A runner who isn't running

Image result for runner who can't run

In the past month or so I've been shortening my running intervals and adding more walking. Running was getting a lot less comfortable as the baby bump got bigger. I started having pubic symphysis pain, round ligament pain, and constantly felt like I had to pee. As much as I want it to, running just doesn't feel good. 

Now I am definitely walking more than I am running and I know the day is coming soon where it won't make sense to try and run at all. 

It's been a core part of my identity for so long that I feel a little lost without it. Walking is certainly better than nothing, but it isn't the same. 

Am I still a runner if I can't run?

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've been doing "track workouts" with some friends on Sunday. I used the quotation marks because while I am at the track, I am not doing anything approaching speed-work. 

Image result for pregnant runners peeing meme
I need to buy this shirt
It's a great place for a pregnant runner because the softer surface is easier on my body and there are bathrooms....... or at least there were bathrooms. 

Yesterday morning I figured it was fine to have a cup of coffee and drink a bunch of water because there were porta-potties at the track. And then I got there and found that they had been removed during the week. Noooooooooooooo. 

After 15 minutes of "running," it was clear that I either needed to find a place to pee or give up. The challenge is that the track is surrounded by fairly busy roads on 3 sides. There was no place where I couldn't be seen by someone. But desperate times call for desperate measures so I squatted behind a little shed- it was quasi sheltered, but I am sure someone saw me. And then I did it again 15 minutes later...... and 15 minutes after that. 

Sacrificing my dignity was totally worth it to make it through the whole workout. 

Where is the strangest place you've ever had to go to the bathroom while running?

Second Trimester Recap

Holy moly, I can't believe I am now in my third trimester! That means I'm going to have a baby pretty darn soon. This trimester seemed both very short and very long. Here's a recap!

13 weeks!

Unpleasant symptoms: The nausea and vomiting did not go away right at 12 weeks, like I had hoped it would. I continued to have the constant nausea and need Zofran in order to be able to eat until about 16-17 weeks. Then, it slowly ebbed and I started to feel like my old self. Hallelujah! Once I stopped taking the Zofran, the constipation also got a lot better, although I continued to need Colace. The heartburn on the other hand, starting increasing as the nausea decreased. But I will take heartburn over constant nausea any day! I can manage the heartburn by eating smaller meals, staying upright after I eat, and with drugs when necessary. Other than that, the second trimester felt like a breeze compared to the first- I had a lot more energy and overall felt pretty good.

18 weeks
Exercise:  I'm still running and doing pretty much everything I did pre-pregnancy, just more slowly. I was travelling for work most of this trimester- so most of my running was on the treadmill. It was a real reality check the first week when my pace was right there staring me in the face and I realized that my old easy pace was now my hard pace. But I just keep reminding myself that this isn't a time to set records- it is about staying active to keep me sane and healthy. I've kept going to my metabolic conditioning classes- I've just lightened up on the weights and made some modifications (I can still do a burpee but it is pretty funny looking!).

22 weeks
Food:  Once the nausea subsided it was so nice to get back to my regular diet. I had missed fruits and vegetables and protein. I didn't have crazy weird cravings, but I did find that certain things tasted amazing and I wanted to eat them over and over. My poor husband was stuck eating Caesar salad every night for about a month, and during that same period I ate a mozzarella, tomato, and pesto sandwich every day for lunch. I definitely craved a lot more salty, crunchy foods than I did pre-pregnancy (Omg have you tried the Cape Cod Aged White Cheddar & Sour Cream chips), but I also started to enjoy my favorite sweet treats again.

25 weeks
Highs & Lows:  The absolute high was our 20 week ultrasound. Getting to see his little face made him seem so much more real (once he finally rolled over that it- he was so stubborn and only wanted to show us his butt!)  My other favorite part was starting to feel him move. It went from the faintest flutters to real kicks and jabs. Even though it is a little uncomfortable at times, it is reassuring to feel him bopping around in there. The low was losing my mother in law to cancer at the end of August. It was much sooner than we expected, and it breaks my heart that the baby won't get to meet her. She would have been such a good grandmother. I am so grateful though, that she at least got to be there for half of the pregnancy. She also got to give him the greatest gift- his name.

27 weeks!
I am excited, and nervous, as I enter the third trimester. I'm excited for my baby shower and setting up the nursery. But I know that the third trimester will have a lot more physical discomforts and that at the end of it I am going to have to give birth to a baby and learn how to become a Mom. Scary Stuff!

