Friday, January 30, 2015

Appreciating What My Body's Able to Do

Whew! Two tests completed (+ less than ideal sleep) makes me really feel like I deserve this little thing called the weekend!

As my body's changing, you can bet that so are my workouts. Before we even got pregnant, I started telling myself that I was going to be at peace with whatever my body could or could not do during pregnancy. After all, the goal is to produce a healthy little human!

But, I can't deny that as running (especially) has become a whole heck of a lot harder than I might have expected, it has been a little disappointing. I would have loved to just be sailing through five milers with my little bump. Even still, I'm trying to simply be thankful that I'm still moving and getting my heart rate up several times a week with activities I enjoy.

At some point, I may have to give up running completely during this pregnancy, but today is not that day. 

So, how am I adjusting my running?

I'm fully embracing "the wog" or walk/jog method. These days, I'm able to run or jog about 2-5 minutes at a time before I feel some discomfort in my pelvis and then I need at least a 1 min walk break until I start running again.

While it doesn't get me a ton 'o miles, it does allow me to get the heart rate up and truck along for 30-40 minutes without too much pain.

Some days however, the pelvis and the ligaments below the pelvis seem to be more annoyed when I run, so it requires more walking. But for now, I'm not willing to completely give up the run. ;)

Watch out, bump comin' through!

As far as high intensity workouts (HIIT and tabatas) that I do at home, I am modifying those in terms of not doing full burpees or choosing another move when my heart rate is too high or something's just feeling off. And weight workouts seem to be pretty much unmodified (minus laying flat on my back for specific exercises or doing wider squats).

Beyond running and HIIT, I'm realizing that more than ever, I need to keep up my yoga practice. My hips and I.T. band just feel like they are getting tight and need the streeeeetch. Right now, I'm trying to get to at least one studio class a week plus a few online flows at home. 

I'm definitely widening my stance any time I'm folded over, or transitioning from plank or downward dog to the top of my mat, but I'm also realizing that I may have to trade in some of the harder vinyasa classes (both at home and in studio) for classes that are a little gentler and slower.

Sunday's stretch and relax class at Mudra is perfect for that (and is great because it's also just the right speed for the manfriend). 

I would love to find a decent (not completely beginner) prenatal yoga class in Eugene, but we'll see...

Moral of the story is, I'm being flexible with my body and mind. I'm taking moments here and there to remind myself that when I get frustrated because I can't do something (can't help it, I'm a little competitive) that this is temporary and I am grateful simply to be moving. 

Bumptastic Friday Fashion
Fashion sort of became a thing of the past when I could no longer fit into (or felt like wearing) 80 percent of my wardrobe. Tops are getting shorter and shorter on me, so I'm trying to wear some of them now while I still can. As of today, we're 23 weeks along!

Sweater - LOFT, tank - LOFT, Jeans - H&M mama, UGGs

Also, these UGG slippers I got for Christmas from the manfriend are pretty much like heaven for the feet. 

Have a fabulous weekend! We're off for another weekend in Central Oregon!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Second Trimester: Week 21

It's kind of crazy to think that the east coast is getting hit by a blizzard while we out here on the west coast are enjoying a few sunny, 60 degree days. In fact, I studied for a few hours outside in a t-shirt today and it was glorious. Granted, I can't help but wish we could just experience a good snow storm now and then (but that's easy to say when you never have them). 

I'm currently 22 weeks along and it officially feels like there is a serious deadline looming. Hello, 18 weeks is equivalent to a marathon training plan!

How I'm feeling: Overall, pretty good. Heartburn and a little sciatica joint pain have been a little less than ideal. I also had a little dizziness at school this week, which was a bit freaky, but apparently not abnormal for pregnancy. 

Baby: is the size of a pomegranate (~10.5 inches long and 12.7 ounces) 

Baby Moe is going to be nice and flexible with some strong runner legs if this image can tell us anything!

Weight gained: 12 lbs

Yep, there's a real bump there. No denying it. 

What I'm wearing: These long, comfy maternity tanks under everything and rotating through my one pair of H&M maternity jeans, regular Hudson jeans that have some kind of miracle stretch in them, and black Gap maternity ponte pants. 

Exercise: I'll admit that this week I got a little depressed about my running situation. I was fully prepared to embrace changes with my body and fitness routine as they came, but needing to walk every few minutes got frustrating at times. Even so, I still managed to do a few 2-3 mile "wogs" (walk/jogs) and a variety of cross training, including snowshoeing!

