Saturday, August 16, 2014

Running for Two- 5 Simple Tips

I began my journey into running while I was pregnant with our son Jacob. I waited until the second trimester to begin my moderate exercise. I figured I could power walk a mile, so why not? I didn't realize that first mile was going to be the first of many!

I have been asked how can I run while pregnant. Well without trying to be sarcastic, I run the same as I did not being pregnant. The weight gradually comes on as I progress into my pregnancy, so my body gets used to that extra pound or two here and there. It's not 30 extra pounds all at once. And no, my belly doesn't plop up and down as I run, as a friend asked me the other day. :) However, only one of my running shirts is long enough to cover my belly. So I have an undershirt I wear that is long enough and helps keep it all in and allows me to wear the rest of my shirts! I don't wear a belly band while running because the undershirt does the trick for me. I would recommend the belly band if needed! Just some free advice for those wondering.

My objective while running for two is not to work on speed or run a marathon. It's to simply keep myself and the baby healthy in preparation for delivery (and then train for a marathon!). Although I may have been trying to work on speed earlier in the pregnancy, it's not a good idea now. Now I just read about fast runners and how to improve my time for after I give birth. 

A few simple tips for Running For Two:

1) First and foremost, listen to your body!
      I must admit this has been a humbling experience for me. As I have had to cut back on my miles and slow my pace down quite a bit. I don't like feeling like I "can't" do something. But I know it's what's best for me and the baby. I went through a period of time when I would limp with a sore leg from my runs. My sweet husband laughed at me as I would try to walk normal. A lot of stretching before and after my runs helped fix this issue. But let me tell you, it was awful! I would start off my run limping but get in a stride and be fine. But then afterwards I could barely walk. I took a few days off, and would stretch a lot and make sure I was taking my vitamins. I added Calcium and Magnesium supplements into my daily intake and made sure to eat enough iron as I was low on that also.

   I now take small walk breaks when I need to during my runs. If I push myself to run the whole thing or go further when my body is tired, I exert all my energy for the day and am useless to the world. I decided that having a great run wasn't worth losing all my energy for the day. So I settle for a good run and conserve my energy for the rest of the day. I say all that to say, listen to your body! The time will soon come when you can push yourself to great limits if that is your hearts desire!

2) Stay hydrated. 

    I always always always carry water with me on my runs. I have two fuel belts and one water back pack that I love! Water is crucial if you're going to be outside in the heat and doing distance. Even if it's just a mile or two I still bring a small water bottle with me. And of course as an active pregnant woman, you need more water.

3) Make sure you are getting the proper nutrients you need and stretch. 

     Along with my prenatal, I take a multi vitamin and calcium with magnesium vitamin to help replenish what baby is taking from me. Also your blood work will tell you if you are low in an area. For me my iron was low, so I've been eating more iron enriched foods. Your body goes through quite the change throughout your pregnancy. I had problems with my legs when I have never had any problems while running. So take it a day at a time and make sure you are getting the proper nutrients and stretching to avoid injury.

4) Make sure you have good shoes!

    If your shoes or worn out then you'll soon be punishing your whole body. It's important that you have the proper shoes especially when doing distance. It's worth the extra $50-$75 to buy a new pair of shoes that will keep you going for the next 400 miles then replace them again. It's recommended to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. For me that's about every 3-4 months. Again if you do shorter distance, your shoes will last longer. Just keep track of your miles and the condition of your shoes...speaking of which I could really use a new pair!

5) Lastly, enjoy the run and make sure there's a bathroom close by! 

    I've learned to just enjoy my runs these past few weeks. Sure I may be going slow, but I'm still going! I've turned off my pace on my Nike+ app so now I don't get sad when I hear how slow I'm going. I just run and enjoy the great outdoors. Do what your body will allow you to do and enjoy it! Soon I will be pushing myself to do speed workouts and distance, and cross training. So for now, I will enjoy the easy run!

While in the 6th month of this pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up my running. I was determined to run the entire pregnancy but I was having signs of early labor. After my runs, I would get Braxton Hicks that wouldn't go away. So I slowed it down and took it easy. It's so important that you listen to your body.

The Braxton Hicks went away after a couple of weeks and I resumed my normal workout routine. At times during my runs, I would think how will I make it to the end of my pregnancy and still run?! But I would tell myself just to get through that run. Get to the end of that week. I look forward to my Saturday runs because that marks the beginning of a new pregnancy week for me. Last week, I entered my last and final month and did so buy finishing a 9 mile run. And now I'm in my 37th week of pregnancy with just 3 weeks left! The finish line is so close! I actually feel great this last month compared to a lot of my other months. Let's hope it continues!

