My Fitness in the Final Stretch of Pregnancy

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My last “official run” – 36 weeks and 3 days

Today I proudly put my running shoes in the closet – and they probably won’t see the light of day for the next two months (at least). As I am writing this, I am 38 weeks pregnant. I’ve written in the past about my hiatus from running during the first trimester and how I slowly started incorporating it back in and was able to complete a 10k at 24 weeks.

Since then, I was able to maintain a consistent routine. I aimed to complete four 3 mile run/walks per week. Since it’s winter in Ohio, it can get cold out there, I’m lucky to belong to a gym with an indoor track where I can get the miles done. On those unseasonably warm days I was able to head outside for a run.

One thing that I had to tweak the most is my time on treadmill. For some reason – the bouncing on the ‘mill brought me pain in my baby belly area. To minimize this I had to really space out my running intervals – I kept them short and frequent instead of running for long stretches of time.

A few days after I hit 36 weeks – something changed. I started to become a lot more tired during and after a workout – and sometimes I would feel tired the entire day. My mom and I went on a relatively easy 3 mile walk, and that knocked me out. The days after that, I still was feeling fatigue, so I made the decision to conclude working out until well after the baby is born. I plan to hopefully go for a few short, easy walks – but am definitely not planning on anything more intense than that.

I know when I’m ready, running will be there to welcome me back.

My Running Gear Essentials

I have been running for a little over three years and while it is a pretty simple sport – there are a few items I have discovered along my journey that I consider “essentials”. If you are in the market for some new gear or just curious as to what other people use, below is what I consider are “must-haves”.

  1. HB Tune Phone Case

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I do most of my training runs and races alone – so listening to music or a podcast is a MUST. I have a short attention span when it comes to listening to music – I frequently change my songs mid-play, or it takes a couple of tries to get the perfect song on my shuffle. Because of that I like to have my phone in my hand, but simply holding on to my phone isn’t comfortable and I risk dropping or breaking it.

Enter HB Tune – a smartphone case that straps to your hand. It comes in three sizes and the website gives phone models as examples as to what size you would need. The phone also comes with an arm strap, so you can utilize it as an armband as well – but honestly – I think I lost my strap and I don’t miss it because I love holding my phone in my hand.

The case also has a pocket in the back for cash, credit cards, and ID. I am also able to fit my house key in here, if I don’t overload the pocket too much. I have been using the same HB Tune for 2.5 years and I can’t see myself ever not using it.

2. Clif Shot Bloks

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When it comes to nutrition during my long runs and races these are my one and only choice. They taste like less sweet gummy bears AND they are gelatin free. My top flavors and Black Cherry (contains caffeine) and Margarita (contains sodium).

3. Nathan Hydration Belt

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 I always carry hydration on runs longer than 6 miles. Since I already have one hand occupied with my HBTune, I prefer to use a hydration belt rather than a handheld bottle. There is also a pouch where I carry my shot bloks. Yes – the belt can weigh me down in the beginning – however I kind of like that – because when I race – I don’t wear the belt, so I usually have a faster time due to feeling a tiny bit lighter.

4. Spibelt

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While I don’t wear a hydration belt when racing – I do wear a Spibelt. Spibelt’s are great for me to hold my shot bloks, tissues, and any other necessities. The belt is so lightweight I sometimes forget I’m wearing it. I don’t put anything too valuable in there (ID’s, money,keys) – as my husband lost his ID once when he was grabbing something else out of his belt. I keep all my important stuff in my HB tune.

5. Bondi Bands

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After I ran the 2016 San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15k I saw a picture of myself post-race and couldn’t help but notice how many fly aways I had in my hair. From that moment on I knew I had to always wear something on my head to manage my hair – if I’m not wearing a hat or visor: I wear a Bondi Band. I love how they come in so many colors and designs – so I can match them to what I am wearing. I also love how they make my hair feel not so sweaty, so if I have an easier run – I don’t need to wash my hair  – just dry shampoo and go!

