Bumpdate Weeks 14-17

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3 weeks since we entered the 2nd trimester, but it’s true! Time seems to be moving more and more quickly lately. I’m not sure how frequently I’ll post these updates (they are meant to be weekly) but here’s the first one! I stole the format from fellow runner/blogger Kristen from Glitter and Dust who is just a week or so ahead of me in her pregnancy.  Tomorrow I’ll be 17 weeks. I don’t have a bump photo yet because we usually take it on the weekend.

Baby is now the size of a: turnip (last week it was an avocado which seems bigger than a turnip!? Maybe just in California? These food comparisons are funny).

Total Weight Gain: ~ 12 lbs (eeks!)

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A small bump could be forming!

Maternity Clothes/Preferred Attire:  I officially do not fit into any of my old pants! Luckily my friend Alison, who is someone I regularly share clothes with, was pregnant last year and shared a lot of her maternity clothes with me. I also have a few work slacks and skirts that were too big for me before (they were from my pre-P90X days) that I can wear for now. I have purchased a few items, but some of them I can’t really wear quite yet (maxi dresses for example which now just look big on me). I have a selection of flowy tops from my normal wardrobe that I’m pairing with maternity pants. When I get home, the first thing I get into is sweats, yoga pants (also got a maternity pair from Old Navy) and leggings! I’m still wearing my pre-preggo workout clothes thanks to the magic of spandex, although I can’t wear everything and my shorts are definitely getting snug!

Sleep: I haven’t been sleeping as soundly as I was in the first trimester, but I still get a good night’s sleep and sometimes don’t even have to get up to go to the bathroom! I still sleep on my back at times since I’m not at 20 weeks yet but I know that’ll have to change soon.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: I‘m sad to say that my ultimate craving as of late is DIET COKE! Terrible, I know as it’s full of processed crap! I used to drink Diet Coke about 1-2 times a month, usually at a lunch on a warm day. Now, every time I go out to lunch (which is about 1-2 times a week) I get one and get at least one refill (caffeine is ok up to about 200 mg and there’s only 45 mg per can of diet coke). There’s just something about the cold fizzy bubbles that gets me!  I’m also still craving smoothies and bagels but not with the same intensity as before.

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Food Aversions: I still cannot go near a KIND bar or any kind of processed bar for that matter. Same goes for almonds. Lately I’ve been snacking on cashews or pistachios instead of my morning almond kick (which is a big change from first trimester when I couldn’t eat nuts at all).

Exercise: Since I entered the 2nd trimester, I’ve had a ton of energy and my nausea is totally gone. I have been great about getting in my workouts and have consistently been doing 3 days a week of strength, 1 yoga class, at least 3 runs and a lot of walks.  Last weekend I ran 9 miles and felt great! Running still isn’t “easy” like it once was, but it is still enjoyable.

9 mile run last week at just over 16 weeks pregnant. The bump was not happening here!

9 mile run last week at just over 16 weeks pregnant. The bump was not happening here!

Mood: Mostly excited but sometimes irritable.

Symptoms: Headaches, lower back pain at times (I really notice this in yoga and need to focus on stretching more!), and a growing belly (finally!).

The worst symptom right now- weakened immune system. My co-worker was sick last week and now I’ve got the sniffles! Trying to rest up a lot and drink lots of water.

Mike and I all dressed up for a wedding

Mike and I all dressed up for a wedding last weekend

Missing: BEER. I’ve had a few sips of Mike’s beer on occasion and it just makes me want more. I read Emily Oster’s book “Expecting Better” and it claims that you can safely drink 1 alcoholic drink a day in the second and third trimesters (I’ve also done my own research to confirm this, although many doctors and experts still do not recommend it). As of now, I haven’t gone down that road and I’m not sure I plan to have a full drink ever during my pregnancy, but for now, the little sips are tasty!

Best Moment of the Last 4 Weeks: On Saturday we finally unpacked everything in our new home and Mike and I set up a redneck patio set out in our new backyard (2 beach chairs and a cardboard box for a table) and ate cold fruit in the sun. Our house finally felt like home and I was happy to be there (I’ve been struggling with the adjustment of leaving the beach, even though we’res still in the same city and live only 3 miles from the beach and our old neighborhood).

Hiking Torrey Pines with friends last Sunday

Hiking Torrey Pines with friends last Sunday

Dreaming About: Finding out the gender of our baby! I had a doctor appointment on Monday and we made the appointment for the ultrasound – it’ll be on Tuesday, April 28th! That’s 12 days from now! I can’t wait!

If you’ve been pregnant, when did you start showing enough for strangers to notice? What was your favorite part of the 2nd trimester? 

How Do You Spend Your Morning?

One of many sunrise runs

During one of many sunrise runs

What do you think of when I say “work morning?” Do you think of exhaustion and a frantic scramble to get out the door? Do you think of coffee? Of exercise? Of breakfast? I’ve always been interested in hearing about people’s routine and recently I go to thinking about my morning one.

I subscribe to a daily email from DailyWorth. According to their twitter profile, they are “is the ambitious woman’s guide to all things related to money, career and entrepreneurship. ” I enjoy reading the articles, although I don’t check them daily, one article recently caught my eye.  It was called “How 6 Fascinating Women Start Their Day.”  The article featured 6 highly successful women and each described their morning routine. It was interesting to see the differences in their days! There was one common theme among them all, whether they had families to take care of or not,  they all took time in the morning to spend time on themselves. Whether it be a bath, a meditation, a home-cooked breakfast with their husbands or a workout, each of these women focuses on THEM for a second, even though their days are probably jam-packed and stressful.

