Thursday, April 23, 2015

Silver Falls State Park: Hike it!

As I near the end of my pregnancy, hiking is one of the few activities that still gets my heart rate going, leaves my muscles sore, and satisfies the soul. 

Blogging buddy Elizabeth and I have been talking about meeting up for ages, but finally made it happen last week with the motivators being this soon-to-hatch baby and her trip to Africa this summer.

Silver Falls State Park is a place I had been to a few times before in high school and college with friends and family. There is a half marathon here every fall that I hope to someday do, but it sells out in about 20 minutes each year. 

The park is often packed on the weekends, so whenever I think about making the journey there for a hike, I dismiss it. Well, now that my schedule is much more flexible, a weekday hike seemed perfect for exploring the falls. 

Elizabeth and I met up around noon on Friday at the north parking lot and chatted away for the entire 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls loop, enjoying the warmth and beautiful scenery.

As she works as an instructor of public health and is a newly minted licensed massage therapist who loves the outdoors, we had a lot in common to chat about. 

Looking through the falls

By the end of the three hours, it felt like little time had passed and there was much more we could talk about. I love those kinds of conversations. 

I will say that while the trail is moderate with some inclines, this preggo was definitely a little sore by the last few miles. As I've mentioned, the ligaments on the lower half of the belly get sore from doing all that work for a few hours straight.

Consequently, I drove straight to the nearest gas station and grabbed some coconut water and fig newtons to refuel a bit (in addition to the snacks I had with me) before heading on to Eugene.

Note for visitors: Parking is $5 and can be paid via cash or check. Here is a link to the trail map, but there should also be copies at the trailheads. Restrooms are available at the North Falls parking lot as well as the South Falls day-use area, which includes the lodge and main parking lot as well as a picnic area. The drive from Eugene or Portland is about 1 hr 40 min.

For more sightseeing, stop at the Gordon House, a Frank Lloyd Wright house that is nearby and open for tours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 33

Currently, I'm 34 weeks along. Let's look back on week 33, shall we?

Week 33

How I'm feeling: Pretty good. Sleep was good to me this week. Oddly enough, my belly and ligaments seem most sore when I wake up in the morning. I would think it would all feel so rested after 8 hours of laying down, but who knows!

I managed to fit in a few hikes this week, which required some breaks and made for some sore pelvis ligaments, but nothing that wasn't remedied by a little rest. After all, it's just a lot of weight for those little guys to be carrying around for hours at a time.

My 5'3" attempt at getting a 6'3" husband in the photo

We started our birth classes this week and attended a breastfeeding class, so I'm starting to feel slightly more prepared. The birth class is going to be helpful in just getting us mentally prepared for the big day.

Baby: is the size of a durian (~17.2 to 18.7 inches, 4.2 to 5.8 pounds). Amniotic fluid has reached its max this week, baby's eyes are staying open when it's awake, and baby's brain is in major development mode right now so Omega 3s and DHA are important.

Weight gained:  23 lb.

I think I eat approximately every 90 minutes, which just seems ridiculous, but necessary. A few times when I haven't had enough to eat I start feeling nauseous.

Thank goodness for maternity yoga pants

Trying to capture the enormity of the belly

Exercise: Aqua jogging, hiking, weights, and yoga.

I'm starting to really miss running and dream of those first post bump runs. I know they won't be easy by any means, but I'm craving the endorphins and a good sweat. I'm also thinking about signing up for a 10K or so for late summer to have something exciting to train for.

What I'm wearing: The weather was a bit warmer lately, requiring me to wear a few stretchy skirts I have. I'm afraid I may need to get a pair of maternity shorts for this last six weeks or so. Goodbye, money.

Baby preparations: Nesting mode is in full force. Granted, I have the time for it, so I can't guarantee half of this stuff would be done by now if I were working or going to school full time.

This week, we bought a chair from Ikea for the baby's room, washed and folded more tiny baby items, and got the adapter for the stroller to fit on the BOB stroller. For the first six months or so, you just snap the carseat into the adapter as the baby lacks enough neck control to be plopped into the stroller itself. In addition to attending the birth and breastfeeding classes, we also watched The Business of Being Born, which I highly recommend to anyone planning to have kids.

