Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Love Rox 10k Race Recap- Richmond, VA

My FEBRUARY 2015 Race is DONE! This past Sunday I participated in the Love Rox 10k. There was a 5k and 1/2 marathon option too, but the 10k is what I needed for my training books and I just really like doing a 10k distance. It's not too short or too long!
~Our drive over, we got slammed with snow the day before!~

Saturday was packet pickup and we were snowed in and couldn't get out to Richmond to pick up our "packet". So I sent them a couple of email request for us to pick it up early Sunday morning, which was an option to do but they had said only with permission was it allowed. I received my confirmation emails at about 8pm, 5 hours after the expo closed.

We left our house at 6:15am on Sunday morning and made our way slowly to Richmond. Everything was still pretty icy so we were taking it nice and easy. We arrived at 8am and I ran inside the building to get my packet while Matt and the boys stayed in the van. I was so glad that we didn't drive all the way to Richmond the day before anyways to get our packet because it was just the bib and a shirt and that was it. They had a couple of vendors there but not much so if I did this race next year, I would automatically ask for Sunday pickup. It's an hour and a half to get there.
~Collin all bundled up for the cold! Cute little wave!~

Now it was just time to wait for my race to start which wasn't until 10. The 5k began at 9am. I ran back out and had Matt and the boys come in the convention center where it was nice and warm and there was a HUGE lobby where Mason was asking daddy to "race" him. Super cute. (Next time I do a Disney race, Mason will be doing the kids races!)
~Pre race fun~

When it was time for me to go out, I realized I forgot my earbuds in the van. Matt ran back really fast and got them for me, MY HERO!

The race started a good 10 minutes late. But what was really neat, I looked to my right and Mason and my boys were waving at me through one of the windows. It was super cute when Mason realized that I was outside and he kept pointing to Matt saying, "Mommy's outside!"

I was in the 3rd wave to begin. And then I was off. I was told by another person that the first mile was downhill. I was excited about that and I know better than to just go, but I am not going to lie, that downhill was pretty fun and I did a 12 min mile for the first mile. BAD BECKY! However, that first fast mile was probably my saving grace for the pace for the rest of the race. As we go to the low point of the course, along the James River things got icy and slick pretty quick. This is where I did a lot of walking. Being pregnant I did not want to risk slipping and falling. NOPE. So safety is the key. I actually really enjoyed taking in the sites of the old buildings and of the frozen James River. It was so pretty.

As we crossed our first bridge I started to run a little and walk a little. I tried to time myself with the lamp posts, and this became my pattern for the rest of the run. I chatted with another redhead on the way she has longer legs than me and her stride for walking was bigger so she passed me around mile 3, and I actually ended up tailing her until the very end where I finally passed her.

Next came the slow assent back up to the next bridge, where we had to stop traffic to run around a HUGE puddle. Again I was running 2 lamp posts and walking 1 at this point. And then the assent from the bridge back up to the downtown area.

The end of the race, my body was done. I was tired but could still go. I finally caught up to the red head and then passed her. Looked down at my watch and we had just passed the 6.2 mile mark and the finish line was NO WHERE TO BE SEEN! They had told us that the 10k people would have to run an a few extra yards to the finish, but my Garmin clocked the finish at 6.5 miles. UGH! So my official finish time was slower than I wanted and I can't use my time for the next Disney race. BUMMER! I was aiming for 1 hour 30 min finish time. I did the 10k in 1:32:32 but finished the race in 1:36:25. Mile 3 and beyond I was able to have positive splits so I am actually surprised and happy with that! Oh and per my Garmin I did the fastest 5k to date: 45:24!

My splits: 
Mile 1: 12:52
Mile 2: 14:53
Mile 3: 15:55
Mile 4: 15:28
Mile 5: 15:18
Mile 6: 14:45
Mile 6.5: 14:53

Avg. pace: 14:51 - 9 weeks pregnant

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life Is Never Boring

Wow! Life in the Allen home certainly is never, ever boring. We are dealing with our first attack of pink eye. Poor Mason has it and hoping that Collin and I don't get it either. No idea where he got it. But yesterday I had to tell all my students that he has it and everyone he has been in contact with, and all the other students I teach. And also deal with Mason and his goopey pink eye and grumpy sickness personality. Poor kid. So that is our happenings right now. I will have a race recap up at the end of the week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

I love yoga and it took me a long time to actually try my first class or workout and really enjoy it! It is great for centering your body and mind but also is a great workout that can be quite challenging. My fave though about yoga is that there are moves specifically to help certain areas of your body or even the insides work better. Like have tummy troubles and can't go? Do some twist movements. Stretch out your hamstrings to help you run better! Check out these yoga poses and give them a try to help you stretch, elongate and help your body feel even better.

