Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!

Today marks my favorite season of the year! I love Holiday season. I really love Halloween for that reason! I am in a constant change of decorations around my house from Oct-Dec. I LOVE IT! It makes the house just so different.
~This is Wanda's Wardrobe (I named her Wanda), a hanging quilt my mom made for me a few years back~
~Halloween 2008. I made this with the help of one of my student's mom.~

I love halloween because it is the one day that I can be whoever I want to be. No rules (well some rules, not reveling, modest costumes) Just an excuse to wear that crazy outfit you have in the back of your closet. Or wear PJ's out and about and no one will think less of you if you do. Or bring out your old Letterman jacket from High School. (Haven't done that one yet.)
~ Halloween 2009. No he is not dressing up as a soldier. He actually had to go to military drill right after an activity we went to.~
Today, I get a special treat! Pre-natal yoga to start with. Then I get to see my fabulous chiropractor. (Been needing an adjustment for a few days now). Then right after is my amazing monthly hour massage! I AM SO NEEDING IT. My low back has been hurting for about a week and look forward to a nice relaxing massage. Then go pick up the last of the halloween candy at the store, take the kid out trick-or-treating and then pass out candy for the rest of the night! Debating on following a couple of friends traditions and busing out Hocus Pocus tonight. (I LOVE THAT MOVIE!)
 ~Halloween 2010. Look at all the weight I LOST!~

~Mason in 2011. We were Arizona State Fans~ 
~Halloween 2012. Renaissance Princess and her little spider~
~Archer from about 7 years ago! Love his face, "Mom, you have got to be kidding me!"~
I hope you all have a wonderfully ghoulish Halloween today!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Water and Toys!

Loving the water today. It was so relaxing and just so, perfect. I have been having low back pain, so glad that tomorrow I see the chiropractor and my massage therapist. It just did a body good today! Side affect to exercise, I am exhausted afterwards. So thankful for Mommy quiet time in the house so that I can get some much needed sleep/rest.
On another note: Mason's Nabi tablet, a tablet designed for kids, decided to die on us the other day. It hadn't worked right for a few days prior to Monday. This tablet has been part of his mommy quiet time. I put him in his room and let him play his tablet or sleep. He gets to choose. He usually plays for 30-45 min then sleeps for 2.5 hours. I am truly blessed!

We called the company and told them what was going on it with and they are sending us a BRAND NEW ONE! I can not wait till we get that tablet back because the little guy has taken over my cell phone wanting to play his puzzles and games! We use that thing so often.  He loves it! I will play pandora's toddler music station and he can continue playing his games while getting to hear nursery rhymes, and I get to learn the words to those nursery rhymes. As he gets bigger we can do chore charts with points associated and it has learning sections to help him grow and learn, like math and science. That tablet is seriously an amazing thing to have!

QOTD: Do you let your kids play on your computer, phone or tablet?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some Days

Are not like the other. I am coming to the end of my first trimester next week and I am hoping for some relief of some of the common pregnancy related symptoms. My morning sickness is almost all gone, all the time. YEA! But fatigue and now dizziness has been more of a annoyance.

Yesterday was bad with the dizziness. Anytime I get up I have to take a few seconds to right myself so I don't end up on the floor. I have to remind myself that I can not stand up as fast as I used to. I don't remember having the dizziness this badly with my 1st pregnancy. So this is something that I have to either just get used to or just be more careful with.

My gym solution. The treadmill and elliptical have been giving me motion sickness. Inside my gym there is an indoor track. I call it the gerbil wheel. It is a small little thing. 12 laps equal a mile. So that is what I am doing. Walking and moving with things moving as they should instead of me running in place and bobbing seems to work best. So for the time being now, I will be running around on the indoor track. Yea for gerbil wheel track!

Oh and here is a pretty neat site for natural homeopathic remedies for morning sickness that goes along with my picture.

