Bumpdate Weeks 29-31

31 Weeks!

31 Weeks!

At this point in my pregnancy, I’m starting to feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. I know these last weeks are going to probably go the slowest but so far the weeks have been flying by. Crazy to think that AT MOST, I’m 10.5 weeks away from meeting my baby girl (my doctor said she won’t schedule me to be induced until 2 weeks past my due date which is something I’m very happy with since ideally I’ll have a totally intervention-free birth).

It’s funny because although I feel I’ve been pregnant forever, to the public eye I’ve been pregnant a month or so because I haven’t been blatantly showing. Only recently are strangers/acquaintances at work confident enough that I’m actually with child and not just chubby to congratulate me or comment. My weekly baby update email this week said that this is the time that people start telling you that you must be ready to pop, but I’m having the opposite reaction as everyone is telling me it has gone so fast when I tell them I’m already 31 weeks. It’s interesting how different everyone’s bodies are when it comes to carrying a child. I must admit I’m happy to finally be visibly pregnant! Now I just have 9 or so weeks to celebrate that.

bumpdate pregnancy update week 29 week 30

How Many Weeks: This covers weeks 29-31.

Size of Baby: Over 16 inches long and about 3.3 pounds, the size of a coconut.

Excuse this week's terrible "oh shit we need to take the bump picture" photo!

Excuse this week’s terrible “oh shit we need to take the bump picture” photo!

Belly Button In/Out: It has definitely changed and is more flat but has not “popped” yet.

Stretch Marks: Not any yet. I’ve been religiously applying Mambino Organics Belly Butter to my belly twice a day and praying that it works (either way the belly butter helps with itching).

Rings On/Off: My rings are still on and don’t seem to be much tighter (besides when I go for a long walk and my fingers turn to sausages) which makes me hopeful that I’ll never have to take them off! I also don’t seem to have any swelling in my legs which I know can plague a lot of pregnant women around this time.

Symptoms: General sleepiness, occasional leg cramps in the middle of the night, waddling. I am thankful that my symptoms have been so mild.

Wadding up Torrey Pines

Wadding up Torrey Pines (still able to rock some Oiselle gear at least!!!)

Sleep: Mike was out of town this past week so I finally slept with my Snoogle. I think that it did help. Although my doctor did tell me that I could continue sleeping on my back at times, I have found that I’m less comfortable in that position lately.  On the weekends I try to sleep as much as possible since during the week I only get 7.5-8 hours since I tend to wake up at 5:30 several mornings to work out. Ideally right now I think I need closer to 9-10 hours of sleep based on how it goes on the weekends. Even after 9 hours I’ll still take a nap on a weekend afternoon if possible.

snoogle sleep pillow during pregnancy

Testing out my Snoogle back when I got it (in May!)

Purchasing: These last 3 weeks were all about the nursery! I’m happy to say it’s almost complete – all we need are the final touches on the decor but I’m waiting until my shower because my friend Allison who is hosting has made several decorations for the shower that she thinks would fit in well in the nursery (the theme is mint, coral and grey with arrow print accents). Over 4th of July weekend Mike’s parents came over and helped us paint the nursery and put together the crib and changing table. The glider was delivered the following weekend and I picked up some great finds at Home Goods for decor and storage as well. We ordered a floor rug from Target and it came last week. Now all we need are the final touches and a baby to put in it! I’ll be posting pictures once it’s done!

I got this art on Etsy and painted the frame myself

I got this art on Etsy and painted the frame myself

Nursery toy basket which fit the theme perfectly

Nursery toy basket which fit the theme perfectly

Couldn't resist this adorable bathing suit for Siena - so excited to have a girl!!!

Couldn’t resist this adorable bathing suit for Siena (for next summer) – so excited to be having a little girl!!!

Interesting Moments: Now that my bump is getting more obvious, I’ve had a lot more interaction with strangers. The man serving my lunch last week told me I was for sure having a girl because of the way i’m carrying and he has 3 daughters so he’s an expert. A woman at the mall over the weekend then told me I must be carrying a boy because I “don’t look pregnant from behind” and apparently girls make your whole body grow (clearly she doesn’t know that it has grown…).

I’m still wearing heels (not every day) and every time I do I get multiple comments about it!

Best Moments: Putting together the nursery was definitely the highlight of the last 3 weeks. I kept going back into the room after it was painted and the crib was built and staring at it in disbelief. We’re going to have another human being LIVING in our house! It’s crazy!!!

Mike putting together the crib the day after we painted the room.

Mike putting together the crib the day after we painted the room.

I also feel my best after a great hike or yoga session with friends.

During a hike at Torrey Pines with Brooke

During a hike at Torrey Pines with Brooke

Torrey Pines hike with Asia last week - I made her join me for 290 squats along the way!

Torrey Pines hike with Asia last week – I made her join me for 290 squats along the way!

Exercise: Still going strong with the squats (up to 290/day last week, headed for 350 a day by the end of the month!), yoga, barre, hikes and even some runs! I workout on average 6-7 times a week plus get in shorter walks a few times a week, still occasionally putting in a double day (ie workout in the morning, workout at night). The intensity and duration is nothing compared to pre-pregnancy but I’m getting out there! I feel good during most workouts but definitely feel the best during yoga. I’m also doing exercises to prepare for child birth (read more here).

After a run!

After a run!

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing crazy here, just lots of cold, refreshing foods. Lots of cold, fresh fruit, the occasional diet soda (only 2-3 a week, but highly considering making all soda off limits!) and my nightly ice cream! I’ve noticed lately that I can’t eat as much at one sitting as I was able to before and I’ve been staying full longer. I’m sure that my stomach is getting cramped in there thanks to the growing baby.

