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.

GIVEAWAY: Run CLE with Me! Cleveland Marathon Entry Giveaway

The cool weather, shorter days and snow outside only means one thing for runners — it’s spring marathon training time!

That’s right, just when the weather is at it’s pique for running (sense my sarcasm?), it’s time for us runners to start training again. Lucky for us, we’re a crazy crew and we’re ready to take on the challenge! That’s why I’m excited to share that once again I’m returning as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador!

That means that I get to promote one of my favorite race series – the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, happening May 19, 2019. Not ready to run a marathon? Race weekend has plenty of options, including a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K, 5K, 1-mile and even a Kids’ Run. And there’s my favorite – the Challenge Series events, where if you run both Saturday and Sunday, you get 3 cool medals and a special gift (gifts have included a fleece blanket, hoodie, etc.)!

What’s in it for you? I get to give away one race entry! This year’s giveaway is taking place somewhere new – my Instagram account. That’s right, head on over to @koskim on Instagram to enter.

And while you’re on Instagram, check out the @Clevemarathon account – I’m taking over their stories today!!

Some fun facts about the Cleveland Marathon:

  • The Cleveland Marathon is one of the 50 oldest marathons in the country – it began in 1978 and had the same course until 2004!
  • The race was the first to invite elite runners from the Soviet Union to the marathon during the Cold War.
  • The 10K was added in 1978, the half marathon event was added in 2005 and the 5K added in 2009.

Ready to run? Check out @koskim on Instagram to enter today. The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 1/20. And you get a bonus entry just by commenting on this blog post!

Some questions for you:

  • What was the last race you ran?
  • Do you like winter running?

And if you don’t win, you can still get 10% off! Use discount code MC2019 when you register.

Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Weekend

For a wintry weekend, it was a good one. It was fun, we had good food, were productive and we got to spend time outside.

The weekend started with a kickoff run for the Cleveland Marathon. I’m an ambassador again this year and it was fun to see some of my other ambassadors.

And I got to run with this guy in the stroller for half of it.

After the run, when we got home, I did some meal prep, including making muffins for the week.

Then, LM and I got groceries.

That night, the 4 of us went out – to Barroco!

My arepa was pretty amazing … FW stuck to his pouch after not touching any food. Oh well, he’s a pick eater.

Sunday included chores. Mainly more meal prep, laundry and a little cleaning.

B and FW even did some painting.

We ended the day with a Polish feast at B”s parents’ house, including stuffed cabbage and strudel!

Oh, and I even got in a short treadmill run!

Speaking of running, running totals for the entire week looked like this:

Before I know it, I’ll need to start kicking into gear for the spring races and picking up my mileage. But until then, just trying to enjoy it!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you do group runs or workouts? I don’t usually, but the kickoff run was so much fun!
  • Do you like Polish food?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Kicking off Cleveland Marathon Training Season

Now that we’re in the New Year, it’s marathon training season! I am once again an ambassador for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, which means that I will be having a giveaway (THIS MONTH!) and have a discount code (MC2019) for you to use (see below):

I haven’t officially decided which race(s) I’m running. I’m a fan of the Challenge Series, where you run an event on Saturday and Sunday, mostly because you get 3 medals (a medal for each event and a special Challenge Series medal) AND a cool gift (my favorite was the year we got a fleece blanket!). I’m hoping that this year I’ll do the 8k / half marathon, pending sleep/nursing/schedules/no injuries.

If I do that, I technically won’t need to start training until next month, so this month I’m working on enjoying having no training plans but trying to keep my mileage up. This week, I got in one of my highest mileage weeks since LM was born and it felt great! Here’s how the week went:

Keep an eye out for my official training plan, coming soon. And in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some casual runs without any commitment. Here I am after this weekend’s 5 miler. I was so excited to wear capris.

In Cleveland excited to kick off training? There are 2 kickoff runs planned, and I hope to be at at least one of them!

