Marathon Training Update: Week 4

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

– Born to Run

Even, with the extreme heat conditions in the DC area, I ended week 4 of marathon training on a high note.

Monday, July 18th РDistance: 3 miles, Time: 28:27, Pace: 9:27, Type: Stroller Miles 

Tuesday, July 19th- Distance: 4 miles, Time: 39:38, Pace: 9:52, Type: Stroller Miles

Wednesday, July 20th- Distance: 6.1 miles, Time: 57:36, Pace: 9:23, Type: Solo running 

Thursday, July 21st- Distance: 3.1 miles, Time: 29:15, Pace: 9:29, Type: Stroller Miles

Friday, July 22nd- Distance: 6 miles, Time: (5 miles – 47:26, 1 mile – 10:16), Pace: (9:34, 10:16), Type: Stroller Miles

Saturday, July 23rd- Distance: 11.4 miles, Time: 1:54, Pace: 10:01, Type: Solo Running/Long Run

Total miles for the week – 33.6 miles

RECAP

I ran 6 days this week. 4 out of the 6 runs were stroller miles, with Zoe. The combination of stroller miles and the extreme summer heat is finally making me stronger and faster.

STROLLER MILES

Running a 6 mile (mid distance run) with the stroller, the day before my long run, made me confident and strong during my 11 mile long run.

LONG RUN

I was a little nervous about the heat. It was all over the news that the DC area was under a heat advisory, and that because of extreme humidity, the air quality was at dangerous levels. So I made sure on Saturday for my long run, I was out on the trail by 6:30 am. When I started my run it was in the high 70s, when I finished my run it was in the 90s. Most of my splits were at marathon pace, between 9:30-10.

I’m actually really enjoying running early mornings. The city is quiet while everyone is still sleeping, but the trail is busy with all of us morning runners getting our long runs done. It’s such a great vibe, and the sun rises are so pretty.

I hope everyone had great runs this week. Run Happy!!

Stroller miles, Mother RUNNER, Marathon Training

Hey lovelies,

I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!

I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.

My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!

WEEK Day Training with the stroller.

During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.

If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)

And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.

I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.

The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.

Weekend running, long run.

The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.

Week 1- long run 8 miles

Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.

It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.

My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.

1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.

Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.

However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.

I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.

Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.

Week 2- long run 9 miles

Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)

The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.

Week 3- long run 6 miles

Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.

The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.

I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.

Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.

Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.

This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.

It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.

Training PLAN and Apps

The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.

Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.

Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.

So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Well that’s all for now!

Run Happy!
Which marathon are you training for?


How to PLAN a 1 year old’s BIRTHDAY PARTY! My baby turns 1 soon.¬†


I can’t hardly believe it!

This year has gone by way to fast, my baby is turning one soon. (We only have two monthly stickers left to use.)

Zoe turns ONE, August 19th, 2016!

Which means her first official birthday is approaching…

I wasn’t going to over do it… (she won’t remember any of it.) However, because my guests are traveling to the Vineyard for her birthday, of course we are going all out. Plus, I love a really good party.

What makes a good party…

  • Theme
  • Invitations
  • Outfit, costume
  • People
  • Venue
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Cake
  • Music
  • Decorations
  • Photography

THEME

Choosing a theme is always fun, but it is also a helpful way to stay on track. 

The theme I chose for Zoe’s birthday is seashell, mermaid. Because we are having her party at the Vineyard, this fits perfectly. It will be fun when she is older (not that I’m wishing for her to get any older, just stay a little baby, Zoe…) to see what birthday party theme she chooses for herself.

INVITATIONS

Choose invitations based on your theme. Also decide whether you want to send snail mail, or an email option. 

I chose an email option. I used paperless post for my wedding save-the-date, and because it was so easy to use, I decided to use it again for Zoe’s birthday party invitation.

This time I used the free app, and designed the cutest invitation. They have some really awesome free templates, so it didn’t cost me anything at all – invitations can be expensive.

I also love that I can tell when someone has opened the email, but hasn’t yet responded. This eliminates the question of whether a guest has received the invitation of not.

Outfit, Costume

What will the guest of honor be wearing?!

There are a lot of options for a one year old’s birthday outfit. Some baby girls wear tutus. Some wear a onesie saying, “One,” “My First Birthday.” Some wear a birthday hat.

I’m still finalizing Zoe’s outfit. I can’t wait to share it with you, but I’m leaving it for a surprise. It will definitely be on the birthday party recap post.

PEOPLE

Who comes to your party makes a difference in what food you choose, what activities you do, etc. For example if you are going to have more babies and children at your party, you may need to consider kid friendly food options, and food allergies.

Over the last 10 months, some of my closest friends have had babies, and Zoe and I are also always open to meeting new mamas and baby friends.

So yes, she does have some baby friends, but because the party is in Martha’s Vineyard, the people coming are mainly family and close family friends.

VENUE

Choosing a venue is ideal. It will set the mood of your party. Again, you will need to consider who your guests are, and how long your party is. 