Cravings: Carbs and kombucha

La Perla wood-fired pizza is what dreams are made of.

Favorite songs as of late: Raise Em Up by Keith Urban and Eric Church and Try by Colbie Caillat

What's your favorite song of the moment? 

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 32
Exercise During the Second Trimester
The Third Trimester: Week 31

Friday, April 17, 2015

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday! I haven't done one of these in a while, so I thought it would be fun. Here are five random things I've appreciated (or am looking forward to) this week.

1. After having both our first birth class and a breastfeeding class this week, I feel more confident that I can do this whole thing, even if I won't necessarily know what I'm doing.

Because it's been a while since I really did an intense run, I have felt a little disconnected from that feeling of knowing my body has just done some intense, impressive thing. I am remembering that I can trust my body in this whole birth process because it has done so much for me (50Ks, marathons, 24 hour relays w/ no sleep, and even growing a baby).

2. Spending quality time with the brothers. Yesterday, my youngest brother Max came with me to Portland to do a little shopping at Ikea. We picked up Kyle (the older of my younger brothers) on our way and spent a few hours shopping, going to lunch, and sitting outside in the 70 degree sun. I forget how fun it is to just hang out with the siblings.

Why yes, Ikea, we will try your chairs. 

3. Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft.  A lot of people have been recommending this lately and I finally downloaded it this week and started listening. The episodes are perfect because they are only 20-25 minutes long and always give you one or two easy tidbits to make you happier.

The ideas that resonated with me: making your bed every morning and saying warm hellos/goodbyes.

Whether the manfriend makes the bed, or I do, I always appreciate the sense of peace I get when I walk into our bedroom and see a nicely made bed. And in terms of hellos and goodbyes, I always feel a bit uneasy if I don't tell the manfriend to have a good day and give him a hug + kiss before he jets off to work.

4. My belly officially resembles a torpedo. Overall, I find this pretty humorous. Watch out, I might knock something over.

And the little nugget inside is moving like crazy this week making my belly into all kinds of shapes. 

5. I'm looking forward to meeting my blogging buddy Elizabeth today! We met through Instagram or blogging a few years ago and are finally meeting for the first time today to do a little hiking. She lives near Portland, so we're meeting about halfway in between.

From last weekend's hike with the manfriend

Do you make your bed every morning? Or do you have any other daily habits that are "must do's?" How do you plan to spend your weekend? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 32

I think I have officially reached that point where reality is setting in. In less than two months, we will have a baby to take care of.

While exciting, it's also terrifying to be frank. Thoughts of parenting, sleep training, breastfeeding, and well THE BIRTH are consuming my brain quite often. And naming a little human? I never realized what big a deal that was. We have a list of boy and girl names we like, but nothing we're dead set on.

Week 32

How I'm feeling: Heavier, but still feeling good in general. Sitting has become increasingly more awkward. The belly and baby are bigger, so it requires reclining to some extent no matter what I'm doing. Baby Moe seems to kick and squirm as if to say "hey, I need more room in here!" Sleep was good this week. I considered any morning I woke up at 5 a.m. or later a victory (even if it did require a nap just a few hours later).

Baby: is the size of a squash (~15.2 to 16.7 inches, 2.5 to 3.8 pounds) and the same range as the last few weeks. Baby was head down with a heartbeat in the 130's at my midwifery appointment.

Weight gained:  23 lb.

I didn't snap a profile photo of the bump this week, so this photo of the manfriend and I from Easter brunch at my grandparents' will have to do.

I got a haircut this week and while I like my stylist, she tends to go a bit chop happy when I request just 2" off. Ugh. Not a fan of the current 'do.

Exercise: Yoga at home, several walks, and a few strength sessions.

I got a sinus infection this week, so my workouts were a little lighter than usual, but I still wanted to keep moving and make sure to give this illness the boot.

What I'm wearing: Much of the same. All maternity items (minus most of my workout gear).

Baby preparations: Another busy week. I washed and folded all of the baby clothes we've received from friends and family. So far, this has been my favorite baby 'to-do' as everything is so tiny and adorable. We also picked up our BOB stroller from REI.

Cravings: All sweets and BBQ flavored popchips.

