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I am a runner. I am pregnant. Please do not STARE.

27 Jul

I knew the day would come when I would start getting “the look”…the wide-eyed, head-shaking, disapproving look of someone who thinks it is preposterous that I am running…pregnant. (Oh, the horror! The HORROR!) It happened to me for the first time, or the first time that I actually noticed it, last night. And, to be honest, it caught me completely and totally off-gaurd.

I am now at the point where I am obviously showing. I keep trying to convince myself that I am not really “out there” yet, but I think I am in denial. You know, especially when people in my run group who had not been there in a couple of weeks see me and say, “Whoa! You have really popped out there, haven’t you!?” Yeah, so, I am *officially* baby bumpin’.

Other than my belly poking out, I am trying to keep on keepin’ on as much as possible, in as much as the same way as before, but with my activities modified as I feel I need to. When I found out I was pregnant, it never really crossed my mind to not run. I mean, surely women did it all the time, right? I used to have a step aerobics instructor who taught classes until she was 8 months along. If she could bop up and down on a step, I could keep running, right? After consulting with my doctor, explaining to him that before getting pregnant my body had been used to some serious weekly mileage, he agreed to let me keep running as long as I felt that I could. I promised him that I would listen to my body and use common sense…and then I went on my happy little runner way. No big deal.

And it was not a big deal…until I got “the look” last night.

Last night’s group run took us up along the Mississippi River levee. I love this route because it is a straight out-and-back route that allows me to see all of my fellow runners. These days, my back-of-the-pack runner status lets me take in all the views and really watch the group as a whole. It is really fun to see that many people participating in a hobby they love so much. Ah, I digress…

Anyway, what is different about the levee route is the number of spectators. Keep in mind that these are not intentional running spectators, they are just people who happen to be up on the levee, enjoying the view of the river…they also just happened to get caught in our flash mob of running awesomeness.

NOT me, but she's my hero!

I have never felt my pregnant running was awkward until last night…about 1 mile into our route. At this point, I am up on the levee, shuffling along running, taking in the beautiful view of the pink sky across the river. Turning my head back in front of me (I really should be more careful about watching where I am going anyway) I see this older woman ahead pointing at me (obviously at my belly) and whispering to her husband. As I get closer, I actually hear her call out to me and say, “That isn’t good for the baby, you know!”

Say what? Did I really just get called out…by a total stranger?

By the time my brain wrapped itself around what this woman had said I was well on my way down the route and was not able to respond. Besides, I am not sure if I would have even wanted to break my stride and interrupt my run to do so. I have read plenty of articles on pregnant running (after all, I wanted to know what I was getting myself into), and I new the stares and comments would come at some point. However, I figured I would be prepared with some snappy, well thought out, and educated come-back about how I know my body better than anyone else and that, when done with care, running was a perfectly acceptable activity for a woman with child.

I missed the boat on this one. Oh well. I have no doubt that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I better think of that snappy come-back pretty quickly. I have a feeling that I will need to whip out my “why pregnant running is okay” factoid card more often in the coming weeks. I suppose it just comes with the territory.

So, just as a courtesy, if you are out there tearing it up on the road and you see a baby bumpin’ runner, please don’t stare or give a look of disgust. Jog on over to her, give her a high five, and tell her to keep on keepin’ on!

Have you ever run through a pregnancy? Have you ever run through some sort of injury or in a situation that caused you to get disapproving faces/comments from others? How did you respond to that?

My family is growing, in more ways than one.

20 Jul

Last night at Happy’s Running was fun, despite being able to only complete 2.25 miles of the 3.1 mile route.

0.00 miles – 1.28 miles: Run
1.28 miles – 1.50 miles: Walk
1.50 miles – 1.76 miles: Run
1.76 miles – 1.85 miles: Walk
1.85 miles – 2.25 miles: Run
Total time: 27:03.

Obviously, I am struggling. Everyday that I go “slow” humbles me more and more. I am still fighting with my emotions over my “slowness” but I really am thankful that I can still get out there and run.