Also check out Yoga Journal to where you can search for specific yoga poses for alleviate what ails you. Want poses to help with mensuration? Yep they have a section for that. There is anxiety, back pain, energy, digestion and more!

Be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK to get daily motivation and tips! See ya over there!

Friday, February 20, 2015

They Grow Up Too Fast!

Talk about surreal! This past Monday, I toured a local preschool for Mason to attend this coming Fall. It was so weird knowing that a) he is going to be in preschool and b) looking at some of the kids in the classrooms that he was going to be in there. Learning. Playing. Crafting. Having fun. It has made me realize just how quickly these 3 years have gone and how precious they really are. I can't get them back. Ever. And even though Mason and I are butting heads like crazy right now, hence him needing to go to preschool, I still love him to death and love seeing how much he is learning.

Here are things that I am doing now to help prep him for his entrance into preschool:
(Mason at 5 days old) 

~I am reading to him every single day now. Multiple times a day. We were reading once a day on average but now we pull out the books many times a day. And they almost all happen to be dinosaur related. I am including daily reading of the Bible into our days too.
~ I just ordered this calendar set for him, which I will get laminated at Staple's and hang it near the kitchen table for him to use and learn from. We have been talking about the days of the week and the order they come in. He knows that Sunday is church day. And he thinks that Saturday is ice cream day. (not sure where he got that because we don't usually get ice cream on a Saturday.)
(Mason 1 year old) 
~Sing ABC's and make sure to count everyday. Mason loves to count how many eggs we have left every morning after I make breakfast. It takes a lot of patience from me to let and trust him to handle the eggs without breaking them, but I am working on that. He doesn't really like to sing and it is usually only at bed time at night that he lets me sing. So I try to throw in the ABC's before he goes to bed at night.

(Mason 2 years old) 
~Work on his alphabet puzzle more and have him` tell me the sound each letter makes and ask him to find various letters. Make it a search for the letter kind of game. Oh and when he wants into my tablet or phone he needs to enter in the correct number passcode. I tell him the number and he has to find it!

I will say I know I can be better at teaching him things. I don't really know how to teach a 3 year old though. Give me a 6-12 year old and I am fine. I know how to talk to them. So this is a huge learning process for me too. But together we are learning and I know he is super smart and a great listener, when he wants to be. If you have any advice for this fledging preschool mommy please let me know what else I can do to help this kiddo out!
(Mason 3 years old)

(Do you want to Build a Snowman melody) 
Do you want to go to preschool?
Do you want to make new friends? 
Learn to count to 10, 
sing and play
you will think it's great! 
You will learn to read and write
Yes, I know you will
You're such a smart little guy! 
Do you want to go to preschool? 
Wow! You are in preschool! 
Time flies by! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips For New Runners: 1/2 Marathon Race

It's race morning and you area all ready to go. You have survived the 2 mile walk to get to the start line and the MC's are counting you down to your corral starting the race. Biggest thing to keep in mind, regardless of corral, is to STAY IN FRONT OF THE BALLOON LADIES!
~Quick picture opportunity on the bridge~

~One of the coolest things about the Disney races is that there is great entertainment on the course. Lots of picture opportunities. You can decide how often you want to take pictures, whether it is at ever mile marker or at ever character, or every other character, or just a couple. But the biggest thing to keep in mind is that there is a running clock. I was in corral M and at about mile 8 I started passing people that had corral C on their bibs. These people have been stopping for lots of pictures along the way, which is pretty cool that they can. But there is still a time limit to end the race and the balloon ladies are that time limit. As long as you stay in front of them you are golden!

~Know that if you are in a back corral, like j-n, and if you had been training at keeping a 15 min mile pace, you might not be able to take as many photo opportunities as you want. The lines, like the port-a-poties get pretty long. So line up at your own risk. I didn't have time to wait for one line for a photo with any characters. I knew after my first potty stop that I was going to be pushing the time limit because the lines for the bathrooms were 8 minutes, at LEAST! This is something that people who are in the faster corrals don't really have to experience. Also, there will be bottleneck areas where you are going to be walking to get through the narrow areas. Like waiting to "run" through the castle, nope I walked. Oh and "running down Main street" nope had to walk that one too. Actually K and I ran up on the sidewalk to bypass everyone walking down main street. There was just so many people. I got really bummed about that but I was thankful for the rest.
~Picture opportunity but also tons of people WALKING!~

~Secret bathroom that might not be that busy: Every one knows about the Tomorrowland bathroom that is the first "real" bathroom that you get to use. And the mens bathroom gets taken over by female too by the way, but there is another, actually a few more. But they are off the course just a little bit and you might not be allowed, or they might not be open. But if you need to go and can't wait in the line, you can try these other places. I have read from other bloggers that they did use the bathrooms by It's A Small World and there was NO LINE AT ALL! I circled them on the map below. One of the circles, the farthest off to the left is over a green space. That is just under Rapunzel's tower and there are bathrooms over there. Again, some of these restrooms might not be open. So go at your own risk! (pun intended!)

