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?

27 Weeks Pregnant, 13.1 Race Miles, And I Swallowed A Bug

Happy Monday!  I have posts ready to go, but was without an internet connection last week.  Hopefully this week fares a little better.

We had a fabulous weekend here.  On Friday we drove back from Northern Wisconsin, just in time for some of our Chicago area friends to arrive for a visit.  We were super excited to see them.

It was a quick turn around for Saturday as we ran our traditional Cherry Festival Of Races in Traverse City.  For years we have done the 15k (I love the distance).  But this year I wanted to avoid one of the massive hills, and was looking for a little challenge to push me through the summer.  So we signed up for the 1/2 marathon.  Saturday also marked my being 27 weeks pregnant.

Later, I remembered why I never did the half marathon.  The race starts at 7:00am and you have to take a bus from the local high school out to the end of the Old Mission Peninsula by 6:15am.  We also live over a half an hour from the bus location, making for a very early wake up call.

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On the bus to the start.

However, I decided half way through this race that we would be doing this one again each year.  Despite the early start, I loved the drop off point for the race, a local winery!

The first two miles weave up and down and all around this local vineyard.  It was a bit of a challenging trail race to start.  Then the race pops out on the road that runs along the shore of West Grand Traverse Bay, all along the peninsula back into town.  It was flat, cool, and just beautiful.  The weather was nice and dry and the early morning temperatures were perfect.

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I stopped at mile 6 to use a port-a-potty (I e-mailed the director to make sure the course would have plenty) and was super appreciative of all of the water and Gatorade along the course.

Funny story:  Around mile four, I was breathing through my mouth when a bug flew in and I had zero chance of not swallowing it.  My gut reaction was to start heaving.  However, being almost in my third trimester, I started freaking out because the hacking was making me have to go to the bathroom.  I managed to pull it back together but it was a rollercoaster of emotions there for a minute or two!

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I absolutely love how this race comes off of the peninsula and right into downtown Traverse City.  People are lined up along Front Street to cheer on all of the runners and wait for the Grand Royale Parade to start.  You go from a quite run along the lake to feeling like you are in a big city race.

The finish ended with beautiful medals, water, bottles of cherry juice, bananas, cookies, cherries, and a food truck handing out chocolate milk and granola bars.  Busses were also there to deliver you back to the parking lot.

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I was also really impressed with the beautiful technical shirt in our goodie bags.  Even better, the local winery had a stemless wine glass for all of the participants, along with coupons for tastings.  The race was truly well thought out.

My goal was to finish in under two hours, with my B goal being to finish in under 2:10.  I was thrilled to cross the line at 1:53:03.  That is a time that I am really proud of.  Being pregnant and running is truly a great gift.  After being injured in May, I had been afraid there was no chance I would be able to run 13.1 miles by this weekend. In fact, I was worried I might not even be running again by now.

What made the run even better was having Rock by my side the entire race.  He ran ahead a few times to take some pictures of me and for the rest, he held back behind me and gave me some space.  He knew this was a special time for me to get one big last mileage push in during my pregnancy.  He was there to support me, but also gave me my space to run as I wanted.  I feel so lucky to have a partner like him to run with!

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A special thanks also goes to my parents who hosted Mary for a sleepover Friday night so that we could get up and on the road super early.  They brought her to the finish to cheer us on.  She promptly asked for my medal.

Did you race this weekend?  Ever get a wine glass for a run?

Weekend Adventures

Happy Monday!  Here in the U.S.A. we are still on our weekend as July 4th marks a holiday for us.

Friday started my weekend with a day off from work.  I have been putting in more hours at there lately and I was definitely feeling it.  I was shocked when I woke up at 8 a.m. and realized that Mary had done the same.  She never sleeps in when I want her to the most.  It was a great way to start the day.

I will be running a half marathon next Saturday, so I used that morning to do my final long run.  I got 10 solid miles in with Rock by my side.  It was about a minute per mile slower than my usual pace and I was really grateful that he stuck with me.  The weather was really hot and humid and my shorts decided it was the perfect time to chafe.  Having some company definitely helped.  Getting that run in certainly gave me the confidence booster I needed for next weekend.  I feel very fortunate at 26 weeks pregnant to be able to still run as much as I have been, especially after my injuries in May.