The original plan was to have a casual party on the beach. But because it is one of the busiest weekends on the Vineyard, Zoe’s grandparents suggested we have the party at their house. This is an awesome idea because now we don’t need to provide transportation to the beach, which is on the other side of the island. Plus, now I can have all the cute decorations I want.

FOOD

When choosing food for your party, consider the venue. What type of food is the area known for, what is locally grown? Also, who are your guests? Do you need to have kid friendly options, and consider food allergies?

Because the guests coming to the party are mainly adults, and Zoe will eat anything, I am not to concerned about food allergies or kid friendly options.

However, I am hoping for a menus full of seafood, such as lobster and clams. We will be on an Island off the coast of the Cape. So lobsters and clams are fresh – it’s a New England thing.

DRINKS

Again specialty drinks can be based on what the area or venue is known for. Also consider your guests and what time your party is at.

We are keeping our drinks simple by having beer, wine, and depending on how many guests we have, we may make watemelon margaritas or sangria. Of course Zoe will eat plenty of watermelon and drinking her milk.

CAKE

When it comes to a one year old birthday party, the cake is one of the most important parts. Traditionally, in the USA, you give your one year old her own personal cake to smash. It’s called cake smashing, and it is suppose to be your baby’s first taste of something sweet.¬†

Zoe’s Grams normally bakes a homemade cake for everyone on their birthday, and it is always delicious. As far as I know, she will be making a cake for Zoe’s birthday. And Zoe has never had cake before so it will be super fun to see her smash in it.

Cake smashing requires a high chair or space for baby to smash into it. I’m hoping I can figure out a high chair for Zoe. It is always cute to decorate the high chair with a banner and balloons. I want Zoe to have her own special chair or space for cake smashing.

MUSIC

Choose music based on your guests. Are people going to be dancing, or do you just need music in the background. 

Zoe loves music and she loves to dance, so we’ll be playing her favorit songs. I’m going to just use my iPhone and speakers.

DECORATIONS

Choose decorations based on venue, theme, and guests. 

Decorations are my favorite part. They can transform a venue. It is the small details that really make an event unique and your own.

Zoe is going to have a bubble machine going at her party. This adds character but is also fun for kids and babies.

The colors are going to be combination of pink, gold, and tourquoise. We are going to have a couple special things for Zoe but that’s a surprise and I’ll update you on this in the post I write about her party. But the picture above is a hint.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Choose whether you will need a professional photographer or whether you will manage to take photos yourself.

I’m planning on taking photos the whole time using my iPhone. Photo are very important to me.

Anyway, I’m excited for this vacation and this party. It is going to be so refreshing to escape this heat and go up North, and be at the beach.¬†

A one year old birthday party is so special. I can’t wait to celebrate Zoe. She has done so many incredible things this year, and deserves the best party ever.¬†

But most of all… She is my little love, who on August 19th, 2015, changed my world, making me a mama, a better person. My heart is full of love.

I hope this helps you plan your own baby’s one year old birthday. Can’t wait to share with you her birthday recap. Look for it on the blog in late August.¬†


Mamas- What was your favorite thing about your one year old’s first birthday party?

 


Remembering Our Wedding Day!


There are so many amazing photos from our wedding, however, these are some of my favorite photos of our day. 

If you can’t tell from the photos themselves, romantic, intimate, bohemian, rustic, vintage is how I would describe our wedding. 

I will never forget the crazy, but amazing planning process. The time devoted. The challenge of planning from the East coast, how much I learned about myself and how much it changed me, during the process.

Dress shopping at Gossipia, dress alterations, my mom making my veil. Spending the day, making save the dates. Spending days hand making invitations. Finalizing plans over the phone, taking a trip out to California to meet our vendors. Taste testing “Spanish” food, which was gluten free, from local farms, that went perfectly paired with my Aunt’s wine. Taste testing the sweetness of our wedding cake. 

Now the Wedding Day…

The morning…

Waking up early, to go for a run, around the lake energized, but relaxed me all in the same. Cutting Erik’s hair (grooming the groom) the morning of the wedding, was cute and funny. Hanging out with my sisters and mom drinking mimosas as I did everyone’s hair and then my own. 

Go time…

I remember peeking out my window seeing my guests arrive. After everyone else headed down to the vineyard, the ceremony site, Jackie and I got driven down. There was a slight delay because Jackie forgot the flowers. As she sprinted back, Erik was patiently waiting at the alter, under the hot California sun.

I remember walking down the isle of white rose pedals, to the soft sound of my cousins acoustic guitar. Seeing Erik’s face while I approached was priceless.

The ceremony…

There were definitely some unforgettable moments. Emily marring us, the reciting of our vows.  Elissa and Mariana both doing readings. Exchanging rings, and my fingers swelling from the hot summer sun, so my ring wouldn’t go on. Our kiss. 

Reception…

Sangria and tapas were passed around in the grove. Erik and I entered the barn and were announced husband and wife. These we enjoyed Paella paired with my Aunt’s wine in the barn which was transformed, lit up with warm romantic twinkle lights. We laughed and cried during my sister’s toast. 