~One thing to know that if you are in the back of the pack. Still look around you. Enjoy the view, the experience and just have fun. And more than anything, JUST KEEP GOING! I knew that if I stopped I might not be able to keep going and that scared me. I wanted to finish. I had to finish no matter what. I earned my medal with every ounce of my being. I tried and did pretty well, for a pregnant lady. But you can do this! Just remember to have fun! Talk to other races around you. Encourage them. Help give them more motivation to finish that race!

~Know that there are 3 hills just before you enter Epcot. They are on/off ramps around mile 10. You will be tired but just keep moving. Eat some candy to give you more energy at this point so you can keep going. See my motto here, just keep going.
~Standing room only to get through the castle. No running for us!~

~Once inside Epcot you are in the clear of the Balloon ladies. So your goal is to get to Epcot and just keep moving! That is all you have to do. You are almost done and you are golden! Sad thing is after the Magic Kingdom, at mile 6 you have a long stretch of just road in front of you. This is the hard stretch but just make it to Epcot! That is your goal. AND Keep going! only 1.1 miles left to go!
~Just .1 miles to go!~

~Look around you as you cross that finish line. Give Mickey or whatever character is on the side a HUGE HIGH FIVE just before you cross. Thank the voleenter for your medal and make sure to get doused in glitter before you leave! Also take a picture of you and your medal. You earned it. Smile in the picture. Cry if you have to but get that picture. (I totally regret not getting my picture. I just wanted my husband and I forgot.) But this is all about my tips for you, and when I do this race again you better believe I will be getting a picture of my medal all pink faced and huge smile! There is a background that has Princess 1/2 marathon written all over it too if you want to do it in front of that for further proof you finished.

~There is an engraver tent that you can have your name, time and date engraved on the back of your medal. Pack some money in your fuel belt or hide it in your checked bag if you have to, or have someone meet you there with money but you have that option to get your medal engraved!
~Finish Line!~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips for New Runners: Race Morning

If you have stumbled upon my blog about the Run Disney Princess Half Marathon looking for tips, I am sure that you have probably read at other places that EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE!

When you get to your hotel, on WDW or off site, check with your hotel, if there is transportation provided and what time the transportation is offered for race morning. It doesn't matter if you drive there or take transpiration provided for you, you will be leaving VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING! K and I set 2 alarms to go off to make sure we woke up for a lovely 2:45 am! She set the ring tone to Eye of the Tiger. We were staying at the Shades of Green resort on the WDW park. (Shades of Green is the military hotel that is on the resort for only military guests and their families! It is AWESOME! If military check it out!) It is located across the street from the Polynesian resort, and we actually ran right past it during the 1/2 marathon! We figured that we would walk to the Polynesian and then catch the buses there but thankfully Shades had their own buses. You are going to want to be to the busses pretty early, because they fill up quickly and you don't want to be running to the start of the race then run the 1/2. No fun! We were on our bus by 3:45 or so am!
(1st long walk!)

Know that where the busses drop you off, is a LONG WALK! A very long walk. It feels like forever just to get to the waiting area. Not the corral staging area just the pre-marathon waiting area. There was a band/DJ playing music. Lots of people were having fun. I was in search of food, cause I was still hungry and found a banana from one of the tents (a race volunteer took pity on me and passed me one.) And a bathroom. K made me drink tons of water when I woke up, when we got on the bus and on our way to the waiting area. I already had to go. NOT GOOD!

There were tons of bathrooms to choose from so we went. I learned that morning how hard it was going to be going to the bathroom with my tutu and big pregnant belly! EEK! We then found a place to sit and rest by the gates that would open to take us to the coral staging area. I was on the hunt trying to find other bloggers I followed, never found them but I looked! I wanted to even go up in the coral area that I knew she would be but I didn't want to be that stalkerish! We walked the next mile or so to the staging are and K and I found my corral, 1 down from hers and sat down near the front. We talked about our running strategy and she had me munch on more food and drink MORE water. I decided that I needed to go to the bathroom again and went on search to the hundreds more port-a-potties there. I got back in the coral and the first corral was off. And we waited our turn. This was it! I was about to embark on my first 1/2 marathon. 29 weeks pregnant.
(Waiting in the corrals!) 

Bring water and food to munch on while you wait. Use the port-a-poties by the corrals before the race starts, because the line at the mile 1 port-a-poties is LONG! The line at all the port-a-potties is long, except for mile 13. I didn't have to wait for that one!

Also, it can be a little chilly until the race starts. Head to Goodwill and find a hoodie to toss to the side after the first mile or 2 when you warm up. Disney takes all the toss clothing and donates them so it is for a good cause!
(Everyone behind us)

Make sure you rest and sit down, so bring a towel or something to sit on, again a toss clothing if you are worried about sitting on the ground! When you get there it will feel like a bunch of hurry up and wait, and it is but it's ok. Just rest as much as possible. Get off your feet and sit down!

