Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Another Mother Runner

Image
I do more than half of my runs by myself, without the stroller, so I still tend to think of my runner identity separate from my Mom identity. However there have been several instances lately where I realized that I definitely am a mother runner.
-When Cooper decided 3 miles away from home that he was tired of being in the stroller. The only way to keep him happy was to sing Old MacDonald as loudly as I could in a funny voice. On a very crowded path on a Sunday morning. We got a lot of funny looks. 
-When I spent a whole run watching my watch obsessively, not because I cared about my pace but because I wanted to make sure I was on my phone to sign Cooper up for swim lessons at exactly 7am (they fill up really quickly).
-The fact that I smell like maple syrup when I sweat because I am taking Fenugreek to help with my milk supply. I come back from every run wanting pancakes. 
-When I wore 2 head lamps and carried a flashlight on my early morning run so that I could see well enough to sc…

The Best Way to Run With a Stroller is.... Any way you can

Image
When I saw this article in the New York Times about how to best run with a stroller, I was excited since I do quite a bit of stroller running these days.


To determine the “best” way to run with a stroller, the researchers gathered 16 fit runners with no experience running with a stroller and had them run 800 meters. They compared their pace and energy expenditure running without a stroller and then with a stroller and 35 lb dummy using different techniques (one-handed, two-handed and push-and-chase).
The conclusions? Parents “should push themselves while they push the stroller, says Ryan Alcantara, who led the study as an undergraduate at Seattle Pacific.”, but  “running at or near your prestroller pace ‘‘will feel much harder than before.’’
Gah! So many things about this bothered me.
They used runners with no stroller running experience. Obviously the first time you run with a stroller, it is going to majorly affect your stride and pace. I would have liked to see them use experienced …

A Work Day in The Life

Image
I love reading day in the life posts by other bloggers, so here is a look at a what a "typical" workday looks like for me.

A Day In the Life
5:30 Alarm goes off. I grumble and look at the baby monitor. Cooper is still asleep so I go brush my teeth. 5:35 Cooper is still asleep so I go downstairs to pump 5:45 Cooper wakes up mid-pump. I dump what I’ve pumped into a bottle and go change and feed him 6:10 Cooper falls back asleep after eating (yeah!) so I head out on a solo run. 7:00 Back from running. Check the monitor while starting to stretch. Cooper is just starting to wake up, so I abandon my stretch and go get him. 7:10 Bring Cooper into the bathroom with me while I shower. He plays on the floor and we play a lot of peek-a-boo during my shower.
7:25 Head downstairs, put the baby on the floor to play, start the coffee, stick my pre-prepped oatmeal in the microwave 7:30 Put Sushi out and feed her 7:35 Eat breakfast while sitting on the floor and playing with Cooper

7:45 Realize I nev…

Half a Year

Image
Holy Moly, I’ve had a baby for more than half a year.  We have settled into our new normal and I can hardly remember what life was like before a baby. So here’s an update on what’s happening with us.

Cooper Sleep: He is sleeping! We did sleep training at about 5 months and transitioned him from the Rock N Play to the crib. It went way better than we expected and he is now consistently sleeping 8-10 hours and sometimes even makes it through the whole night.
Eating: We are still breast-feeding. Kudos to all those breastfeeding Moms out there- breastfeeding is hard! I had an over-supply at first which had one set of problems, and now that I’m back at work I can’t pump enough to keep up with my greedy little guy. Feeding him at the moment is like trying to wrestle a distracted alligator because he is getting so big and is so curious about everything around him. We started solids a month ago and that has been a lot of fun. It is great to watch him experience new things. He LOVES food- especi…

Beach to Beacon 2017

Image
I ran another race! Two blogs posts and two races in 8 days? It’s almost like I’m back to being a runner blogger!
So my second race post baby couldn’t have been more different than my first. Peak’s Island is a low key, small race while Beach to Beacon is a major event. For those of you not familiar with the race, The Beacon to Beacon 10k was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson (the1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist) who wanted to bring world class running to her home state. This year’s race had more than 7,000 runners and featured elite runners Mary Keitany (who set a new women’s record at the London Marathon), Shalene Flanagan, Abdi Abdirahman, Stephen Kosgei Kibet. It is pretty amazing to have these world class runners just minutes from my house!

