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Showing posts from 2016

A runner who isn't running

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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

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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. 
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 la…

Second Trimester Recap

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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!


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.

Exercise:  I'm still ru…

I'm an RN

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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…

Letting Go

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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.

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…

Life

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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 kn…

Peak's Island 5 Miler

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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 th…

Life Update

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Hello!

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…

Spandits!

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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!


WHY I LOVE SPANDITS 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 lon…

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

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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!

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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!


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

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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 cel…

2nd Ride

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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.



How many times have you been out on your bike?






Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis

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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.
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 …

Mother's Day Partner Yoga

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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.




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

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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 eno…

Three Things Thursday

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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. 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. 
3) After my friend Liz's wedding I was bummed because it remin…

Running Buddies

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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.



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.




Too bad they all live too far away to run with on a regular b…

I Should Know Better

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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).

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!




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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 …

You ain't going Nowhere

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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

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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?

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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 …

A Runner's Dilemma

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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…

A New Personal Mileage Low

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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?