Friday Five – Five Highlights from Our Babymoon

Wow, its feels like forever since I’ve connected with all of you!  Preston and I had a fabulous time in Florida on our babymoon, and got home late Wednesday night.  Not only did this trip mark our last vacation together as a family of two, but it also marks the end of summer for me, as I return to school on Monday to start preparing for the start of the new school year.

During our week in Florida we split our time between Disney World and St. Pete Beach.  Some of the highlights of our week included:

1.  Opening our gender envelope with Mickey and finding out that Baby Thayer is a boy!

PhotoPass_Visiting_Epcot_7444528881

gender reveal

2.  Watching Wishes at Magic Kingdom and Illuminations at Epcot – there’s just something so magical about both shows!

wishes illuminations3.  Beautiful sunsets on the beach

sunset4.  Being pampered both poolside and at happy hour at our hotel, where the drink of the day was included as part of our resort fee (and the bartenders took great care of me, making me a pregnancy friendly version to enjoy each night)

Two different versions of the "Aloha." Can you even tell which one was mine?

Two different versions of the “Aloha.”  Can you even tell which one was mine?

5.  Lots of rest and relaxation

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We’re so fortunate that we were able to enjoy a week away together, our last vacation just the two of us before we become a family of three.  And yes, I kept up with my half marathon training during our week away.  I’ll recap the last two weeks of RnRVB training in Monday’s training post.

QOTD: What was a highlight of your last vacation?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Pregnancy, Travel | Tagged , , , | 55 Comments

Another 300 Miles for Charity

I first installed the Charity Miles app on my phone back in April 2013 when I started running and training for my first half marathon.  Since then, I’ve run and walked 800 miles for charity!  Since each mile run or walked with Charity Miles earns $0.25 for the charity of your choice, that’s $200 that I’ve raised since I started using Charity Miles.  Sure, $200 might not seem like a lot of money, but that’s money that I’ve raised simply by going outside and hitting the pavement.

charity

Since Charity Miles is GPS enabled, it only tracks miles that you run or walk outside.  I wish that weren’t the case, as I’ve logged many, many, many more miles at the gym on the treadmill.  Nonetheless, I’m still beyond happy with the money that I have raised over the past 2+ years, and can’t wait to continue to see just how much more money I can give back to charity.  The majority of the money that I’ve raised has gone to Team RWB, the veterans support organization that both Preston and I are a part of.

My Charity Miles activity from the past couple of months

My Charity Miles activity from the past couple of months

Now that I’ve reached 800 miles, I wonder how long it’ll take me to reach that 1,000 mile milestone.  I’d like to aim to reach it before the baby arrives, but I also don’t want to push myself too far or too much.  We’ll see if it happens!

QOTD: Which charities do you prefer to raise money for?

Posted in Milestones | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Team Boy or Team Girl?

Tomorrow evening Preston and I will be headed to Florida for our babymoon.  We’ll be starting our trip off with a couple of days at Disney World, and then spending the rest of the week filling our days with rest and relaxation on the Gulf Coast in St. Pete’s Beach.  For us, it’ll be the perfect combination of activity and decompressing during our last vacation as a family of just the two of us.

envelope

The long wait to find out Baby T’s gender is almost over!  Not only are we kicking off our trip at Disney, but we’ll also be finding out the baby’s gender Friday morning!  We’ll be opening the envelope with Mickey that has contained our baby’s gender since our ultrasound two weeks.  Its been a long two weeks, but we’re excited to find out the baby’s gender in a place that means a lot to the two of us.

Which banner will we use in our pictures with Mickey? You'll have to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to find out!

Which banner will we use in our pictures with Mickey? Make sure you’re following me on Instagram and Twitter to find out!

I’ll be taking a blogging vacation while we’re in Florida, but I’ll be sure to share the baby’s gender on Social Media once we’ve shared the exciting news with our family and friends. Be sure you’re following me on Instagram and Twitter to find out Baby T’s gender!

QOTD: Are you on Team Boy or Team Girl?

Posted in Pregnancy | 45 Comments

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 15

Thanks again for everybody’s support and suggestions after I shared about my calf pain in my last training update.  I’m so happy to report that by late in the week my calf pain was pretty much gone, which I’m attributing to taking it really easy for most of the week and trying to stay off of my feet as much as possible.

I was a bit worried that my 14 miler on Friday wouldn’t happen, or would be very difficult to complete, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.  In fact, when my alarm went off I was greeted with unusually cool weather for August in Northern Virginia.  It was only 55 degrees when I started, and 69 degrees when I finished.  I felt on top of the world when I finished, not only because I ran 14 miles at 21 weeks pregnant (and I only needed to make two bathroom stops during my run), but also because its now taper time!  Only 3 weeks until I’ll be running the streets of Virginia Beach!

