New Adventures

Happy Friday!  I have been absent for a few weeks.  My apologies but things threw me for a loop and I opted to take a break from blogging until life calmed down a touch.  Things really haven’t calmed down and at this point, I can assure you that they likely won’t.  But we at least have an action plan and feel back on track!

Two weeks ago, Rock had to leave town for the weekend.  Mary and I opted for a fun girl’s weekend (along with our dog Louie).  We spent our afternoons at the lake playing in the sun and had a super exciting movie night together.  Mary is really into Daniel Tiger (from my beloved Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) these days.  It worked out perfectly that Saturday night there was a new Daniel Tiger episode about his family having a new baby and bringing her home from the hospital.  I had just hit 34 weeks and this was a perfect way for Mary and I to mark the occasion. How else does one really discuss with a 2 year old that things are going to be changing soon?!  I will also admit that I totally cried while watching this episode.

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Before Rock got home on Sunday I was able to get a great long run in on the treadmill while Mary napped.  I had a stellar week of running, logging 51 miles!  I felt fantastic.

However, by 8:00pm that evening I started to feel contractions and they held on throughout the night.  I figured they were just run of the mill Braxton Hicks, but when they lasted for over 12 hours and stayed close together, I gave my doctor’s office a call and they sent me to labor and delivery.  I was shocked to find out that we were in preterm labor and we spent 24 hours at the hospital getting the contractions to subside and some steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature, just in case.  If you’ve been a follower of this blog for awhile, you might recall that Mary made an early entrance into the world, and this was pretty much to the day that she started trying to arrive.

I was sent home on modified bedrest and said goodbye to running.  Not a huge deal.  Having been put on bedrest before, I knew that I likely wouldn’t be running up to my delivery date.  So instead, I worked at finishing up watching the entire series of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  This show has gotten me through treadmill running during my pregnancy.  I am happy to report that I finished the series and made it through all but 20 mins of the Gilmore Girls reunion movie.

At 35 1/2 weeks of pregnancy, things were feeling great and I was certain we were going to make it the whole way through.  That was until my water decided to break in the middle of the night and we made a 3:30am drop off with a pajama clad Mary in the parking lot of a gas station.  We passed her off to my mom as the attendant watched us and I felt like we were doing some strange illegal activity.  Mary on the other hand, thought it was awesome to be wearing her pajamas in the car and chatted it up with us in the wee hours of the morning.

We arrived safely at the hospital, got settled into a room and had a super smooth delivery at 1:21pm on Thursday September 7th.  Little Lucy Carroll Dudek arrived healthy and happy at 6 pounds 1 ounce (just an ounce shy of her sister).  She may have been early but she came out kicking, screaming, and looking great.

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We opted not to know the sex of our baby and it was a wonderful surprise.  I spent my entire pregnancy, certain that we were having a boy.  In fact, every time I went to pick something up for the nursery, it took all my willpower not to go for a shade of blue or to gravitate toward some onesies for boys.  It was an awesome surprise to find out that I was wrong (and Rock predicted correctly…..insert joke here about men actually being correct sometimes).

We are all so excited and Mary was thrilled to come to the hospital and visit her new little sister.  Mary arrived in her “I’m The Big Sister” shirt that I picked up for her and with a stuffed animal that we took her to pick out a few weeks ago.  In return, I had a special Big Bird tucked away in my bag as a gift for the new baby to give to Mary.

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I know that it will be an adventure for the new big sister over the next few days and weeks but we made a few decisions over the past few months that I feel really helped with her transition.  Once we hit our second trimester and felt comfortable telling family and friends, we started discussing how we were having a new baby join our family soon.  Mary knew that there was a baby in my belly and she spent a lot of time over the past few months rubbing my belly and giving the baby kisses.

