Semmes-Murphey 5k: the pregnant experience

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This past weekend I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and participate in the 1st Semmes-Murphey 5k. I looked at where the race would be held and figured it would be a great spot for the first race of me being super pregnant, since technically the Jingle Bell 5k in December I was only 4 weeks pregnant and didn’t know that I was actually pregnant. Sometime in the middle of the night before this race, baby decided that everything that was currently in my stomach needed to exit. I woke up the morning of the race still determined to participate even though I knew running would be next to out of the question.

By the time the race actually started I figured I might give running a good college try.

That was dumb.

But I kept trying to run for at least the first 2 miles off and on. It was like my legs, hips, and shins forgot all the times we had done this running and hell walking thing before. I would do good for a few minutes and then I could hear this little voice tell me if I kept going I would throw up. We’ve all had this voice from time to time. It used to come to me in my early 20s when I would contemplate doing another round of shots or something along those lines. Whenever I would have to slow down from running, I felt like I had taken on a snail’s pace in order to get back to normal.  At that point, I told myself that as long as I fully finished without getting sick I was a full-on winner for this race, no matter what the time said. Honestly, the time was bad but not as bad as it could have been and definitely not as bad as it would have been if I didn’t participate.

Now that I have my energy levels returning back to me, I know I need to start adding exercise back into my life. Not only for physical health but for mental health as well. Plus I seriously miss it. I just wonder what were some other mommies’ favorite exercises while pregnant?

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Cooper Young 4 Miler Recap

One of my all-time favorite races was this past Friday.  And it was definitely one to remember!

The weather was much warmer than last year and was also the first year where my training had been very nonexistent. Although I walked nearly every day for almost 2 weeks, I couldn’t remember the last time that I was able to do some running.

Susan, Christine, and I arrived early to the start line to get some pictures made with Daniela.

Reagan even got dressed up for the event:

Susan and I did our pre-race selfie as usual:

And before we knew it, it was time to line up.  We didn’t actually cross the start line until nearly 6 minutes into the race.

We started off with a run but as always I forgot the first bit of this race is uphill and my lack of running/training started hitting me full force.  I stopped before I wanted to and my calves didn’t want to cooperate with anything and felt hard as bricks.  Susan was hurting from a boot camp class the day before and needed to run more to work out the burn so she went ahead of me.

As my calves loosened up, I started running more and found people in the crowd that I wanted to make sure I finished before which always helps.

Around 1.5 miles I drank an almost full solo cup of rum punch and at might 2.75 I did 2 jello shots.  After the shots my stomach protested a second when it was time to run so I had to let those settle.  This is about the time I realized how strong both “drinks” were and felt a bit tipsy. After mile 3, I saw an actual toga party:

The house right after this one always has cheese and fruit so I grabbed a couple of pieces and went on my way.  I felt like my legs were made to fly and started doing a light run to save some energy for the home stretch.

Mile 4 was my favorite mile.  I felt the runner’s high and like I could do 2-3 more afterwards.  It was a totally different feeling from mile 1 where I thought I should quit running and never sign up for a race again.

Normally, the food at the CY 4 miler is nearing gone by the time I get to it because I’m not fast.  But they send out a survey every year and last year I complained and was furious.

This year, they had pork sliders from Central BBQ at the finish line (I gave it to my husband because my stomach does not do well with pulled pork), there was plenty of pizza, beer (Memphis Made’s Mile 5 was excellent!), and other snacks available which was awesome!

There was even Popsicles from MemPops available for purchase at the finish line. Reagan really liked her’s:

This is still my favorite race and is typically my last one of the racing season because of scheduling.  I’m hoping to fit one or 2 more in before the end of the year though so fingers crossed.

So, here’s to 2 blog posts in one day!

Here’s the cool shirt I bought at the CY Fest the next day! I bought an XL but totally should have gotten a large. I did one wash in hot water but I think it needs about 2 more to be just right.

Changing Directions

After being a member of a kickboxing studio for 2 years, I didn’t renew my contract.  This was a very hard decision but since I barely went in July and didn’t go at all in August I thought it was a good decision.

One of the main reasons for not renewing was this precious little girl, Remi.

