Sunday, September 16, 2012

Running with a Toddler

Recently, a friend asked me to share some tips for running with your toddler, i.e. how to keep them happy while they are in the jogging stroller.  Here are a few thoughts I shared:


1. Snacks! I never leave for a run without food and water for my little guy. Easy to eat finger foods like dry cereal, crackers or pretzels in a munchkins easy-to-grab-no-spill-container have worked best, as well as any type of squeezable fruit/veggie pouch.

2. Spray bottle with water. This is especially fun for kids on the warmer days.

3. Bubbles...in a toddler-friendly, no-spill container, of course.

4. On early morning runs, pajamas are optional, along with blankie and other favorite stuffed animal or "lovey."

5. I learned early on that toys and books, unless connected to the stroller, were usually more trouble than they were worth, inevitably finding their way on the ground mid-stride.

6. ipod stays home. Any mother of a toddler knows how much these guys like to point out exciting things like bulldozers, bikes, and dogs.  If Ryan is in a talkative mood, than we both point stuff out along the way and chat about them.

7. For cold days, use a Bundleme, or any type of blanket that attaches to the stroller instead of loose blankets that will be blown every which way. The windproof version of these is even better for those of us in chillier climates. Nothing ruins a run faster than a cold kiddo!
Have fun!
-S.H.M.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Almost there...

I am just a couple weeks out of from my due date (even sooner, if my d-day prediction is correct), and I have to say, I am feeling good.  Uncomfortable, yes, but it is not a get-this-baby-out-of-my belly-uncomfortable.  Just the pregnancy norms of not sleeping well, early morning wakefulness, swelling, etc.  I actually ran twice last week, and it felt great!  Much better than the week before, and it gives me hope that maybe I will be able to keep on running right up until my delivery!  

Generally, I can't complain!



This is Ryan and I out for a little evening walk the other night.  We were dropping off my hospital preregistration papers that were supposed to be taken in "no later than 6 months into pregnancy." Oops.  

When people saw this picture, I received a plethora of you-look-so-great-comments that no pregnant lady can ever get enough of- so THANK YOU!

I don't love being pregnant (gasp!).  In fact, I am already counting down the weeks until I can get on my bike again (hopefully before the Chicago weather takes a turn for the worst), and I can NOT wait to go on a real run.  

That being said, this pregnancy has been so much better than the first, and when people ask me, "why?" This is what I have come up with:

1. It was planned. Period.
2. I started off in great post-Ironman shape.  Even when I wanted to throw up all day, I made myself exercise because I just didn't want to stop and try to start up again. I have continued a pretty well-rounded cardio + strength regiment throughout.  
3. Eating well.  I have not deprived myself, as I type there is an empty quart of ice cream in my sink that was one of my meals yesterday.  But, I also haven't gone crazy eating junk food the whole time.  Mostly, I have tried to follow a high-fiber diet, eat more protein/less pasta, and drink lots of water.  
4. Having a toddler!  Half the time, I forgot I was even pregnant because Ryan keeps us all on the move.  Not to mention, the energy it takes to keep a toddler entertained/safe/out of trouble!  
5. No car.  We live downtown and walk EVERYWHERE.  On any given day, I would say I walk 3-5 miles just as a part of our daily living.  Although, I don't consider this a workout, it is most definitely a great form of exercise.  

So, as I head into the final stretch, I feel good...maybe even great! I am so excited to meet this little baby, but a tad anxious thinking about what life will be like with 2 little ones.  I am not signing up for an Ironman next summer, but I have some other goals that I am pretty excited about and will be happy to share later.  

-S.H.M.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Run Happy.



So, I am at the 36 week mark now, and still running! People keep asking me why I am still running, and the answer is really quite simple: Running makes me happy.   


Last week's crazy heat made it a little difficult, but I was able to get a short run in.  My doctor has given me the green light to keep running as long as I stay hydrated and don't overheat.  I also managed to get out on Saturday morning, and I could not imagine more perfect running weather!  The only problem, is that now I am seriously feeling the weight of the baby's head on my bladder, and as nice as the weather was on Saturday, it is starting to not be so enjoyable.  Still, it makes me happier than when I don't run.


