The Post ALL About Running

Race season is only a few months away & I CANNOT WAIT.

I have already started adding races to my calendar, and I know that the number will only increase. I swear it’s like a drug, once you sign up for one you just can’t stop signing up for more. I’ve been bit by the racing bug. Winking smile

So far, this is what I have in the line up:

September 21st: Miracle Miles 15K– Orlando, FL

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November 10th: (Gabriella will be a YEAR old by then! OMG) Baldwin Park Half Marathon

December 7th: OUC Half Marathon

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I emailed Craig the dates and said ‘I have races these dates.’ He wrote back & said ‘races?’ To which I responded ‘Halfs.’ I just got a response of ‘?’ I went on to explain that I was planning my races out, and that these were what I had so far. And that ‘halfs’ meant half marathon. 

Isn’t it funny how, as a runner, we just assume what other people know what we are talking about when we use our ‘running lingo?’ Like when I have said ‘PR’ before and people look at me like I’m crazy. Or my favorite term has to be ‘fartlek.’ I LOVE people’s reaction to that one. I feel like they are anticipating having to hold their nose. Winking smile 

Now for some other races that I’m looking at potentially running, it will just depend on our schedules. Trying to coordinate three different people’s lives can be tough sometimes, even if one is only 8 months old. Smile

Tour De Pain – 3 races, 2 days, back to back (4 miles Friday night, 5K Saturday morning & 1 Mile Sizzler Saturday night) This one will just depend on Craig’s travel schedule, he MAY be out of town the following week, so I would feel bad for going to Jacksonville for the weekend if he were to leave the following Monday.

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Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon

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Jacksonville Bank Marathon  (I REALLY want to do this one, it will just depend on if we have any plans for New Years, only because this one is December 29th)

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U Can Finish 5 miler & 2 miler (Distance Challenge)- at UCF- YAY! Go Knights!
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After confirming some dates with Craig and letting him know that I still had a few more that I wanted to register for, he thought I was off my rocker. So I had to explain it in ‘Craig terms.’ I said that running & especially running in races was like my form of football. I LOVE it, I live it, I breathe it…and if you know me I talk about it…a LOT. Open-mouthed smile (If you’re a runner you know what I mean)

Once I phrased it that way, he totally understood. I also said that all of my running really does have a reason- a method to my madness. He just replied with ‘make sure you are eating. A lot.’ Smile

So I wanted to find out from you, what races do you have planned?? Anything this fall?

Any favorite races out there? Any that you would say are MUST RUNS? I MUST run the Cincinnati Flying Pig marathon at some point in my life…I’m HOPING that it will be next year. (It’s in the spring)

We Got a BOB!

Welcome to a new week!

This weekend was pretty on the go for us. My Mom & Aunt came down and we went to the Winter Park Art Festival. It wasn’t as good as I remembered it, just a LOT of paintings…not much crafts. I just remember that two years ago there were more crafts & ‘fun stuff.’ But it was still nice to get out- it was absolutely gorgeous outside.

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Gabriella was her usual ‘social’ self and again was in the Ergo the whole afternoon. 😉

Other than that, I had an AWESOME run on Saturday morning- ran all 5 miles (I had planned to do at least 6 or 7, but my Mom & Aunt arrived earlier than I thought…but it ended up being a very good thing because I pushed myself to get home faster 🙂 ) under 8 minutes, and then my last mile was in 6:45! I was pretty happy and the best part was that I wasn’t tired at all- could of kept running for much longer.

Speaking of running, guess what we got?!

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A BOB!!! It was an early Baptism gift from Mike, Steph & Nathan. I must say, I think it may end up being our MOST used gift for Gabriella. I already go running twice a day- well, at least once…and usually twice (or a do a long walk, if I did a long run in the morning) so it is going to pack on some miles!

I couldn’t wait to show Gabriella her new gift when she got up the next morning. I knew she would love it! 😀

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How goofy does she look?! Haha! The flash always makes her have the funniest faces. 🙂

We took it for a test drive that morning…and it worked like a charm. I had a sleeping baby in about 10 minutes. LOVE that! Perfect for nap time 😉

Afterwards I figured we would take some more pictures of it…G found her feet FAR more interesting that looking at the camera. Like I said…her new best friends.

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(don’t worry, she was strapped in during the run 🙂 )

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That picture above just makes me laugh. She’s like ‘c’mon Mom…this is getting ridiculous.’ 😀

I picked out the Plum color for the Ravens. I almost went with the Orange, because it’s nice & bright…but then I saw plum & well, I’m a bit obsessed with purple.

Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying this gift VERY much! It is SO much lighter than the other stroller I was using- like my brother in law said ‘It just glides across the pavement.’ So true, so true.

Anyways, yesterday was a bit emotionally draining…I don’t know exactly what it was, but I’ll talk about it more tomorrow. It’s Monday, no sense in getting into deep conversation.

I hope you all enjoy your day…and that you can make the most of this Monday!

Quitting the Gym

So I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided to put my gym membership on hold for now.

The reason being is that I am only able to get there once, maybe twice a week. Since I’ve had Gabriella I’ve really picked up the amount of running that I’m doing because I can take her with me! She can’t go to the gym with me, but I can take her in the stroller for runs. She LOVES her morning runs with me.

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(holding onto the strap- haha! Like a rollercoaster ride 😉 )

She’s really gotten used to the stroller (I have an adapter for my City Mini Babyjogger stroller), and she sometimes will just take her morning nap in the stroller if our run is long enough.

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I couldn’t believe it, but she napped the entire 15K that I did the other day. I could of kept running, but my legs were starting to get really heavy. It’s funny because now I will just keep running & running if my little lady is sleeping! Nothing like a good morning nap to make for a VERY happy baby later.  …the things you do for your child….like running until you feel like your legs may fall off 😉

Anyways, back to my gym membership decision.

Since I have a nice weight collection at home – 5lbs., 8lbs., 12lbs., 15lbs., 20lbs- and a Stability ball there are a TON of exercises that I can still do.

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(the 20lbs. dumbbells are missing, I just picked them up on Saturday when I decided to suspend my membership)

And the best part is Gabriella laughs & laughs at me as I do weights. She’s thinks I’m pretty funny looking 😉

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At first I was all about keeping my membership, because there are some exercises that I will no longer be able to do. (lat pulldowns, leg presses, elliptical machine, stair stepper, etc.) BUT there are alternatives to these exercises & I will be saving $35 a month! For only being able to go to the gym about 4-8 times a month…I can’t justify spending that. I mean we do have diapers to buy 😉

This weekend was my last day at the gym for a while, so I thought I’d put together a pretty intense workout to end with.

I put the amount of weight I used in parenthesis, just as a guide. If you have any questions about the exercises, please ask!

Gym Workout
(I put the super sets in two different colors so you can tell what you do together)

Squats: 4 sets- 1 warm up set of 15 (65lbs.) ; 3 sets of 10 (95lbs.)
Supersetted with Upright Rows: 3 sets of 12 (20lbs.)

Chest Presses: 4 sets- 1 warm up set of 15 (55lbs.); 3 sets of 10 (65lbs.)
Supersetted with Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 10 (70lbs.)

Walking Lunges with Plate Above Head (35lbs.): 3 sets of 12 – each leg
Supersetted with Calf Raises on Machine: 4 sets of 15 (90lbs.)

Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 12 (20lbs. each dumbbell)
Supersetted with Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets of 12 (70lbs.)

Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 15 (bodyweight)
Supersetted with Crunches on Bosu ball (pulling 40lbs. behind head using cable): 3 sets of 25

Situps on Incline Bench holding plate: 3 sets of 15 (35lb. plate)
Tri setted with Side to side crunches on incline bench: 3 sets of 10- each side (holding 10lb. plate)
Tri setted with Standing Oblique crunches holding plate: 3 sets of 15- each side (35lb. plate)

Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 20 (20lbs.)
Supersetted with: 3 sets of 21’s (30lb. barbell)

Decline Reverse Crunches: 3 x 10

Hamstring Curls on Machine: 3 sets of 12 (60lbs.)
Supersetted with Adductor Machine (the awkward inner thigh machine): 3 sets of 25 (50lbs)

Once I finished this workout I headed home, fed G$, and then set out for a run with Craig.

Craig ended up pushing her in the stroller, it was his first time ever running with her in it & he was AMAZED at how much of an upper body workout it is. I told him, ‘It’s no joke! It’s a full body workout! And it’s no wonder my speed has increased so much.’ I mean it’s pretty much pushing an additional 20lbs…easily.

Since he took her I was able to do 1200m repeats. OUCH. After the leg work I did in the workout above, combined with 1200m repeats (+ 1 mile warm up & 1 mile cool down) I was D-O-N-E! Thank goodness for rest days on Sunday! I still try to do some kind of activity on Sunday, usually a walk in the park with G, and my legs were definitely feeling it…even with just a walk. (& my tush from those lunges…oof!)