This is her at 6 weeks.  She totally changed our lives when we got her.  She needed to go out every couple of hours and locking her up for extended amount of time was not good for her.  I would rush home most days to make sure she wasn’t locked up for hours and this made going to kickboxing near impossible.  Although there was once I was able to make it because I went home for lunch to let her out.

In the time I didn’t go to kickboxing, I started noticing a weight loss.  The month of August I lost a total of 5 pounds to hit that 20 pound mark since February. With this revelation I started examining what I was doing differently.  My eating habits were not that great due to an extreme amount of stress (which will be a whole other blog posting) but I was still watching my calories and was making sure to move throughout the day.

So I decided to revamp my whole training program and am calling it Training for the Apocalypse. I’m doing a 30-day squat challenge, some body weight exercises, PiYo/Yoga, and some cardio.  I can’t run with Remi yet because she is still growing so I’m using the beautiful morning weather to walk 2-3 miles which helps with my step count AND still burns calories. Plus I get an arm workout when I walk these two: Roxi and Remi

This is how she was after her first 5k:

Yesterday was the first day of the “training” and this is what I did:

  • 5 squats with resistance band
  • 5 jump squats
  • 5 sumo squats with a 5 lbs kettle bell
  • 5 toe out squats
  • 30 crunches
  • 90 jumping jacks
  • 30 dumb bell rows on each arm
  • 30 push-ups
  • 45 seconds worth of planks
  • 60 walking lunges

The squats I did all together but everything else was spaced apart.  The crunches weren’t originally on the plan but felt like I needed to add them.  Remi makes the floor work parts extra difficult because she thinks it is cuddle time.  I think I will try and do some “before pictures” tonight and post results if any in 30 days to help hold me accountable.

The change feels nice. I’m now constantly thinking of ways to change things up and keep them new.  I really want to improve my mile time as well so after this month I am thinking of adding in something that helps with that.

I’m working slowly on getting back to mostly low carb type of eating but it has been hard lately with all the fall goodies and chocolate has been my downfall recently.  I can tell my body isn’t happy with the increased sweets which means the PCOS isn’t happy as well.  My stomach hurts when I eat too much sweets which is telling me that my body is changing for the better.

Another change I’m noticing is my skin.  I’m not breaking out near as much and when I do it is little white heads instead of cystic acne.  Yay for changing and moving to a happier body place!

Changing Mindsets

I’m finally out of the boot! I wasn’t able to run the Harbortown 5k but I was able to walk it and this year’s experience was much better than the last.

I did run across the finish line but I walked the rest of the race.  I do love walking certain races because I actually catch some of the fun stuff along the way.  I was the only one in my running crew that actually noticed the jell-o shots. And I totally had one!  I love races with jell-o shots.

Because of the parking situation with the Gibson 5k, we did not run that one.  I was both disappointed and glad at the same time.  I can honestly say I am not at all sad that we didn’t run it.  The shirts were super lame this year too.

Like seriously Gibson, that’s all you got? Susan’s shirt was already starting to have pulls in it the day of the race and the neck was so tight for all of us that it is not even worth wearing.

The week after this race I did light workouts in fear of hurting my foot again before I went on vacation.

We went with my family to Pensacola Beach.  I was able to hit 10,000 steps nearly every day! We swam, we walked, we ate, we fished, we hunted for seashells, and Tristan caught several blue crabs.  This was the second best vacation we ever went on, the first being our honeymoon. Here’s the whole gang on our last full day at the beach.

This vacation taught me a lot about myself and my relationship with exercise.  I felt amazing each and every day and didn’t mind getting my photo taken in bathing suits through out the day either.  The last time we went we only got one photo of me that wasn’t a total head shot and it was because I was excited about a fish I caught.

This is me back in 2013, the week before I started my fitness journey.

This photo popped up on my timehop feed and I just couldn’t believe it. I had to create a before and after photo.

After our vacation my husband was going through Google photos and realized that Google did not think I was the same person.  In so many ways I am not the person I was then.  I’m happier, more active, more willing to try new things, and feel anxious if I hadn’t worked out in more than a day or two.  I love being outside even when it is hot and look forward to getting stronger and better every day both physically and mentally.

