I’m officially halfway through the pregnancy now. Woohoo!!! I’ll be 20 weeks this Saturday.
I was having a pretty rough time this pregnancy compared to last. I had this horrible nausea and reflux that started around 8 weeks and progressively got worse. It got so bad that I had to sleep sitting almost upright. Really not fun. Then suddenly around 18.5 weeks it just went away. I’m so glad it did because it was getting hard to do things, and I definitely didn’t want to work out. I even took a couple weeks off of running.
I could fill you in on every little pregnancy detail, but there’s not much to tell. Our baby is developing and so far so good. I’ve decided to update you all on my progress with exercise through this pregnancy. First, I have to say I am thankful that all my family and friends have supported my decision to workout and run through my pregnancy. My husband gets a little nervous sometimes, but that’s to be expected. So many people don’t have that support and it can make it tough. Every so often I’ll have someone ask me about certain things being safe to do, but no negativity like I’m going to hurt my baby. I did a lot of research on it before I decided to keep going and I see a different doctor or midwife for every visit, so I always talk to them about it. Each one will tell me something a little different, but in essence it’s always “listen to your body”.
I’ve been doing less running since I felt so horrible, and the heat and constant rain storms have not helped either. I definitely feel better when I go out now, so I’m going to ramp back up to running 3 days a week. I’m also still doing my stroller fitness class. Lucky for me, our class is a pretty good work out, is helping to tone me up, and is a lot of fun with the other moms there.
So here goes with something I never thought I’d do, but I’m going to post my progress pictures.
These pictures are when I started the stroller fitness class in January. I had been running for over a year, but when I would try to do workouts at home, they got increasingly more difficult with a toddler running around to watch. I was so glad to hear these classes were starting up at a gym my husband had gone to since I knew they were good trainers and I would be able to bring my daughter with me. I just decided I wanted to work on toning my body up finally and searching for my abs, but running just isn’t going to cut it for that.
These are pictures from 8 weeks after starting the class. I was apparently 2 weeks pregnant at this time.
As you can see, I was finally starting to see my abs, but now that will be one of my goals post baby.
The only 2 things that I was told not to do are full sit ups and double leg lifts. You don’t want to strain all of your abdominal muscles and especially your lower abdominals to prevent diastasis recti, which is the separation of your abdominal muscles. In a matter of 2 months I weighed exactly the same, which is why I no longer go by the scale, but had dropped 2 pants sizes. I went from a juniors 9 back into some size 5’s I hadn’t fit into since well before I got married in 2007!
About 2 weeks after those pictures, I discovered I was pregnant. I didn’t have my first doctor’s appointment until a month later, but I asked about exercising and was told it was fine. I did a lot of researching on the internet and everything I found was positive about the benefits of exercise while pregnant. The only thing that I really need to watch is getting overheated, so I just stopped pushing myself to the next level. That also meant my sub 2 hour half marathon goal for August would now be another goal post baby.
I love my classes because we vary up our exercises constantly which is great for muscle development. You can’t just use the same 3 or 4 muscle groups and expect great results. We do all kinds of work from different style pushups, weights, resistance bands, planks, wall balls, and even burpees. Yes, I can still do them, they’re just slower than before. I was doing 1 leg burpees around 12 weeks. So here is what I look like at 19 weeks pregnant, which is when I took these photos.
My halfway pregnant belly is only slightly bigger than when I started. Yikes! And for some reason I never did a back picture before, but decided to do one now. My shoulders and back are starting to become the most toned, which will be great for my back in the next 20 weeks. I don’t know why my flash wouldn’t go off for this picture, so it’s a little darker.
Do you love that runner’s tank top tan I’ve got going on?
I told my trainer that I will probably be in better shape after I give birth. The other great thing about working out through pregnancy is how awesomely easy it normally makes labor and delivery. I totally believe this because I kept up walking 12 miles a week until almost 7 months last time and my delivery took 20 minutes and 6 pushes. Don’t hate me.
I’m hoping everything continues to go well with the pregnancy and plan to continue both working out and running until delivery. I know those 6 weeks after delivery are going to be the hardest for me know since working out is such an everyday part of my life.
