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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

Tourists In Our Part-Time City

Who stole our spring?  Last weekend we had wonderful temperatures in the 80’s and this weekend it was chilly and even rainy.  I want my warm spring back!

Friday was a total wash out.  We were stuck inside due to the weather and when it finally passed, Mary put on her rain boots and jacket and went for some splashing in puddles.  To say she loved it would be an understatement.  Fortunately, Rock planned ahead with a full set of extra clothes.  By the time she was done, we had to dump water out of her boots and wring her clothes!

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It rained so hard, part of the promenade along the East River where I run, collapsed!

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Saturday was at least a little sunny and I overdressed for a 7 mile run.  Does it bug anyone else when you wear sleeves and then end up out in sunny weather?  I prefer running without sleeves.  Back when I was a competitive figure skater, I never wore dresses with any type of arms attached.  I prefer bare arms.

It ended up being a really nice run and I was grateful for the sweat.  If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture, but this weekend I only snapped pics of the little girl.

I even had a celebrity sighting in Central Park. I walked past Ryan Seacrest and actually recognized him.  This is rare as I would normally not be able to pick a celeb out of a lineup.  Why I noticed him of all people, is beyond me.

After nap time, I woke up inspired to try something new.  We headed to Central Park and went to the Tisch Children’s Zoo.  This is part of the Central Park Zoo and I thought they might have a reduced rate for the smaller portion.  I was wrong.  But when I went to pay, Mary’s admission was free and mine was only $12.

My plan was just to take her to the children’s portion because I figured she was too young and wild to appreciate all of the other animals.  But as soon as we stepped inside, I knew we were going to check out everything.

At the children’s portion she loved the farm animals.  She ran in and cried, “Sheep!”  We’ve been working on animals with her and their sounds, so this was a perfect opportunity to see everything.

It is hard to believe that I have lived in NYC to some extent for 15 years, and I have never once set foot in the Central Park Zoo.  I walk through the gates almost daily and worked next to it for over a decade.  I have to say that I really have missed out.  This zoo is far nicer and bigger than I had realized.  However, I think I had a far greater appreciation seeing it from this 21 month old’s eyes.

We had fun walking through the tropical room full of birds and flora.  Mary loved watching the monkeys jump around all of the rocks. The snow leopards stayed hidden, but she loved looking for them.  The bears would have kept her interested for an hour if I had let her.  She adored the seals and sea lions and once she got over her fear of the dark room where the penguins and puffins were, she was mystified.

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For $12, it was an afternoon well spent.  We finished it off in true tourist style by grabbing a pretzel and a churro from a cart outside and parked ourselves on a bench for a little bit.

The zoo was absolutely the highlight of our weekend, our week, and our stay so far this spring.  I am almost certain we will be back again in the next few days.  I don’t think I can keep her away!

How was your weekend?  Do you or your kids enjoy the zoo?

Learn To Relax For Easier & Improved Running

While we were away over Easter weekend, I had the chance to do a few lovely runs on a rail trail in the Hudson Valley.  Then on Easter morning, Mary and I took a walk while Rock got to do a solo workout.  Usually when I am on a trail or path, I am busy running or working with clients, so it was a nice change to just take my time.  I was also able to take notice of a few trends that we often forget about when running.

Loosen Up:  I noticed that a lot of runners tend to get tense, especially in the shoulders and the arms.  This can make running not only uncomfortable, but also constrict your air intake; a bad combination!

Whether you are new to running or have been doing it for awhile, there is no argument that it isn’t always easy and it certainly can be uncomfortable.  The first few minutes of a run are always a bit more difficult than the rest, so make sure you set yourself up for success by checking in occasionally.  Make sure your shoulders are down and relaxed.  Keep your hands loose and unclenched.  Take in nice even and deep breaths.  Remember that after the first few minutes, your body will adjust and it will feel a bit easier.

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Slow Down:  During my walk, I saw so many runners who were struggling to keep pace.  Whether you are training for your first race or just aiming to get some time in on your feet, there is no rule stating how fast you must go.  In fact, slower running has huge impacts not only on improving your running, but also for cardiorespiratory efficiency, weight loss, and even speed.

If you find that running feels difficult or uncomfortable, take a breath and slow down.  It is far more important that you enjoy your time and stay healthy than getting it over a few minutes faster.  And don’t worry, if you stick with it, your pace will naturally start to improve.

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Dress For Success:  Unlike going to work in some offices, you don’t have to break the bank to dress for success.  When I see someone trying to run in shoes that are not meant for running, it makes me cringe.  Proper footwear is the first step to an enjoyable experience.  Running shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and price points.  Just as you wouldn’t wear baseball cleats to play in a tennis match, you don’t want to wear basketball shoes to go for a run.

While we are at it, ladies you will want to wear a comfortable sports bra.  All of us want to keep our assets tucked and tight when we are out there logging our miles.  If you are chafing and uncomfortable, it won’t be an enjoyable experience.

And gents, I’ve mentioned it before but find some nice fitting running clothes.  Your chafing issues can cause some ugly nipple bleeding, and nobody wants to see that!

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Just slow down and have fun.  Running can be tough at first.  But if you are patient with your body and yourself, it will eventually feel like second nature (or at least much more fun).  Give yourself the grace to go nice and slow and make sure you keep your body relaxed.

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What are your tips for making running easier?

Weekends Are For Running And Chocolate

Happy Monday and Happy May!  Here’s hoping that those April showers are a thing of the past now.  We had some rather rainy and muggy weather here this past week.  However, on Friday everything made a change for the better and we had two lovely days in the 80’s with sunshine too.

I was lucky enough on Friday to snag an hour to get a hilly 7 mile run in during the afternoon.  I was a little nervous about running in the heat, but ended up having a really great sweaty run.

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Saturday we got up as a family and made sure we first enjoyed some NY bagels and cream cheese.  This has become my weekend routine and I am really loving this one.  It’s all for the baby, of course!

Then we headed out as a family and got a great 8 miles in together.  Mary loves going over to Randall’s Island and checking out all of the other runners, dogs, and boats along the way.  The island is always packed on the weekends with soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and cricket games.  There is plenty to keep her occupied over there.  We even spotted a few of our students playing in lacrosse games and had a chance to stop and cheer.

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Post run refreshments.  Someone also enjoys my pregnancy cravings!

Mary and I went down for afternoon naps and Rock left to teach lessons in the park.  He texted me and requested that we meet him at the end of his last lesson because his students had an Easter present for Mary.  He said it was a huge chocolate bunny.

I thought maybe it was one of the big bunnies you see at the drug store, but when we arrived, even I was blown away.  This bunny was almost as big as Mary!  She immediately gave it a hug and proceeded to semi-decapitate the poor guy.  Nothing like leaving a ton of chocolate in front of a pregnant woman to test her self control!

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Our freezer looks like a hare-y crime scene!

The weather was a tad cooler on Sunday but that didn’t stop us from taking a long walk on the East River (after more bagels of course).  We stopped in our old neighborhood to do some shopping at Target and then ended up at the playground.  The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying more delicious food and family playtime in the park.

I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled that it is May.  I love spring and summer and can’t wait to see the warmer temps headed our way.  Beach time and summer runs are the best!

Any weekend highlights for you?