Apr 18

Good Friday News

Most of you already know that we’ve been in the process of preparing our house to sell. For the past few months we’ve been tidying up the yard, painting walls, and attempting to declutter the remnants of a toddler’s household. Well, I’m very pleased to announce that we have successfully had our house on the market for two whole weeks now, listed For Sale by Owner, and, as of today, we are officially under contract with a buyer!!!  

 

Yay!!!  Now we celebrate!! 

 

For_Sale_By_OwnerHonestly, the sale of our house is very bitter sweet.  We love our house, neighbors and the part of town where we live, but our circumstances and lives are changing, so a bigger house is necessary and we really want to move near family.  

Something that makes this seem so perfectly timed is the fact that we found the “perfect” home for us to move into upon our closing…..  we will most likely be able to place an offer on it next week.    It meets all our expectations and is plenty big enough to accommodate our growing family and my husband’s need for an at home office.  

This is incredible news and it’s just the kind of thing that makes me giddy and excited for the future.  

I’m rounding the half way mark in my pregnancy and I can finally relax and settle in to realization that God has his hand on our family and He is going to make sure we are taken care of and provided for when the baby arrives.  

I’ve been a little worrisome with the timing process of everything, so I really am relieved to have this taking momentum finally.  

Good_Friday

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend and I wish you all a blessed Good Friday.   For those of you with little children, I want to hear all about how you celebrate with them.  We are doing our first Easter egg hunt with our LO this Sunday at my family’s annual Easter potluck luncheon.   There’s about 70-80 of us Italians that get together every Easter Sunday for a large gathering of food and family.  I’ll have pictures to show the grand scale of it sometime next week..  

My allergies appear to have settled down so I’m back outside running again.  Actually, my workouts have been going very well and I’m even running 2-3 times a week.  I’ve had some wonderful, but slow, runs in the past week, and I’m really enjoying my prenatal yoga courses.  My legs are feeling so great with all the attention to my hips and hamstrings.  It’s complimenting my running quite nicely.  I’ll have a full review of my workouts for you by Sunday.

I want to share something with you that I am totally obsessed with as of lately.  I discovered this mommy/yogi on Instagram a few weeks ago and I just cannot get enough of her pictures and videos.  She is amazing and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with everyday.  She includes her 4 year old daughter in some of her yoga poses and I am mesmerized by their beauty and grace.  It’s heavenly to see their bond through the art of yoga.  If you aren’t on Instagram, this is a big enough reason to begin an account.  

 

When you log on to instagram next, make sure to look me up and follow me.  I post some yoga stuff too, but I don’t look half as graceful and poised as Laura, especially since my poses are baby belly friendly these days.  

What are your plans for Easter weekend?  Anybody racing?

Apr 14

Pregnancy Update – 18 Weeks

There is no denying the fact that I am pregnant.  I have a round little belly and I’m feeling lots of kicks and movement from inside it.  I don’t remember having this big of a belly at this point in my first pregnancy, but everyone I’ve talked to says that happens for many with the subsequent pregnancies.    

Here’s the update up to this point.  

bump_date_18weeks

Weight Gain:  I’ve gained 4 lbs. which completely baffles me, because, as you can see, I’ve grown so much in the midsection.  It’s weird really.  

Body Changes:  I’m popping out a lot more than my last check in.  There’s no denying the fact that I’m preggers, especially if I’m wearing a tight shirt.  As a side note, my c-section scar and the surrounding area has become a little tight.  I’ve been massaging the scar tissue hoping this will help some.  My OB say it’s completely normal.  

Evidently, my body has decided to carry this child much differently than my first.  WIth the first, I gained weight in my thighs and chest before I began to pop.  This time around, I’m just gaining weight in my belly.   I’m much more active this pregnancy than before, so that’s probably the difference.  

Workouts:  I completed two half marathons at the beginning of March, but since the Sarasota half, I’ve been a big fat slacker.  My allergies have made me miserable, so I’ve stayed inside the house and haven’t ran much.  The few runs that I’ve managed have been short and much slower than my typical speed.  I’ve slowed down 30-60 seconds per minute.  It sucks to see the decline on my Garmin, but I’m just happy to be physically able to run.    I am also still completing my weight training and yoga workouts.  I’ve already done a few prenatal classes, which are lots of fun, but not super intense.  

Symptoms: Not too much in this area except my erratic sleeping patterns.  Some mornings I’m up before 5 a.m. and other days I just want to stay in bed until after 9 a.m.  Once I get up though, I have plenty of energy, so that is a big bonus.