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On Saturday I went in to work with some personal training clients and Rock and Mary came with me.  They got a run in together and then we left from work to head to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City.  That afternoon was the start of the festival and we chose to spend it at the airshow.

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A little cloudy but such a beautiful place to be.

Mary typically is like her parents and won’t sit still.  But she was mesmerized by the planes and helicopters.  She sat the entire time!

When we got home that evening and put Mary down, I was able to get my run in for the day.  Seven solid miles on the treadmill.  Now it is time for a little vacation and taper before the half.

Sunday morning was an early wake up to pack the car.  We were off to make our annual trip to Northern Wisconsin where Rock coaches a hockey camp for the week.  The morning rain ended as we reached Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, just in time to check out the Garlyn Zoo.

We have driven past this spot several times but never took the time to stop in.  After getting several recommendations, we decided it would be the perfect place to stretch our legs during our long trip.

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Tucked in the north woods of Michigan, this small zoo has everything you need for a quick break.  Mary got to feed goats, llamas, deer and sika deer.  There were even lions, tigers, cougars, and a giant camel.  She also loved rolling apples down the chute to the bears.  If you are ever driving across the Upper Peninsula on U.S. 2, I highly recommend stopping here for a quick break!

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Next up, we will be getting our daily runs in along with some ice skating and Wisconsin adventures.  The weather has finally started to feel like summer up here and if the rain holds out for once, we will have a perfect little adventure.

Happy Canada Day and 4th to everyone in the U.S. and Canada!

How was your weekend?

Summer Weekends Are Meant To Be On The Go

Happy Monday!  I hope you had as active and wonderful a weekend as we did.

Thursday morning we got up bright and early for our Sports Conditioning Camp.  We had a great group of kids who definitely kept us on our toes last week.  Immediately after class, we loaded up the car and headed south to Chicago for a wedding weekend.

We arrived in Chicago to hot and humid weather in the 90’s.  Michigan has been going through a cool spell, so I was loving the change.  As soon as we unloaded the car, we threw on swimsuits and headed to the beach to play with cousins.  Mary loves the beach and covering herself in sand!

Friday morning was a big day for me.  I did my first outdoor run in over month since I injured my back.  I managed to get in 7 miles with Rock pushing Mary in the stroller.  We had a really nice run together despite the super humid conditions.

We spent the rest of the day at the beach again and I got to have a fun afternoon with my sister-in-laws getting our nails done.  It was a great treat.  Who doesn’t love having nice nails for a fabulous wedding?!

Saturday morning was another outdoor run.  The weather was a little cooler and far less humid.  This helped make things much easier and we got eight miles in at a bit faster pace.  By the end, I told Rock that I felt like I was really “running.”  That is a great feeling at 25 weeks pregnant and post injury!

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We loaded up our bags and headed into the city to stay with more family.  The weather had warmed up by the afternoon and I was able to enjoy some sun and nice adult time while Mary took a nap.

After nap time it was a quick clean up and the adults headed out for Rock’s cousin’s wedding.  She got married at the Crystal Gardens Ballroom on Navy Pier.  It was my first time visiting Navy Pier, despite having lived in Chicago for a few years.  We definitely got to do it in style.

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Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures.  We were having too much fun and just enjoying being in the moment.  We did get one blurry and not so flattering selfie though.

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By 10:00pm I was adulted out and headed back home in an Uber.  It seems that I have a knack for being pregnant for all of the fun family weddings.  Someday I am going to be able to really party, or at least I would like to think so.

Sunday was another early up and out morning.  We loaded the car and headed back up to Michigan.  After a quick grocery run and a stop to pick up our dog, we headed out to the lake where we are going to spend the week.  Mary and our dog love the water.  The weather doesn’t look like it will be great but we are going to make the best of it and have one heck of a summer beach week!  I truly believe that summers are meant to be constantly on the go, or at least that is how ours seems to work.

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How was your weekend?  Is it rainy and cold where you are?

 

A Long Overdue Post

Goodness!  I was due for a little break, but I certainly didn’t expect to take this long to do a post.  I have never taken such a long blogging hiatus, but I honestly needed it.  First of all, thank you for the lovely e-mails asking how things are going and when I would be back.  My apologies for disappearing for a bit.

