Taking a Break...to Chuckle #ChuckleRun #Run4Fun

So it's been almost a month since my first half marathon. I'm not going to lie...it took me a good three weeks to recover. My first two runs back sent pain shooting through my right knee and I started getting really worried about my upcoming race calendar.

It dawned on me that something in me has changed. The medals are lovely. The sparkle and bling. Sure sure.

But I've become competitive. Any who have I been competing with? Myself.

So I took a few steps back, and not just because my knee felt like it was going to shatter. I want to run just for the fun of it. I want to laugh and smile and be silly for a change. I want to show my boys that Mama isn't afraid to wear shorts with neon knee high socks and a tutu. In public.
A photo posted by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei (@sweetstellas) on
Those that know me intimately, know that I take things way too seriously, almost all of the time. It's time to change that and focus on the fun. What better way to do that then to have fun while I run?

On May 31st, I'll be heading up the #RuntheDistrict #Run4Fun Ambassador team for the #ChuckleRun. It's just a 5km (note: three years ago...it would have been "a 5km? are you freaking kidding me? no!") so it'll be a nice and easy race...with a big loud mouth medal at the end.

Come run, walk and chuckle with us in the Western Fair District as we support Vanier Children's Services, KidSport and Oxford-Elgin Child & Youth Centre. The route promises to be historic, scenic and comical with every step you take toward the finish line.

Run for fun...it's about damn time!

A photo posted by Run The District (@runwfd) on
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10 Thoughts I Had While Running a Half Marathon

A new blog series kicks off today! 10 Thoughts I Had While.... will give you a bit of a glimpse into my thought process during certain tasks



running
doulaing
parenting

Just a little glimpse, some perspective. Today...10 Thoughts I Had While Running a Half Marathon


1. I'm pretty sure I heard Owen go into our bedroom before I even left the house. Man that's early! Colin's not going to like that at all.

2. How are we only to Wharncliffe?!

3.I really need to get some long sleeved shirts that will stay down and not roll when I run.

4. I. Just. Stopped. Traffic. That is so cool! How many people can say that they had a police officer stop traffic so they could run through a major intersection!?

5. Gotta pee gotta pee gotta pee gotta pee. PORTA POTTY!

6. Photographer! Better start running! Smile! Cheese!

7. That is NOT 17km! Wait. Is it? Hot damn I hope so. Oh wait...nope...7km.

8. I freaking love this song (Shut Up And Dance) *wiggles bum and laughs*

9. I got signs!!! They made me signs!

10. That's my husband!!! That's Colin! Oh here comes Owen...*crying*


and a bonus thought: I can't wait to sit down. All I wanted at the end of the race was to get out my running gear and into comfy clothes and a different pair of shoes!

Have you run a long race before? What was going through your brain?


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#WDW10k Recap...Where Dreams Come True #running

Going into this past race weekend, to say I was nervous and stressed would be a massive understatement. Just as my husband! I was snapping at pretty much everything in sight, couldn't sleep....just a pile of stress.

After we checked-in at the Caribbean Beach Resort and enjoyed dinner, I set out my race clothes and tried to sleep. Ha! Good luck sleeping the night before a race when you have to be up at 3am, and on a tram to your race by 4am!

I got to the starting area and met up with my friend Stephanie from GooberMonkey. She was so reassuring and it was exactly what I needed that early in the morning. Off to our corrals we went, and then my nerves kicked in again. Big balloons lit up the way for our corrals, and I was shaking I was so nervous.


Then I met these two lovely ladies. I didn't catch either of their names, and didn't think to get a photo with them, which I really regret. They were amazing and talked about how they started training, that they were doing the Dopey challenge, and when I told them it was my first Disney event and first 10km they were SO EXCITED. It was really amazing to have them cheering me on throughout the course, and I am so thankful to them both for their encouragement.



Then came our start. 6:10am. Fireworks and bam...away we go.

At the first overpass we saw Anna and Elsa...and it was snowing!!! It was so neat. The first three miles were out in the open, on the road, so it was a little boring, but being that it wasn't a route I had ever run before, it went by pretty quickly. When I got to the 2mi marker and realized that I had run the entire way, I was pretty pumped. I felt I was doing a good job pacing myself; every now and then I would sprint to a song, and then I would slow down and run at my training pace. It was good and it helped me feel like I wasn't gassed all of the time.

When we ran into Epcot through the cast member entrance, it is a sight that I will never forget. The sun was rising over the different pavilions and it was just beautiful. There were characters everywhere, but I was too worried about those darn balloon ladies catching me that I didn't stop to get my picture taken with any of them....aside from a selfie with the Genie.