After the run, Brent and I handed out some of the #RunLA shirts and they were a HUGE hit! I was so excited! Everyone seemed to love them! SportScience makes amazing shirts and I think everyone was intrigued that they while they have the soft feel of a cotton t-shirt, that they are actually dri-wicking! BONUS! When I ordered the shirts, I tried to think ahead and ordered myself a medium AND a large…thinking I wouldn’t have to be putting on the large until much later in the summer. WRONG. I wore the medium last night, but I was seriously pushing MAXIMUM DENSITY in it, so I might be rocking the large from here on out. The large size is still a little big, but no worries. These days, I would rather wear something a little roomy than something that makes me feel like a sausage. Here are some pics of the other #RunLA shirts:

@RivsHughey at the Napa Half Marathon!


I am really enjoying watching the growth of the use of the #RunLA hashtag on Twitter. It is doing amazing things for the runners in this state. I love that we can watch and keep up with runners running ultramarathons to those training for their first 5k. When I first got started running, I know that I often felt overwhelmed and frustrated…or that I would never “get there” (you know, that point where I really felt like I could call myself a “runner”). I am thrilled to see this supportive community growing! Social media is here to stay, so we might as well maximize it find others with the same interests! Do you use a hashtag to connect with runners in your city or state? If not, get one going! You would be amazed at the awesome people you can connect with.


In other news, I also gave my new GO Sport ID band a whirl last night. I have an officially review of it coming, but all signs point to –> LOVE IT! It was super comfortable and it is so light that I did not even remember I was wearing it. I even wore it to work today!

GO Sport ID!


24 weeks and 4 days! Still running!

Oh, and how about this nugget of awesomeness! Since I was selected to be a Mommy Blogger for Woman’s Hospital, they are going to let me go to any and all of the prenatal fitness classes (held at my local Destination Maternity store) that my little heart desires! Woot woot! Bring on the prenatal yoga, prenatal step aerobics, and strong mamas classes! I am looking forward to trying different ways to mix up my exercise routine (now that I can’t run like I used to) and to meeting other like-minded fit mamas-to-be!


Lastly, there is a mini-camp tonight for the Rocketchix Triathlon at Woman’s Fitness Center. I just heard about this morning, but since I will need all the help I can get to get through this triathlon, I better make sure I am there! Plus, its FREE!

I am a race medal gold digger.

13 Jul

I will admit it, you CAN buy my love.

Yesterday, the Rock N Roll Series unveiled their new Heavy Medal race medal. You qualify to receive it by doing 10 Rock N Roll events (half or full marathons) in one series year. The new Rock Idol 10 medal is pretty awesome and is one that I would TOTALLY love to have hanging in my collection.

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/HeavyMedal.

I don’t know how this got me thinking about it, but I wondered to myself, “Would I ever run a completely sucky race if there was the promise of a ridiculously awesome medal at the end?” And by “sucky”, I mean completely unscenic, lame aid stations, hilly, double loop, in the rain/snow/desert, etc.

My answer? YES. My loyalty to a race can easily be secured with a heavy, fancy, shiny race medal.

Curious to know if other runners were as big of sell-outs as I am (and I mean that in the nicest way possible :)), I took to my Twitter (I love that my mom calls it THE Twitter). It turns out, I am NOT the only one! Of all the people that answered, 33% said a sucky route is NOT worth all the fabulous race bling in the world. That leaves me with the other 66% of people who would absolutely be coaxed into a less-than-stellar race/event with the promise of a rocking medal or other race swag. Woot! I’m not the only race medal grubber in the world!

I totally admire the people who answered no. I really do. That means they are truly out there for the love of the run. I can really appreciate that. While I do run “for the love of the run”, a little shiny incentive placed around my neck, accompanied with a pat on the back and a “Job well done!” never hurt anyone (especially me!) either.

