Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lighthouse Loop 2014 Race Recap

Sunday was my first half marathon knowing that I am pregnant (I had no idea I was 5 weeks pregnant when I ran the ZOOMA Chicago Half!).  The Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon is a local race that raises money for the athletic programs at the high schools in the area.  I ran it last year and had a great experience.   This year's race was much the same!

The experience began on Saturday with packet pick-up.  The process was very easy, and the race organizers offered multiple times and locations to get your packets.  This year, we also get a drawstring bag in addition to the race shirt and other goodies!
At first I was disappointed with the shirt because it looked small and I didn't care for the white stripes.  After wearing it on Sunday afternoon, though, I absolutely love it!

Race morning was quick and easy.  Setting out my clothes and other things I'd need the night before really helped!  I decided to go with a pink theme to go along with Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The one downside to this race is that parking is about a mile from the start, and you have to walk over a long bridge to get there.  However, it was a good warm-up for the race, and I got there with plenty of time to make it to the start.
The bridge we crossed to get to the start
There were plenty of port-a-potties at the start line, but the bag check line was VERY long.  They only have one person checking the bags, so that was challenging.  Luckily, I found Bobbie Jo and her husband Derek who were also running the race.  They helped me pass the time in line by discussing our race strategy beforehand and hearing about Derek's recent Half Ironman race!

Let's get on in to the race!  My strategy going in to the race was to run until the pack thinned out, then run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute intervals until the end of the race.  My strategy worked very well until I started having the dreaded IT band-induced knee pain right around mile 4.

I decided to walk for about a half a mile, stretching every now and then, to keep the IT band from being an issue the whole race.  I'm glad I did for two reasons: first, I was able to make my knee feel a little better, and second, I was able to take in the beautiful scenery of the sunrise over the ocean and the lovely oceanfront houses.  
Around mile 4.5, I started running for 2 miles then walking for 1 minute.  It'd stretch between every third interval, and things were going pretty well as far as the knee pain goes.

My favorite scene was turning the corner and seeing the lighthouse!
The halfway point was a welcomed sight.  I had to get a selfie with the lighthouse.  It is the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, after all!
Not gonna lie, this was a great selfie!

Around mile 8, my knee started hurting again.  I didn't want to walk much because I was concerned about being able to beat my time of 3 hours from last year.  I wound up sucking it up until about mile 9.5, and thanks to my RunKeeper app, I knew I was pretty good on my time.  I then decided to walk for half a mile and stretch to keep the knee pain at bay.

The walking worked, and I was able to run 2 mins, walk 1 min until mile 12.  I had some extra motivation right around mile 12 when two of my co-workers, Jen and Billy, were at the water station cheering me on!  I was so happy to have them there to give me the push to finish.

I was feeling really great before getting to the bridge at the last mile.  Mentally and cardiovascularly, I knew I could run the bridge.  But, I knew my IT band would not do well with the steep uphill and downhill.  I walked the whole bridge, but I was able to get some nice shots of the causeway.  You can see the lighthouse way off in the distance--can't believe I just ran there and back!

Right after the bridge, I started running again and ran until the finish!  There were lots of people cheering at the finish line, and I finally crossed the mat at....
This was my second worst half marathon time ever, BUT I met my "B" goal of beating last year's time!  For that reason, I consider this race a success!

After the race, I met up with my coworker Bobbie Joe and her husband Derek to see how their race went.  They, too, were trying to beat their time from last year, and they finished about 8 minutes before I did.  Yay us! 
Jen and Billy met up with us, as well, and we enjoyed the post race food and some social time.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this race.  Without the knee pain, I felt great mentally and physically during the race.  If my knee wasn't bothering me, I know I could have finished with an average overall pace of 11:30 mins/mile.  That's pretty normal for me, and I'm happy that I was still able to maintain that pace while being pregnant and watching my heart rate.  This is good news because I feel assured of my abilities with my upcoming race schedule (which I will share later this week!).

Also, this race is very well organized.  I love that the high schools man each water station, there are plenty of volunteers keeping the roads safe and pointing runners in the right directions, and the course is flat and very pretty.  The only con is that my IT band seems to dislike this race!

Question for you: Do you enjoy local races?  During which race(s) have you had physical issues?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks + Picking Names

Hey there!  Happy Tuesday :)  I'm pretty excited because I have a textbook adoption meeting all day today.  I hope it goes well and that we pick the best resources for the county for the next 4 years.

Well, as has become the norm around here on Tuesdays, it's time to talk about my pregnancy!  Let's just jump right on in to the update, shall we?

Pregnancy Update: 18 weeks

How far along? 18 weeks (and two days)

Baby Bump progress: this is BY FAR my favorite bump picture so far!

Joe's photography skills are improving :)

Baby's Size? Baby Fish is about the size of a sweet potato!  5-6 inches long and weighs 6-7 ounces

What's happening this week?  This week, baby can yawn, hiccup, suck, and swallow.  Baby Fish is also moving around, but I can't feel it just yet.