Then a message from my bff Heather

I know you're not quite done yet Shannon but I wanted you to know how awesome you are and how proud I am of you. Keep running!

That's about the time that this photo was taken...and Golden Slumbers was pouring in my ears



I kept pushing, kept running (I think I stopped to walk a total of 2 minutes, in about 3 different sections) and saw the finish line.

I started bawling as it neared and probably looked like the biggest dork, but I was just so proud. I cried and crossed that finish line with arms raised. Then exhaustion hit, and I felt like I was in a daze. I got my medal, some refreshments and got on my bus to get back to the hotel and see my boys.



I cried the entire drive back to the hotel, and bawled when I saw my husband and kids. My son, Owen, was asking why I was so sad and I told him I wasn't sad, I was really proud and really tired. They gave me big hugs and Owen fawned over my medal.

This past weekend I learned that I really can do anything. I can run further and harder than I had before. And it made me realize that I can do a half....absolutely I can. I may not be the fastest out there, but I will finish. One foot in front of the other.




Next up: Gasparilla 5km!
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From Tampons to Half Marathons #fcrr #doinit

So something happened on Tuesday night. My friend Jen, of Suburban Hippie Homestead, and I met up with some of the Forest City Road Races runners for Tampon Tuesday.



What is Tampon Tuesday? Well, it's a local networking event where your admission is a feminine hygiene product that gets donated to local shelters, schools, the food bank etc. It's a chance for people that you would never see or chat with about your business, goals, or in our case running the Forest City Road Races, to connect and share.

So, what happened? How did my pack of tampons turn into a half marathon?

While we were listening to Alyssa Jarvis of the London Food Bank talk about the Business Cares Food Drive, it hit me that there is so much more out there that I could be doing with my running. I mean....I finished Insanity, so why not a half marathon?

Then Shauna, the FCRR Community Director, got up there and kinda knocked my socks off. She said a word that I am all too familiar with...

Purpose


What are we here for if not to run with purpose?

So there...there we have it. Purpose lit a fire under neath my soles and I am determined to run the half marathon at Forest City Road Races in April 2015. Sure, I won't finish first and yes, there is a distinct possibility that I will be last. But I will be there putting one foot in front of the other. I will be there pushing myself.

I will be there with purpose.

Will you?


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That Time I Set a PR #running #swtm

I knew it would happen at some point, but I didn't expect it to happen this weekend.

This weekend, my bff's and I ran in the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon 5km. Surrounded by 9000 people, all huddling together with our free McCafe coffees, waiting for the sun to come up, we ran in the largest running event in Canada this year.


We ran along Lakeshore Drive, toward the Rogers Centre, with the sun coming up over the Toronto skyline. Not being a huge fan of the city (moreso of driving in the city), it was really eye opening as to just how beautiful it is with its tall buildings, bridges that cross over one another, and pedestrians that cheer on the runners.


Now...I don't know if it was because of Mercury being in retrograde, but my phone just outright shut off. 80% battery and poof...off! And it wouldn't turn on. I got super nervous, and my bff Tiff kept assuring me I would be fine. Then...about 20 seconds until our corral was to start...it started working! Yahoo! Off I went, to the sweet sounds of the Foo Fighters.


The course was awesome...slightly downhill in the spots where I was feeling fatigued, then up some small hills, but relatively flat compared to the races that I've done so far this year. I was so proud when my first mile chimed in my ear...my pace was 13:47! I was pumped, and kept running with a big smile on my face.

Then it hit me...I gotta pee! Damn that free McCafe! Oh well...no porta-potties were in sight, so I just had to keep running...if I stopped to walk for a bit, that I gotta go! feeling intensified so I just kept running. Then I saw it...400m To Go...300m To Go....the signs were everywhere, so I sprinted.

My last mile was at 12:14...I'm not sure I've ever done that, and when I finished 3mi with a time of 41min, I was SO EXCITED! A PR! I just got a PR! My overall time per the chip timing was 45min or so, which I am totally ok with as well since it's my best race time for 2014!


To those that have stood by me in this crazy running journey, everyone who clicks LIKE or comments on my Nike status to give me a cheer in my ear, and those who underestimate me...thank you. You make me run harder, you remind me that all I can do is try. And this smile? That time? It makes it all worth it!




Next up...MEC 5km on November 15th!

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Setting Goals #running #ua #iwillwhatiwant

After the Oasis Zoo Run, while we were walking around and seeing some of the animals, I casually said to my husband My goal is to feel confident enough to race in a sports bra and leggings. 

Six years ago, at 180lbs at my wedding day, I would never have uttered those words. Sports bras were made for going under clothing...not being the clothing.

Four years ago, at 205lbs, I would have laughed in your face if you had of told me that one day, this would be my ideal racing outfit.