14 miler

I moved my long run to Friday morning since we spent the weekend in New Jersey with Preston’s side of the family.  On Saturday, we celebrated the upcoming birth of our nephew at the parents’-to-be baby shower.  Our nephew is due only 8 weeks ahead of our baby!  We’re all very excited about how close in age the cousins will be.

Preston and I with his dad (aka Grandpop-to-be), his sister, and her husband

Preston and I with his dad (aka Grandpop-to-be), his sister, and her husband

Though I packed my running clothes with the intention of doing a short run Sunday morning, I went to bed Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning with very swollen feet.  Just one of the many wonderful things I get to deal with being pregnant during the summer.  Since I had already completed my long run for the week, I didn’t feel guilty whatsoever about skipping my run.

I’m definitely looking forward to my reduced training mileage in the coming weeks, especially as we get ready to leave Thursday evening for Florida for our babymoon and gender reveal!

Mon 8/10 – Rest day

Tues 8/11 – 3.10 mile run on the treadmill, 0.38 mile cool down walk, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, back, shoulders, glutes

Wed 8/12 – 35 minutes on the elliptical, 0.43 mile cool down walk, abs, chest, back, arms

Thurs 8/13 – Rest day

Fri 8/14 – 14.00 mile run, 0.67 mile cool down walk

Sat 8/15 – Rest day

Sun 8/16 – Rest day

Total Weekly Mileage – 21.70 miles (8.81 miles more than week 14)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 231.63 miles

QOTD: What do you look forward to most while tapering?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Friday Five – 5 Tips for Running While Pregnant

This week’s Friday Five theme with the DC Trifecta is “Running Tips” so I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of the changes that I’ve made to my running since becoming pregnant.  Hopefully these tips will work for you if you’re currently pregnant, or hoping to become pregnant down the soon.

pregnant running tips

1.  Don’t try to push your pace.

While you’re pregnant is not the time to try and push yourself too hard and try to speed up your pace.  While its been a bit frustrating to see my pace slowing down, I also keep reminding myself that I’m still moving and that matters more than how fast I’m running.  During pregnancy is not the time to focus on speed workouts.  You should instead focus on your endurance.

2.  Know that your endurance will not be what it was before you got pregnant.

Not only will you not be able to run as fast as you could prior to having an extra passenger on board, but you may not be able to run as far either.  To help with my endurance, I’ve been taking extra walk breaks during all of my runs.  I used to be able to run a 5k without a single walk break, but haven’t been able to do that for a couple of months now.  And if you aren’t familiar with the Galloway run-walk method yet, you should definitely introduce yourself to it.  Using the run-walk method is the only way that I’ve been able to keep up with my half marathon training while pregnant.

3.  Keep lots of water on hand.

During pregnancy its more important than ever before to stay hydrated, whether you’re active or resting.  I’ve read on several sites, including on Livestrong, that for every hour of activity pregnant women should drink an additional 8 ounces of water.  I never go to the gym or head out for a run without water in hand.

4.  When running outside, plan a route that keeps you close to a bathroom.

With the extra water that you’ll be drinking and the extra weight from your growing baby belly, you’ll find yourself needing to use the bathroom more and more frequently as you progress through your pregnancy.  The last thing you want to have happen is that you find yourself needing a bathroom and you’re far away from one.

5.  Listen to your body, and take unplanned rest days if needed.

Depending on how much morning sickness you experience, and how exhausting your days are, you may find it difficult to pull yourself off of the couch.  Your body is learning how to adjust to a new life, and will experience unknown aches and pains.  Its critical that you listen to your body and not feel guilty about taking unplanned rest days if you find doing so necessary in order to manage your pregnancy.  While there were some days that I felt guilty about taking unplanned rest days, particularly during the first trimester, I certainly don’t feel guilty about doing so anymore.

QOTD: What running tips do you have for those who are pregnant?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Pregnancy, Training | Tagged , , , , , | 44 Comments

TBT: One Year Ago I Ran My First (And Only) 20k

Happy Throwback Thursday everybody!  Today I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane.  This weekend marks one year since I ran my first, and only, 20k.  Its a unique distance, at 12.4 miles, and there aren’t many races out there that offer runners the chance to run a 20k.