Did you continue your work outs during pregnancy? How did they go?
I’ve had an extremely busy past couple months. From starting out as a Travel Agent, to all my running escapades, and yes, getting pregnant! If you remember from last time, in order to get pregnant I had to take a diabetes medication Metformin in order to get pregnant due to my PCOS. You can read about it here.
So how did I get pregnant this time without any help?
Exercise. Just good old exercise.
If you don’t feel like reading my other post, I’ll give you a quick snap shot of PCOS. It stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and almost 1 in 10 women have it. You have a hormone imbalance of androgen, which is a male sex hormone, and an insulin resistance. If you didn’t know, insulin is also a hormone. And yes, you end up with a bunch of tiny cysts on your ovaries because they never quite “ripen” and release an egg. For how prevalent it is, they don’t know much about it. They believe it is hereditary, but don’t know if too much androgen causes the insulin resistance or if the insulin resistance causes you to produce too much androgen. These hormone imbalances cause several things to happen with your body. Along with side effects that include acne, excessive body hair, and infertility, you tend to gain weight easier and have a harder time losing weight than the average person.
So when I was diagnosed with PCOS while trying to get pregnant with my first child, my doctor gave me the best treatment plan instead of pushing medications. He told me I had to do 30 minutes of cardio exercise everyday and that was my treatment and not an option! While I took him seriously, I was also working 12+ hour days. I tried fitting in the exercise by starting to run/walk and cycling, but I didn’t do it every day. I took the Metformin, which is a diabetes medication, to help along the process since we had been actively trying to get pregnant for a while. And so we got pregnant.
After having my daughter, I decided that I would continue to work on eating healthy and working out consistently. Not only does the PCOS cause small issues, but it also puts me at a higher risk for long term health issues like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and uterine cancer.
No brainer there. I don’t want to have to deal with any of that as I get older.
If you’re reading this and have PCOS, I’m going to be perfectly honest and tell you it’s hard to get it under control and you need to be seriously committed. My friends and family think I exercise and run all the time, but quite frankly, that’s what I have to do for my health. I’ve met quite a few women with PCOS and for some reason it doesn’t seem like their doctors are truly pushing them to exercise. I’ve learned A LOT about how healthy eating and exercise truly affect the body, especially of a female since our bodies are quite different from males.
Now this is what I was doing to get pregnant on my own because yes, you can get PCOS under control with dedication. I run 3-4 times a week and do cross training workouts with a group 2-3 days a week. And when I say I run, I mean more than you’re probably thinking. I run 3-4 miles at least and do a long run on the weekend of 6+ miles. The month before I got pregnant, 3 week’s my long runs were half marathons of 13.1 miles and 1 week’s was 18.9 miles during a Ragnar Relay. My cross training workouts are 45 minutes to an hour long and I would take 1 day a week as a rest day where I didn’t do anything.
So there you have it. Now you all know why I workout so much.
I finally started enjoying it, so that has tremendously helped. I am still working out and running while pregnant and plan to as long as I can. I love my one midwife I saw today. She’s so honest about all that crazy stuff you read about heart rate and working out and encourages me to keep doing everything I have been until my body says stop. While I have been slacking on the runs these past 5 weeks because of nausea and fatigue, I’ve continued going to my cross training class and will be starting my long runs again this weekend. I’ve got to get back on it because I have a back to back 10K and half marathon in 2 months when I’m 6 months pregnant!
Oh by the ways, I ran a half marathon at 7 weeks in a pretty decent time considering the heat, a trail 10K at 8 weeks, a 5K at 9 weeks, a 10K at 10 weeks, and a 5K/obstacle course at 11 weeks. I guess I deserved to relax for a few weeks!
If you have PCOS, I encourage you to do research and get out there and exercise. And if you don’t, I still encourage you to learn more about how your body uses foods and how exercise affects the functions of your body. You will probably be amazed.
Enjoy Your Adventure,
FTC Disclosure: This is not intended as medical advice, as this is my personal experience. Please speak to your medical professional with any health concerns you have.
As many women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) know, acne is one of the many “symptoms” of having PCOS. Thanks of course to the crazy hormone imbalance.