Erik and I sneeking away for photos in the vineyard. Exploring the whole ranch for our photoshoot. Capturing a priceless moment of the lamas and me – exchanging a kiss.

Eat cake…

I will never forget my perfect turquoise and red cake! The sweet taste of lemon and vanilla. I remember having to have my uncle and cousin transfer our cake from the barn to the court yard. Our fingers were crossed hoping it wouldn’t fall. I remember not knowing how to cut the cake. Finally making a tiny triangle piece, we fed eachother.  

Dance like no one is watching…
I remember our first dance. Everyone staring awkwardly. Jackie cried. 

I remember everyone hitting the dance floor hard. My family sure loves a good dance party. And for those who didn’t want to dance, it only took a little of Ibo’s homemade apple flavored moon shine. 

I remember dancing the night away.

There are so many great memories. The day is unforgettable. It is so hard to believe that this amazing day was two full years ago. 

On June 28th it was our 2 year wedding anniversary. 

Happy two years, Erik! I’ll never stop loving you. 

Note: The majority of photos were taken by Larsen’s photography. 

Please visit her website and read the beautiful article she wrote about our wedding day. 

Oiselle Volee

K A R A   G O U C H E R. 

In 2014, the news spread quick that Kara Goucher was leaving Nike. Oiselle, who never thought they could compete with the big well known shoe companies, were totally starstruck when Kara claimed she loved what the brand stood for… (and wanted in.)

This brand stands for sisterhood. It is all about building a strong powerful community of women, where the women complete eachother, rather than compete with eachother. 

Shortly after Kara joined Oiselle, I started to see the brand everywhere. Maybe it was always there, but because I was aware of the brand, I started to take notice. 

I kept noticing a lot of the girls that make up the running community on Instagram always wearing the Oiselle singlet, using the hashtag oiselle volee. 

What is this? 

Turns out, Oiselle has a running group. I contacted one of the girls on Instagram and asked how I could join. It was simple. Just sign up for their news letter and they will notify when spots open up. 

This year when spots were open, I decided to apply. And I received a welcome email a couple days later. 

Now I have a singlet of my own. I love being apart of Oiselle, and it is very important to me to only support brands that stand for ideas I believe in. I’m also excited to connect with some other birds from the flock, especially with marathon season approaching. There are quite a few birds in my area, and plenty on social media. 

Let’s see where this running group can take me. If not anywhere… At least I will have endless inspiration to push me to my fullest potential as a runner.

Read the article about when, how, and why, Kara Goucher joined Oiselle. 

Do you wear Oiselle? If so what’s your favorite piece of clothing Oiselle makes?

 

Zoe’s Baptism¬†

 

On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2:15, my sweet Zoe got baptized at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town, Alexandria.

Getting Zoe Baptized was never a question. We were definitely always planning on it. However, I waited until she was 9 months old, the perfect time.

It is such a special ceremony that I wanted to make sure it was celebrated properly. I didn’t want to rush into planning it, until I actually had the time to dedicate towards planning.

The early days of motherhood were the absolute sweetest. It was those days that I had the opportunity to get to know my sweet Zoe and watch her up close as she got to know the world. Sometimes those days and nights were long and overwhelming, but I focused on snuggling Zoe, as I also settled into my new identity as Zoe’s mama.

The last thing I wanted to do was use any of that sweet time towards planning. So I waited to plan her baptism until I was ready to plan.

Turns out, at 9 months old, Zoe is full of playful personality. And June is the best month for a baptism, because the weather is warm enough for baby Zoe to wear a cute white gown.

THE CHURCH

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town, Alexandria, is one of the oldest and most beautiful Catholic Churches.

Although, I was not baptized at St. Mary’s (I was baptized at Our Lady of Lordes) it was special for me that my daughter had the opportunity to be baptized at the same church I went to as a child. The same church that I received the sacraments of reconciliation, holy communion, and confirmation. It was special and tradition.

THE CLASS

In most cases when you receive a sacrament with the Catholic Church there is a mandatory class before. ¬†When I mention – “Oh, at my baptism class…” People always roll their eyes, or gasp…”You had to take a class.”

The classes don’t bother me at all. I actually like them. Sacraments are important and the Church isn’t just going to hand those out to everybody. They want to make sure you understand why you are receiving the sacrament. They also want to prepare you of what will happen that day, and your responsibility for the days to come. The priest teaching the class also will help clear up any questions or concerns you have.

BAPTISM GOWN and ACCESSORIES 

As you all know, fashion is very important to me, so of course Zoe was dressed up in her absolute finest.

I love a unique, hand-made, one of a kind dress. So that is exactly what Zoe wore. I was so thankful that my Aunt Lynda was able to make Zoe her beautiful baptism gown. It was made from the softest summer fabric in the warmest white. She added the sweetest ivory details.

All of the accessories she wore I bought from, One Small Child. The lace bonnet is in the color ivory. It is beyond stunning. The shoes are a soft white/ivory combination, which added a sweet touch.