Even though I'm not training for anything serious, I still log all my workouts via dailymile. It's just nice to have it all in one place and makes my type A self very happy.

Baby preparations: I scheduled our birth class through the hospital for March! I also called to see how much it will cost to add the baby on to my health insurance.

And this week we had our big ultrasound where they take a look at everything to make sure the baby is doing well, including taking measurements, looking at all four chambers of the heart, making sure blood is flowing well through the umbilical cord, etc. Because we want to wait to find out the sex at birth, we had to look away for what seemed about half of the ultrasound. But Baby Moe is looking perfect, so that was a definite relief.

Okay, I promise to post something non pregnancy related later this week. School as usual is just keeping me busy, so I'll try to come up with something fun. 

What's one thing you're looking forward to this week? 

We just got new sheets and I am already dreaming of slipping into them. #adulthood

Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester
The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15
The Second Trimester: Weeks 16 and 17
The Second Trimester: Weeks 18 and 19
The Second Trimester: Week 20

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Second Trimester: Week 20

I'm catching up! Last week was week 20. I'm currently 21 weeks along. Below I also decided to recap my week in workouts since I haven't done that recently and things have changed a bit. 

How I'm feeling: Running seemed to go from being doable to HARD this week with a flip of a switch. All of a sudden I need to run slower and require walk breaks on the regular. With higher impact activities my pelvis definitely feels the extra weight and pressure, making things a little painful. 

In addition, heartburn came back with a vengeance this week! I had experienced a little bit of it early on, but nothing like this. Even three hours after a meal I will get serious heartburn whether I'm standing, sitting or laying down. 

Baby is: the size of a banana (~6.5 inches long and 10.2 ounces)

Weight gained: 11 lbs

What I'm wearing: maternity jeans with loose sweaters and sweatshirts. It's that awkward stage where the stomach is getting bigger, but strangers aren't likely to tell whether or not I'm pregnant, so it just seems easiest to wear baggier clothing. Also, fitted things are starting to feel much less comfortable. 

Exercise: As you can see above, I tried Body Pump for the first time this week at the University gym. I had heard other bloggers rave about it, but had never tried it since I haven't been a gym goer for years. 

My first thoughts on it were: I know I'm stronger and could lift more weight on some tracks, but when you do something like a squat or chest press for 50+ reps in a row, it get tough! The teacher was really nice and her instructions were easy to follow.

I would say that having prior weight lifting experience is helpful as we did clean and presses and deadlifts that could be dangerous if you done incorrectly. Additionally, I was surprised that my heart rate really didn't increase much over the 45 min. class. 

I also went a longish run with my friend Laurel running ~6.5 miles in the fog and requiring one walk break, but after that it seemed like I needed walk breaks every few minutes on my runs. Yoga and spinning were also mixed in this week.

Baby preparations: called the hospital to inquire about tours and birth classes.

Week in Workouts
I haven't done one of these in a while, so I thought it would be fun to throw it in as my workout routine is starting to change.

Monday - 12 min HIIT workout (a.m.), 45 min power flow class (lunch), 25 min spin on the trainer (p.m.)

Tuesday - Body Pump + 2 mile run/walk intervals on the treadmill

Wednesday - 3 mile run before dawn - the best!

Thursday - 4 mile run (w/ walk breaks) near campus + 20 min of upper body strength + core work

Friday - rest day 

Saturday - 5 miles of walking the dog around Sunriver + 25 min Yoga Journal flow

Sunday - ~ 2 miles snowshoeing 

Have you tried any new workouts recently?

Heads up: The Fitnessista's winter shape-up starts next week! You can bet I'll be doing some of the workouts, even if I have to modify here and there. They are sure to kick your booty!

Related posts:
Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester
The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15
The Second Trimester: Weeks 16 and 17
The Second Trimester: Weeks 18 and 19

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Sunriver

As I mentioned on Friday, we headed off for a mini vacation this weekend to Sunriver, a vacation resort just outside Bend, OR with my parents, brothers, and their significant others for a fun and relaxing weekend.

Even though it was only three nights, it felt like a vacation being away from home in a big house, playing games, making big meals to share, and enjoying the snow.

Saturday, we had less than ideal weather so we opted to hang around Sunriver for the day. Dog walks, hot chocolate with whipped cream, catch phrase, and vegetarian lasagna were the highlights. 

I wore a puffy jacket under my rain coat because the wind made it necessary.

Running in the last week has become a real challenge (i.e. much slower and requiring more walk breaks), so I opted to just take several walks and do a little yoga flow rather than run this weekend. 