Movement:  I’ve definitely been feeling the little kicks and punches for a couple weeks now.  It’s great!  With my first, I didn’t feel any fetal movement until after 20 weeks.  But this little guy/gal is extremely active.  I keep staring at my belly waiting to see movement, but it’s still too early for that.   That’s pretty incredible when it eventually does happen! 

Food Aversions:  None.  I’m eating whatever I want at this point, mostly salads and breakfast food.    

Cravings:  Not too much.  I am thirsty all the time, so I constantly have my water bottle with me.   I’m still snacking on fruit to keep my sweets cravings at bay.  It seems to be helping, because I haven’t eaten any ice cream or cakes yet.   

Sleep:  I’m waking up 1 – 2 times a night, mostly to pee.  I’m beginning to get restless and uncomfortable.  I mostly think it’s from my allergies and the fact that I’ve been stuffed up, but it may be time to break out the pregnancy pillow.  I just discovered how amazing Breathe Right strips can be for me at night, so I’m gonna stick with that and hopefully it will help.  

Stretch Marks:  None  

Latest Checkup:    Nothing special at this past checkup.  My Dr. just checked the heartbeat and asked how I was feeling (my least favorite question).    

Mood:  Happy and excited!  =) 

Looking Ahead:  I’m really looking forward to the 20 week ultrasound and the gender reveal.  (Only a couple weeks away)   We are planning to take our LO so that she can see the baby on the monitor.  We hope that she will begin to understand more about the baby in Mommy’s belly if she can see it on the monitor and hear the heartbeat.  

Here’s what’s happening with baby:

bump_date_18_weeks.bellpepper

 

Were you showing this much in your pregnancy at this point?  When was the point when you “knew” you were pregnant?

Apr 09

Spartan Up! – The New Book by Joe De Sena

***Disclaimer:  I was contacted and asked to help spread the word about Spartan Up! – the book by Joe De Sena.  In exchange for my participation, I will receive a complimentary copy of the book when it is released.  I have only read a small preview of the book, however, all opinions I have are based on what I’ve read and are, as always, my own. 

Instant gratification guides so much of modern-day life. The individual lacking self-control wants things from others now, but they themselves can’t be bothered to put in the work and get shit done. So they shortchange themselves, and our society, time and time again with disastrous long-term results. 

Our self-control pales next to the Spartans. I’m convinced they would have looked at us with disgust and disbelief.   

 

Spartan Races are proving every day, as crazy as it sounds, that the principles that underpin obstacle racing can cure much of what ails America the most. Anybody can be a Spartan, you just need to commit to the way of life the founder of Sparta did.

When people succeed where they thought they could not, positive attitudes are cultivated and strengthened.

As Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king portrayed in Gladiator, noted: “Fire feeds on obstacles…and inversely dies without them.”    

The above section is taken from Spartan Up! 

 

Although, this isn’t an exercise book, Joe De Sena’s hope is that readers will want to put their newfound confidence and capabilities to the ultimate test. We won’t PR at every race or crush every obstacle, but each experience of success or failure can be a profound learning experience.  We become faster, stronger, and more resilient.

Why do a competitive race? Because you might be just dogging it through life. How will you know if you are reaching your full potential? How will you know how you compare to others similar to you? 

Spartan Up – The Book by Joe De Sena is being released on May 17th.

You all should know by now that I’ve worked with Spartan Race in the past and I’m a huge fan of their organization.   I’m pretty excited to share this news coming straight from Joe and his people.  

joe-at-festival-tent

If you’re not familiar with Joe, here’s a little excerpt from Spartan Up! - The Book.  

 

“An entrepreneur from 8 years old Joe has had a passion for life that moves the ball forward against all odds. Born in Queens NY to a yoga teaching, meditation practicing mother and an Italian father that was an uber-entrepreneur, the author learned simple techniques for forging ahead no matter the odds. Find out how a young kid breaks out, builds multiple businesses, changes lives, and eventually partners with military SpecOps.”

 

So other than Joe being the co-founder and driving force behind and the living embodiment of Spartan Race, did you know that he completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultra-marathon, raced the 140.6 miles of Lake Placid Ironman, and finished a 100-mile trail run in Vermont?  He is known as the biggest supporter and mentor to the million hardcore fanatics that define their world around the rules that he has created for them within the Spartan World.  He gets mad respect in my book, and those are just some of the reasons why I know this book is perfect for athletes of all fitness levels and I personally can’t wait to read it.  

 

Spartan Up!  is more than an insider’s view into the world of obstacle racing.  It’s a manual into the Spartan way of life.  It’s designed to help you apply the Spartan way to every aspect of your life.