Goal Running Outfit



When it comes right down to it, I am finding myself becoming increasingly obessed with funky running clothes. I always have a one or two basic items (like the headband and leggings above) that I pair with funky shoes and a tank. So...why not a funky sports bra to go along with it, only ditching the tank before the race begins.

It's intimidating, but given all of the training that I will be doing over the next few months, I don't really think it's that unrealistic of a goal.

I chose the items above for a few reasons. The sports bra has a great design to it and I like that it has a criss cross back instead of a racer back. It's a mid-impact bra so I know that it will be good for running.

The leggings are heat gear from Under Armour, which means that not only are they compression to help with muscle recovery during and after your race, they help you stay cool and dry while you are hitting the pavement. I've really loved running in compression pants and find that they truly do help my muscles to move properly, and recover quicker, so having more options in my running drawer is essential.

The shoes...oh the shoes. I know that I am going to have to retire my Micro G Toxic Six's after Disney (at the very latest, next spring) and I really love how lightweight Under Armour running shoes are, so I'm looking to replace them with a new pair. I love the design and color of the new Speedform's. They have storm technology to repel water from the shoe, which is awesome since some of my training involves hiking. These shoes are also made for trail running, meaning that they are supportive, lightweight, and have great grip for added stability.

And the headband. Now that my hair is so much longer than when I started running over a year ago and I am currently growing out my bangs from blunt to side swept, I like having a headband when I am racing. But that means finding the right headband, and one that doesn't slide on the hair. The UA Perfect Headband fits the specs of what I am looking for, and has great subtle detailing in the tucked design.

So...there's my goal. And when I get to the point when I feel that confident...I will rock it. Every stitch, every item. Rock. It.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.


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Let The Training Begin... #WDW10km #ua #IwillwhatIwant #oasiszoorun

If racing has taught me one thing, it definitely is that I can do more than I ever thought.

This past weekend, I celebrated my one year raceaversary. A full year....man. I never ever thought I would call myself a runner, let alone a racer.


The weather for this years Oasis Zoo Run at Toronto Zoo was so much better than last year. The sun was shining, it was lovely and warm and boy was I ready to get out there. My bff's son, Tyler, was running his first 5km event, and I was definitely feeding off of his excitement. We started together, and he {very proudly} beat me by a full 11minutes.

I saw him twice out on the course. The first time was at the dreaded big hill at the Zoo (if you've been there, you know what hill I'm talking about) and gave him a high five. The next time I saw him, he looked pretty pooped, so I sprinted up to him and started clapping and cheering for him. I am just so proud of his will and determination!

The course itself was hilly, but I ran alot more of it than I did last year. I didn't make my 43minute goal (I finished at 47minutes) but I was ok with that. I am also nursing a hurt quad...I'm not sure on what obstacle I hurt my left leg on at Badass Dash, but I definitely did something and it is very sore! My compression capris from Under Armour helped with recovery during the race, and I will absolutely be using them for the next few weeks for my longer runs to make sure my quad heals nicely.

When I came up to the top of the hill, and saw the finish line, it was like it was my very first race ever. All of the butterflies...all of the feels. And then I saw my bff and the huge smile on her face. I started fist pumping and sprinting and cheering! I was so excited...but not tired.



My first thought was that I am ready for the WDW10km. When my first mile was at 14mins, and the second mile at 14:10...I knew for a fact that if I keep training, keep getting stronger, I will be able to do the 10km race in well under the 16min/mile rule.

On the way home, my husband says to me Now we just need to get you running for free. And he's right. I run a few times a week, but then will have a decent break and a week will go by...I'll get busy or Graeme will be up too many times over night and I won't feel like running. But...I need to lace up my shoes, and get out there. No matter if it's raining, snowing, cold, sunny, hot. No matter if I'm tired, crabby, excited, happy. No matter what.



My training schedule will be running on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday until the weather drops below zero. Once it does, it will be Insanity or T25 on those days, which I am really looking forward to. With Owen at school and Graeme napping fairly regularly throughout the day, I will be able to get in those power workouts. I know the impact that Insanity has on my mental state, my body and my soul, so I am really excited about this training schedule.

Since I will be running in the colder weather, long sleeves and compression gear are going to be essential, as will reflective gear since the days are getting shorter and I will be running in the evenings.

Three more races...three more months...and then...WDW10km. Here we go!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  


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New Month, New Goals #WDW10km #ua #IWillWhatIWant

Oh, hello September! A new month to conquer, with new goals and some really awesome events that I will be participating in!