I also wanted to share with you an at-home workout that I did last week. These are more of the types of workouts that I will be sharing from now on. I love full body workouts (I’m sure you can tell by now), but I’m going to try to split up my workouts in the upcoming months- like back/ biceps, tricpes/ chest, abs/ shoulders & leg- all on separate days. Just so I can focus more on these muscle groups each day.

At Home Workout

(Again, I put the super sets in two different colors so you know what to do together)

Crossbody Hammer Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 15
Supersetted with Tricep Dips: 3 x 15

Dumbbell Curls from the side: 3 x 12 (Lift dumbbells from the side, rather than front, and at the same time)
Supersetted with Dumbbell Upright Rows: 3 x 12

1 legged Deadlift holding dumbbells: 3 x 12 (each leg)
Supersetted with Plie Squats with doing Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 x 12

Stability Ball Pass: 3 x 15
Tri setted with Crunches with Legs in Air : 3 x 15
Tri setted with Crunches with legs on Stability Ball: 3 x 15

Dumbbell Rows: 3 x 12
Supersetted with Front Raises: 3 x 15

Weighted Jack knife sit ups (hold dumbbell in hands): 3 x 12
supersetted with Russian Twists: 3 x 12 (each side) ( I used a dumbbell)

I also finished up with cardio- 3 miles – FAST- 24:22- 8:07 pace. (2 miles under 8 minutes- woo!)

So there ya go…two new workouts for you! Please let me know if you try them…would love to hear feedback!

PS: I added a ‘Workout Log,’ so if you are wondering what I’m up to for workouts, you can check there.

My Crohn’s Disease Post Pregnancy

Finally. Can you believe it? I’m FINALLY writing this post about my Crohn’s Disease post pregnancy! 😀

If you have been reading my blog (& previous blog) for a while, you know that I have Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed at 16 years old, and for the past 10 years it has been pretty severe. I was on some pretty strong medications, and at one point the disease was so bad that I couldn’t even drive. Which means I had to actually work from home at one point because it was so bad.

But in February 2012 I found out I was pregnant! 😀 It was actually on Leap Day- how cool, right?

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I was a little nervous about my Crohn’s disease. You really are not supposed to try to get pregnant if your Crohn’s disease is flaring up. My Crohn’s was definitely no where near being in ‘remission’ & I was having a LOT of issues with it when I found out I was pregnant. I immediately stopped taking all medication for it, until I spoke to my gastroenterologist.

I was able to get into my gastro’s office the very next day so that we could discuss everything. He informed me that typically when patients with Crohn’s get pregnant their symptoms either ‘hide’ during the pregnancy OR they get worse. That’s what scared me. I did NOT want the disease to get any worse…it was already pretty bad. But either way, I was going to do whatever was best for my baby.

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After speaking with my doctor, and having him answer all of my questions he put me back on the really mild medication, Asacol. I was on the medication years ago, but it was too mild to treat my symptoms. It was really the only ‘safe’ medication for pregnancy. There are other medications that you CAN be on during pregnancy, if your Crohn’s starts to flare up. If your symptoms are so severe that you are losing a bunch of weight & nutrients, obviously you have to do what is best for your body- and that may mean being on a stronger medication. If you are so ill from the disease while pregnant, obviously your baby is not getting the nutrients that it needs, so you need to do what is best for your illness, which could be a stronger medication. (& that’s OKAY! Do not get too hard on yourself!!- stress during pregnancy is NOT good)

Thankfully my Crohn’s actually went into remission during my whole pregnancy. I could NOT believe it. I had NEVER felt better in my ENTIRE life. I felt like a whole new woman. I didn’t need to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I didn’t have to miss events because of the disease, I was able to truly ENJOY every second of being pregnant & not having to worry about the disease.

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But in the back of my mind I kept wondering how things would be once I delivered my little girl. I was worried, not going to lie. I CANNOT imagine how it would be to take care of a newborn while living with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Having to constantly be in the bathroom while caring for a newborn would be impossible.