The race totally takes over the small town of Cape Elizabeth for the weekend. I was hoping to beat the crowds by heading to the expo as soon as it opened at 4 pmon Thursday, but apparently a lot of people had the same idea! Luckily, it is incre…

Peak's Island 5 Miler 2017

Image
Well hi there! I'm still alive, and I even ran a race! I've done the Peak's Island 5 Miler for the past 7 or 8 years so I figured it would be a good first post-partum race.

The race takes place on Peak's Island, which is a short ferry ride from the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal in Portland. But even that short boat ride makes the whole day feel like a little vacation. Although the race is at 10:30, we always take the 8:30 boat (which they add just for race day). This year I went with my friends Brad and Dana, and then my sister and a friend also decided to come at the last minute. It was going to be Cooper's first race too, but since my husband got a (minor) injury at work Thursday night he was able to be home with Cooper. I missed my baby, but travelling solo is definitely easier!



Packet pick-up is just a short walk from where the ferry docks. And although the race has grown a lot since I started running it, we still had our packets within minutes. The best part of the …

33

Image
Today is my 33rd birthday. It is already turning out to be a great day. Cooper wanted to help me enjoy every minute of my birthday so he woke me up at 530 with happy babbles. After some coffee (me) and milk (him), we headed out for a run.


It was a bright, sunny morning and I felt so happy to be out doing something I love with my boy. I am so lucky to be healthy, live in such a beautiful place, and have such a sweet baby.


When we came home, my husband had gotten me Starbucks and set up a fun scavenger hunt for me to find my presents.

Every year on my birthday I like to reflect back on the past year. As an adult I feel a lot of years are just more of the same, but in retrospect this was actually a huge year. So much, good and bad, happened. Last year when I turned 32 I was pregnant (and so sick), in my last semester of nursing school, and my mother in law had just been diagnosed with cancer.

The Highs
Graduating from Nursing School and Passing the NCLEX
The accelerated BSN program I did w…

What a Good Mom

Image
Cooper's first run in the stroller was quickly followed by his second and his third. On Friday as we passed an older woman walking her dogs she said "what a good Mom you are."

I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the run. I needed to hear that.

Honestly every time I exercise I feel selfish. I try my best to time our run around Cooper's eating and nap schedule, but on work mornings there is a very short window of time. I worry that I am messing up his schedule for the rest of the day. I feel badly that he is confined in the stroller instead of being able move freely. I feel badly that I am not doing something more interactive with him. When I go to the gym I feel badly that my husband has to watch him.

I have ALL the Mom guilt.

But this woman reminded me that it is self imposed. By making fitness a priority, I am being a good Mom.

I'm getting him out in the fresh air. He is getting to see and hear and feel so many different things in the outside world.

I'm s…

Cooper's First Run

Image
Happy Wednesday. We are on the struggle bus in our house lately. Last week Cooper's reflux was so bad that he was screaming in pain every time he tried to eat. There is nothing worse than having to watch your baby scream in pain and not being able to help him. We started him on a new medication Friday and it seems to be helping a lot. Unfortunately Friday he also had to get his 4 month shots which always upsets his equilibrium for awhile. And of course we are in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression- which means we are back to getting up every 3 hours all night.

Things aren't all gloom and doom however- at our 4 month visit we did get permission to do something I've been waiting to do since before Cooper was born- run with him!

The weather has been so bad that we didn't get to it until today. It still wasn't nice out, but it wasn't actively raining so we went for it!

My wonderful aunt got us the Thule Urban Glide jogging stroller as a baby shower gift and …

Three Things Thursday

Hi Friends! I've been too exhausted lately to put together a coherent post about anything, here are some random things on my mind and happening in my life lately.