Trying to Be “Somewhat” Healthy on a Road Trip

My husband and I recently completed a 10 day cross country road trip from San Francisco, CA to Cincinnati, OH. Below are some of the things that we did to try to make this trip a little healthier:

Try to find hotels with complimentary breakfasts –  I’m a breakfast eater and breakfasts can be a challenging thing to manage on the road – Most road hotels (Hampton Inn, Best Westerns, comfort inn) offer free hot breakfasts – where you can pick and choose what you want in the amount you want. You have the options of eggs, biscuits, waffles, yogurt, hot and cold cereals, fruit, english muffins, and pastries. It made the mornings more enjoyable and we were still able to hit the road on time.

Have snacks on hand – hunger strikes at weird times on the road, and we had healthy options on hand. Cashews, almonds, raisins, dates, peanut butter (in individual cups for those who like to eat it straight up), protein bars, and crackers were our trip staples.

Eat one “sack” meal per day – we usually had one meal in a restaurant (lunch or dinner) per day, the other meal we ate in the car or in our hotel room – which usually was a light sack lunch – some combination of peanut butter sandwich, crackers, nuts, dried fruit.We also occasionally had leftovers from the previous restaurant meals for lunch/dinner. All of our lodgings were equipped with a refrigerator. Having one lighter meal helped balance things out.

Try to fit in exercise – most of the road trip was spent in a sedentary state, but we did try to fit a few runs in if our hotel was located near a safe running route. Most hotels we stayed at also had fitness centers, but we did not take advantage of them (maybe next time). We also took a few nice walks in some of the towns we stopped in.

Have realistic expectations – I’m not someone with the strongest of discipline – while I would love to be someone who could eat clean regardless of the situation they are in, I’m just not. In my home life – we eat out once a week, but on the road, it’s everyday. I also am someone who likes to indulge during special occasions, and being fortunate to explore different regions of our beautiful nation is a special occasion. We definitely had more than a few opportunities to indulge and we took advantage of them.

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Cupcake Pancakes at IHOP – one of the several meals I treated myself to on the road

Our cross country road trip was an experience that made lifelong memories for us – it was nice to be able to balance the “vices” of traveling with a few healthy choices.

2016 Running Goals

1000 miles

That’s my one and only goal for 2016. No race PR’s or marathons (although if I get the inclination to register for a full marathon – I might go ahead and do it)

Why this goal? While I definitely hope to increase my speed and achieve PR’s I didn’t want to lose sight of the reason I run – for my physical and mental health.

I will probably never place in a race. The day I can consistently maintain an eleven minute pace will be a HUGE achievement for me. I am not athletic by nature. The cliche “last kid picked for the team”. Some might read these as excuses, but life is long and my ultimate running goal is to be able to keep doing it for as long as I possibly can. If that means I’m a turtle, than I’m ok with that – at least I’m on the pavement.

Running has made such a positive impact on me – both mentally and physically. I’d love to see how doubling the miles I run will benefit me. For the record, I logged 556 miles in 2015.

 

January is almost over and as of today I have run 85.71 miles this month alone. Increasing my mileage hasn’t been too difficult. My 2015 running schedule consisted of two weeknight runs and one weekend long run. My current schedule adds two “lunch break” short runs and one more short run on the weekend – so I am running an average of 5-6 days a week versus 3 days. It might be double the miles, but it hasn’t eaten into my schedule.

I ran a 15k the first weekend in January (recap to come) and I have a half in a little over two weeks.

 

2015 Mid Year Goal Check In

At the start of this year, I listed my running goals for 2015.

Here is my current status on each of those goals:

  • Half marathon in March – My next half marathon will be taking place in March. My goal is to finish in under 3:15.

Achieved – I finished the Rock’n’Roll San Francisco Half Marathon in 2:40:51.

  • Run a sub 3 hour half marathon

Achieved. – Please see above and/or here.

  • Run at least three half marathons in 2015 – I am already signed up for one in March, and I am aiming to run one in May and another in the fall.

In progress. – As I am writing this, I ran one half in March and am registered for another one in September. After that I have only a few more months to run my third half marathon. I am eyeing one taking place in mid-October, but I have not pulled the trigger on registering. This is probably the top of my list of goals I have yet to achieve this year.

  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 – This might seem like a lofty goal, but I know I can do it. I plan on running in at least three half marathons this year. Between that and training, I know it can happen.