Baby/Child Birth Preparations: We only have ONE Bradley Method birth class left and I’ve scheduled our hospital tour. I already got my breast bump from the insurance company and the nursery is almost done. I still need to wash the clothes, blankets, sheets but will do that after the showers. I also need to select our pediatrician (I have a recommendation and will probably go with that one but have yet to call) and we pack the hospital bag and install the car seat, but we have a little time for that (or so I hope – one of the girls in our birth class already had her baby at 35 weeks).

Missing: I must admit an ice cold beer sounds really good since it’s been so hot!

Looking Forward To: My showers! I have my first shower, which will be with friends and some family on August 1st, a 2nd shower with my mom’s side of the family on August 8th and a work shower on the 10th. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with friends and family. Some of my friends who I rarely get to see are coming from out of town so it’ll be a treat to catch up with them in person.

Running During The 2nd Trimester

half marathon while pregnant

Running has always been my one true love when it comes to fitness. Even when I dabble in other areas of fitness focus, I always come back to my tried and true – running. However, pregnancy has presented some challenges when it comes to running and as I approach 31 weeks pregnant, I’m coming to the realization that my running days are numbered. I wanted to recap how running was for me in the 2nd trimester (and I’ll do an update on the 3rd trimester later) to help other pregnant runners know what they might expect. Every pregnancy and person is different and I’ve seen women run races up til their due date or chose not to run at all during pregnancy, so of course my experience is just one of many and yours won’t be exactly the same.

To give any non-regular readers some background on my running background pre-pregnancy, I started running/racing long distances (half marathons) in 2010, ran my first full marathon in 2011, my first (and only) Ironman in 2012 and then ran 3 more marathons from 2013-2014 trying to qualify for Boston. My last marathon was CIM in December 2014 and I trained at a range of 45-55 miles per week for the majority of the fall and winter. I ran a 3:35:26 at CIM so my “easy” pace was in the mid 8s/low 9s and my race pace for a half marathon was about 7:45. I got pregnant less than 1 month after CIM so I was in peak running shape at the start of my pregnancy.

2nd Trimester Running Mileage and Paces: 

April (~Weeks 14-18 of pregnancy): 56 Miles, average pace/mile ~10-11 min/mile

May (~Weeks 19-23): 73 miles, average pace/mile ~11-12 min/mile

June (~Weeks 24-28): 20 miles  average pace/mile ~12-15 min/mile

Running in the 2nd Trimester

I started the 2nd trimester still feeling pretty good while running. I had run a half marathon at both 6 weeks and 12 weeks and then started to train to run the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon (which I planned to run at 23 weeks). I ran 5 5ks (3 timed runs plus the 5k during Wanderlust and the Girls on the Run 5k) during the 2nd trimester, all of which were right around 28-30 minutes, which I considered pretty good since my training runs were in the 10-11 minute range at the time. I put in several runs over 8 miles and two runs over 10 miles between weeks 14-21 of pregnancy in order to train for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.

My first 5k of pregnancy - and my fastest! The Carlsbad 5000.

My first 5k of pregnancy – and my fastest! The Carlsbad 5000.

The first 10+ mile run felt really good and the 2nd one felt pretty bad. The first 10 miler was on the trails and I took my time and walked up hills. I ran with my cousin for part of it and enjoyed new scenery on the trails and took my time. The 2nd 10 mile run run was on the familiar coast path/street (concrete/asphalt) and I was alone. It was a struggle and there were definitely moments when I questioned how fun it would be to run the Rock n’ Roll San Diego half marathon in two weeks. I ended up getting a 24 hour stomach flu the day before the race and decided not to run it at all, my first ever DNS! I think I could have finished the race and overall it would have been a positive experience, but I also think it would have been quite uncomfortable! There was a part of me that was relieved when I had to back out of the race, but another big part of me was really sad to miss out on the experience since I love racing and I knew it would be my last of pregnancy and possibly even the year!

View from my 10 mile trail run

View from my 10 mile trail run

After missing RnR SD, I cut back on my running since I no longer had something to train for (for the first time in 5 years!). I focused on other things (yoga, barre, spin, hiking, walking, squatting) but still ran occasionally with friends or on my own. I stopped running more than 4.5 miles at a time and walk breaks started to be more of the norm. I also started using a “belly bra” to help support my growing belly and found that although it helped, I still felt some discomfort while running. The bathroom breaks started to get even more frequent (I think my record was 3 bathroom breaks during a 4 mile run).

My interest in running started to wane toward the end of the trimester due to the fact that I rarely had a friend to run with (I can’t keep up anymore and/or their schedules just didn’t fit with mine anymore), I had to plan run routes around bathrooms, my belly hurt and I there wasn’t a lot of variety in my running anymore (I missed tempo runs, long runs,and track workouts). My pace was now in the 11-12 min/mile range while actually running but I often stopped to walk so it I found it took me about 40-45 minutes to run the 3.2 mile rail loop near by house (which requires a lot of walking since it has about 1,000 feet of climbing!). I also noticed that my body took longer to recover from runs than from other, lower impact exercises. However, I still loved to run enough to continue occasionally through end of the 2nd trimester.

Girls on the Run 5k

Girls on the Run 5k

At 31 weeks, I am still running! But it’s getting slower and slower. I think I keep hanging on because it’s hard for me to imagine NOT running for months which is the reality if I give up now (2 months til due date + likely at least 1 month postpartum). I just love the fresh air, views and the way that running makes me feel a little too much!!!

If you’ve been pregnant, what was your experience with running? How far into pregnancy did you run and what was your primary motivation? 

5 Key Exercises to Prepare for Childbirth

The first week of my Bradley Method class we went over several exercises to ease pregnancy discomforts and/or strengthen the body for a more efficient labor and less painful recovery. As someone who loves to have a tangible plan to get ready for an event, I loved that there were specific exercises to get me in shape for “birth day,” just like race day! I made myself a birth training plan spreadsheet with the exercises listed out on the top and the dates listed on the side. Every day I try to do several, if not all of the exercises. Having the sheet on the fridge definitely keeps me accountable.

