Tag Archives: fitness

Benefits Of Exercise While Pregnant.

We’re 23 weeks today! That means we’ve officially entered the beginning our 6th month! “Only” 4ish more to go! 😂

And I’m still running!! I’ve cut back quite a bit but I’m still staying relatively active and I’m very grateful that I can! So today I wanted to talk a little bit about the benefits of exercising while pregnant!

I’m not a doctor of any sort so take everything I say with a grain of salt. 😉 That being said, these are all benefits of exercise during pregnancy that I’ve either experienced thus far, or have found in my research and endless reading on the topic.

Always consult with your care provider before starting a workout program.

That being said, my midwife and almost every article and book on the topic that you read usually advises that you can safely continue to do any kind of workout/exercise you were doing pre-pregnancy. With the obvious modifications that might need to happen to accommodate a growing belly and a shifting center of balance.

Now with that all out of the way, let’s crack into our topic for this post!

Benefits Of Exercise While Pregnant:

Pain relief

Running is literally the only thing that’s been able to put a dent in the back pain that I’ve been experiencing throughout this entire pregnancy. And let’s be real, the only kind of pain medication you can take while pregnant is Tylenol and Tylenol has literally NEVER done anything for me pain relief-wise. So I haven’t bothered with that and just stick to running and yoga for pain relief instead!

Helps boost your mood

Endorphins can be one hell of a drug and while you’re pregnant that and elusive runner’s high is the only kind of high you can experience without any potential adverse side effects to you or your fetus, so you might as well chase after it. 🏃🏻‍♀️😂

And even if you don’t manage to catch up to a real runner’s high (I’ve literally only actually experienced it two or three times in my seven years of running) you’ll still likely feel the mood boosting benefits of any exercise that you do!

Helps improve sleep

I’m going to be real with you (but honestly when aren’t I? 🤷🏻‍♀️), one of the biggest reasons that I hate being pregnant is how fucking hard it is to sleep.

But exercising while pregnant is supposed to improve the quality of your sleep for all of the same reasons exercise helps improve your sleep when you aren’t pregnant. Basically it all comes down to the fact that our bodies like to move and be active, exercise makes you tired, and helps with anxiety and depression that might be causing issues with sleep.

That being said, exercise hasn’t improved my sleep much. But it has been helpful in a very small way but only if I do some easy yoga or go for a nice walk too long before bed; it puts my baby to sleep.

I’m not sure if RJ actually likes the fact that I run/try to stay active or it it just bores him to sleep (more likely than not it’s just the gentle rocking motion that he’s probably experiencing), but either way so far it’s been a very reliable method of putting his ass to sleep. Because otherwise he likes to be very active the second I lay down in bed and even though I’m only 23 weeks pregnant those little movements that are getting stronger every day can make it really hard to fall asleep.

I swear this kid is training to be an Olympic swimmer. One night it felt like he was doing flip turns off of the sides of my uterus all night. That coupled with the fact that it’s literally impossible to actually get comfortable right now I didn’t sleep much that night. I should have gone for a walk before bed. 😂

It’s good for your baby

There’s like, a whole bunch of studies that go over all of the potential benefits (and I’ve read about A LOT of them) that your baby gets when you exercise while pregnant. So that helps motivate me to leave the comfort of my heating pad, set down my snacks, and get a quick workout in. 😉

Seriously though if you just do a quick google search of “how does exercise during pregnancy benefit the baby” and you’ll see what I mean.

Helps Prepare your body for labor and delivery

Honestly I’m not even remotely scared or worried about the whole birthing process. I’m an endurance athlete. My body is strong (maybe not as strong as it has been, but it’s still probably more fit than the average American if we’re still being honest), healthy, and I’ve trained my mind to embrace pain and long, hard efforts. In a weird way running and exercise in general has prepared me for this in a way that maybe a non-distance runner/athlete wouldn’t necessarily experience.

Currently I’m really interested in seeing how my body handles the birthing process. I’m interested in seeing just what my body is capable of doing, which is one of the many reasons why I plan on doing this with no pain relief or any kind of medical intervention as long as that’s safe for us. If it was exclusively up to me I wouldn’t even be giving birth in a hospital but my husband isn’t comfortable with that. Which is fair and valid for reasons that are personal and I won’t be talking about right now.

That being said, I don’t think there is any “right” or “wrong” way to bring a baby into this world. You gotta do what right (and sometimes medically necessary) for you and your baby and I’ll never judge anyone for those very personal decisions that you have to make.