We also hit up Barnes and Noble and purchased several different children’s books about becoming a big sister and bringing home a new baby.  Mary loves reading books and when we would pick out something to read each night, she gravitated towards these.  Over the past few weeks, and as her vocabulary grew, it was reassuring to hear her discussing her new role as a big sister.Lucy6

There are also several Daniel Tiger and Elmo’s world episodes that touch upon babies and bringing new babies home.  I think these were also really helpful in educating our little one about the new changes that were to come.

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have been so helpful and supportive over the past few weeks.  Thanks to my runners who were patient and a huge thanks to my personal training clients who have been dealing with my hiatus!  A special thanks goes out to all of the awesome followers of this blog who have sent messages and kind words.  We are really blessed!

33 Weeks-Feeling Good(ish) Again

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  We finally had some nice weather around here and made sure to take full advantage of it.

Last week was cool and rainy for the most part.  Rock and I spent all day Friday in a First Aid and CPR certification course.  We are both working as trainers now and are fortunate enough to be provided with top notch training.  It was a full day course, but the weather outside was cool and rainy.  So we really didn’t miss much.  I needed to renew my CPR for several of my certifications and I always think it is a great idea to get a refresher before bringing a new baby into the home.

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I have witnessed several occasions where CPR has been necessary.  I cannot emphasize enough how great it is to at least have some knowledge of what to do.  You really never know when a situation will present itself.

After we left work on Friday, we stopped at a new grocery store in Traverse City called Lucky’s.  This place is a bit like Trader Joe’s and our new favorite spot to grab groceries.  I am a bit of a nut for really great produce and meats and cheeses.  The delicious baked goods don’t hurt either.  We stocked up, picked Mary up from daycare, and then headed to the lake for the weekend.

The weather wasn’t great Friday night but we wanted to be out there bright and early because the weekend promised to be beautiful.  Despite the cold rain, we enjoyed a nice warm fire and just chilled on the couch for the evening.

Saturday morning we were up and enjoying coffee and by 8:30am Mary begged us to put her swimsuit on and she was out playing in the sandbox.  I took my coffee out on the dock and just soaked in what felt like the last little bits of summer.

In the early afternoon we headed over to Shetler’s Dairy Farm for a new adventure.  Shetler’s is five miles down the road from our house.  They have a fabulous dairy store that carries bottled milk and other products and also does ice cream.  There is a petting zoo for children with calves and foals and a little area for children to play.  While I am not a big dairy drinker, I love giving Mary this healthy option and have to say that their chocolate, strawberry, and orange cream milk is delicious!

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Our friend Pete recently designed a huge corn maze on the property and we were the first ones of the day to arrive and give it a try.  The Shetler’s have numbered posts inside with paper punches as a scavenger hunt.  If you can find all of the posts with the different paper punches you can turn in your ticket for a prize drawing. Pete and his wife are runner’s and I told them that it reminded me of a much saner version of the Barkley Marathons.

The maze was fantastic but we came up short and couldn’t find one of the posts.  Mary had an absolute blast leading us around all of the paths and looking for the prizes.  We will likely be back because Rock wants revenge!

After getting some runs in during Mary’s nap time, we spent the rest of the day playing on the beach and in the sun.  We grilled up some awesome bacon cheeseburgers that we picked up at Lucky’s.  And to top it all off, during our morning walk a neighbor gifted us with some of their fresh corn.  We threw that on the grill too.  It was a perfect late summer barbecue.

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Sunday morning was even nicer than the day before so we took a family walk and made sure to hit the beach nice and early.  We played in the sun until Mary’s nap and then cleaned up the house and headed back home.   It was a bit sad to leave as the leaves are already starting to change and I am not quite ready for summer to come to an end.  Hopefully we will be able to return for a few more days again soon.

I finished the day off with a six mile run, leaving me with 43 miles logged for the week.  I’m super happy with that number as I am now 33 weeks pregnant.  While I feel better than I have in a few weeks, I also feel like I have a beach ball stuck to the front of me!  The third trimester is definitely an adventure of ups and downs.

How was your weekend?  Are you sad to see summer coming to a close too?