On August 17, 2014 I ran the Leesburg 20k.  It was my last double digit long run in my half marathon training for last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon.  (And tomorrow I’ll be completing my last double digit long run in preparation for this year’s RnRVB.)  Though hilly, I loved the course since it was an out and back and it allowed me to be able to know exactly what lied ahead of me during the second half of the race.

Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

This race is put on by Potomac River Running, a local running store that has a great reputation for well organized races.  I’ve run several of their races, the most recent one being the Firecracker 5k on 4th of July.  I loved the adorable medal that I received after I crossed the finish line in Leesburg last August, and it remains one of my favorite medals to date.

leesburg 20k medal

I had hoped to run this race again this year, but our schedule just didn’t allow for that to happen.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be back in Leesburg in 2016, of course with an infant there to cheer me on!

QOTD: What were you doing one year ago this weekend?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Why I’m Still Exercising While Pregnant

I’ve been debating writing this post for a couple of weeks now.  Before I get any further into this post, let me just emphasize the importance of consulting with your doctor prior to starting any exercise routine, whether you’re pregnant or not.

Since I announced my pregnancy back in June, many people have expressed how impressed they are that I’m still running, and in general, staying active during my pregnancy.  I’ll be honest, there are days when I don’t feel up to it, whether its because I’m exhausted, feeling overwhelmed by everything involved with getting ready for a baby, or just dealing with life in general.  At the same though, there have also been plenty of days when its felt amazing to put on my running shoes and head out for a run, no matter how fast or slow my pace has been.

running for two

And while I’m being honest, I have to share that I’ve also encountered a fair number of people who have looked at me with disgust when they find out that I’ve chosen to continue to exercise while pregnant.  They’ve expressed that this should be the time for me to sit back on the couch and let others take care of chores around the house for me.  And don’t get me started on some of the looks that I get from others when I’m at the gym.  Whether they’re shocked to see a pregnant woman lifting weights or running on the treadmill, or they disagree with my working out, you could cut ice with some of the looks that I’ve received both from trainers at the gym as well as other gym patrons.

In not so distant times, pregnant women were encouraged to cut down or cut out exercise altogether while they were pregnant.  However, there is plenty of research to indicate that exercising while pregnant has plenty of benefits for both the mother and growing baby.  I won’t go into the exhaustive list of benefits, as there are plenty of articles out on the Internet, including here, here, and here.

for two fitness tanks

So why am I choosing to stay active during pregnancy?  There’s several reasons, including:

  • There’s countless health benefits for both myself and the baby
  • It helps with managing my exhaustion
  • It helps me to stay sane
  • My OBs are encouraging me to stay active (I’m a patient at a practice where I rotate around seeing four different physicians), as per their experience the more active a pregnant woman is the more tolerable labor will be, and the easier it will be to bounce back after delivery

Yes, I’ve had to make some modifications to my exercise routine.  Now that I’m just one day shy of 21 weeks pregnant, I’m running at a slower pace than I’d like to be, and I’m not doing as much lower body weight training as I used to because after awhile it causes too much round ligament pain.  However, my hope is that I can continue exercising for the duration of my pregnancy.  I’m sure there will come a point when my body won’t be able to handle running anymore, at which point I’ll turn to more walking and time on the elliptical for my cardio workouts.

Its important to note that I’m continuing to exercise with the full approval of my doctors.  However, should I be told at some point that I need to back off and take it easy, I’ll of course heed their advice.  At my OB appointment two weeks ago, my doctor emphasized the importance of core work for pregnant women and how it will not only make labor pains more bearable, but that it’ll help to expedite my postpartum recovery.

Nearing the finish line at the Firecracker 5k on July 4th Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

Nearing the finish line at the Firecracker 5k on July 4th
Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

Whether or not you’re able to, or choose to, exercise during pregnancy, its important to recognize that pregnant women are just as much human beings as any other person who exercises.  They are just as deserving of receiving support for exercise as those who are trying to turn from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle are, or those who have been exercising for years.

And with that, I’m off to the gym where I’m sure I’ll face the usual stares and glares from those who just don’t understand why it is that I’m exercising while pregnant.

QOTD: If you are a mother, did you exercise while pregnant?  If you aren’t a mother, would you exercise, or encourage your significant other, to exercise during pregnancy?

Posted in Motivation, Pregnancy | Tagged , | 78 Comments

Calling All Sole Sisters!

Disclaimer: As a Gone for a Run Ambassador, I received a complimentary virtual race entry.  I am not being compensated financially.  As always, all opinions are my own.

As we get closer and closer to the end of summer, and the heat and humidity continue to be higher than in previous weeks, I find myself turning more and more towards external sources of motivation in order to keep up with my training.  Many times, that’s all of you, but sometimes, my motivation is races.