It was a good reminder for us all to take time for ourselves. I know once I have children it’ll be even harder to take time for me, but I also know how important it will be to my sanity and my health! I hope that the habits I’ve built now will continue through parenthood.

I personally have a lengthy morning routine and I often don’t get to work until over 3 hours after I wake up. Here’s a typical weekday morning for me:

5:30 AM –  Alarm goes off. Snooze and cuddle with Mike (bad habit I can’t break – the snoozing, not the cuddling).

5:39 AM – Alarm goes off again, I get out of bed. Use the restroom, brush my teeth, drink some water (maybe have a snack like a banana or toast if I feel hungry) and check personal email and social media in the process (I know, I know…..)

5:50 AM – Leave for Xtend Barre or Club Pilates, or get ready to get out the door to run.

7 AM – Drive or walk home from class or arrive home after a run and get in the shower.

7:15-7:35 – Make lunches and pack snacks for both myself and Mike and eat a hot breakfast with Mike (he cooks oatmeal most mornings, sometimes eggs too!).

Morning Oatmeal

Morning Oatmeal – Not always with heart strawberries

7:35-8:10- Finish getting ready.

8:10 – Head out the door.

8:30-35 –  Arrive at work. Check email immediately. Fill up water bottle (no more coffee for me) and get to work!

For me, the workout is definitely the most important thing I do for me. Second to that would be eating a healthy breakfast with my husband. We enjoy spending our mornings together and it is a big part of our relationship. We rarely miss a breakfast together and I look forward to it every day.

What does your morning routine look like? What is the most important thing you do for yourself each morning? 

Running & Working Out in the First Trimester

This is the last of the posts I wrote while still in the first trimester. Since I couldn’t publish anything they’re coming a bit late but hopefully still helpful information for anyone out there now or in the future who may be going through the same thing. I will note that no matter what worked for one person, it may not work for you. Listen to your body and don’t assume because I can or can’t do something that it means you can or can’t too!

One thing I knew for sure when I got pregnant was that I would continue to exercise and to run. Running is such a big part of my life and in no way do I want to give it up. I am, of course, realistic and know that at some point the joy of running will be lost and it’ll probably be more uncomfortable than it’s worth. That’s when I’ll stop (or if my doctor says I must stop of course). At that point I’ll probably substitute with walking.  As for strength training and pre-natal yoga, I would love to continue until my due date.

Running 

First 6 days of the #31for31for31 challenge - definitely didn't know I was pregnant yet!

First 6 days of the #31for31for31 challenge – definitely didn’t know I was pregnant yet!

Funnily enough, my baby spent the first 31 days after conception (which was circa NYE) running every day. Asia and I took on a challenge to run at least 3.1 miles and plank at least 1 minute for every day in January. Most days, we really only ran 3.1 miles, although I did get one “long run” of 8.4 miles in to prepare for the Surf City Half Marathon on February 1st. Because I just came off a year of hardcore marathon training (Phoenix Marathon March 1st, CIM  in December and RnR San Diego half in June), my body is very used to running and I felt safe running with my baby.

The biggest change right away was my pace. At first, I was consciously running slower (I hadn’t met with my doctor yet but had read that as long as you can comfortably talk while running and continue to hydrate, you are safe), but as time went on my pace was slowed by force. As a 3:35 marathoner and 1:40 half marathoner, my “comfortably hard pace” was somewhere in the high 7s/low 8s and my “easy” pace was previously in the high 8s/low 9s. Due to the heart rate training I did with my coach Maria in the beginning of last year, I’m more than comfortable running a recovery run in the 10 min/mile range.  However, paces in the high 10s and even 11 min/miles are not totally normal for me and as the weeks went by, more and more and more runs were in this range. Now, at 14 weeks, all of my runs are in the 10s or 11s. Sometimes I walk up hills. I don’t let my heart rate get out of control and I definitely take it down or modify a workout if it’s really hot outside (thanks to this bizarre winter we’re having in California, there have been a few hot days!).

Finish the Zion Half Marathon with Mike

Finish the Zion Half Marathon with Mike

So far in this pregnancy, I have ran two half marathons. I was happy when Mike offered to run both of them with me even though my pace is not very comfortable for him (his PR is 1:30 in the half)! During our first race, Surf City, I didn’t wear a timing chip. I was too worried that someone would look up my time and know I was pregnant! I was only 6 weeks along and very much at the miscarriage danger zone so privacy was key. I did, however, wear my Garmin and was pleasantly surprised to see that we clocked in just under a 10 min/mile pace (finish time around 2:10, even with a ton of weaving around other runners/walkers (we started with my parents and the 2:45 pace group), a bathroom break and a few water stops (I ran with my Nathan handheld water bottle and stopped to completely fill it up twice).

The 2nd half marathon, Zion, I have a full race recap on. You can read about it here. My pace got much slower and that coupled with 3 bathroom breaks, photo opportunities, a tough course (elevation, headwind and a net incline of 400 feet), mean that we finished with a personal worst time for me, 2:35. I was still happy to have finished feeling good and really could care less about my time. I didn’t wear my Garmin this time (I actually brought it to Zion but just forgot to put it on) and didn’t check on my finish time until the day after. Totally unlike me!

When talking to my doctor about running, she said as long as I was continuing activity I was previously doing, listening to my body, hydrating and able to talk while running, it was fine to continue. I’ve already decided that I don’t feel comfortable running a marathon or anything longer than a half marathon while pregnant, but that is totally up to the individual and I respect anyone who decides to run any distance! They key thing is not to push it and let yourself become exhausted – if you can safely run a marathon without being exhausted (I know I can’t), then it’s safe to do so. I know I can run a half marathon without being exhausted whereas for most people, a half marathon is extreme. The key is knowing your body and doing what is comfortable for you.