Horrible Training Runs=Race Ready Runners

This past weekend there was a very common trend all over social media.  I’ve touched upon this subject before, but I think that it is a really important one to revisit.

For some reason, this past weekend seemed to be the time for everyone to have one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad training runs.  Friends and clients alike, regardless of what plans they were following, seemed to have a rough weekend.  For some it was the weather, but for others it was just one of those mysterious days where nothing went right.

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I know this can be incredibly discouraging.  Nothing is worse than getting part way through a long run and feeling like you can’t make it or you just want to quit.  It messes with your head in all sorts of crazy ways.  Just about any runner will start to play the race day questioning game.  “How will I possibly make it through race day if I can’t get through X miles?!”  This is totally normal.

In fact, it is absolutely normal to break down.  Maybe you cry.  Maybe you scream and shout profanities.  Whatever it is that you need to do you, go for it.  Have a moment.

Then it is important to sit back and reflect.  This is a great time during your training to figure out just what went wrong.  Did you fuel properly before, during, and after?  How was your hydration game?  Did you get enough sleep leading up to your run?  Was it the weather or something else that was out of your control?

Perhaps you will find the answers, and that is great.  Or you might find that you just plain had a crappy run.  That is okay too.

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Here is the good news about your bad run:

It can be a learning experience.  Upon reflection, if you discovered that you made a few mistakes, you have come out ahead.  Now you know how to learn from those errors and move on.  Better now than on race day.  Take those lessons and use them to make your next long run even better.

You got it out of your system.  Odds are that during your training, there is going to be a really bad run.  It is inevitable.  So roll with those odds and shake it off.  Move forward and be grateful that it is over and happened now.

You know that you can survive.  To me, this is the number one takeaway from a terrible training run.  Marathons and other endurance races are a rollercoaster of emotions and physicals ups and downs.  Every runner needs a really bad run before race day in order to know that you can survive.  Regardless of what comes at you out on the race course, you can take a moment and recall that you’ve been in a similar situation before.  You pushed through and you finished.  You can do it on race day too.

Having a bad training run is inevitable.  Take the time to reflect.  Go ahead and get mad.  Learn from your experiences and then move on.  Go forward with confidence that in the future you will be an even stronger runner both mentally and physically, thanks to that crappy run!

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All smalls after finishing the most miserable marathon of my life. I even thought about getting on a bus at mile 18 to quit.  I survived!

What have you learned from a bad training run?

32 Weeks & Taking Time To Treat Myself

Happy Monday!  Thank you so much for the kind words last week about my rib.  I am happy to report that I am feeling much better.  I had intentions of updating last week, but our family vacation was so much fun that I decided to take a break and just enjoy being with family.

The start of last week was rough.  My rib was continuing to pop out of place and the most frustrating part was that it was happening while I was sleeping at night.  Who in the world gets injured in their sleep?!  I woke up on Saturday and Sunday nights at 2am and spent most of the night pacing and trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in on the couch.  We were sharing a house with family and we were sharing our room with our daughter.  I felt very disruptive and frustrated.  I know that soon sleep will be at a premium when the baby arrives and I would love to get some decent sleep right now!

On the bright side, I did get to see an incredibly beautiful sunrise at 5am on Monday morning over Lake Michigan.  I might have been exhausted but I now know what all of you early birds rave about.

Monday night I could feel a tight knot it my back and I decided to get online and see if there was anyone in the area that did prenatal massage.  As luck would have it, the Amira Spa at The Homestead Resort offers a prenatal massage.  I decided to bite the bullet and spend the $120 for a 50 minute massage.  I felt a little guilty but at that point I was so sick of sleepless nights, I decided it was absolutely worth it.

I was blown away when I arrived at the spa on Monday afternoon.  The Homestead is the largest freshwater resort in the United States and is located on the outskirts of Glen Arbor, Michigan.  To get to the spa you wind around and all the way up to the top of the large hill that the resort sits on (they have skiing in the winter).  When I pulled up to the gates of the spa, I was absolutely shocked.