Everyone wants to be fitter, happier, healthier, and more successful in business and in life. —Spartan Up! gets you there.  

 

Spartan-Up-Book_

In Spartan Up! De Sena gives you a life strategy guide that takes you out of your comfort zone and into a combat zone. As he breaks down obstacles from his many races, detailing how each parallels real life experiences, you will learn how to:

  • conquer your greatest obstacle – your will
  • embrace your greatest friend – discipline
  • make limitations vanish and establish a new normal
  • achieve the ultimate – obstacle immunity

Filled with unforgettable stories of Spartan racers, as well as hard-won truths learned along the course, Spartan Up! will help anyone reach their full potential—in life, business, relationships, indeed anything one sets out to do. It is the blueprint that takes you right past Go to your finish line.

Apr 07

Week in Review March 31 – April 6

I have been slacking big time with my weekly posts lately.  To be completely honest, I’ve been consumed with projects around the house and cleaning, so I really haven’t even considered blogging as a responsibility.  The good news is that we have our house officially listed on the market.  We have even had a few viewings over the weekend, so that makes my slacking completely worth it.  But seriously, I haven’t been slacking that much.  If you even knew the amount of scrubbing and packing and cleaning that I’ve been doing, you’d probably pat me on the back.  (I think I deserve a few of those at this point)  I’ve been a very busy bee.  Even my husband thinks I’ve done some impressive projects.  

Want to know what I’ve done?  Maybe you do, maybe not, but I’m gonna tell ya anyway.  

  • For starters, I cleaned out my car.  For the average person, that’s not a big project, but for us moms, it involves a labor intensive hour of vacuuming and disinfecting.  My automobile is like one large rolling trash bin and laundry basket.  It gets gross in a couple days, so whenever I can, it’s good to give it a thorough cleaning.  
  • After cleaning out the car, I tackled a few other projects around the house that needed some TLC.  One of those very nasty places was my walk-in closet.  Eeeek!  I needed to sweep the floor, organize my shoe racks, pack away my skinny jeans and bikinis (won’t be needing those for a while), and box up some clothing, purses, and hats that I wanted to get rid of.  This project took me half of the day on Thursday.  Thankfully, my hubby was kind enough to take our 2 year old out of the house so that I could focus and actually be productive.  I was very proud of my finished product.  Closet_Collage
  • After the closet was all pretty and organized, I tackled the kitchen, living room and back patio.  This was an easy project.  I just straightened the furniture, put away the toys, swept, vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the sliding glass doors.  

My husband did some projects of his own, one of which included painting a large wall, which I had tried to do myself a previous weekend.  He is so meticulous with projects, and he always does the best work.   The wall looks good as new.  

So with all these things being finally staged and ready for our open house, it was time to take some pictures and set up some showings.  

We placed our ad on ForSalebyowner.com and we finally put the sign up on the lawn.  This is a huge bullet point checked off my punch list.  Then Saturday we had a garage sale/ open house until 2pm.  The garage sale didn’t go as profitable as I had hoped, but the open house was a huge success.  We are feeling pretty good about it.  

After all our garage sale and open house crowds died down, we went shopping and I managed to score some new maternity jeans, jean shorts, and a totally awesome pair of athletic pants from the Jessica Simpson line at Destination Maternity.  After my successful shopping spree, we went to the Apple store to look into upgrading my iPhone.  I’ve been experiencing some issues with the software timing out and slow processing, so I really wanted a new phone.  My husband knew this and he was the one to encourage me to check into upgrading.  As it turns out, I was eligible for an upgrade.  So I sold my old phone to Apple and managed to score the new iPhone 5s for $125.  SCORE!  iphone_5s_new

I’m really excited about my new tech toy, mostly for the awesome camera capabilities,  and I can’t wait to put it to use at my next blogging event.  If you see an improvement in my photo quality from here on out, you’ll know why.  

Now here’s a look at my workouts from last week.  They were sparse, mostly due to my horrendous allergies, but partly because my LO isn’t napping as much as she used to.  I really can’t wait for the April showers to wash away the pollen so I can get back outdoors to run. Of course, then I’ll have the heat to deal with.  =)

 

MONDAY –  45 minute prenatal yoga class on yogaglo.com

TUESDAY –  rest day

WEDNESDAY –  Ran 3.11 miles 10:38 pace  (I’m getting slower.  Don’t know if it’s because I’m barely running or because of the baby belly)

THURSDAY –  6 hours of housework, kettle bell circuit

FRIDAY –  More housework

SATURDAY – Garage Sale/Open House  No rest, but not a workout day.