But this is my truth; right now I think a non-medicated birth, with no unnecessary medical intervention, and definitely not while lying on my back is what’s going to be best for me and RJ. And I honestly believe I’ll be able to get through all of that because of all of the running and training I’ve done. I also have a really high threshold for pain which will probably come in handy as well.😂

Potentially leads to a shorter labor, fewer birth complications, and a faster postpartum recovery

Obviously the jury is still out on all of this because is it’s definitely not always the case and issues can arise no matter how fit or healthy you are, but if there’s even a small chance that it could help in any of these departments I’ll definitely take it!! And the potential of any of the above actually happening is definitely motivating for me to keep exercising throughout the entirety of my pregnancy!🤷🏻‍♀️😂 As always assuming that it is safe to do so and I’m still cleared by my midwife to keep going.

These points are really just a few of the potential benefits exercising while pregnant! But they are all reasons that I have either experienced or that resonate with me.

In my personal opinion I think that as long as it’s cleared by a care provider, exercising in whatever way feels best to you in whatever capacity that you can (gentle yoga and nice, leisurely walks definitely count, folks!) is incredibly impactful to you and your baby in some really amazing and beneficial ways!

But don’t just take my word for it. ALWAYS consult with your care provider with any questions or concerns that you might have.

~Ashley

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in the seven years that I’ve been running. Setting out before the sun comes up on a hot summer day, putting on layers upon layers on a wet winter afternoon, bonking, DNF-ing, and PR-ing races, trying different shoes, trying different fuel, doing long runs, speed work outs, and running of course reading countless books, magazines, and internet articles on running. Sometimes it feels like the only thing I haven’t done in running is actually doing a marathon. Maybe one day though. 😂

It’s safe to say I’ve been around the block a few times. Literally. So here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started running.

1. Speed Is Relative 

The comparison trap is a very easy one to fall into. Especially if you’re on any form of social media and follow all sorts of badass, super speedy runners. And that’s great for them!

But the thing is, speed is relative. What’s super speedy for you might be slow for someone else. A hard workout for one person might be a easy run for you. It’s all relative.

It’s best to not compare your paces to anyone else’s because it’s all different for everyone! You do you and be proud of your accomplishments! No matter what they might be!

2. It’s Ok To Walk

When I first started running I was under the impression that didn’t “count” unless you ran the whole time. If you had to walk then you weren’t a “real” runner. But that’s just not true!

Once I learned about the run/walk/run method and how many people actually implemented it, my life pretty much changed. I was able to run farther and faster (yes, I’m still a slow runner, but remember, speed is relative 😉) when I took walking breaks. Sometimes those breaks happen for about a minute after each mile, sometimes on bad days I walk up hills, sometimes I do more structured intervals of 90 seconds of running 30 seconds of walking, and sometimes I don’t walk at all.

But just knowing that I can take a walk break if I need to catch my breath, change up my rhythm a little bit, take a sip of water, eat a little something, walk up a hill, or just need to mentally collect myself, I can! It doesn’t make me any less of a runner! How cool is that?

Seriously though the run/walk/run method made a huge difference in my running life and I suggest you look it up! Jeff Galloway has some really helpful books on the subject!

3. “Bad” Weather Makes Tough Runner’s

Referring back to my first point, bad weather is also relative. For me, “bad” weather would be anything over 75 degrees (I’m a baby in the heat, what can I say! 🤷🏻‍♀️😂), on a humid, sunny day. But for other people that’s PERFECT running weather.

But back to my point, when I first started running I spend a good majority of a summer running on a treadmill, and there’s nothing wrong with treadmill running, but running in any kind of challenging condition is going to make you so much tougher! Physically because you have to work harder and mentally because you have to push through your mental barriers to keep going! Which are both important things to learn to do if you’re going to do any kind of racing or just have big goals that you want to accomplish, but those lessons also can be easily applied to other situations in life!

Obviously if it’s too hazardous outside it’s best to swap your running days or stick to a treadmill, but if it’s possible I think we should all brave harder weather whenever we can! It really does toughen you up for a hard race! Or other potential difficult situations!

4. You Need To Size Up Your Running Shoes

Maybe just by half a size or maybe even by a whole size, because here’s the deal, your feet swell when you run. And if I would have know that I wouldn’t have lost a toenail during my first half marathon. 😂

What happened in my situation was I had bought my running shoes in my normal size. Which is fine for non-running activities but I quickly learned that 10 miles into a half marathon your feet aren’t the same size as they were when you started. Which means your toes are going to be jamming into the front of the toe box of your shoes and that can cause you to lose toenails. It’s not fun. 😂

So don’t be like me during my first half marathon. Size up your shoes and give your toesies plenty of room too move in the tie box of your shoe. But not so much room that you’re tripping over excess shoe or feel clumsy in them! No clown shoes needed! Unless that’s your thing I guess! 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

5. Safety First!

A lot can happen on the open road, trail, or even your gym treadmill.

