Mainely Running

A Maine runner trying to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Letting Go

I've never been terribly competitive about my running. It is something I do for myself in order to stay healthy. I get my sense of accomplishment from finishing races and runs, not so much from my time.

my old enemy
So I am surprised how hard it is for me to let go and stop caring about my pace now that I'm pregnant.

It's really been more apparently lately because I am doing a consulting job that involves weekly travel, so I am running on the treadmill in the hotel gym instead of outside. My pace is right there in my face the whole run, mocking me. When I was outside, I didn't check my watch until the end of the run so I could at least pretend that I was going fast. I hadn't been on a treadmill during my pregnancy until now and it was a shock to find out that what used to be my recovery pace is now my fast interval pace.

I have this arbitrary idea that in order to make it worth running, I have to be under a 10 min/mile. And now I'm realizing that I can't do that anymore. It's a lot harder to accept than I thought.

Most of my brain knows that I am just running so that the baby and I are both healthy. I am running to relieve stress and maintain a sense of normalcy when so much else is changing. I know that it is normal to be getting slower and slower, and that this is only temporary. But I still can't let go of that little bit of disappointment when I log my run and see it calculate my pace.

Has anyone else ever struggled with this? 

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Once again sorry for the all the silence around here, but life has just been coming at me full force lately. Last week especially was a culmination of so many of the big things that have been happening in my life lately. In just 7 days so much happened:

I graduated from nursing school

We lost my Mother-in-law to cancer

I got to see my baby's face on ultrasound for the first time

It's amazing how much joy and sadness can co-exist.

It is just this week as I took a few days up at my Mom's house to slow down and rest that I could finally begin to process things. I will have more to say about all of these things, but for now I just wanted to let you know that I'm still here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The First Trimester

Hi! I'm finally into my second trimester and so I thought I'd share the details of my first trimester with you. I promise this won't become a pregnancy themed blog, but even before I was expecting, I thought it was interesting to see how runners handled pregnancy. 

Weeks 4 and 5
These were the “OMG I’m pregnant weeks.” I kept taking pregnancy tests to make sure they were still positive because I didn’t feel pregnant. Obviously as soon as I got the first positive test I stopped drinking and switched to half calf coffee. It was so strange because I felt like such a huge thing was happening to me and no one knew except my husband!

Running: I felt great running and my pace even dropped a bit these 2 weeks. The only way I could tell I was pregnant was my boobs. They seemed to double in size overnight and were really painful. Even my best sports bras did not cut it and I wished it were acceptable to run down the street holding up my chest.

Weeks 6 and 7
As soon as week 6 hit I knew I was pregnant. I was so sick. I rarely threw up, but I was nauseated all day and all night. I was completely repelled by coffee, meat, and vegetables. I basically lived on Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese and peanut butter toast. I did my best to get in enough calories and fluid, but I obviously failed because I passed out in my patient’s room during clinical. He pushed his code button so I woke up to about 50 people standing around me. So embarrassing! Due to this my midwife moved my first appointment. She told me that I could try ½ of a Unisom and B6 for the nausea and it definitely helped. I still didn’t feel good, but it definitely took the edge off. We also had our first ultrasound and got to see our little peanut. It is so amazing that something so tiny already has a heart beat!

Running: Obviously these were not great weeks for running. In week 6 I only managed 1 run and it was a run-walk. I was just SO tired and sick. After I started the unisom/B6, I did better in week 7. I found that if I took my meds, ate half a PB&J in bed before even sitting up, and then waited about 15 minutes before rising, I felt a lot better and that translated into better running. In fact I often felt the better while running than I did the whole rest of the day.

Weeks 8 and 9
These weeks were more of the same. Constant nausea and a lot of carbs. I expanded my menu to include plain pasta with parmesan, pretzels, gnocchi, naan, wheat thins, and cheerios. All the carbs. At this point I was feeling pretty worn down from constantly feeling so crappy and from just plain fatigue. I was in bed by 8:30 every night and still kept falling asleep during the day.

Running: I invested in some bigger and better sports bras, which made me a lot more comfortable. I kept reminding myself that I was just running to feel good and because moderate exercise is good for the baby. It was hard though to completely let go of the idea of training and trying to get faster.

Weeks 10 and 11
I had a breakdown in week 10. It was my birthday and I tried to go to the beach, which is normally my favorite place in the world. I left after an hour because I felt so sick and couldn’t handle the sun. I cancelled all my plans for the evening because I knew I couldn’t possibly eat cake or ice cream. I spent the night alone on the couch crying. The unrelenting nausea had broken me. My husband made me call the midwives and they decided to try me on Methergine. I tried it over the weekend, but it didn’t help the nausea at all. Plus it made it incredibly tired. So I called the midwives back Monday and they prescribed Zofran. I felt really guilty having to resort to medication since we don’t really know how it affects the baby. But everyone kept reminding me that I needed to take care of myself in order to take care of the baby. Zofran was a miracle. I felt so much better.

Running: Running happened during these weeks, but it wasn’t pretty.