My daughter’s feet are very petite so it is always a challenge to keep shoes on her. During the baptism, she got so excited she started kicking her feet, so the shoes slipped off. But I’m still glad I had them.

The combination of the bonnet, shoes, dress, and bloomer, really made her look like a doll. This special outfit is definitely one I will keep forever.

THE CEREMONY

The ceremony was very traditional, however, Zoe was the only baby baptized that day. Because of this we were able to go right upfront and crowd around her.

Erik held her the whole time. Father Andrew (the priest) blessed her by placing a cross of oil along her chest. We being her parents, and Jackie, her now God mother, mimicked the prist, rubbing a cross of oil upon her.

Zoe giggled, cooed, and babbled.

Father Andrews lit a candle.

Then we took her over to where the holy water was. The priest poured the water over her head. At first it seemed refreshing and cool, but then it trickled down into her eyes. She cried for a couple seconds, but then was back to giggling, cooing, babbling, wet hair and all.

After the ceremony was over, we spent time in the church taking pictures. Then we headed to the after party!!

THE RECEPTION 

After the ceremony, we all headed over to one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town, Columbia Firehouse.

This restaurant use to be an old fire house. It has a really cool dining room and outdoor seating. The food is also really delicious.

We started with drinks and then ate dinner. Zoe was so exhausted from her baptism, that she actually napped during dinner.

At the end, Zoe’s baptism day was lovely. We received her candel that burned during the ceremony, a small cross quilt, and a certificate from the church. I also gave her a gift – her first pair of white pearl rosary beads.

Happy Baptism Day, Zoe! 

© 2016 sweat1xdaily



Race Recap: Parkway Classic 10 Miler – my second Postpartum race

The Parkway Classic is one of the first races I ever wrote about on this blog, (read about it here) actually it may have been my very first blog post. And yet again, I am running it and writing about it. It is just one of those races that I love to run, year after year.

Of course last year, I was pregnant with Zoe, so I didn’t have the chance to race. But this year, being 8 months postpartum I was ready to take on the course again.

Earlier this month, I ran the Cherry Blossom ten miler in 1:31. To prepare for that race, I had run a couple 8 milers as my longer runs, and then 3-5 milers during the week pushing Zoe in the Bob. I ran that race, without any mental strategies, because there were no goals I was trying to reach, instead I just wanted to run it to have fun, and test my fitness level.

THE TRAINING

To prepare for this race, I considered the Cherry Blossom ten miler as my long run, and used the next three weeks doing a combination of shorter runs 3-5 milers and late night weight lifting sessions in the gym.

When I was running with Zoe, I slowed down to engage my slow twitch muscles, and tried to stay in an aerobic heart rate zone. But when I was running solo, I worked on speed, and got those fast twitch muscles fired up.  Every time I ran, I incorporated both some up hills and down hills. Unlike the Cherry Blossom ten miler (totally flat course), the Parkway Classic is a course made up of small rolling hills. Although, they are small, they are still rolling for about 8 miles.

After I put Zoe to bed for the night, I hit the gym. I never worked legs, because I didn’t want them heavy or overly tired – they needed to be ready for running. So I focussed mainly on, chest, back, and core.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

Like always I did my night before a race ritual, prepared my race clothes and accessories.

parkway classic outfit

THE RACE

This race is put on my Pacers, our local running shoe store. Because it is put on by runners, they know their stuff. Everything is simple, and well organized. There is no expo for this race, you just head to the Pacers store and pick up your bib.

On Friday, Zoe and I went on a short 5K run, and then headed to the store to pick up my bib. I was considering running with Zoe during the race. I had been training with her, so why not race with her. She loves our runs, so it would have been really fun to bring her. However, strollers weren’t allowed on the shuttle buses heading over to the race. And because the race is a point to point race instead of a loop, it was going to be really hard to get both of us down there and back. Plus, I had to head to the salon, to work a full day, right after the race. It would just be easier for me to run solo, so that is what I did. Now I’m on the hunt¬†to find a different race to do with Zoe.

The night before the race, I did my regular night before a race ritual. Chose my race outfit, laid it out, just making sure I have everything organized and ready to go.

Getting to and from this race was so easy. I parked my car at the pentagon parking lot, and walked across the street to the shuttle bus. The buses ran between 5:30 and 6:30 am. I got on the last bus leaving at around 6:30. The bus driver waited an additional 10 minutes for any stragglers. Two 5k ladies got on the bus. There was a little confusion when the bus driver dropped them off and then was unsure where to drop us off. All of us ten miler runners gave him directions. We eventually made it to the start- better late then never.

It was 7:30 when I arrived, the race start time was 8:00 am.  I got off the bus, and went to check my bag. It was a crisp morning, so at first, I kept my long sleeve shirt on, but then turned around and decided to check it. I was very comfortable running the race in my usual running shorts and tank top. So thankful I checked my long sleeve shirt, never during the race did I feel hot or to cold.

At 7:50 I walked over to the start to line up. I stood right in front of the 9:00-959 pace sign. I had a good idea, that I could manage that pace, considering my last race I ran, thats what I did. Also all of my shorter solo runs during training were right under a 9 min/mile.