My last post was about my WTF Injury.  Fortunately, my miracle worker massage therapist had me back up and running after taking care of my torn calf muscle.  Those first few runs after an injury always feel magical.

Unfortunately, a few days after I got back into my groove, everything came to a crashing halt.  Less than a half a mile into my run, I was cruising down a hill when I shuffled into a brick on the edge of the sidewalk and tripped.  I managed to brace myself and avoid falling but the bracing motion did something nasty to my glutes and my back.  I finished my five miles, albeit very slowly, and hobbled home to the shower.

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I took this selfie that night, not realizing just how badly I had injured myself.

As the night went on my glutes seized up and so did my back.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t move and I was a miserable mess.  I spent the next few days on the couch, barely able to shuffle around and at the urging of Rock, I called Howard and went back in.

The magician therapist was able to work out the knots and figured out that I had shifted my pelvis out of whack.  He was able to ease things back together but I continued to hobble around for another week.  Simply rolling over in bed at night was an excruciating ordeal.

We were due to drive home to Michigan two days later and I was quite nervous about making the trip.  Fortunately, the time spent in the car was helpful and when we arrived home, I was able to move around a bit better.

Our funny little 21 month old started mimicking the weird limp I was walking around with and everywhere we went people oohed and ahhed at her and asked if she was okay.  Sometimes I think she is too smart for her own good!

Since being home, I have gone back to work at the gym as both a Wellness Coach and a Personal Trainer.  This is also the busiest time of the running season and I am so happy to have so many awesome runners doing all sorts of great races this summer and fall.

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Somebody likes my work desk.

The busy time of my coaching season started just as Rock returned to NYC for three more weeks of coaching.  Needless to say, things got a bit hectic and exhausting between chasing a now 22 month old around and juggling my own work schedules.

Fortunately, I was able to start easing my way back into running.  Over the past few weeks I have progressed from doing 3 mile runs with walking breaks every half mile, to doing up to 8 miles at a time.  I am registered to do a half marathon at the beginning of July and I am really looking forward to that adventure.  It will be interesting now that I am 6 months pregnant.

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Rock is home now and summer is in full swing.  We have been asked my the local YMCA to run a summer Youth Sports Conditioning Camp and are excited to continuing with more coaching here.  The fun never stops!

I am finally getting into my groove with work, running, balancing time with Mary, and enjoying my pregnancy.  I will be back here much more often now and will have some updates on pregnancy and some fun from our road trip last month.

How is your summer going so far?

My WTF Injury

Last week was a pretty great week as far as running goes.  Or should I say, it started out great.  I had two stellar days of 7 mile runs and was feeling like this might be a really solid 40+ mile week for me.  On Wednesday I took off for an easy 7 miles in Central Park and to avoid hills I went up to the North Meadow, my favorite area to do loops when I was doing speed work last year.

Five miles into my run, I left the park to do an easy two home and my calf suddenly cramped up.  It was so random and so painful that I let out a WTF (without the abbreviations) and started stretching at every stop light.  At first, this was helpful. However, by the end I was basically limping home.

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I walked up stairs in tears and told Rock what happened.  I was honestly at a loss for what was going on with my body.  I had been feeling great.  I wasn’t doing anything difficult on my run, and suddenly my calf turned into what felt like a stinging rock.

I had some signs of dehydration and made a note to up my intake of both water and electrolytes.  Besides that, there was no indication of any other issue.

After a nap, I woke up and could barely move.  I started freaking out.  WTF was going on?  How the heck was I going to get Mary down five flights of stairs?  Rock was at work and we couldn’t just spend all afternoon in this tiny little apartment!

We hobbled our way downstairs and I shuffled to the park.  My leg slowly loosened up and there were signs that it might be just a temporary issue.  But when I woke up the next morning, and every time I would get up from sitting down, my calves screamed at me.  Every step felt like my muscles were trying to pull me backward.  It was incredibly frustrating.

Saturday was a washout.  It rained all day and I stayed inside on the couch.  I massaged my leg, continued to compress it, and tried my hand at self ART massage.  The results were fantastic.  By Sunday morning it felt almost normal and I went for a really slow four mile run.  I was overly cautious and stopped every half mile to stretch and check in with my body.