Weeks 12-13
Thanks to Zofran, I started to feel a lot more like myself. I even ate some vegetables for first time in a couple months! I knew it was important to try and eat better food and more food, because I ended my first trimester 5lbs lighter than I started! I didn’t expect that when I got pregnant. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat which was exciting and reminded me that this is all for a very important reason. We also got the blood test drawn to look for chromosomal abnormalities and to find out the sex!

Running: Right as I started to feel better, it got HOT! Since I was worried about overheating, I added in walk breaks, carried cold water, and tried to find shady routes. Even with the heat, I was feeling better even started adding some speed work back in. I am way slower than I was pre-pregnancy, but it is still fun to mix up my pace a little. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Peak's Island 5 Miler

Oh my gosh, a race report! I haven't written one of these since last October! I bet it will all come back to me, just like my race morning routine did.

I had my oatmeal and peanut butter, drank a bunch of water, foam rolled, and of course took a selfie in my race outfit. Spandits for the win!

I've done this race for the past 8 years because it is such a fun summer day. I mean any race that involves a ferry ride wins in my book! We took the 9:15 ferry this year, instead of the 8:30, because I knew I'd want to sleep in after working 12 hour shifts the two days before. It was crowded, but we got on, and still had plenty of time once we got to the island. 

The race was a lot bigger than it has been in past years- more than 700 runners. This presented a problem for this pregnant lady. The lines for the bathroom were crazy- so I only got to go once, which was not enough! I had to go before the race even started and it only got worse as the race went on. I was so uncomfortable that I kept looking for places to pull over into the woods- but never found a good one!

This year I convinced my friend Gillian and her husband Al and my friend Brad and his girlfriend Dana to do the race. I love getting more of my friends involved in my running life!

Although I've done this race many times before, I knew this year would be different with a baby on board. Plus my feet were super tired from working the days before and it was hot. So it was not the year to set a PR. I was just there for fun!

But of course, once the race started my competitive side kicked in. Especially since Gillian was just in front of me the whole race! But I kept reminding myself that the health of my baby is way more important than my time! So I did hold myself back, ran through all the hoses to cool off, and walked some sections of the biggest hills. 

I ended up finishing in 45:35, which is a good 7 miles slower than my fastest time. But, I'm totally okay with that! Since I've been running 10 min/miles in training, 9 min/miles felt like flying!

My race number totally hides my baby bump

I wasn't able to enjoy the free Sebago beer after the race (my friends were more than happy to drink mine for me), but I thoroughly enjoyed the basket of sweet potato fries and onion rings we all shared at lunch lately. In fact they might have been the highlight of my day!

Is there a race that you do year after year? Why do you keep returning? 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Life Update


I graduate nursing school in 3 weeks!

I really can't believe it. These past 15 months have been long and intense, but at the same time I can't believe I am already almost done. I have learned SO much. It is also a little scary because the real world is rushing back in. I've been living week to week, just trying to get all my homework done, and ignoring everything else. Now I have to start applying for jobs and thinking about the future again.

I am running a race this weekend!

I haven't done a race since October! I'm pretty sure that is the longest I've ever gone without racing since I started running. Obviously, since I'm pregnant and not supposed to really push it, I'll just be doing it for fun. Plus, it is supposed to be really hot. It will feel a little strange though to be in a race and not racing.

I finally have a baby bump!

It's pretty tiny, but I'm happy to have something to show for all the months I felt totally miserable. Now that I'm into the second trimester I am feeling much better. I'm even eating vegetables again!

What's new in your life?

Thursday, July 14, 2016


This announcement is long overdue, because you know, life.

I promise this blog isn't going to become one giant advertisement. I've definitely stopped reading blogs because it was all just sponsored posts and no real content. However, I am also proud to represent a few products that I really love. Spandits! is one of those products, and so I am so excited to announce that I have been selected as a Spandits ambassador!


1. They are made in Maine! That means high quality and they support the local economy. 

2. The fabrics are so fun! And they are constantly adding new ones. Even more exciting is that you can make custom Spandits! and choose a different pattern for each leg!

3. They are so comfortable! They have become my go-to summer clothing because they are so lightweight and breathable. So much more so than my other athletic stuff. I'll really be testing out the 4 way stretch as my baby bump grows!

4. They have a style for every body! I like my shorts long and my capris short! I definitely don't have a thigh gap, so I need a longer short to keep my inner thighs from chafing. The boardies  style short is the perfect length. (But if you prefer to show off you booty, they have a boy short too!) On the other hand, I have super short legs so a lot of capri style pants are way too long. They hit right above my ankle and look silly! The over the knee capri style is perfect. (But if you are tall or like a longer style, they also have a 3/4 tight and full length tight). 

Starry Night running skirt!

Have I convinced you yet how amazing these are? Head over to and use the code SPANDITSLOVE at checkout at to save 10%. Tell them Kiersten sent you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

You never realize how much you eat in a day......

You never realize how much you eat in a day...... until you need to pack it all in one bag! I'm in my last 7 weeks of nursing school (whoot, whoot!) and doing my practicum. I'm doing 12 hour shifts with a nurse in the maternity ward at Maine Med.

This means I leave my house at 6 am and don't get home until 8 pm. So breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are all at the hospital. That's a lot of planning. And a lot of food. I need a bigger lunch box!

How many meals a day do you eat away from home? Do you pack food or buy it out?