1) Tickpocolpyse
My friend and I went for hike on Sunday with the baby and our dogs. It was a lovely until halfway through when we realized we were all completely covered in ticks. I have never seen anything like it. It was absolutely horrifying. There were hundreds of them. I took off my socks and shoes when we got back to the cars and they were just crawling with ticks. As soon as I got home, Cooper and I went straight into the bath. My poor husband had just gotten up after working a midnight shift and had to spend hours combing them out of the dog. She looked like a Dalmatian she was so covered. I vacuumed and sprayed tick spray all over my car, but Monday morning as I drove to work, a tick fell off the ceiling and onto my face. Its been days and I still feel like I have things crawling all over me. So gross!!

2) On t…

Adjustment

Image
I am a runner in every sense of the word. Not only do I run for exercise, but I've always run my way through life. As soon as my alarm goes off I am up and moving. I've always filled my days with as much as possible- exercise, baking, errands, long dog walks, eating out, exploring, time with friends, etc...

When Cooper was born obviously the pace of my life slowed somewhat, but he was still pretty portable. As long as he was full, he would sleep just as happily in the car, in his car seat, or in someone's arms as he would in his crib at home.

In recent weeks that has changed. In order to get a good nap in he really needs to be alone in his rock n play in a quiet space. When he doesn't get good naps he turns into a major cranky pants and the whole day derails. Basically after he wakes up, is changed and eats, I have about an hour to try and run and do something before he needs to be back at home to nap again. He also hasn't yet settled into a schedule where he naps …

What's next with Running?

Image
In the past few weeks my running has really clicked. I feel like I'm nearly back to where I was before I was pregnant (when I was not training for anything in particular). I'm running for about an hour 3-4 times a week with one day of speed work to mix it up. This leaves me with the question of what is next.

A part of me wants to sign up for a ton of races. I miss racing- the nervous energy before, the energy I get from the competition and the crowds, the feeling of accomplishment after. I'm also tempted to start training for something longer like a half marathon. I miss working towards a goal. After a couple years of running take a back seat (first because of nursing school and then because I was pregnant), I want it to be a bigger part of my life. A few times I've looked for races and started to sign up. But then I close the window before I actually register.

I have a lot on my plate right now. I have an infant. I just went back to work. I'm not sleeping a lot. I …

I'll Never... 1st Edition

Image
Before I became a parent there so many things I swore that I'd never do. We all do it. When I become a parent, I'll never ________________. In the 3 months since Cooper was born, I've found myself already doing some of the things I swore I'd never do. 
Here is the first edition of things I said I'd never do, but have done.
1) I'll never tip-toe around my house while the kid is napping. I wanted my kids to be used to napping with the sounds of the house happening around them. 
Fast forward...... It took me 30 minutes to get Cooper to fall asleep and I know that if he doesn't nap, he will be a grumpy, screaming mess. Quite frequently my husband and I find ourselves whispering and tip-toeing around so we don't wake the baby. Rory has resorted to making margaritas in the garage because the blender is so loud (and we really needed a margarita).
2) I'll never have a rigid schedule and schedule everything around the baby.  Fast forward........ When he was …

Just Me

Image
Last week a friend asked if I was ready to go back to work. I responded that I was looking forward to going back so that I could be "myself," for a little while, meaning the pre-Mom me.

Fast forward to the night before I went back when I was crying as I nursed Cooper before bed. I already missed him and I hadn't even left yet. He was always at the back of my mind (and often at the front of my mind too) during my work day.



I realized that being a Mom is a permanent part of who I am now. The old me isn't me anymore. The more I thought about it though, I recgnized that I didn't lose a part of myself, I grew. I gained so much.

I am a better wife because I appreciate my husband in a whole new way. It warms my heart to see the relationship he has with Cooper. I so appreciate everything he does to help me- particularly making sure I get my exercise time and making sure I get as much sleep as possible.

I am a better runner because I recognize how lucky I am to have some …

The Best Banana Trick Ever

Image
I bet that title got your attention. I couldn't think of any titles for this post (which is about bananas) that didn't sound a little dirty.