The events that I have coming up this month are pretty incredible. First, I am participating in the Badass Dash on my wedding anniversary (September 13th) with my husband. Yep...7km and 30 obstacles...mud...hills...water...ahh!! I am really excited about it, albeit super intimidated, but I know that I can do 7km and the obstacles will just be a part of the fun!

using my Arrow to guide my feet

I only have a couple of weeks to really train for Badass Dash, so I'm focusing on adding things like squats, kettlebells, walking lunges, and box jumps into my runs. We have a playground around the corner, which will definitely come in handy! My compression leggings will help to condition my muscles so that they will be good to go for the Dash, as well.

Then I have my one year Raceaversary with my bests at the Oasis Zoo Run at Toronto Zoo. It was my first every 5km event last year, on my birthday weekend, and I am so excited to return and run in it again. This year, my bff's son is running in the 5km as well, and I'm hugely proud that he's taking the challenge and doing it! My bff's are doing the 10km, which is pretty incredible as well! It'll be a great weekend, one that I am really looking forward to.

My first race! September 21, 2013
 So, what are my goals for this month?

Run three times a week
Incorporate calisthenics into my training for the Dash
Complete all the obstacles at Badass Dash
Finish the Oasis Zoo Run with a time of 43mins (or less!)
Plank every day

That last one, the planks? Well, core strength is something that is really important for runners, and really important if you have just had a baby. My belly is certainly coming back quickly, but I want to tighten and tone my muscles. Whether it's 30 seconds or 3 minutes, there will be a plank done every single day!

What are your goals this month? How are you staying active, healthy and setting a positive example for those around you?



Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.


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Getting Back to Running After Baby #UA #IWillWhatIWant #WDW10km

I have to say, my legs have returned to me a lot faster than I anticipated. I even braved the big hill last week and did my first 5km!


I am, however, a little disappointed about how often I am getting out running. I didn't think that it would be so difficult to balance mom life and duties at home, my husband's crazy schedule and running the 4 year old to and from camp...it's been pretty hectic!

Now we're all a little under the weather, but I am itching to get out running in my new UA Fly By Compression Capris. They're the same ones that have inspired my outfit for WDW10km, which I will be revealing little sneak peeks of over the next few weeks!

Strength training, aside from lifting and carrying a 12lb newborn and a 42lb four year old, hasn't happened but it's because I'm listening to my body and trying to get back to things slowly. Running has been the perfect thing to get me back into a routine of healthy living and physical fitness, as well as setting a positive example for my boys.

I've noticed a pattern. Run twice, rest ten. I'm not super happy with it, it's partially circumstantial, and it will be changing.

In terms of my 50km in August goal, I have run a total of 16km. Still a long way to go in just a very few days!! That's 26km to get under my belt to finish the final station in the LOST running series and 34km to my August goal.

Will I be disappointed if I don't make it? No. I know in reality it was a bit of a lofty goal, that I'm just 7 weeks postpartum and only cleared as of yesterday by my doctor to get back to my regular training. The mental break that running gives, the sense of accomplishment and the feeling that I'm doing something for myself that I am proud of is all that I need right now.Self care is so important, and running is definitely just the thing that gives me that mental break so I can still be me...and be good to everyone around me.

So...tonight, I run.
Friday, I run.
Saturday, I run.
Sunday, I run.

That's four runs still to go in August, which means I could get very close to my 42km LOST running medal if I push myself and do about 6km each time, and I know that with my new compression capris that is certainly possible.

Can I do it? Follow me on Instagram and see!




Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Pitter Patter Let's Get At 'Er #goalsetting #runmamarun #IWillWhatIWant #WDW10km

If you're following me on Instagram, you saw that this past weekend I went for my first post-baby run. Yep...this mama is running again, and at only 25days postpartum!



Time to put some goals out there to the universe, and hold myself accountable to you lovely readers who count on my words. Before putting it on Instagram and facebook, I didn't realize just how many are being inspired...and I am so humbled by all of your comments. I LOVE being tagged in your running and fitness photos, so keep it coming!!! The best thing that we can give to our kiddos is an example of a balanced and healthy life, so lace up and get out there!

Onto the goals!
- run 50km in August
- finish the Orchid 42km medal in the LOST running series
- add in strength training (resistance bands) once a week

How did I feel after that first run back?

Post-run satisfaction. I wasn't sure I could do it. I wasn't sure if it was too soon. Mother Nature threatened a thunderstorm. But I laced up. I put foot to pavement. And I ran. I ran the whole first mile then walked .25mi and ran again. I ran through side stitches (note to self: hydrate more!) and when it got to the road that leads home, I ran past it for another .25 mi. Yes, my legs are trembling, sweat is rolling down my back and my fave is grimy with dirt. But I ran. And it feels insanely good to be back. #momsrunning #running #badmamajamma #ua #iwill
And then...I ran again on Sunday; 3.5km in 35mins. I shaved 30seconds off my pace, and felt really confident about my training that will be coming this fall. I can feel it in my bones that being under the 16min/mile pace per runDisney rules will be absolutely no problem at all.