I'm an RN

Even though I graduated with my BSN more than a month ago, I was waiting to write anything about it because the degree meant nothing until I passed the boards........ which I did yesterday! I am officially an RN!

I'd never had so much riding on one exam, so it was a very nerve wracking weekend as I waited to get my results. Now that the whole going back to school and changing careers thing is over, I am kind of at a loss. It was such an intense experience that I am feeling a little lost without it. So I am trying to use this time to reflect on the experience and see what I can take away from it.

I need to believe in myself. 
First I didn't think I'd get in (getting in to my accelerated BSN program is harder than getting into Harvard undergrad). Then I didn't think I belonged there and felt so intimidated by the other students. Then I didn't think I had the tenacity or the stamina to make it through the grueling program. Then I didn't think I would pass the NCLEX.

In all of those cases I was so wrong. I got in. I got a 4.0 GPA and was near the top of my class. I made it through. I passed the boards with the minimum number of questions. Like in marathon running, I need to believe in myself. I am tough, I have made it through so many challenging things. I need to remind myself of that when I have doubts.

It's all about the people
The members of my cohort are what made this program for me. Instead of being competitive, we chose to come together and support each other. It would have been so much harder without them. In the end, I will remember the people more than any single thing I learned.

This is important for me to remember because I tend to draw inward when challenged or stressed. I block people out, thinking it will make it easier. It won't. Form relationships, support people, and let them support you. It will make it easier and give it so much more meaning.

And now if anyone needs me, I'll be applying for a million and ten jobs.

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? 


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.

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. 

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? 

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?


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 Spandits.com and use the code SPANDITSLOVE at checkout at to save 10%. Tell them Kiersten sent you.

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?

Big News!

Hi Friends!

I realize that it has been pretty quiet around here. Well, I have been super busy with my last semester of nursing school and some other family stuff.

But I've also just been too darn sick and tired to do much of anything. Luckily, that was for a very exciting reason......... I'm pregnant!

A friend pointed out that the dogs are looking at each other like "Did you know about this?"

We are, obviously, super excited! I've had a really rough first trimester, but I finally ended up on Zofran, and since then I've been feeling a lot more human. The baby and I have been even been back to regular running. I can't wait to see what the second trimester brings!

Mother runners- any pregnancy running tips?

Girls on The Run

Hello! I'm taking a quick break from my endless homework in this last semester to to share my experiences from my second season of coaching Girls on the Run. 

I initially wasn't going to coach again this spring because I thought I would be too busy, but I am so glad I decided to go for it anyway! I always left practice feeling inspired and with more energy than I went in with. 

This was a more challenging season than last year. We dealt with many of the issues in the curriculum at each practice: gossip, bullying, and negative self talk. 

But the wonderful thing about the Girls on the Run curriculum is that it provided me with a way to directly address these issues at practice. We were able to have an open dialogue about the problems and provide the girls with tool so that they learned how to resolve them.

I saw such growth in my girls over the season. They went from being shy and full of doubt to being boisterous and confident. 

The final 5k on Sunday was such a wonderful celebration of Girl Power! There were all kinds of fun clothes, spray painted hair, and face paint. During the event, there was as much skipping, laughing, and dancing as running. It is a reminder to me why I run: because it is fun to move my body. 

I'll end with the cheer that we ended every practice with "Girls on the Run is so much fun!"

2nd Ride

I was so excited to go for my first outside bike ride of the year back in early March. I figured that I'd get a nice long riding season in if I started that early.

And then I didn't ride again until today! Almost a month and a half later! Whoops!

After having a mild winter, we had a cold, nasty spring. Then in the couple weeks since it finally warmed up, it has been insanely windy. I hate biking in the wind! It makes me so frustrated!

Even though it was windy today, I decided enough was enough and I was getting out there. What was the point in paying a lot of $$ to get my bike tuned up, if I am never going to ride it?

I'm so glad I did. It was windy, but it was also super sunny. It was so much nicer being out in the air than cooped up inside the gym.

I live in such an ugly place, I can't stand it.... 

How many times have you been out on your bike?

Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis

Five years ago I had terrible plantar fasciitis. It was bad.  I went to three different doctors, tried a lot of things, and endured a lot of pain before I finally cured it. To save you some suffering here is what I did to cure it:

1) Sleeping in a boot.
Adjustable bilateral dorsi-flexion straps allows for consistent stretch.Soft foam inner layer and padded straps enhance comfort while sleeping.Lightweight, sturdy and breathable shell.Fit right or left.
I paid a lot for this boot at the podiatrist, only to see it on the internets for way less
Basically when you sleep, you point your foot, and yyou plantar fascia shortens and tightens. Then when you go to stand up in the morning, you suddenly lengthen it, creating small tears and inflammation (and pain). The boot keeps your foot dorsiflexed all night, thus keeping the plantar fascia lengthened. I won't lie- the boot sucked. It was hard to sleep in, I kicked myself in the other shin all the time, and the velcro straps ruined so many of my sheets. I had to sleep in the boot for a solid 6 months, but it really made a difference. Not having terrible plain when I first stood up was a sign that I was healing.

2) Getting orthotics
The third doctor finally told me that the root of my problem was my high arches. My arch wasn't being properly supported, so my plantar fascia was constantly being pulled on. When you are taking 20,000 steps during a long run, that is a lot of strain on that poor thing! This was the easiest fix to implement- my feet felt so much better during long runs.

3) No going barefoot or wearing flipflops.
Again because I have high arches. When I was walking around barefoot, or in crappy shoes, my arch had no support. This was the hardest thing for me to stick to, especially in the summer. Who wants to wear sneakers to the beach? Or in the house?

By doing these 3 things my plantar fasciitis was pretty much gone in 6 months. Since then I've felt it start to twinge, but I have always been able to get it to go away by doing. Here's how I prevent it from coming back:

1) Wearing my orthotics and replacing them when they get worn-out
I will admit that I am cheap, so sometimes I try to push my orthotics or shoes when they are worn-out. It's not worth it! I notice almost immediate relief when I replace them.

2) Stretching my plantar fascia and rolling it out using a frozen golf ball
I do toes pose and roll out my foot on a golf fall at night while watching TV. This helps keep my plantar fascia long and adhesion free.

3) Wearing my SLS3 plantar fasciitis sleeves
I wear these around the house which helps to keep my arches supported when I am barefoot. I also wear them on long days at the hospital when I am on my feet all day to give my feet a little extra support. They are comfortable and breathable- way better than having to wear shoes all the time!

Have you ever struggled with plantar fasciitis? Want to win a free pair of SLS3 foot sleeves? 

Enter my giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mother's Day Partner Yoga

My Mom and I had the most fun Mother's Day yesterday I think we've ever had. I signed us up for a partner yoga class at my favorite local studio, The Beathing Room.

We started off sitting back to back and did a series of arm movement and twists and then moved on to a series of forward folds and back bends. It was amazing how having the support and weight of another person make every pose so much deeper and stronger. My chest and back felt so open when we left!

Then we moved on to the fun stuff- partner acro yoga! The instructors did a great job breaking down the poses, helping with proper form, and providing different options.

I went for the advanced version because I am an overachiever like that

and my mom went for the low version because she said my butt was too slippery

It was a small class so there was a lot of conversation and a lot of laughter, especially as we toppled over and crashed into each other. My stomach actually hurt from laughing so hard,

I am so lucky to have such a fun, adventurous Mom who will try these crazy things with me.

How was your Mother's Day?

Finishing Strong

Do any of you read Kristin Armstrong's column, Mile Markers, on Runner's World. com? I love it. She has such great insights and it feels like the topic she chooses each week is so relevant to my life at that moment. This week is no exception. The column is about Finishing Strong: both in running and in life.

Next week is finals and then I get a whopping weekend off before I start summer classes the next Monday. No rest for the weary. But the summer is my last semester, I'll graduate nursing school in August.

I'm tired, physically and mentally. My head feels full. I'm trying to study for my finals and I'm already getting homework for the next semester. It just feels like too much. I  want to crawl into bed and sleep for a week.

Kristin Armstrong reminded me that I always feel this way at the end of a marathon.

"The final stretch of a marathon can be epic. Sometimes you can see the finish line, sometimes not. Either way, it’s close enough to taste but far enough to keep you hungry. Your calves are cramping, or at least mine always are. I’m usually salt-encrusted and ready to be done.Everything about my body aches. And yet more is demanded. You can’t just stall out at mile 26 and walk it on in. Sometimes that final .2 determines the seconds that represent the difference between a PR or a BQ, or not. But it always means something to finish steady and strong."
definitely salt-encrusted and ready to be done

So, even though I am tempted to throw in the towel and say good enough, I am forcing myself to keep going. I won't stop studying and say that I'll be content with a B. I won't show up for my new classes without having done the preparation. I've come this far and worked so hard. I'm at mile 26 with just that .2 to go. Stopping now would give me momentary relief, but finishing will give me the ultimate satisfaction. 

