Back to Monsoon Season and Happy Mother’s Day

After a few weeks of beautiful weather in Cleveland, it seems that monsoon season has hit. Each day this week, I woke up to rain or clear skies that turned into rain, which also turned into chilly weather. While we did have one day of 60 and rain (which I don’t mind as much), most of the rest of it was 40 and rainy, which is probably my least favorite running weather (besides ice).

But, the streak goes on and I was able to get in runs every day, including my BEST RUN in months, thanks to the help of my husband. More to come on that.

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First Mile Run and Amish Country

After I hit my 1-year running streak last week, I honestly wasn’t sure how long I would continue to run every day. I know it’s not going to be until this baby is born (I’m 28 weeks pregnant), but I decided to keep it up this week.

Truthfully, it was easy. After being in New York over the weekend, running in Cleveland Monday through Wednesday wasn’t difficult. And then, we decided to take a short trip to Holmes County, Ohio – or Amish Country – which provided me another great change of scenery – including lots of FLAT land – making it easy to keep the streak up.

So I’m still streaking, this time on vacation, AND I even got in a few runs with my 4-year-old who ran his first mile this week! I’m so proud of him and he even helped me keep on moving. I know he would’ve gone faster if I wasn’t slowing him down these days!

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365 Days of a Running Streak

I DID IT! 

The week, I hit my 365th day of running in a row – I made it to one year! It wasn’t an easy feat, but at the same time, I can’t believe it came so fast.

if you’re a numbers nerd like me, you may appreciate the stats –

  • Days run in a row: 365
  • Weeks pregnant (Currently) 27 – this means I’ve run about half of the running streak pregnant!
  • Average run length: about 5.5 miles
  • Shortest run: 2 miles
  • Longest run: 13.1 (I did last year’s Cleveland half marathon as part of the streak)
  • Total mileage: about 2,002 miles

I can honestly say that I didn’t set out to run every day for a year. In fact, I didn’t start with the intent of doing a running streak. I don’t even remember at what day that I realized I had started streaking. I do remember at day 100 thinking, wow, this is cool! Even at day 200 I didn’t have my sights set on 365. But as the day got closer and closer, I thought, “What if?”

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1 More Week

In one week, I’ll have completed 365 days of my running streak!

It makes me nervous to put that in writing. What if I’m jinxing it? What if I get sick or injured in the next few days? What if I can’t complete a year? Who knows what will happen in the next few days, but hopefully the next time I share a running post, it’s to say that I’ve completed my year of running.

Again, this week had its ups and downs. I had a good run one day, but most of the days I felt tired, big and ready to quit. I’ll blame it on being 26 weeks pregnant and bigger than I can remember ever before. But, the one good run powered me through my week and gave me hope that I’ll be able to run more in the future!

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Good Run Bad Runs

It’s amazing what much one good run can do for your mood, self esteem, and overall well being.

For most of this week, I had so-so to bad runs. Runs where I told myself, just get to one mile without stopping and then you can walk for a minute. Where I reminded myself that I had “less than 2 weeks to go to get to a year in my running streak.” Runs where I also completely doubted myself and doubted my ability to keep running throughout this pregnancy.

And then Saturday came along and after a full night’s sleep and beautiful weather, I finally had a good run. No, a great run. A run where the walking was minimal, the weather was PERFECT and I was able to get in under 12 minutes/miles, even with walking, for the entire 5 miles. And at 25 weeks pregnant and day 352 of my running streak, I’m really happy about that.

So, even though this week is my lowest mileage week in 2021, I ended the week on a high note.

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21 Days

As of Friday this week, I had 21 days left. 21 days left until I get to 365 of my run streak.

It’s crazy to me to think that in just under three weeks, I’ll have run every day for a year. I started in 2020 during the pandemic after doing my virtual half marathon. And, I just haven’t stopped. I’m now 24 weeks pregnant, which means if I keep this up, I’ll be about 27 weeks when I get to 1 year!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. This week was a pretty good week, and “very Cleveland” as they say in terms of the weather. It was in the 70s two days, which meant we at outside for lunch AND dinner. And then it snowed at least an inch on Thursday – and the snow stuck for a little over 24 hours! I’m hopeful that that was our last April (and spring) snowfall and we are in the clear for at least 8 months….but we’ll see.

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It’s Getting Harder and Harder

I’m now 23 weeks pregnant and it’s getting harder and harder to run. I find myself out of breath sooner, going much slower, getting cramps and my heart rate skyrockets even if I’m running at what feels like a snail’s pace.

This was a walk/run … For as much walking as I did, I shouldn’t have had my hear trate so high!

But, I’m still feeling glad that I’m able to run at all and hope i can keep it up for a little bit longer. I’m at day 338 of my running streak and hoping to keep it up just a little longer. I’ve never ever run this many days in a row and I’m surprised and amazed at what my body can handle, especially this far along in my pregnancy!

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Staying In Shape for the 2021 Cleveland Marathon

Last week, I shared that the Cleveland Marathon has decided to move their race from May to the fall. As you may recall, I’m an ambassador for the race!

With the race being postponed until the fall, and me being pregnant (due July 24), I honestly don’t know what I’ll be able to run in the fall. If my pregnancy goes as planned, I’ll be “cleared” for running again mid-September. And that’s the best case scenario. So, depending on when the race is, I’m worried that I won’t be able to participate fully. BUT I’m going to do everything I can to still participate!

So much is out of my hands (how the pregnancy goes, how healing is, when I’m able to get back in shape, etc.), but there are some things in my control. And that – at least right now – is how in shape I stay during my pregnancy. And that’s why I’m trying to keep up my running streak and run about 5 miles each day! So, how did this week go?

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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.

Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.