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The entrance.

Upon entering, I was met with babbling brooks and streams that wound around the spa with ample seating in shaded areas.  Steps led up to an infinity pool overlooking a cliff out to Lake Michigan.  From there you could see the crystal clear lake and Manitou Islands.  Fountains spouted water across the pool and patrons lounged around the area in robes.

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The spa itself was small, but I was met by a lovely receptionist who had me fill out some paper work and then offered me a drink.  I was then lead to a small ladies locker room where I was given one of the most comfortable robes I have ever worn.  From there I was lead into a spotless room where I laid down on a luxurious heated table.  Laying down on the heat alone felt like it would remedy the pain!

My massage therapist was a new mom herself and was so helpful with finding tender areas and working out knots.  She noted that my upper back was extremely tense and my scapulae had very limited range of motion.  It felt so good to ease some of the tension I had likely been carrying around for weeks.  She finished my treatment with lavender scented oil.  I decided right there that lavender was my new favorite scent this pregnancy.

I left feeling refreshed and revived.  The receptionist offered me a drink and told me I was welcome to spend the rest of the day hanging out at the pool area.  I could have even had a glass of wine had I not been almost 8 months pregnant.  Let me tell you, it was tempting to cancel my plans and sit at the pool for the rest of the day.

I did find a shaded garden and waited for Rock and Mary to pick me up.

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Tuesday night was a bit better as far as sleep went but I was a tad disappointed that it didn’t immediately go back to normal.  I felt a little hopeless, but I noticed during the rest of Wednesday that my body was starting to feel loser and better.  By Wednesday night, I got almost a full nights sleep in my own bed!

Long story short, sometimes we forget just how much pressure we put on our bodies. Whether we are pregnant, getting daily workouts in, or spending hours at work each day, we need to remember that our bodies need some love and attention.  It might not be a luxurious massage that makes things better for you, but there are plenty of ways to treat your body.  Drink some extra water, take a yoga class, or foam roll for a few minutes each night.  Your body will appreciate the extra attention.

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It stormed one of the last nights in Glen Arbor and we were treated to this view!

The rest of the week was a huge improvement and I am happy to report that I managed to get 39 miles of running in.  I’m still taking a break from strength training and might wait until after the baby arrives.  But I am taking a little extra time to listen to my body and treat it when I need it most.

How do you take care of yourself when your body needs a little extra love?

31 Weeks- Up And Down

Happy Monday and a happy belated birthday to our now two year old, Mary.  I can’t believe how quickly the past two years have gone (if only I knew that during those first sleepless weeks!).

This past week was full of ups and downs and this blog title is in honor of Mary who loves to play with my zippers and say, “Up and down.”

The week started off really great.  We stayed out at our lake house and the weather was fabulous for the weekend.  I had a long day at work on Monday and then Tuesday was another great beach day.  I was able to swing into a local gym for a quick 8 miler on a treadmill and I felt so awesome after that run.  It didn’t hurt to receive a few compliments from gym patrons on my running and keeping up during my pregnancy.  I left in a pretty good mood.

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But Tuesday night had other ideas for me.  I woke up at 2am with back spasms and soon realized it was a subluxated rib I have randomly dealt with since a figure skating injury in high school.  Basically it is a dislocated rib that slips itself out of position and makes sleeping and breathing very difficult.  I believe that I caused this to happen a few weeks ago by doing a few too many sets of upper body strength exercises and that combined with the relaxin that my body is producing right now, have left me in a lot of pain.

Usually I am able to find a comfortable position after awhile and get some sleep.  But Tuesday night was a different story.  I tried a few different warm showers and changed positions on the couch and nothing worked.  I did get to witness a fantastic storm that came across the lake.  There was pounding rain and thunder and the lightning lit up the sky.  It was beautiful!

