Running On Average

New Year’s Do Over

My 2018 got off to a rocky start. On New Year’s Day, we made the trek home from Christmas vacation visiting family that took longer than it should have due to traffic and accidents. When we got home, we were out of food, the grocery store was closed, and Target was out of sauerkraut. So I had to improvise and made an Asian-inspired PA Dutch “pork and sauerkraut” of sorts: freezer orange chicken with pork egg rolls.

It was also the first day of marathon training… but that got moved to the next day. Which worked out well enough, because Wednesday’s run was cancelled due to fasting in preparation for Thursday’s UC procedure (nothing like starting the year with a clean colon! hahaha)

So today is my soft reset. It’s not going to be perfect- I’ve already made mistakes- but I look forward to the opportunity to improve, to better myself, to stop making excuses and getting in my own way.

That’s the great thing about changing and becoming who we want to be; we can start whenever we want. A week from now, a month from now, or even just RIGHT now. If we want to improve, we can. And I do.

The last few months for me have been plagued by postpartum anxiety and I won’t even pretend that it is all behind me now. It’s still very present and on the forefront of my mind. Even the idea of change and a better year makes me anxious. But as someone once said, on the other side of fear lies freedom, right?

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for more details on my marathon training and my new year’s resolutions!

What are your goals for this year? Do you plan to make this your year? YOU SHOULD! Smile

Running Through Pregnancy

I am now 36 weeks into my second pregnancy (whaaa??!). I ran until 35 weeks the first time around, and plan to keep going as long as I can this time. While I don’t qualify myself as an “expert” on either pregnancy or running, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two and feel like I know enough to pass along some advice and tips that got me through these last two baby baking times. So, if you are hesitant about how it goes, fear not!, it’s not so bad.


Tips For Running Through Pregnancy

1. Give Yourself Grace

This could probably encompass all the other tips I’m about to provide, but I want to put it here first. Whether you are a casual jogger or hardcore, daily runner, your running is going to change over these nine months. It’s not just you anymore. Even before you feel those sweet fetal movements or see the scale start to climb, there is so much happening inside that can affect your daily life and running. So as easy as it is to get frustrated that you aren’t reaching the same mileage or pace, don’t be hard on yourself during these months. If you are too tired or sore or sick to get a run in, THAT’S OKAY. Don’t beat yourself up. You are growing a tiny human inside you and that, my friend, is amazing.


2. Get Your Doctor’s Okay

In most cases, running and exercise during pregnancy are beneficial and encouraged, but just make sure with your doctor first, please. There is no need to put the baby’s health at risk if you don’t have to.

3. Hydrate More

When I was a young girl in my early 20s, I never took water on a run under at least 10 miles. I just didn’t need it. Was it stupid? Possibly. But I survived (a fine example of “do as I say, not as I do”).

Now, if I am on the treadmill or running with the stroller, I almost ALWAYS have water with me. When I’m out on my own, I still don’t (#fail), but I do drink like it’s going out of style the rest of the day and make sure that I’ve replenished any water lost.

Even though you’ll have to pee even more (is that possible?!) it’s so important to stay hydrated for yourself and for your baby. Plus, it will boost your energy (relatively speaking… you’re still pregnant).

4. Focus on Effort

I can’t say that I’ve ditched my Garmin during pregnancy because I have a small obsession with knowing my mileage. Even when my mileage is low (30-40 miles per month), I still like to track it  so I 1) don’t get too lazy and 2) have an idea of what to expect postpartum. BUT, I have let go of running certain paces. I walk now if I need to, no shame in that game. Especially when I’m pushing Roo up a hill? Yeah, there’s no way me and my extra 25 lb. + stroller/toddler are running up a hill.


Keep a steady effort and push yourself a little- but now isn’t the time to keeping going out of your comfort zone. Run for the joy of the run- not the numbers. You’ll still get a workout, I promise.

5. Train Safely

The other week I decided to take Roo out for a run while Dave mowed the lawn. It was an unusually hot day of 85 degrees. I knew going into the run that I would not be running the whole thing, or that if I did, it would be slow. I accepted the conditions before I took my first step.

I’m not saying to never run in the heat or to skip trails (at least not manicured trails) during your pregnancy, but be aware of your surroundings. Are you getting too hot? Slow down, walk, drink some water. On a trail? Keep an eye out for roots, uneven surfaces, and any other unexpected nature. Your gait may change, so pay attention to your footing. I’ve tripped more than once this pregnancy and had flashes of falling on my baby. Not what you want!


You don’t have to give up running; you just have to be smart about it.

6. Listen to Your Body

If you’re tired, take a break. If you’re not recovering as fast as you once did, take more rest days. If something hurts, talk to your doctor. Like with my first pregnancy, I’ve reached the point now where I get shooting pains down the front of my pelvis during runs and you bet I chatted with my doctor about it (twice). I still have the okay to run, but I’m definitely being more cautious and realizing that my running days may be numbered and I may have to start exclusively walking soon. It does bum me out a little, but it’s worth it to not have those holy hell shooting pains and to know I’m doing what’s best for both my body and my baby.


I’m no doctor and no running guru. I’m just a girl who loves to hit the pavement at an average pace for average mileage. But I remember being new to the pregnant runner game and looking for others who’d been through it before. So I hope this helps you, if that’s where you are.

Enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy your running, and if you’re worried at all…. talk to your doc! Smile They won’t mind (and if they do, they’re terrible and you should find someone else Winking smile)

My Life Lately

I would love to have a good excuse for not blogging at all in April, but I really don’t. I guess you could say that I was too busy achieving my goal and Embracing life this month, which wouldn’t be dishonest. I love my blog, but I found my self choosing family time – or naps – over writing.

