Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Womb Warrior Part One

Let's play a little game, I say a word or phrase and you tell me the scene that pops into your head.  You ready?  PREGNANT!

What image is there?  For most of the population the image is probably that of a women with a nice round belly bump lounging on the couch eating ice cream and pickles.  Or maybe of one waddling to the kitchen looking for yet more snacks to consume. I can probably guarantee that not many of you brought up the image of a women with a round bump laced up and running the running trails or a local race. One who is sweaty, in compression pants and has put some miles down before the sun rose.  That is because running and pregnancy are not usually companions.

Can you run while you are pregnant? Should you run while you are pregnant?  The answer is YES you can IF you decide too.  Obviously, if you were NOT a runner picking up running after that glorious positive pregnancy test is really not advisable.  However, if you had been pounding the pavement and had a running routine there really isn't any reason why you can't keep at it.... with precautions of course!

First and foremost, talk with your doctor!!! Discuss whether or not it would be ok to keep at it while pregnant.  Sometimes, things like high blood pressure or carrying multiples makes the decision to not run for you.  If you are having an uncomplicated healthy pregnancy then with the doctors approval keep at it!

Now that the doctor is on board and you got your ok here are some tips to remember while logging those miles.

HYDRATE!!! As a runner hydration is important but even more so as a mama runner.  Always go out fully hydrated and remember to stop and take many water breaks.  Even if you are not thirsty, being hydrated is important.  Especially later in pregnancy as if you are dehydrated it can cause contractions, which from experience are not fun to run through ;)

Fuel.  Remember to add an extra snack or two in on days when you run.  You do not want to effect the natural and healthy weight gain of pregnant mama.  And well I would be lying to you if I said I didn't use extra ice cream on nights where I log some serious miles.  Not to mention my husband has perfected his oven backed "fried" pickle recipe three rounds in.  :)

Keep a conversation and stay cool.  When pregnant you really don't want to push it.  You want your heart rate to stay in the safe zone. Best way to check this is to talk.  If you can keep a conversation while running you are in the safe zone.  This means that you probably will start to notice that your pace slows.  That's ok!!! Your 10 min mile is not a 12 min one. YOU ARE RUNNING FOR TWO, it really is ok!!! It took me awhile to accept this.  I would go out for a run and come back defeated with my time, time that I had worked so hard to make.  My husband would just hand me an ice cream sundae and whisper you ran and are growing a human! You are bad ass right now regardless of your time.  After a few months of this, now at
31 weeks in I am ok with my slowing time, especially since I am now slow enough to catch the facial reactions when people realize I am running pregnant.  It is great entertainment!

Listen to your body. Lastly, as runners we tend to run through discomfort and niggles.  DON'T! As you progress your body produces more Relaxin, which is a hormone that loosens your joints and ligaments to prepare for birth.  So your knees, lower back and hips are all going to be looser and more susceptible to injury.  Take some walk breaks if you need to or a few days off.  It really is ok to be lazy if your body needs you to be! Enjoy some ice cream (can you tell what my craving is tonight?!) while wrapped up on the couch under the race t-shirt quilt you had made :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The four letter word...

Well it's not really a 4 letter word, and it doesn't really have anything to do with running for anyone but me BUT I wanted to share something today.  Today is the last day in Infertility Awareness week and I have been meaning all week to share, yet I've been holding back.  Why?  Because, what I am about to share is raw and it's tough and I haven't revisited these feelings since living them.  Infertility is a huge NASTY journey and I don't ever wish it on even my worst of enemies.  However, it's there and people deal with it and we often deal with it in the dark, alone, scared, empty, lonely and ashamed.  It's like a big DNF in a race, it's just not something you want to talk about or admit that you have under your belt.

All THREE of my children have a trying to conceive journey.  Not one of them came about accidentally with a surprise positive pregnancy test.  I worked for each and everyone of my miracles and I am beyond blessed that I ended up getting three rounds of infertility to end with the best results possible, a baby.  For some it doesn't end that way.  For some their journey is much longer, or harder but I can tell you the feelings run on the same continuum, some just get to get off the ugly train sooner.