It continued to storm Wednesday morning and I was able to take a nap at my parents before we took off to grab a few supplies for a small birthday party for Mary.  For the second year in a row, they graciously hosted a pool party and she absolutely loved it.  She is a huge fan of Minnie Mouse (or Mousie Mouse and she calls it) and we did simple themed things for her along with pizza and cake.  I’m not a fan of big parties for little ones and since she is far too young to even know what is going on, we kept things very simple.  Needless to say, it was a blast.

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Mary’s godfather recommended that I try sleeping on the futon out at the lake and that worked quite well for me.  By Thursday I was starting to feel like myself again, but still not able to get a run in.  Fortunately, by Friday I was feeling like myself again and got 11 miles over two different runs on the treadmill.  Even better, our treadmill is now fixed and I got to catch up on some Netflix!

Saturday was another great running day and then we headed out to Glen Arbor for our annual family vacation.  The weather was beautiful and the place we are staying at has incredible views.  It was so great to see all of the family again and have cousins running around together.

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Unfortunately, my rib decided that 2am was the perfect time to move around again and I spent another sleepless night sitting on the couch.  I was a bit bummed because I spent the first half of Mary’s birthday catching up on sleep.  Some 4am research lead me to discover that unfortunately, this is something that happens during the third trimester as the baby moves upward and the body continues to produce relaxin.  My fingers are crossed that I can keep it from continuing to be an issue.  But if anyone has ever experienced this, I would love some input.

In the meantime, we are looking forward to some family beach time and summer weather.  Hopefully there will be a few runs in there for me too!

How was your weekend?  Ever dealt with a subluxated rib?

Ditch The Focus-Run Easier

I’ve mentioned recently that I have taken to the treadmill more often as my pregnancy has progressed.  The flat, even terrain is easier for me and having a bathroom right next door is very helpful too.  Last time as my pregnancy progressed and we lived in the city, I got fed up with trying to deal with drivers who ran through so many stop signs.  It just gets to be too much.

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So you can imagine my disappointment the other night when my husband told me that a belt had broken on the treadmill and it would take a week for a new part to arrive.  I went into semi-panic mode.  Where was I going to run in our small town where I could find a bathroom?  I also insist that all runners carry their phones with them for safety reasons, which meant putting on my FlipBelt, only adding to the pressure on my belly/bladder.

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After a lot contemplation, I decided my best bet was to drive over to my parent’s house and run around their mostly flat and quiet neighborhood.  It is my place of choice for runs and I can easily get 5-10 miles in from there.  I figured that I could stick close to their house for an emergency stop and worst case scenario, I would duck into the woods.

As I headed out I did a nice easy mile and felt great.  But the fear of having to go was constantly on my mind.  So I looped back and ran into the house.  I realized that I had pushed the panic button a little early and I was actually fine so I took off and decided to head out a little further.  I got two miles out and that was when I needed to decide if I would turn back home or take a trail to another area for an extra mile before heading back.  I decided to go for it and then started doing the math in my head of how long I would have to make it.

That was when I realized that I was far too focused on the potential of having to go to the bathroom and how many miles I had yet to do.  Many of us runners tend to have a Type A personality, and even if you don’t one thing that running quickly impresses upon you is a focus.  We start focusing on goals, on distance, on paces, on everything.  Sometimes that can be just too much!  What I needed to do was lose my focus and just run.  So I turned up my music and just cruised.

Do you know what happened?  It felt great!  I sweated hard.  I enjoyed the sun.  And I got six really nice miles of outdoor running in.

Lesson learned is that for all of the great reasons to focus during training or as we progress, it is just as important sometimes to drop the intentions and just get out and enjoy running for the sake of running.

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Here are a few ways you can silence all of the noise in your head and get back to basics:

Ditch the technology.  Leave the GPS at home and run a route that is familiar to you if you need to know the distance.  Not worrying about your pace, the current distance, or what you have left to do is a great release for your mind.

Turn up the volume.  Put on some music or a podcast.  Don’t literally turn the volume up too much.  It is important to still hear what is going on around you such as cars, people, and animals.  But having something to listen to makes it pretty hard to pay too much attention to the details of your run.