After my last virtual race, the Road Shark Virtual 5 Mile Race

After my last virtual race, the Road Shark Virtual 5 Mile Race

The next race in the Gone for a Run Virtual Race Series is the Sole Sister Run Virtual 7 Mile Race, which will take place from August 28th-30th, which is also the weekend before my next half marathon.  I’ve loved being able to participate in other Gone for a Run virtual races this summer, and I can’t wait to be able to close out summer and finish my half marathon training with a virtual race.

What is included in the $32 registration fee?

Photo Credit: Gone for a Run

Photo Credit: Gone for a Run

  • Race shirt (either a Women’s Athletic Tank Top or Unisex Lifestyle Tee
  • Finisher Medal
  • Real Bib
  • Shoe Lace Charm (available for a limited time, so be sure to register soon!)

So who wants to join their other Sole Sisters for this virtual race?  Be sure to register by August 18th in order to receive your race packet in time.

QOTD: How do you stay motivated to train in the heat and humidity?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 14

As I’m sure you gathered from Friday’s blog post, this past week has been an extremely busy, and exciting, one.  I was so honored to be one of my friend Jen’s bridesmaids at her wedding on Thursday, and then the celebration continued in Charlottesville over the weekend.  It was a long, but very fun, couple of days.

Preston and I during Cocktail Hour on Thursday, and Jen and I at a Charlottesville winery on Saturday

Preston and I during Cocktail Hour on Thursday, and Jen and I at a Charlottesville winery on Saturday

On top of all of the excitement, I’m continuing to deal with a bit of pain in my right calf.  I’ve thought that this was due to running in worn out shoes, and started breaking in a new pair of shoes almost two weeks ago.  But between switching to new shoes and doing lots of foam rolling, the pain has yet to fully disappear.  Granted, I spent a lot of time on my feet over the past several days with all of the wedding related activities, which I’m sure isn’t helping my calf at all.  Hopefully the pain will fully go away soon.

Because of the calf pain, I didn’t complete any cross training this past week.  I did get in one 30 minute weight training session, but that’s the only exercise I did beyond running.  Hopefully I’ll be able to fit in a bit more exercise this week, before another couple of busy weekends are upon us.

Despite a busy week and my ongoing calf pain, I finished out the weekend yesterday with a 5 mile run

Despite a busy week and my ongoing calf pain, I finished out the weekend yesterday with a 5 mile run

Mon 8/3 – 3.10 mile run, 0.39 mile cool down walk

Tues 8/4 – Rest day

Wed 8/5 – 3.10 mile run on the treadmill, 0.48 mile cool down walk, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, back, shoulders

Thurs 8/6 – “Rest” day, aka Jen’s wedding day

Fri 8/7 – Rest day

Sat 8/8 – Rest day

Sun 8/9 – 5.00 mile run, 0.42 mile cool down walk

Total Weekly Mileage – 12.49 miles (8.89 miles less than week 13)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 209.93 miles

QOTD: Any suggestions for how to alleviate my calf pain?  Its usually worse when I’m running or walking as opposed to sitting still.

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Friday Five – Potpourri v. 4

Its been quite an exciting week around here for so many reasons!  Although its hard to believe how quickly time is flying by and that its already the end of the first week of August, when you’ve had lots of exciting things going on, its easy for time to pass quickly.

So what’s been the cause of all the excitement around here?

  1. Monday night’s run was one of those that just left me on a huge high.  Though I’m slowing down and my endurance is fading a bit (I’m having to take walk breaks more frequently than I did before I was pregnant), I felt great after running negative splits during Monday’s 5k run.
  2. negative splitsYesterday marked the beginning of my 20th week of pregnancy.  Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that we found out that we are pregnant.  I’m sure as I get closer to full term I won’t feel like time is going as quickly as it feels like right now, but I’m confident that one of the reasons that it feels like the pregnancy is flying by is because I’m staying active.
  3. On Wednesday Preston and I went for our 20 week ultrasound.  Baby Thayer’s gender is sealed away in an envelope, and two weeks from today we’ll be at Disney World, opening the envelope with Mickey Mouse by our side.
  4. envelopeYesterday was my friend Jen’s wedding.  It was an honor to be one of her bridesmaids.
  5. weddingThis weekend we’re headed to Charlottesville for an extended wedding celebration in honor of the bride and groom.  The weather forecast looks great, and we’re taking Riley with us.  I can’t wait to enjoy the time outside relaxing with friends and the bride and groom’s families.

QOTD: What exciting things are going on in your life right now?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged | 57 Comments