Everything felt great!  After the run I had some tightness, but I figured that was to be expected after any injury.  I also spent the rest of the day on my feet as we went to the zoo and wandered the park.

However, by Sunday night I went to massage my leg and was shocked to see how swollen it was.  I couldn’t even see my shin.  The muscles had also tightened back up and I was back to WTF.  I was really starting to get down on this situation and myself.

I’ve done some pretty stupid things over the years.  I’ve over trained.  I’ve run when I knew I was injured and was in self-doubt, and I’ve pushed my body when I knew I really should have given it a break. In the past several years as I have been busy coaching other runners, I have been much smarter.  I listen to my body.  I stop when it needs a break.  Over the past few weeks I have even been taking an extra day off because my pregnant body was feeling a bit more tired.

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This injury left me dumbfounded.  Where did it come from?  What the heck was it?  The frustration of not knowing what it was or how it happened was driving me nuts.  Rock recommended I call my trusted massage therapist.  I was hesitant because most therapists won’t work with pregnant women after the first trimester and I am now 19 weeks into this.  Fortunately, he is certified in perinatal massage.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, Howard is a magician when it comes to running injuries.  He is a runner and a very speedy and accomplished marathoner.  He took one look at my calf, poked around, and listened to my story and told me I had a minor tear in my calf.

One hour later, I was a sweaty mess.  He put my leg through the wringer and I am pretty sure I ground a few teeth down as he dug into my leg.  I left feeling almost like new and relieved to know what the heck is wrong.

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He recommended I give it a few days and explained a new rule of thumb to me that I will be following:  When you have an injury such as this, work on slow stretching.  Only stretch to the point where it starts to hurt and do not go past that point.  Each day you will start to notice that you can stretch the muscle a bit further.  Once you get to a point where it no longer hurts to stretch, it is okay to give running a try.

I asked Howard how this could have happened out of nowhere and he also had some sound advice on this one too:  Sometimes muscle tears just happen.  However, dehydration can play a very large role in muscle strains.  Pregnancy requires a lot of hydration and pregnant women are at a greater risk of dehydration.  All runners should focus on upping their hydration as the weather gets warmer and do not neglect the electrolytes.  With warm weather we sweat more, and if we don’t replace electrolytes, we won’t absorb water efficiently.

I plan on touching upon my pregnancy and running a bit more in coming weeks, and I will also follow up some more on hydration.  In the meantime, I am happy to report that I feel 90% better already.  I’m icing my leg as I type this post.  I will continue to stretch and take it easy until my body tells me it is time to get going again.  I sure hope that is sooner than later!

Have you ever had a WTF injury?

Run, Sun, And Mother’s Day

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  Ours started out with a soaker as a Nor’easter slammed NYC.  We did something we rarely do, and stayed in pretty much all day, minus a trip to Target and Costco.  Even if we had wanted to venture out, the rain was so heavy it pretty much made doing anything outside impossible.

We slipped out in the early evening to grab some takeout.  Mary loved wearing her rain boots, raincoat, and new umbrella from the Easter Bunny.  She just needs to learn to walk with the umbrella above her and not in front of her face.  Apologies to everyone she ran into on our walk.  Come to think of it, she fits in nicely with most New Yorkers in the rain.

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Sunday was much brighter and we got out for a run.  This was a welcome change for me as I have been dealing with a random injury.  I didn’t run far, but it felt great to break a sweat.

Mary and Rock treated me to a handmade card, a gift card to Lululemon (because I am dealing with a serious need for pants as my belly grows), and an awesome collage with pictures of us.  It was so thoughtful of them!

After naps we decided to hit the Central Park Zoo again.  Rock had never been and he had most of the day off from work.  We had a great time and Rock was just as surprised by the zoo as I was last week.  We both agreed this is a perfect place to go with the family when we just need to get out and explore for awhile.

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We finished the weekend off with dinner and Pinkberry’s Meyer Lemon frozen yogurt.  I’m telling you, this is so good, I promised Rock I would be happy to have just that for dinner all week when the temps creep up close to 90 degrees!

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Saturday night I was laying in bed and having trouble falling asleep (probably from my lack of doing anything all day).  As I laid there, I was reflecting on being a mom and had a funny flashback from when Mary was born.  I was laughing enough that I had to wake Rock up and ask him if he remembered.  His response?  “Of course!”

