Bad Dog 5k for Ronald McDonald House and a Weekend Recap

Last year this was a fun but wet run. It was also the run where I realized it would be best for me to finally get my foot/ankle looked at because it hurt every time I did any form of running on it so I had to walk most of it. Luckily, my running buddy for that race was cool with me doing just that! Thank you Brigitte! The picture below is from 2015’s Bad Dog 5k which happened on May 16th. Look at baby Reagan!

This year (and going forward) the race is going to be on the 4th Saturday in April. The weather was absolutely perfect! It was around 60 degrees at the start of the race. And slowly warmed up during my walk about downtown.

Saturday morning was a little rough to get going. This is the first race I’ve done from our new home and although I knew the drive would be longer I don’t think my brain and body wanted to cooperate with me getting there as early as I like to do. It was a full on mind game even getting to the race. Before getting on the interstate, I had convinced myself to go back home and go back to bed at least 3 times and 4 times (at least) talked myself out of it. I arrived downtown and got to Handy Park about 10 minutes before race start and even had time for pictures. I had just finished eating some type of breakfast bar as this photo was taken which I’m thinking is why I look so weird.

The race itself was fun! I took my time because I wasn’t feeling 100% until about mile 2. And that’s when I had to take some full-on stops to let traffic get through. I didn’t even try running this race because I didn’t think it would be the best idea. Especially since Jensen (the baby) discovered that my bladder makes for an excellent trampoline around mile 1.  Afterwards, I felt really good. Tired but good and hungry. So I took a selfie and went to go get some Hardee’s breakfast.

Later on that day, I went to the Southern Hot Wing Festival via the tickets that came with my race entry and discovered after walking and fighting through the crowd that I was too tired and too hot to really be down there. Luckily, Tristan and our friend Daniel weren’t feeling the place as well so we left, grabbed some snow cones, some crawfish, and started working on getting things together for the baby’s room.

Yay for baby crib! Now to start painting and organizing! Not pictured is the really amazing dresser my parents bought.

On Sunday, we went to the Grizzlies’ final game of the season and it was bittersweet but I was so glad we were able to go!

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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?

Pregnancy and Eating

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I’ve made it to 14 weeks and look at the baby bump in the picture as well!IMG_20160215_152014

Here’s me at 12+ weeks after a big meal lol

So I originally started this blog entry sometime early January to document the thought process of eating while pregnant. I had kind of forgotten about it until weekend before last when a friend of a friend was asking me TONS of questions about being pregnant and becoming pregnant. Her and her husband had been trying a couple of months and were starting to get frustrated the BFP hadn’t happened yet. And truly was like I need to finish this thing up while waiting in the drive thru for my taco bell.

My pregnancy journey has been much like my fitness journey, not necessarily straightforward and definitely not easy and I’m pretty upfront about that fact. I tell anyone that asks about advice when it comes to even thinking about getting pregnant is to get healthy. I’m not saying you have to run 100 miles a week and eat nothing but quinoa but there are steps that will definitely help in getting your body healthy enough to carry a baby and procreate. I lost around 40 pounds in order to get pregnant and have a kid. I found exercises that I loved (kickboxing, running, beachbody dvds to break up the boredom or to do on a rainy day) and found a “diet” that I personally could live with, loved, and was the right type for my body and health (low carb/keto for me).

I was SO GLAD that I did this. My skin cleared up, my health majorly improved, and I found a great balance that made my mind healthy as well. Mental health is HUGE in the overall health of one’s well-being and doesn’t get the necessary attention that it deserves. When all of this clicked for me is when I got pregnant.

And I’m so glad that I was eating healthy beforehand because I feel like I’m on the ultimate frat kid diet right now just trying to feed my sweet parasite. This babe loves cheeseburgers, french fries, pizza, Taco Bell, and the only chicken that is worthy is a fried chicken something from Chick Fil-A.  The friend of a friend said that she would start eating healthy once she found out she was pregnant and I told her to start now for this very reason.

There are a lot of misconceptions about eating while pregnant. One of the major ones for me is that I would have any control over it. For example, I  spit out 3 strawberries in a row because the being growing in me decided they were bad today. Pineapple and blueberries are good to go though. Good thing I didn’t buy the complete strawberry container like I debated. I heard a lot of women had issues with chicken and poultry and I remember thinking that is so bizarre but it can be so freaking true that it is annoying. Even seeing uncooked chicken in the store right now is enough to make my stomach flip.

Knowing these food aversions (which is such a simple word for such a violent feeling) which has also ruled out eating nice big, healthy salads, I’ve developed ways to make sure that I’m eating as balanced as humanely possible. I mix mushrooms into almost every cooked meal. If I eat a burger, I get it with as much of the works as I can handle, and I make sure that the lettuce and tomatoes are still on my tacos. I make Philly cheese steaks at home to make sure that I’m getting the vegetables that way too. The other day I made pepperoni rolls and sauteed spinach and was able to get the spinach down no problem. I joke that I’m already playing make a deal to get the kid to eat the necessary vegetables.