At 8:05 I was running over the start line, pressing the start button on my garmin, and on my strava app. “Here we go!”

The course is by far one of my favorites. It is always beautiful, running under a canopy of trees, parallel to the Potomac river. The trees make everything green, and the sun hits the river making it sparkle. The parkway is also slightly rolling hills, which I actually prefer in a course rather than a flat one. My mental strategy was to consistently run under a 9 min/mile the whole course, running in the high 8s going up hill, running in the low 8s going down hill.

I stuck to my plan, and felt amazing the whole race. I walked through the water stations, eating some sports beans at mile 4, skipping the final 2 water stations. It felt so good running on the down hills – I actually felt like I was flying.

I ended up getting to the finish line in 1:28:49, faster than the race I ran earlier this month, and under a 1:30 which is always my goal for a 10 miler.

Parkway Classic

Parkway

The Finish Line

It was a beautiful day and the finish line is right by the the water. I walked¬†around, but didn’t stay long because I had to head to work. But I got my medal, another piece of bling to add to my collection.Parkway Classic finish

Next races coming up will all be in the fall. Training starts in July.

What races did you run this fall? What are you training for? How did your first postpartum races go?

I love connecting with people, especially other runners. Please connect with me on INSTAGAM, @sweat1xdaily.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

8 months with Zoe

On April 19th, my sweet Zoe turned 8 months old.

imageI never knew it was possible to cry and smile at the same time. When they say, “Enjoy every minute, they grow up way to fast,” – they weren’t kidding.

The other day, there were a bunch of newborns in the salon. My co-worker asked me, “Don’t you miss Zoe at this age?”

I do, but I don’t. The newborn stage is so sweet, but once Zoe turned 6 months old she became so playful, and life became the most fun ever.

Now at 8 months she is even more playful… Her personality is shining. I will always miss those unforgettable sweet, tiny, precious newborns snuggles. When Zoe would sleep peacefully on my chest listening to my heartbeat. Snuggled in ¬†her Solly Baby wrap, nothing would wake her.

From day one we have always been learning about eachother and the world around us. And now at 8 months Zoe is more curious than ever. Here is what we have been up to.

EATING with ZOE

January 19th – Zoe at 5 months old, we introduced sweet potatoes to her as her first food. The American Pediatrics says you can start feeding solids to your baby anytime between 4-6 months. However, they highly recommend you wait until 6 months, unless your baby is showing signs they are hungry.

I gave Zoe little bits of food here and there at 5 months, because I wanted to test out feeding her, so if there were any concerns I could get my questions answered at her 6 month check up.

Turns out, that although Zoe was drooling buckets, and eyeballing our dinner plates, she was not ready. So I only gave her little tastes (not every day) and decided to hold off for a regular eating routine until she turned 6 months.

At 7 months, we got Zoe a high chair. This has made meal times so much easier. The high chair has a big tray, so she can really see her food, touch her food, play with her food, smell her food, taste her food. It is important for babies to use all their senses, especially their sense of touch, in order to get use to different textures.

Now at 8 months she is an eating machine. It is my job as her mother, to expose her to as many foods as I can. (We already exposed her to peanut butter.) If she doesn’t seem to like something, I try again and keep offering it to her. I am actually having so much fun making her, her baby food. (I am going to write a separate blog post on the baby food making and recipes.)¬†¬†She loves fruit, however, one of her favorite things to eat is Puffs. She also really enjoys me eating with her. I am very proud of her because she is starting to get use to different textures.

image

SLEEPING ZOE

Zoe has always been a great sleeper. (Knock on wood.) She has always given us cues to tell us she is tired – she rubs her eyes and yawns. She has one morning nap, and one afternoon nap. If for some reason she cat naps through out the day, I put her to bed 30 minutes earlier. She has a regular night time routine, and morning routine. She goes to bed usually at the same time every night and wakes up at the same time every day. She is definitely a morning person.

Mid February, I moved Zoe from her bassinet, in our bedroom, to her crib, in her own nursery. Because she was ready, she had no problem at all transitioning. I literally put her in her crib and she… “did her nights.”

Because the crib is so much bigger than the bassinet, she has a lot more space. She moves around like crazy, and usually ends up horizontal. When she slept in her bassinet as a newborn, she would turn her head in the direction to face me, and fall asleep that way. Now when I see her sleeping in her crib, she normally sleeps on her left side which faces the wall.

She loves her halo sleep sack, being swaddled (arms out), and silk blankets help sooth her. She use to always sleeps on her back, however on March 28th, I went to check on her, and she was sleeping on her side. Ever since then I now see her sleeping comfortably on both her back and her side.