Strength Training & Yoga 

I love Xtend Barre and Fitn!

I love Xtend Barre and Fitn!

I’ve continued to practice Pilates and have picked up strength training with Xtend Barre (which has a bit more cardio involved than other barre classes I’ve taken) and flexibility with yoga. I always avoid doing any moves that make me uncomfortable and don’t push myself as hard in class (I check my ego at the door). There’s conflicting advice on how much abdominal work is ok during pregnancy but what I’ve decided is that I’ll do it until I physically can’t anymore. My doctor said at some point crunches won’t really work but that planking is safe and effective. I have a feeling that Pilates will get phased out of my workout routine since it’s SO core intensive, but for now, I’m sticking with it!

In the first trimester, I haven’t told any of my instructors I’m pregnant, except for one yoga instructor. The yoga instructor was really helpful because she warned me to avoid an inversions (which I probably wouldn’t have done anyway) and deep twists. And of course, hot yoga is a no-no. I tend to stick to warm/unheated classes that are focused on stretching or are safe for all levels. No advanced classes for me!

Energy Levels

I’ve found that working out really helps with my morning sickness (I started feeling nauseous 24/7 starting at week 5) and exhaustion. I tend to get most tired at the end of the day so scheduling morning workouts (lots of 6 am workouts) has been the key for me. It’s hard to get up but actually not any worse than pre-pregnancy, especially since I tend to fall asleep by 9:30 PM at the latest most nights.

I’ve been lucky enough to muster the energy to work out almost every day since becoming pregnant. I take rest days when I feel I need them but in general, I’ve felt better for working out so I keep doing it. One of the biggest changes is that in the mornings I’d have to eat a snack before a 6 a.m. workout. I usually have a banana, toast or crackers. I used to just power through on an empty stomach. I also bring crackers to class in case I start to feel nauseous and need to eat something (luckily this hasn’t happened).

The first trimester was definitely more challenging than I had ever imagined – nausea (read about my first trimester nausea and weight gain here) and exhaustion were just the beginning of the list of symptoms I suffered from. But, staying active helped me stay sane through it all!

Were you able to workout in the first trimester? 

Carlsbad 5000 Race Report – 14 Weeks Pregnant

Female Winner

Female Winner Genzebe Dibaba

This was my first time running or spectating the Carlsbad 5000, although I have wanted to join in on the fun for years. The Carlsbad 5000 isn’t just any 5k – it is touted as the “worlds fastest 5k” – which makes sense because the women and men’s road 5k world records were both set there. The course records of 12:59.5 minutes for men (set by Sammy Kipketer in 2000) and 14:46 minutes for women (set by Meseret Defar in 2006) are the fastest times ever recorded for the 5 km road distance (source).

What’s even cooler about the Carlsbad 5000 is that the professional races are held at the end of the day. The race has several start times throughout the morning for age groupers (and you can even sign up for the all day 20k and race 4 of them!) and then starting around 11:30 AM (start time depends on the train schedule since the course crosses the tracks), the professional women’s and then professional men’s races take place on a slightly more spectator friendly course (more loops).

I convinced Asia to sign up for this race with me back at the Carlsbad 5000 kickoff event put on by Competitor Group, Movin Shoes and Pizza Port back in January. However, she didn’t really train for it, had a jam packed travel schedule the weeks before the race and was coming off a bad case of bronchitis, so she volunteered to run with me, despite the fact that I warned her that at 14 weeks pregnant, my pace had been hovering between 10:30-11 min/miles as of late. I was happy to have my best friend enjoy the ride with me!

carlsbad 5000 running while pregnant

Our race started around 10:30 and was comprised of all participants between 30-39 years old (and anyone who signed up for the all day 20k). We didn’t go to the expo the day before so we just showed up about an hour early and check in was easy. We also didn’t have issues parking in the nearby neighborhoods. We still had plenty of time to kill before the race and walked around the expo and chatted with friends we ran into as we waited (including Smitha, a fellow Rock n’ Blogger and Jennifer, a Oiselle Flock teammate!).

We went for a super short shake-out run and did some dynamic stretches to get the legs warm, but it was an odd feeling knowing I wasn’t going to “race” a 5k. A half-marathon is one thing because generally I start out running a half marathon at a pace that is comfortably hard enough for me to be able to talk, but in a 5k, it’s pedal to the medal. I’ve never run a 5k in which a conversation was possible – no matter how little I trained for the race, I’ve always put my best effort out there for those 3.1 miles.

Lining up to start

Lining up to start

We didn’t really know where to seed ourselves but felt odd putting ourselves any farther back than the 9 min/mile sign so we started there. Going into the race I had a loose goal of sub 30 minutes (my PR is 21:41!) but I didn’t wear a watch on purpose because I really didn’t want to push myself to go any harder than I was comfortable and able to easily hold a full conversation (per my doctors orders). It’s important to make sure that there’s enough oxygen getting to the baby and if I’m huffing and puffing, that’s not the case.

As we started, I got excited. I love racing! There were tons of spectators and were high fiving kids and enjoying the ride right away. One of the first things I noticed that the course was not as flat as I had anticipated (there are no real “hills” but rather some slight inclines/declines) and I wondered how it was considered the “fastest course in the world,” but world records really don’t lie! Once we got onto the coast, my legs were feeling pretty good, better than they had in a while and I told Asia this. We were passing people left and right and continued to do so for the entire race. That was definitely fun!

It was a warm day – in the 70s so I felt hot immediately. I ran with a water bottle (I’m sure people must have thought we were doing the all day 20k for that reason) and drank quite a bit of it. I felt like we were running “fast” but I could still talk easily. I joked to Asia that I felt fast but I bet we were still running a 10 min/mile. That’s the way things have been for me lately!