Just like you wouldn’t show up to an Ironman triathlon unprepared and without practice, you don’t want to show up to your child’s birth day without a strong body and mind. Below I’ll share what I consider the five most important ways you can prepare for labor and delivery.

1. Squats – Repeats.

Squatting in the backyard.

Squatting in the backyard.

Squats are touted as the best exercise to prepare for childbirth. Not only do they strengthen your legs, glutes and low back which you’ll want strong for the many hours of labor, but squatting actually will help stretch your perineum so that you are less likely to tear during childbirth.

To Do: I definitely recommend getting in on a squat challenge to keep yourself motivated. It’s so much easier to follow a plan than to just try to get in a certain number of squats every single day. In June I followed the Squat Challenge from 30DayFitnessChallenges.com  which built from 50 squats up to 250 squats a day over 30 days, with 1 rest day after every 3 days. In July, I challenge myself to add 100 squats a day, starting at 150 squats and ending at 450!

For tips on technique during squats, you can find guidance here.  Note: I don’t use any weights when squatting and it’s still a great workout!

2. Deep Squats -Hold.

Deep Squatting. Source: Parents.com

Deep Squatting. Source: Parents.com

Deep squatting is an extremely efficient pushing position in natural childbirth (it can’t be used with an epidural due to the fact that you can’t move into the position). Squatting shortens the birth canal so baby doesn’t have to go as far to reach his or her final destination. Additionally, squatting is arguably the most efficient birthing position as it utilizes the force of gravity to move the baby out. During 2nd stage labor, a woman will push for 45-90 seconds at a time. Therefore, it’s ideal to be able to hold the position comfortably for at least 60 seconds but ideally 2 full minutes. Assisted squatting is easier than unassisted, and most hospitals have squat bars that you can use to brace yourself. Your husband or a doula can help support you as well. Either way, spending a minute or more a day in a deep squat will help prepare your hips.

To Do: Come into a comfortable squat with knees wider than your hips. Feet should be completely pressed to the floor and you should try to sit up as straight as possible. To assist with balance, bring your palms together and press your elbows against your inner knees. In the beginning you may need to use a yoga block to sit on and/or only hold for 10-20 seconds. As you develop more flexibility you should be able to hold for longer and longer periods.

3. Kegals.

The exercise that can be done anywhere and is completely discreet! Kegal exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which support your urethra, bladder, uterus and rectum. A weak pelvic floor is common postpartum and can lead to fun symptoms like bladder leakage or worse. A strong pelvic floor can help with childbirth in that they can keep hemerroids at bay (isn’t childbirth lovely?) and speed healing after a tear during childbirth. Bonus points – a strong pelvic floor will make sex more enjoyable and you’re way less likely to pee your pants when you sneeze.

To Do:  I try to get at least 50 kegals in a day and the Bradley Method recommends working your way up to 200. You actually don’t want to start off with too many a day as you can cause damage, just like if you were to go straight into 200 push-ups a day after not doing them for years. Start with a strong understanding of exactly which muscles you’re working (you shouldn’t be clenching your butt or any other exterior muscle while performing kegals).

Here’s a great workout  by Fit Pregnancy which also explains how exactly to do Kegals.

Another great resource is Hab-It – here’s a link to 5 pregnancy pelvic floor exercises.

4. Cat/Cow.

The most underrated yoga move! Stretching in this position is amazing for relieving back pain during pregnancy and I’ve found that arching my back feels incredibly soothing. Pelvic rocking, or Cat/Cow tones and conditions the muscles of the lower back and abdominal muscles, relieves pressured on the lower back and increases circulation. It has even been shown to improve digestion and when done properly can help the baby move forward, relieving pressure felt by mom. I love this one and get it in pretty much every day.

To Do: Simply get on all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Start with a neutral spine and then as you take a long breath inward, move your spine upward like a cat and look down at your belly. As you breathe out, push your belly down and look upward.

5. Relaxation.

Relaxation is the most pivotal of all of the exercises and will be the thing that helps you manage pain during labor the most. Being relaxed during labor will not only help you stay mentally focused on the task at hand but it will also speed up your labor so you get to see your baby’s face sooner! Stress and tension are your worst enemies during childbirth and your body will slow down the process if you’re feeling this way. A female deer has the ability to literally suck a baby deer who is halfway out of her laboring body back into her so that she can run away if she is frightened during labor. This is the same as humans – we need to be at total ease in order to deliver our innocent baby into the world (another reason why it’s important to be prepared and only have people in the room with you during your labor who you feel totally comfortable with). Relaxation is the most important pain management technique touted by the Bradley Method and it is not something you can just do spontaneously during labor. You must practice.

Unfortunately this one is the hardest for me to fit into my day. Ideally I’d be practicing relaxation for a minimum of 10 min a day but this tends to be the one that I miss most days. I’ve been consistently practicing relaxation about 2-3 days a week. I like to think that yoga is a form of relaxation as well and when I’m experiencing a pose that causes discomfort or pain, I try to focus on my breathing and think things like “breathe in confidence, breathe out doubt” in order to stay in a pose longer than I want. It’s important to get your husband/birth partner involved in relaxation as well – there are several techniques that involve your husband either reading from a relaxation script and/or massaging you while you focus on relaxation.

To Do: There are several relaxation techniques for labor and tons of YouTube videos that will help you with a  guided relaxation/meditation. Here are some of my favorite resources:

  1.  Guided Relaxation Script
  2. Positive Affirmations YouTube Video (you have to watch this, not close your eyes since it’s all visual).
  3. Meditation for Natural Easy Childbirth and Labor
  4. 10 Minute Guided Meditation for Birthing, Labor and Delivery
  5. Easy Labor Massage For Pain Relief During Childbirth (who doesn’t want to practice these!?)