SUNDAY – Walked around Busch Gardens with the stroller.  Maybe 2.5 miles total.  I need to get a pedometer to really track my usual distance.  

 

How did your workouts go this past week?  Did you have a productive week?

Apr 04

Things You Should Not Say to a Pregnant Woman

Now that I have started to expand in the belly region, it has become abundantly clear to me that there are people who just don’t know how to talk to pregnant women.  There should be a guidebook for unsuspecting individuals on “Things You Should Not Say to a Pregnant Woman.”

This is my second pregnancy, and the second time I’ve been through this stage, but the comments have been completely the same this go round.  For whatever reasons, strangers feel compelled to touch and talk about things they have absolutely no business touching or talking about.  It’s as if being pregnant begs the attention of dozens of individuals, and suddenly your protruding belly becomes public property and topic of all conversation.  

So consider this a guide to inform you about what not to say to those pregnant women who are in the process of trying to grow another human inside their extremely private, and most likely vulnerable bodies.  

What_not_to_say_pregnant_women

 

1.  Can I Touch Your Baby Bump?

No!  You may not touch my belly, especially if I don’t know you.   However, if you are a close friend or family member, I would say that it’s not going to hurt to ask, if you absolutely must touch.  But under no circumstances should you ever just reach out and put your hands anywhere on another human being.  Pregnant or not, personal space is just that….. personal.  In fact, any time you harass, or annoy someone and touching is involved without consent, someone can be charged with harassment.   There was even an instance when a Pennsylvania woman filed charges against a man for his unwanted belly touching.   

It’s best just to respect the woman’s space and only touch when she offers.  Most likely she’ll offer if and when the baby’s kicking.  That’s really the only time that touching is considered not weird anyway.  

2.  Are you sure you’re not having twins?

During my first pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight and many people – strangers, friends and family members – asked if I was having twins.  This is not a question that a woman generally wants to hear.  She is most likely very self-conscious with her changing body and the extra weight gain associated with carrying a baby.  She doesn’t need to hear the additional comments about how she “looks like she’s carrying twins.”  Believe me when I say that she would know if she was carrying twins.  There would be plenty of evidence provided at her prenatal appointments to determine if there were multiples.  Trust me.  

3.  How much weight have you gained? 

(This kind of goes along with number 2)  

Unless you are the practicing OB or nurse practitioner, you have no business bringing up this subject.  This is a topic to be discuss privately between the doctor and patient.  Even if you think the pregnant woman is too thin to be X weeks pregnant, it’s not your place to say so.  You don’t know if she’s been sick, or has another reason for being her size.  

I will always remember a specific instance from my first pregnancy when a complete and total stranger asked me how much weight I had gained.  I was maybe 7 months pregnant at the time.  I was completely mortified that she had the audacity to ask me such a personal question.  I simply told her that I was not comfortable speaking to her about such personal topics.  She continued to tell me how she gained 60 pounds with both her pregnancies  and how it was no big deal.  It was a big deal to me though, and I didn’t want to discuss it with a random woman.  

4.  Are you going to have a natural delivery?

The topic of planning a natural or epidural delivery is very much a hot topic to some.  There are many factors that can be discussed on either side of this debate.  And unless you are comfortable enough to discuss topics like politics and religion with this woman, I strongly urge you to skip the subject of birth plans.  And on that note, just because someone has a specific birth plan, it doesn’t always mean they get to have it their way.  Circumstances that arise later in pregnancy can change and complicate any specific wishes the parents might have previously had planned.  So this conversation really doesn’t make much sense to discuss, IMO.  

5.  Are you going to breastfeed?

Whether or not I will choose to feed my child through a bottle or through my breasts is really not a topic of conversation I’d like to share with most people. This is already another fairly controversial topic, but what difference does it make to a stranger what type of nourishment I decide to provide for my child.   This is a private matter for the parents, midwife, doctor, or wet nurse to discuss.

6.  Are you going to go back to work after the baby is born?

Not everybody has the answers to these type of questions.  And even if they do, what is the objective of asking these questions?  It’s just another pointless attempt at making conversation about a subject that doesn’t concern you.  These subjects can be a sore spot for mothers in many ways.  If she wants to stay home, but just can’t afford to loose her income, this may upset her or make her feel inadequate.  On the other hand, a woman who wants to go back to work, but maybe can’t manage to do so without feeling like she’s abandoning her child too early could feel anguished by this inquiry.  

In conclusion,  I feel that I should clarify my above suggestions.  