I’m here now, though, so let’s catch up!

Simmons Farm Easter Fun

A few weekends ago, we took Riley to an Easter event at a local farm. There was no Easter bunny, but judging by her reaction when I got her photo done at the mall (she was not happy… but handled it better than Santa!), it was probably for the better.

The events included an unconventional egg hunt in an apple orchard (you collect any 12 eggs and redeem them for prizes), a make-your-own birdhouse from a gourd, and a potted planted project where she got to paint (we used markers) a pot and plant a flower. There was also an area to pet farm animals, which was her favorite part.




It was a relaxing day that we got to do at our own pace. It wasn’t super crowded, either, which was great. And Riley loved it. She got to pet baby chicks and a goat, chase chickens, and take a long, curious walk around an orchard. I think we will go again next year!


I Hope She Knows

My second article was published on the Pittsburgh Moms Blog. It was a completely different article than my first one about regaining momentum during back-to-back pregnancies. It’s titled I Hope She Knows and gets real about the struggles of balancing an adult life with a toddler. It seems to have gotten a lot of positive feedback, which is encouraging! Please go check it out! Smile


Also, I had one of the top five articles for the month of March on the blog which was SUPER exciting!


We went back to Reading to spend Easter weekend with our families. It was a very relaxed weekend and a lot of fun. Riley in her Easter dress is pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.



Yard Work Weekend

This past weekend, Dave’s parents came out to Pittsburgh to help us tame our yard. We moved into our home in September 2015 when I was 31 weeks pregnant and are still working on getting our yard just how we want it. With a half acre, there is a lot to do! So this weekend was spent weeding, weeding, weeding, and mulching all the flower beds and garden. They look so much better now and it makes me happy every time I look at them. In a few weekends, Dave and I (and possibly some loving, willing friends) are going to work on planting flowers and vegetables and our massive hill in the back. It is covered in mulch, but really crappy chopped-down-tree-pieces mulch and looks…not great. So the plan is to clear it all and put down a fresh layer. So far we’ve gone through 4 square yards of mulch and we’re estimating we’ll need at least 3 more.  But it’ll be beautiful and worth it!


Also, we put up Riley’s new swing! It’s a hand-me-down from Dave’s cousin and so far she loves it!


Hmmm, yeah, what’s that? Running has been pretty scarce lately. I’ve only gone about once or twice a week this month, but I’m hoping to run as far into this pregnancy as I can.


Two weeks ago I headed out and a half mile in it started to downpour. It was GLORIOUS. I don’t know why, but it was one of the best, most fun runs I’ve had in months. I was offered a ride home by a kind stranger who called me crazy (in the best way!) when I turned him down twice.


So that’s been my life lately! How has yours been?

Week of Workouts

Running | March 2, 2017 | By

Hey, all! We’re officially into March and with my plan to make this month one of action, here is a recap of my weekly workouts. Only two this week, because I’m battling my insides again this morning.

On Monday, I decided to try something new. I took Riley to South Hills Power Yoga for our first Mommy and Me yoga class! I was a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect and I haven’t taken a yoga class since before she was born.

Overall, the class went well. We placed our mats in a giant circle around a bin of toys and the kids could either participate with us or play with the toys and run around the empty half of the studio. Riley was the youngest of the runners; there were two babies who could only wiggle.


The mama bear within me is apparently strong and I spent more time keeping an eye on her and making sure she was okay or not in anyone’s way than I did focusing on my yoga. I did get a pretty good workout in and had some struggles with certain poses. Going from high to low plank was a big one because my belly just kept getting in the way! We did a lot of chair and warrior poses and I can still feel it in my upper arms and shoulders!

The studio was right next to a Panera, so of course we went next door afterward for a latte. Winking smile

By the time we got home, Riley was passed out in the back seat so I think it’s safe to say all the running around wore her out!


Tuesday morning, despite accidentally sleeping through my alarm, I managed to get up an run 3.25 miles on the treadmill. MUCH better than the two mile walk/jog I thought was going to happen going into it.


I LOVE the feeling of a good run and taking pressure off myself during pregnancy has reignited my love of running. I’m so excited to see what I can do in July when I start postpartum running!

Monthly Mileage and March’s Call to Action

Lifestyle, Running | February 28, 2017 | By

Hello! We’ve reached the end of another month so quickly. I feel like I was just writing a recap for January!

Instead of going through all my resolutions, I’m just going to stick with my mileage. My February goal was 28 miles. I achieved…. 34.3! Look out, world, I’m ready to run an ultra!


In all seriousness, I’m very proud of those miles. For starters, I’m still running more than I did when I was pregnant with Riley which is a huge boost, because I feel infinitely more out of shape than I did with her.

Secondly, the past two weeks have brought some challenges with my intestines and I’m not sure if they are pregnancy or ulcerative colitis related, but the discomfort/pain has made me back off running. The baby’s health is first and foremost and if I need to take some extra rest time for my body to heal, then that’s what I am going to do, no questions asked. It seems to be on the up and up, so hopefully we’ll continue that way and March will go off without a hitch.

Speaking of March, the word I am going to embrace and embody this month is:


I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m a dreamer and a thinker, but I have a hard time putting plans into action. After some deep diving, I’ve realized that I’m afraid to do things wrong, that I’m not good enough to do something, or that I simply don’t know when/where/how to start. Basically I’m a perfectionist with low confidence.

But I’ve realized that by letting these doubts and uncertainties crowd my thinking, I’m missing out. On things as little as buying home décor to as big as writing.. and finishing… a novel (I have three started). In March I want to work on making myself move, getting the courage and motivation to stop thinking and planning, writing and rewriting to-do lists and just freaking DO it already.


Who’s with me? Let’s carpe the hell out of this diem! Smile