One thing you will notice in my training are my bad mama jamma Under Armour running shoes, some new UA gear coming for my cold weather training and the hashtag #IWillWhatIWant. I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to run with purpose. And I will.

Notice that I didn't mention weight or inches in those goals? My weight, the inches and the loose skin from having two big baby boys are not my concern. My goals are how far I can run, at what pace, and, ultimately, how I feel when I look in the mirror.

And I don't mean how I feel about what I look like. But the expression on my face. How I feel when I close my eyes and picture myself out there running.

Proud
Strong
Healthy
Determined

Bring it on #WDW10km

Bring
It
On


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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How To Keep Running During #Pregnancy #fitmama #healthypregnancy #running

I can now officially say that I've run at every phase of my pregnancy, something I never in a million years thought that I would utter, let alone aspire to do.

That's right! I've run it the cold, the rain, the blistering hot Florida sun. With taped knees, a wrapped foot, a supported belly.

In first trimester (top middle), I ran the London Lady's Half Marathon 5km with my friend Rebecca. We had found out that I was expecting about four days or so before the event, so it was definitely emotional, but was just like any other previous race.

Second trimester (bottom left and right) brought alot of running Florida running since we were on vacation, including a run on a cruise ship, a run in the pouring rain and my last run in my Nikes. It also brought two beautiful LOST running series medals with it, which was fun to add to my collection.

Third trimester (top left and right, middle row, bottom middle) brought a sense of accomplishment and pride. I ran my final race (top left and middle row) at 8 months pregnant, got three new medals for my wall and my most favorite race experience at the Le Chocolat Mother's Day Primer.

I've run with friends, I've run solo.

I've run on roads, sidewalks, park paths and trails.

I clocked over 81kms running.

How did I run through my pregnancy? Well...one foot in front of the other. I ran on days that I felt great, learned not to push myself too hard, taped when I needed to and used a belly support band in months 7 and 8.

If you ran consistently prior to your pregnancy, you absolutely can run throughout. It's definitely not something to pick up during pregnancy if you haven't done it before, and as with any physical activity in pregnancy...get your doctor on board. Thankfully, both my residents, OB and doula have been incredibly supportive of my running, and that has made the experience all the more amazing.

Keep in mind that as your belly grows, your centre of gravity changes and can lead to stumbles. Take it easy. Get a great pair of supportive shoes. Tape if you have any concerns with knees, shins or ankles. Take your phone with you and tell someone when you are going out so they know to be mindful that you are out running on your own. Check in with that person if you're doing a walk/run split to let them know you're ok {my husband really appreciated that!}.

Drink water before, during (if there are bathrooms on your route!) and after.

Have a snack of something sugary before and after to make sure your blood sugar doesn't plummet while you're out.

Be safe and be healthy. You're running for more than just you, and that's pretty awesome!

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Le Chocolat Mother's Day Primer 5km #running #fitmama #healthypregnancy

Who in the world would have ever thought that at 8months pregnant, I would complete a 5km race? Not this girl, but I certainly did and it was honestly the best race experience that I have ever had.



At the beginning of the race, not even half way into the first km, all I could think was what was I thinking? This is awful and I want to stop running right now!  Then I saw a group of people; Dad's with their kids who were cheering their moms and wives on, and they saw my shirt. They started clapping and cheering, ringing their cowbell and this little girl had pom poms. They were SO excited and it was the motivation that I needed to keep going.

While I didn't finish with the best time ever, I also didn't finish last. At the 5km marker, I was at 52 mins and my goals was "finish in under an hour." I smiled and kept pushing myself.

When I was walk/running up the last leg and saw my friend Rebecca, I was gassed, but then I saw it...the finish line. I smiled, she walked with me and I said something to the effect of needing to run and off I went. The amount of cheers, yells, cowbells and smiles were incredible! The crowd was definitely on my side, and I even had strangers asking for a hug or a photo with me after the race!
 
Having the girls at the finish line was the best. They were hooting and hollaring at me, I got a high five from a very handsome firefighter, and then they yelled that they had a puppy and I pretty much sprinted over to them! She was so cute!!!


And I even made the news! This photo was on windsorite.ca!


I ran about 4mins, then would walk a minute...run another couple of minutes...walk for a few minutes. I had some issues with my feet (my new arch supports, per my doctor, gave me massive blisters and while it felt better to run on my feet, it made my belly tight...) but all in all, I'm really proud of my will and my determination.