2011 Rock n Roll Mardi Gras Marathon


And in other news…
I have decided to start putting myself on a weekly mileage goal of 20 miles. At 23.5 weeks big and pregnant, I feel like a realistic plan is:

Monday: Varsity Sports Running Group – 3.5 miles
Tuesday: Happy’s Running Club – 3.1 miles
Wednesday: Mid-City EZ Riders (Cross-Train on the Bike) – 15 miles
Thursday: Varsity Sports Running Group – 4 miles
Friday: Running in my neighborhood (with my Mace) – 3.5 miles
Saturday: Varsity Sports Running Group/Race – 6 miles
Sunday: Rest and stretch (P90X Stretch DVD? Maybe ride my bike?)

This mileage is only an approximation and to keep me on track with hitting my goal each week. Once upon a time (just last fall), I covered 20 miles in two or three days, but I think 20 miles per week is a reasonable and attainable goal for me. I do not plan on imposing time goals for myself while pregnant; I only want to keep my body used to the distance and “feeling” of running. This mileage includes warm-up and cool-down and I will walk any time I feel like I need to. But, for now, this is the plan.

Okay, I’m back to day dreaming about that Rock Idol 10 Heavy Medal. I may need to get a second job or take out a second mortgage to be able to pay for all those entry fees and traveling costs, but it WILL be mine! One day!

Are you a gold digger like me? Would you run a totally sucky race if there was an awesome prize waiting for you at the end?

SLOW is totally the new FAST.

6 Jul

At least in my world it is. My body only moves in two speeds these days…slow and slower.

After my completely WRETCHED performance at Happy’s Running Club last night, I am still astounded as to how this happened only the day before.

2011 BASF Freedom Mile


How do I go from getting 2nd in my age group on one day to *barely* being able to squeak out a mile at my running group? Just goes to show you…during pregnancy, your body can literally change from day to day. Some days are good, some are not. Its funny how on “good” days, I am so quick to ride that high, but on “bad” days, I beat myself up about it SO badly. It is such an adjustment when your brain is saying, “Go faster, you turtle!” but your body is saying, “If you don’t slow down, I’m going to snap your legs off at the ankles just to prove a point.”


C’est la vie.


I am definitely at the point where my body no longer wants to run like a gazelle speeding across the savannah. No, those days are history…at least for a little while. But, all hope is not lost! I recently came across this article (thanks, @sbarrouquere) about the benefits of slow running. I mean, I knew that all the elite runners spent most of their time running “slow” (keep in mind that an elite athlete’s “slow” is my hauling you-know-what-I-am-about-to-die pace) but I never really thought of all of the other benefits that slow running offers. The article mentions that slow running is “the foundation of your running house.” When you think about it, this is so true. The slow run is what EVERYTHING else builds from. For now until the end of October, I will just plan on taking care of my “running house.” This means no new renovations, no crazy upgrades. I want to keep a solid 5k foundation and be able to build from there once Baby Key arrives. That, I can handle.


In addition to a bruised ego, last night’s run left me with seriously sore calves and ankles. I know EXACTLY where this pain is coming from. It is my own fault for not stretching and doing the proper strength training I had been doing. My excuse has been a lack of time, but I have to start making more time for strengthening my muscles, even if that means cutting my cardio (running) time shorter. After I walked in the door though, my whole attitude changed as I saw these jewels waiting for me!! WOOT!

New calf sleeves! Hallelujah!


The plan for today is to take breaks at work to work in mini-sets of lunges, squats, and calf raises. My lunch hour will be spent stretching…and stretching some more. Tonight, I plan to put on my new calf sleeves and hit my neighborhood for a little solo running. Group running rocks, but maybe I just need some time alone tonight to find my zen.


So, from here on out, slow I go (channeling my inner Kara Goucher the whole way). You might even find me walking. (I know, right??) But, you WILL still find me out on the roads…tearing it up at a speedy “mall walking” pace. I might even give those blue-haired old ladies down the street a run for their money. Please keep those giggles to yourself. :)


How do YOU feel about slow running? Do you work slow runs into your training? Do you feel defeated on days when your body forces you to take it down a notch?

My child is officially ON THE MOVE.

