Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Race goals for 2014

This past weekend was the 5th Disney's Princess Half Marathon and I've been burning with jealousy every time I've seen photos of the event!  That race will always feel special to me because it was my first (and only, at this point) half marathon, but even aside from's just so much fun!  Here are a few of my favorite things about the Princess:

  • It's completely focused on women.  The men definitely take a backseat in this race.  It's practically impossible to find men's clothing or shoes at the expo.  Instead all the booths are dedicated to things like running skirts and cute headbands for the ladies!  It sounds cheesy, but it feels great to be surrounded by so much girl power for a weekend!
  • Glitter, tutus, and tiaras abound.  I'm a true girly girl, so I love anything that involves lots of pink and sparkle!  My first time I didn't feel like a confident enough runner to really dress up, but I plan to change that in future races!  I do have my pink tiara Bondi Band, but I'm ready to add a tutu to my race day ensemble!
  • The course is nice and flat.  There is, of course, the painful run up an exit ramp around mile 11, but the rest of the course is flat and easy.  I'm certainly not running through hill country here in the North Carolina piedmont, but my neighborhood (where I do 90% of my running) has several small hills.  I try not to exclude the hills from my routes and it made a huge difference when I was running in Florida.  I felt like running required a lot less effort!
  • There is plenty of entertainment.  I knew before I ever started running that I would struggle with getting bored during runs.  When I ran the Princess, it flew by because there were so many fun things to look at - Disney scenery, marching bands, gospel choirs, character displays.  I spent the entire race going, "Pete!  Look, it's Splash Mountain!  Pete!  Look, there's a pirate ship and Captain Jack Sparrow!"  Not to mention you get entertainment just from looking at the costumes of other runners on the course!
  • There are water stops at practically every mile.  I didn't realize how amazing this was until I did a 10 mile race a month after I did the Princess and there were only 2 water stops for the entire course.  I was so thirsty!  I definitely got spoiled at Disney where there was a water stop at almost every mile marker.  I don't like to carry water bottles when I run so this is a huge plus for me.
  • Everything is incredibly well organized.  Yes, it's a pain to get up at 3am to catch a bus to Epcot and then you have to walk about a mile to the start corrals, but it's worth it because everything at Disney runs so smoothly.  Everything is always on time, it's clear where you're supposed to be, and they make sure to provide plenty of entertainment while you wait.  If you stay at a Disney Resort you get free bus transportation to the start line and back to your hotel after the race, as well as to any other pre-race events like the expo.  It's wonderful not to deal with the stress of driving somewhere and parking issues the day of the race!
  • The medal is awesome.  Run Disney medals are without a doubt some of the best I have seen.  I love my Princess medal so much!  I can't wait to add to my collection!

Today I noticed that the date has been set for Princess 2014 - February 23!  I've got it on my calendar already.  I can't wait to get back in shape and start training in the fall!

I've been thinking a lot of about the races I want to run in 2014.  Princess is, of course, on the top of the list.  I've also set a goal that I haven't told anyone else yet - I want to run 3 half marathons in 2014.  They'll probably all be in the early spring, but it's possible I could run one in the fall as well.  Running one in the summer would be brutal in the North Carolina heat.

For my second half marathon of 2014, I plan on running the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon.  Pete actually found this race for me.  It's about 4 hours away from where we live and it's at the beach, so that's a nice perk!  The course is flat, there are plenty of water stops (I checked), and I think it will be a good race for me.  The race is usually in March so it will come about a month after the Princess.  Since half marathons aren't completely brutal on the body like full marathons, I think I'll be well prepared to run another one that soon.

I'd like to run the third half marathon in April, but I don't have one picked out yet.  I know there are a few in Charlotte around that time so I need to start researching.  The Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill is also in April and I definitely hope to do that again as well!  It might be tough to plan 2 race weekends in one month, so half #3 might have to wait until the fall.

It's a bummer to have race fever so bad when you're 34 weeks pregnant, but I'm having so much fun planning out next year's race season!  And hopefully this summer and fall I can squeeze in some local 5Ks once I'm up to it...maybe even with jogging stroller in tow!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I feel humongous.  My face is puffy, my arms are jiggly, my back has rolls, my thighs rub together.  Getting out of a chair is a challenge, as is rolling over in bed.  I'm out of breath after climbing the stairs.  I am really ready to have my body back!  I do love my big belly, but it's becoming very heavy to carry around and the baby is soooo low!  Sometimes I use my arms to support the weight of my belly just to have a little break.