Sunday, we headed up to Mt. Bachelor in search of snow and sun! While I'm not supposed to ski while preggers, I was happy to see that others got to enjoy a good day on the mountain. 

My brother Max and the manfriend

My mom, sister-in-law Sabrina, and I opted to go snowshoeing for a few hours in the morning, which proved to be a decent workout and a lot of fun.

Yes, I look ridiculous. Need new snow gear to look like the cool kids.

We love snow!

We popped into the quaint Nordic Lodge before and after our jaunt and I honestly didn't want to leave to head over to the main lodge for lunch. There's something about this little fireplace and the cute benches that just make me want to cozy up and never leave. 

After lunch, Sabrina and I braved the tubing hill for what turned out to be much more terrifying than I would have imagined (i.e. careening backward while flying downhill on an inner tube). Luckily, we escaped without incident, but it sure was a reminder I'm not a kid anymore. 

And finally, the whole gang (minus my dad who was home with a bad back).

While I definitely missed not being able to downhill, I know it's only for this season and it just makes me that much more excited for next ski season. Granted, we'll have a little one, but I'm hoping someone won't mind volunteering to be babysitter for a day. ;)

In other news, the bump is definitely becoming more obvious. And, our big ultrasound went well. Everything looks perfect according to the OB!

And I'm feeling little kicks and/or movement regularly.  I know some people say it feels like fluttering, but to me it almost feels like little bubbles popping in my stomach. 

21 weeks and growing...

Is there something seasonal that you look forward to every year? What is your favorite aspect of winter? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Second Trimester - Weeks 18 and 19

I think after two weeks, I've finally ditched my sinus infection and two clogged eardrums. Hallelujah. And, it's Friday so there's another reason to celebrate. To make things even better, we're headed to Bend, OR after our 20 week ultrasound! for a weekend with the family. I'm already dreaming of stomping in the snow. 

Week 18

How I'm feeling: This is the point where I feel like my belly is becoming much more noticeable to me. It's just kind of there and in the way. I find myself taking a wider stance to squat or bend over and I know this is just the beginning.

A quick pic as the snow started coming down in Michigan

Sleep was less than ideal this week in different beds during our travels. I have also started to sleep only on my left side because I notice my blood pressure just feels off when I try to sleep on my back.

Baby: is the size of a sweet potato (~5.6 inches, 6.7 oz)

Weight gained: 8 lbs

Exercise: The first half of the week, I did a bit of running and some cross training in Michigan, but after getting a sinus infection, I took it pretty easy on myself and did no exercise. Part of this whole pregnancy thing is realizing that I am not in control and knowing that being healthy is the priority.

What I'm wearing: same ole, same ole. Per the usual, I over packed for our Midwest trip, but I brought  a lot of comfy things (long sleeve t-shirts, layers, and scarves).

Baby preparations: nada

Week 19

How I'm feeling: Not so hot, that's for sure. Most of this week was spent trying to get over the sinus infection and get rid of the plugged eardrum that occurred on the flight home. Nights are the worst as my chest congestion seems to send me into wheezing fits keeping myself and the manfriend awake.

I took a few Tylenol here and there (as you're pretty limited to what you can take when pregnant), but mostly downing a lot of tea, water and fluids in general. I also bought more saline solution for my nose and a humidifier to help.

No photos this week because I just wasn't on my game. I really need to get a tripod for some better photos!

Baby: is the size of a mango (~6 inches, 8.5 oz)

Weight gained: 11 lbs

What I'm wearing: I tried to wear a pair of my old Paige jeans that are generally a size too big that I was sure would still be comfortable to wear and no dice. I ended up using the rubber band trick to keep them up and secure. I got a few maternity pieces from my sister-in-law when we were in Chicago. Long tank tops are my favorite these days underneath pretty much everything.

The challenge now is finding another good pair or two of maternity jeans. The one's I've ordered from Gap and Old Navy were no bueno.

Baby preparations: We ordered our crib! We ended up ordering the same one that Pete's brother and wife bought for their newborn, so we will see if I like it. I'm trying not to get too caught up in obsessing over the cutest (and most functional) crib, chair, rug, stroller, car seat, etc., but it's not easy.

Friday Favorites

A few things I've been loving lately are:

this sweater, which seemed really boxy, but is actually awesomely cute and so soft and will work post baby too.

this sweatshirt, which will hopefully last me through the next four months.

positive words from friends and loved ones.