But seriously guys, this has changed my life. I like actual fresh bananas, but I've never really been a fan of banana flavored things. My college dining hall used to use up left over bananas in all kinds of desserts. It was the worst surprise ever when you bit into a piece of chocolate cake and it had a banana flavor. But never the end of my pregnancy when I was craving strange things I had a hankering for banana bread. I used this lovely cookbook that a friend gave me and the first step of the recipe was something I'd never done before. It called for roasting the bananas before baking with them.

Take the whole banana, peel and all and put it in the oven at 400.


Roast until the peels are black (10ish minutes depending on how ripe the bananas are)

Wait for them to cool and then slit the peel and squeeze out this lovely caramelized …

You Never Know (Moments from my life that I didn't share)

Image
I read this blog post last week about how a blogger that I have followed for awhile got over her body issues. What surprised me is not that she got over her issues, but that it was such a problem in the first place. After reading a blog for awhile I feel like I know the blogger. I always thought of this person as such a positive, love myself type of person. This reminded me that we see such a small, curated version of life on social media.

This is problematic because we often compare ourselves to these idealized images. No one's life is as perfect as they make it seem on the inter-webs. So in the spirit of full disclosure, here are some real life moments from my life in the past week. This is who I really am.

Moments I Didn't Instagram

Tip-toeing into the kitchen and trying to silently (so that my husband won't know) get a third portion of dessert. Healthy living blogger right here.

Ordering Dominos during the blizzard and eating 3/4 of a stuffed cheesy bread, 3 slices of p…

Monday Mash-up

Image
I keep having to come up with new names for this post because I keep running out of time to finish it! It started as fun things Friday, then was Saturday Stuff, then was Sunday stuff, and now it is Monday already. Life with a baby keeps you on your toes! Anyway, here is an update on what is new in my neck of the woods.

Running
I had 3 good runs last week! Yeah! 2 were on the treadmill due to babies and blizzards but I did make it outside once. I felt strong and my "speed" is starting to come back. I have really been struggling to get below a 10 min/mile average since the baby, but finally last week I dropped down to a 9:30 pace. Yeah!

Baby

Somehow my little guy is 2 months old! He is very interactive these days- smiling and "talking" to us, which is so fun! He has also been sleeping 5-6 hours more regularly. Hallelujah!  Of course, he is also throwing some challenges at us. He started screaming like he was in pain last week every time I tried to feed him on my left s…

Running and Breastfeeding

Image
Let me start by saying that although I am successfully breastfeeding now, it is still a challenge. It is something that I don't think people talk about enough and so I felt so under-prepared. Breastfeeding is hard! Don't feel alone or like a failure if you are struggling. You are not alone!

In addition to the normal challenges of breastfeeding, I've found that it has some specific challenges for runners. Here they are, along with how I'm getting around them

1) Your breasts will be LARGE
I didn't think it was possible for my breasts to get any larger than they already were in pregnancy.  I was wrong. They easily doubled in size again after my milk came in. This was a little frustrating since the larger sports bras I'd had to buy when I was pregnant were now too small already. Annoying because sports bras aren't cheap! I opted to just buy 2 really good quality sports bras that fit me perfectly now, rather than invest in a whole new bra wardrobe. This works sin…

Postpartum Fitness: 6 weeks

Image
Cooper is now 6 weeks old and while things certainly aren't "easy," I am starting to feel a lot more like myself, mostly because I am back in the swing of things with my exercise routine.


I had a relatively uncomplicated delivery, with minimal tearing, so my midwife told me that I could resume exercise when my bleeding slowed and I felt ready.

Week 1
For my first week postpartum all I could do was hobble! But I found that getting out of the house for just 15 minutes of fresh air, sunshine, and movement made just a huge difference.

Week 2
By week two I was starting to feel stronger and was in a lot less pain. I started doing longer walks (30-45 minutes) and even figured out how to get the baby in the sling so I could walk with him. I was lucky that we had some beautiful, and very atypical weather for Maine, this week so that it was warm enough to take him out. I also did some gentle yoga to help everything loosen up and settle back into position.

Week 3
At the end of week 2 …