There are plenty of scenarios when these questions are appropriate and not considered rude or over stepping your boundaries.   If the preggo mama-to-be is a close personal friend, or a family member, and not shy, most likely she will not be offended when these above topics are discussed or asked of her.  In addition, if she is offering up personal info, like any of the aforementioned topics, feel free to continue on with the momentum of the conversation and ask away…. but be respectful of what she might be offering up and if certain topics are off limits.  

I’d love to know, what do you think are questions that are absurd and off limits.  Did anyone ever offend you with a question or statement?

Apr 01

Five Things I’m Loving Right Now – Including a Springtime Instagram Photo Challenge

This April I am joining in on another Instagram Photo Challenge.  This one is being hosted by The Tampa Bay Bloggers and I’m pretty excited to be participating.  You might remember the photo challenge I did last October.  It was tons of fun and everyone who participated posted some amazing pictures.  These challenges are such a great way to showcase your creativity.    You can join along too if you’d like with me on Instagram and don’t forget to follow the Tampa Bay Bloggers on Instagram and Facebook for more cool blogging events.  

April_Instagram_Photo_Challenge

 

It seems as if my entire house has been turned upside down.  The challenges of packing and cleaning WITH a toddler makes me feel as if all my efforts are wasted.  It takes me twice as long to complete a simple task with her pulling things out of boxes and playing with items like packing tape and newspaper.    It’s frustrating, to say the least.   But thankfully, I can somewhat juggle my attempts with the help of this DVD.  My daughter snuggles on the couch and drops most of her activities whenever Anna, Elsa or Olaf graces the screen.  Thank you Disney for a superior fairy tale that captivates my 2 year old long enough so that mom can get some serious work done.  

Frozen_DVD If you live anywhere near oak trees this season, odds are, you’re witnessing first hand what the pollen and blooming trees have done to a large percentage of the population.  I, unfortunately, happen to be one of those poor souls that suffers from allergies.  For the record, it’s never this bad.  In fact, it’s very rare that I resort to taking allergy medicine every day.  This year, however, has been a total and complete nightmare and I’ve barely been able to breathe due to my reaction to the pollen. Thankfully, there are approved allergy meds that are safe for pregnant and nursing mammas.  Zyrtec is one of them, and I’m so loving it right now.  

Zyrtec_Allergy

 

Best Damn Race just announced that they are expanding to the South Florida region.  This December 14th, you will have the opportunity to earn some more bling from the Best Damn Race crew by running either a 5k, Half Marathon or a Full Marathon in beautiful Cape Coral, Florida.  Registration will open on April 14th at 12:00 p.m.  

Don’t forget that I am an ambassador for them, so I’m sure I’ll have a discount code available soon too.  Mark your calendar now.  This is another event you won’t want to miss.  

Best_Damn_Race_Cape_Coral_2014

Baseball is back!  

Please excuse the abnormally large font.  I’m just really excited for some quality sports to be back in my life.  I’ve missed baseball and I’m so excited to have my Tampa Bay Rays representing back in the American League.  Also, I’m really looking forward to going to our first game.  It’s been a while and I’m itching for a ball game.  It just goes hand in hand with Springtime and the weather.  Whoop Whoop!!!  

Welcome_Back_Baseball

What are you really loving on this week?

Mar 31

My Pregnancy Bucket List

With this being my second pregnancy, people often ask me if there’s anything different this time around.  For the most part, no, there is not much difference between this pregnancy and my first.  But I do have a different point of view with certain things and I’m choosing to make different choices to prepare for our little addition.   I didn’t really have a pre-pregnancy bucket list before my first daughter, but I have come to realize that it’s very important to get some things done before a new child arrives.  Let’s face it, you don’t get a lot of free time once a newborn comes into the picture.  The addition of a second child is going to be another huge transition for our little family, so I thought it would be a good idea to write up my bucket list for this pregnancy.  

We don’t want to call this a to-do list, because I just don’t know if I’ll have enough time to complete all the items in our time frame.   With us trying to sell the house and move before our “deadline”,  certain things might get pushed to the back burner, but I’m going to try my best to complete everything I can, Lord willing.  pregnancy_bucket_list

 

Spend plenty of one-on-one time with my daughter.   With the addition of another child comes along the difficulties of balancing the needs of both the children.  Obviously, I don’t want my daughter to feel like she’s being replaced, or that another child is taking precedent over her needs.   I’m certain there’s going to be some things we just won’t be able to control or balance out.  When you decide to have a second child, your time is destined to be divided between both your kids.  So we are trying to spoil her a little bit and let her get lots of fun activities on the schedule in the next few months.  I can’t help but sneak in all those extra little private snuggles and quiet mother/daughter times while I can.  I’ll miss them when they’re gone.  