 

Running Survey and WildFire Giveaway Winners!

First, let’s start with the goods news! Congratulations to Jen, Nancy, Stephanie, Claire and Carlee for winning the 2 month membership to Wildfire! I’ve already sent your emails over to Wildfire and they should be contacting you with next steps shortly. I’d love to take a class with you if you’re in the San Diego area!

Thanks to Jen who blogs at Pretty Little Grub for letting me steal this fun running survey from her. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to talk running on the blog so filling out this survey was a fun walk down memory lane. I can’t wait to get back out there and training again !

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail? 

I would have said beach path for years but lately I’ve been loving those mountain trails. So this is a toss up. About 90% of my runs are on a beach path so I may just be spoiled!

Beach path running for life!

Beach path running for life!

2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

None! I am not a fan of flavored sports drinks – they don’t quench my thirst at all! I used to drink nuun while Ironman training (always with another bottle with pure water) but now I just do salt tabs if necessary for electrolytes.

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

Maybe a sports bra because I HATE spending money on a good supportive sports bra and they are expensive!

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I’m a planner all the way – training plans make me happy. But I also know when it’s smart to change the plan so I don’t live and die by it.

Beachside running at the Long Beach half

Beachside running at the Long Beach half

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I’d rather start uphill and finish downhill – nothing beats feeling amazing and fast at the end of a good run. I’m usually sluggish for the first mile or two anyway.As for racing, same thing – Rock n’ Roll San Diego starts uphill and finish with a fast downhill and it’s the best. AFC is the worst – downhill start and uphill to the finish. I have ran that race 3 times and have yet to feel good running up that hill.

Downhill running

Downhill running with my RBF (and RLBF)

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I’ve done it all! P90X, Pilates, barre, yoga, cycling/spin, bootcamps, bring it on! I’ve always incorporated cross training into my marathon training – it just depends on what I’m currently excited about.

Swimming - not my favorite cross training but always fun with friends

Swimming – not my favorite cross training but always fun with friends

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

I think I like out and backs – it helps me break down the run into manageable pieces and I always know where I am. When it comes to racing, a point to point or loop is always the most interesting though (although I hate taking a bus on point to point races).

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

Good pair of shoes! I always say this when new runners come to me with some kind of pain – usually I find out they are running in their old cross-training shoes that they’ve been wearing to the gym for 5 years.

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

On the runs from my old house I’d see pelicans and sea gulls. Now on the trail runs from my new house I see rabbits and lizards.

My new home running route

My new home running route

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

I’ve never been officially lost – but I’ve definitely run farther than I had expected to run due to a miscalculation or a wrong turn!

We definitely ran farther than expected on a few of these trail runs while training for Ragnar Trail Vail Lake

We definitely ran farther than expected on a few of these trail runs while training for Ragnar Trail Vail Lake

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

Mozy’s breakfast burrito (whole wheat tortilla, eggs, black beans, jack cheese, plantains and avocado  – it’s amazing and I have one basically every weekend)!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

I used to be a capris girl until I discovered Oiselle shorts (Rogas are my favorite but distance shorts are amazing). They are so comfortable and don’t ride up!

Oiselle Distance Short in action!

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

It depends on the day but sometimes it can take up to 4 miles to really feel good! But in general, it’s at least 2 miles. Now that I’m pregnant, I don’t really ever feel “ready to go” on a run. Sigh.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

Put it in one of the handy zipper pockets in my Oiselle pants or shorts.

Lots of Oiselle clothing action happening at last year's bird camp

Lots of Oiselle clothing action happening at last year’s bird camp

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

This is a hard one! One of the best races ever was Oceanside 70.3 but that’s a pretty long race to relive so I might pick San Diego Rock n’ Roll 2014 where I set my current half marathon PR. I didnt’ feel awesome for the first few miles but I kept a good attitude and about halfway into the race it turned magical for me. My legs felt light and I felt amazing for the last 8 miles of the race. I posted a huge negative split (in part thanks to the course profile) and had a smile on my face nearly the entire race.

Running Happy at RnR SD last year

Running Happy at RnR SD last year

What running habits/preferences do we have in common? 

Bumpdate Weeks 25-28

pregnancy updates

Another 4 weeks have passed,  I’m officially in the 3rd trimester and we’re in the home stretch! I’d easily say that the the last 4 weeks were some of the most enjoyable of my pregnancy – I’ve had a lot of energy for workouts, I’m still sleeping well, I’m actually starting to be noticeably pregnant (although people still don’t notice at first sometimes) and I’ve learned so much about childbirth via my Bradley Method classes that I’m feeling more and more comfortable with and dare I say, excited for, for birth. These are the good days folks. And I hope it continues!

As we moved into the third trimester, I noticed that Mike and I are finally letting it sink in that we will be parents in 12 (more or less) short weeks. The idea of having a third family member living in our house is becoming more real and we are starting to talk more and more about how Siena (we’ve named her!) will fit into our lives. We will often imagine her in our daily routine – sitting next to us in the high chair or in the swing while we drink our coffee, strapping her into the Ergo and taking her with us on our walks, bringing her with us in the car seat to our favorite lunch spots. We can’t wait to welcome her into our lives.

How Far Along: 28 weeks

Baby Size: An eggplant, about 2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds!