I still have days where I wish I was improving faster, losing more weight than I have, and running faster miles and I get frustrated because I’m not. PCOS makes my journey sometimes a bit more difficult with some bumps in the road but it also lets me know that it is not a weakness in my mind that is causing these bumps which helps.

This has been the biggest mindset change during my mental health journey.  I’m much more than what the stats are showing.  I’m a person that is changing wholly through this process.

The Stars and Stripes was the final race in the M-Town Series and it did not disappoint me at all.  I seriously love this race.  The race was a bit longer than last year’s but my time was about the same.  I drank a nuun before the race which upset my stomach and I twisted my ankle again due to a pothole.  If it wasn’t for those things, I know in my heart I would have finished in about 40 minutes.  Coolest swag ever.

Here’s some pictures from that race.  Gah, I love it so! I also got some pretty sweet new kicks 🙂 my pumas were hurting my feet and causing some issues from wearing out too fast so I went back to my faithful Nikes.

Brigitte did amazing in her second 5k! So proud of her!

And Tristan met me for some fireworks, burgers, dogs, and watermelon afterwards before we headed to Heber Springs for the weekend.

I also did a comparison photo for these two races. The pictures from last year are some of my all time favorite race oriented pictures and I felt that was the healthiest time for me last year.  I had finished PT and was feeling awesome. There is at most a 2 pound difference between these two pictures but the person in them looks so different.

This really reaffirmed for me that pictures tell the story of our weight loss journey even more so than the scale can.

This weekend is the anniversary of running my first ever 5k and I can’t wait to see how much I improve even from last year.

And here is one more picture because of the sunflowers in the background.

Life in a Walking Boot

Me and my ultra sexy foot gear.

On May 20th, I was put in a walking boot because I have a stress fracture on the top of my foot.  I was really bummed out by this news. Mainly because it meant I couldn’t run one of my favorite Memphis races: Zoom thru the Zoo.  I love the fact that it is a longer distance than 5ks so it makes me feel so strong when I finish it.  Instead, I decided to make a sign and cheer for runners at 2 points during the race.  I was one of the first signs they saw and one of the last signs. Here’s me and my sign.

I didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did watching runners cross the finish line but it really was a great, emotional experience.  I loved seeing parents cheer their kids, coaches cheer their athletes at all age levels, and just the overall support of the race environment from the spectator end.

I was told by the doctor that I could do light activities as long as they didn’t hurt my feet.  After walking around the zoo, I found out that walking was going to be out of the picture it just hurt.

Not running but just my daily activity got me past 10,000 steps that day but I hurt so bad that night and the next day.  I don’t think I’ve gotten over 10,000 steps since that day.  I also haven’t minded not getting to that number and have shifted my focus on just burning more than the 2,184 calories.

So in the past 2 weeks, I’ve done some pretty cool things being stuck in this boot. I went swimming at my friend Shelly’s pool.

We had a great time grilling out afterwards and drinking some ciders.

I experimented with my new Jamberry nail stuff.

Went to a free yoga class via a Yelp event and got some really cool swag from it afterwards as well. The class was at Delta Groove Yoga Studio which is in Overton Square here in Memphis.  I absolutely love the studio. Shelly was awesome enough to go with me as she is knocking on her second trimester right now.

During this mini-adventure, I have lost 3 pounds because I’ve been a lot more careful about what I’m eating.  I think also carrying around this 4 pound weight via the walking boot has helped a lot too.  I’m still having some slight pain some morning when I wake up but nothing like it was. I’m hoping to get the all clear when I go back to the doctor tomorrow.  Here’s hoping that he tells me that it’ll be okay to do the Harbortown 5k tomorrow since it is for the organization that I work for.  Last year, the weather caused it to be a bad experience for me so I’m hoping that it isn’t the case this year.  It was one of my favorite running shirts of last year and I can’t wait to see what this year’s is like.

Here’s last years:

It also had this amazing view:

Just looking at the view is getting me excited about going.

I’ll let everyone know what the doctor says!

Love!

Bluff City 10k Recap

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Rough. Tough. Nasty. Finished.