For those of you who have read my blog before you have probably come across the post where I write WHY I run and HOW I started running,  I ran from infertility round TWO and just never stopped.  And I leaned heavily on running again to cope with infertility round THREE.  Running has gotten me though some pretty tough times.  How tough?  Here is a look into what the trying to conceive journey did to me during round 2.  Here is an old old post I wrote when I was in my darkest of times.  I am not proud of these feelings but I wanted to say, that while my greatest wish is that not ONE of you reading this knows how this feels, it will probably hit home with someone.  You are not alone if it does.  We are all out here silent sufferers of a problem that is devastating.

Coming out of the TTC closet that is. I have decided that keeping this bottled up while I so fakely plaster on a smile for all of the 9 billion preggos out there is probably not a good thing. So while my little angel is curled up next to me sound asleep I have decided to bare all.

Some of you this might offend, some of you wont get it and I know I have a reader, maybe 2 that will stand and cheer at the end.

D and I have now been TTC #2 for a year now. So all of the when are you having #2 comments can stop cause ummm yeah working on it. In fact why don't you go ahead and ask us when we are going for # 3, 4, or 5 since it really doesn't matter because at this rate its probably going to take forever just to get #2. This is not something I have been forth coming with because quite frankly while it is none of your business it is also something I do not want to admit because it also means that I have to admit that I am a failure, that I am not normal and that my body is somehow broken in one way or other.

Over the last year I have watched women in the hordes announce their great news. (Yes when you have both good friends and groups of friends online and IRL (in real life) the amount of preggos tends to add up quite quickly) Some of those announcments I have literally jumped for joy over, some have warmed my heart and others down right pissed me off if you all want me to be completly honest and since this is my blog I guess I can be :0) However, even the ones I have done back flips over have also twisted the knife deeper into my heart because again it is not me getting that BFP (well except for my sister cause well that baby is 1/4 me anyway so it's like my own!)

I have also found myself pulling away from groups not because I am not happy for them but because I need to protect my own sense of self. I need some time to think and breathe and process and yes while I am happy for you, you should return the favor and be a little bit sad for me. I do not want to put a damper on your thunder, I do not want this bitter feeling eating at my stomach all day. I do not want to have to look in the mirror and wonder why am I the only one going through this. The street goes both ways and I need to not just give and give and especially not in a fake way because that is NOT who I am. I am a real person. I am honest and kind and like to find the good in every situtation. Which in this one I am having a hard time finding the good. I have let a few people in on this journey and I feel like everyone who comes in to contact with me is probably thinking I am an unhappy person. I am not I am just mourning the loss of yet another baby month after month.

I do not want to hear the "Oh it will happen when it is supposed to" "God has plans that you don't know about" "It's not your time yet" and all the other "reassuring" commments that get thrown my way while they are secretly glad that they themselves do not have to deal with this, they were blessed with "Fertile Myrtle" bodies. Really it just plan old sucks and hanging in there does only make me stronger and I do know that YES there is a plan God has for me (Don't worry mom I just sent up prayer for God to guide me and take away the bitterness in my heart that I know Satan has put there). See I know all those things and yet it doesn't help when you again get greeted with good ole Aunt Flow....

I do know that I am blessed with an amazing family who will if I choose to let me lean on them. But by blogging about this, I also do not want to have to talk about it. I just want a place to be able to be open with what I "say" in order to cleanse me so that I can be truly happy for the wonderful blessings that have fallen on those I care deeply about.

There is however, one comment that was made to me when I opened up on one of my online boards. This comment I carry in my heart because it meant a lot to me. It made me laugh and it made me smile and it is making it worth the wait: "Don't worry C it takes a long time to make model genius children like you do"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throw back post?

