Another Winter Weekend: One Sentence Per Photo

It was another weekend at home in Cleveland. ‘Burb life with two kids in the winter is definitely something to get used to, but I think we’re in a groove with finding things to do, being productive and having fun. Here’s a look at our weekend, one-sentence-per-photo style.

FW helped us with some cleaning.

I did some baking (these are chickpea blondies!).

We joined every other parent of a toddler and baby and got drinks with friends at the new market hall nearby.

And takeout sushi was a must.

Post-bath snuggles are some of my favorite things.

I had a reunion with some friends from my Downtown Cleveland Alliance City Ambassador days.

We had dinner at my in-laws house; it’s almost my niece’s 11th birthday!

And that’s a wrap. Hope you have a good week! Happy Monday!

Running While Sick

Runners are a rare breed. We don’t like to take days off unless we need to. And this week, I had a cold and though I was feeling cruddy, really didn’t want to take off. I find that as long as it’s not a bad cold and mostly in my head (as opposed to chest), running tends to clear me up for at least a few hours. At least that’s what I tell myself.

This week was finally warm enough and not snowy enough together back outside for most of my runs! And even though I was somewhat feeling lousy on Sunday, it was 50+ degrees, so I had to get outside for a run, especially after a week of negative degree temps. I thought I’d be able to run maybe one mile, but I surprised myself and got in 4.1.

Lately when running before work in the mornings, I haven’t had much time. By the time I pump and get out the door, I find that I only have 30-35 minutes left. Somehow Thursday I ended up with 40 minutes, so I was determined to run at least 4.25 miles.  I barely made it!

Here’s a look at how the whole week looked:

It’s almost time for me to start training for the Cleveland half marathon! Just a few more weeks until my training starts. In the meantime, I’m excited to share that the Cleveland Marathon announced its gift to Challenge Series participants this year – a muscle roller stick! So in addition to the 3 medals and 2 shirts, you get a muscle roller. How cool is that?

If you are interested in running any event, including the challenge series, as a race ambassador, I have a 10% discount code for you to use! Use MC2019 for 10% off any race entry.

Stay warm this week! It will be spring soon, right?

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the coolest race giveaway/swag you’ve seen? This muscle roller is pretty cool!
  • How many days do you typically run?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Surviving the Polar Vortex

We did it! We survived our week of COLD. Was it easy? No. Do I want to do it again anytime soon? No no no no no! But we survived, and here’s how.

Living in the Midwest right now and growing up in the Northeast, I’m used to cold winters. I don’t like them, but I’m used to them. But this past week was the COLDEST I’ve ever experienced.

For example, I woke up Wednesday to THIS.

School was actually closed for FW and LM, so we had to be creative with entertainment for them. Dressing them the same counts as entertainment, right? 

There was lots of play doh involved. 

And just some good old fun with paper. 

We had some good food, including these egg cups, which we now make every weekend. 

And B made this chicken noodle soup from scratch. It was so good and hit the spot with the cold weather.

We also had to get our favorite pizza before they close for renovations. What are we going to do without this NY style pizza for 6+ weeks?!

Friday at work, we celebrated the kick off of February with a heart healthy breakfast. A coworker made these steel-cut oats and brought in fruit for us all as well. 

We all wore red for Go Red for Women Day, too!

The weather finally warmed up and we got in a walk on Sunday. It was SO nice to be outside and not freezing! It was 50 degrees when we went out.

But yes, we still had snow. So FW built a snowman – or an “Olaf” as he calls him.

And I got in my first outdoor run in more than a week. It was so much better than running inside!

So, we didn’t go stir crazy with the weather. And this week the weather looks like it will be so much better. Is it still winter? Yes. BUT it may be warm enough for us to go outside for more than 10 seconds at a time!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you survive the polar vortex?
  • Any tips for keeping toddlers entertained during the dead of winter?

A Week of Indoor Runs

Last week was COLD. And by COLD I mean negative degrees as the HIGH. Check out this forecast:

So what did that mean for my training for the Cleveland Half Marathon? It meant that my treadmill was my best friend. Here’s how the week looked:

Sunday I kicked off the week with my longest treadmill run in at least a year. 5.25 miles.

The Sole F80 has become my best friend over the past year or so. As much as I don’t enjoy indoor running, I’m so grateful to have it!

And FW was happy when I was done with my 5 miles. 