Name: Siena Jade. Mike and I went to Siena, Italy on our honeymoon. We stayed in a romantic bed and breakfast in a castle and somehow on the trip it came up that Siena would be a  wonderful name for a girl if we ever had one. Once I got pregnant we started talking about boy names but never really addressed the girl names, always knowing Siena would be a frontrunner. Once we found out she was a girl, we did spend some time researching other names but settled on Siena. Mike came up with the middle name Jade – it’s simple, unique and beautiful and goes well with our long last name.

pregnancy updates chalkboard

Movement: Lots and lots! Week 28 is actually he week my doctor told me I should be counting my kicks every night. I need to have at least 10 within 1 hour otherwise I’m supposed to call the doctor! Kind of scary but usually she kicks like clockwork at night.

Maternity Clothes: I think I’m officially done purchasing maternity clothes. This month my big purchase was a nice pair of workout/yoga pants (these) and 2 maternity specific workout tank tops. It has made such a big difference to have pants that fit right and also some flattering tops. I also went to Marshalls and bought 2 pairs of cheap workout pants which are 2 sizes larger than normal and sit low, and an XL sports bra for my now enormous boobs (low impact, so I won’t wear it running). Between this and my For Two Fitness tanks, the Oiselle Roga shorts in a larger size I purchased during a sale several months ago, and a few Oiselle tanks that are long and stretchy, I’m set for workouts! I also purchased a cute dress and three tops to wear to work this month. I’m calling it quits there!

IMG_7201

New pregnancy workout top, old Oiselle stretchy shorts!

Sleep: I’m still able to sleep soundly and comfortably without a pregnancy pillow. I bought the Snoogle pillow about 2 months ago but haven’t really needed it yet. I think that will change soon, but for now I’m going with it.

Cravings/Favorite Foods: Loooving peaches, grapes and strawberries. I eat about 3-4 servings of fruit a day most days. I’m also loving my Trader Joe’s peanut butter tracks ice cream most nights for my daily indulgence. I’ve been focusing on eating more protein and have been eating fish about 2x a week. After our Bradley Method classes on Sundays Mike and I have a standing date to head over to the Fish Shop in Encinitas for fish tacos!

DSC_0837

Food Aversions: Still can’t do artificially flavored jalapeno, almonds or any kind of processed bar.

Exercise: Spin, barre, yoga and lots of squats! Plus walks and the occasional run. It’s all about variety right now (read more on my June workout recap).

Mood: Mostly positive and excited. Occasionally I get a bit sad about missing out on certain things (I won’t be doing the annual triathlon or any of the training with my husbands company and I can’t drink at girls nights/weekends) but overall I’m happy.

Purchasing: I purchased a book case, lamp, and 2 pieces of art for the nursery. We didn’t purchase it ourselves, but we got our crib thanks to Mike’s parents, the mattress thanks to a friend and our changing table thanks to another friend. The nursery is underway! I also got my breast pump in the mail (courtesy of my insurance company).

pregnancy update with chalkboard

Reading: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, the Bradley Method workbook, and The Girl on the Train (for those times when I don’t feel like reading about pushing a baby out of my body).

Symptoms: Calf/foot cramps (usually in the night or during a workout), skin changes (red spots on my chest and more pronounced veins in my legs), change in walking gait (aka waddling), crazy vivid dreams, and sleepiness.

Missing: My flat stomach.

Best Moments: Hiking 10 miles in Catalina on our baby moon, the massage on our baby moon,  our weekly Sunday night fish taco dates, dreaming about life over morning coffee with Mike (this is most mornings!).

Catalina Hiking

Catalina Hiking

Looking Forward To: Baby showers! I have one on August 1st and a smaller one with my mom’s side of the family on August 8th. I’ll also have a shower at work but no date has been set. A few close friends who have moved away from San Diego are coming back in town just for the shower so I’m really excited to have (almost) all of my favorite people with me at once.

June Goal Recap, July Goal Planning and 2 Month Wildfire/Fitn GIVEAWAY!

June was probably one of the best months of my pregnancy for workouts. I’m not actually sure I did any more workouts than in the early months, but I felt great doing them which made a big difference. It wasn’t the best month for running, as that dramatically slowed, but I felt great the majority of the time and was able to get in a lot of quality workouts, mostly thanks to the wonderful Wildfire!

This month I discovered spin classes at Rhythm and Power which have been a great substitute for running and tried out two new yoga studios. I also did a couple of pre-natal yoga workouts using DoYogaWithMe.com and spent a lot of time walking and squatting! I am seeing some more muscle definition in my arms, legs and butt, which is always great to see. It’s safe to say that the combination of the extra fat thanks to pregnancy and all these squats, my flat runners butt is gone!

Let’s see how I did with June goals:

  1. Walk at Least 10,000 Steps a Day. My Pivotal Living band died on me within like 1 day of writing this goal so I stopped counting. But it’s safe to say I did get in 10,000 steps a day on average based on the fact that I spent 13 hours this month walking and I ran 18 miles (and that’s just the time I spent on a “walk” or run, not including time spent on my feet of course). Crazy to think I used to run 18 miles in one day….

    Hiking in Catalina

    Hiking in Catalina

  2. Do pelvic floor exercises 1x/week. I actually realized after writing this goal that the DVD I bought called “Hab It” is meant for postpartum, but they do offer online videos for pregnancy. I did the online video once and then we started our Bradley Method class which gave us other exercises to prepare for birth (more on that later) and I switched to doing those instead.
  3. Do Yoga 2x/week. I was so close to this goal, with 7 yoga sessions in the month, averaging almost 2 a week.

    First time at Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

    First time at Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

  4. Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge. CHECK! I squatted 3,295 times in June, which doesn’t include the squats I did in yoga (chair) and barre classes.

    SQUATS!

    SQUATS!

June Totals:

  • 7 Yoga Classes
  • 8 Xtend Barre Classes
  • 5 Spin Classes (Rhythm and Power)
  • 6 runs, totaling 18 miles
  • 12 walks/hikes, totaling 13 hours of walking
  • Squat Challenge – 3,295 squats!