SITTING with ZOE

On February 15th, Zoe sat up strongly and confidently¬†on her own. She had been practicing, weeks leading up to that day, but could only hold it for a second. She loves sitting and playing with her toys. Now at 8 months, she wants to stand. She hasn’t started crawling, but she is rolling, wiggling, and wants to see everything. Around April 15th, she started to cry when I would leave her, and she now always wants me to carry¬†her everywhere I go.

img_4933

ART with Zoe

March 4th, I let Zoe paint. I recently read an article about how the new play room is the new art room. I love this idea- Zoe definitely needs an art room. Because Zoe was confidently sitting, it was the perfect time to introduce paint to her. I stripped her down to a diaper and put a canvas on the floor in front of her. I opened some non toxic kids paint, put her pacifier in her mouth (prevent her from eating paint) and let her go to town. She didn’t know what to do at first, but once I showed her she had tons of fun.

It’s important to let babies get messy, explore, discover, and be creative. ¬†Painting allows her to play with color. Touching the paint and canvas, allows her to discover new textures. It is also great for their motor skills. Putting a canvas horizontal on the floor is a different feeling/vibe, then putting it vertical on the wall. I’m hoping to build confidence through art.

img_5451On March 19th, I took Zoe to the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery. She absolutely loved it.

img_5865

img_5856

PLAY TIME with Zoe

March 5th, Zoe had a play date with her friend Sabine. She got to jump in the Jolly Jumper.

She loved the Jolly Jumper so much, that she now has a jumper of her very own. (Thanks Lydia and Debbie.) I put music on, and let her dance and jump away.

March 10th, I took Zoe to the playground for the first time. She loves the swings! She also loves people watching!

Zoe also loves to dance. Dancing is her thing. She also loves her ABC song. She loves music. Cold play is her favorite.

img_6230

STORY TIME with Zoe

I have been reading to Zoe since she was born. I am slowly growing her personal library. We are collecting Shel Silverstein books and Dr. Suess books. However, she loves The Pout Pout Fish, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and Where the Wild Things Are.

On April 6th, I took¬†Zoe to her first story time. She loved it. After the librarian was finished singing a song or reading a book Zoe would clap. After the class was over, they bring out all the toys so the babies can play, and us mama’s can socialize. It has been really fun for both of us. We love it.¬†img_6477

MILESTONES

Although, Zoe is not crawling and has no teeth yet. (I’m okay with that… We don’t need Zoe growing up to fast.) On March 16th, Zoe started clapping for the first time. Now, we are working on waving hi and bye.

Anyway, that is what we have been up to these days. As you can tell we are super busy, but having fun!

Happy 8 months, Zoe! You have been my greatest adventure, I can’t wait to see what other amazing thing you will do, learn, and discover. I love you, Always.¬†

img_6940

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

 

Meeting Meb Keflezighi and Running my first Postpartum race.

Last Sunday (April 3, 2016) on one of the record breaking windy weather days, I ran my first race postpartum – the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my first race I ever ran. I have run this race every year since, except last year when I was five months pregnant with Zoe.

I love this race because for me, it symbolizes spring, the end of the cold winter, and the start of my training/race season.

TRAINING

Most of my runs have been shorter runs during the week. I normally run 3-5 miles with Zoe. Pushing the stroller really has made me faster and stronger. I am just beyond thankful that both my baby and I enjoy runs together. It makes it so much easier for me to fit my runs in. I usually wake up early with her and we head out for a run. Running is now part of our morning routine.

  
On the weekends, I would get out there and run a little further. I personally define a long run as any distance 10 miles and further. But when training for this 10 miler I didn’t feel the need to go further than 8 miles. So I did a couple 8 milers at a pretty decent pace.

Lina met me for an 8 miler on Easter morning and we ran to the cherry blossoms and back.

EXPO

As always, I headed to the expo to pick up my bib. The expo for this race is always held at the National Building Museum. I browsed the expo to see if there were any good sales or new vendors. ¬†It was at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler a couple years ago that I discovered Newton running shoes. So you really don’t know what you’ll find that might be a major game changer for your running. So enjoy the expo and explore a little.

¬†One new brand that I did find at this expo was Mana Threads. It is a fitness clothing brand owned by two Brazilian sisters. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them. The brand isn’t necessarily for runners. But the colors were amazing and fabric soft. I’m getting really bored of lululemon and just want to have some fitness/running clothes that are NOT lulu.

MEETING MEB KEFLEZIGHI

However, the absolute most exciting thing about the expo was meeting Meb Keflezighi. I was definitely star struck.

For those who don’t know… Meb Keflezighi is a famous marathoner. He won the Boston marathon in 2014. He also is heading to Brazil to run in the Olympics. Anyway, it was pretty exciting to see him and hear what he had to say.

He talked about his first marathon ever, and how he was a couple seconds shy of making the olympics. Although, he is really fast, his story was one any runner could relate to. My favorite part was when her said… the marathon was so painful he made a vow to himself that he would never run another marathon. That sounds pretty familiar, so many of us have said the same words.


He also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler race. He told everyone he would be running a 6 minute pace. And although, there is no way I would be running that fast, I did look for him on the course. It is just amazing to have run a race that he also was running in.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

As always I laid out my race outfit, so I would be ready early in the morning. The sports bra and tank are by Mana Threads – the new ones I purchased at the expo.