Later in the week I woke up to THIS as the temps. Feels like -23? Yeah, I wasn’t going to go outside. 

So, each day when I could, I got in a treadmill run.

School ended up being closed Wednesday and Thursday due to the cold, so that threw off my running a little bit. Wednesday, I only got in 2 miles while LM took a nap, and Thursday I also had to cut my run short when LM work up early.

But that was it for the week – and we survived! I’m hopeful that it will get and stay warmer for at least a few days. I mean, the groundhog DID see his shadow so that means spring is coming, right?

In the meantime, here’s your weekly reminder that if you are interested in running the Cleveland Marathon, As a race ambassador, I have a 10% discount code for you to use! Use MC2019 for 10% off any race entry.

Stay warm and have a good running week! Some questions for you:

  • Did you stay inside this week for your workouts?
  • What’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever run in?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Celebrating My Birthday with Food and Running

I’m still feeling the love from having a really great birthday week this past week. It was a week of good (and too much!) food, friends and even some runs. I felt the love from so many friends and family who reached out or whom I saw and made me feel special – thank you to everyone!

Here’s a look at the week in terms of runs – Wednesday was my birthday and no matter what the weather, I knew I had to start the day with a run. It ended up being 30 degrees and rainy/slushy, so pretty awful. But I got out there and got in a few miles before work, which was what I wanted to do!

Here’s a little how the week looked in terms of celebrating the big day.

B and I got tickets to see Erik Griffin at Hilarities. I was sitting so close to the stage! I could literally touch the stairs the comics walked up to get there (seen in the photo below).

AND we got a photo with him after the show!

We also got in a great meal at Marble Room. I think B liked his steak.

I enjoyed the surprise birthday cotton candy they brought out! It was the size of my head — no, bigger!

FW surprised me with flowers.

B and I got breakfast – which meant a rosemary bagel and decaf almond milk latte for me.

LM helped me with laundry.

And also just pretty much held on to me all Saturday morning.

FW’s cousins came over Saturday afternoon for grilled cheeses.

And I got wine with some ladies in the early evening – again, to celebrate my birthday.

FW and I also did some baking this weekend. I made some of his favorite muffins – these are lentil banana chocolate chip muffins from The Lean Green Bean. This time I cut down the chocolate chips and tossed in half a zucchini and maybe 1/4 cup of mashed cauliflower for some added veggies.

Sunday was another cold one. When I woke up, I was all ready to go running outside, but the cold temps kept me inside again. I managed to make it 5.25 miles on the treadmill, which was my longest treadmill run in ages! I’m still building base mileage for my Cleveland half marathon training, so I didn’t mind staying inside.

After the run it was time for brunch at B’s parents’ house. FW got in some more quality time with his cousins.

And then we got home just in time for nap time. Which meant that I had some time to do some more meal prep – I made some energy balls (or boobie bites – they have brewers yeast, flax seed and oats, which is all good for breastfeeding) for snacks and egg cups for breakfast.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty low key. FW and LM played and B made us dinner.

And because we were home, the kids actually went to bed at a decent time for a Sunday night!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you dreadmill it this weekend, too?
  • Are you training for anything?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

6 Things I Learned About Running While Pregnant

Fun fact-  it’s not training season for me just yet! I’m once again an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon, and this year I’m running the Cleveland half marathon. Lately, my focus on running these past few months since having a baby has been to get back some base mileage and slowly start to build up to 5-6 miles at a time for a long run. Not a lot, I know, but since my official 12 week program won’t start for another month, soI have a few weeks to relax, take training easy, and just enjoy running (or try to when it’s not negative degrees and icy!).

I’ll be sharing my training plan soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to reminisce. This time last year, I was a few months pregnant and “training” for the Cleveland 5k and 10k. As the months went on and race day got closer and closer, it got harder and harder to run. While I’m glad it’s easier right now, I can’t help but forget the joys of running while pregnant.

So here you go. I share this with you – for all the pregnant runners out there – as well as those who aren’t – now you know what it’s like. And why I kept it up!

Imagine this – you just ate a HUGE burrito and drank a jug of soda. Your bladder is full, you’re slightly winded and your feet are swollen. And now, you decide you want to go for a run. Sound like fun?

