Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hello, 30! | B3 16 Weeks

This has to be the craziest stretch of the year so far!

The past 8 days have included our 5-year anniversary, W's 2nd birthday, my 30th birthday and my mom's birthday. Now we just need someone to be born on the 25th to make it a birthday streak - any May 25th birthdays out there? 

The morning started off with a complimentary birthday Hazelnut Cappuccino at The Ember coffee shop followed by another complimentary Mint Condition cold coffee at Caribou Coffee and a trip to the thrift store just for fun (where I found some excellent books). Groceries at Sam's Club (I wish those were free), a free "Grand Slam" breakfast at Denny's and free 10 oz Froyo at Cherry Berry (that was donated to my brother).

You know that saying "too much of a good thing"? Yeah. I was totally good-things-overloaded.


After the wild birthday morning, I did use a birthday gift card to buy some new runner reading material: the Hansons Marathon Method. Though I'm currently "running for two" at an average of 9:30-10:00/mile pace and keeping the miles low, I do look forward to the days of running faster/longer again - in due time, of course.

After fellow BibRave Pro, Amy S, ran a stellar marathon a week ago, she inspired me to research the Hanson Marathon Method. I'm intrigued and look forward to applying the principals to my future marathon endeavors. A loooong, long time from now.

Like maybe next Fall :)


Now I'm 30.

I always thought I would feel more mature at this point in my life but I really still feel like a kid. Here's to a new decade of memories with our growing family! God is so good to us and I look forward to all that He has in store.

B3 Pregnancy: Week 16 Wrap-Up

B3 is the size of an avocado as we finish up week 16. I'm feeling much more energetic though I still feel winded while running (probably will 'til baby is out!). I will keep plugging along at whatever pace and, though it's not speedy, it's all a building block as a train for "the big event"... labor and delivery. It's like an ultra marathon every time!


MONDAY: 

3.1 mile run in the early morning with our pup.

TUESDAY: 

W's 2nd Birthday! We celebrated with cupcakes and a playdate with friends.

WEDNESDAY: 

My 30th Birthday! 3.0 early morning miles to celebrate :) The little ones and I spent the morning running errands and taking advantage of birthday treat perks with my sister-in-law. So much fun, too many sweets!!!

THURSDAY

Stretching and recovering from the birthday sugar hangover.

FRIDAY:

My Mom's Birthday! 4-mile run with the double stroller on the gravel roads near town. Though our town is very small, going out to the roads surrounded by fields and very few houses feels the best. Pushing a double stroller on gravel... now that doesn't feel quite as peaceful.


SATURDAY:

4-mile run on the gravel roads. I took it easy and this run felt great! Running farther than 4 miles was tempting but I figured I should conserve some energy for a fun Memorial weekend.


SUNDAY:

Rest. With Memorial Day coming up on Monday, thank you to those who have lost their lives for our freedom and to all of the veterans and those currently serving our country!

What birthday perks do you take advantage of? 



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Running Sun Protection | BUFF Arm Sleeves Review

Disclaimer: I received BUFF UV Arm Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The sun is out and it's time to break out the summer running gear! My sock and tank top tan lines are developing slowly but surely. And with sunny running comes the need for sun protection.

As a BibRave Pro, I have had the opportunity to add BUFF UV Arm Sleeves to my warm-weather running attire. I'm usually pretty good about putting sunscreen on my shoulders, as they seem to burn first, yet I tend to neglect the rest of the arm. Thankfully, these sleeves offer UPF (ultraviolet protective factor) 40+ sun protection!


Even though today's run was full of sunshine, the windy 60°F morning felt chilly. Too hot for a full jacket but too cold for just a tank. The BUFF Arm Sleeves provided some balance by keeping me warm for the warm up mile. The 88% polyester/12% Spandex material is breathable, comfortable and moisture-wicking... thankfully, because I do sweat.

For you super warm weather runners, some fellow BibRave Pros have recommended dipping the arm sleeves in water before the run to keep you cool while running.


I have enjoyed these sleeves and I know they will come in handy on many runs and outings this year. The sleeves stay well in place because of the silicone grip on the elastic upper sleeve and they fit like compression wear.

If anything, I wouldn't mind if these size S/M were just a little more loose-fitting but not so much that they fall down. A happy medium, you know?


The BUFF UV Arm Sleeves are available in Akira (orange/pink/yellow, as seen below), Interference (black/grey), and White (... white) and a set of 2 sleeves is $24.99. Of course I preferred the Akira pattern because it matches my BibRave orange gear :)


Join us for #BibChat with BUFF on June 6 at 8 pm CT for a chance to win a set of UV Arm Sleeves for yourself! 

B3 Pregnancy: Week 15 Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

Off.

TUESDAY: 

3.17 mile run testing out my brand new Adidas Ultraboost X's! Can't wait to share more with you about those :)

WEDNESDAY: 

Strength Training - Super sets of thrusters, rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, flies, runner arms and lunges (reverse, front, side).

THURSDAY

3.3-mile double stroller run on a windy yet beautifully sunny day.

FRIDAY:

My husband and I are celebrating our 5-year wedding anniversary! Hopefully with a supper date, just the two of us.


SATURDAY:

4.1 miles on the gravel by my parents' farm. So quiet and beautiful out there!

SUNDAY:

Off - In the coming weeks I'm planning to run on Sunday's and then take Monday's as a rest day. Sunday's are much easier in child-care terms, if I have hopes of running stroller-less.

What is one piece of essential gear for your warm weather running? 



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ten Random Momservations | B3 14 Weeks

Hey, Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

So I've been at this "blogging thing" for four years now. FOUR YEARS. Just a month shy of when I first entered the calling of motherhood. It has been quite a journey.