The aftermath has been interesting...my belly feels fine, and the little guy has been active...but he's definitely moved. He's not lying diagonally anymore...oh no. His head is right smack down low in the middle and his little bum is right in the middle at the top. Yikes!

The other issue is my left foot. Basically, if it's not wrapped and taped, it feels the same way my right did when I broke two bones on the top. I would bet dollars to donuts (mmmm....donuts) that I have a stress fracture on the top of my left foot. On my list to talk to my doctor (this time my resident, not my OB, as my resident is a little more in tune with my running and fitness during this pregnancy than my OB who pops in from time to time for baby specific needs) and otherwise just taking it easy over the next week and a bit. If there's running to be done, it will be in much much shorter splits (1min run/1min walk) and for shorter distances (3km max).

I have to give credit to Ruffles With Love for my awesome tank, fancy shoes by Under Armor and SweatyBands for my headband. My running tank certainly garnered alot of attention, and made me feel silly and fun going into my last race before I have this baby!

And yes...I'm already filling out my fall race calendar!

Cheers to another medal, a great experience and a fantastic weekend with the girls!

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Tips for Running during Pregnancy #fitmama #fitpregnancy #pregnancy

Now that I am into my third trimester, I thought sharing another round of tips for running during pregnancy would be good. The warmer weather is finally here, which means that I'm out there hitting the (paved and safe) trails a couple of times a week.

Running during pregnancy is not without its challenges, and running during the third trimester is certainly not for the faint of heart. But...as with any exercise, as long as you are smart about it, listen to your body and are safe, it is really good for both baby and mom.


It goes without saying that you should listen to your body, but if you were running prior to becoming pregnant it can feel really limiting, and it's almost difficult to slow down your pace. What I have found works for me is to treat it like I am running for the first time. I downloaded the 5K Runner app again, and have started over at day1. Every time I run, I turn on the prompts and do a 1.5min/1min walk/run split. I'm still running, and I'm still pushing myself, but I at least have scheduled splits to follow so that I am not pushing my body too hard. A huge thank you to my doula, Jena, for suggesting this routine!

One thing that I absolutely cannot run without at this stage of my pregnancy is my belly support band.


There are many bands out there, and the one that works for me may not be the right one for you. Regardless....I picked up this black stretchy support band from Walmart (George brand, found in the maternity clothing section) and as you can see above, I fold it over two to three times, then sling it low across my belly for support. It really helps limit the bouncing on my lower belly, and I haven't had an issue with back pain (so far) so I haven't needed more support than the stretchy band.

It's also great since my running leggings are just regular leggings, with no belly panel. It helps my entire belly feel supported, which makes my run overall more enjoyable.

There will be days where you feel like your old non-pregnant self, and can do a longer run. There will be other days where you are completely gassed and do alot more walking than running. What matters is that you are out there, and you're doing something good to keep you and your baby healthy.

Lastly, hydrate. This is something that I'm not super great about, because I always feel like I'm going to pee my pants due to my weak pelvic floor muscles right now, but it is so important to hydrate your body, both for you and your baby. If possible, choose a running route with a bathroom, or do a few loops around your block so you can always circle back to your house a pit stop if needed!

At the end of the day, do what you can, when you can. I like to get out two or three times a week for a run, even if it is just 2km. Running is so amazing and I have really enjoyed my journey over the past year. It provides stress relief and mental clarity, weight loss and toning, and during pregnancy helps to set you up for an easier labour and delivery, as well as an easier postnatal recovery period.

Be smart, be safe.
Go run.

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Run for Retina recap #running #pregnancy #fitmom

This past Sunday, against the threat of rain and at 7 months pregnant, I ran the Run for Retina in London, Ontario. 5km...most of which was surprisingly uphill, but I did it...and I didn't finish last!

My first km went by really quickly, and my tracker dinged at about 8minutes. I was surprised that I was going so fast, and then slowed down a bit to walk some.

This is when it got a little silly. In my brain, when I am running, I am not pregnant. I push myself, and tell my legs "you're not tired, your brain is...keep going" When you're 7 months pregnant, this is really dumb, but there's something that happens when you're at a race...there's something in the air. People are super jazzed to be there; for some, it's their first race and you can see the mix of excitement and nerves written on their face. For others, they're seasoned pros and complete the course in no time.

Then there was me. Pregnant and determined.

Around the 2km mark, my belly started to cramp. I walked a little more, and knew that it was my body telling me that it didn't necessarily need to slow down...it needed water like whoa. Thankfully, I could see the water station in my sights, so walked to it, and chugged a couple of glasses. Once the cramp went away, I walked quicker and worked my way up to a run.