Total weight gain/loss: as of my doctor's appointment two weeks ago, I've gained 2 pounds since the beginning!  I imagine it's more than that now, but I'll find out in a few weeks

Stretch marks? Still none!  Definitely going to remember the cocoa butter as the bump continues to grow

Sleep: I'm sleeping well--I just need to make sure to get to bed at a good time.  I've been going to bed later than normal this week, and it's not helping!

Best moment this week: Completing the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon!  It was my first race knowing about the pregnancy, and I was so happy and impressed with how great I felt mentally and physically during the race.

Miss anything?: since we went to the Wine Walk this week, I did miss sampling all the wines.  I got some delicious pasta at the end, though :)

Movement: Haven't felt anything yet!  It's early still

Food cravings: I finally ate the brownie batter I wanted last week...that was the only thing I really craved this week.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I think I worked myself sick on Wednesday morning--I was feeling off, and I think I worried myself "in to" some morning sickness.  I wound up staying home from work on Wednesday, which made me feel good!

Gender: still going to wait!  We did hear of some interesting things we could do to let a few people know the gender before we do.  They're going to have to be a good secret keeper, though!

Labor Signs: none (thank goodness!)

Symptoms: being SUPER forgetful, some back pain after the half marathon, and a little bit of sickness on Wednesday

Belly Button in or out? in

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody? I've been pretty happy this week!  I did have some moments of sudden/semi-extreme emotions, but other than that, I've been good!

Funny moments this week: After the half marathon on Sunday, I was talking to Joe and looked down at my stomach and BAM!  I noticed that my bump had grown quite a lot, and seemingly overnight!  We both got a kick out of that, but we were also happy that I seem to be out of the "Is she fat or pregnant?" stage!  Woo hoo!

Looking forward to: feeling the baby move and settling on names!  I think we're getting close to picking them out :)

Exercise this week: I decided to take it easy this week in light of the half marathon on Sunday, but the main source of exercise was the race!
I really felt great throughout the race as it relates to the pregnancy/running while pregnant, which I was very happy about (check back Thursday for a full race recap)!  I plan to take a few days off of exercise to let my legs heal, and then after that, I do want to get in some more weight training since it hasn't been a focus of mine for quite a while.

New this week: If Joe and I focus on something baby-related throughout the week, I plan to share it here on the blog!  And because I like alliterations and fun names for things on the blog, I'm going to call this section...
Baby Fish Feature!
That'll help me look back on this pregnancy and remember all the little things, and hopefully will help those of you going through the same thing now or in the future!  On to this week's Baby Fish Feature!

Baby Fish Feature: Picking Names
This week, Joe and I have really been trying to solidify names for either a boy or a girl.  We talked about some boy names right after we found out, but we really hadn't decided on anything.  Some names came to mind right away, and others we looked at some websites for.

The funny thing is, whenever we think of a name, one of us will always think of something or someONE that name makes us think of.  For example, a family name on Joe's side was actually what my uncle and aunt named their dog!

We are down to two different names for each gender.  There's probably a frontrunner for each, but we will finally decide sometime soon :)

The other thing we discussed: should we tell people the names?  I know of some people who share the name once they find out the gender, and I also know people who didn't share the name until after the birth.  So we'll see what we decide!

Question for you: If you have kids, did you share the names before the birth?  If not, how do you think you'll come up with baby names?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

Good morning, y'all!  How is your week going so far?  Yesterday was a teacher duty day, so work was actually pretty easy!  Nice way to start the week.  I'm also excited because I'm finally getting back in to my normal work routine!  Good times!

Well, Tuesdays around here mean one thing lately: it's time to update y'all on how the pregnancy is going!  Let's just jump right on in, how about it?

Pregnancy Update: 17 weeks

How far along? 17 weeks (and two days)

Baby Bump progress: 

Baby's Size? about the size of my palm!  Baby Fish is 5 inches from crown-to-rump, and weighs at least 5 ounces.

What's happening this week?  Baby Fish is beginning to get some body fat.  He/she is still skinny, with essentially translucent skin!  This week, he/she is also practicing sucking and swallowing to prepare for eating after birth.

Total weight gain/loss: as of my doctor's appointment last Monday, I've gained 2 pounds since the beginning!

Stretch marks? None!  Still putting the cocoa butter on daily so that I can try to avoid them!

Sleep: no problems in the sleep department.  Trust me, I'm soaking all of that in because everyone keeps telling me that after the baby comes I won't sleep as well!

Best moment this week: Nothing really pregnancy-specific, but I feel like I got a lot done AND did a lot of relaxing this weekend.  Sounds good to me!

Miss anything?:  this week, I've been missing my daily cup of coffee and my normal Starbucks order.  I'm not complaining about decreasing the caffeine, but it just isn't quite the same :-\

Movement: I THOUGHT I felt something this week after running, but after talking with friends who have had babies, I don't think I felt anything.  It's still early, but I got a little excited.  I still don't think it was anything, but who knows.