It’s a good idea to always tell someone where you’ll be running and how long you anticipate being gone. That way someone has an idea of where you should be and when they should start looking for you/seeking help if you don’t show up on time (but I also recommend a call or text of you’re taking longer than anticipated.

If you’re running on the road ALWAYS run against traffic, so in the US that means you should be on the left side of the road. That should give you a few more seconds to spot any potential issues and bail into a ditch if you have to. It also makes you more visible to drivers.

Always wear clothing that is easy to spot from far away. Anything reflective is your friend! A blinking light is a MUST if you run in the dark and I HIGHLY recommend that everyone wears a Road ID!

Mine has my name, birth year, spouse’s name, phone number, and relationship to me, my blood type, my penicillin allergy, and a quote on it, but you can basically add anything you want to it! I think these are super important to have, just in case.

If you have to run with headphones (guilty!) always keep the volume low enough so you can hear what’s going on around you and just try to be aware of your surroundings in general.

Obviously that’s just and incredibly brief overview of some key points, but I think they’re important things to keep in mind!

6. Racing Is Fun But It’s Not A Necessary Part Of Being A Runner

Don’t get me wrong, I love participating in races! But 2020 had different plans for all of us and IRL racing wasn’t possible for a lot of people. Myself included.

As much as I missed having races on my calendar to set goals for, I learned to find a different kind of purpose for my running. And while I’m looking forward to doing a few actual races (looking at you fall 2021!) I am glad I was able to find a different kind of joy in running!

So if racing isn’t your thing I say don’t do them! Running can be so much more than starting lines, finisher medals, and participant t-shirts.

7. Vaseline Is Your Friend

Slather that shit anywhere you have chafed, might chafe, or under any part of your running gear that might rub you the wrong way. Literally.

For me that means on my thighs and the sides of my feet in the summer. But I’ve heard of people putting it under their sports bra straps, the waistline of their shorts, nipples, armpits, honestly the possibilities are endless!! Plus Vaseline isn’t all that expensive so go crazy if you’re haunted by the memories of getting into the shower after a long run and experience the stinging only freshly chafed skin can bring.

Another thing you can use Vaseline for is any exposed skin on a cold run! An nice layer of it is supposed to help keep those areas warm! I’ve never tried it but some people swear by it!

8. Hats Are Much More Functional Headbands

Ok but seriously, they really are! When I first started running I never considered wearing a hat. I just pulled my hair back with a hair tie and headband. But I have really thick hair and that never really kept it out of my face. Something that really annoyed me. Then one hot summer I started wearing a hat to keep the sun off of my face and I realized that I should have been doing just that from the very beginning. First off, a hat keeps my hair out of my face better than any headband ever has. Plus you can use it to keep the sun, rain, snow, dust, or whatever out of your eyes. And in the summer you can put some water or ice in it to help cool you off a bit. You can’t do that with a headband haha.

9. You Need To Fuel Your Body Properly

I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t tell you what the proper way to fuel your body for running is (and it’s different for everyone anyway!).

But I can tell you that eating right and eating enough is incredibly important! You can’t run your best if you aren’t eating enough!

And treats and not necessarily “healthy things are a part of a healthy diet! So there’s no need to restrict yourself to a ridiculously “clean” diet!! Veggies, fruits, complex carbs, proteins, and fats are all very important as well!

Give your body the very best of you want to run your very best. Sometimes that means a nice fruit smoothie. Other times that means pizza.

10. Find Your “Why”

When I first started running my “why”, the reason and motivation for taking up this weird and wonderful sport in the first place, wasn’t a great one. I was trapped in a bad cycle of body dysmorphia and food restriction. My “why” was literally to burn extra calories and let me tell you that is NOT a good reason to take up running.

Sure, running does burn more calories than a lot of other forms of exercise (roughly 100 calories per mile, depending on your build and metabolism). But that’s really not enough to keep you going when the going gets tough.

If you actually want to stick with running long term you need something more substantial than that! And it can’t be something super rigid or just one big goal. For example, there is a pretty decent sized population of people who have run a marathon and then never run another step in their lives.

Your “why” will definitely change over the years. Mine went from just being a calorie burn, to proving people wrong (my WHOLE life I was always told I was un-athletic and I BELIEVED that for the longest time), then it turned into me proving to myself that I can do hard things. At certain times it was just to keep me sane. That turned into me running just because I thought it was fun. Right now my “why” is running to keep myself and my unborn baby happy and healthy. And to help relive some of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. 😂

Your “why” could be that your using running to fill the void after you lost a loved one. Or something to help you recover from an addiction. It can be a celebration of life! Maybe you overcame cancer or you run for someone who can’t anymore or who never could in the first place.