From where the busses drop you off to the corrals is seriously about 2 miles. So just know that. You are awesome! Who else do you know that walks 2 miles before a half marathon just to start the half marathon!
(Ready, Set...)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

PCOS and Infertility: My Story

After my recent announcement you probably wouldn't believe that I did suffer from infertility for 9 years. It is true. Matt and I were married in 2002 and by 2003 I was off birth control and trying to get pregnant. Mid 2003 we went to my doctor's office and they told me that the best way to get pregnant was to lose 10-15 lbs. Keep in mind I was not super heavy at this point. I had gained maybe 10 lbs by the time we had gotten married. I was upset. And talked with a friend who told me to go see her doctor who specialized in infertility.

I visited that doctor and took all the test and ultrasounds and on the ultrasound, there it was. The Ring of Pearls around both ovaries. The doctor went over my blood results and said that I had a hormone imbalance which made it difficult for my body to know when to release an egg. Basically, my body didn't know when to start producing the hormones to tell my body to make an egg and then when to release it. So all the eggs just started lining up around my ovaries. She also advised that PCOS is related with insulin levels. My insulin levels were fine. (and incorrect insulin levels can make you gain weight and make it more difficult to lose weight.)

She put me on some clomid as part of my way to get me to ovulate. The first month I ovulated but nothing happened. No pregnancy. The second month I had a cyst and we had to stop clomid for the month. The next month after that we took a break again. I was getting frustrated. We gave up for the time being. And moved up north to Flagstaff, AZ where I started seeing a new doctor who said he was a fertility specialists. WRONG! He gave me high dosage of Clomid and didn't monitor me. He diagnosed me by looking at me and said I had PCOS because of facial hair. I was on clomid straight for 7 months. And he had me take Metformin which is an insulin regulator. I had a ruptured cyst that put me in the hospital and my periods were the worst they have ever been.  And the mood swings, Matt wanted to volunteer to go to Afghanistan to get away from me. I am a red head, my temper is already pretty short so it was really BAD! Looking back I feel like I had a black veil over me. Everything was just tainted differently than it should have been. It was not good and that 7 months was the worst of our marriage. We fought more than we ever had and he didn't even want to touch me!

We gave up, in the sense of no more doctors at least for awhile. Still stayed on Metformin and started to gain weight. So this was 2006. By 2010, Matt was deployed and had a strong impression that we needed to find another doctor to get started on our family. A good family friend had gotten pregnant by a REAL Endocrinologist (hormone doc) and I called that doc. I met with the doc, told them about my experiences and that I REFUSED to go on clomid because it was so awful for me! The doc agreed and told me what he suggested. Regular monitoring and I was going to take hormone shots to jump start my body. Instead of putting a hormone into my body tricking it to do something (clomid) We were going to shoot me up with the actual hormone to make my body do something! I took some other tests to make sure that all the pipes were clean and working, and Matt was gone for 2 more months anyhow so we had a little time to kill. I did do one round of shots before he got home as a control to figure out dosing and make sure it even worked. Well it did work but not as fast as we wanted it to. So for the first "real" round my dosing was upped. I was getting blood tests very frequently, so much so I have a preferred vein I like to use and it is named "Old Faithful!" And every time I have to go have my blood taken I tell the vampires where it is at and that it is deep but works every time. Half the time I get stuck in the blind because they can't find it but it works every time, when they trust what I say and listen to me.

Anyhew, that round worked but I didn't get pregnant after Matt got home. I had to skip a month due to going out of town. The next month we decided to pair the hormones with my first IUI (inter uterine implantation) They take Matt's soldiers, clean them, and then implant them directly into my uterus using a catheter up there. The soldiers still have to "find the egg" as it were and do their job. Not an IVF where they take the egg from the female and the guys soldiers and combine them together outside of the body then implant the eggs back into the female for implantation.

We were going to find out on our Anniversary if the IUI worked. Sadly it didn't. We also had word from Matt's military that he was going to be deployed in October to Iraq. So we didn't have enough time by the time my cycle came around to do another round before a HUGE trip we had been planning on doing. So we did our HUGE 2.5 week trip to Disney World and then a cruise to the Caribbean. We had a great time. I got pampered by my husband. We went on 2 amazing tours of WDW and the cruise was more fun than we ever dreamed. I got massages and acupuncture while on the cruise. We found out that his deployment was postponed for the time being. YES! And the day after we got home my cycle started!

I called my doc and told them and they got me started on the shots by day 3. We were rolling. And everything was happing way faster and better than it had the other 3 rounds. By 2 weeks we were ready to go. Halloween I took my HCG shot to trigger ovulation, (ouch, that one HURTS!) and November 2nd was my IUI! 2 weeks later we found out we were pregnant with Mason! It worked. Since then I have had 3 spontaneous pregnancies. 1 resulting in another baby, Collin.