I've actually reached a point where I would like to stop going out in public.  Most of my maternity clothes are too small or uncomfortable now and I feel like a slob no matter what I'm wearing.  I'm much more comfortable at home in my sweat pants and one of the hubby's t-shirts!  Also, it takes so much energy for me to run the simplest of errands.  I need a nap after going to the grocery store.

Most unfortunately, my due date happens to be 5 days after my cousin's which I'm the matron of honor.  It's understood that I might not make it to the wedding, but right now there's either a baby shower for me or a bridal shower for her every weekend.  I squeezed myself into a maternity dress for my baby shower, but that's not really an option anymore so I've just worn leggings and a somewhat decent looking top to the other showers.  I actually hosted one yesterday and had to wear Uggs because by the time I finished setting up, my feet were too swollen to go into the black flats I had planned to wear (not to mention all of my other shoes).

Okay, I'll stop whining now.  But seriously...I am over being pregnant.  Bring on the next stage!

Only about 2.5 more weeks before it's considered safe for baby girl to make her big appearance and that feels like forever.  Once I hit 36 weeks I am going to try every superstition and old wives' tale that supposedly induces labor!  I'm ready to have my body back, but I also can't wait to see and hold my daughter.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Old self vs. new self

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what life will be like after the baby is born - specifically in relation to my sense of self before and after.  For the first 6 months I really just reveled in being pregnant, but now I'm wondering how I will hang on to a bit of who I was before while still growing into my role as mom.

I've been scouring other blogs lately to read about other mothers' experiences with post-baby mind and body.  I think the most important thing will be to make an effort to exercise...and it will be an enormous effort!  I know I'll be tired and uncomfortable and I won't want to leave my sweet little daughter.  I've talked to my husband about this and we've both acknowledged that we need to encourage the other to exercise and do what we can to give the other time to exercise after she's born.  I plan to start walking as soon as I feel able and make the transition into run/walking as soon as my doctor gives the okay.  Since it will be like starting from scratch I'm going to start at the same place I did 2 years ago when I started running with the Couch to 5K program.  I've registered for a nice jogging stroller so hopefully I'll be able to take the little princess on some runs too!

April/May of 2012 was really the height of my fitness and how I felt about myself.  I had a half marathon and a 10 mile race under my belt, I was still running regularly and going to yoga like crazy, and I loved how I looked and how I felt.

May 2012 - post-run

I love my pregnant body, but I can't help but notice how much rounder my face is, how my arms have a little more jiggle than they used to, and how my thighs have started to rub together when I walk.  It doesn't help that I haven't been as active as I thought I'd be during pregnancy.  I don't know that it would have made that much of a difference - I believe that every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy and as long as my doctor says I'm healthy, this extra weight is something my baby needs from me.

29 weeks pregnant

I definitely want my daughter to grow up seeing her parents exercise and participate in races because I want exercise to be a part of her life.  I'm excited to see what the new mom version of me is going to look like - hopefully just as fit, but with the added joy that having a child brings to life!

As far as my mindset goes, I'm less worried about that.  Of course there's no telling how I'll feel when those post-partum hormones kick in, but I really feel like I'm going to be okay.  Like every other mother, I have my neuroses - for example, I have this irrational fear that people are going to be around all the time holding my baby and I'll never get to hold her - but I'm hoping that once she's here my excitement over meeting her will overshadow everything else.  It's certainly going to be an adventure!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Goals

My main goal for 2013 is to make the transition into motherhood as smoothly as possible and be the best mother I can be, so a lot of my other goals are either dependent on or related to that one.  Here's what I would like to accomplish in 2013:

  • Stay active and eat healthy throughout third trimester
  • Have a safe and healthy delivery
  • Successfully breastfeed for one year
  • Complete Couch to 5K once approved for exercise by my doctor
  • Start and stick with training plan for Princess Half Marathon
  • Practice yoga once a week once approved for exercise by my doctor
  • Cook dinner at least 3 times per week
  • Enjoy every single moment I have with my daughter

I've also been thinking about future goals - well, mostly races.  Pete and I aren't really sure when we'd like to have a second child, so we've decided that we'll just see how we feel once our daughter gets here.  Maybe we'll have another one really soon, or maybe we'll decide to wait for a few years.  The following goals are for the next three years, but may be adjusted if our life plans change:

  • Complete the Disney Marathon
  • Complete the Goofy Challenge (Disney Half Marathon followed by the full marathon the next day)
  • Complete my first triathlon
  • Complete a half ironman (if I enjoy triathlons - I'm a little unsure about it)