Everyone’s “why” is different and deeply personal. If you haven’t found yours I STRONGLY recommend taking some time to sit down and really think about why you run and what you actually want from your running. Writing it out in a journal, blog, Instagram post, or even just a scrap of paper can be very helpful in this situation. But I really think everyone who runs should really take some time to consider this! Even if it does sound a little “out there” to you. 😉

Well, that’s it from me!

Is there anything you wish you had known when you started running?

Weekly Recap January 18th-24th: 20 Weeks Pregnant Edition

I’m not sure if I’m actually going to start doing weekly recaps again. I don’t know if I want to dedicate time to doing that again and I’m not sure if anyone is actually interested in reading my weekly training updates anyway. 😂

That being said, I figured I’d give you a little peak into what my running and fitness schedule looks like half way through my first pregnancy!

Honestly I actually don’t have much of a “schedule” at the moment. I’m just trying to be flexible and do what I can when I can, but I do try to run at least 3-4 times a week and supplement that with my stationary bike, Pilates, body weight exercises and yoga.

And now a days my runs are SUPER short, because right now that’s just what feels best. But running is also the only thing that puts a dent in the back pain that I’m experiencing so I want to be able to do these short runs for as long as possible!!

So here’s what my training looked like this week!

Monday:

  • 30 easy minutes of run/walking with one round of strides thrown in at the end
  • A few minutes of stretching before bed

I can’t exactly say my one round of strides felt good, but it was fun to ease into a little bit of speed! Even if it was only for a few minutes! 😂

Tuesday:

  • Rest Day

I didn’t particularly need a rest day on Tuesday, but I was busy and we had our anatomy scan that day, so it was just easier to take a rest day instead of stressing over trying to fit in a workout.

Also, I hit 20 weeks pregnant on Tuesday! Which means we’re half way there!! 👏🏻😁

Wednesday:

  • 30 easy minutes of run/walking
  • Cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom (it counts! 😉)
  • 25 minutes of yoga

Actually had some semblance of energy on Wednesday! Which meant my kitchen got cleaned!! 😂

Thursday:

  • 20 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 20 minutes of strength work

Took me a while to get up the motivation to do anything on Thursday. It seems like I’m always paying for whatever I ended up doing the day before. 😴

But I do know that I always feel better after a little bit of movement so I hopped on my stationary bike for a little bit and after that got in a really good strength session! I’ve really been enjoying booty bands lately! They’ve helped me up the intensity of my workouts without upping how much time I have to spend doing them and that’s been incredibly helpful!

Friday:

  • 30 minutes easy run/walking

Nothing too eventful went down on Friday. Just a nice, easy run. 👍🏻

Saturday:

  • Rest day

If you can actually call it that. I ended up going to bed at 8 pm after that days excitement.😂

If this would have been a normal Saturday I probably would have gotten in another run, but my nephew’s 6th birthday party was that day and I wanted to conserve what energy I actually had for that. Which ended up working out well! We had a good time hanging out with my nieces, nephew, and brother in law and sister in law!

But seriously, I was exhausted afterwards. 😂

Sunday:

  • 15 minutes of yoga

Sunday was a chill day. Or it was supposed to be. What really happened was I attempted to set some boundaries down with my mother because there have always been some issues there and I just feel like they’ve gotten worse since I’ve gotten pregnant. It didn’t work though. She doesn’t want to play by my rules as it pertains to my son and that’s fine. She’s made her choices, and her choices have led to her not being a part of my life anymore. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Obviously there’s MUCH more to the story than that, but that’s where I’m leaving it for now.😉

Anyway, after dealing with that whole ordeal for a while I did a whole bunch of laundry and a little bit of yoga. Lol it was very therapeutic. 😉

So yeah, that’s a not-so-typical, typical week in my life right now. Meaning that literally nothing is actually “normal” and we’re just taking things day by day and doing what we can!

Anyway, like I said, I’m not sure if I’m going to be writing out a weekly recap every week, but if it’s something you’d like to see more of let me know!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Whoa We’re Half Way There…

I’m officially 20 weeks pregnant as of yesterday! Half way there!! 👏🏻

Good thing too! Because I hate being pregnant and I’m ready for it to be over. 😂

That being said, everything is going VERY well! We had our anatomy scan yesterday and everything is just perfect between the two of us. Well, aside from RJ being difficult and not showing us his toes and refusing to move into a better position to see his side profile more clearly. 😂

Other than that all of his major organs are accounted for and everything is working how it should be! As for me, my labs have been perfect every time and aside from slightly low blood pressure (which is very common in pregnancy due to increased blood volume) everything is progressing perfectly. Luke has been joking that apparently I’m really good at growing humans. Who would have thought?! Even if that is true at this point in time I am 100% certain that I never want to do this again.