QOTD: What exercise would you give up if you had to due to a sickness or pregnancy?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Contact your doctor or medical professional for any medical questions you have, diagnosis or treatment. All information found and offered on my blog are of my own opinion. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday, Monday

Mondays are the hardest day to work out, for me at least. Why? Who wants to work out after a nice long relaxing weekend? Even though I take one day off, Sundays, it still requires a swift kick in the butt to get me out the door and to the gym. I usually like to go later in the mornings on Mondays personally because there are the select few people that LOVE going to the gym on Mondays to work off all the stuff they ate or drank over the weekend. I am not that person.

My big problem, if I miss Monday, I tend to miss Tuesday too. EEK! NOT GOOD! Being pregnant, I need to exercise as often as I can until I can not. There will be that point again where my body just says, "REST!" As I had many a days in the first trimester that I just could not go. Point in fact, the week after I found out I was pregnant, I went to the gym 6 days. I felt great. They the next week, I was hit with violent morning sickness that things just set my tummy rolling. So now that I am approaching the 2nd trimester I should be going to the gym quite frequently as hopefully the morning sickness subsides and the all day long fatigue goes away too!

So here is to Mondays and getting my butt in the gym every week!

QOTD: What is your hardest day to get to the gym?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pregnant In Running Shoes!

I HAVE BEEN WAITING NEARLY 2 MONTHS TO WRITE THIS POST!!! I am so excited to start this topic of exercise while pregnant. This is the reason why I have not been posting as much. All the posts I have wanted to write about have been about my pregnancy and running and I couldn't spill the beans until we passed a certain point. Yesterday was that point.

I am currently 11.5 weeks pregnant. Yesterday we had a doc appointment and we have been waiting to hear the heartbeat over the doppler and yesterday was that day. It took a good 5 minutes to find the heartbeat but the doc did and yeah I pretty much lost it in pure happiness. With the 2 previous miscarriages I have been a nervous wreck but was thankful everyday that everything was going ok.

So here is the thing. I have been running while pregnant. I ran my 4 miler before we even found out I was pregnant. We found out a week after actually. Continued to exercise and run as best as I could. All those posts about having a hard time and such, was because of morning sickness. It seems running on a stationary object while pregnant can make me very motion sick with the morning sickness. The elliptical has been the worst culprit to bring it on. More swaying. But I have persevered and have continued as best as I could.

2 weeks ago tomorrow was my 10k. I was 9.5 weeks pregnant. I told my doc at my 7 week appointment about the race and he ok'd it. He asked me to have a running partner for safety so that I was never running alone and to slow down a little on my pace. He said that I would naturally slow down anyways, which I have. That is why I was aiming for the hour and a half time. I pushed myself but not too much. I actually felt really great during the race. No cramping, no pain just really empowered and strong.

So a couple of things. My blog is going to follow me training for my half marathon in Feb. Yes, I am still planning on running in it. Yes, I will be 28.5 weeks pregnant. Just I will be doing run/walk more than what I was planning on. My doc has ok'd the half as long as no complications arise in the meantime. He is actually really proud of me for continuing to run. (He is a marathoner, and usually take 1 week a year vacation to run a race.) The other thing is that I hope to encourage you that if I can do this pregnant you can do this anytime. It is not easy. I am exhausted after exercising. I want to sleep for days, but on the flip side there have been so many positive reason why I HAVE to continue to exercise. One, I have LOST 8 lbs since we found out I was pregnant. 6 right in the beginning and 2 in the last 4 weeks. I am hoping to gain as few pounds as possible!

Anyhew please join me on my journey of pregnancy and exercise. Tell your friends all about me too! I am so excited to take this turn on my blog and can't wait to see what I learn.