It's Throwback Thursday, all over social media you will see the pics of the past, reminiscing of  days gone by and smiles of the memories.  I do not usually partake in this little social phenomenon, for a reason I am not entirely clear on but tonight, tonight I took a walk down memory lane.  I signed on to the blog with every intention of trying to fix it up, make it more appealing, more reader friendly.  I am EAGER to attract and hold new reader attention.  I can NOT complete a dream I am chasing without it.  Sadly, I have two TWO followers and well that's not really going to cut it.  So, I sat here and I started to go through old blog posts.  Post after post I read, remembering, reminiscing and sometimes smiling at the writer, the runner or the person that wrote that blog.  We all change with the seasons and it was fun to see how I grew and changed and morphed.  I even went into my old personal blog.  The non running one, the one that existed before I let myself be called a runner.  I read the dark posts, the struggling posts and the most raw posts I have ever written. WOW! What a journey I have been on.

As I sat here tonight and let the words wash over me, I realized it just wasn't in me tonight to redo the blog, to make it better, because well I am just not sure yet HOW to do that.  I am NOT computer savvy.  I do not know my way around HTML codes and visual art stuff, but I allowed myself to get lost in my triumph. The triumph I found when I read the letter that I had written to myself, to my body.  Sarah, over at Run Far Girl, inspired me to write it over a year ago.  In honor of TBT I decided to share it again.  Writing that letter set me free in a way, it got me to stand up and applaud MYSELF to see myself through clear eyes. Not the eyes of the constant fat girl in my head I battle or the eyes of society.  But to see me for ME and to LOVE me.

Dear Body,

For the most part of my 30 years, I have hated you.  At certain points in my life I have loathed you more than others.  I always remember wanting to change you.  To make you shorter, to make you skinnier, to make you curly haired and tan.  I loathed you from the shape of your feet and the size of them all the way to the plain Jane straight as a pin thin hair on the top of your head.  At times I didn't feed you and I hid you.  And then I started to feed you but only the most poisonous of foods.  I forced food into you until you grew and exploded and then I loathed you even more.  I changed your hair color, only wore flats, spent time in tanning beds and on crash diets. 

Then when you refused to work properly and give me what I wanted most in the world I wanted a whole new body, one that wasn't fat and broken and mousy looking.  I raged wore with you on the inside everyday while I held a smile to your face for the world to see.  Then, then just when I thought you were the most useless piece of crap a miracle happened.  You grew my baby girl.  You grew the most precious thing in the world for me two times now.  And while you are yet still broken and #3 hasn't happened yet.  I began to see your purpose.  I began to see that those toes that I hate looked so darn cute on a baby, the weight you were holding on too began to fall off and you were accomplishing all these things that I never thought you would be able to do, your hair is still plain and mousy but now the little girl you made likes to watch you curl it or brush it and it just makes your face smile so bright. 

Dear body I have put you through so much yet you still seem to surprise me with a love and loyalty that I do not deserve to have.  You have withstood the test of time.  You have entered a new decade with me, smaller than you have ever been and healthy as ever.  You can run, jump, squat, plank, lunge, climb and just be.  After all of these years I now have the confidence to wear you proudly.  Rock on body, rock on.  You may not be what I always wanted but you have been what I have always needed.  I am sorry it took me 30 years to realize this.  From here on out you and I are going to be just fine, if only you can give me curly locks....KIDDING!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Got Tshirts?!

First I have to say that ummmm, baby #3 is, how do I say this? She's killing me! I mean not literally but she's really taking her toll on me. The contractions, the sleeplessness, the not being able to eat, the pelvic pressure, the not even being able to lay down are all starting to add up. 12 more weeks or there about seems soooo endless right now. I mean I know it isn't much time at all but oh my I can't stand being in my skin right now. Friday night I finally had enough. I cried and cried and cried and cried some more. I can't form complete thoughts and have found myself reading comments to friends on Facebook I apparently wrote that don't make sense and I don't even remember writing. (In fact I'm writing this blog again after losing the first draft and I'm positive this draft isn't nearly as funny and put together as the first). Anyway, because of the exhaustion and the constant feeling of being sick I've been slacking on my blog fest goals. So no more, tonight I will write and if you can stand my senseless rambles, incomplete thoughts and very meek attempts at humor then can we please be best friends? 