Anyway, like I said, everything is great so far! I’m being taken care of exclusively by midwives but I did see an OB/GYN today, but for the weirdest reason. Today I asked the midwife if there was anything I needed to keep in mind, be aware of, or any potential issues because of my appendectomy scar.

I had an “old fashioned” appendectomy when I was 13, so I have a pretty decent scar that’s super puckered. So that would be the “dent” that you can see on my abdomen in the photo above”. And it puckered like that because instead of being stitched shut after the surgery, they left the incision open to drain so I had to pack it.

The midwife didn’t think it would be an issue but called the OB/GYN in just to look at it and confirm her thoughts on the matter. So I had 3 people touching/poking/prodding at my scar today if you count the fact that the ultrasound tech had to go over it with her wand to see everything. I HATE people touching it. I don’t even like touching it. 😂

But the OB/GYN said it shouldn’t be an issue, even if I have a c-section and if for whatever reason I do, she could fix it while she was in there. Hopefully that doesn’t end up being the case though! And if not they said I could have a plastic surgeon fix it, but that would require a surgery and Im just not about that life. 😂 So even knowing I have the option I don’t think I’ll be getting it “fixed” unless someone is already in there doing something else, like a c-section, but hopefully that won’t be the case and I’ll be able to deliver vaginally. And at this point there are literally no indicators that are saying that I shouldn’t be able to. 😊

But yeah, I literally saw a doctor yesterday just because I have a weird scar. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

I’ve also started reading the book Nurture: A Modern Guide To Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood — and Trusting Yourself and Your Body. I’m liking it so far, although I’ve skipped over a lot of the first part of the book. It talks a lot about journaling, meditation, learning to listen to your body, and things like that. Ironically I’ve already learned to do all of that have have read a lot about all of that in running related books. I’m especially in tune with listening to and trusting my body, a very useful skill that I’ve learned through running. I just think it’s interesting how much running has taught me and made me capable of that is going to come in handy during labor and delivery!

I also skipped a lot of the yoga/Pilates stuff the book covers because I already do those things regularly anyway. 😂

But I am just starting to get to the part of the book that I’m really interested in, the actual act and process of labor and delivery! Now THAT is what I’m really interested in learning about at this point!

So that’s where I am right now; reading, still running (kind), doing yoga and Pilates, and just being pregnant. 😂

I’m going to post a weekly recap on Sunday just to share what a week in training looks like for me. So be on the lookout for that! But that’s all for now!

Happy hump day! 🐫

~Ashley

18 Weeks!!

We’re getting closer and closer to the half way mark! Hell yeah!!🤘🏻

Baby RJ is the size of a sweet potato, artichoke, or a sugar glider!

How I feel:

  • Still waiting on that mythical “burst of energy”. But I am able to actually get up and get more stuff done now versus constantly being stuck to my couch, so that something! I still get very tired very easily though. On Sunday I did A LOT of cleaning around my house and had to take a 2 hour nap afterwards. 😴
  • My heart rate is a little less wonky these days. It’s still a little bit higher than it would normally be but it doesn’t spike as badly whenever I attempt ti do anything. I’m also less dizzy and short of breath which is awesome!
  • Food aversions still suck… Some days are better than others but there are definitely still days when eating is a struggle.

What I’m craving:

  • literally nothing. That’s food aversions! 🙃

How’s running:

  • It’s getting better!
  • With my HR being less all over the place my entire cardio vascular system seems much more open to running at this point!
  • The irony there though is that now that my lungs and heart rate feel better about running I’ve traded off this problems with sciatic nerve pain so that’s been fun (sarcasm). It’s definitely made running a little bit more difficult in that regard.
  • Running DOES help with my back pain though! So I’m trying to get in 3-4 super short runs a week! Obviously things got thrown off a bit while we were in Minnesota but I’m trying to get back at it this week!
This photo is super awkward because I don’t know how to pose. RJ is still sitting low in my pelvis so the whole hand on the belly pose just makes it look like I’m touching myself. 😂

So I guess this photo would be called a “bumpdate” or whatever-the-fuck the trendy term for that is. But the update is that I still don’t have one! I definitely look bloated though! And like I’ve gained quite a bit of weight during COVID times (which I absolutely have).

But I’m honestly not too upset by that. I’m definitely enjoying the fact that random strangers don’t know I’m pregnant and therefore can’t comment about it or attempt to touch me or anything like that. So I’m enjoying that while I can! 👍🏻😂

And side note for those of you who may not know; that’s an appendectomy scar. I had an “old fashioned” appendectomy when I was 13. My appendix ruptured, I almost died, it was a whole thing. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I do, however, need to ask my midwife about that scar and the other potential scar tissue in my abdomen. I have a sneaking suspicion that all of that is going to be super uncomfortable once it starts stretching. Not exactly looking forward to that…

In 2 weeks we go in for our anatomy scan so we get to see RJ via sonogram again so that’s exciting! And Luke actually gets to go to this appointment! With COVID restrictions and everything he’s literally only allowed into the building during the actual sonogram part of the appointment. After that he has to leave. But I am glad that he actually gets to be there for the sonograms! I know some spouses haven’t had that privilege during COVID times and that’s a huge bummer…

I suppose that about covers everything for this little update!