Take Professional Maternity Photos  I wasn’t very pleased with the effects that pregnancy had on my body (and self esteem) during my first pregnancy.  I was afraid to gain weight and was self conscious about my expanding mid-section.  As someone who struggled with her weight, pregnancy was a difficult transition for me to get used to, and I just didn’t want physical evidence of my uncomfortable stages back then.  

This time, however, I have embraced the changes in my body.  I can now enthusiastically take monthly bump pictures to track my progress without overanalyzing my figure.  

I hadn’t really considered doing maternity pictures until my hubby asked if I wanted to do them.  And after thinking about it, I really want to do it!  Specifically, I am excited for the ones where my daughter can share in the event.   Those will be treasured forever.  <3

Sign Rossi up for Swim Lessons  She is going to be three years old this fall (OMG,  I can’t believe that), and it’s past due time for her to learn.  Living in Florida, every other house has a pool and I will just feel more at ease once she masters that survival skill.  Obviously, it would be best to teach her now before a new sibling complicates the process.  I want to be able to give her my undivided attention during this phase, and since summer is 12 weeks away, now is a prime time to do so.  

Potty Train Rossi  Another skill that would put us at ease before summer time (and before our second is birthed) is the potty training phase.   We’ve been making progress here and there, but it still isn’t a fully developed habit.  She will have 2-3 good days, then exhibit a challenging behavior the following days.  It’s been loads of fun (insert sarcasm here).  Our objective is to have her out of diapers completely, before the arrival of a new diaper wearing babe.  

Draft a Will  This is pretty self explanatory.  We have yet to complete our will.  I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t like to think about stuff like this, but if something should happen, I think our children deserve their parents to make the decisions about what should happen to them.  It’s about that time for us.  (Wow!  I feel like I’m getting so old.)

Learn How to Sew  This is one of my new year’s resolutions, and I don’t think I’ll ever get to it, if I don’t do it soon.  The objective is to be capable to tackle more projects with the kids in mind.  I’m talking about halloween costumes, Pinterest projects, making that quilt I’ve wanted to make, and all those missing buttons and unraveling hems that need tending to.  

This is not a priority, but it’s definitely something I’d really like to do for myself, as a helpful mothering skill.  

Take a Photography Class  Before Rossi was born, we didn’t have a professional grade camera.  We made the investment around the time of her first birthday and we were WOW’ed by the difference.  There’s dozens of features and settings that I just don’t know anything about, so I read a couple how-to books for beginners, but now I really want a hands on class to soak in some more knowledge and put it to the test.  The majority of my pictures are done with my iPhone, but I’d love to be capable of profession grade pictures for our family photo albums.  

This list may sound a little frivolous to some, but to us, it’s a small investment of time and money into parts of our lives that make us feel relaxed and happy.   It’s no big secret that having children is tough,  so anything that gives you piece of mind and security in your efforts is worth the time and effort.  

 

Did you have any bucket list items for your time before baby?

 

Mar 27

NYC Here I Come!

Imagine my shock as I open up my email inbox yesterday and read the preview on my acceptance message from NYRR.  

NYRR_Acceptance_email

 

I literally said “WHAT?”  (with a high pitch shrieking sound)

This wasn’t supposed to happen.  I was supposed to get rejected and told to try again next year.  At least that’s what I thought would happen on the first year I attempt to enter the TCS New York City Marathon lottery.  You might ask why I entered the lottery.  Well, my plan was to one day run the NYC Marathon.  And runners who have been denied entry through the lottery three years in a row are guaranteed a spot in the marathon.  My thought process was that I would most likely be denied for 2014, 2015 and 2016.   Then that would make my entry guaranteed for 2017.  That’s plenty of time to train, right?  (I joke)   But seriously.  I’m pregnant.  I am actually due to give birth nine weeks before the November 2nd race date.   Do you think I’ll be ready to run 26.2 nine weeks after delivering a baby?   I don’t think so.  I don’t know how I’ll feel about running 2.62 miles nine weeks after birthing a baby.  

WTF?  

What kind of dumb luck do I have to have to get selected for the lottery from one of the most difficult races to gain access.  Competitor estimates that 1 in 6 entries are accepted.   Maybe I should play the real lottery.  