Other Exercises: Pelvic Floor/Child Birth Exercises (more on this later)

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Overall I was really happy with how June played out. I’m going to continue with the birth and pregnancy focused workouts in July and then see what else I feel up for on top of that. I’m upping the anty in July and doing the squat challenge again but this time I’m adding 100 squats a day. I’ll start at 150 squats and work my way to 350!

July Goals:

  1. Yoga 2x/week
  2. Squat Challenge + 100/day (5,595 squats)
  3. Pevlic Floor/Birth Exercises (Including Relaxation) whenever possible

I plan to continue to take spin classes, go to barre and to run when it feels good. However, I don’t want to set any goals around those things because I have no idea how my body will feel day to day. By the end of July I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant!

Wildfire Life Giveaway!

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Wildfire Life (formerly known as Fitn) has offered to let me giveaway 5 FREE 2 month memberships! If you aren’t familiar with Wildfire, you can learn more about it via my previous blog posts (here and here) and their website (here). As a quick recap, Wildfire life is a platform that allows you to attend classes at a massive list of fitness studios in San Diego and Orange County (LA coming soon!) all under one membership. And if you win the giveaway, that membership is 100% free for two months! I can’t say enough great things about Wildfire – it has added so much flexibility and fun into my workout schedule. And one of the best parts of Wildfire is you can literally attend an unlimited number of classes – you aren’t limited to a certain number per month or even per day.

To enter, check out Wildfire’s website and comment on this blog post with which workout studio you’d try first (make sure you include your email address on the form). The giveaway is open to anyone, but for now Wildfire only services San Diego and OC counties. I’ll draw a winner next Wednesday, July 8th. 

Good luck!

Babymooning in Catalina

catalina island

The beautiful Avalon

A new phenomena has been invented which benefits expecting couples nationwide: The Babymoon. Essentially it is the last chance for soon-to-be parents to enjoy some relaxation and alone time before their world is turned upside down. I’m sure this type of final vacation has always existed but only recently has the name Babymoon been coined (and urban dictionary has some pretty hilarious definitions if you need a laugh).

As people who love to travel, we were all over it. Since we just took what we called our “last hurrah” vacation to New Zealand last December and depleted our PTO accounts at work and our vacation budget, we planned a short, but wonderful getaway to Catalina Island. Catalina Island is just a 90 minute ferry ride from Orange County, and Orange County is just a 40 minute drive away from our house in Encinitas. Despite the close proximity, we felt like we were in another country when we arrived in the tiny town of Avalon on the beautiful island of Catalina.

We took Friday off work and took the first ferry over, arriving just after 9 a.m.  We spent the morning exploring the town on foot until our 12 PM tour began. When researching what to do in Catalina, I came across what can only be the stereotypical pregnant woman’s fantasy – a 3 hour food tour! The tour promised that we’d get to sip, taste and savor our way through 6 different restaurants in town while also learning about the history of Catalina Island. The tour was just delicious and interesting as we imagined ( and randomly we even met another couple on the tour who shares our exact same wedding anniversary).

Mike about to dig into tasting #4 - clam chowder and a crab cake

Mike about to dig into tasting #4 – clam chowder and a crab cake

As soon as the tour was over we checked into our hotel (the Aurora Hotel & Spa – I highly recommend!) and did the thing that I wish I could do EVERY Friday afternoon – took a 3 hour nap (get your mind out of the gutter!). I’m sure come September such laziness will be completely unheard of. That evening we had a great dinner at a seafood restaurant on the water, took another walk around town, and shared an ice cream.

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Date night number 1

Date night number 1

Saturday morning we headed over the Catalina Conservancy Center to ask about hiking in the area. 88% of the island is protected by a land trust, which includes over 62 miles of unspoiled beaches (the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline in Southern California) and a massive circuit of biking and hiking trails (there is a 50 miler, 2 marathons/half marathons and triathlon on the island each year). I knew that a lot of the trails would require transport to access, so we asked the woman at the Conservancy Center which hikes were accessible from Avalon. She suggested either a 7 mile or 10 mile trail and we decided to go for the 7 miler, although originally we were thinking that we’d probably only hike for 1.5-2 hours max. We had water and food and the entire morning free, so we figured we’d go for the 7 mile hike to get a real taste of what Catalina trails have to offer.

The trailhead! Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.

The trailhead! Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.

It took about a mile of walking straight up hill on a paved road for us to reach the trailhead. Once we got on the trail, we literally hiked 5 miles straight up into the sky. We couldn’t really tell how tall the mountain we were climbing was because every time we’d come around a corner we’d be confident that the summit was just around the bend! Luckily I was feeling really good and was able to keep a good pace and didn’t even feel like I needed to take a lot of breaks. We only saw one other set of hikers, one set of mountain bikers and a off-road vehicle full of tourists during this entire section of the hike (which was 6 miles in total we later learned).I was thankful that the trail was desolate because I had to stop and pee twice and there were definitely no trees or large bushes to take cover behind! The trail was a wide, dirt road that was completely exposed so we were thankful that the clouds were hiding a lot of the sun and that we had remembered to put on sunscreen! I’m not sure what the woman at the conservancy office was thinking sending a 6 month pregnant woman off to do this incredibly tough hike but luckily I was up for the challenge!

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One thought kept crossing my mind while out on the hike – my massage! I had a 2 p.m. massage booked at our hotel spa and we made it back to the hotel just in time for a quick shower before  it ( we stopped along the way home for tacos). The massage was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable massages I’ve ever had. The masseuse was incredibly attentive and crafted the massage just to my needs (I lay on my back and both sides only and it was still great). I was so incredibly relaxed afterward!