I’ve dealt with acne and horrible skin ever since I hit puberty 20 or so years ago. Sometimes it was worse than others, but it was always there. Over the years I tried everything from Noxzema, to Clean & Clear, to ProActiv, to Dermalogica and more. I had been to a dermatologist when I was a teen and then again as an adult. I was prescribed medications and still no luck.
Then came the light bulb moment from my husband of all people. He told me to stop using all that “crap” on my face. Seriously, that’s what it all is.
About six months ago, I stopped using all commercial facial cleaners and exfoliators on my skin and haven’t looked back.
What do I use now?
Yep, just plain old water. I rinse my face morning and night with warm water and pat dry. If I’m feeling like I need a good exfoliation, I’ll mix a little baking soda with water to make a paste. It’s the perfect exfoliator and not harsh on the skin, and then I put some coconut oil on as a moisturizer.
While I’m no scientist, I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on. All those cleaners are way to harsh for skin. They strip all the oils off your face and leave it dry as a sheet of paper. So what’s your skin to do? Produce twice as much oil to make up for being dry.
While we want to get rid of that oil, our skin needs some of that oil to retain moisture. Once I went soap free on my face, it took about a month for the oils to regulate production on my face. After that, It looked much better. That wonderful time of the month for us ladies still brings about some breakouts, but in no way like they used to be. My face also stopped looking like an oil slick half way through the day.
The next time you pick up that face wash, think about what those chemicals are doing to your skin.
While I had planned on doing a before/after pic, sadly, I have misplaced my memory stick and now must go on a search to uncover it! Yikes!!
Enjoy Your Adventure,
FTC Disclosure: This is my own experience and not medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.
Thanks to my amazing husband, I got the chance to run the Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West this year. See, a girl I had volunteered with at the Palm Beach Marathon had posted that her team was looking for a runner about 2 weeks prior to the run on February 7. I had mentioned it to Kert since I had planned on running it in 2015. He told me to go, but I was hesitant because I had 3 halves in February already and I don’t train and do long runs & then there was the logistics of our daughter. I let it go and then 5 days before I would have to be in Miami, we were talking and he had obviously thought it out already. He said “just go”, and had a whole plan of who was going to watch our daughter. I said ok and within a couple hours, I was officially part of the Moxie Ladies and a Dude team!
So what is a Ragnar Relay? Well to put it shortly, it’s complete awesomeness!! There are typically 12 runners and 2 drivers in 2 separate vans. Each runner will run 3 different “legs” of the race in a relay style while handing off a slap bracelet baton. You live in the van for 36 hours, or however long it takes your team to get from the start to the finish. You don’t sleep right and you don’t eat properly, so those last runs can be pretty hard. And a shower? Hahaha! Good luck getting a real one.
It was Thursday February 7, and it was time to go. My daughter was picked up and I hopped in the car to head south. I dropped my car off at one of the other girl’s parent’s house and they took us to the Fort Lauderdale Airport where we met the team captain and some others. This is what it looked like while we waited to get our rental vans.
After getting the vans all packed with our supplies & clothes, we headed to the hotel in Miami.
So what do you do when you meet a whole bunch of strangers that you’ll be stuck in a van with for 36 hours?
Go get a shot of Fireball of course.
Welcome to (most of) Team Moxie Ladies and a Dude!
Lucky for me, I was in van #2 which did not require an extra early wake up. Our van #1 had to be to the start line by 5:30 am, and we had to be to our exchange start at 9am. The exchanges are where one runner comes in and the next runner starts. Then there are the major exchanges where the last runner from van #1 comes in and the first runner from van #2 goes out. After grabbing some quick Dunkin Donuts for breakfast around 8am(remember this for later), we got to the major exchange and got our van checked in and through a safety briefing. One of the good things about Ragnar is they are very big on safety! Every runner and driver has to have a reflective vest for night time hours, and the runners are required to have headlamps and blinking rear lamps on during the night runs. On top of that, they have course officials randomly driving through to make sure the runners have their safety equipment on.