 

Turns out the night before the race became super windy. And I ended up wearing a long sleeve top. Just to put it in perspective how cold it was, there has only been two other races, that I have run in long sleeves. It is very rare for me to race in something other than shorts and a tank top.

THE RACE

Lina met me at my house and we drove over to the metro together. By 6:30 we were off the metro and heading toward the bag check. We waited around the start freezing our butts off.  It was cold and the wind made it painful.

 The race starts and finishes at the Washington Monument.


Look at those American flags blowing aggressively in the wind.

Finally we headed to our corral.


And off we went.

Because of the wind, the course had NO mile markers. The only other race that I ran with no mile marker was the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon, and that race was a trail run.

Anyway, because there were no mile markers, I decided to just enjoy the race, and run based on how I felt. So I didn’t look at my watch, not even once.¬†

This was my first race postpartum so I wasn’t working for a new PR, instead I was just seeing how I would do. I was mainly using this race as one to help me measure my fitness level.

I recorded the race on my Garmin 620. This was my first time racing with this watch and it was awesome. The watch vibrates at every mile, so although there were no mile markers, I still knew where I was at.

Just for fun, I also recorded my race on Strava. ¬†I’ve been using this app as a back up record for my runs. It is also really awesome because it allows me to connect with other runners. I am actually following Kara Goucher. Because she is an elite runner seeing her runs gives me inspiration.

RACE STATS (using Strava)


My official time was for this race (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler) 1:31:12.

Honestly, I felt really good running this race. My form and stride felt effortless. I just kept going. The wind was crazy though. Sometimes we were running right into it, other times it felt like it was coming from all directions.

The last two miles we were running right into the wind. Because of the wind I felt like I was slowing down, but after I crossed the finish line I felt like I could have kept going. Sometimes in running, you find that really comfortable pace that you just settle in – I found that pace during this race and it felt like I could run forever.

Because I felt so good, I actually didn’t eat any of my sports beans. I normally always take them every 6 miles, but because I didn’t train using them, I decided not to use them.

FUTURE GOALS

Over all I am really happy about my first race back postpartum! I am feeling more and more like the athlete I was before pregnancy. I am very pumped to keep pushing during my runs and to become even more consistent with my lifting.

My future fitness goals-

I need to find a way to stay even more  consistent. Consistency is key when seeing results.

1) Keep pushing hard with my runs. Working on distance and speed.

2) Continue lifting consistently. I am currently on the livefit trainer week 5. Can’t wait to see more results by getting stronger and building more muscle.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

Why I didn’t run when I was pregnant. And some fitness advice for mama’s to be.¬†

My story. 

I always pictured myself running through out my pregnancy, but to my surprise when I became pregnant I didn’t like running at all. I was slower. It was harder to breathe. My heart beat faster. I was nervous I would fall – I’m clumsy as it is.

During my first trimester, I was exhausted, and starving all the time. It was also December, so cold winter days, didn’t really motivate me, plus we had a snowy winter. What if I slipped on ice? So I didn’t run, and instead I spent my free time curled up in a chunky knit sweater drinking a hot tea, reading about how to be pregnant.

Once the winter passed the summer began. I walked every day, wishing I was running, but it was just to hot. I did prenatal yoga as well. And by the time I hit 36 weeks my feet were swelling and the pool became my best friend.

The few times I did run while pregnant, I was slower, out of breath, and it wasn’t fun. I had a doctor tell me, if it feels good then go for it, if it doesn’t, then stop. Running while pregnant didn’t feel good, so I found other forms of exercise to keep me healthy and strong during my pregnancy.

The Facts.

I’ve been reading this book, called Brain Rules for babies. It says, “If I were to give a single sentence of advice based on what we know about in utero development during the first half of pregnancy,it would be this: The baby wants to be left alone.”  

Sounds weird, but the fact is the baby has a lot to accomplish and develop. The best feature of life in the womb is the lack of stimulation.

Because of this, we have morning sickness to keep us eating a bland diet, away from any foods that could harm. We feel exhausted because our body is at major work. Most energy goes to the baby developing in the womb, but this exhaustion keeps over achieving athletes, like myself, from over doing it. The female body is truly amazing, it does all of this, so it can avoid overstimulation of the fetus.

The book also states that anthropologists believe our ancestors walked as far as 12 miles per day. And evidence proves that exercise should definitely be a part of a healthy pregnancy. However, what I have found is there are certain types of exercise that is better for a woman during pregnancy than others.

The more I research this subject the more glad I am that I didn’t run during pregnancy. 

Along with reading, I have been listening to a couple of podcasts with the focus on motherhood and running. These podcasts have called in many experts including, running coaches and physical therapists who specialize on the pelvic floor. Through them, what I have discovered, is that… Running may not harm your baby, but it may harm you, during pregnancy and postpartum. 

Here are the facts

Heart: During pregnancy your heart beats faster to pump more blood to the fetus. In the early stages when your heart rate goes up so does your baby’s. However, at the end, the opposite happens. When your heart rate goes up, your baby’s heart rate (in most cases) drops.

