After sulking over not being able to run a half marathon this Spring, last week I decided I wanted to run some kind of race.  I knew it was the weekend of the Geist half marathon and 5k that many people in my area run, but I didn’t want to run that race because I think it is overly priced for a 5k and I didn’t want to deal with the crowds.  Instead, I decided to search and see if there were any others that were available.  Through my search, I was pleased to find a 5k in Pendleton, which is about 25 minutes north of me.  This race was also much smaller, cheaper and for a very good cause (this is important to me, especially if I am paying for a short race).  So, I decided to sign up for the race: For the Love of Andrea, Big May 5k.

The inaugural race was put on for a woman who is my age that was injured in the State Fair collapse last August.  You kind find her story here.  After reading her story, I knew I made the right choice and my $25 would go towards a good cause– she is inspiring!

So, Saturday morning, I woke, squeezed into my “getting tighter” running shorts, stretched my hot pink running top (Pink is Andrea’s favorite color and people where pink for her) over my “improving” belly, and laced up my shoes.  I hopped into my car and made the sunny, peaceful drive to the race.  I had no expectations of the race.  I knew it was going to be small, which was good.  I was also a little nervous to run a race because I hadn’t been running very fast anymore.  In fact, I don’t even wear my Garmin anymore when I run because my competitiveness gets me upset at my pace and I feel frustrated.  I kept telling myself on the drive, “just run, don’t worry about passing people or your time, just run and enjoy it.”  This pep talk turned into my plan: enjoy the run!

I arrived to the race and was excited to find a close parking spot.  I picked up my bib and was sad to find out that had run out of tee shirts, but they will be mailing mine.  Yes, I am a race shirt junkie and keep ALL of my shirts.  As I stood around for the race to start, I was surprised by the amount of people.  When I signed up they had just reached 400, which was their goal.  By Saturday, the had reached over 700 people!  There were tons of people in their pink for Andrea- pink shoe laces, pink tutus, pink hair ribbons.  There were even a few groups that were running for people who were killed in the State Fair accident.  As I was waiting, there were several people who spoke about Andrea’s journey.  I was inspired and very emotional.

The race started by Andrea herself sending the runners off.  She then went to the back of the pack and walked the race herself.  If you read her story, this is amazing that she was able to do this.   When I saw her, I knew that I could do this, and it didn’t matter what time I did it in, but that I was healthy enough to do this- things were put into perspective.  The support of the community of Pendleton was touching.  The majority of the houses had hot pink ribbons around their trees and everyone was out cheering on the runners.  This community came together to raise money, support and lift this young woman up in prayer through her journey that is still continuing.

The more I thought about this, the more energy I had.  This race became more than just a race; it was about perseverance -Andrea was a true example of this!

I often times get frustrated that since I am pregnant I can’t run as fast, I can’t fit into my cute clothes and I have slowed down, but during this race, I decided to embrace it.  Everything was put into perspective.  I am thankful that I am healthy enough to carry and grow another human being.  I am thankful that I can walk, let alone run.  I am thankful that, so far, I have had a very healthy pregnancy with no sickness or complications.

As I crossed that finish line, for the first time ever, I was happy with a 30:10 5k and 9:42 minute miles…. PERSPECTIVE!!!

I left the race and felt great about what I did.  As I was driving out of Pendleton, I had to wait for the walkers to finish… and I saw Andrea finishing the race, persevering through what doctor’s told her might be impossible.  She had a smile on her face and was almost to the finish line!

Here I am, after the race… embracing 24 weeks pregnant and a 30:10 minute 5k!


New Recipe Success

I just love new recipes.  I especially love new recipes when they are super-easy and you can remember them in your head.  Today, I was in the teacher’s lounge warming up my lunch when a friend’s lunch looked way better than mine- I of course commented on it.  I was pleased when she said, “It is super-easy, this is how you do it.”

I planned on just storing the recipe in my brain and making it next week.  However, after getting home later than anticipated from a daycare meeting and then talking about it for over an hour, it was late by that time I was ready to start dinner.  I had planned for chicken on the grill, veggies and baked potatoes, but I knew the potatoes would take forever.  With the chicken already thawed, I took inventory and thought I would try this new recipe.

Let’s call it…. Italian Pesto Chicken

(Before I start, please know that these are the measurements I used and can be changed to fit your needs.)