I was the first runner in our van, so once our van #1 group arrived at the exchange we knew it wouldn’t be long before I was off. Here’s (most of) our team, minus 2 runners and 1 driver. I didn’t meet all of our team members until half way through the run.
It was about 10am when I set out on my first run of 4.2 miles through Miami. I figured I would just run how I felt, but man was it hot. It was already hovering around 80° with no shade. So what did I do? Took off faster than I should. I slowed it down after the first mile and kept steady. Although you don’t think about the long stop lights you have to wait at to cross some of the roads in Miami. Here I am half way through my first run.
And here I am marking off my first run as done!
Um, so why are we writing on the van? I’m not really sure how it all started, but I guess it’s just tradition when you run a Ragnar Relay. You “decorate” your van to represent your team. You also keep track of finishing each leg of the race that you run, “kills” which are when you pass another runner on your leg, and a certain bodily function. Yeah, that’s too much info. I know. But seriously, you do it a lot when your running on water, snacks, and energy gels/shots/chews.
Since each leg is a different distance, we would stop at every couple miles to cheer on our runner and see if they needed any water, Gatorade, etc. while running. Everyone has cowbells! The locals probably get tired of hearing them. One of the fun parts is that you cheer on every runner you see, not just your own. That’s such a great thing about the running community. Since it was unusually hot, we had made sure we had ice in our van at all times and cold water. There were a few people on our first runs who were struggling with the heat, so we gave out ice and water. There were also other teams who gave out cold waters to our team members too. Again, the running community is awesome!!
Remember when I had breakfast? 8am at Dunkin Donuts. Well, I finally got some Pollo Tropical around 4pm just after our final runner went out for her run. I was STARVING!! That was essentially me for three days. This girl eats! Three meals a day and snacks, so the pretzels and cookie butter weren’t quite cutting it.
We got to the next major exchange where our runner came into the Homestead Speedway and I finally got to meet all of our team! Once our final runner finished, we were on our way to find the others in the van food and then headed to our next exchange.
We got to the exchange in Tavernier around 7pm I think. We had the option to donate $3 to the high school that was the exchange to get a shower in their gym. I opted to take a shower, but it’s more like camping showering and I didn’t get to dry my hair. Oh well. After the shower it was time to try to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, but since I knew I would be running 10 miles around 3am, I just couldn’t go to sleep. I had laid out a tarp in one of the grassy areas, had my pillow and blanket and tried. Crystal joined me on the tarp, but she wasn’t sleeping either. Every so often we would both roll over and just look at each other and laugh that we weren’t sleeping. Thankfully, it was a beautiful and clear night in the low 70’s that was perfect for an outdoor relaxation period.
About 1am I was a little hungry. I tried to get in the van and get a bagel and peanut butter, but I didn’t want to wake some of the other girls. Instead, I bought the pasta dinner the high school was serving as another fundraiser.
Our first van came in around 2:30am, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was off. Safety first! I was prepared for my run!
At this point I had been up for 21 hours with about half of what I normally eat in a day. I was still excited though. I’m not a night/morning runner, so I typically don’t run in the dark. I started on Tavernier and ran through Islamorada. For safety reasons I’m assuming, they had us run on some small non-lit side roads instead of down US1 in the Keys. I completely get that because I have seen some crazy car accidents in the middle of the night there, but every noise you hear, you never know what kind of critter may come along your way. Every once in a while I would hear a faster runner coming up behind me. Another great part of the running community, almost everyone that passed me asked how I was doing. About 6 miles in, I got the worst cramp in my foot. I have never gotten a cramp, but I guess it was because some of those side roads we were running on had pretty good embankment so my foot was landing weird.
Of course I had to try to take a selfie in the dark at the most well known spot to prove I ran through Islamorada!
Yea, it didn’t work out to well since I had no light to see.
One thing us Ragnar newbies were concerned with were getting lost. Mainly through Miami and not on the straight shoot through the Keys. Ragnar does a great job with posting signs on what direction to go. Supposedly, locals steal them sometimes, but we didn’t find that to be an issue. And then on your run, especially your long run, this is a welcome sign to see!