QOTD: Did you or do you plan on exercising while pregnant?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday: My first 5K

I never got a chance to write about my experience on my first 5k. So I thought I would do that today. And next week I can recap about my second one. Why not? Need to have it to remember when I am old and grey as proof that at one point I did in fact move my butt fast enough to run!
~Pre-Race Photo Op why my little man!~

June 1, 2014
4 The Wounded 5K- Charlottesville Research Park

Exactly 3 weeks prior to this date I had my second miscarriage. It was a hard miscarriage. I was 1 day shy of being 11 weeks. 2 days prior I had an ultrasound that confirmed that there was no baby or growth only a gestational sac. We were devastated. I was angry, hurt embarrassed and just plan broken. On top of that in the 11 weeks I was pregnant I gain aprox. 15 lbs. I was getting blood work done every 2 days from when we found out I was pregnant up until the ultrasound. Most days was bad news only a few were good news that my levels were going up. I stress ate. I didn't exercise. I sat on my butt and didn't want to hurt the pregnancy. My husband was also gone for military during the entire 6 weeks so it was just me, and Mace.

A little over a week later I decided I needed to get my butt in gear. Stop feeling sorry for myself. And get working out. We got a membership at a great gym near my house that offers 2.5 hours of daycare A DAY! I started walking, Taking classes, and just moving. As I would drive to the gym I kept seeing a sign advertising the 5k race coming up. I finally decided that I am going to do it. Even if I had to walk the whole thing. I didn't care. I was going to do it!

For the next 2 weeks I walked and exercised. I just wanted to finish the race standing upright.

Day of Race:
It was a warm sunny sunny morning. I knew a few friends were running in the race. Actually running. I knew I didn't even dare to get in the pack with them. I meandered to the back of the pack. Where all the "walkers" were hanging out. Saw some ladies with strollers. As we were straining to hear the announcer talk, I mentioned to a couple ladies next to me that this was my first 5k. I was up half the night before afraid I would get lost on the course. Or come in last. Or a ton of other things that would not of happened.

They invited me to walk with them as one of them was pushing her child in the stroller. (Mason was on the sidelines with a friend of mine while I did my thing. This is mommy's activity. No baby allowed!) One lady, Janet (same wonderful lady that did the 10k with me last week!) kept talking about this training program coming up and basically trying to convince me that I should sign up and do it. It was for the Women's 4 miler. She is a good salesperson!
~The Starting/finish line~
The whole race we just chatted. I told them what happened a few weeks prior and they were impressed and probably a little shocked that I was participating in a 5k so soon after such a loss. We did jog to the finish line and I crossed in 55 minutes. I was so proud of myself. I cried. Thanked them for not letting me get lost. And told Janet that I would probably see her at the training program. We parted ways and Janet is a really great friend of mine as we have now done all 4 races I have run in together. (well we have run in the same 4 races. 2 were actually running with me the other 2 were her kicking some major butt in the speed department!)
~Almost to the finish line! Upright and Smiling? CHECK!~
So there it is. My first 5k! It is what convinced me that I can actually do this. I questioned why I never did this before. It was amazing. It is only 3 miles. Anyone can walk 3 miles for goodness sake. Just start walking and add a little jog every now and then. There is an app that is From Couch to 5k that you can try. You can do this. It really is as easy as signing up, arriving and doing. If I can do it seriously, you can too! As you see from the pix I am not a skinny minnie like the 2 beautiful ladies next to me! Someday I will be smaller, and I am currently smaller, tone wise, than I was in June but for now I am me. I am running. I am doing it!

QOTD: Did you walk or run your very first race you participated in?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fish Out Of Water....

But in the water! Hmmm. Trying to do some cross training now so that I am not running ALL THE TIME! Yes I have a half marathon to train for but my poor feet just need a rest every now and then.

I took a water exercise class today. It is so weird sometimes because I AM the youngest person in the class, without fail, every time I take it, and THE OLD LADIES ARE KICKING MY BUTT! They can kick higher, travel faster, and just move faster in that water than I can. I was focusing on running in the water during the "speed" section and it was a great little workout. But man, some of the things we did just killed my shoulders. It was fun. And every Wednesday these little old ladies are just going to have to get used to a youngster being in the midst and I am going to have to work a little harder to keep up with them!