The course starts on a street that runs perpendicular to the coast highway. Once you get on the coast highway you do an out and back, pass the finish line and do another out and back, and then head back to another perpendicular street to finish. On the second out and back we saw Jennifer from Oiselle and then when we were coming into the finish two of the Moving Shoes employed shouted loudly at us “Go Oiselle!” (they love Oiselle!). I couldn’t help but pick up the pace in the finisher chute and we ran faster as we watched the clock. I knew we’d beat 30 minutes and was happy that our ‘speed’ wasn’t in my imagination! Our official time was 28:55, a 9:18/mile average.

After the race we saw Oiselle Volee teammate Arleen and our friend Kerb who helps run the Movin Shoes Carlsbad 5000 and RnR San Diego training group at the PB location. We went into Pizza Port and joined him and some other Movin Shoes people for pizza and beer buddies (not these aren’t full of beer, they are just the most amazing mini bread sticks EVER).

Oiselle Teammates!

Oiselle Teammates!

We ate quickly and then headed out to watch the pros. Due to the way they had the course set up, we got to see the women pass by 4 times and then finish right in front of us! We were on the edge of our seats as we watched Genzebe Dibaba nearly break the world record, coming in at a blazing, yet disappointing 14:48. I’m sure if it hadn’t been 70 degrees that day she would have had it! The men’s race was exciting too, although the finish wasn’t nearly as close. It was just incredible to watch them run – I couldn’t even snap a photo as they passed by a few times when I tried.

Going in for the win!

Going in for the win!

SO FAST

SO FAST

It’s safe to say that the Carlsbad 5000 was the most exciting 5k I’ve ever participated in. I will definitely be back next year, pushing a stroller!

Have you ever watched pros race in person? 

First Trimester Nutrition and Weight Gain

Yes I did eat this delicious burger! The baby made me do it...

Yes I did eat this delicious burger! The baby made me do it…

I always thought that I’d eat the healthiest I’d ever eat while pregnant. I am growing a child and that certainly seems like a good reason to eat my best. Not to mention, two of my top vices, alcohol and coffee would be eliminated (it’s actually safe to drink coffee in small quantities while pregnant but I have not been). How could I not be the healthiest I’ve ever been?

But what I never expected was the way that my morning sickness would change my appetite. Starting around week 5, my typical spinach salad lunches were tossed in the trash in favor of any carb I could get my hands on. My all-day nausea was slightly eased by the constant consumption of carbs. At first I even bought the healthiest crackers I could find in the health mecca Whole Foods – but ended up throwing the crackers away because the smell and sight of them made me want to barf. The only thing that I could stand to eat throughout the day was pita chip crackers and gold fish crackers. And bagels and smoothies. I definitely made a few stops at Einstein’s or Jamba Juice on the way to work, even after I’d already eaten oatmeal for breakfast.

For a while, most veggies repulsed me (fruit was still fair game, especially if it was cold and I ate about 3-4 pieces a day). I still liked my green beans but for some reason really liked to eat them with pesto pasta. Mike soon grew sick (and gained weight from) the pesto pasta + green bean combo. Often I was too sick to even cook so we’d go out to dinner, picking up pizza or some other food that wouldn’t make me want to barf. One night I even made Kraft Mac & Cheese in an attempt to re-create my favorite childhood comfort food (I must report it was not as good as I remember).

If I had to say I had one craving, it was smoothies (could be worse!). I didn’t always indulge in the craving since smoothies are expensive and I later learned also filled with sugar, despite the fact that I’d order the fruit and veggie only variety (should have known, Jamba Juice). Besides the sweet smoothies, generally I craved salty/carby foods over sweet foods (apparently this is one sign that I might be having a boy, but the nausea means I’m having a girl, so your guess is as good as mine). I’m loving french fries these days.

Needless to say, the combination of my change in food preference and the fact that I was constantly eating, led to first trimester weight gain despite a consistent workout routine (averaging 6 days a week, but less intensity than before).  Unfortunately the “eating for two” thing is a myth- in the first trimester you actually need ZERO extra calories.  It’s recommended that you gain about 1-5 lbs in the first trimester and often women actually lose weight due to the fact that they are constantly barfing (I only threw up once) – I gained 8. While I’m sure some of that has to do with additional breast tissue (hello I’ve grown a size already) and water retention, plus a growing uterus and a tiny little baby, I’m pretty sure a sizable amount is fat. But, you need fat to carry and nurse a baby so I’m going with that. Not to mention, I started this journey at an all time low weight, having just come off of marathon training and 3 weeks of hiking during a very active vacation, so while 8 lbs sounds like a lot, it’s really just about 5 more than my average weight. My doctor didn’t seem to be concerned about it at all, so I’m trying not to be either!

I’ll write another post about my 2nd trimester nutrition but I will say I’ve gotten a lot better! The nausea stopped around week 12 and I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of my taboo foods back into my diet (even a few spinach salads and some kale!), although I still have a strong aversion to kind bars and any kind of “health bar”, almonds, raw walnuts (caramelized are ok!) and random other things. In general, I’m indulging more often than I do normally, but I still would consider my diet on the healthier side.

Did you eat differently than you expected while pregnant? Any strong aversions or cravings? 

March Goal Recap & My 15 Minutes of Fame!

One of the photos from my photoshoot with the Union tribune. Credit K.C. Alfred: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/31/analysts-exercise-not-routine/?#article-copy

One of the photos from my photoshoot with the Union tribune. Credit K.C. Alfred: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/31/analysts-exercise-not-routine/?#article-copy

To keep myself accountable while not really training for anything in particular (you know, besides birth), I’ve made myself some goals for each month. Of course, being pregnant, I’m not going to beat myself up too much if I don’t meet all of them, but for the type-a planner me it’s nice to be working toward something.