And two hours later I was done. Whew!! A little slower than I had hoped due to the lack of sleep and food and the high humidity, but only by 10 minutes. Thanks to the cramping on my left foot, I never felt this beauty developing on my right foot.
And again, I tried to sleep after my run in the back of the van. No luck though. I wanted to help cheer on our other runners, so no more sleep for me. Who needs it anyways?
I have no idea what time it was once our final runner finished. I was getting a little delirious. I do know that I did not have breakfast and had THE BEST LUNCH EVER around 10:30am.
Nothing beats a Publix sub and Sweet tea. Especially when you’re starving. In case you don’t know, Publix is our local grocery store in Florida.
The sun was out and it was a beautiful, but extremely hot day. So of course we couldn’t sleep now. We decided to wait for some of van #1 runners and soak up the sun. We stopped after the 7 mile bridge and took a dip in the ocean while talking to some other runners.
The 7 mile bridge was brutal for the runners. It was in the high 80’s with humidity around 75% that day. Runners on the bridge were getting sick and collapsing and almost all of them were running behind. We decided to head on to another exchange to cheer on our runners. Then we landed in a 5 mile traffic backup. We pretty much played leapfrog with a few runners and because of the heat we were handing out ice & water and letting them soak up our van’s a/c. I felt bad for everyone doing 9 mile runs in this and was thankful my long run was in the middle of the night. We got to the next exchange in case our van #1 couldn’t make it before our runner got there, so we could send out a runner if needed. Luckily, our van #1 made it before our runner so we were off to our major exchange.
At this point, we were running behind our planned time due to the heat and humidity. When our van #1 met up with us while waiting for their final runner to come in, we got to speak with a Ragnar official. One of the great things about Ragnar, is they want all the teams to finish. See, they have a cut off time to get to the finish. If you don’t make it, you don’t get your medal! There were sooo many teams that were well behind their planned times, that Ragnar let teams double up their runners. Essentially, 2 runners would run a leg to cover all the miles, and then they would use the team average time to cover the legs that were not run. If we had all run our legs separately, we would have made it to the finish in time, but it would have been close. We decided we were going to do double ups for a few, but I was off on my last 4.5 mile run while the rest of our runners figured out the last 5 legs.
About 2 miles in, my van was waiting to support me. Brandie ended up joining me on the last 2.5 miles, instead of running the next leg of 1.8 miles. It was awesome to have a running buddy to get me through, because let me tell you that was one tough run!! Remember, the no sleep thing? Yea, I had been up for 34 hours straight and all I had to eat was a sub at 10:30am. I physically did not want to run, but mentally I was doing it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as slow as I thought, but having Brandie there to keep me talking was one of the greatest things!
Here we are crossing the finish line of my last leg.
And I was officially done!!!
The last couple legs were only a couple miles, so then we dropped off our last runner for a 5 mile run into the finish line.
We met all of our team at the finish line and waited for our runner to come in, so we could all run through the finish together around 7:30pm.
What do you do after running 200 mile? Sit around, have a beer, and talk for a little while of course.
We finally got dinner around 9pm that night and then headed out for a little Duval Street fun and getting to know some of the others.
So when did I finally get to sleep? Oh, around 2am. Amazingly, I was up for 44 hours straight. When you’re having fun, sleep’s not important!
We got up the next morning and grabbed a quick breakfast at Dunkin Donuts again before heading to the Southernmost point. We had to get one last team(minus 2) photo before heading home.
Apparently, we hadn’t spent enough time together in the van because we got stuck in traffic due to a bad accident on the way home. So we got out and chatted with some fellow Ragnarians on their way home.
And then more traffic due to 2 other accidents before getting out of the Keys! I finally got home at 10pm on Sunday and was so happy to see my daughter, husband, and bed!
Best Memories of Ragnar Key West:
1. Running my last 2.5 miles with Brandie and officially finishing my runs!
2. Trying to sleep before my long run and my random glances and Crystal.
3. Helping out other runners. They were beyond happy and made sure to find us when they finished their runs.
4. Our runner who had to go to the bathroom on their long run and got a stranger to let them in to use the restroom! Yea, there are no port a potties along these races.