{nearly} full nights of sleep.

the Rich Roll podcast (which always inspires me that someday I could do something big, crazy, and massively successful). Seriously, you should check it out! Thanks to Lindsey for recommending it.

starting my day with a pre-dawn run.

What are three things bringing you happiness right now? 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Second Trimester: Weeks 16 and 17

Hi friends, I'm still playing catch up as I'm currently 20 weeks along. I promise to get weeks 18 and 19 up this week as well! Last week was the start to winter term, so there's the whole studying, life, exercise, and homework thing I'm juggling again. 

Week 16

How I'm feeling: Relieved. Winter break is here, which means three weeks off from school! This week I spent time preparing for Christmas - purchasing a few last gifts, mailing packages, sending out our holiday/announcement cards, etc.We had an early Christmas with my parents (since we will be in the midwest) filled with good food, laughter, bowling, Christmas movies and more.

*I curled my hair (I know you can't tell) on this rare occasion, so felt it needed to be photographed.

Nausea has subsided, but sleep has been rough. I am pretty sure I felt baby Moe kick or move one day. It almost felt like a little "pop" in my belly.

Baby: is the size of an avocado (~4.6 inches, 3.5 oz)

Weight gained: 6 lb.

What I'm wearing: Still very much the same, some maternity and some of my regular clothes. H&M maternity jeans, Gap maternity ponte pants, and one pair of regular jeans (Hudson's that are super stretchy).

Exercise: Still keeping up with the running, yoga, and weight lifting. Also did some spinning on the bike trainer this week.

Baby preparations: We got a Solly Baby Wrap, Lifefactory bottles and a set of aden + anais swaddle blankets from my parents for Christmas. Our first official baby items!

Week 17

How I'm feeling: Still having trouble sleeping well and through the night. I think it's partly because I am 100 percent a back sleeper and have been trying to transition to sleeping on my left side (where the blood flow is best for myself and baby) and it just doesn't feel natural to my body. Also, traveling probably didn't do me any favors.

It's fun to finally see some kind of evidence of baby growth going on in there.

This week I think I have felt the baby moving a bit, but it's a hard feeling to describe. It's just like something is going on in there that doesn't normally happen.

Baby: is the size of an onion (~5.1 inches, 5.9 oz)

Weight gained: 7 lb.

What I'm wearing: Same as before.

Exercise: I did a refreshing 10 mile run before dawn with Sweaty Emily this week. I have to say, those last 3 miles were killer on my pelvis region. I guess I need to incorporate a bit more walking if I want to hit these kinds of distances. But it wasn't anything that an epsom salt bath and some yoga didn't help cure.

Once in the Midwest for the holidays, I managed to fit in a few chilly 5 mile runs (with walk breaks) out on the country roads. I also fit in a yoga flow, HIIT workout, kettlebells and a few walks.

Cravings: vegetables and lots of them (sweets overload)!

Baby preparations: Nothing this week. Just watching our little niece (17 months old) and nephew (2.5 months) and taking mental notes for the future.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Related posts:
Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester
The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15

Friday, January 9, 2015

Exercise During the First Trimester

While I've written about my first trimester in the weekly recaps, I thought it would be valuable to also write about how fitness and exercise has/will varied over each trimester.

I think it's important to mention that at my first appointment with my OBGYN, I asked her if I should scale back or not be doing any of my workouts, to which she responded "no." As long as I wasn't feeling any pain, I could continue with business as usual.*  

Breathing while running & pace
About four weeks into my pregnancy, I started noticing just how hard it was becoming to breathe while running! I was seriously sucking wind even running at a 9 min/mile pace (which would generally be easy for me). I think my body was adjusting to the additional blood pumping through my body and specifically to the placenta.

As a result, I opted to run easy (and have continued to) throughout my pregnancy. It also helps that my Garmin broke at least six months ago, so I'm just going by time on my trusty little Tar-get watch. However, just because my average pace is now slower doesn't mean I've avoided speed work. 

I have joined our Thursday night speed group for at least five workouts where I pushed the pace, but didn't go all out like I might have pre-pregnancy. For example, one workout we were doing 800m repeats with speed play and while my running partner seriously picked it up on the final lap, I was content with just continuing my challenging, but steady pace.

Around week 8 or so, I noticed that my breathing was pretty much back to normal and I didn't feel like I had done sprints at the beginning of an easy run. ;)

Listening to my body
After I found out I was pregnant, I continued to work hard, doing HIIT workouts and faster running on occasion, BUT I stopped or eased way back when I wanted or needed to. If I felt really winded or even just a little twinge in my stomach, I would stop and adjust my workout or speed.