Photo of Torrey Pines State Park during one of my runs there (hiked uphill, run on the flat/downhill)

Photo of Torrey Pines State Park during one of my runs there (hiked uphill, run on the flat/downhill)

In March, I set the following goals:

  1. Run 3 days a week (any speed, any distance)
  2. 3 Strength Sessions Per Week
  3. 1 Yoga class per week

While I’m happy to report that I did great on the running and strength, the yoga didn’t exactly get scheduled every week. I got in 3 yoga classes, but I’m counting it only as 2 because one was a “Yoga Sculpt” class which felt more like a boot camp than yoga (I LOVED it and was sad I couldn’t push super hard like I would have in the past but still had a great workout).

Hiking Angel's Landing the day after the Zion Half Marathon

Hiking Angel’s Landing the day after the Zion Half Marathon

March Monthly Totals: 

  • 81.3 miles run (14 runs total, including 2 races)
  • 7 Xtend Barre Classes
  • 3 Yoga Classes (2 stretching, 1 strength)
  • 4 Club Pilates Classes
  • 2 Hikes (2)
  • Countless Walks
  • Total Workouts: 30  (woohoo!)

If you’re counting, I hit my strength goal of 3x/week (12 sessions total in March) and my running goal of 3x/week! I’m very happy that I’ve had the energy to get out of bed for 6 a.m. classes. It helps that a lot of the time Asia goes with me to Xtend Barre and I lose the money I paid for a Pilates class if I don’t show up, so I have more incentive to not hit snooze again.

I’ve definitely been walking more than ever. First, as part of the Charity Challenge event that I’m putting on at my work (we’re training for a 5k), we have a weekly lunchtime walk. It’s only 20 minutes but it feels great to get out there! Also, my friend Allison who used to be a weekly running buddy, had her baby in January and so we meet to walk every other week or so. Eventually we’ll get into running but then as I get further along it’ll probably go back to walking again. Mike and I have been taking a lot more walks as well, although we’ve always incorporated walking into our weekly quality time together. I’ve never really counted walks as exercise, but I’m sure as my belly gets bigger, it’ll feel like a workout worth counting!

15 Minutes of Fame in the San Diego Union Tribune 

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As for my 15 minutes of fame – a report for San Diego’s most prolific newspaper, the Union Tribune, reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in being featured in their Active San Diego segment. Of course I said yes! The segment highlights a San Diego resident who leads a healthy and active lifestyle. The profile highlights the motivations, workout routine and nutrition of each of the athletes. If you’d like to read the article, check it out here! It was pretty fun (and a little embarrassing!) having my co-workers tell me that they saw it and read it – one of my co-workers even sent it to his entire team!

April Goals

As for April goals, this is what I hope to achieve as I start to ramp up again for another half marathon (San Diego Rock n’ Roll on May 31):

  1. 3 strength sessions per week
  2. Run at least 3 times a week and a long run of at least 8 miles
  3. 1 yoga class per week

Look familiar (see March goals above)? I actually originally put “run 20 miles per week” but given that we are moving this weekend (oh yeah, we’re moving to Suburbia to accommodate this baby! But no fears, we’re only going to be 3 miles from the beach and still in Encinitas)  and I’m going to San Francisco at the end o the month, I’m not exactly sure that’ll happen. Plus, I don’t want to push myself to run more often than I’m comfortable. This isn’t the time for running mileage goals! It’s pretty crazy that before CIM I was running 55 miles a week on average yet 20 miles is a stretch these days! But then again I wasn’t strength training like I am now.

How did your March go? What goals do you have for April? 

My Experiences in the First Trimester

It was so hard not to blog/write about my first trimester experience as I went. I bought a pregnancy journal which includes a page for each week (with a picture of the fruit that the baby is a size of) and includes some questions for me to answer. I’ve really enjoyed filling that out. I also started keeping a sort of journal on the side in a gmail email draft to document the experience. For anyone curious, here’s how the first trimester went for me, week by week, as I experienced it.

Week 3 - The two week wait begins. For someone who loves to plan, this portion is terrible. I found a website called twoweekwait.com full of nervous hopeful mothers to be talking about every single tiny sign that they are pregnant. It both comforts me and overwhelms me. But I can’t stop reading.

Running at the Moving Shoes Carlsbad 5000 Kickoff Event - I didn't know I was pregnant yet but had a strong feeling so I didn't drink.

Running at the Moving Shoes Carlsbad 5000 Kickoff Event – I didn’t know I was pregnant yet but had a strong feeling so I didn’t drink any beer.

Week 4 - Finally time to take a pregnancy test but my body has already told me that it’ll be positive (hello sore boobs!!!). My body is right! Go out and buy What to Expect When You’re Expecting and a pregnancy journal. I read as much as possible. Google Google Google (any person tracking my Google searches will for sure know I’m pregnant). But it still doesn’t feel real.

Week 5 - Nervousness about miscarriage at all time high the beginning of this week. We told our parents and some close friends and now it seems real, but it also seems like it could slip away at any moment.

Morning sickness starts. It started on Week 5, Day 3, a Monday morning and continued nearly all day, every day, all week. I always had heard about morning sickness but hearing and living are two very different things. So far no barfing, but I literally feel hungover every day. Every single day at work I contemplate leaving to go home and sleep and say I’m sick but every day I talk myself out of it because I know it’s only supposed to get worse and I need to save up my sick excuses.