Switch things up.  Change your route.  Do some research and then get in the car and try a new place out.  If you have the luxury, take a day trip and go explore.

Run with someone else.  Join a running group or enlist a friend to run with you.  Perhaps you don’t all go at the same pace.  That is okay!  Run at the pace that is best for the slowest runner.  Enjoy the conversation and remember that there are huge benefits to slow runs.

How do you like to lose your focus?

30 Weeks- Do You Want Worms With That

Happy Tuesday!  I meant to do a post for Monday but we had company Sunday night and we went to bed way past our bedtime.  It was a great excuse not to blog.

Saturday marked 30 weeks in my pregnancy and the end of another pretty good week.  I ran 42 miles last week and felt really great with my running.  It takes me a little longer to run these days and I have to take frequent bathroom breaks, so on days that I am feeling really good, I just break my run into two parts.  For example, last Tuesday I did a 6 miler in the morning and finished the day with a nice easy 5 mile run.

My stomach seems to be growing by the day which hasn’t made running too difficult yet, but it did throw me off a bit the other day when I tried to swim in the deep end of a pool.  Everything seems to have shifted a little bit!

Our treadmill is temporarily out of commission (a belt broke) so I am doing a few runs outside.  This isn’t my preferred mode of running these days, due to bathroom locations, but I leave myself the option of doing two shorter runs.

I’m still working several days during the week and that is going well.  But when I work a full shift, I am exhausted by the time I get home.  I plan to work through the month of August and actually will be picking up some extra hours at the end of the month to help out some co-workers.  However, after that I plan to really scale things back.  You just never know how those last few weeks will go.

On Saturday we drove to Traverse City for Mary’s swim lessons at the Y.  It worked out perfectly for me to get a few hours in with clients while Mary and Rock went for a swim and then a run together.  We then drove back home and loaded up the car and headed to our cottage at the lake for a week.

Rock asked me to stop on the way and grab some worms, because Mary is in love with fishing off of the dock.  When I stopped in the small party store, I decided to grab some butter for the next morning.  There is a tiny diner down the road from our cottage and they make the best pancakes.  I had big plans for take out the next morning.

When I went to pay at the counter, I set the worms and butter down and the girl who rang me up asked, “Is that your weird craving?  Worms and butter?”  I had to laugh.  Some people say the strangest things to you when you are pregnant (such as the woman at TJ’s who proclaimed I was definitely having a boy last time), or just help themselves to a belly rub (not cool).  I appreciated her sense of humor and it made me smile all day.

While summer weather has been a bit odd here in Northern Michigan (lots of rainy days and cooler weather) we had a splendid weekend.  I sat out on the dock and worked on training plans for clients Saturday evening.

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Sunday was bright and sunny and after a giant serving of homemade cinnamon bread and pancakes from Shirley’s, I got a slow 6 mile run in the sun.  It felt great and I now consider any run without the need for a potty break to be a major success!

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Not super pretty, but I had to cut them up for full syrup coverage!

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I admit that this is also how I wrapped up my run.

Afterward we had some friends out to play and grill.  It was a perfect day/evening and we went to bed way too late.  Isn’t that what summer is all about?!

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How was your weekend?  What are your standards for a “successful run?”

What To Do/Not To Do At The Gym

I love working at a fitness facility.  As you may have gathered from my blog over the years, I love just about anything to do with physical fitness.  As a trainer, health coach, and running coach I spend a lot of time at the gym and over the past few weeks I have been taking note of a few things you should and shouldn’t be doing when you are there.

I know that for many people, going to a gym can be intimidating.  I am often asked what the best rules are to follow.  Some are written and some are just assumed.  Let’s go over a few of the recent ones that I have come across.

Do wear athletic shoes.  If I had a dollar for every time I saw a person walking around in just socks or flip flops, I would make a decent allowance.  First of all, we do try to keep the fitness floor as clean as possible.  But I recommend taking a moment to look around at how many sweaty people drip all over those floors.  Second, take a moment to notice how many heavy things are carried around and how unobservant other members are.  It only takes one small accident for a large weight or piece of equipment to land on your bare foot.  Wear athletic shoes.  They are made just for this type of facility and come in some rather fashionable styles too!