29 Jun

I thought seeing the ultrasound was just about the coolest thing ever…and then he MOVED…and I FELT it.

When we first saw Baby Key moving around on the ultrasound, it was reassuring because the technician said everything was progressing perfectly and normally. I could see him moving but I could not feel it yet. That all changed last night. After I got home from Happy’s Running Club, Brent and I grabbed a quick bite to eat, I took a shower, and then we headed off to bed. Right after I laid down, I felt a nudge…from the inside! I immediately thought, “What was THAT!?” And then I realized, it was just Baby Key saying, “Yo, mom! What’s up?” I started giggling and immediately told Brent. We laid there for at least another hour feeling the kicks and marveling about how awesome it all was.

Was it my rockin’ run at Happy’s? Was it the good mood I was in from seeing all my #RunLA fam? Have I just been eating my Wheaties? Who knows. All I do know is that this child is on the move! As soon as I woke up this morning, he was at it again!

Am I growing a little track star? Is he already doing speed work in there? Is he running laps or dreaming of his first 5k? Maybe he’ll be wearing a gold medal in the 2032 Olympics for sprints and relays? A mama can dream! Or maybe he’ll be a famous soccer player? His daddy sure wouldn’t mind that!

These should make @RunBimma proud. :)


I feel so blessed in so many ways these days. I have this amazing, supportive husband, I have this awesome little man who is getting stronger everyday, and I have all of super motivating new running buddies.

My husband + my #RunLA fam = the best cheering squad EVER.

I’m really not sure what I would do without them. They understand when I am having a bad day and they freely dole out the high fives on a good day. And I have to say, post-run sweaty hugs from running buddies are the best. It excites me to know that after Baby Key arrives he will have all these active, healthy role models to look up to. Plus, it will be kind of fun bringing the BabyJogger out to the Happy’s Running and Varsity Sports groups. Baby Key is going to be spoiled from all the attention, I just know it. ;)

Today’s Awesome Factor = 12.

15 Jun

After my realization yesterday that I needed to just accept what my limits are right now (however temporary they may or may not be) and just go with them, my whole attitude changed. I decided that this is just the station in life I am currently at and all I can do is make the best of it! Seriously, it was as if the heavens opened up and rays of sunshine started beaming down. You know, something like this…

How could this not make you smile? :)

Surprisingly, I found some motivation at my job (a complete miracle in itself!) and the afternoon passed super quickly. I got really excited about my Tuesday night running group because we had three visitors and I got to turn virtual Twitter running buddies into in-real-life running buddies!

(Please overlook my all-white running ensemble. Apparently I packed my running clothes with my eyes closed.)

L to R: @DubyaWife, ME, @Bambi_P, @JenZenator, @RunBimma

And 3.0 miles and 36:00 awesome minutes later, here we are rocking that post-run glow! And yes, even with 4 weeks on me, Ms. Jen Z still beat me in. Wings on her feet, I tell you!

L to R: @Bambi_P, @JenZenator, ME, @DubyaWife

After the fun, we had delicious sandwiches provided by Jimmy John’s (crazy delicious AND they deliver!) and Tin Roof Beer…which, of course, I could not partake in. It smelled good though! On a side note, we toured the Tin Roof Brewery a while back for a BR Tweet-up and it was really fun to see how it was made.

It is amazing the kind of boost that you can get from being around positive, motivated people. Seeing my regular running buddies, along with a few new ones, really helped give me a new energy!

Tonight, I’m mixing up my training a little bit. Brent and I have decided to join a group ride called Wednesday Bricks at Alligator Bayou. The route is around 13 miles and the group keeps about a 15mph speed. I’ll have to push it in my Trek, but I think I can keep up! And, if not, the route is a loop so it isn’t like I can really get lost. We have been wanting to get in on a group ride for a long time and we are ready to take the plunge! Like with the group runs, a group ride will probably help me increase my speed, keep me motivated, and pick up some new tips and tricks on cycling. And I am sure I’ll meet some really cool new cycling/triathlon peeps! Bonus!