Fast forward to now. G is 10 weeks today. (HOLY COW does time FLY.) And I’m still in ‘remission’ from the disease. I’m amazed. I always said she was my little miracle baby, because of how she ‘took away’ my Crohn’s disease during my pregnancy, but she really has no idea (yet!) of what a MIRACLE baby she really is. (for way more reasons that just the Crohn’s, but there are way too many reasons to list 🙂 )

A lot of people thought I was absolutely INSANE for starting to jog/ run at 2 weeks postpartum. But, do you want to know the real reason?? It’s because I CAN. I honestly cannot tell you how long it has been that I was just able to go out & ENJOY a run without having to know where every single bathroom was along my run. And honestly I haven’t been able to run outside for a LONG time- I always had to run on the treadmill- due to needing a bathroom near by.

I did run during my pregnancy…actually up until the day she was born. (I even did a run the morning we went into the hospital to have her 🙂 ) But I thought the whole idea of running outside was just a temporary thing…that once she was delivered, I would be back to the treadmill.

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(weekend before we had her- that was after our run as a little family. Craig went with me 🙂 )

Well, I was wrong. & I’m SO SO SO glad I was!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

No longer do I take running for granted. When I was in high school, on the cross country & track teams, I never really valued how LUCKY I was to be ABLE to run. I really never even thought about NOT being able to run.

Now every time I go for a run I cherish it. Whenever I really don’t feel like going for a run (which is VERY rare these days), I just remind myself of the times when I couldn’t run & that just makes me want to run longer.

G & I run daily and I love every minute of our runs. She is my favorite running partner. 🙂 I feel like she remembers when we would go for runs when she was still in my belly…haha! I think she was born a runner.

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(out for a run this past week. She’s a lucky girl..gets to go for a run in her pj’s 😉 )

I love that I get to run with her. She makes me smile the ENTIRE run. I’ve actually had people that I know that have seen me out running with her tell me how they saw me smiling & they could just see my love for her. Melted my heart!

I really hope that the disease continues to stay in remission. I just know that it has really put things into perspective, and it makes me appreciate the littlest things SO much more.

A Weekend in the Kitchen

Sorry I haven’t written part two of my labor story…I have left you hanging. But this weekend has been non stop!

Saturday was an AWESOME day! I started out with a run- 4 miles in 33:30- less than a month after having Gabriella! I feel like I’ve got my running mojo back 😉 Usually I take G with me in the jogging stroller, but yesterday since Craig was home he said he would watch her while I went running. It was kind of weird not having the stroller…but nice- it’s tough running with a stroller!

Once I got home I was able to take a shower & shave my legs….you have to understand it’s the little things that make SUCH a difference with a newborn 😀 So to have Craig on baby duty so that I could have some free time was really nice.

The rest of my Saturday was spent hanging out with G, cleaning, cooking dinner, then hanging out with Craig when G went down for a nap.

Today was BUSY BUSY BUSY!! Craig’s office has their holiday breakfast tomorrow & people from his group pay me to bake a bunch of breakfast items because they know how much I love baking…and it’s easier for them 🙂

So right when I got up I got to work in the kitchen- I knew I would have minimal time between watching G, feeding G & trying to get all of the items baked…so it was go time right away!

Here are the items that I made:

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Cranberry Bliss Bars (by my lovely twin, Liz…not really my twin…it’s a long story. 🙂 )

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Mini Eggnog Doughnut Muffins

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Red Velvet Santa Hat Brownies (which I found yesterday on beloved Pinterest 😉 ) Oh & this made a lot more, I just didn’t get them all in the picture.

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Andes Mint Cookie Bars- used the recipe on the back of the Andes Mint chips (near the chocolate chips)- but made them into bars into of cookies.

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Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake Copycat Recipe 

I have had this before & it’s REALLY good!! I decided to make it into a bundt cake instead of using two loaf pans. I had not iced it yet ..only because I will ice it in the morning before Craig takes it in. You know glaze doesn’t really look good the next day.

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Triple Berry Coffee Cake – a recipe that I have made for the past three years for his office. This is always a request 🙂

I am also making a monkey bread in the morning- I’m sure you all know what that looks like.

Because I was making all of this, I had to taste test each recipe just to make sure everything tasted ok 😉 I can honestly tell you that I HIGHLY recommend ANY of the recipes above! Hopefully they will all be a hit with his co workers as well!

Gotta say I definitely don’t mind spending an entire day in the kitchen…in fact I love it! 😀

As you can see, I’ve had a busy, but wonderful weekend! It’s also fun to see how much Gabriella is growing- I tell her to slow down everyday. Lately she has been ROCKING her ‘tummy time!’ This girl is a pro!

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She’s been holding her head up for over a minute & she is just so alert- I love it!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well- hard to believe it’s already December! I promise that part two of my labor story will be coming very soon!! 🙂