Yoga tomorrow! Excited to stretch and relax!

QOTD: What are your favorite classes to take at your gym? 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stress Remover!

I felt it today! While doing my 3 miles I actually felt the stress of this week just melt off my shoulders. I have a crazy crazy busy week this week, in some ways it is great, and in others I am super stressed but not anymore. I just let it lift from me and AHHH! I feel so much better now.

This week is packed with teaching in the afternoon, then straight to a gig tonight, making halloween costume tomorrow then straight to symphony rehearsal all evening. Thursday is yoga, hair appointment and our family pictures followed by our church's fall festival. Friday is my least busy day with only an appointment in the late afternoon.

Next week is dead compared to this week and honestly I don't remember the last time I was this busy! This means the week should fly by.

Happy healthy running!!!

QOTD: Does exercise help you relax?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

3 Days

It took me 3 days to not be sore anymore from the race! Wow, I think that is a new personal record for me. I have still been doing light exercise to keep the lactic acid moving and not building up. My friend K is adamant that after the 1/2 marathon in Feb, no resting just go straight to the park and walk, walk, walk. I'm a little nervous about that but I do know that moving is best. That and a hot tub would be really good too.

Now on to just taking it easy and in a week from Sat the 10 miler training program will commence. And a new running schedule will begin!

(on a side note, as I am writing this Mason is pushing his truck as fast as he can and when he hits the carpet he is doing barrel rolls and laughing up a storm, then does it again. He is having way too much fun. Oh to have that kind of energy!)

QOTD: Are you participating in the 10 miler training program?

Monday, October 14, 2013

My first 10k

WOW! I can't believe that I actually did it AND survived. To be honest, I felt totally unprepared for this race because I felt like I had barely run in the last 2 weeks. I did more walking than running. But amazing thing is, I came in at my goal. I wanted to do it in 1 hour 30 min and I did. My average pace was 14:40. My splits were pretty good too. The last 2 miles (mile and a half) were faster than some of the earlier miles. My first mile was the fastest at a 12 min mile!

Here were my splits thanks to the RunKeeper App on my phone:
Mile 1- 12:08- HOLY FAST!
Mile 2- 14:38
Mile 3- 15:13
Mile 4- 13:46
Mile 5- 15:22 (HUGE HILL! Knew I was going to walk up it at the beginning)
Mile 6- 13:03 (Can't believe that I am faster at the end)
Mile 7- 13:15

Couple of things. I had an escort with me. I had 2 running buddies who stayed with me the whole time! AWESOME! They encouraged me to keep pushing, when to slow down a bit, when I was pushing myself really well, when to take my jelly beans for energy, my form. Everything they took care of me.

Also we had a police escort for half of the course. We were the tail end of the 10k, which I knew we would be but didn't think I would get a police escort. While we were on the beautiful river walk area one of the police men blasted religious music for us. It was quite entertaining running to an amazing soprano belting our her love for Jesus. One of the cops almost biffed it when trying to pass us on the grass and coming back on the trail skidded on some mud. He asked later if he splattered us with mud and felt bad. He didn't but it was nice to ask. Sometimes they tailed us, when we got back on the road they did the race to the next intersection till we passed them bit. Funeral procession is what I called it since we were going at such a leisurely pace.

It was a fun race. A beautiful course. The river was swollen with all the rain that we received over the last week. Some of the leaves changed so we got to see some beautiful fall foliage. And to top it off, I got my first medal! I had only received a t-shirt and yesterday I got a medal. I felt super special!

Thank you Jen and Janet for running with me! You guys are awesome!
QOTD: Do you like doing fall runs to see the fall foliage?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Apple Picking

Today we are trying something new in our neck of the woods. We are going to visit our local apple picking orchard, Carter's Mountain. I have been asking Matt for years to go and visit and we just haven't. Yesterday he asked what are we going to do for today. I said I had some errands I had to take care of. He had a brilliant idea of, why not go apple picking?