"We do this, because even though it might feel good to stop, it will feel awesome to finish. We learn how to access our backup tank and remember to keep it full. Once we learn the value of finishing strong, we don’t do things almost. We don’t give up."

Three Things Thursday

So it's been quiet around here lately. I keep writing drafts of posts and then never posting them because when I re-read them they seem stupid. So since I still have any new or interesting ideas for posts, here's just a quick update on what is happening in my life.

1) I start my final semester of nursing school in 2 weeks. I can't believe I am this close to the end. When I started last May 15 months seemed so long and I didn't know if I'd make it through. I can't believe everything I've learned in a year. I actually sound like I know what I am talking about sometimes these days.
I can't wait until I don't have to wear all blue scrubs- no more looking like a giant blueberry!
2) I signed up for some summer races. Yeah! I haven't raced since last September, so this is the longest stretch I've ever gone without racing since I started running. I don't regret the break- I needed some unstructured running time and was busy with school- but I am looking forward to my summer races. 

Power Ranger meme - When me and my friends show up to the gym
3) After my friend Liz's wedding I was bummed because it reminded me how much I miss having running buddies. I realized though that although I don't have running buddies, I have made a great group of gym friends in the past year. They really push me to work harder in classes and make going to the gym a lot more fun. When they cancelled our Sunday morning class, we just decided to hold our own and take turns leading the class.

Whats new in your world?

Running Buddies

Last weekend I went to Newport, RI for the wedding of one of my best friends from college. Although the wedding itself was a blast, for me the highlight of the weekend was getting to run with my friends.

It didn't hurt that we were running along the amazing cliff walk

I've been in a bit of a running funk this year. I think  it's because I run by myself in the very early morning. Not so fun.

Running with my college friends totally reminded me why I became a runner in the first place. When I started college, I could only run for about 20 minutes, and I just did it for the exercise. But within just a couple weeks I was running for an hour or more because it was so fun! I'd get talking with these girls and the miles just flew by.

This weekend was the same. I had worried about running with them because I'm not in the shape I was in college. But it was so fun. So fun. For the first time in awhile running felt easy. I didn't notice the time at all. I finished feeling elated.

the fields of spring flowers added to my elation

Too bad they all live too far away to run with on a regular basis. This did convince me though that I need to stop being so lazy and anti-social and find some local running friends.

Portland Maine area runners, where are you?

I Should Know Better

After almost 15 years of running, I should know better than to keep running in worn out shoes just to save a few bucks (and because I am anal and like to start new pairs on the first of the month).

I loved these Hokas, but they barely lasted 300 miles. So I kept running in them even though they had no soles left. 
KIERSTEN DAWN- You only get one body, don't abuse it. You have 3 pairs of new shoes sitting in your closet- start wearing one now!!

After suffering various aches and pains for a few weeks, I finally bit the bullet and pulled out a new pair of shoes. Like magic, all those aches and pains were gone.

How many times has this happened to me? Why do I still do this to myself!

As a soon to be nurse, I try to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So since I tell my patients how important it is to get regular preventative care, I figured I should probably get a physical since I haven't had one in several years.

I see an NP and I usually like her because I feel like she really listens and spends the necessary time with me. This was not the case this time. I was in and out of there in like 4 minutes and she totally blew off my complaints of fatigue saying "well you are really active and in nursing school."

I figured she knew more than I did so I just accepted that answer. Then about a month ago I switched vitamins. It turns out my new vitamins have a lot more iron (I didn't make this choice consciously, I just wanted a vitamin with less artificial crap in them.)

By increasing the amount of iron I'm getting, look at my resting heart rate.

It dropped from 80 to 64 in a month! I was anemic. As soon as I started getting enough iron, my heart stopped having to work overtime. And guess what- my fatigue is gone too! My running times are so much faster!

In retrospect this was such a simple fix that it makes me so mad that my NP didn't even try to investigate! So I guess the take away here is to trust yourself people. You know your body best. Force your doctor (or PA or NP) to listen and take action if you think something is wrong. 

Have you ever been blown off by a doctor? Do you take iron?

You ain't going Nowhere

Never a miss a chance to have a Bob Dylan song as your post title,

Anyway. I've been having major life envy of my Timehop lately. (For those of you that don't know Timehop is an app that pulls info from all of your social media accounts to show you what you were doing on this day in years past).