Running just 1-2 miles a day with my last pregnancy really helped with labor and delivery. My entire labor was about 6 hours long. It went really quickly and smoothly- praise the Lord for that! I had a med free, pain free natural child birth. I'm praying for the same with this little princess. I will keep you posted on the outcome of this labor and delivery when the time comes! And I realize, everyone is different, every pregnancy is different and every labor and delivery is different. And I can't guarantee the same results for you as exercising had with me. But allow me to encourage you to not allow pregnancy to be an excuse to not exercise. Rather let it be a strong motivation to start or continue! Do it for that sweet little babe growing inside of you! You won't regret it!

Here are a few other perks for running while pregnant!

1) You never have to guess which direction to go because your belly button will always point you in the right direction. 

2) Whenever an older person or any human passes you, just grab your belly and pretend you're in labor but then walk it off and give them the ole' head nod as they run by. 

3) That sudden urge to go potty is a great excuse to stop and visit friends and family along the way. And don't forget to always carry tissue just in case nature calls before you reach your friends house. 

4) Talk to your baby along the way. Sure they may think your crazy talking to yourself, but your baby will remember these times. So go ahead, cherish these moments. 

Until Next Time! Happy Trails!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coming Soon!

Well it has been too long since I have written a post! There's been a few reasons. One, I have been trying to think of a new blog name and theme-- which may be finally getting somewhere. And two, life has been a little busy! Four weeks straight of VBS, then we had a house guest, then potty training, then James' birthday, and so on and so on. And when life hasn't been so busy, I've been too tired to write. But I'm hopping back on the writing horse with the intention to keep it going! 

As I sit here and write, I can't help but be consumed with thoughts of my little girl who is coming soon! Lord willing, my new blog will also be up and running soon. But that's not as exciting as a sweet little baby! This pregnancy has been much different than that with our first, Jacob. It seems each new month brings a new challenge. Just typical pregnancy stuff- heartburn, charlie horses at night, nose bleeds, limping from my runs, extra potty trips, nauseousness, easy gag refluxes and sensitivity to smell. Each symptom would last a few weeks and in time either go away or ease up considerably. Every now and then they'll creep up but I can't complain. The end is in sight! The best part is feeling her move all the time. She is a lot more active than Jacob ever was. I would have to poke my belly to get him to move. But with her, I have to push her back in place. I feel her foot poke out a ton on my right side and usually her bum will then poke out on the other side. It's the greatest! I just love our little princess!

This last month so far has been great! And for those who are wondering, I am still running! Last Saturday, I ran 9 miles to celebrate the milestone of reaching my 9th month of pregnancy. It was a slow run but I did it! Soon I will be back on the roads and running faster. Maybe I'll be able to pace myself with the super fast Asian man. And the looks on people's faces will soon go away when my belly shrinks down. I'm sure it's pretty amusing to see a 9 month pregnant woman running. I laugh at myself when I see my reflection in the store window. :) Running has kept me focused each week on my health and on the end goal, giving birth. And I can't wait to give birth and meet our daughter!

I believe it is safe to say, we are as ready as can be expected for the little princess to arrive. Today, we finalized everything at the hospital and are all set up there. The kids room is remodeled and decorated, the hospital bag is all packed, maternity photos taken, so now all we need is her! There are a few more finishing touches that can be done, but isn't there always one more thing that can be done?! Just one more bow to make?!

As the end nears, I am trying to soak in every moment before her arrival. Soon I will be busy with a newborn and a lot of my time will be dedicated to taking care of her- which is a great privilege! I am so excited to meet her but at the same time, I'm not wishing this time to pass too quickly. I'm enjoying the time with James and Jacob. We've been taking lots of trips to the playground and just having fun together. I try to make spending time with him a priority each day, I don't want to be too busy for him. I pray that I can still keep that balance once the baby arrives.

The thought of another child just makes me so excited. Two Jacobs running around?!!?! Just one with a bow in her hair.  Not sure if we are quite ready for all that excitement, but ready or not! Words can't express how much I love our son and I know I will feel the same about our daughter. The Lord is good, isn't He? I just feel so blessed that He would give us another child to raise for His honor and glory.

May I encourage you to enjoy whatever season of life you are in. If you are expecting your first child, enjoy the time alone with your husband before the baby comes. You won't regret soaking up that time! If you are awaiting the arrival of your second, third, or  eleventh child, enjoy the time with your kids before the new babe arrives. And of course enjoy the time with your newborn once he or she arrives. Yes, you'll be sleep deprived. And yes, you'll groan when the baby is hungry after he just ate 5 minutes ago (or so it seems). There will be days where the greatest thing you accomplish is taking a shower and reheating leftovers.  But that's okay! Enjoy that time because soon they will be grown and gone. Don't wish for the next season to come, enjoy the season you are in right now. And I will remind myself of this truth when I'm up in the middle of the night nursing the baby and dreaming about being asleep!

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

Here's a few sneak peeks of our maternity photos! 

My Little Blessing :)

Can't wait to dress you up!


Jacob Reading "I'm a Big Brother" as Mommy
reads up on how to stay relaxed during labor
What were we thinking?!