This course was supposed to be a 5km, but when my tracker dinged that I had run 3km at the half way turnaround, I had a feeling that alot of the way back would be walking.

Grabbed some more water at the station, then just kept going. There was only one way back, and I would get there when I got there.

When I could see Blackfriars Bridge, I knew that the end was near, and that it was primarily downhill. I started running...and kept running. I actually ran right past my husband and son, and didn't realize that they were there! I ran past a few of the other racers and over the finish line.

I wanted to cry...but I really really needed to pee! So I collected my medal, grabbed two more glasses of water and ran right to the bathrooms. Once I had some much needed relief, took a moment to smile at myself in the mirror, pat my belly and be proud...all by myself.


When I found my husband and son, my kiddo ran up to me with the biggest smile and was SO proud. Then my husband said I I had of told you four years ago that you would become a runner would you have believed me? I laughed, and said no.

Then he said Would you have believed me if I said that you would run a 5km, while pregnant with our second son?

Absolutely not...but I did, and that's pretty awesome!

I'm SO looking forward to my next race in just a couple of weeks, the Le Chocolat 5K Run/Walk. It's actually a full on girls weekend away with my bests, and I can't wait!

If all else fails, I can have a firefighter carry me to the finish!
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Preparing for Race day, #prenatal fitness and #running during pregnancy

I'm not going to lie, as I write this I am thinking what the hell was I thinking registering for a race when I knew that I would be 6months pregnant? 


To say that I am nervous about my first 5km race is an understatement.

To say that I am worried I won't finish is dead on.

To say that I will probably cry at the end...well that's pretty obvious.

But I think I am ready. I have been running and doing strength training since January. While in Florida, I was running 3-4 times per week, on average 3.25km per run. Pretty good, I think!


Even in the pouring rain
Even on a cruise

I laced up and got my booty out there. Healthy mama, healthy babe...right?

It's true, but running at 6 months pregnant is alot different than 3 months pregnant. My belly is bigger, heavier and babe is moving alot more.

But all I can do is try, right? There's certainly no harm in trying, and I know well enough to listen to my body, walk when I need to, carry a water bottle since my little love needs the hydration too, and to not pay attention to the time. Like I've said before, it's not about setting personal records.

It's just about finishing.

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Granting Wishes at Sea, Make a Wish Foundation and Royal Caribbean

When we went on our Babymoon at the beginning on January to the Bahamas, I was really happy to see that there was a running track, and even happier to find that there was a charity walk scheduled for the morning of Day one.






For just a $10 donation, you were registered for the Walk. I chose to ran it, and did a full 2miles on the boat.

The windy boat.


But the view was pretty spectacular


And the accomplishment was pretty awesome as well.

2miles
28mins

The wind on the boat gave me a bit of a burn on my face, but I was all smiles (and dripping sweat) when I got back to our stateroom. I trimmed 2 minutes off my pace, likely due to the force of the wind on the boat, but 2 minutes is 2 minutes. I know I've said that pregnancy isn't the time to push your pace or train for something bigger than what you have accomplished already, but a little speed training here and there isn't a bad thing {just watch your heart rate and your body temp!}.

The running track on the boat left a little to be desired, to be honest. I was disappointed with how many people were leisurely strolling and wouldn't move out of the way for a runner. It's a running track people...please keep in mind that a runner build momentum and to have to slow, or holler at you to move out of the way can lead to injury! I had to yell on your left! to a group of guys, and when they didn't move had to leap over a lounge chair, which I didn't do very gracefully and almost tripped! If you're ever on a cruise and you see a runner, please please please just move a step or two to the side to allow them to pass safely!

Running on a windy ship was definitely fun, and it was certainly a challenge. I am happy with the results, the accomplishment and the fact that my run made a difference!


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Tips for Running in 2nd Trimester, #fitmama

So I'm back to running. The day after we arrived in the Sunshine State, I went out for my first run since the London Lady's Half Marathon and 5km {which I ran just a few days after finding out I was pregnant}


The first things that I packed in my suitcase were my running clothes; flowy tanks, leggings, socks, KTTape, my shoes, arm band and headphones. I couldn't wait to hit the pavement and get back to running.


I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt and how my legs reacted. I was definitely expecting them to be all "what in the....we are NOT running!" but it all came back naturally.

That said, I do have some tips for you mamas out there who are considering running during your pregnancy.

If you haven't run before your pregnancy, now is not the time to start

Running takes a decent amount of dedication and training, so as with any other type of exercise, if you haven't done it before you were pregnant, don't do it now. If you want to incorporate an aerobic type activity into your pregnancy, consider prenatal aquafit, yoga or pilates.