The bright side of morning sickness is that studies show you have a lower chance of miscarriage if you’re sick (it’s a sign hormone levels are high – this definitely does not mean you can’t miscarry, but chances are lower). So despite feeling like crap all week, I actually felt a small sense of relief knowing that things were progressing. Most doctors won’t see you until at least week 8, so you have little reassurance of anything besides your miserable symptoms until then.

Wrapping up our 31 runs and 31 planks in 31 days challenge with Asia at the end of Week 5

Wrapping up our 31 runs and 31 planks in 31 days challenge with Asia at the end of Week 5

Week 6 - Week 6 started off pretty good. I felt pretty good on Friday (although for record, I am only craving carbs, salt and greasy foods like bagels and french fries, both of which I had on Friday). Luckily Saturday and Sunday I felt even better – there was some nausea but it wasn’t overwhelming. We drove up to Huntington Beach on Saturday to see friends, pick up our bib at the Surf City Marathon Expo and have dinner with family. Sunday we ran the Surf City Half Marathon. Mike ran with me and we ran without chips (see here for my race report). What I didn’t mention in my race report (besides being pregnant) was that it was quite humbling to be running as slow as we did and I had to fight to urge to pick up the pace a lot. But, I did just what I had read was safe, and kept my breathing under control (I was told as long as you can talk you’re good) and drank a TON of water. I stopped 3 times for refills so I know I drank at least 3 full water bottles of water. Usually I just drink 1 in a half marathon, so I know I was at least more hydrated than normal. After the race I was tired – and ended up sleeping 11 hours that night (from 7:45 PM to 7 a.m.) after the Super Bowl.

Surf City Half Marathon Finishers - we told my Dad and Step Mom the good news right before the race started!

Surf City Half Marathon Finishers – we told my Dad and Step Mom the good news right before the race started!

Unfortunately, the morning sickness returned Monday with a vengeance (I think it was worse due to caffeine withdrawals because the nausea caused me to stop drinking coffee). A lot of my normal foods didn’t sound good (like my mid-morning almonds) so I ended up buying Saltine crackers and pita chips (original flavor only) during a mid-morning emergency trip to the grocery store. Usually by lunch time my appetite is back so I’m still able to eat normal lunches at this point.

#1 food aversion: Jalapeno Kind bars. Just writing it makes me want to gag.

This is the week I started going back to Pilates (I had done the 31 day run/plank streak in January so wasn’t doing a lot of cross training) – I went Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday was rough as I was quite nauseous but I felt better on Thursday.

Week 7 – Again, the weekend wasn’t so bad. Enjoyed 11.5 hours of sleep on Friday night (some kind of record) and had an amazing Pilates workout on Saturday.

However, morning sickness during the week ebbed and flowed but when it was bad, it was possibly worse than ever. Still no vomiting but a lot of discomfort.

Week 8 - Really starting to feel confident about the pregnancy and miscarriage fears are starting to ease a bit. Being sick and tired all the time helps reminds me that I’m indeed still pregnant! This week was Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend. I was a bit disappointed when our Valentine’s Day meal at my favorite restaurant just didn’t taste as good as usual. Nothing really does these days, not to mention it wasn’t as wonderful without the wine!

I ran 8.4 miles on Sunday and unfortunately waited until it was quite hot (high 70s) to run. This was a rough one. I ran sooo slow and was pretty uncomfortable the whole time. I didn’t feel I was doing any damage- if I did, I would have stopped. It just wasn’t fun. I drank a ton of water and stopped 3 times for rest/bathroom/water refill and the run took me nearly an hour and forty five minutes!

I slept my face off all weekend, averaging 10-11 hours a night and also took naps. I’m a sleeping machine.

Week 8, Day 6 - First doctor’s appointment! The day I’ve been waiting for for sooo long. We saw our baby and heard it’s very strong heart beat! It was even more wonderful than I imagined. I cried when we saw the baby.  Mike was beaming all day afterward- he clearly transformed from being cautious to very excited about this baby we made!

In other news – I have cried more in the last 8 weeks than I have in the last 2 years. I’ll cry due to a sad YouTube video or episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Valentine's Hike - 8 Weeks Pregnant

Valentine’s Hike – 8 Weeks Pregnant

Week 9 – I got my Fitn membership and started attending Xtend Barre! This is a very pregnancy friendly workout and I really like that we spend relatively no time on our backs, which is going to be something I have to worry about later on in pregnancy. I can see myself doing this workout for the whole pregnancy. This is also the week we started to document my “bump” progress (or lack thereof) via weekly photos.

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Week 10 – First (and only) time puking from the nausea. I went home sick from work and threw up once I got home luckily!

Around this week is when I noticed my running got much slower. I think it’s a combination of my leg soreness from Xtend Barre and yoga classes but also because the baby literally doubled in size over the course of weeks 9-11. My body was working hard. Paces were in the high 10s/low 11s. I actually had a really great 10 mile run on a rainy day but it was also very slow!

I also have really noticed my weight gain this week. I’ve gained 5 lbs at this point and my pants are starting to fit tighter. I know most of the weight is due to my change in eating habits and some water retention. I caved and bought a pair of maternity leggings that my friend recommended!

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Week 11 - I thought my nausea was getting better but then I had a really bad bout of nausea/dizziness/faintness while at Vons picking up balloons for my coworkers baby shower. I thought I might pass out in the Vons restroom but luckily I made it through and felt better enough to drive back to the office. I later talked about this with my doctor and she said it definitely happens and can be related to low blood sugar.