I hope everyone is doing well and that the New Year is treating you well so far!

~Ashley

Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2021

  • A better year than 2020? Fingers crossed! 🤞🏻
  • ⁣Seeing how my running changes. I’m thinking a postpartum reset is coming and honestly I’m looking forward to that! ⁣
  • Giving birth. Because holy fuck I hate being pregnant. 🙃⁣
  • Being able to eat normally again…⁣⁣
  • An IRL race or two?? Hopefully!! 🏃🏻‍♀️⁣
  • Having a whole ass human being to care for and teach stuff. Very much looking forward to the day when I can start teach him about plants, animals, and the great outdoors! ⁣
  • More time with family. If anything that’s definitely going to happen this year! ⁣

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping we’re not in for another complete shit show! 🎆🥳🤞🏻⁣

2021 Goals

Well happy freaking New Year!

Near the end of December I watched a video in IGTV about all of the major events that happened in 2020 and holy cow there were a lot of them! A lot of them weren’t exactly good and I had even forgotten that half of them happened in 2020. What a fucking year!!

So hopefully we’re done with all of that craziness! I suspect we’ll still be dealing with COVID-19 for a while but with the vaccine coming out hopefully we’ll be able to go back to some kind of semblance of normal. Although I do thing a lot of thing will have changed permanently. Maybe for the better and maybe for the worse. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway! Is anyone else kind of reluctant to write out goals for this year? I don’t exactly do New Year’s resolutions but near the end of every year I like to start thinking about what I want to accomplish in the new year and then write down some goals to get me there. But I literally didn’t accomplish anything that I had written down for 2020. Because I mean, we ALL know what happened. 🙃🤣😭

So this year I’ve found it kinda hard to sit down an write out any kind of goals or plans for the year. Because who the heck knows what’s in store for 2021! Plus I can only assume that we’ll still be dealing with some stuff from 2020. Oh and I’m also pregnant and that changes a lot of things.😂😂

So while trying to remain flexible and realistic, some of my goals are super vague, some of them are small, but when I think about the year ahead this is kinda the general idea of what I’d like to get done!

My Goals For 2021:

  • Keep running for as long as I can but if I have to stop, remain as active as possible during pregnancy
  • Clean out our extra bedroom and make into a nursery/office for Luke (yikes! That’s going to be a big project! 😱)
  • Prep for baby in general!
  • Attempt to prep my body/mind for labor
  • IF POSSIBLE have delivery with no/as little medical intervention as possible. That’s the plan/hope anyway but if I have to I’m willing to deviate from that.
  • Adjust to our new life with a new baby!
  • Recover! Physically, emotionally, mentally.
  • Road trip! If we can we plan on taking baby RJ to Illinois to meet his grandparents, great grandparents, and his great GREAT grandparents ASAP.
  • Assuming everything goes well and I’m feeling up to it, once I’m medically cleared I want to start exercising again. And maybe that won’t be running right away. But exercise has been a big part of my life for a long time and I want to be able to get back to it as soon as possible. Mostly for my own mental health!
  • Drink a beer. And a glass of wine. Ok I know this is kinda stupid because I’m not a big drinker anyway, but I miss being able to do it. 😂
  • If it’s safe, run an IRL race! Probably in the fall. I don’t care the distance! I miss REAL racing and I desperately want to participate in one! Even if I can only do one local 5k.
  • Roll with the changes. There are going to be a lot of them and I know it won’t be easy, but despite the lack of sleep, and adjustments we are going to experience, I think we’re in for a lot of fun and special moments in 2021!

Happy New Year, everyone! We can only go up from here, right?

~Ashley

Running Is Hard

I keep tell myself that running while pregnant is hard. Because it is. But I realized today that that’s not exactly a fair sentiment.

Running is hard period.

Some days, weeks, months, and even years it might feel easier, but it’s still freaking hard. And that’s part of the appeal of running. It’s a challenging thing to do and that’s what makes setting goals and (hopefully) accomplishing them so amazing when it comes to running. Because it’s hard!

So yeah, running is hard all of the time. And for me in my experience thus far, running while pregnant has proved to be a lot more challenging. But when we stepped back and decided to actually look at my situation it makes a lot of sense why I’m struggling with it so much right now. Because on top of the obvious changes that my body is currently going through and the whole growing a whole ass human being thing, I’m currently experiencing other things that are making running, or being physically active at all, super challenging.