HE is so smart! That sounds great to me. Funny thing. We are actually going to be there next week for our family pictures. So we are going to check out the place today and have fun and that way we can focus next week on taking pictures and trying to get THE PERFECT PICTURE!

Super excited for today and apple picking. Great non stress, no exercise, rest day activity to help me rest for tomorrows big race! Pictures to come later!

QOTD: Do you visit your local orchards to pick fresh fruit?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Something New

I tried something new yesterday! I tried yoga. I have never done a class setting. Only by DVD. Thought I would give it a shot. It was actually really cool and I guess the DVD's did help me a little. I knew the names for most of the poses already and was able to hold most of them. It was a beginning super easy class. And to top it off.. I was the only one in there. I guess the cold rain kept everyone away from the class and I got an hours worth of personal instruction from the teacher. It was really neat!

I did the class to help me stretch a bit before Sundays run. I am feeling more relaxed and stretched and ready for the run. It is going to be a COLD morning and possibly rainy still. Looking forward to it.

QOTD: Any advice for cold rainy runs? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Seriously! Already! It has been a hard 6 weeks for me. I miss the motivation I got by going every week to the women's 4 miler training program. I had set goals. I had to meet said goals to accomplish what I wanted to do. Currently, I have been my own trainer. I set myself to run 2 days a week and Saturdays are my long runs. Saturdays are going well, and I generally do the 2 day runs a week but the other 3 days of cross training, not so much.

So how do we get out of a rut? I just read an article here that I felt answered a lot of my questions and actually defined what I was going through. Yesterday I just thought I was getting lazy, today after reading the article, I AM BURNED OUT! I need something new. I know I have races coming up but I need that drive, push and motivation I felt with the 4 miler to get me going!

Sunday is my 10k. This past Saturday I did 6.5 miles out on the road with a friend. I did really well as that was my first time EVER doing that distance. So I know I will be fine on Sunday for the race. I just want to stay under 15 min/mile. That is my goal. Actually I want to finish the race upright but would like to be under 15 min/mile.

In a few short weeks I will begin my new training program for the C-ville 10 miler. I am excited for that and I think it will give me the drive and push I am missing.

I am going to try an incorporate some of the items in the article above to help get me going again. We all go through these times. It is ok. We just need to change our game plan a little to keep it fresh and new.

Thanks for hanging in there and still reading my blog!

QOTD: How do you stay motivated? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October? ALREADY!?!

I can not believe that we are already into October. It is by far one of my favorite months of the year. The cooler, crisper air. The leaves changing. Apple picking season. And the jumpstart to the holiday season. I LOVE OCTOBER. In AZ, where I grew up I loved it when the nights were getting colder when I opted to keep my marching band coat on instead of nicely folding it inside out and stashing it somewhere on the stands. (Yes I am a band geek, don't judge!) Being in VA we get the wonderful season of the things I mentioned above. Today for the first time in the 6 years we have lived in this state we are going to the State Fair. Super excited.

Another great thing about October. Pretty much across the country it is getting cool enough to run outside, almost any time during the day. All my AZ buddies are super excited to get out of the gym and out on the streets pounding the pavement. Last Saturday I went on a very early morning run out on the street with a good friend. It was chilly, but so much fun running in the early morning watching the sunrise over the beautiful are we were in. This Saturday we are starting WAYYYYYY earlier, 5:30am, and doing a beautiful 6.5 miles. I am thankful for the people in my life that support my running and I am so glad to help support them too.

If you are in the C-ville area and want to join us, send me a email or msg me and I will certainly pass on the details. We are doing a nice slow steady pace so don't worry we won't leave you in the dust.

QOTD: What is your favorite fall activity?
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