In progress (most likely will not be achieved) – I greatly overestimated the mileage I would run this year. I just assumed that if I would be training for three half marathons this year I would easily cover 1000 miles. Not the case. It is Aug 6th and I have run 313 miles this year. If I continue on this track I will probably reach a little over 500.

  • Consistently blog about running and other things – Blogging only about running can kind of be redundant, in my opinion. I would love to have this be a running/lifestyle blog

In progress (doing pretty well in my opinion) – I work a full time job, consider myself somewhat of a private person, and my life isn’t super duper exciting. This blog has had the longest lifespan of any other blog I’ve started and since I have been running consistently and racing pretty frequently – finding inspiration for content has not been too difficult. I still have not shared my blog with family or friends (aside from my husband). My audience mostly is people who have come across my blog on WordPress and from the Team RunDisney group on Facebook. I hope to eventually feel comfortable enough to share my blog with my personal social network, but now is not the best time.

I feel good about where I am right now – running is a hobby I truly enjoy and I love writing about it.

Race Recap: 2015 Superhero Fun Run 5k at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

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I have never ran a 5k race before, which is kind of funny because what brought me into running was the Couch to 5k program.

Last week me, my husband, and a few friends ran a Super Hero Themed fun run 5k at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Race entry included a cape, medal, brunch buffet AND theme park admission – which was a pretty sweet deal.

This was the first race that my husband and I ran together the ENTIRE race. My husband usually picks up the pace a mile or two in, but between him taking it easy and me running straight through (no Galloway intervals) we both kept a nice, fun pace.

The first part of the 5k went through the parking lot, but once we entered the park it was a scenic route and we got a lay of the land as it was the first time we had been to this park.

I don’t know if this was a true 5k distance. I finished pretty quickly for me – 35:48 -which gave me an 11:32 pace. My Google Fit app registered it as 2.75 miles. So – if I ran a true 5k my pace was 11:35 per mile and if it was 2.75, my pace was 13 per mile. Who knows. I’m not losing sleep over it.

The brunch buffet afterwards was nice – the spread was bagels, eggs, pancakes, and fruit.

We spent the rest of the day in the park. This park was a standard “roller coaster park” with a bunch of midway rides peppered in.  No “dark” or theme rides like Disney or Universal. There also is a zoo and aquarium component to the park. I have mixed feelings about that.

However, to sum the day up – it was a blast to run the 5k and spend the rest of the day with my husband and friends.

Summer Check In

It’s been a while since I’ve wrote here – so here’s what’s going on:

My next race(s) on the books is  the Dumbo Double Dare taking place at the end of September (10k and Half over a weekend). The races are in Disneyland and I am running it with my husband. We are making it a race-cation. Training for the half and 10k are on track – my goal for the Double Dare is to finish with a grin on my face!

I’m looking forward to the Disneyland 60th nighttime events – specifically the Paint the Night Parade and World of Color. I have a feeling there might be a few emotional tears streaming down my face.

I’m still on the fence about doing another local race.

I signed myself and my mom up for the Princess 5k taking place this February in Walt Disney World. This is my mom’s first RunDisney event and I am so excited for her. We’ve already booked a hotel on property – the weekend is going to be a blast.

2015 Running Goals

Ugh…I’m hesitant to do this because I feel like making my running goals “public” will cause me to fail in achieving them. However, one of my goals is to have a successful running blog, and I can’t be successful at that without being transparent.

  • Half marathon in March – My next half marathon will be taking place in March. My goal is to finish in under 3:15.
  • Run at least three half marathons in 2015 – I am already signed up for one in March, and I am aiming to run one in May and another in the fall.
  • Run a sub 3 hour half marathon
  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 – This might seem like a lofty goal, but I know I can do it. I plan on running in at least three half marathons this year. Between that and training, I know it can happen.
  • Consistently blog about running and other things – Blogging only about running can kind of be redundant, in my opinion. I would love to have this be a running/lifestyle blog

And here is my pipe dream goal:

  • Run a marathon – I’m going to be honest, this one might not come true. My reason for thinking it might be possible is because of the half marathon I plan on running in May. If I am able to have a few more long runs after that, I might be able to run a marathon in July. We’ll see. I’d like to have a life outside running and marathon training might not make that possible.

What are your running/fitness goals for 2015?