So what are my choices?  Well….. I can defer to 2015 and be guaranteed entry, BUT (and this is a big but) I will have to pay a second time.  Yep, you heard that right.  I won’t be refunded for this year’s entry.  There’s no grace period, no mercy rule, no refunds or exchanges.  It’s just my dumb luck. 

NYRR_Race_Acceptance_2014

 

Oh well….. it’ll be a good story for my kid one day.  He can tell his friends how his mom missed out on running the NYC Marathon in 2014.  BUT (here’s another big but) I will run the NYC Marathon…… in 2015!!!  

Yay!  

My first full marathon is going to be the NYC Marathon.  (Happy Dance)  

How much of a post-pregnancy motivator is that gonna be?  

It’ll be just like after the first pregnancy when I - on a whim – decided to start training for a half marathon.  

So even though I won’t be running NYC this fall with the half dozen other folks that I know, I will run it one day.  That’s for sure.  And that makes me extremely happy and looking positively towards my running future.  

Do you know anyone who was accepted to the NYC Marathon?

Mar 24

2014 Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay Race Recap

Last year, I had wanted to run this race, but it was scheduled on the same day as another local race – the one where I PR’ed and almost ran a sub 2:00.  So when the opportunity arose for me to run the Sarasota Half Marathon this year with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I jumped at the opportunity.  

I drove over to my parents house on Friday morning and dropped off the toddler, then headed over to Fit2run in Sarasota to pick up my race bib and packet.   My parents were going to keep my daughter for the weekend so that my hubby and I could finish up some house projects on Saturday, which we did.  That evening I drove back to my parents house and spent the night with them – they live closer to Sarasota, so the morning drive to the start line would be shorter from their house.  

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and readied myself for the morning.  I ate a PB & banana sandwich and drank my coffee.  I made my Nuun, gathered my race gear and got on the road by 4:45.  

I arrived in Sarasota a little before 5:30 and decided to park at a garage 0.7 mi away from the start line.  There was already bumper to bumper traffic on Tamiami Trail (near the start/finish at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center), so I parked where I could get easy access.    Thankfully, there was a bus providing shuttle service to the start line from the garage, so I hopped on and waited briefly for our short journey to the start.  

Unfortunately, the bus ride took a lot longer than expected due to the massive amount of traffic on Tamiami Trail.  After waiting a good 10-15 minutes on the bus without much advancement, the entire bus load of race participants exited and decided to walk the remainder of the way.  I ended up losing quite a bit of time between walking  to the start and waiting in an enormous port-a-potty line.  When I eventually made my way to the starting coral at 6:45, I found myself waaayy back past the 13 min pace group.   I decided to settle in where I was and just roll with it.  

We waited for a few minutes after 7:00 for the start to commence, then we were off to a slow congested start.  Being towards the back of the pack, I had a lot of maneuvering to do through the crowd.  The course starts off at Van Wezel and heads South over the John Ringling bridge to St. Armands Circle and then back again to Van Wezel.   I loved this part of the course.  The sun was just beginning to break when we crossed the bridge.  It was beautiful.  

Immediately following the loop at St. Armands Circle, I found a bathroom and emptied the tank.  I figured it was better now than later when bathrooms are more scarce.  When I jumped back on course, I ran into a few of my running buddies.  We chatted for a few miles while we made our way back over the bridge and back to Tamiami.

I ended up running the first few miles a little faster than I had anticipated.  Maybe it was the weaving in and out of runners in the first mile, or maybe it was the group of friends I bumped into that temped me to keep their pace.  Either way, I felt a little fatigued by the 6th mile and I wanted to take a walk break.  I didn’t do it though; I held off for a few more miles.  By this part of the course, we were headed North on Tamiami up to the Ringing Museum.  This part of the course is kinda blah.  There’s not much to look at besides the store fronts and oncoming traffic.  I tried to zone out and focus on my form.  Turning up my music helped.  I kept up a decent pace and lost myself by the time we turned into a beautiful neighborhood near the water.  

My Garmin beeped at the 9 mile mark and I decided that it was time to take another pit stop.  My bladder was feeling the pressure with every single step, since around the 7th mile.  It was long overdue at this point.  

(It’s amazing how easy it was to stifle the urge to go before I was pregnant, but there’s absolutely no way I could make it through an hour of running now, especially with all the liquids I had to ingest to prevent dehydration, at least without risking the possibility of soaking my running crops)   

I waited to see when the next port-a-potty would pop up.  Thankfully, I spotted one not too far out.  I  managed to get in and out in record time and back on the course.    