When I was doing the fertility treatment I was exercising and I had lost 35 lbs. I was below 200 when I got pregnant, just below but I was in the 190's range! I was running. Eating wasn't all that great but I was still learning what to put in my body. I wasn't eating the rights amounts or kinds of foods really. When I found out I was pregnant with Mason I stopped exercising because I didn't want to lose Mason. Worse mistake I ever did! And I started eating food again (I was on slim fast to control my calories.) I wish I didn't do that! And I didn't exercise prior to getting pregnant with my 2 next pregnancies which both ended in miscarriage. With Collin I was very active and stayed that way. Now I am trying to do the same, if my morning sickness will allow me!

What is cool though I had been told by my 3rd fertility doc; the one that got me to work, he said that sometimes when a woman with PCOS get pregnant and has a baby it can jump start her body to doing what it should be doing, regular ovulation and periods. I hoped it would and was surprised when it did. Now we can't turn me off. But you know what, I am amazed with my body that it is working and that I have 2 healthy boys and another on the way. I pray everyday that me and the Baby are watched over and protected and that if it is God's will that I can continue to carry the baby and have it part of my family.
I promise you that if you were told that you have PCOS you can still have children. It might take some time, but it can still happen. My advice to you, find healthy activities to do and a great meal plan and stick with it. It is good for your body and good for you when you do get pregnant. Just hang in there. I know how you feel. The sadness that you get when you see other people with babies. Or hear how so-and-so didn't even try and they now have 3 kids when you don't have any. Or the pressure from your family or religion to pop babies out. I get it. I was there for 9 years. Wishing, hoping and praying that I would have a child of my own. Never really thought that I would have 3 though after it taking so long just to get one. In the end, learn to love yourself, forgive yourself because you will be secretly mad at yourself because you can't be like a "normal" woman and have babies. And enjoy life with your partner. Babies will come.

My stats:
9 years of waiting
3 fertility doctors (1 real one)
54 shots in my belly
2 IUI's
6 pregnancies
3 live babies

****UPDATE 10/15/15
I miscarried pregnancy #5 on March 21st at just shy of 14 weeks pregnant. It was a very hard miscarriage and almost took my life because it was so traumatic. Hoping that we can get pregnant again soon though.

******* Update 9/29/16
I birthed a healthy 7 pound 5 ounce baby girl today! Elyse Cheyenne. She is my rainbow baby after my traumatic miscarriage last year. She had the exact same due date as my pregnancy last year and decided to make us wait and force her out. Born at 41 weeks 1 day.

Monday, February 16, 2015

So Relieved!

I am so relieved that I can finally talk about my pregnancy. It has been so hard writing and not to be able to tell you why I was having a hard time getting my weekly workouts in or why running was becoming more and more difficult.

So here it is! My excuses! I have had and still continue to have extreme exhaustion. And it is not like I am not sleeping. I am sleeping so much right now I am almost confused why I am so tired, but I am. I have to remind myself that I am doing 2 things at once right now. I am still nursing Collin and I am making a whole new baby. That takes a lot of energy and it is just zapping me and knocking me on my butt, more than I thought it would. And to accompany that I have had horrid morning sickness which means I am not eating as much as I probably should be to support nursing and making a baby. In the beginning I was trying to eat what I knew I should and I was getting so sick to my stomach after ever meal that I finally figured out that I needed to just eat more meals during the day but smaller amounts. Once I did that, the morning sickness has gotten better but I still have days where it is just, nothing looks good to me at all and I have to force myself to eat. And hunks of meat don't go well for me right now. I can't just eat chicken or beef. I have been enjoying rice and soups mostly, oh and eggs. Eggs are my staple right now. We are going through 3 dozen eggs a week right now. And I have now started drinking a tea that has been helping me with my morning sickness so I am excited for that to work. But I just can't wait to get past the first trimester and be done with all this morning sickness and exhaustion!

But other than that, I have been doing pretty well. I have times where I actually feel pretty good and forget I am pregnant, or start to worry if something is wrong. And per usual every commercial on TV right now gets me crying or anything sappy I am a total water works!

As I said on Saturday I am still planning on running my 10k on Sunday and also the 10 miler next month. I know I can do this, but I just have to be safe about it. I am still in the danger zone of being pregnant, but from my past experiences I know that there is nothing I can do to continue a pregnancy if it is not meant to be. So I have been wielding faith with every footstep. Saying a prayer, ever run I do, that the baby and I stay safe and that we finish happy and healthy. The days that I have done my long runs, I am pretty much out for the count the rest of the day. Or at least most of it. The 7 miles I did 2 weeks ago, I was dealing with my feet hurting from the shoes not working well, which made my legs hurt more than they should so I was pretty roughed up from that run. But I have my old brand and year back now and I am excited to break in my new shoes. (more on the shoes later this week!)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pregnant In Running Shoes...AGAIN!