3 chicken  breasts
Veggies (I used one red pepper & one yellow squash)
Italian dressing
2 1/2 cups of pasta (I used macaroni, whole grain penne would have been my number one choice)

1.  Cut up chicken into small pieces
2.  Chop veggies
3.  Place in 8×8 glass dish (may need bigger dish if you are using more)
4.  Combine 1/2 cup Italian Dressing & 1/2 cup of pesto and stir.
5.  Pour mixture over veggies and chicken and mix together
6.  Cook in oven until done (I put my oven on broil to go quicker and just checked it when finished.  It could probably be cooked at 350.)
7.  While cooking, boil pasta
8.  When finished, you can either combine pasta with chicken & veggies OR serve chicken and veggies over the pasta.
9.  Top with parmesean

24 Weeks

How far along? 24 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: I finally got on the scale!!!  It is the most it has ever been and I have gained a total of 14 pounds!
Maternity clothes? Pants and one shirt.  Still wearing “baggier shirts” and dresses that stretch
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: I have had insomnia!  I wake up at about 2:00 am and can’t get back to sleep until around 4:00 am.  I guess I am getting prepared
Best moment this week: The constant moving you are doing and Daddy getting to feel you often.  Also, Dadd cooked me a wonderful Mother’s Day breakfast and built a raised vegetable garden.  He is so thoughtful!
Fitness Level: Same as last week.  Running a few times a week, teachign class on Sunday and Yoga once a week.  About 4-5 workouts a week.  This Saturday I am also running a 5k.
Miss Anything? All the things I have missed recently (wine and running long distances) has subsided as I am getting more excited to be a Mommy.
Movement: Oh yes and I love it!
Food cravings: I have come to the conclusion that cravings must not be what I thougth they were.  I don’t ever have this sudden urge that I have to have something or the world is going to end.  Instead, it is that I want to eat a certain food over and over.  Lately, I have been wanting and eating a TON of grapes.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Have you started to show yet: Yes!!!  I guess I have really popped over the last week!  On Monday I had a previous student come up to me and tap me and say, “Mrs. N are you putting on some pound?  Did you quit running?”  I then proceeded to let him know it was a baby.  He said he wondered, but thought it would be rude to ask.  Apparently, he didn’t learn that it is even more rude to ask a woman if she has put on pounds.  Then yesterday, I saw another former student in the office and she said, “Mrs. N, not to be rude or anything, but are you pregnant?”  I am glad she knows how to ask appropriately.  Many current students tell me everyday that my baby must be getting bigger.
Gender prediction: Sticking with the boy… that is what the Chinese Calendar says too 🙂
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? Off…. I sure do miss wearing it.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy.
Looking forward to:  Just 9 school days left.  Once school is out I can really get working on your nursery 🙂

Childhood: Is it’s innocence lost?

I know that seems dramatic, but this was a thought I had on my run tonight: is true childhood innocence lost?  I often times run around a large park in my neighborhood where there are always people outside enjoying physical activity.  Tonight, there were families playing on the playground equipment, soccer games and volleyball games taking place, baseball practice, pick-up basketball games, and many families walking and jogging around the paved area of the park.  As I came up on the basketball court there were several children of all ages playing basketball.  I suddenly hear one kid yell, “hold on I just got a text message.”  This child was about twelve years old and he was jogging up and down the court with his cell phone in his hand.  I am sure he had been texting throughout the game as well.

Call me old-fashioned, but I was truly disturbed by this.  Can kids not play outside without checking their phones these days?  What has the advanced technology done to our children?  I often times see the little girls in my neighborhood riding their bikes with their cell phones in hand.  I understand that we are in a different time now and that most children have phones.  However, have we forgotten to set limitations on the phones?  Do we as adults set such a negative example that even our children feel they can’t be detached from their cell phones?

Playing outside, a pick-up game of basketball, or even a bike ride with friends isn’t what it used to be anymore.  I used to play outside for hours without communicating with any friends beyond the ones I was with.  I checked-in with my parents every couple of hours and that was fine by riding my bike back home and telling my mom or dad that I was fine.

As a soon-to-be parent, my husband and I are very old-fashion and we struggle with these issues.  We know our kids will have cell phones and the latest technology.  But how do you keep it in perspective?  How do you set limitations?  How do you keep that childhood innocence that we had when we were children?


