Running On Average

Embracing February: Calm and Connected

Running | February 6, 2017 | By

If you recall, in January I embraced the word calm and tried to embody all that it meant. Mostly, it went well. I still had days where I couldn’t get myself together and nights where I was awake for two hours or more just anxious and overthinking, but in my outward emotions I was definitely more calm, especially with Riley. Although it’s winter and the days can feel long, I feel like we fell into a good groove.

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I embraced calm with my running, too. I was up early many mornings to get my runs in, but I didn’t pressure myself to go a certain pace or certain mileage- just simply to run by feel. This was hugely beneficial and I often (though certainly not always!) surprised myself with my run and was able to start my day with a clear head.

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For February, my word to embrace is

Connect

Everyone is talking about disconnecting from their cell phones, from technology, from distractions. I hugely agree with this, but I don’t want to put a ban on my cell phone or laptop, so to speak, because I don’t think that I am obsessively attached to either. Instead I want to work on connecting offline, in being present and connected to the moment, not thinking about what I need to do later or whether or not my life is exciting enough.

I feel isolated often being a stay-at-home mom and also being rather shy. It’s not necessarily that I am an introvert- I NEED other people and connections- but I am very anxious about making them and have a heard time really feeling close to someone. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for over three years and only now am starting to feel like I have some friends. But my closest friends (sisters and mom) live hours away. So I want to make a point to open up and connect with the friends I am making. Stop being so shy about even texting them or hesitant about going out.

I even feel weird connecting with people on Instagram and writing comments- even though that’s the point of social media! I guess I fear rejection? I worry about putting myself out there and posting because not many people respond and it makes me doubt my efforts.

I also want to connect more with my body. I told Dave last night that I need to stop missing my pre-babies body and waiting impatiently for #2 so that I can get back to normalcy. I’ve been frustrated with how I don’t fit in my normal clothes and am so uncomfortable, but in all honesty, it’s not that bad. I need to breathe and love what it and what it’s all for.

I want to love and enjoy this pregnancy as much as I did Riley’s and in order to do so I need to connect more with my body. Appreciate the runs that I still can run, lay still and feel the little baby wiggling around inside (truly one of the coolest feelings). I found a yoga studio that offers both prenatal yoga and mommy and me yoga classes and I want to try to take at least two this month as a way of connecting with my sweet babies.

So that’s my goal. As always, I want to continue connecting with Riley during everyday life and not take for granted my chance to spend all day every day with her (even when they seem long).

Have you made a goal this year to disconnect from technology? How do you connect?

Are You Keeping Your Promises? Resolutions Check In

We’ve somehow found ourselves at the end of January already, one month of 2017 down and done. Thirty days ago we had dreams and goals, plans and resolutions for how we are going to make this year our “best year ever.”

But how many of us are keeping those resolutions?

I’ve read that as little as 8% of people actually keep their resolutions throughout the year. And while, admittedly, I can’t say that I have ever been in that 8%, every year I create resolutions and every year I strive to keep. And I probably will continue that for years to come.

I LOVE the idea of fresh starts, new opportunities, open doors, and exciting chances. There is so much to see and do in this world, so much potential that to not even try to embrace it seems like a waste,

So let’s check in on our resolutions and be honest with ourselves: are we keeping them? Solidly or kinda sorta? How can we improve? And how can we reward ourselves for keeping them so far?

My 2017 Resolutions Check-In

1) Have a fit and healthy pregnancy.

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So far, I am doing this one pretty well, although I amended my resolution pretty early on. After quickly realizing that an at-home yoga video wasn’t going to keep my attention, I resolved to work out 4x/week and made a small goal of running as many miles as there are days each month. Did I accomplish all this? Kinda sorta. The first and last weeks, I only worked out 3x/week, but I did manage to go over the 31 mile goal. And I also focused on resting when I needed it. For instance, this past Wednesday I cancelled my run because I knew my body needed the extra rest. And I definitely benefitted from that. So for February: 4 workouts a week and 28 miles.

2) Blog twice a week and write.

Yes! I have been blogging consistently this month and am so proud of myself. I am trying not to lose heart and know that follows won’t flock to my blog immediately, but sometimes I do feel discouraged and wonder if I should bother to continue writing. Does anybody read/care/get inspired? Is my blog pointless? But my husband reminds me that I am doing this because I like to, and that keeps me going.

As for writing fiction, I have written, yes, but not to the extent I would have liked. So I need to dig deeper into this in February.

3) Learn how to and eat healthier.