It feels so great to put those out there and to be thinking about races again!  My husband has been encouraging me for awhile to try triathlons but I've been hesitant.  Recently I've finally felt like I would be up for it.  I'm intimidated by the swim and bike portions, but I think with enough training I would feel comfortable doing a sprint tri.  My plan is to get a road bike at some point after the baby is born and start working towards doing my first triathlon here in my hometown in April/May of 2014.  I'm excited about having something new to work towards, but I'm definitely the most excited about the 2014 Princess Half and getting in shape for it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

2012 in review

Here's a quick look back at my 2012 goals plus how I feel about my accomplishments toward each of them:

Finish the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2:30 or less
I ended up finishing in 2:34:40, just a few minutes short of my goal, but I could not be more satisfied!  I felt great the entire time, ran 7 miles without a single walk break for the first time in my life, and felt better than I had on any run.  Not to mention I had a really great time!

Cook dinner at least twice a week
Unfortunately I didn't keep up with this goal hardly at all.  I know cooking really fell by the wayside when I was running and working a lot.  But in the last few months I know my cooking really picked up so I'm happy about that!

Practice yoga twice a week
I haven't been to a yoga class since May, but I did great for those first five months of the year.  May was definitely the high point of my fitness for the year.  I miss yoga and hope to get back into it after the baby's born, but I know it will be hard since my yoga studio is about 40 minutes away from my house.

Go to church at least twice a month
Well, there's no doubt I failed desperately at this one.  I'm going to renew this goal for 2013.  It's just so hard for me to get out of bed early on weekends.  I know that will be changing with baby's arrival!

Run a 5K in under 30:00
I was so close to achieving this goal during the last couple months before I got pregnant, but I stopped working towards it at that point.  I'm not sure if I'll renew this goal for 2013 or not because I plan to focus more on building my endurance up rather than speed, but it's still something I want to accomplish in the foreseeable future!

Save $100-$200 every week of working
I stopped working after I got pregnant because I felt so bad for so long and my hour-long commute became a big struggle, but I think I did achieve this goal for every week that I worked.

Spend less time on Facebook
This is one goal at which I was surprisingly successful!  I am a huge Facebook junkie, but I actually went 6 weeks with no Facebook at all and I've definitely reduced the amount of time I spend looking at it.

Follow $200 per month budget for shopping
Sadly I didn't really keep up with my progress on this goal.  I did a good deal of shopping in 2012, but I was actually very good at curbing my spending towards the end of the year.

Keep the credit card bill under $2,000 per month
I didn't do so well at this goal, but I did make a good faith effort and did decrease my spending on a whole.

Get (and stay) pregnant
It took awhile but I am so thrilled to say that I achieved this goal!

Looking towards 2013 is a little difficult because I know a lot of changes are coming.  I want to embrace those changes and I'm looking forward to life with a baby, but I also want to hang on to a little bit of the "old Tina" as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Where I've been!

Wow, I haven't blogged in well over 6 months!  I've slipped away from my running identity for awhile--my last run was August 2, 2012.  That's because on August 4, 2012 I found out I was pregnant!

After an ectopic pregnancy and 6 months of trying, the journey to having a baby was really taking its toll on me.  When I did finally get that positive pregnancy test, I was honestly too scared to run for a long time.  I was terrified the entire first trimester that something was going to go wrong and even though my doctor told me it was safe and encouraged me to run, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Not to mention I was exhausted 24/7!

Once I moved into the second trimester I started feeling more confident in the pregnancy, but I still took things very easy on the exercise front.  I would walk 2 miles a couple times a week with my dad and occasionally I've done the elliptical at the gym, but exercising really took a backseat.

Once I felt safe I threw my heart and soul into the pregnancy and there didn't feel like much room for anything else!  I am happy to say that our baby girl is expected on April 11, 2013 and I've never been so excited about anything!  But I can also say that in the last couple of weeks I have started to miss running and yoga.  A LOT.

What really made me realize how much I miss running is going to Disney World last week so my husband could run the Disney Marathon!  I signed up to run the race too, but of course cancelled those plans once I got pregnant.  Being at the expo made me feel a little wistful, imagining being there and getting in on all the exciting race prep.  I also came to the finish line to cheer on my hubby and the energy was so infectious!  Not to mention that race bling was pretty awesome...

Ever since the marathon I have been looking up races on the internet and reading race recaps from my favorite bloggers.  I'm so happy about my baby girl, but I can't wait until she gets here so I can start training for my next half marathon!  I'm pretty set on doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2014.  I know I'll be starting from scratch after the baby is born, but I'm ready for a challenge!