Body aches have been a slight issue as far as running goes. Basically every run I set out to do feels like I’m at about mile 8 or 9 of a hilly half marathon. My legs feel sore, tired, and heavy. Usually a nice easy run, a long walk, or even some yoga helps to alleviate that issue. But right now I’ve yet to actually find anything that helps…my legs just always feel sore. Which is particularly frustrating when you know that you haven’t done anything that would actually make them sore. But really aside from it being annoying it’s not a huge deal. And if it were the only issue I was experiencing then I could absolutely push through it.

Lack of good sleep has been another annoying issue that I could probably deal with if it was the only thing I was going through. But between the body aches (there is NO comfortable way to sleep 😭), constantly having to get up to pee, and just being unable to sleep some nights, my quality and quantity of sleep have definitely suffered. Although I have learned that I can actually function pretty well on days where I sleep for about 3 hours, wake up and do stuff for a few hours, then sleep for another 3 hours. So that’s good to know. 😂

But my biggest issue is still fucking food aversions. Eating and even drinking have been a HUGE struggle for me… I’ve had several days where all I can eat is applesauce and occasionally other kinda of fruit because everything just sounds…repulsive? I don’t know, it’s really hard to describe why I can’t eat like anything, but I can’t.

Today was a good eating day for me so far though! For breakfast I had a Panera bagel with cream cheese, for lunch I had another Panera bagel with cream cheese, and for dinner I had one of those little to go hummus and pretzel cups. Seriously, it’s kinda sad that that’s what I’m considering a good day now, but my standards are very very low at this point. 😂

I’m also having a lot of trouble drinking normal tap water? That’s like, mind blowing to me because in my normal non pregnant life I pretty much only drink coffee and tap water. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I can drink anything carbonated though! So I’ve basically been living on unflavored (it has to be UNFLAVORED) sparkling water. Which is doable but a lot more expensive than just drinking tap water…I’ve also been drinking a little bit of soda here and there. I kicked a baaaad soda habit that I had back when I was in high school and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried about getting hooked on it again. But at this point I’m just kinda in survival mode. Plus 3 or 4 bottles of Coke a week probably isn’t that bad. Especially considering all of the soda I used to drink when I was younger.

So all of those things combined have just made running a lot more difficult for me. Especially considering I’m the kind of person who absolutely cannot run unless I’ve had a somewhat filling meal 30-40 minutes before hand. And no wonder I’m so tired all of the time! Lack of sleep, trouble eating and not eating well, and not being as hydrated as I usually am, well, it’s kind of a no brainer!

I am still running a little bit though and I’m incredibly grateful for that! Running keeps me sane, more so than other physical activity, so I’m happy that I’m still able to do it a few times every week! And I’ve got my stationary bike to supplement my cardio regimen so there’s that!! Now if only I could motivate myself to do more strength work… That’s probably something that I really need to focus on. Especially now. 🤔

Anyway, I’m sorry I’ve been complaining so much lately. But so far I’ve found pregnancy to be an incredibly uncomfortable, miserable, and frustrating experience and that’s definitely been made even more difficult since I’m not running much. I can’t exactly say I’m making it work but I’m definitely working my way through it! Slowly…only 5 more months to go. 🙃

Also I’m sorry if none of this post makes sense. I’m suffering from some major pregnancy brain on top of everything else. But that’s all for now!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

So Here We Are

16 weeks pregnant and definitely not glowing. 😂

Honestly I’m a little bit jealous of the people out there who love being pregnant. Because I definitely do not.

The first trimester knocked me on my ass and then some. Between being extremely nausea for about 4 weeks, shortness of breath, food aversions that were so bad I could basically only eat once a day because I had a very small window of time where an extremely specific type of food (that changed every day) sounded palatable. Between that and the nausea I lost about 8 pounds initially. Exhaustion that I can’t even begin to describe, which ironically made sleeping ridiculously hard, and just all sorts of random aches and pains, it just wasn’t a fun experience…

Things have gotten a little better in the second trimester but not by a lot. I’m not nauseous anymore which is great! But the food aversions are still going strong! Luckily get aren’t as bad, but at this point I can really only stomach a few different things and it still changes every day. Which makes grocery shopping extremely difficult. 😂

The exhaustion had gone away but I do get very tired very quickly. That coupled with shortness of breath had made running, and other everyday tasks a lot harder than they used to be. I’m not one to sit around doing nothing in my normal life, but pregnant life had made me feel very lazy. Some days the most moving I do is walking from the couch to the kitchen/bathroom and then back again. And that’s what’s really been the most frustrating for me. I don’t like feeling incapable of competing even simple tasks. Even though once could definitely argue that growing a whole ass human isn’t a simple task. 😂

Anyway, aside from me feeling absolutely miserable everything thing is going very well!!