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I would love to say that I don’t eat cookies on the regular anymore, but that would be a lie. I did back away from them for the first few weeks, but apparently if they’re in the house, I’m eating them. Additionally, I’ve been craving lattes, so I’ve gotten them two or three times every week. (I stay within the OB’s caffeine recommendations.) On the flip side, I have been conscious about eating way more fruits and vegetables and having balanced meals, especially breakfasts. I drink at least 70 oz. of water most days. Overall, I think I am doing pretty well, although there is definite room for improvement. (I’m looking at you, Chips Ahoy!)

4) Be the best mom and wife I can be.

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Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever say that I am being the BEST I can be, though I am certainly trying. Maybe this one is too vague, but it serves as more of a reminder to me to strive every day and not become lazy in my relationships even when Baby 2 makes me want to just lay down and sleep.

Now it’s your turn. Are you keeping your promises to yourself? Don’t sell yourself short. If you want to make a change, MAKE a change. Don’t wish for it. This is something that I am working very hard on doing!

Let me know how your year is going! I’d love to hear!

Weekly Workouts and Adventures

Running | January 19, 2017 | By

Hey, all! I reached 20 weeks this past Saturday and I can’t believe that I’m halfway through this pregnancy already! It feels like it’s going so much faster than with Roo, but at the same time 20 more weeks seems so far away. Crazy, right?

So let’s just jump right into my week, shall we?

Friday

No workout for me today.

We had our 20-week ultrasound! It suddenly made this pregnancy much more real and exciting. We don’t know if we are having a boy or a girl- like Riley, we are waiting until the big day!

Our “active little one” gave us a thumbs up to let us know everything is going well in there. Smile

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Afterward I got some me time while Dave watched Riley. This included getting a gel manicure. I don’t get them often, but I do love them. Plus, they are only $25 and last way longer and look infinitely better than when I do my own nails.

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Saturday

4 surprisingly easy morning treadmill miles while watching Revenge. I know I am waaay behind the times, but has anybody else seen this show? I’ve been wanting to watch it since it first aired years ago, but only recently started. The first few episodes sucked me in so fast, but now? I don’t know. I still like it, but it’s getting too complicated and some of the characters bug me. Tyler. The real Emily Thorne. Even faux-Emily is starting to wear on me a bit. So after Saturday, I gave it some time off and will go back to it in a bit. Possibly today.

But anyway, it got me through treadmill miles surprisingly quickly.

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Saturday night, Dave and I actually went out! One of Dave’s coworkers watched Riley and we went to a friend’s surprise 30th birthday party at a local brewery. Of course, I still couldn’t drink, but they had locally made soda that was delish and it was fun to hangout with everyone!

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Monday

Invigorated by last Monday’s early morning, I did a 5:30 treadmill run again. 3.25 miles at approximately a 10:20 pace. I’m definitely slowing down a lot from where I was at the beginning of pregnancy, but I’m glad to be getting some of my endurance back. This run was surprisingly effortless.

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Tuesday

I did the same 10 lb. dumbbell strength circuit as last week and barely finished it before Riley woke up. I was hoping to get some more core exercises in, but never made it. Even though it’s only a short circuit, it definitely gets my blood flowing and my heart rate up.

The afternoon was spent at another play date with my friend and her son. This time, Riley discovered slides and boy is she a fan. She has a little trouble transitioning from the top to actually sliding down so I had to help her every time, but it was so stinking cute.

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Wednesday

I REALLY didn’t think this was going to happen! I set my alarm for 5:30, but was relatively certain that I would blow it off for more sleep. Lo and behold, when the alarm went off I realized that if I wanted to really make this change and not have it be random one-off days, I had to DO it. So I got up and on the treadmill.

As my “reward,” I got to do intervals! I know, most of you are probably thinking that’s a sick joke, but I love love love intervals. Especially short ones. I ran one mile warm up, then alternated two minutes fast with one minute recovery for a mile and a half, then one minute even faster with one minute recovery for a mile, followed by a half mile cool down. Total 4.1 miles- my longest early morning run in about a year. I was so shocked with myself for getting it done and treated myself to a Dunkin Donuts latte later than day. Can’t go wrong with a latte!

How do motivate yourself to wake up early?

Weekly Workouts and Mom-ventures

Hey, all! It is absolutely gorgeous outside today, but unfortunately I still ran on the treadmill. That’s okay, though, because Riley and I went for a wagon ride! Smile

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Last Thursday, I said that I was going to run after Dave came home from work. By the time he came home my stomach was all wonky so it didn’t happen. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I made it to the treadmill, but it was for a truly awful run. I started with a one-song walking warm-up, three songs running, one walking, two running, one walking, then ran the last song. I just couldn’t keep up. The running was slow, but oh-so-hard and when I stopped at mile 2 for a bathroom break, I almost gave up and didn’t hop back on the treadmill.