Can you believe it? Can I believe it? NOPE! I think I am still in shock at seeing that second line on the test!

~So was this planned? Not this early! No, we knew we were going to have another child, and that it would be close in age to Collin, but we never, ever, LIKE EVER! Thought it would be this close to having Collin. Collin and Baby #3 will be 16 months apart. I was hoping to get pregnant around March-May. But apparently the big guy up top had other ideas for us.

~How did you find out? At the beginning of Jan we went to Collin's 6 month check up and he had lost weight. So I was really pushing nursing like crazy with him. Then all the sudden I wasn't producing like, anything. Kid was crying at the end of every nursing session because he wasn't getting enough. 2 days later of this and being exhausted, I sent Matt to the store to get some tests because I just didn't feel right. I felt off and I wanted to prove that pregnancy was not in the picture. I was still nursing. No way I could still get pregnant. WRONG! I took a test that night, it was a Friday night. And I got a super faint line. I told Matt and he said that he wouldn't believe it till it was "morning pee." (morning pee is more undiluted pee and is supposed to give more accurate results.) So the next morning I took another test and the test was a little darker. (not much but there was definitely a line.) Matt then said he would believe the test on Monday morning after waiting a few days. "It could be a false positive!" he would say as he and I were in utter and complete SHOCK!

Monday morning rolled around and I took another test. The line this morning was much darker. I was concerned about nursing and wasn't sure about continuing nursing or even if my progesterone was at the right levels to sustain a pregnancy. (I had to take progesterone pills with my other pregnancies to sustain them) So I called my OB/GYM up that day and they decided to see me the next day.

I went in. Got an exam and check up and had my blood drawn. That evening I got the results of my test, called personally from my doc which usually isn't a good sign, and he said that it was 27 and that that could be normal for a very early pregnancy and for me to go back on Friday to get a second draw to make sure it doubled in that time. Time crawled by till Friday. I took another pee test (Matt got 6) on Thursday and the line was EVEN DARKER! Friday rolled around and got poked in the arm. Later that day, we got a call from the nurse and she said my numbers more than doubled. I was at 124! So baby was sticking. And my progesterone was fine. No suppositories! YEA!

Since then I have just been sitting on this news, dying to tell all of you!

Hard part though, I have been very sick with morning sickness. It seems to be getting worse ever single week. I even missed my 8 mile run this morning because of it and my INSANE migraines I have been getting. They are AWFUL! So I am still planning on doing the 10 miler next month. There isn't a time limit on it but I will be doing it. After that I have smaller races and can do them easy peasy. I just want to get past all the puking and dry heaving stage!

~How far along am I right now. Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks. I am announcing earlier than I would like, but I figured I need to be grateful for this amazing blessing. This was a surprise. A true blessing and I just can not hide it in any longer!

~What is your official due date? Well, this past Thursday, I went in for my 8 week check up. We didn't know my due date (since I am nursing, and I didn't remember my last period) so I got sent to the hospital for a dating ultrasound. I got to see our little gummy bear and the heart beat and based on the size of the embryo, I am due September 27.

I am so thankful for you sticking around with me and continuing to follow me. Again, my goal for this pregnancy is to remain as fit and healthy as possible. I still hadn't lost all the baby weight from Collin. I figured I had a few months to lose it before I got pregnant again and well, nope! So I am starting out this pregnancy even heavier than I ever wanted to start a pregnancy. I am almost at my end pregnancy weight I was with both boys. That scares me to death. So my goal is to remain as active as possible, do more exercises that spot certain areas of my body that I know get bigger, my thighs and BUTT! and to continue eating a healthy diet. (failing in that right now because sweets are just amazing, well some of them, and I am having a hard time eating meat in general.) So lots of eggs right now and I have been enjoying fresh fruit and green smoothies. Here is to the next 9 months!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips For New Runners: The Expo

Oh the EXPO! We hit the expo on Saturday afternoon last year. A TON of the Disney merchandise was already gone by then.

The Official Even Guide is up right now ( I love that they are taking this Frozen theme into it so much! I am sure that you will be seeing lots of Anna and Elsa's and Olaf's too as you run!). Take some time to look through it. Figure out speakers to go and watch. Familiarize yourself with the booths at the expo. One HUGE TIP! Know your budget before you go in there. Only allow yourself to spend $X amount of dollars so that you don't go crazy when you are in there. THERE IS A TON OF CUTE STUFF and you are going to want to get it all!