Ok now on to the real subject. Tshirts, race tshirts. We all have them even covet them but do we wear them? I mean, in all honesty are they even functional for you? Or are you like me? You hoard them, collect them, and pile them into a gain mountain of I'm never ever going to wear them. Half the time they do not even fit me. The unisex cotton shirt at best has been used as a night shirt in my house. Occasionally, I've gotten some tech shirts and well I have worn some of them but the fit isn't really ever right since it's always in men's sizing. 

Recently, I was contacted by an organization called Get It Going who is launching a kick start campaign for better race shirts. They asked that I take a survey with my thoughts on the race shirt. Their goal is to have a catalogue if you will, of better quality, made in the USA race shirts that Race Directors can go to when picking out shirts for their races. 

I sort of thought this was a genius idea. I mean after all I USED to have a mountain. A HUGE  mountain of unwearable shirts that I refused to get rid of. What you ask did I do with it? Did I finally break down and without another thought throw them out? Donate them? Use them as paint rags? Well, no. These shirts although unworn meant something to me. They held memories of PRs and first races, of new distances and never before dreamed goals finished. So, I had them made into a tshirt quilt. I now keep it on the couch and it's my go to, make me feel better, snuggle upper. 

What do you do with your shirts? Do you wear them? Toss them? Collect them? Not take them? What do you think of this campaign Get It Going has started? Would you be willing to take the survey? 

Race Quilt! 

My feel better, makes me happy, go to snuggle upper: 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Being someone who most definitely doesn't look like a runner, or come anywhere, ANYWHERE close to having that lean runner's body I've always just managed to find running gear here and there and have no preference. I wore shorts from Old Navy and tanks from Target.  I found a long sleeve tech shirt at TJ Maxx and it was ok, it got the job done. 

All of this ALL of this changed however, when I discovered something within the running community. I discovered a new line of running gear. It wasn't the controversial Lulumon who seemed to only have one size that didn't even come close to being comfortable for me to run in. It wasn't any of the gear sold in my local running store either. It was a company created by a woman who wanted something that would fit WOMEN. All women and be comfortable and functional. Going from the gym to the juice bar to the school yard. 

I had discovered Swirlgear. The form, the fit and the function of it had yet to top anything I've ever tried. I spent days in my gear, sometimes even forgoing a washing so I could wear it one more time on a run. I discovered a brand, I without a doubt was going to be loyal too. The fit was long and perfect. It moved with me, and breathed. It kept me warm AND dry out there in my -24 degree running nights. In the snow, sleet and freezing rain. Now that it's spring, I've switched to just one swirl layer and it's perfect! Whether I'm in the long sleeve, long sleeve hoodie (my absolute favorite piece) the tank, or the jacket I enjoy, actually enjoy, running in it. Not to mention the most wickedly awesome capris from the new line I have on order!!!! I go from a run to the school pick up line and I feel no need to change my Swirlgear it's so stylish and comfortable! On the weekends I find myself in jeans and a Swirlgear top because I love them so much :). 

Want to know the best thing ever? Right now with the code Friends50 YOU can get 50% off your Swirlgear order!!!! It counts for both the current line and the new line that is getting ready to start shipping out!!!! All you have to do is remember to just tell me if you ordered using the code!!!! Check it out here at www.swirlgear.com I promise you, you won't be sorry!!! The code is good from now until April 7, 2014. 

Pink Swirlgear Hoodie base layer:

Announcing the expectancy of Sugar Plum:

Hoodie and jacket! 

Rocking a tank:

In action: 


Long sleeve vintage (with baby bump) 

New line!!!! Can't wait til these arrive!!