Do wear fitness clothes/Don’t wear swimwear.  Fitness clothes serve a purpose as well.  They protect certain areas of your body (hello chafing) and also keep certain areas of your body from showing.  Swimsuits are meant for the pool or other bodies of water and are not meant to be used for exercise.  They don’t necessarily keep you covered up and don’t guarantee that parts of your body will stay where they should be.

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This is definitely an attention getter!

Don’t take on the world the moment you walk in the gym.  There is no rule that says you must go 100% when you are at the gym.  It is recommended that we get 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity in, three times per week.  It is much better for you and your body to do 30 minutes of moderate activity than to run yourself ragged for 5 minutes.  Whether you are trying to get into shape or lose weight, 30 minutes of moderate activity will reap far more benefits than a short burst of tough activity.  You will likely enjoy yourself much more and find it easier to return to your workouts.

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Do wear deodorant/wash your clothes.  Maybe it is just my over active pregnant sense of smell but there’s a lot of funk going on in the gym these days.  Sure we all sweat, and yes it can stink.  But slap on some deodorant before you hit the elliptical.  And for the love of Jane Fonda, please please please swap out your clothes between workouts.  I have an acquaintance who comes in a few times each week and only makes the switch for laundry day.  To say it is cringe worthy, is putting it very lightly.

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Don’t compare yourself or avoid mirrors.  I have so many clients who refuse to workout in front of mirrors.  As an athlete who has spent far too many years criticizing my own body, I beg of you to please use mirrors to help make sure you are doing exercises properly.  I can assure you that you are your toughest critic.  Just as you are consumed with worry about your own appearance, so is 99% of the rest of the gym. No one is worrying about you because they are just as worried about themselves.  Take a look in the mirror.  Appreciate your body.  By seeing yourself now, you will be able to truly notice the changes as you continue to exercise.

It’s your gym.  Try everything and learn what you enjoy the most.  I always encourage members to truly take advantage of their membership.  Try everything.  Ask if you aren’t sure how to use something.  Try equipment that interests you.  Take a class that sounds fun.  Make the most of what you pay for.

What are your gym do’s and don’ts?  

29 Weeks Pregnant, Awesome Running, & An Identity Crisis

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great week and weekend.  We had less than stellar weather around here, but we made the best of it.  Summer has been flying by with lots of work and tons of family activities.  I honestly hate to see it going by so quickly, but we are certainly trying to enjoy every moment.

This weekend marked 29 weeks in my pregnancy.  I’m feeling pretty great for the most part.  I had a fantastic week of running and logged 42 miles.  I was pretty excited about that.  The only bummer is that I have moved most of my runs to the treadmill at this point because of my frequent need to make a run to the bathroom.  Fortunately, we have a treadmill at home and I am able to run at the gym at work during my breaks.  Despite my growing belly, I am still feeling pretty good at this point.

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Now that we are into the third trimester I am definitely starting to notice some changes.  I am getting tired more often and try to grab a nap whenever I get a chance.  My belly is certainly getting bigger and my running is starting to slow just a little bit.

However, on Friday morning when I left to go run some errands I was hit with a major hungry belly.  This hasn’t really happened to me and I haven’t had any cravings at all during this pregnancy.  I was going to be on the road for a bit and my urgency for food took me through the Burger King drive-thru.  I never eat fast food.  To top it off, as soon as I got my bag of food, I drove off and later realized I left without my change.  I was that hungry.  My breakfast sandwich was delicious but I did wonder what was happening to me with my bizarre urgency for fast food!