Here are my top things that I wanted, and got and other things to check out and do while at the EXPO:

1) The "I DID IT" Shirt! I had to have it. Yes I got a shirt with the race, but I love the idea of the I DID IT shirt. Because I earned that shirt and my gorgeous medal! Like I said above, most of the Disney Merch. was sold out. There were a couple of people at a table with the shirts they had left and they were handing out cards to go to a specific site AFTER the race to be able to order your shirt. BUT you had to do it right after the race, and they only had so many. So you better believe that after I got back to our hotel and before I got in the tub to soak I ordered my shirt. I got the Tech shirt and I LOVE IT! I wear it all the time. The back of it has the race route on it and it is great! It did take me about 2 months (no kidding on that) to get the shirt delivered to my house but when I got it I was doing a happy little dance and I seriously wear it all the time. ( I like the Glass Slipper Challenge merchandise so much this year!)

2) Mini Medal pin. This I ordered when I registered for the race. Yes, I have a lanyard with pins I have collected on it. They are special pins that you can only get if you have done them. Like I have one for the Disney Cruise Mexico, and for the Keys to the Kingdom tour, our Segway tour. So now I have my little princess half marathon pin on there! They had plenty left and Glass slipper pins left too so get those. Also, they make really cute Christmas Ornaments. They are small enough for the tree that you can hang your collection. (Maybe get 2 sets of pins.)

3) KT Tape. If you haven't gotten taped yet, but you have a lingering pain it might be a good idea to stop by the KT booth and get taped up professionally. As a back up though bring your own tape with you. By Saturday they were all out of tape and they said if I had my own they would tape me so, bring a roll with you but have them tape you up! I had my belly taped up for the race, prior to even leaving home so I was already covered with tape.

4) Get something specific for you that you are going to look back on for your experience. There are lots of booths with motivational items in them. I went with the shoe charms. My BFF and I got Sole Sisters. I also now want to get a 13.1 because I have done it. But there were lots of shirts that we saw that we really liked.

5) Try out the different flavors of GU. Gu will have a booth set up with samples. These are the same samples that will be available to you at mile 9. Know before you go. Technically if you haven't tried Gu before running the 1/2, like on your training run, then it might not be a good idea but you might need that pick me up, (that being said, if you haven't tried Gu or another energy picker-uper you still have to try it out before the race!) There are so many flavors from vanilla to mocha flavor to caffeine free. I went with Raspberry and Lime which were both caffeine free since I was so pregnant.

6) I wish I had a chance to listen to the speakers. My friend Elizabeth just did the Star Wars 1/2 at Disneyland last month and got to listen to Jeff Galloway and LOVED IT! She ended up getting his walk/run timer and used it to help her complete her first 1/2 marathon!

7) Take lots and lots of pictures. Even at the expo! It is ok, just do it! You will want to remember everything and the weekend is going to be a whirlwind of craziness and you will forget. So make sure you take PICTURES!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips for New Runners: Costumes

The RunDisney 10k & Princess Half Marathon is in less than 2 weeks! Sadly, I won't be participating in this wonderful race this year but I did it last year and thought it would be fun to share some tips and tricks I learned about the race to any new participant this year! So I am going to do a series of posts over the next few days about RunDisney and the Princess Half Marathon!
(Brave inspired costume. Tutu by Race Junkie. Nike Shirt with custom vinyl by Be Bold.) 

A must do is to DRESS UP! Wearing a running costume is all the rage at RunDisney events! You don't have to but most everyone running will be wearing a costume of some sort! And generally they are Disney themed but seriously you can wear whatever you want to wear!

Trust me it is so much fun to run in costume and to see what everyone else is wearing to run in. Need inspiration? Check out my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Angie, from a Facebook group we are part of, gave me permission to post her picture with her AWESOME costume! She got the skirt from Run Princess Run, the top was homemade. Leg warmers are from Run Alice Run and the cape is from her daughter's costume (way to repurpose Angie!)

Outfit: Styles of costumes are important to think about. Tutu's are great to run in, however the length of the tutu does matter. Last year, I ran in a tutu. It was made by RaceJunkie (I am pretty sure it is past the cutoff point to order a tutu from her at this point.) If you decide to make one, there are lots of tutorials online, between now and the race make sure the Tutu is 9-12 inches in length. RaceJunkie does them 9 inches preferred, but I will say that it barely covers my big butt. The 12 inch tutu might be too long and can get caught in between your  thighs as you run and can cause a TON or chaffing! So shorter might be better in this case. Last year I saw someone wearing an ankle length tutu. Talk about annoying and painful! Oh, and be creative. You don't have to dress up like a main character. I have seen a Chip, from Beauty and the Beast, costume from this year. There is even talk about someone dressing up as a balloon lady, balloon and all. That will get everyone around her to run a little faster!