  • When are you planning to train for your next race?
  • What type of training plan do you follow?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

2018 Running Recap

Wow, what a year! 2018 was a memorable year. And it was a hard year for running. I’ll be honest – I got in fewer miles than usual. I ran fewer races. I didn’t set any PRs. But, I have a few reasons – being pregnant for half of the year, having a baby and adjusting to the schedule and craziness (and lack of sleep) that is life with a toddler and a baby. So I’m proud of my accomplishments and happy to look back at the year.

Here are some of the highlights from the year:

I ran injury free, throughout my entire pregnancy. Pregnant or not, a year without injuries can’t be beat. In 2017, I had a minor (but painful) piriformis issue that kept me off running for a few weeks. But 2018 granted me health.

Running early on in my pregnancy with some of the Cleveland Marathon crew at a race kickoff run in January

Sometimes staying active meant run/walks

I did a few races while pregnant, including two 5Ks and a 10K a week before my due date. Thanks to B for convincing me to sign up for a 5K race Mother’s Day weekend, as well as for running beside me as I hobbled the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K and 10K four days before LM was born.

I’ve been able to return to running since LM was born, taking her or FW along with me. I enjoy running by myself, but also enjoy stroller running. FW has gotten to the age where we can talk on our runs and point out animals, etc. and LM typically sleeps. And thanks to our new neighborhood having more paved paths, I got in more stroller runs this year than ever before. While my mileage hasn’t been nearly as much as it was before kids (I ended with just under 800 miles – compared to 2013 when I had double that!), I am grateful to still be running and have been able to get out again shortly after giving birth.

first race post-LM this summer

after a 4 mile stroller run with FW (post LM’s birth)

stroller run with my niece and nephew (I pushed FW, B pushed LM)

I’ve been an Ambassador for some great brands and organizations that have helped me with my running. Some of them include Skirt Sports, Nuun and the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. This means I also have discount codes to share with you if you’re interested:

Skirt Sports: They make more than skirts and I wear them running all the time. I’m actually wearing their pants, jacket, tank top and capris in several of the photos above. In the 1st photo I’m wearing the Triple Pocket Tight, 2nd photo I’m wearing the Hangout Hoodie, 5th photo I’m wearing the Free Flow Tank, 6th photo I’m wearing the Jette Skirt, and 7th photo I’m wearing the Redemption Capri. Use 133Carn for 15% off. And check out their 

Cleveland Marathon: Use discount code MC2019 for 10% off any race entry. I’ll also have a race entry giveaway in just a few weeks!

All in all, I’m grateful for a happy, healthy 2018, running and otherwise. And I kicked off 2019 today with a 4.33 mi run in my new Skirt Sports leggings that I bought myself as a Christmas gift, so the year is already off to a great start!

Some questions for you:

  • How would you rate your 2018?
  • Do you have any 2019 goals?

A Very Merry Weekend

Hello from New York! We are currently celebrating the holidays in New York with my family, and I’m off the routine, which means that this week in running will be a little off. But we’re having tons of fun while we’re here. Some of the highlights or our week so far:

FW and LM met Santa! He stopped by school last week and FW asked for some gifts (he asked for “presents.” When Santa prodded, he asked for “books and dinosaurs.”

LM got in some quality Nonna time.

And FW bonded with Uncle Greg over trains and music.

FW even got close to my parents’ dog a few times.

LM got to meet a good college friend of mine, whose parents live nearby.

We had my favorite local pizza, Defazios.

We braved the line and caught the lights in the park. FW loved them!

I also got to run outdoors by myself during the day! Time off from work, plus mild (cold but not snowy) weather, plus grandparents to watch the kids meant I got to spend some time outdoors, running. In fact, last week’s running went really well. We had a warm front and I was able to run outside every day this week, including one stroller run to kick off the week! I got in a 6.3 miler in NY, which put me at my highest post-LM mileage week thus far!

Here’s how the week looked:

I can’t complain! The week was great in running and beyond. I just love this time of year!

Some questions for you:

  • Has the weather been mild around where you are?
  • Are you in the holiday spirit?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.