Mary was due on August 30th and being responsible parents, we scheduled a session to go over car seat installment and safety on August 5th.  We met our instructor on the first floor of a parking garage and after a quick Q&A session she invited us to get out of the car and come look at some car seat examples.  As we stepped out of the car, something happened.

When we returned to the car for our car installation, I insisted that Rock hop in the back with the instructor and I would wait in the front seat.  From the back Rock gave me a funny, “Are you okay?” face.  I mouthed to him, “I think my water broke!”

I honestly didn’t absorb much of anything the instructor showed Rock after that.  Fortunately, he is a responsible parent and paid attention.  We kept our cool and waited until we pulled onto Lake Shore Drive to freak out a bit.  I quickly called my doctor’s office and they insisted that we go straight to the hospital.

A few minutes later, Rock let out a shriek.  As we were driving, he looked in the rearview mirror and there was a baby in our newly installed carseat, staring back at him.  Turns out the instructor left the dummy in the car seat when she taught “us” how to buckle in.  So there we were turning back around to return a doll before we headed to the hospital.  It was the start of quite an adventure.  On the bright side, we got that car seat installed just in the nick of time!

Mom2

Pretty much like that.

How was your weekend?  Any funny Mother’s Day stories?

Thanks Kiddo

It is hard to believe that I have been a Mother Runner for almost 2 years now (21 months to be exact and we are 4.5 months out from meeting our next one!).  A lot has changed in those 21 months and I believe I have changed quite a bit myself.

Being a parent isn’t always easy.  There is no way to prepare for the true toils of becoming a parent.  First there are the sleepless nights.  I knew we would be up.  But I had no clue just how little sleep we would be living on during those first few months.

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I’ve spent a lot of time with children over the years.  We teach sports and activities for a living and I have had plenty of babysitting gigs.  Regardless of the amount of experience, you quickly realize just how clueless you are.  Getting to know your little baby and their personality, riding the random illnesses and sick days, and just plain figuring out how to juggle everything, takes time and patience.

I’d like to think we have figured out quite a bit so far, but every day has it’s changes and challenges.  In any given day I have moments where I think our little girl is the most incredible ever, and five minutes later I’m ready for a break.

New milestones bring new challenges.  Right now we are dealing with the start of those Terrible Twos.  Tempers are starting to flare.  The piercing screams and shouts this little munchkin can make are mystifying.  I’ve done my share of Googling and reading parenting sites lately.

But the truth is, being a parent and being a Mother Runner has made me a better person and also a better runner.  Sure, I have learned to live on a heck of a lot less sleep.  I have also learned to let go of a few things.  I love a clean house and a set schedule.  I have learned that things aren’t always perfect and sometimes a little mess or a bit of randomness can lead to a great time.

brie1

Oh the messes!

When I was pregnant the first time, I worried a lot that my running would never be the same.  I watched as I got bigger and my pace got slower.  The good news for Mother Runners and Mom’s To Be, is that you can actually become a better and stronger runner than ever before.

GlenArbor3

Having a child is no easy feat.  I once read that the act of labor takes you to the brink of where you think you cannot make it any further.  It is one of the biggest physical challenges you will ever face.  Being pregnant is a challenge in itself; 9 months of an evolving body is something else!

If there is a theme to this post, it is patience.  Pretty much anyone who knows me would tell you I fit the bill of a Type A personality.  Patience isn’t always my strong suit.   Being a new parent and a Mother Runner requires a lot of patience.

To come back from being pregnant and having a baby, takes a special kind of patience.  I needed to allow my body to adjust and relearn a few things.

I had to learn balance.  Finding the time to get a run in most days requires some skill (especially when both parents are runners).  Sometimes I have to do a shorter run.  Other days I have to hit the treadmill during nap time or after Mary goes to bed.  There is no time for messing around!

Mary&Mom

For all the lessons, adventures, ups and downs, I am forever grateful to Mary for making me a mom and a Mother Runner.  She teaches me new things daily and brings joy to our family that we never could have imagined.  She’s hilarious and exhausting and I wouldn’t change a single moment.

Mary5

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  What are your best and most difficult adventures?