Trial and Error: Do a Test Run in your costume! So important! You will learn if there is chaffing before you have to deal with it for 13.1 miles. You will learn if your costume can hold up to running. You will learn the annoyances of it too. I had a large pregnant belly to help keep the tutu riding low on my hips, but when I ran in a tutu at 17 weeks pregnant my tutu kept riding up a big and I just ended up pulling it up above my belly button so I wouldn't have to deal with it.
(My BFF K. tutu and shirt from RaceJunkie)

Hair& Makeup: If you put spray color in your hair to temporally change the color of your hair while running. TRY IT OUT BEFORE the race day. Go do a sweaty workout or a nice long run that gets your head all sweaty to see how much the spray dye will drip into your eyes or if it will drip down your head. Also don't forget if you run in makeup try to wear waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

Motivational Quotes: Have sayings on your shirt, front and back. It was fun to read all the motivational sayings on the shirts. Seeing what was on the back and also trying to read the front. My friend who ran with me kept telling me how many people I was passing and I was 29 weeks pregnant. And others would come up from behind and say, how amazing it was that I was running at 29 weeks pregnant. My front of my shirt was my motivation to me and the back was a reminder that a very pregnant lady was in front of them.

Shoes: New Balance released a new series of shoes and they will be for sale at the Expo. Buy a pair if you want, but DO NOT RUN 13.1 MILES IN THEM THE NEXT DAY! Huge rule of thumb is to not do something new that you have already tested out. I saw so many people on the course wearing their new beautiful New Balance Cinderella shoes, some even with the satin as the laces. I saw bloody heels and hobbling going on from some of the ladies. You have been training for the last couple of months for this in your running shoes, stick with it for race day. And wear the awesome new shoes around the parks. Don't mess with running mojo on the day of the race!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Treadmill Interval Training

Some days it is just too cold outside to go running. For me, there is 1 Saturday a month that I  cannot run with the training group, guaranteed, because that is the weekend that Matt has his Army training. GO ARMY WIFE! So I am stuck with running on the treadmill or dreadmill as some call it for my long run that day. YUCK! (anything more than 4 miles on the treadmill is HARD! Also during the week though you can find me at the gym on the treadmill and elliptical. Since my gym has 2.5 hours of daycare allowed per day I try to spend a good amount of time there.

So what do I do from getting bored on the treadmill. First of all. I use the personal TV that is on the machine. Since I don't have cable TV at home I love to watch the Food Network when I exercise. I also go to the gym around the same time each day so that I catch my fav shows. I love cupcake wars and Pioneer Woman. And if I am there late enough I catch Ina Garten.

But also I am starting to incorporate interval training into my daily workouts. Since I do interval running/walking on the weekends I should be doing that during the week. I aim for 30-45 min 2 days a week of my runs. For a beginning runner or like me a slower one here is what I am doing:
You can adjust these speeds based on your current running level but the point it is to push yourself and for me 5.0 is pushing it. But because of this I have noticed that my average running speed on the weekends when I am running is around a 12 min mile. YEA! So it is working!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Week 5 Recap

Another week done and over with. Time is just going by so quickly! I am so happy though that I started the month with a race and I ended the month with a really good long run. Well the run could have been better but still 7 miles! Super happy with that.

So why could the run have been better. My shoes. The real test of the shoes was on my long run. I said that I was a little on the fence about them and my suspicions were correct that they just weren't going to work out. During the week I went walking and did the elliptical and my feet just felt cramped like crazy in them. And on Saturday for my 7 miles I could literally feel the pounding of the pavement on my feet, my knees actually started to ache, which has never happened before, and my toes went numb around mile 4 or so. When I got home I had a knot on the bottom of my foot at the arch, because I was so squished in the shoes. And under the nails of my pinky toes on both feet have little bruises on them.

I went back into the store and worked with my running coach and owner personally and he said that they were just too cramped. I have really wide big feet. (Sasquatch here!) He had me try on a few more pairs. And they found my same style of shoes, that I had previously but in a guys shoe and when I put it on I felt like I was home. My feet just felt so comfortable. However they are a 10 and I really should be in a 10.5. The 10's worked but he ordered the Brooks Adrenaline 15 for me to try in the 10.5. Men size by the way. So the new shoes should be in sometime this week for me to compare. So the search for shoes are still afoot! (I had to totally write that!) Until then I have my not so comfy shoes, without the liner and coach said that it should work fine for 1 shorter run. I have older Nike's that aren't all dead that I can use too if I need to.

Mason and Collin- Not much is going on here with these two boys. They are keeping me busy as per usual. Trying to keep the house clean with these two is becoming more and more difficult. Collin is now trying to learn to climb up the stairs. He keeps crawling to them and wants to tackle them but hasn't quite learned how to do that yet. Mason is a good older brother when he wants to be. We are having communication issues right now, where if he doesn't get what he wants he tells me to GO AWAY! (makes me want to cry) No idea how to change that or help with that.

Long run of the week:
7.07 miles. 1 hour 48 min- 15:24 min mile
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