Holy Sore Arms

One of my favorite parts of my week is teaching group exercise at the YMCA.  I have been doing this for almost three years now, and I love it- it is something I don’t think I will ever give-up.  I teach interval training every Sunday at noon and although sometimes I dread going in on a Sunday afternoon, I ALWAYS come home feeling refreshed, fit and ready for the week.  Not to mention the members, and especially my “regulars” make my time worth it.

Interval training is a sixty minute class that raises your heart rate through high intensity cardio moves (think P90X cardio at a faster beat, or Insanity) and strength exercises.  We do cardio for about three to five minutes, and then lower the heart rate with a strength move and then repeat.

Yesterday, was a great, tough class.  My members told me since I have been pregnant, I have gotten harder, especially in the strength part of the workout.  I told them it is probably because I can still do all the strength moves like normal and the cardio I sometimes have to modify because I get out of breath.  I also commented that it is because I know I can control the way arms and legs look throughout this pregnancy and I am determined to still have nice arms this summer- they thought it was funny.  However, today I am regretting my decision of upper body strength moves yesterday… man, do I have sore arms today!!  Nothing like high reps to make for sore arms on Monday.  Here was the arm workout:

In this order, complete these arm exercises. Remember, we do a cardio segment for (3-5 minutes), then one strength exercise. Here are the exercises we did:

Chest press
Reverse Fly
Shoulder Press
Bicep Curls
Tricep Kickbacks

When it was time for each exercise, we followed these reps:
24 singles, 12 at a two count,
16 singles, 8 at a two count
8 singles, 4 at a two count
4 singles, 2 at a two count
2 singles, 1 at a two count (repeat this one four times)

Go all the way through this without taking a break- yes, it is a lot of reps!!
Once you are finished, go back to the cardio segment for 3-5 minutes, and then onto your next strength exercise following these reps.

And after that, I think I might need a tee-shirt that says this:


Today I tried something new: yoga.  I have been wanting to try yoga for over a year and I finally did it!  It wasn’t a video or an online teacher, I actually stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a local studio.  It was prenatal yoga, but it was still wonderful.

The class was filled with about nine or ten other pregnant women.  We lined up by the the weeks of our pregnancy.  We then went around the room telling how far along we were, if we knew the sex and what was the weirdest advice we have been given while pregnant.

We then began with the class.  The class was very relaxing and solidified how much I need to stretch.  I hate stretching, I have never been good at it and I never take the time to do it, so this was great for me. I also appreciated how the instructor would point out which poses would be good for when we are in labor. I will definitely make this a Thursday night ritual throughout the rest of my pregnancy and am really hoping to continue with yoga once I am done.

Everyone could use a little more stretching and relaxation in their lives- me especially!


Week #23

How far along? 23 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Still no idea
Maternity clothes? Just the pants and I have one maternity shirt.  Yesterday, my sister and I went shopping to try out some maternity clothes, but with no luck
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: I am only waking up one time a night to go the the bathroom.  Sleeping pretty well.  I am one that moves a lot and rolls from side-to-side a lot while sleeping, but this is getting harder.
Best moment this week: Daddy got to feel you move last night 🙂  I was asleep and he had his hand on my belly, he was half asleep, but was woken up to your sudden movement.  He loved it!
Fitness Level: About 3.5 miles is all I can get in these days.  Still teaching my Sunday class and tonight I tried prenatal yoga for the first time- I loved it!
Miss Anything? On Saturday, we stopped at the winery by our house to pick up our quarterly wine shipment.  Josh and his parents did a tasting and I watched… I miss my wine 🙂 but YOU are worth it.
Movement: You move a lot, especially in the evenings.
Food cravings: Still loving my slushies from Speedway.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Have you started to show yet: Oh yes, but this week I was worried when I was comparing my belly to other’s who are 23 weeks and I was worried.  However, tonight at yoga, my worries were put to rest.
Gender prediction: I still think boy, Daddy thinks girl, both grandmas think boy and Emily had a dream this week you were a boy.
Labor Signs: None and hopefully none for awhile
Belly Button in or out? It’s out!
Wedding rings on or off? Off?
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy.
Looking forward to:  taking a photography class this weekend so I can be better at taking pictures once you get here.