With my first pregnancy, I continued running up until 37 weeks, and with that time point just one week away, I have been asking myself how much longer will I keep at it?


My answer:  Until it doesn't make me happy.  


Even when I have to slow my pace (this has been happening a lot these days), walk, stop and soak my shirt at a water fountain to keep cool, etc..  I just feel better when I run.


It just makes. me. happy.


-S.H.M.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31 Weeks and Counting!

I realized the other day, that the last time I posted anything was at 13 weeks.  It seemed appropriate (ahem, long overdue) that I pick things back up at 31 weeks.  


That's right,  I am 3 weeks into my third trimester and happy to report that I am feeling great!  


Here's what I have been doing to stay in shape this time around:


Mondays: Pilates
Tuesdays: Strength training
Wednesdays: Running (3-4 miles)
Thursdays: Swimming or strength training
Fridays: Resting
Saturdays: Running (6-7 miles)
Sundays: Resting...maybe swimming


This is my ideal week, and the truth is, rarely do I get each and every one of these workouts in.  But I try.  Sometimes my runs feel great and I feel like I could run forever, and sometimes I feel like crap and my run resembles more of a run/walk.  But I am doing it...and that is exactly what I whisper to myself on the tough days 


Here are the things I have bought to keep me motivated and comfortable:


The Usual Suspects, Brooks Adrenaline

Have I mentioned how much I love these shoes??? 



This belt is not attractive, can get pretty warm (sweaty!) on hot days, and frustrating to position well....but, it has been awesome for me.  I can't run without a support belt at this point, and I am able to run further than I was able to during my first pregnancy, which was plagued with hip pain and unhappy stomach muscles.  Totally worth the $30


I can't say enough good things about these pants....I reached out to my fellow runners/Brooks gurus about running apparel recommendations for pregnancy, and was told to try these.  They have a low-rise waist, so I am able to wear the same ones I was wearing during my first trimester....  They do a great job of accommodating my growing-by-the-day belly. I wear them for running, pilates, yoga, general gym-going, etc. I.  Love.  These.  Pants.

Outdoor Pool Membership

I (we) are loving access to an outdoor pool in the city.  It is great for swimming as a workout, stretching/soaking my hips when they are sore, but mostly, just cooling off on HOT days.  I go by myself, I go with the baby, Dan and I go together, we go as a family.  It is only June, and I can already tell, this is one of the best decisions my pregnant brain has made.  

I am going to try and be better about blogging...as I get questions daily about exercising while pregnant.  I do not pretend to know it all, but I am happy to share what has worked for me; I have found, sometimes, this is all someone wants to hear and/or needs.

-S.H.M.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Running for 3



Hi, remember me?  My "break" from blogging turned more into a sabbatical that is approaching the 6 month mark.  That's right 6 months...!  How does that happen?  What started out as writer's block, turned into, "Oh yeah, I still have a blog..."  to "Blog? What blog?"  


Even though the beginning of the fall was pretty slow, and not much notable took place, the end of fall/beginning of winter sure made up for that.  

In the recent months, I had my 30th birthday, lost my grandmother, Dan was working a million hours a week, and I was nauseous 80% of the time going through the motions of the day like a zombie cursing the miracle of pregnancy.  

I am happy to report those days have passed, just in time for spring in the city!  

In spite of the first trimester nausea, I managed to keep up with a decent workout  plan, so long as I was able to take a nap, or be in bed by 7.  I am not exaggerating.  Just as with my first pregnancy,  as soon as I hit 12 weeks it was like a switch flipped.  That was 3 weeks ago, and now I have swung to the other end of the spectrum; actually accomplishing good workouts, staying up past 7, hell, I am pretty much up all night incapable of sleep.  

Yesterday, I spent the whole day outside running, playing and walking with my 2 little (tiny) training sidekicks.  

Ryan, 18 months

TBA, due August 30, 2012

Hopefully, I will be able to channel some of this magical second trimester energy into more writing...

-S.H.M.