Food cravings: No real cravings this week, although on the way home from church on Sunday, I really wanted some brownie batter.  Random, huh?  I wound up buying some brownie mix, but never wound up baking.  I also got some candy corn pumpkins, so I was pretty excited about those :)

Anything making you queasy or sick: nothing this week except the smell of the garbage can.  Just queasy, though.  Haven't gotten sick, thankfully!

Gender: can't find out until next month, but we're still planning on waiting!

Labor Signs: none (thank goodness!)

Symptoms: a few growing cramps every now and then, being SUPER forgetful, getting a little emotional over some small things, and a little bit of back pain thanks to some naps/sleeping on the couch.  Remind me not to do that again for a while!!

Belly Button in or out? in (and I'm thinking it will be for a while)

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody? In general, happy!  I have been a little more emotional this week, not so much moody but just emotional.  

Funny moments this week: On Friday, I saw my boss's boss at our coaching seminar.  I was planning to tell her I was pregnant, but I hadn't had an opportunity to before the lunch break.  I left to go to the restroom, and when I came back, my boss told me that she had asked if I was pregnant!  It made me realize that I AM looking pregnant AND that people are noticing!  Fun stuff!

Looking forward to: feeling the baby move, as well as figuring out some more of the logistics for the baby (what we need, what the nursery will look like, figuring out where we'll get what we need, etc.)!  So much to do!!

Exercise this week: I got in a few workouts this week, thankfully!  Let's see what that looked like!
Wednesday-2.7 mile run with the puppy!
Thursday-nothing (busy day + VT football game to watch)
Friday-nothing (being lazy)
Saturday-20-minute walk with Finn
Monday-2 mile power walk with Tequila
I've been looking to my FitBit to motivate me to get moving!  My average steps have dropped significantly, and I want to get back to the days where I meet my 10,000 steps per day goal.  Plus, I also have a few half marathons coming up, as well as some other 5K races, and I need to make sure that I am prepared for those races.  

Race Weekend Recap

Hey y'all!  How's it going?  I hope your week is off to a great start.  Sorry this post is a little late going up today--we had a late night on Sunday and I just wasn't able to get it together in the morning.  Better late than never, right?

This weekend's main plan was the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon.  We had a busier weekend that I normally like before a race, but the activities were pretty restful even though we were really on the go!

I started the weekend off by catching up on the show How to Get Away with Murder.  Is anyone watching that show?
Image Source
I'm sucked in now, but I still don't know how I feel about it.  I'm just interested to see how everything all plays out.

After Joe got home, we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner.  It was just the two of us, which is nice because we normally have a lot of Joe's friends come meet us.  It's nice to spend time with just Joe :)

The rest of the evening was spent watching the World Series game, then we went home and played with Tequila.  Joe likes to do triceps extensions while she's tugging on one of her toys.
It was pretty hilarious to watch the two of them!

Saturday began much like last Saturday: four hours volunteering at the pumpkin patch!  I really enjoy helping the youth sell pumpkins at church--you see so many families hanging out together and taking adorable pictures!  It's also fun because I get to know the youth that are working with me.  Definitely a plus now that I'm helping with youth group on Sundays!

It was then time for packet pickup for the Lighthouse Loop race on Sunday.  It was a very quick process, so I was quite pleased with that.  Plus, we got a cute little drawstring bag this year!
In the afternoon, Joe and I headed down to New Smyrna for the Wine Walk.  I was not partaking in the wine (duh), but I really enjoyed walking around Flagler Avenue in the beautiful weather.  Plus, we got dinner at That's Amore (my favorite), so the good food made up for no wine :)  I got my usual dish, which was perfect for carb-loading before the race.

After getting home, I got my stuff together for the race and headed to bed early!
The 5:00am alarm was rough, but I got out the door in plenty of time to make it to the race!  I'll have a full recap of the race on Thursday, but it was a great time!
I made it to church after the race, then headed home to spend some time with Joe.  That turned in to taking a 1.5 hour nap, then hanging out :)

The early evening was spent at youth group.  We played an interesting Halloween trivia game (did you know that 2.16 million children dressed as Spiderman in 2004?), worship songs, and watching the next part of the movie God's Not Dead.  I'm really in to this movie and want to know what happens!!
Image Source
After that, I headed over to a friend's house to meet up with Joe for the WWE pay-per-view.  It was nice to socialize and I had a good time, but man was I tired getting home after 11!  I went straight to bed and had a hard time waking up this morning.  Note the delay in getting this post up :)

Well, that was our weekend!  Pretty packed, but lots of fun, too.  See you tomorrow for a pregnancy update, featuring my favorite "bump" picture to date :)

Question for you: How was your weekend?  What do you think of How to Get Away With Murder (if you're watching it)?  Did you race this weekend?