I switched doctors so we got to see the baby on an ultrasound again! It was a treat. Mike came with me again and it was just as special as before. The ultrasound tech was incredibly nice and we looked at the baby for a long time and from all different angles. Again, he/she is measuring just a few days ahead and was moving around like crazy. It even looked like she/he waved as us! The tech guessed girl. We’ll see!

running while pregnant

Week 12 - We headed to Zion to run the half marathon and hike! My nausea really started getting better but indigestion/bloating got worse. Could also have been aggravated by unfamiliar food, but my stomach was not happy on Saturday night!

Because my nausea was going away, this was the first time I was really wanting to drink and was sad that I couldn’t. Beer never looked so good as it did after that half marathon!

Last week before I finally could get my hair done!!! :)

Last week before I finally could get my hair done!!! :) And is there a bump there? Maybe!?

Week 13- The last week of the first trimester! My morning sickness is 95% gone. I still have some food aversions but I was able to eat a lot of my old healthy foods (even a spinach salad for lunch!). For the record, I gained 8 lbs in the first trimester!

I had my First Trimester Screening Ultrasound ( this is combined with the blood test I took during week 11) and the results came back great. Our baby appears very healthy and it was a treat to get to see him/her again. This is the week I told my boss and my co-workers that we’re having a baby! it finally feels real.

So that’s the run down of my first trimester experience. It was fun to go back and read this since I documented it as I went. I went through a range of emotions in the first trimester and I’m finally glad to be settled on excitement as my primary emotion. My favorite part of the first trimester was seeing the baby and hearing the heart beat for the first time. My least favorite part was the nausea & not being able to eat healthy foods that make me feel good.

What was your favorite and/or least favorite part of the first trimester? If you’ve never been pregnant, what part scares you the most!?

Zion Half Marathon Race Report – 12 weeks pregnant

 

Just about to cross the finish line with Mike!

Just about to cross the finish line with Mike!

The Zion Half Marathon was my 2nd half marathon while pregnant, but this will be my first honest race report (which is why I waited 2 weeks to post it)! I ran the Surf City Marathon at 6 weeks pregnant, a time when it was too soon to talk about my pregnancy and therefore my race report was pretty vague. I’ll talk about my feelings about that race in a separate post.

As I mentioned in my Zion Half Marathon weekend recap, the race started at 7:30 and we stayed near the start so we got to sleep in til 6 a.m. I had a bagel and cream cheese (I’ve never had dairy before a race but didn’t really care!) and we were out the door by 7 a.m. Although I didn’t ask him to, Mike said he would run the entire race with me. He has been focused on surfing lately, and not running, so to him, this was all for fun anyway. Based on the times I’d been putting down in my training runs lately combined with the fact that this course was pretty hard (400 foot elevation GAIN, 3,500 higher elevation than San Diego, rolling hills, and a nice headwind for the entire race), I knew it was going to be slower than Surf City (which I finished around 2:10).

In the warming tent

In the warming tent

I really knew that I was there to enjoy the race when I realized on the way over that I had forgotten to put on my Garmin. Oh well! Although we didn’t spend a lot of time at the race start, it seemed well organized and there were nice warming tents. The temperature was in the low 50s or high 40s and it felt very cold because there was a very strong wind chilling us all to the core. The one complaint I have about this race in general is that there weren’t enough port-o-potties so there were long lines at the start AND at all the aid stations. I didn’t have to go when we got dropped off since we had just left the house but of course as soon as we were waiting in the corral to start the race, I started to have to go again. It was a long 3 miles to the first aid station and the line was about 20 people long for 8 porto-o-potties.

Pre-Race photo with Mike and Claire

Pre-Race photo with Mike and Claire

One awesome thing that I noticed that morning was that I had NO morning sickness ! After being nauseated 24/7 for 7 weeks straight, this was a relief.

As soon as we started to run I checked in with my body and decided I felt pretty good. The head wind was strong and cold and I was freezing and regretting not wearing  gloves (I wore arm warmers, my Oiselle singlet and shorts), but overall I felt ok. Mike was nice enough to lend me one of his gloves so we ran side by side, each sporting the Michael Jackson look.

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As soon as we started running I was stunned by the beauty of the course. Although we’d driven it the previous day on our way to the expo (the course is 1 way from the town of Virgin where our VRBO house was to the town of Springdale where the entrance to Zion National Park is), it was even better seen from a run (as are most things in my opinion!).

Race seflie! It was so much prettier in person....

Race seflie! It was so much prettier in person….

Despite my pressing bladder, Mike and I took the time to stop for a selfie somewhere around Mile 2.5 before we arrived at the first aid station at mile 3 to wait in the line. The only reason I was impatient to get to the front of the line was related to freeing up some space for our baby to move around, not because I wanted to make it to the finish line any faster!

From here on out, I counted time with aid stations. There were a couple of times early in the race where the distance was daunting (I only ran one 10 miler before this race). It helped that there was an aid station at every other mile with a porto-potty as well. At Mile 5 we stopped and refilled our water bottles. I had already drank the entire thing! My goal for the race was to drink 3 entire water bottles and I succeeded! All Vacation Race series races are cupless meaning that there are no disposable cups on the course. You must provide your own means of carrying/drinking the water. This didn’t bother me at all because I’ve gotten used to carrying my Nathan handheld in all races longer than 10k.

The beautiful course

The beautiful course (11 year old Natascha and family just ahead of us)

Somewhere around here we started to run near Mike’s coworker, her husband and their 11 year old daughter. It was Natascha’s first half marathon! We ran with them for a bit and chatted – this 11 year old is seriously inspiring! Not only is she running a pretty darn tough half marathon but she’s also organizing a 5k for kids to raise money for the charity Kids in the Game! Incredible!