What's the highlight of your week?

The weather is turning for us today, so I hope to get my hike on and enjoy some sun in the next few days.

Related posts:
Exercise During the Second Trimester
The Third Trimester: Week 31
The Third Trimester: Weeks 29 and 30
The Third Trimester (eeks!)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Exercising During the Second Trimester

Happy Saturday, friends! We're looking out at gloomy skies and rainy streets. I guess it was inevitable that we had to have a rainy weekend at some point. However, tomorrow looks promising.

You may remember I posted about exercise during the first trimester a few months back. While the first trimester brought some changes (predominantly in breathing and pace), the second trimester is where my routine really started to change. It's no surprise that this coincided with an increase in weight and the size of the bump.

The second trimester is considered by most to be weeks 13 or 14  of your pregnancy to the end of week 26. However, I feel like my third trimester (from a fitness standpoint anyway) didn't really start until around week 28. You'll see what I mean in a minute...

Staying strong
Around week 14, doctors recommend pregnant women no longer sleep on their backs because the weight of the little one + the uterus + extra fluid can restrict blood flow to both mom and baby. This also meant that around the 4-5 month mark I started spending less time laying flat on my back, whether it be for strength training, during yoga, or while sleeping.

Body Pump @ the university gym

However, I continued staying strong with my weight training, HIIT workouts (with some modifications: nixing burpees at times, less intense mountain climbers, etc.), and runs. Most of my strength workouts included YouTube videos from the Fitnessista, SarahFit, or the ToneitUp girls.

Push ups became much harder because of the extra weight and eventually turned into knee push ups by the end of the second trimester.

Running to Wogging
At first, I stopped doing Thursday night speed workouts because I simply couldn't run continuously for more than 5 min or so. Gradually, as I neared the end of my second trimester, all of my runs became "wogs" (walk/jogs).

22 weeks

23 weeks

While I would have loved to be one of those women who could sail through 40 weeks of pregnancy running straight through several miles at a time, I think they are few and far between. I was thankful to be running at all through the majority of my second trimester.

24 weeks - 5 mile group run

26 weeks - 4 miles w/ the manfriend

Around week 27 or 28, I headed out from the campus gym for a 4 mile run/walk and several other runners grinned at me and one even threw me the peace sign, so it was clear that the bump was becoming large and in charge to the public. Late in the second trimester, I rarely ran without a belly support band because everything just felt more secure that way.

On the yoga front
This was also about the time that I realized that my typical challenging vinyasa classes were becoming a bit too challenging and fast for this prego to keep up with. Sure, I could still do a lot of the asanas, but the transition from one to the next was at times hard to keep up with.

Instead of giving up on yoga around weeks 27 and 28, I decided to stick to the less challenging classes when it worked into my schedule, use a block as needed, and simply just do my own thing when I needed to. For example, one studio in town tends to incorporate a lot of core work into their classes, usually done lying on the back. I modified this by finding other core work I could do on my forearms or by taking breaks on my side.

Additionally, I stopped fully twisting one elbow to the opposite knee. Not only was it becoming nearly impossible to reach that opposite knee in chair pose or revolved warrior I, but you also don't want to squash the baby, so it just made sense. Instead, I did baby twists originating in my upper back so that I was simply twisting toward that opposite knee.

{FYI: Lindsey has a great post on yoga modifications during pregnancy you may be interested in.}

Water was also a necessity during workouts as my body was getting warmer with my little personal furnace keeping me nice and toasty. While I didn't carry water on my runs, I always brought water to yoga or the gym.

What I wore
By week 20, the bump started to become slightly visible. Slowly but surely, finding something comfortable to wear that covered the bump on runs or at the university gym became more challenging.

What worked for me

  • Sizing up on an Old Navy workout tank and a pair of Zella wide waist band yoga pants
  • Purchasing these maternity yoga pants from Target
  • Relying on my Oiselle and Lululemon tanks + shorts to stretch with the bump

So while the first trimester was more about running through exhaustion, the second trimester was all about being flexible and modifying my routine in order to stay active. 

Related posts:

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 31

In case you missed it, Friday I posted a little look back on my Europe travels, which was a lot of fun. I highly recommend looking back on your favorite trips and just thinking about a few of your favorite moments now and then.