Supportive shoes will make a huge difference

While I have loved my Nikes, I am finding that my toes are starting to get tingly after about 3.5km. They've been through the ringer and I'm excited to retire them, opting for a pair of supportive Under Armour kicks.  Look for shoes that are built for mobility and have offset laces to reduce pressure on the top of your foot (which is usually the reason your toes go numb!)

Tape Up

I have had issues with my knees {patella femoral} since I was about 11 years old. KTTape allows me to run without pain, so if you have any areas that are a little tight or have hurt you in the past, tape them up before you head out for a run {approx 20mins prior to your run to allow the tape to adhere properly}.






Take it Slow

Now is not the time to set records or try and beat your pace from your last race. This is something that is coming really difficult to me. My first run back was 2.02mi/35:05mins - a pace of 10:45/km. That's about 2:30 slower than my usual, which was pretty disappointing. My second run back was 10:39/km {2.34mi/40:19mins} - better but still slow.

Then I realized something...it's not about how fast I go, it's the fact that I'm out there that matters. I'm taking it slow, listening to my body and giving my baby every advantage to a healthy start by creating a healthy environment.

So far, I have run a handful of times, including on our cruise over the past weekend. I have also registered for my first two races of 2014 (in April and May, so I will be 28weeks and 31weeks) and am working away on my LOST running series. I completed my 15km Swan race on January 2nd.

Every step counts, no matter how fast it is!

Want to keep up to date on my running and prenatal fitness? Follow me on Instagram!


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London Lady's Half Marathon, Relay and 5km

November 3rd marked my fourth running event this fall. Fourth...that seems insane given that I really only started running regularly in July, then picked it up in September once I was cleared from the miscarriage.

My first race, the Oasis Zoo run, I was nervous as all heck. By my fourth race, I was pretty cool and calm. I knew the process, to get out of the way of others, be respectful of their space, and that it was about no one's goals but my own.

All set and ready to go!

Post-race glow with Rebecca Nash

Finished!

My time was 43:36, which I was really happy with. I achieved a personal best, and finished 200 out of 273 (with the 5km walkers included).

So...what's next? Well I have the LOST running series that I'm working on. Right now I am working toward the 15km Swan medal, and have 5.149km under my belt from the London Lady's event.

After that, the 16km Flame, 23km Pearl and finally the 42km Orchid. That will complete series 1. My goal is to complete everything by Christmas.

Just gotta keep lacing up, and pushing myself!

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New Year New Me, New SHOES!

It's time for new shoes...these lovelies have carried me through...

Insanity
C25K
Oasis Zoo Run 5km
Color Me Rad 5km

That you, fusions, for changing my life and making me love lacing up, but it's time for some new kicks.


Check out these awesome options, all available at Sport Check

Yes, I care about how I look when I'm running or working out. The brighter the shoes, the better. Typically my running wardrobe is the black leggings above, or grey capri leggings, with a white tank and black/white/red sports bra {I need to get some funkier options for those as well}.

So...I'm off to Sport Check soon to try them on and get a feel for what feels good on my feet. I've really liked my pink Nike Fusions, but think something new is in order for the rest of fall, and warm weather running while we are on vacation in Florida.

What is your favourite running shoe?

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Gobble Gobble!! Running a 6km at the Gobbler Gallop and setting a Personal Best!

To say that I was nervous to run my first solo race was an understatement. The Oasis Zoo Run and color Me Rad, I had the support of my beautiful bff's at my side, and waiting for me at the finish line.

The Gobbler Gallop...I was on my own. I set out, praying that it wasn't going to rain (which it didn't) and headed to Springbank Park in London. I was met by the most cheerful bunch of runners, most who train for these types of races through the Running Room.


First, the kiddos went for the 1km Waddle. It was so cute and they even got medals upon finishing.

Then it was our turn. The way they had it set up was a 3km loop, and you had the option of running 3km or 6km. Going for the gusto, I had my sights set on 6km.

 The first mile was relatively easy, even with my groin/quad strain that I have been nursing over the past week, and thankfully the course went down the big Boler hill and not up. I think I surprised a few of the runners and volunteers when I kept going through the Start/Finish to do my second loop.

All in all, I beat my pace, and my past two 5km times! At the 5km mark, I was at 42mins. Then I saw this little dude and was SO excited.



I yelled at him (over the music in my ears) for him to run with me and he very excitedly did.


I'm super proud to have a 6km race under my belt, and finished top 10....which isn't too difficult when only about 10 people continued through the first 3km to run the full 6km race. Ha! Still a pretty awesome feeling!

And I definitely did not expect to get a medal at the end, so that was pretty awesome and it is up on the wall next to my Color Me Rad bib and Oasis Zoo Run bib and medal.


Next up...the London Lady's Half Marathon and 5km on November 3rd!

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