5. Crossing the finish line with the team.
6. Learning that Speculous Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s is one of the best things ever! Thanks Kari!
7. Pretty much the whole dang experience!
What an amazing time I had and I’m so glad I got to do it sooner than expected. Thanks to one person I had met for 8 hours one day, I got to have an awesome experience and meet some great people. Even if I never see some of my team mates again, I will always remember them all!
If you’ve never heard of a Ragnar or think you might want to do one, I say just jump in and go! It’s such a fun experience and really does push you mentally and physically. Check out if a Ragnar Relay is coming by you!
Have you run a Ragnar Relay or another overnight relay? I’d love to hear about it!
I was asked a couple of months ago to run the half marathon during the Melbourne Music Marathon weekend by a friend. It was her 2nd half and her other friend’s first half marathon. I of course said yes since I prefer to run with others. I started running 3-4 miles on Wednesday nights with them using a 1 minute run to 30 second walk ratio. I mean if you only have a couple of months and you’re not a runner, the intervals are great.
I went to packet pickup on Friday to get all of our bibs and swag. Since it’s only a 45 minute drive for me, I took my daughter to the zoo for the afternoon. I headed to the hotel where the expo was around 4pm. There were separate lines for the bibs of each of the 4 races. I hopped in line and got our bibs, went to the next like to pick up our hats and grabbed some free sample Clif bars. Then I headed to the next line to pick up our shirts, bags, and snack containers. Publix is the main sponsor for this race, so they provided nice drawstring bags with reflective strips on them to the runners.
Sunday morning arrived and my alarm went off at 3:30am. I took a quick shower and got changed. Grabbed a bagel and went over to meet Melissa & Janine to head to Melbourne. We stopped at Walgreens (thank goodness it was open 24 hours) for some allergy meds and got parked around 6am. We had no clue when we needed to be there, but knew the full marathon started at 6:30 and we started at 7:05. It was a busy little area with the row of port-o-potties. We all took a POP stop and then chatted while watching everyone warm up.
I was running for fun, but Melissa had decided she wanted to complete the half in under 2:45. It was her 2nd half, but she had not trained for her first and wanted to meet a time goal. It was Janine’s first so she just wanted to finish. I told them we would make sure we finished and met the goal time.
One of the fun things about the Melbourne Music weekend is, well, the music! All throughout the course there are musicians playing for the runners. From jazz to rock to bagpipes to highschool band members. I really enjoyed this considering how boring I find running. I’m not one of those people who can shut off my brain, so I like to watch things as I’m running.
We ran the first 5 1/2 miles using our 1/:30 ratio of running and walking. We then decided to change to 1/1 for the rest of the run. It actually worked out well for us. And there was a piano player on top of the bridge around 6 miles!
There were a ton of water and Gatorade stops. There was a Haribo gummy bear stop around 8 miles, and around mile 9 there were Clif shots, bananas, oranges, & pickle juice. None of us were daring enough to try the pickle juice, but the gummy bears were a nice treat.
Around 9am it was still this foggy.
Visibility was about .10 mile, which I kind of liked not being able to see where we were going.
We were at 11 miles when Melissa & Janine started to slow down. I was watching the time and knew we could come in at our 2:45 goal easily, so motivator Sam came out. We had passed the 12 mile sign and were still on track to meet our goal. They told me to go, but I was there for fun and was determined that we’d get to our goal. There was no mile 13 sign, or at least I never saw one. We were still doing 1/1 intervals and were coming close to our time goal. We turned the corner and could see the finish line, so Janine took off and I stayed with Melissa. We crossed the finish line with the clock reading 2:46, but my gps said 2:45:10. I knew we had made the 2:45, but we weren’t sure officially what our time was. While waiting in line for a drink, Melissa went to check our times. She came back with a huge smile on her face and said we made it! 2:44:42 was our official time!!!
Here’s a close up of the bling! It’s also a bottle opener.
I would highly recommend this half or full marathon to anyone looking for one in Central Florida. It was well-organized with lots of amenities, which included free pizza or pancakes and 2 beers at the end! So if you’re looking for a half in February, definitely check this one out.