That may be a slight exaggeration, but that’s pretty much what it feels like to run while 6 months (and beyond) pregnant. And you know what? I still ran throughout both of my pregnancies up until the week I gave birth. Am I crazy? Maybe slightly. But I’d argue that (most) runners are. And as a runner, I hated to give up a part of me just because I was pregnant. It was something that made me feel normal, while everything else in my life was changing. And after talking to my doctor, I even learned there were some benefits to running – and all exercise – when pregnant. Exercise throughout pregnancy is actually recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Why? Exercise may:

  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia, having a baby with high birth weight, and the need for a cesarean section
  • Improve your baby’s brain development
  • Help you experience less swelling during pregnancy
  • Lead you to have a shorter labor (fun fact: my second labor was so short she was born within 15 minutes of me arriving at the hospital!)

So, if you decide to keep running during pregnancy, here are some tips that I can offer based on my experience (NOTE: I am not a doctor. At all. I took a Survey of Bio class a semester at BC, but that’s as far as I got.  But fun fact, B was also in that class of 500 million people!):

1. First, talk to your doctor. See what he/she says is okay for you. I am not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one.

2. Expect it to feel different. Even in the first trimester when you may not look different, your lungs are doing double duty and you may get out of breath easier or find your heart rate higher. And then as your body changes, your gait may, too. I found parts of my body hurt that had never been sore before. Listen to your body and do what you can do.

3. Don’t compare yourself. This is an important one. Don’t compare yourself to others or even to yourself. Both my pregnancies were very different, and I would sometimes find myself getting down because I was slower during the second pregnancy. Or, I’d be discouraged because I felt like my running was more hobbling/walking than sprinting. But remember – running while pregnant is HARD! Remind yourself of how amazing you are and all the benefits (above). Don’t expect to set any PRs. In fact, if you must wear your running watch, reset all the data. This will help you feel less discouraged and focus more on the enjoyment of being out there.

 

4. Be prepared to spend money on some new gear. Your feet may grow during pregnancy, leading you to need new shoes. Your running clothes? They maaaay not fit you when you’re 7 months in. I also highly recommend a support belt – this helped tremendously as I got larger.

5. Go early in the day. I’m lucky that I’m a morning worker-outer as it is, but during pregnancy, this was even more important. A morning run helped not only reduce my swelling later in the day, but I felt much less full (and not like I was running with a belly full of burrito) and it was easier to move my body. Immediately going for a run also helped with my morning sickness.

6. Stay hydrated. It’s much easier to overheat, get dehydrated, etc. during pregnancy. So if you’re going to be running or doing any exercise, make sure to keep up on the water.

Bonus: Have fun! Don’t forget why you’re doing it in the first place and enjoy your time running. Take photos so that you can show your future children the amazing feats you accomplished with them.

Are you training for the Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon or any of the other events right now? If so, don’t forget to use my 10% discount code – MC2019! 

NOTE: A version of this blog post first appeared from me on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. Check it out, and check out all my posts with them.

Snowmageddoned

Well, winter finally really hit us in Cleveland it hit us hard. I was enjoying our easy and not-so-bad winter. We hadn’t had much snow and the weather was mostly in the 20s and 30s. Honestly? It was kinda nice to be able to run outside nearly every morning, drive easily to work, etc.

But this weekend, we got hit with snow. It started snowing Saturday morning and didn’t stop until Sunday. Thick, heavy snow. FW loved it — he couldn’t wait to go sleigh riding with his cousins. But for the most part we played it safe inside.

Which meant finding creative ways to entertain ourselves.

Like playing superheroes.

Playing piano.

And even playing together … sorta.

And it was the perfect day to stay inside, make sauce and dough and then have a pizza night!

Sunday it was SO cold! It was 11 degrees when I woke up and said it felt like -7. But B and FW had sledding plans. So, LM and I stayed home. I got in some treadmill miles while they braved the cold.

Believe it or not, those were my only treadmill miles this week!

Here’s a look at the week as a whole:

Anyway, running on the treadmill while the boys were outside was perfect.

I think he had fun with his cousins even though it was cold!

I was able to use the cold weather to run a few errands, and make some cookies.

Plus I had this helper.

We did get outside for a short walk as a family but it wasn’t for long. It was too cold!

And we finished the day at my in-laws’ house and celebrated my nephew’s birthday.

And just like that, the snowy weekend was over.

Was the snow gone? Far from it. So here’s to hoping we have a good week!

Questions for you:

  • Do you like snow?
  • Was it FREEZING near you?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.