Beyond that, I do have to say that pregnancy brain is a real thing.  I am a list maker.  I live by lists and sticky notes.  But now, more than ever, I rely on these lists to keep my life in order. I can’t recall a darn thing I say I will do or have planned.  Last week at work I was making an appointment for a client and quoted them a time that I thought they gave me.  The client laughed and said we hadn’t yet discussed a time but the one I gave them would work.  I felt a bit foolish but she said she was an OB and knew what was going on.

When I got home from work that night I pulled in and thought I closed the garage door.  Later in the evening when Rock went to take the dog out, he asked why both garage doors were open.  Apparently I opened the other door instead of closing the one I parked at.  Doh!

Besides work and running, we have been spending a lot of time as a family doing fun activities.  We hit up a great charity event last week and I scored some awesome silent auction items.  I had a brilliant idea to put Rock’s name on the items I bid on so that he would have to pay for them.  But he had to run an errand when they announced the winner and I was left forking over the cash.  He made a point to snap a pic of me with one of my winnings.

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We also got to spend an evening with my family out on Torch Lake.  If you have never heard of this lake, I encourage you to Google it.  Torch Lake is huge and has a beautiful sandbar right in the middle where you can park your boat and play.  The water is crystal clear with colors reminiscent of the Caribbean.  You can rent a SUP on the sandbar, even get a burger from a boat that grills right there, or call and have a pizza delivered from nearby.  It’s a boater’s/pregnant woman’s paradise.

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Life may be slowing down but work is getting busier and busier these days.  The gym is keeping me plenty occupied and I am having such a fun summer with so many runners preparing for races this fall.  I almost wish it could be summer year round!

It rained a lot this weekend, but we took advantage of the indoor time and got a bunch of cleaning and errands taken care of.  After naps yesterday we pulled out the finger paints and Mary went to town.  It was a huge mess and we enjoyed every moment of it.

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How has your summer been going?  Are you as big a fan as I am?

Running Through Pregnancy

It is hard to believe that we are almost 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy.  People aren’t lying when they say that the second time goes much faster.  I guess when you already have one little one to chase around, there isn’t much time to spend thinking about much else!

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I have been very fortunate to run through both of my pregnancies.  One thing I think is very important for everyone is to have a doctor that you feel you can trust and has your best interests at heart.  If you enjoy running, find a doctor that respects and understands the sport.  Not everyone can run through pregnancy and each case is different, but having a doctor who is on the same page with you is key.

Here are a few tips that have helped me.  Please note that I am a RRCA Certified Running Coach and ACE Certified Health Coach.  These tips are from both my experiences and training.  However, you should always consult with your physician first.

Don’t start anything new.  If you ran before getting pregnant, it shouldn’t be a problem to continue if you have a healthy pregnancy, with your doctor’s consent.  However, it is not recommended that you pick up a new activity during these months.  If you are new to running and want to give it a try, wait until after the baby has arrived.

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Keep moving.  One of the best things for mom and baby is staying active.  A minimum of 30 minutes, 3 days a week is a great start.  However, getting some sort of activity in each day is ideal during this time.  Some days can and should be lighter than others.  But some activity can lead to a healthier pregnancy for both of you.

Hydrate!  I made the mistake of not taking my hydration seriously enough early on.  It lead to a calf tear and some very uncomfortable weeks.  Hydration is more important than ever during pregnancy.  Dehydration is one of the leading causes of early labor.  Drinking plenty of fluids and electrolytes can also help ward off calf cramping, which likes to show up in the middle of the night!

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Know when to kick up your feet.  While being active is important right now, so is rest.  Make sure you take time each day to kick your feet up and elevate.  Proper rest will help you recover between workouts which will hopefully make everything more enjoyable and long lasting.

Take it slow.  Running during pregnancy is all about enjoying yourself.  You need to keep your exertion and heart rate down.  You don’t ever want to overheat you or the baby.  If you find that you worry too much about your pace, leave the GPS at home and run a route you feel comfortable with.  You will have to slow down and your body will also force you to slow down.  Enjoy your time on the road (or treadmill) with you and your little one to be.

Did you run through pregnancy?  Do you have any tips?