5 Years Ago I was in Antarctica

Two years ago I was in Japan

One year ago I was in New Zealand

And this year? I'm at home. I'll be at home for the foreseeable future because with my intensive nursing program we don't have the time or money to travel. Whomp. I really miss having an adventure to look forward to.

(I know it is such a first world problem and that I am so lucky to have gotten to go to all the amazing places I've been. ) 

Let me live vicariously through you. Who is going someplace exciting?

Snow Day

Today I got my first snow day of my nursing program! Yeah! When I woke up for clinical early this morning, I was so happy to see the emergency alert text saying school was closed.

It got me thinking about how snow days now are different than when I was a kid. I knew within 3 seconds of waking up that school was officially cancelled because I got a text.

As a kid I was usually the first person up in my family. So I'd look out the window to make sure it actually snowed and then go downstairs and turn on the TV. I'd have to sit and watch and wait as all the cancellations scrolled across the bottom of the screen. I'd cross my fingers as they got to the F's, because my school started with a G. It was so exciting when I finally saw "Gorham Schools- closed."

How did you find out about snow days as a kid? What was your favorite snow day activity? (Mine was watching the Price is Right while eating Mac and Cheese)

Is it Time to Break-up With my Fitbit?

I've been wearing a Fitbit Charge HR for about a year and half. I was totally in love with it when I first got it, but I'm afraid that the honeymoon is over, and I'm considering a break-up.

There are features I still really like. The sleep tracker has helped me with my sleep habits. Even though I was spending 8 hours in bed, I was not getting enough sleep because it took me so long to fall asleep and then I was so restless. So now I get in bed earlier and I've tried to improve my sleep hygiene.

However, I feel like the focus on steps seems very one sided and is pushing me towards one type of physical activity. Let's look a sample couple days from this week.

Wednesday, I was over my goal of 15,000 steps for the day, Thursday I was not. So according to Fitbit, it seems like Thursday was a less health day. 

Wednesday I went for a 7 mile run, and then pretty much sat down for the whole rest of the day. Thursday, I did a 45 minute spin class and 45 minutes of weights in the morning, walked the dog at lunch, and then did an hour and half yoga class at night. 

Really Thursday was a better day for my overall fitness, but because those activities don't involve a lot of "steps," they don't matter in Fitbit land. I didn't make my step goal, and at the end of the day, that makes me feel like I failed. 

I already tend to be a bit of a cardio queen and I feel like my Fitbit is pushing me more in that direction. 

Do you wear a fitness tracker? Do you feel like it influences your activity?

A Runner's Dilemma

I seem to be having a lot of ethical dilemmas lately. Or maybe I just overthink things. A couple weeks ago I was conflicted over my feelings of anger towards people who come late to yoga.
This week I'm conflicted over shoes.

Over the weekend I went to my local independently owned running store because I had a gift certificate. I figured that $75 would go a long way towards a new pair of shoes.

The staff were amazing. I told them about my running and what type of shoes I usually run in. They confirmed my size, watched my running form, and brought out 6 pairs of shoes for me to try (all of which I loved). Plus we had a great conversation about local running while I tried shoes on.

I was like, "why don't come here all the time??"

Then I went to pay

$160 for the same shoes that I buy on-line for $80.

This is my dilemma.

I want to support my local running store. They provide great customer service. Even as an experienced runner, I learned a lot. They also do amazing things for the local running community.

But I am also very frugal. Why would I pay twice as much for the very same shoes? My budget is especially tight right now while I am in school.

Do you buy your shoes at store, on-line, or both?

A New Personal Mileage Low

Last month I ran my lowest monthly mileage in more than 6 years. I usually average about 100 miles a month when I am not marathon training, but last month I only ran 74.6.

It was partly because winter finally hit us here in Maine. It was cold and snowy. Plus, I was on winter break for a lot of the month. That meant that I had more time to go to the gym and try all the fun classes. So, when it wasn't so nice out, I opted to go to the gym pretty often.

While the type A part of me likes to see my monthly mileage keep rising, I also realize that isn't sustainable. Sometimes you have to step back. Sometimes you just don't feel like running. That's okay. I am in this running thing for the long haul.

Do you have months where your mileage drops a lot? Do you plan these cutback periods? Or do you just listen to your body and take them when you feel it?


I turned 35 in June. It's an age that felt both momentous and ominous to me. I'm not just an adult, I'm an ADULT. I've never...