As a result, I modified things. For example, during a HIIT workout, I often did some of the prescribed burpees as is, but  then I would switch to a gentler step-back alternative rather than shooting or jumping back.

In the first trimester, I definitely felt the effects of growing a little human when it came to my runs. Almost immediately, a five mile run seemed like a serious victory, whereas it would have been standard practice prior. There were definitely days where three miles was simply all I could handle because every mile just felt so far (not hard or painful, just tiring).

Accepting the distance and being happy to simply be running was enough.

That being said, I also have done some longer runs during my first trimester even though I'm not training for anything. Around week 10, I headed out on the trails with some girlfriends for 10 hilly miles of fun and felt phenomenal!

Giving myself a break
Too often, I go-go-go in an effort to do #allthethings as hard and as often as possible, especially on the exercise front.

Pregnancy has allowed me to say you know what, I don't need to go another mile or do more than 15 minutes of weight lifting today, regardless of what my ego is telling me. So, I guess you could say I'm embracing the excuse to just chill out a bit here and there.

In a nutshell, exercise during the first trimester was pretty decent and didn't require too many modifications, but I have a feeling that's soon to change... 

*Just a friendly reminder: Please ask your medical provider for specific recommendations or questions about your fitness program. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Slowing Down Over the Holidays

I hope that everyone had a chance to slow down a bit this holiday season, if even for a day or two. One thing I've reflected on during our week in Michigan was the fact that while it isn't in my nature to want to just sit or have nothing on the agenda for the day, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Once in a while, the body and soul just need the opportunity to decompress.

(and explore your spouse's home town)

(and chop wood)

(and not have a list of to-do's to obsess over.)

Don't be jealous of my style. It's hard to master this kind of look...


As I was writing the first part of this post, I was perched in the den of the manfriend's parents' house in rural Michigan with views of the frozen lake just outside.

The lake before my morning run

Some days, the biggest thing planned for the day was my run or going out to dinner at a nearby restaurant.

My run view

A little frost one morning, but no snow

Unfortunately, I woke up sick the morning we left Michigan to head over to Chicago to see the manfriend's brother and his little family for a few days, which forced me to do even more slowing down, napping and totally lay off the exercise.

Family time is good. And seeing the little ones, brought so much happiness to my heart. I just wish flights across the country weren't so long (and expensive).

Now I'm just trying to kick this sinus infection and plugged eardrum (thanks to the plane ride home) so that this first week of winter term isn't miserable.

I posted this on Instagram, but I was totally impressed with the San Francisco Airport's free yoga room I utilized during our three hour layover yesterday. Free props, mats and sanitizer too! It felt so good to get my stretch on.

Talk about a way to chill out and stretch the legs out after a 4.5 hour plane ride.

I need to get you caught up on these last few weeks of pregnancy, but I will say that I've reached this point where my belly is just feeling bigger and awkward. It feels almost like an attachment rather than part of my core if that makes sense. As a result, my normal clothes are starting to feel uncomfortable, so I'm trying to stick to maternity wear. I've also been feeling the baby kick and move around, which is pretty cool, but I have yet to feel it from the outside with my hand.

Okay, time to do a few errands, drink more tea, nap and organize my school stuff. I hope your Sunday is going well!

What did you do to slow down this holiday season? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Very Happy 2015

Happy 2015 to all! We are currently in Chicago celebrating the New Year (and maybe watching a bit of the Oregon vs. Florida State bowl game) with Pete's brother and his wife, while cuddling with our little niece and nephew. 

Photo from our announcement photoshoot

While I'm not huge on resolutions (because they are so hard to keep), this time of year, I definitely think about the things I want to work on in the coming year. 

This year, I want to work on:
  • focusing on school
  • growing a healthy baby and getting prepared for him or her (in terms of nursery, baby necessities, hospital visit, birthing classes and other important decisions)
  • maintaining a strong relationship with the manfriend via date nights and fun adventures
  • redesigning and hopefully developing this little blog 

All of these are things I am pretty confident I can and will do, but it helps to just put it out there. Know what I mean? 

And as we head home tomorrow (on my birthday), I'm excited to get back to my normal eating routine. While I don't regret all the great meals and snacks we've enjoyed on our vacation, I definitely ate my share of Christmas cookies and could use a sugar detox and a whole lot more veggies in my life. Is anyone else with me on that?

How did you celebrate New Year's Eve? Do you have any goals or plans for 2015?