It was one of those runs that *almost* wasn’t worth it, but of course, it was. It was a good reminder for me, though, to listen to my body. To appreciate what it can do and be happy that, at 19 weeks pregnant, I am still able to run and lift, even if it’s not at the level I used to.

Monday morning, I woke up early for another treadmill run. After Saturday, I was really nervous about this run, but luckily it went so well and gave me a little more confidence back in my running.

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Tuesday was a full body circuit workout using ten pound dumbbells. It took about 30 minutes, just enough time before Riley woke-up.

Yesterday was a rest day, so instead Riley and I met up with a friend and her baby boy at an indoor playground at the mall. It was Riley’s first time at a playground and she had so much fun. She played with the games on the wall, climbed through the tunnels, and ran around giggling. It made my heart so happy to see her doing so well in a loud social setting with so many wild kids around. And it was really great to grab coffee and spend time with a friend!

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Today was another incredible run. I wanted to go outside, but the forecast was storms and I didn’t want Riley to get caught in that. The run wasn’t fast, 9:23 pace, but was faster than I’ve run in a while, especially on the ‘mill. It was also short, only 2 miles, because when I stopped to go to the bathroom (2 miles seems to be a trend), Riley woke up and did not go back to sleep. So a short, but oh so sweet run. Worth it, even if it wasn’t outside.

How have your workouts been? Are you getting the great weather that we are here in PA?

My Monday Morning Experiment

Generally speaking, I am not a morning person. In theory, I love early mornings. I love being up while the sun is starting to rise, when the world is still quiet, and only the birds are there to greet you.

The catch is that I also like sleep. Like, I really really like sleep. Add to that my hopeless night owl tendencies, and mornings quickly become a distant dream.

But lately, my motivation to workout is depleted by the time my husband gets home from work. I’m just too tired. I’m hungry. I want to spend time with him and our daughter. The list can go on, but the point is that my workouts have been suffering as my priorities change.

To remedy this, I decided last night that I would run this morning before Dave left for work. I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions post that I wanted to get up and be ready for the day earlier, but never made it an official resolution. I thought I would be too tired the rest of the day, especially since I can’t seem to get enough sleep. I think the second trimester energy boost is a myth.

But I digress. Last night, I started getting ready for bed as soon as we put Riley down for the night. I picked out my running clothes and put them on my dresser, ready to go. I put my sports bra by our space heater (hey, it’s cold around here!). I set my alarm for 5:10 and I was in bed by 10 o’clock. Yes, that is early for me.

And I slept terribly. I was up at 1 o’clock for the bathroom, then tossed and turned, stressing subconsciously about an early morning: would I do it, would the run suck, would I be zapped for energy the remainder of the day?

5:10 hit and so did the snooze button. But I was awake enough. I debated for 9 minutes if it was worth it until the second alarm when off. Then, I did it. I took the leap, figuratively speaking. It was more of a sloth-like move out of bed, but I did it!

Morning runs have never been my forte, so I wasn’t expecting much, especially since Saturday’s run was a trainwreck (more on that later).

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Let’s forget about this run, ‘ok?

I even bargained with myself that I could just walk if I had to, or that I only had to go two miles. I just wanted to get it done.

So how did it go?

It was AMAZING. The start was a little hard, yes. But once my legs woke up, I felt surprisingly great. Maybe it helped that my playlist was an eclectic mix of Hall & Oates, Journey, Bruno Mars, Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, and that song from St. Elmo’s Fire. I do not know. But I felt revived. I ran 3.1 miles without any walk breaks, a big feat for me lately. I did stop once to pee, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. I walked a .15 mile cooldown and BAM my morning workout was done.

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Check out that baby bump Smile

What’s better is that it also allowed me to jumpstart my day. I took an early shower, got to hangout with my husband a little before he left for work, and was ready for Riley who woke up earlier than expected. By 8:30, I had fed us both breakfast, prepared dinner (which involved dicing and searing), and got the CrockPot going. I even put makeup on!

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Dinner is served (in 6-8 hours)

Now, I’m not delusional. I know that it is not going to feel this great every time. Hell, I may crash before Dave comes home from work tonight. But right now, I understand morning people once again. And I’m going to ride that wave as long as possible. I want to be part of the club.

Are you a morning person? Did you have to train yourself to become that way and do you have any tips for me? I’d love to hear!