I'm currently 32 weeks along, so let's look back on week 31.

Week 31

How I'm feeling: Pretty good. The belly just keeps growing. Baby Moe is moving a lot, which has me gasping at moments with the strength of some of the kicks and movements, but it's fun none the less.

Baby: is the size of a pineapple (~15.2 to 16.7 inches, 2.5 to 3.8 pounds) and the same range as the last few weeks. He/she also has all five senses now, which is both crazy and cool to think about!

Weight gained:  22 lb.

From my hike w/ mom in Central Oregon

Exercise: Hiking, yoga, weights, and several walks happened this week.

Running is pretty much out of the question at this point. I am still able to jog for short spurts (1 min or so), but it sort of seems pointless and it's not super comfortable, so I'm looking for other creative ways to get my heart rate up (weight lifting, hiking/walking on an incline, aqua jogging, etc.).

What I'm wearing: I'm having to get creative with some of my workout attire, either wearing the same tanks again and again, wearing my Old Navy maternity tanks, or layering my long tanks with a shorter top so my belly is covered up.

Baby preparations: A lot happened this week! We picked up the crib from my old coworker who had offered theirs to us, ordered our Bob jogging stroller from REI, got a mattress pad/cover, met our pediatrician, and started washing some of the baby items. We also got a new chair for the living room so that we (and guests who come to visit) have more room to sit.

Cravings: Sweets and grilled sandwiches (but still trying to get 5-8 servings of veg & fruit per day). I made these NY Times chocolate chip cookies, but didn't let the dough chill. Come on, who thinks 24 hours in advance regarding baking cookies?

Random: My belly button has definitely popped out at this point. And my wedding ring still fits.

On a non baby note...
I finally jumped on The Girl on the Train bandwagon and am really enjoying the book. I totally understand why every blogger I know seems to have recommended it. I don't read a lot of books and I'm already 2/3 of the way through the book after two days of reading!

Besides The Girl on the Train, do you have any other favorite recent reads? What are you looking forward to this week?

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Weeks 29 and 30
The Third Trimester (eeks!)
A Baby Shower
Where does all the weight go?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Reliving Europe

Happy Friday, friends! 

I don't know about you, but every year about the time I took a trip the last year (or the last few years), I have this intense urge to relive it or simply take a similar trip again. This urge mostly happens in the spring months when I'm starting to dream of warmer temperatures and simply being on vacation. Mostly, I dream of Mexico and Europe.

I thought it would be fun to look back on our European honeymoon because lately I've been taking walks down memory lane by scrolling through photos on my phone (I can't bring myself to delete most of them) and on my computer.

So, if I were to hop on a plane tomorrow, where would I want to go and why?

I would jet straight to Siena for the small town feel, an incredible sunrise, and the wine (oh, the wine). Oh, and I can't forget a few slices of fresh from the oven pizza from Menchetti.

I would jet straight to Barcelona for the beach, the best vegan roasted sweet potato lasagna, perfect morning runs along the marina, and hours of sitting inside La Sagrada Familia.

via Teresa Carles (a must if you like good Vegetarian food)

I would jet straight to Lucerne to take the train through Swiss country to Interlaken. The greenest grass, the cutest Swiss homes, and the most perfect cows can be seen along this route. I would then make my way to Gimmelwald and hike among the alps. Memory via 2009 Europe trip.

I would jet straight to Rome for the history.

I would jet straight to Paris to ride bikes up and down the Champs-Elysees and eat banana nutella crepes.

I would jet straight to anywhere in France for the best baguette and cheese I've ever tasted.

I would jet straight to Gerardmer for a relaxing weekend on the lake with the best airbnb host you'll find. Watching the Tour de France wouldn't hurt either.

I would jet straight to Florence for magical little evening walks through the city that land you in some beautiful town square.

The Duomo

And I would jet straight to the Cinque Terre to hike along the coast between all five little cities and then take a swim in the ocean. Memory via 2009 Europe trip.

Okay, that was fun (well, at least for me). Memories relived. 

If you could transport yourself anywhere tomorrow, where would you be? What are you looking forward to this weekend?