Lungs: When you run you may feel out of breath, because your lungs are pumping more oxygen to the fetus.

Ligaments: During pregnancy, your ligaments start to soften to prepare for child-birth/labor and delivery. This normally starts to happen at around 20 weeks. I remember laying in bed with hip pain. This pain was totally normal. My hips were just spreading to make room for baby, and softening to prepare for labor. When running during pregnancy, most coaches suggest that most pregnant runners stop running after 20 weeks, however, each person is different and they evaluate case by case. After 20 weeks, the ligaments are soft and pregnant runners become more injury prone.  Postpartum, your ligaments may still be soft. And although, baby has been born, your ligaments are still soft which means you are more prone to injury.

Bones: Postpartum, if you choose to breast feed, calcium first goes to baby. If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, this can be a problem, and can lead to stress fractures.

Pelvic floor: The pelvic floor is the muscular base of the abdomen that is attached to the pelvis. These muscles for a woman, hold all of our organs inside – organs include uterus, bladder, and large intestine. The pelvic floor becomes weak during pregnancy, and during labor. It is more prone to injury to those who run during pregnancy, and for those who jump back into fitness to early postpartum. It is typical for doctors to give the “OKAY” to work out again to their postpartum patients 6-8 weeks postpartum, however, most running coaches, think this is too soon. Some highly recommend postpartum runners see a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor, and get their pelvic floor evaluated before they start running again.

In Europe, strengthening the pelvic floor, is something that is included in prenatal care, and postpartum care, however, in the USA some pregnant women have no clue what the pelvic floor is. For those who are pregnant, it is very important to focus on strengthening the pelvic floor during pregnancy. In the prenatal yoga class I took when I was pregnant, the two areas of focus were on strengthening the pelvic floor and doing chest and hip openers.

Do you have a weak pelvic floor? There are a couple of symptoms and signs that you may notice that means your pelvic floor is weak. If you have had a baby, and you leak urine, this may be a sign that your pelvic floor is weak. Sometimes it may be while you are on a run, other times you may sneeze and pee a little. Also if you ran while pregnant and you are experiencing hip or back pain it may mean your pelvic floor is weak. In this case, it is best to get it evaluated.

There are ways to strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy in order to avoid injury. Also if your pelvic floor is already weak there are exercised you can do to strengthen it back up. However, if you ignore the problem, you may need surgery later.

Another great reference for pelvic floor information, is on the blog Run Far Girl.  Also read about her own personal experience in her blog post, Why I wish I hadn’t Run Pregnant.

Uterus: During pregnancy the uterus expands to hold baby, this heavy uterus pushes down on the pelvic floor. Because of this reason, it is important to strengthen the pelvic floor (read above). Running during pregnancy, when the uterus is larger, heavier, pushing down on the pelvic floor can cause injury. Postpartum, the uterus may take time to go down. Again because it is larger, pressing on the pelvic floor, working out to soon postpartum can cause injury.

Running form: When you are pregnant your body has transformed to make room for baby. Rib cage and hips have spread and expanded. Your core no longer exists. You have gained weight. Your uterus is larger, and is housing a baby. Your ligaments are soft. Your lungs and heart are working hard. Because of all of this, your running form may adjust in order to handle your pregnant body. You may or may not realized this change, however, a change in your running form may cause injury. If you do decide to run while pregnant, you may consider getting your form evaluated because you may need different running shoes.

Cadence: How many steps you take in one minute is your cadence. The goal is to reach around 180 steps per minute. When you are pregnant you may not be able to get your feet off the ground fast enough, so therefore your cadence may be a lot lower.  When your cadence is lower it means your foot is on the ground for longer, or your stride is longer. Both of these can cause injury.

RUNNING Now:

running with Zoe

At 7 months, postpartum, I am now RUNNING for TWO. Zoe my 7 month old daughter is my favorite running buddy. I have never been an early bird, but Zoe is training me to be one. She goes to bed every night between 7:30 and 8:00, which means on a lucky day she sleeps in until 7:00 am, but on most days she is up ready to play at 6:00 -6:30 am. This gives us plenty of time to go for morning runs.

I have been running since 14 weeks postpartum. This gave me a full two months to focus on just me and my running. I focused on form and cadence. I’m not as fast as I was before, but I am getting there. Those two months gave me the time I needed to get my strength back so I would be comfortable bringing on the extra weight of a baby and running stroller. I have been running most days, and everyday I run with Zoe my pace improves. This stroller gig is making me stronger. Zoe loves it as well, and on most days as long as she is well fed, she naps during our runs.

So although, I didn’t run for two while pregnant, I am doing it now. And whether she is sleeping peacefully, or giggling, or in the rare case screaming her head off, running with Zoe is my new favorite kind of running.

So if you are a pregnant runner consider the above information, and always remember, although it may seem like forever, you are only pregnant for a short time. Soon your baby will be here, and you will be pulling out the running stroller before you know it.

Run Happy!

Mama’s – Did you run pregnant? 

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 4 38