At the Mile 7 aid station we stopped again for the bathroom. There was a line but it was shorter this time. Natascha and her family stopped too and we kind of leap-frogged with them for the entire race. We also chatted with some people during our porto-potty breaks – I found in general that i was talking to WAY more people (read: more than 0) than I usually do during a race and I was liking it! We were having a great time!

Mile 10 Panorama

Mile 10 Panorama (I’m in the middle near the mile 10 marker)

Mike and I even chatted quite a bit and he’s not normally a chatty running partner. At times we’d talk about our baby. We had just had an ultrasound the day before we left for Zion so the image of our baby in our minds was strong. We talked about our hopes for our child – that they will see our active lifestyle and have it positive influence them, just like Natascha.

We stopped a few more times for photos, another bathroom break (yes, 3) and water refills. They were handing out Stinger Gels, bananas and oranges at various points on the course and I ate as I felt like it, taking some of each. There was also a candy aid station where I grabbed some peanut butter pretzels and found them very hard to eat while running!

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When we neared the finish line, I was happy and also sad it was over! Finally, there were spectators to cheer for us and hand stop slap as we ran by. As we neared the downhill finish, I saw our time on the clock was 2:45 and could have cared less (Gun time was actually 2:35:58) that it was a personal worst (in retrospect I was very glad to have left my Garmin at home so I would never be worried about pace). It was one of my favorite runs. I got to run 13.1 miles with my growing family in one of the most gorgeous places in the United States.

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Zion, we’ll be back! Next time with a stroller!

Have you ever run a half marathon while pregnant? 

Training for a New Finish Line

New adventures with our expanding family! (This was our social media announcement)

New adventures with our expanding family! (This was our social media announcement – photo taken at the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion).

As I alluded in a previous blog post, this year is about other goals besides the BQ. It’s not about running at all. Or triathlon. This is certainly a change as the last 5 years have been very focused on fitness. This year is the year of the BABY! (Maybe some of you even guessed!?).

I’m happy to announce that Mike and I are expecting our first child on or around September 25th! I’m exactly 14 weeks pregnant today and finally in the 2nd trimester!

I must say, I’m terrible at keeping secrets that excite me and I have been wanting to blog all about this pregnancy but I was able to hold out until we are out of the risky time. The first trimester was certainly harder than I anticipated, but I’ll have more to share on that in another post. For now, all I have to say is that we are absolutely THRILLED! We had planned to start a family after my BQ at CIM and our last hurrah trip to New Zealand – while one of those plans didn’t work out as well as hoped, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I definitely plan to blog about my experience and hopefully provide some insight for future mothers who plan to run/stay active during pregnancy (I know I’ve read my fair share of blogs about pregnant runners) as well as bring back some memories for those of you who have been there. And I’d love to hear about your experiences running during pregnancy as well! This blog is about my life above anything else, and while I don’t want it to become all about being pregnant, let’s be honest – that’ll be my life for the next 6 months. So keep reading or join me next year when I pick back up with marathon training, but either way, thanks for reading and I look forward to what comes next!

Cheers to the next adventure…

Sunwarrior Product Review – Vegan Protein Powder & Activated Barley

Now that I’ve been putting more focus on strength training, I’ve been looking to supplement a bit of my flexitarian (ie mostly vegetarian with little dairy) diet with more protein. Although I mostly get my protein in whole foods such as lentils, beans, quinoa, tempeh, nuts and veggies, sometimes its hard to get it all in, especially on weekends when I’m less likely to chose these protein filled items and more likely to eat veggie pizza.

Sunwarrior reached out to me to try some of their products and I gladly accepted. I was familiar with the brand but had only tried one of their products before, the Warrior Blend Protein Powder in Chocolate, which I purchased at Whole Foods. Mike and I were originally drawn to the product because of the fact that it’s vegan AND affordable, which is not always easy to find.

Warrior Blend Protein Powder

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Sunwarrior sent me a sampler pack with a bunch of goodies. By far my favorite is the vanilla protein powder (in either the Warrior Blend recipe or the Classic Protein), which I use to make smoothies. I like the taste and it’s not super chalky so it has a good consistency. I like to make it with a smoothie but you could easily drink it with water straight up! This all vegan protein powder is made up mostly of pea protein, raw cranberry protein, and raw hemp protein. 1 scoop has about 100 calories and 19 grams of protein. It also has 32% of your daily Iron needs which is super important for vegans who may not easily pick up iron in their diets.

My go-to smoothie recipe:

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein Powder
  • 1/2 banana (frozen preferably)
  • Handful of frozen organic berries
  • 1 cup almond milk (more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

Activated Barley

The other product that I wanted to highlight is the Activated Barley. I had never heard of it and was intrigued because the only ingredient is barley. According to the website, the barley is taken to the brink of germination before being powdered. This suspends it at the highest point of bio-energy where it contains the best mix of fiber, enzymes, and the ultimate slow burning carbohydrate. The result is that it helps boost performance and enhance endurance.

I took the barley right before a run this weekend and I had one of the best and fastest runs I’ve had in months. I instantly felt a little buzz after drinking it (I drank it with water -it’s not tasty at all but you can get it down) and as soon as I was running I was floating! I ended up running a mile longer than expected because I felt so good.

Some of the other interesting products that they sent included:

  • Supergreens – includes potent nutrition from alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass, spinach, oat grass, parsley, moringa, and ginger.
  • Liquid Light – raw, plant-based fulvic acid and liquid mineral complex created by nature.
  • Immune Shield – natural fulvic acid and mineral complex that is fortified with silver ions.

If you want to try Sunwarrior for yourself, use this discount code at their website here for 20% off their already reasonable prices: SW20

Do you use protein powders or other supplements? Do you use them daily or on occasion?