Trek WSD 7.3 FX

On top of all of THAT, we are now less than 24 hours away from knowing if Nugget is a boy, girl…or both!  How exciting!  I am so anxious and the suspense is just about to kill me.  I hope I am able to sleep tonight!  I better ride hard this evening so I wear myself out.

On a scale of 1 – 10, my awesome factor today is totally at a 12. I plan on riding this high as long as possible. :)

How do you mix up your workouts or keep them from getting boring? What is your awesome factor today?

A Few Words for the New Runner

18 May

I got the most fun phone call from an old friend this morning! She has decided to give running a try and she needed some advice on shoes, sports bras, etc. This particular friend has recently modified her eating habits by cutting out sodas, counting calories, and limiting the fast foods. While that successfully lost her a significant amount of weight, she has now plateaued and is ready to fire up the ol’ metabolism and kick it into HIGH GEAR! I’m so excited for her!!

I’m going to be honest, when I started running, I thought it sucked. SUCKED, I tell you. I thought those people who said they loved running were just liars…or crazy…or both. After a few times running, I realized why it sucked so much…because I literally NO idea what I was doing. I had all the motivation in the world, but I was killing my body and running just about as inefficiently as possible. Oh, and did I mention…I was also running in Nike Shox. GASP! (Running…in cross-trainers?? Oh, the horror!!)

After several tries and feeling miserable, I knew I had to be doing something wrong. So I started talking to EVERYONE about running…people that worked at the running stores, people online, random people I stopped around the LSU Lakes. I tried to gather all the info I could on apparel, shoes, form, technique, hydration, nutrition, etc. I bought every running/fitness magazine I could find. I inundated myself with information. And something must have worked, because everything started getting easier. Before I knew it, I was enjoying running! Woot!

To get me to this point, I was offered A LOT of advice. Here are my Top 3 things that made a difference to me:

1. Get yourself a pair of REAL running shoes.
For the love of Pete, PLEASE do not just go down to your favorite big box sporting goods store and pick out some that look “cool.” I beg you to find your local running specialty store and be properly fitted. This will save you from (some) injuries and will help you understand WHY you need the shoes you do. Understanding your form and foot strike will make all the difference in the world.

Suacony Fastwitch 5

2. Invest in BodyGlide.
This stuff should be considered a miracle product. I was advised to purchase this product about 7 years ago when I started walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. In all of my 60-mile walks, half marathons, and marathon, I have NEVER gotten a blister. Seriously, I could literally bathe in this stuff. With its no-odor and non-greasiness, I give a big thumbs up! I’ve doused my feet in it and I’ve even been known to put it around my chest and shoulders to prevent rubbing by my sports bra.

3. Join a running group or find a buddy.
There are going to be days where you feel unmotivated. That’s just the way it is. There are going to be days when you are sore and feeling down and you don’t feel like running. It happens. You know what the best cure is? A running buddy to offer you a hand, pull you up off the ground, and offer you encouraging words. Social running groups are worth their weight in gold. In fact, I run in two different groups per week (Happy’s Running and Varsity Sports). I’ve been able to make new friends at all different levels. The faster people give me motivation to push a little harder, and the slower people remind me to be encouraging to others…as we’ve all had to start somewhere.

Me and my new running friend, Andrea Bonnette.

So if you are just getting started, CONGRATULATIONS and a big HIGH FIVE to you for starting on this new journey to health and happiness! Take it one day at a time and remember to enjoy the scenery!

For some other ideas and tips on getting started, check out @bekkib73’s blog! I’ll also leave you with this quote that I stole off of Louisiana Running Company’s facebook this morning…

“There is no limit to what you can imagine. And with commitment, with effort, what you can imagine you can become. Put your mind to work for you. Believe that you can do it. The world will tell you that you can’t. Yet, in your belief you’ll find the strength, you’ll find the ability, to do it anyway.” Ralph Marston

For my veteran runner readers, what advice do you think is important for someone just starting out in the sport?

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