I’m also taking everything a day at a time. My energy levels have gotten better this week but I do hurt when I start to do too much. Right now I’m planning to walk a 5k on Saturday since the weather will be nice and to also test out to see how my body will handle 5ks for race season.

The race shirts that I got in an XL have come in handy so that I have something to be comfortable in after work.

 

Sometimes Life Just Hurts…

July 31st changed my life forever.  I had the two pink lines I waited over a year for and couldn’t be happier.  And then I got scared.  Life would change drastically but I was ready for those changes.

On August 5th, we went to the doctor and didn’t see anything on the ultrasound but they did another test and ran some blood work. We ran some errands and while out our Ford Edge stuttered and cut off as we pulled into Sonic for some cherry limeades.

That Friday I went back in because the blood work did show there was a pregnancy, my numbers were just low so they wanted to make sure everything was expanding like it should. I was told also that I needed to take it easy and not do any of my HIIT workouts and be careful running because of the heat. The same day, Tristan’s truck had done the stuttering thing again and finally threw a code for us to figure out what was going on.  The cam phasers were going bad according to the code.  We were going to be looking at about $2,000 in repairs.

Over the weekend we noticed our 10 year old golden lab and beagle mix was not wanting to go outside at all and was no longer eating like she had been.  We also came to terms with the fact her paw was not healing from tumor although she was on antibiotics. Monday morning I called the vet and told her what was going on and although she said the could do surgery where the second tumor was, it would result in amputation.  Her suggestion was to put our precious,sick girl down.  Full of tears, I called the doctor’s office to get the results of Friday’s blood work.  I figured if I was going to get bad news I wanted it all together. I received good news from that phone call and thought maybe life would have a gleam of happiness to it.

On August 14th, we went to my OB/GYN and saw a little sac on the ultrasound and were beyond thrilled. We were going to have some happiness on a day where we were going to be our sweet, Kouki girl down. It was one of the hardest days of our lives but we got through it together.

On August 16th, I started spotting here and there. Nothing to worry about said the internet but I just felt something was wrong. Monday night the bleeding got worse and I called the night line of my doctor’s office and he told me to come in first thing in the morning.

August 18th, I was told that I was having what looked like a threatened miscarriage but that the sac was still attached but they weren’t sure if it was growing or not. August 20th, I woke up in so much pain that I called the doctor immediately and they got me in. I went directly to the ultrasound tech when I got there and she found that there was no more blood going to the fetus. It was absolutely devastating to hear with everything that we had been through already that month.

August 21st, I went in for a D&C. While waiting for the operation at home, I could feel my uterus getting ready to do what it knows to do and I was so glad to go into an operating room to have it taken care of. I was absolutely miserable in pain at my house.

Sometime within that week, we got the truck back after costing nearly $3,000 to fix. It had a few hiccups that made us think that it was going to have to go back to the shop for more fixing but has run fine ever since.

The month of September and part of October were mostly blurs and blips on the radar. I felt like I was just going through the motions in order to keep going. It wasn’t until my sister’s wedding in November that I seemed to snap out of things. It was like I needed to see love outside my own sphere and just bask in pure happiness that weddings tend to emote.

I started writing this blog post at the end of September  because it seemed there wasn’t any miscarriage stories out there like this. I never fully soaked a pad like they said I would. There was only bleeding when I wiped (which is probably TMI) but I knew something was wrong. A general consensus always says to trust your gut, especially on important things and as much as I wanted to stay positive because everything else was so negative, I couldn’t. Effectively in August, my husband and I lost two babies and we had a conversation about how everyone just expects us to be okay with everything and we weren’t. This is not saying that everyone told us that we should be fine because it was now over with, it just seemed like it was expected that we bounce right back. It just felt like the world kept moving when it should have paused to give us breath. But it kept going, so we had to as well.

I was back at work the following Tuesday because I just couldn’t sit at home anymore even though I was still in some pain. Everyone was shocked that I went back so soon. I was even told that I could take up to 6 weeks if I needed to but I just knew I needed to come back for my own mental health.

It is okay that we didn’t feel okay. We shouldn’t have been back to our normal selves. We were hurting, both of us, and it seems like men sometimes have the short end of the stick with these things because society doesn’t always let them mourn for something of this nature, or anything in general really.

This holiday season we really just focused on each other where we both try to focus on our families more than each other. We focused on enjoying each other’s company and I feel stronger in our relationship than I ever have, which is a good thing as we are approaching being together for 9 years. How crazy is that?

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.