That evening we got dressed up and headed into town for a romantic dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, took a short walk and then headed to the Casino building (which houses a gorgeous theater and a ballroom, but no gambling!) to catch the nightly screening of Jurassic World. We had heard that going to the movies is a luxury once kids are in the picture (we rarely see movies anyway), so this seemed like a good baby moon activity. Also, not being able to drink takes some of the nightlife activities out of the picture so a movie was a good alternative.

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On Sunday morning we drank our coffee on a public bench near the water, people watching as we chatted. We took a walk and then grabbed a yummy fish taco lunch at the seafood restaurant on the water. And of course, we couldn’t leave the island without stopping for gelato before catching our 2 p.m. ferry back to the mainland.

The weekend was really amazing. I keep saying that I felt the best I’ve felt during the entire pregnancy this weekend. We had such an incredible time and I was truly relaxed and happy.  I keep dreaming of going back!

Have you ever been to Catalina? What other activities would you recommend that we get in before the baby comes? 

Things I’m Loving Right Now

How do you decide what to buy, eat , watch or listen to? I’m big on word of mouth and so I find it fun to read posts about what people are digging at the moment and it’s also fun to write them! Here’s the top things I’m loving right now:

  1. Game of Thrones. Every time I get super into a show (past favorites include the Walking Dead and Breaking Bad), I claim its the best show ever. This time I seriously think I found the best.show.ever. We’re just about to start Season 5 and I’m sad that we’ll finally be caught up and have to wait all summer for another season to come out!

    Don't ever get attached to a character.

    Don’t ever get attached to a character.

  2. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Tracks Ice Cream. This is totally a pregnancy indulgence and I almost wish I had never discovered it, but it’s delicious! I definitely eat this several nights  week and totally am ok with it!
  3. Pregnant Chicken. Every week I get two emails with updates on how my baby is progressing. One is from BabyCenter and is informative and frankly, a bit dry (I’m also always baffled by the fruit comparisons which seem totally random). The other is from Pregnant Chicken and is always straight to the point and hilarious. I read them out loud to Mike every Friday and we always have a good laugh. This is why you may sometimes see some unconventional comparisons on my weekly chalk board bump dates such as our baby is as big as a barbie doll or our baby is as big as an iPhone.

    Week 21 - Our baby was as big as the world's largest gummy bear

    Week 21 – Our baby was as big as the world’s largest gummy bear

  4. Beautycounter . I think a lot about what I put in my body via food and how I treat my body via exercise, but I sometimes forget that I also put a lot of things ON my body. My friend Ashley introduced me to Beautycounter . The average woman puts 12-20 chemicals on her skin every SINGLE day via cosmetics, lotion, soaps and more and sadly a lot of those chemicals are toxic (check out ewg.org to find out how toxic each of your most commonly used products are). Beautycounter is a company that produces natural beauty products that won’t harm you or the environment. Although I did switch to a natural deodorant and sunscreen within the last few years and I made sure to purchase an organic, non-toxic belly butter for my growing belly, I haven’t thought twice about the majority of the products I put on my skin. Late is better than never!
  5. For Two Fitness. My “Running for Two” and “Sweating for Two” tanks not only illicit a lot of compliments when I wear them, but they are so comfortable! They are by far my most flattering and comfy pregnancy workout tanks (or of any kind of tank for that matter). I bought both of mine during various sales which helped with the hefty price tag (but either way, totally worth it!).

    Sweating for Two!

    Sweating for Two!

What are you loving right now?! 

Things I Learned About Pregnancy and Childbirth From TV That Are Totally NOT True

Somehow these people helped shape my vision of birth

Somehow these people helped shape my vision of birth

We learn a lot from the media. Some of that is a true reflection of reality, and a lot of it isn’t. Before several close friends got pregnant in the last couple of years, I (sadly) got the majority of my information about pregnancy from watching TV and movies. Here are the top 5 things I honestly thought were true about pregnancy at some point due to the media’s influence!

  1. You’re bumpin’ for 9 months (related: the only part of your body that will grow larger in 9 months is your belly. HAH!).  For some reason women are already showing when they announce their pregnancies on TV and then have a massive bump within a couple episodes. I didn’t really start showing til nearly 20 weeks and even now at 26 weeks I can kind of hide the bump using strategic clothing choices. You actually spend a very small portion of your pregnancy looking the way that pregnant women look on TV and in advertisements (and it’s not even often you actually look like these thin women with their fake bumps!).

    Yes, you too can look this good while pregnant.

    Yes, you too can look this good while pregnant.

  2. Morning sickness is inevitable and all about barfing in the morning. I had morning sickness for 8 weeks or my pregnancy and I only threw up once. However, I felt like I had the hangover from hell for 8 weeks straight. I even woke up in the middle of the night nauseous. So no, it’s not just about barfing and it’s not just in the morning! Along with that, several women I know didn’t experience any morning sickness or if they did, it was minimal, yet every single pregnant woman on TV is hanging over the toilet at 7 a.m.

    Holding back the puke on Knocked Up

    Holding back the puke on Knocked Up

  3. Pregnant women have crazy cravings that send father’s to the store at 2 a.m.  While I’m sure some women DO in fact crave fried pickles on top of ice cream with Tabasco sauce and chocolate chips, the majority of women I know who have been pregnant, including myself, don’t really have strong cravings for any foods and if they do crave something, it’s pretty normal.  While we may certainly prefer/enjoy cold juicy fruit or ice cream more than we did before pregnancy, I have yet to have a craving so intense that I had to send Mike out at all, let alone in the middle of the night, to get it for me. Not to mention, I’m perfectly capable of driving myself to the store to get the food.

    This is definitely a normal lunch.

    This is definitely a normal lunch portion

  4. Your water will probably break in public and make a massive splash. Too many times this has been the case. It is very rare for a woman’s water to break without warning (typically, contractions have already begun before the water breaks) and often the water comes out slowly rather than in a rush. While it definitely is possible for you to be in Target when a gush of water floods the aisle, it’s pretty uncommon (a BabyCenter poll estimates about 14% of women have experienced a pre-labor gush of water).

