hear the crunch of them as I shuffle down the sidewalk. Oh, and pumpkin-flavored menu items start showing up on restaurant menus and in grocery stores. Even though I know it is super healthy, I am not a HUGE fan of pumpkin. I do, however, love me some roasted pumpkin seeds!

Halloween and Costumed Races
Really, do I need to say anymore? Aren’t we all just big kids inside? Who doesn’t love the costumes, the candy, and the spooky (cheesy) Halloween soundtracks!? C’mon, you know you love it when Monster Mash is played on the radio! Halloween is my second favorite holiday of the whole year and I literally start planning my costumes (yes, PLURAL) for the parties I will be attending and the races I will be running MONTHS in advance. In fact, I have a whole post dedicated to some of my favorite running costumes coming later this week, so be on the look out for that!

Race Volunteering
I have promised my husband no more races until after Baby Key arrives. While I know when to stop or slow down when running on my own, all of that common sense flies right out the window when I am in a race environment. My pack mentality completely takes over and my uber competitive monster rears its ugly head. So, to prevent myself from overdoing it, I am going to be volunteering at several local races so that I can stay active in my running community! Plus, it is super fun to support others and experience a race in a different way!

…and last but certainly NOT least…in fact, this is the MOST EXCITING thing this October brings…

Baby Key
Yep, it is highly likely that Baby Key will have an October birthday! YOWZA! Picture me with my eyeballs bugging out of their sockets because that is pretty much what I look like ALL THE TIME these days. While technically my due date is not until November 7th, my doctor has informed me that women who remain very active during pregnancy (read = women like ME) typically deliver one to two weeks early because their bodies are pretty much just “ready to go.” Trust me, this body is DEFINITELY ready to go! Let’s get this show on the road and let this mama-to-be get back to running…with the Baby Jogger, of course!

What does October bring to you? Do you have anything special or fun going on this month?

Running/Fitness Apparel for the Mama-To-Be

24 Sep

I get asked more and more often these days about maternity activewear and what I feel comfortable exercising in now that my body has changed so drastically. I think the population of pregnant exercisers is significantly growing and it is definitely a challenge to find dri-wicking apparel to keep up with our expanding mid-sections.

When I found out I was expecting, I tried scouring the internet for maternity running/exercise apparel. Surprisingly, a lot of articles just suggested I wear my husband’s one-size-larger t-shirts and just “make do.” I was so disappointed. I hate working out in 100% cotton. The heat and humidity in South Louisiana makes cotton a terrible choice for activewear.

I knew that my belly would be expanding disproportionally from the rest of my body and I wanted some clothes that would be able to keep up with the change in my measurements. After all, NOT running, walking, or exercising to some degree throughout my pregnancy never really crossed my mind. As with running pre-pregnancy, I felt good exercising in technical apparel that was both functional and attractive, and I knew I would want that same feeling once my baby belly arrived. Was this really too much to ask?

Well, it took a little research, but I think I have found the best of the best in maternity running/fitness apparel! Here are the items that my bump and I are rocking these days…


Curve Back Tank

This shirt FEELS so good. The wider straps really helps keep The Girls in and still. The ruching on the sides provides a nice fit and truly grows with you.

V Front Capri

These pants are super comfortable and do not fit terribly snugly at the top. When running, I feel like the slip down ever so slightly, so I use them mostly for walking and yoga.

Colorblock Long Pant

These are the best. I wear them almost exclusively for yoga. However, they are certainly cute enough to go run errands in after class.

For Two Fitness

Running for Two Tank

I love this shirt! I ran my first triathlon at 26 weeks in this tank!

Yoga for Two Tank

I just got this one a couple of weeks ago. The thinner straps are super comfortable and the built-in bra is VERY helpful for keeping The Girls still when doing all those yoga moves!


Oxford Maternity Skirt

This is a pretty standard running skirt but the extra tummy panel helped make me feel more secure with belly bounce and kept me from having to wear my other shorts and skirts pushed down under my belly…which hurt.

Reebok for A Pea in the Pod

Sleeveless Scoop Neck Drawstring Maternity Tank Top

I just loved the print of this top! As with the top above, the ruching on the side grew with my belly and the built-in bra made me feel more comfortable. Oh, and did I mention that it is on SALE right now?

C9 by Champion for Target

Seamless Babydoll Tank

I actually bought this top in every color they sold it in. I have it in the teal, purple, and black. The link for this item is no longer active on their website, but it is still available in both Target locations in my city. If you like this item, you may want to check your stores soon before they sell out completely.

Running Skirts

Mums Midnight Maternity Fitness Skirt

Very coincidentally, all three of my babydoll tanks from Target make for super cute pairings with this skirt! The FULL tummy panel really gave me extra security on my runs…especially when I got farther into my late second/early third trimesters. I got lots of compliments on it!



The FITsplint is an unbelievable product (my full review of it here)! During pregnancy, my ability to run/exercise literally changes from day to day and some days I feel like I need more support. When I do, the FITsplint is the first thing I reach for. Sometimes I even wear it to work just for the extra support.

There you go…my favorite mama-to-be apparel must-haves! For the most part, I have stuck with solid colors so that I could mix and match and maximize my outfits. I have tried to purchase wisely and get the most bang for my buck. However, when you work out 5 days a week (or more), this means you just have to wash them more often. For laundry care, I wash all of my pieces in Gain Apple Mango Tango liquid detergent with no fabric softener. I think hang-dry all of my pieces to do my best from degrading the fabrics/materials.

I hope this helps all of the mamas-to-be out there! Happy running! …and happy SHOPPING! 🙂

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?