As we weaved in and around this beautiful tree lined neighborhood, I noticed a green haze of pollen falling from the oak trees with every gust of wind.    Pollen is my arch nemesis and I cringed at the potentially dreadful aftermath  I would face if that allergen entered my airways.  I hadn’t taken any allergy medicine that day, so I prayed that I would make it to the finish before I encountered any repercussions.  To my surprise,  I wasn’t phased a bit.    

I started to take minute long walk breaks for every water station I hit.   It definitely helped me conserve my energy, but I was still sputtering out.  

First_Watch_Sarasota_Half_Marathon

Somewhere around the 11th mile I heard someone call my name from behind;  I smiled when I noticed that it was my girlfriend Chrissy.  I was so happy to bump into a familiar face.  We were both fading and I really just needed someone to keep me moving forward at this point.  She admitted to me that she wasn’t really able to talk, and I was glad, because I felt the same way.  We silently pushed each other the rest of the way through to the finish line and then immediately met up with Denise and some others to rest up and take some pictures near the water.    

One thing is for sure.  I was glad to be done.  This was my last half of the year (most likely) and it felt good to accomplish it at 14 weeks pregnant.  I was proud of myself for sticking with it and finishing yet another thirteen point one. The course was really very nice, and the weather was cool enough to make for a pleasant experience.  I really liked the start/finish being hosted at Van Wezel.  This is a perfect location for a finish line party.  Being right on the water makes for a nice, relaxing finisher party. 

After chatting and taking pictures with some of the Suncoast Striders, I made my way over to where the Best Damn Race Ambassadors were meeting.  We had previously planned to meet up and grab breakfast together post race, so we were gathering together to make our way there soon.  We ended up at First Watch (go figure), and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast with a group of pretty awesome people.    It was a great way to end the morning.  

Sarasota_Half_Marathon_Bloggers

Beth, Meghan, Nanci, Caitlyn, Yours Truly, Chrissy, Denise, and Brad.
Representin’ the Tampa Bay Bloggers

Sarasota_Half_Marathon_Finisher_pic

 

Disclaimer:  Through the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received a complimentary entry to the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay in exchange for my honest review. As always, the opinions shared on this blog are my own.

Mar 19

Welcome to the Second Trimester! Weeks 13 – 27

Ah…  The Second Trimester…..  At Last.  

Second_Trimester

 

This is the moment when most women smile and sigh in relief.  We have made it to the second trimester.   Pregnancy begins to feel more like a blessing and less like a crippling disease.    The morning, afternoon,  evening or all-day sickness has likely faded and the expanding belly shows evidence of an actual growing baby inside the womb.   Most likely, your energy levels have returned back to normal and you’ve regained control of your increasingly sensitive bladder (for the most part).  The risk of miscarriage dramatically decreases at this phase and the joys of gestation begin to settle in with the mother-to-be.   Along with the second trimester, comes a whole new list of symptoms to become familiar with.  If you haven’t already experienced them, you might be starting to struggled with symptoms like heartburn and constipation.  In addition, newer symptoms like leg cramps, gum sensitivity, dizziness, forgetfulness, breathlessness, vivid dreams, and overall emotional sensitivity (break out the tissues) may be making an appearance during this trimester.  

If these symptoms make you apprehensive for the weeks to come, relax and take comfort that this is the joyful stage of pregnancy, often called the “honeymoon” phase.  Around the 17th week, you’ll begin to feel those little jabs and kicks from inside the uterus, and by 20 weeks, your ultrasound tech will be able to detect the anatomy and gender of your growing baby, if you elect to make that discovery.  This is when most parents begin making decisions about baby names, nursery decorations, baby showers,  maternity photography sessions, and gender reveal parties.  This is when the real fun begins.  

What about me?

As far as the workouts are concerned, running is still considered safe and pleasant (for me).  I’m even debating registering for one last half marathon before I can’t handle the distance anymore.  (Maybe Athleta Iron Girl?)  

I am continuing with my strength training exercises, but I have to start modifying some of the positions to accommodate my expanding midsection.  This mama tweeted a great little core workout from Emma at BeMomStrong for me to start implementing into my training plans, and I love it. I’ve also been adding in a lot of squats, lunges and yoga stretches to keep my lower half strong enough to support the upcoming additional weight.  

I’m looking forward to the next few doctor appointments and my exciting gender reveal in 6 more weeks.  I’ll have another update with bump pictures soon.  

Something I’m really loving is the fact that I am discovering so many other pregnant runners and bloggers in my social networks.  There’s a few that are even due in September, like me.  It’s awesome to share some of these milestones with other ladies.

 

Do you know anyone else that is expecting this fall?

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