    RIGHT on Carrie's shoes!

    RIGHT on Carrie’s shoes!

  5. Once you begin labor, you better get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY because that baby is coming now (related: you have a high chance of giving birth in an elevator or the side of the freeway)! Labor takes a long time and the pushing phase doesn’t even start until you’re 10 cm dilated, which can take hours and hours from the first contraction (or epic water breaking incident). Hospitals don’t really want you sitting around forever as you become dilated and therefore your doctor will give you a recommendation for when it’s a good time to start heading to the hospital. Most women spend several hours laboring at home before there is any need for a hospital gown (also related: I have a friend who gave birth on her living room floor because her contractions accelerated a bit faster than anticipated so it actually CAN happen).
Remember this episode of Saved by the Bell?!  Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0695191/plotsummary

Remember this episode of Saved by the Bell?!
Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0695191/plotsummary

On the list of fun real things about pregnancy that I learned on my own: you may leave your keys in your front door overnight and spend 15 minutes before work nearly in tears frantically looking for them, you may try to wash your face with toothpaste, and you may cry in the car driving home from work when a sappy country song comes on the radio. Enjoy!

What misconceptions about pregnancy and labor did you have prior to becoming pregnant yourself? If you’ve never been pregnant, what do you think is the scariest thing you’ve learned about pregnancy from the media?

Exploring New Fitness Territory

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Back in February I was approached by a local fitness company, then called Fitn, to help spread the word about their fitness platform in exchange for membership. I was beyond thrilled and now that Fitn has had a facelift and is now called Wildfire, nothing has changed in terms of my satisfaction. Wildfire has made working out during my pregnancy fulfilling, diverse, motivating and FUN!

I’ve always loved group fitness classes but because endurance racing is my main focus, running (and in years past biking and swimming) took center stage. I’d occasionally drop in a yoga class but never actually signed up for a membership because I didn’t think that it would be worth the money for me given the time I had available to devote to it. I did become a member at Club Pilates, but even then I was only really able to dedicate 2 classes per week to it. I’ve dabbled, but never really stuck with one thing. Wildfire not only supports dabbling, it promotes it  – for one membership price, you are given access to literally over a hundred local fitness studios and are encouraged to visit as many of them as often as you’d like!

When first joining Wildfire, I quickly became obsessed with Xtend Barre, a ballet inspired strength training class, and started doing warm-heat yoga classes at Yoga6. I even tried a ballet-style yoga class (yes somehow this exists) with Asia at a studio called Movement Lab. After a while, I got into a routine with running and barre and wasn’t branching out, but once the RnR half marathon passed and running was starting to become a bit more uncomfortable, I looked to new ways to get my workouts in.  I looked to Wildfire and was not disappointed.

In the last few weeks I’ve visited some new fitness studios with Wildfire (see here for a list of all studios in your area).  My two new favorites are:

Rhythm and Power

Selfie before class

Selfie before class

Rhythm and Power is a luxury spinning studio in Solana Beach. It recently opened its doors for the first time but is doing an absolutely fantastic job of creating a welcoming environment for new patrons. Although the classes are just 45 minutes in length, you will get a great workout in. The instructors are VERY high energy and the class is full-throttle from the beginning. The room has no windows and is kept very dark during class and the music is blasted. Each bike is set up with a screen that shows cadence, power and resistance and the instructors will direct you to aim for a certain cadence and give you a range of resistance to set.

rhythm and power solana beach

If you’re competitive, Rhythm and Power will be right up your alley – every once in a while the instructor will flash the rankings for the class on the flat screen tvs overhead – basically you’re competing with your fellow spinners! Of course, given that I’m nearly 6 months pregnant and I intentionally do NOT exercise at the intensity that is directed by the instructor, I’m always last or near the end of the rankings but I still have a great time. As someone who is super competitive, I can’t wait to get back into class after pregnancy and push it to the extreme! My favorite part of Rhythm and Power? The cold eucalyptus cloths that are given to you to cool off as you leave the studio (other perks: showers, free cycling shoe and towel rental, and complimentary fresh fruit!).

Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

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A couple of weeks ago Asia and I ventured up to Carlsbad on a Saturday morning to try out Mantra Yoga. Mantra has two studios, a full juice bar and has heated and non-heated classes for all levels. These are all things a pregnant woman appreciates! So many yoga studios are all about hot yoga these days so it’s nice to have a class that I can attend. The class was literally called “Mantra Yoga 1 – Beginning Flow Yoga.” The temperature was promised to be 80 degrees and I think it may have been a bit cooler, which is totally fine with me. I really like the class – it was vinyasa and got me working but it wasn’t too hard. Often I’ve found that the only warm classes available are actually just stretching classes which means it’s not necessarily a workout, just a stretch. However, I’d consider this beginning flow class a workout! Even better, during savasana, the teacher came around and put cold scented towels on our faces. It was like heaven!

yoga carlsbad mantra yoga and juice bar

yoga carlsbad mantra yoga

 

Afterward we enjoyed a smoothie (Asia) and a acai bowl (me) on the sunny patio outside of the studio (there’s also plenty of seating inside in the off chance that it’s not sunny and beautiful in San Diego). It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning! If this wasn’t in the opposite direction of my work, I’d definitely be taking more classes there. For now, it’s a weekend only place for me.

Join Me! 

As you can tell, I’m a big fan of WildFire. For now, it’s only available in San Diego and Orange County, but if you’d like to join me, use code yw3xrv to receive $50 off (your first 14 days are only $1 and then it is $149/month).

What is your favorite fitness studio perk? Do you like to hop around to different studios or do the same thing over and over?