Our first, and so far only sonogram at 10 weeks and 6 days looked really good! I had actually calculated PERFECTLY how far along I was based on my last period and he measured to the day what I said I though he was. The midwife was impressed with that and said that doesn’t happen often. 😅 We also got the chromosomal testing done at 11 weeks and everything looks good on that front! That’s how we found out we are having a boy at 11 weeks. Well, it was 12 weeks when we got the results but I was already certain he was a boy anyway. But it is pretty cool how they can figure all of that out with a simple blood test now a days.

As far as running goes well, I never completely quit, but I’ve kinda…started over, for lack of a better term. Since this whole pregnancy thing hasn’t been easy for me I figured at this point I’m just going to treat myself like a complete beginner on the running front. So right now I’m trying to run 3-4 days a week and I’m running based on time instead of miles. I’ve also been counting a brisk walk towards my running mileage (something I would have never done before) because at this point a brisk walk feels a lot like my warm up job used to. 😂 Hence why it’s counting towards overall running mileage at this point. 😉

At this point my goal is just to keep running for as long as possible and if I get to the point where I have to stop then I want to stay as active as possible. I’m lucky enough to have a stationary bike at home which will definitely help and walking, yoga, and body weight exercises are always a good option! I kinda just want to stay as active as possible through this pregnancy. Hopefully that will make the birthing process easier and obviously staying active is super good for the baby!

Aaaand finally, at the urging of my husband and supervisor at work, I quit my job at the nursing home in November. Mostly because we were starting to get more COVID cases in the facility again and at this point there are just too many unknowns with this virus. We don’t want to risk my health or the baby’s heath. My midwife also supported this decision! Apparently they are finding that in some cases patients with COVID have negative effects on their placentas and in some cases that requires inducing labor early. Which is just something I would like to avoid if at all possible, obviously. So I’m not exactly leaving the house much these days.

So yeah, that’s about where I am right now! I guess that might not be all that interesting to anyone who is not currently or has never been pregnant but what are you gonna do. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This is what’s up with me so it’s gonna be what I talk about. 😉

Anyway, the countdown to June is on! I’ve literally never wished that summer would get here quickly but at this point I’m sooooo ready for it to be here so I can be done with pregnancy and have RJ here in the outside world with me. 😂

Until next time,

~Ashley

Christmas Time Is Here

Except does anyone else feel like it’s not? Like, it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all? And don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a few Christmas-y things this year but it all just seems…different? Off? I don’t know it’s probably because of COVID and this just absolutely shit show of a year. 🤷🏻‍♀️

At this point I’m not even excited about Christmas (I am however, excited about NEXT Christmas 😂) which is weird because it’s usually my favorite holiday. But at this point I’m just ready for this year to be done and over with! Honestly if I could I would just like, time jump to June 2021 because I hate being pregnant and can’t wait to get it over with. 😂 I’m very much looking forward to no longer having a second person occupying my body. That’ll be nice…

Sleeping is hard. Eating is hard. Drinking water is hard (?!?!). Running is…almost non existent right now. And I’m still waiting on that mythical “burst of energy” and “increased appetite” that’s supposed to happen in the second trimester. Please don’t tell me that it’ll all be worth it in the end (enough people already have). I KNOW that. But that doesn’t make me feel any better. If anything that makes me feel kinda guilty for not enjoying or appreciating it enough. *Sigh* I’m just ready for it all to be over.

Anyway, right now what I’m looking forward to that is much closer in the future is a road trip to Minnesota that Luke and I will be taking next week! One of his brothers is coming to live with us so he can go to college here in Kansas so we’re driving up there to get him!

I haven’t been on a road trip in a while because COVID and I’m very much looking forward to this one! Especially since it’ll probably be the last one we go on for a while! But my mother-in-law is apparently planning some fun stuff for us to do and I am looking forward to that!

Granted we are still very wary of COVID and are aware that traveling right now is the best idea. But we have to get my brother-in-law. Plus don’t plan on stopping unless necessary on our way there. And we’ve got the truck stocked with masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. 😂 And supposedly the activities we are doing will be outdoors but even if we don’t do those cat least we’ll still be able to hang out with some family for a few days!

That’s what’s going on with me right now! Sorry a lot of my posts haven’t been/might not be about running as of late. But my current reality is that I’m not running much. I wish I was but at the same time I’m listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs!

Anyway, happy Winter Solstice! It hasn’t been very wintery here yet but I’m still holding out hope that eventually we’ll get some snow!!

Until next time,

~Ashley ❄️❄️❄️