Those are the top 4 words that come to mind about the Bluff City 10k. The day started off really pretty slightly overcast which was going to make for a nice cool run.  However mother nature is a finicky bitch so a thunderstorm decided to interfere with it all.

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A trash can actually started floating away.  I tried to get an accurate picture for how nasty it was and this is the best I could do.

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I ran into this lady while it was coming down and it reminded me why I wanted to do this 10k.  Chris is the Research and Program Impact Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis.  One of the most important aspects of running these races is the impact that happens with the organizations that they support. Working in nonprofit, I know how much this support means.  And I love doing things that support those that I care for that are also doing good works.

The race started late, 8:20 which was enough time for two things to happen.  My muscles cooled off and I had pumped myself back up for the race.  Then I started to freak out.  I was running with a new running belt, a new phone, and it was raining.  It was a full on steady rain.  I didn’t want to kill my brand new phone but I also am recovering from injuries and didn’t want to be without my phone in case something happened. It was too late to turn back so I just went.

Everything was feeling nice and good.  I had a steady pace.  Going up the hill of Madison, about to hit McLean I felt my leg muscles start cramping.  They had gone cold from the wait.  Even the walk to the starting point hadn’t warmed them up as I had hoped.  It happened right at the one mile marker.  So mile 2, as is usually the case with me, was my slowest and was making me question everything I had ever done in my life.

Mile 2 was a complete bitch to me. My left calf was a rock and my foot felt like it had been smashed, my right ankle was hurting so bad my foot was going numb and I couldn’t feel my calf muscle.  I wanted to never run again and was writing this blog post in my head about how this race was going to be the end of my running career.

And then I met a lady. Actually this lady right here.

She just happened to be in one of my post race pictures and it made me think of what we accomplished. We walked a good bit of mile 2 talking about how we were hurting.  I did 6 miles last week and she did 8 but we were both ready to call it quits.  I pumped her up and she kept me going.  At mile marker 3 I was ready to go again.

I decided then to use every downhill as a way to gain my speed back at that point. I saw someone in a bright yellow shirt that looked like she was doing some interval running so it became my mission to stay up with her.  Miles 3 and 4 were significantly better than mile 2.  Around mile 5 I started talking to the lady and the bright yellow shirt and found out she was using me as her pace person much like I was using her.  We decided to finish the race together that day and encourage one another to keep it going.

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Mile 5 was my fastest mile of the day.  This is also where I became so hungry that I started burping.  This is never a good feeling.

My GPS said that the race was 6.65 miles.  And that last half mile felt like the longest trek I had ever made.  Part of it I know had to do with hunger.  Like unreasonable hunger and all the food places down Madison starting up for the day.  I know from now on I will need some form of food in my little pouch when I’m going these long distances in the morning.  I finished the race at 1:43:44 according to my app.  The chip has me finishing nearly a minute after this and after the person I crossed the finish line with which is annoying.  But I finished it and made a few new running friends along the way.

And I got a medal!

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This may now be my favorite post-race selfie.

I also earned this badge through my fitbit charge hr by the end of the race:

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And I fully enjoyed eating this when I finally made it home:

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Fitness Devices

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Right now I’m shopping for a new fitness device.  I’m super torn between what to get.  Last night I thought I had totally made up my mind about getting the Fitbit Charge and now I’m debating getting the Fitbit Charge HR which was just released today but only in black and if I get that I really want it in plum because I’m a brat like that.  I only what the regular Fitbit Charge in slate as well.  Not to mention, it is at Target right now and I can use my red card to get 5% off.

I already have a heart rate monitor (HRM) that can be a bitch to use at sometimes.  Example, yesterday doing PiYo it kept losing signal in certain moves.  When it loses signal, it beeps at you signally it is not working correctly.  It also beeps when you are below the burning zone or if you are working too hard so when it beeps I feel compelled to check it to make sure that my heart isn’t going to explode from my chest.  I have also had the chest strap fall off during runs (both with and without the dogs) and come undone during kickboxing which makes for an awkward scene.

Decisions, decisions…

What is your favorite workout accessory? Do you have a favorite device, or is it shoes, clothing, a friend?