Whether via blog or old journals, I honestly feel "writer's regret" when I read my own writing. Maybe it's over typos or grammar mess-ups but mostly over the ideas themselves. What was I thinking?! I had no clue. Ugh. Stupid. I should delete this (or burn my journal). 

I did look back through some posts from earlier in my motherhood journey and am giving myself grace. Each year, each season, each post is part of the journey. A learning curve and preparation for seasons to come.

Life really is a journey of constant learning! Every. Single. Day.

So, yes, blogging for four years and motherhood for four years. That certainly still qualifies me as a rookie but I thought it would be fun to share ten random "Momservations" (mom observations) that I have made over these years of learning.

Ten Random Momservations

1. Wipe Warmers are a mysterious baby registry item. Does anyone actually use those gadgets? Never used one, never actually seen one in person. I've found simply balling up the wipe in my hand for a few seconds works as a wipe warmer. So handy! (pun intended)

Image Source

2. Boys + Bathrooms = Messy. Apparently "aiming" is harder than it looks! Cleaning my bathroom feels like a nearly-every-day sort of occurrence. I hope boys get better at this with age (not holding my breath though).

3. Pelvic floor exercises are no joke. I didn't really get it during my first pregnancy and paid for it later. With my second pregnancy I was more diligent and had no issues! Pelvic floor exercises seem ridiculous but not as ridiculous as a lack of bladder control.

4. Waterproof mattress protectors are gold. Who needs cute matching crib bedding sets? A few sets of plain sheets and extra waterproof mattress protectors (more than one per mattress!!!) are where it's at. Because "things" happen and seem to happen a lot. Sippy cup leakage... puking... accidents... all that business.

5. Stroller runs: Mom gets tired, kids get wired. As much as I love stroller running, the reality is that my kids are resting while I'm running. Running solo and not on the treadmill is a treat! I don't take it for granted anymore these days.


6. Kids don't care about weekends or daylight savings time. Isn't that funny? Some years I have forgotten that daylight savings time detail. Oh well, at least they're up to enjoy the morning. It really is the best time of the day.

Image Source

7. Leave earlier to show up on time. Getting places on time isn't complicated with two kids as long as we leave early to account for car seat loading/unloading and various spontaneous issues (meltdowns, child undressing oneself, potty emergencies, etc). Hurrying with kids is a recipe for disaster! Leaving early to show up on time is totally worth it.

8. Straws make life more fun. They're magical. Straws can make a picky eater drink a fruit and veggie smoothie with a smile on their face. I can't say I understand it but I do appreciate straws.

9. Babies require a lot less stuff than I thought. Part of my early baby #3 prep has included getting rid of unnecessary baby "equipment" and toning down our oodles of kids' clothing. So many things that seemed important just aren't anymore - more so, I value the extra space in our house over baby gadgets!

10. My children are teaching me every day. They remind me of what's really important, to see the beauty in the little things life and to slow down enough to see life. To really explore God's creation. The questions they ask (yes, even the little one talks now!) surprise me some days and I truly enjoy conversations with them. Whoever said they miss "adult conversation" while at home must not have chatty kids! Most days end with me feeling socially over-stimulated...

There you have it. Those are my momservations this year at least.

In case you're dying to know, I celebrated Mother's Day with morning waffles made by my husband, custom artwork by the kids and a 5k run, just the dog and me! It was wonderful. Since my husband and bro-in-law have been gone so much the past two weeks, it was just nice to be together as a family.


B3 is a PEACH as he or she is finishing up week 14. And I'm up 5 pounds. Identical to my pregnancies with the boys and hopefully, even if I gain quickly now, it will all even out like it has in the past :)


B3 Pregnancy: Week 14 Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

3-mile double stroller run and mowing the lawn while the kids were playing, finally finishing up during nap time.

TUESDAY: 

Lots of outdoor time and activity with the kids.

WEDNESDAY: 

3-mile grocery run with double stroller. 

THURSDAY

Walking, walking, walking around the county park.

FRIDAY:

4-mile errands run with double stroller and one set of 10 lunges. At least I snuck in one set. In the bathroom. While the kids were bathing :)

SATURDAY:

Washing floors in the house and walking with the kids.

SUNDAY:

Happy Mother's Day! 3.17 mile run with our dog in the afternoon. I should probably stick to morning running. 75 degrees felt so hot! I need to get used to this summer weather again :)

How did you celebrate Mother's Day this weekend? 



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Motherhood in Style with Mato Naturals

Forget those high-waisted, tight-fitting "mom jeans" of the past (that have oddly come back into style).

Motherhood does have style!

While time to spend on yourself is hard to come by as a mom, I do appreciate efficient, simple style options that show a little personality. Lately I have traded in my massive diaper bag for a cute boho cross-body bag from Mato Naturals.

Now that our boys are toddler/preschool age, I'm able to hit the road with a couple diapers, wipes, my wallet and a snack. That's it! Freedom, I tell ya. Freedom. (At least until our third sweet one arrives this Fall)


Mato Naturals is a sustainable lifestyle brand founded with the main goal to make available Eco-friendly products at very affordable prices. They offer a wide variety of organic products ranging from everyday use items to fashion and style products from bags and sunglasses to cosmetics and even organic cloth diapers.

Sidenote: I would love to try out their organic cloth diapers, swaddle blankets and nursing pads once our little one arrives! I'm all about the cloth diapers.


The Mato Boho Cross Body Purse is handmade with a sustainable canvas, making it durable yet unique and stylish. This bag has a unique pattern with Bohemian boho tribal Aztec geometric handwoven design.

Plus it's machine washable which is a major win because motherhood sure gets messy :)


For an affordable, eco-friendly, and stylish gift for a special mom in your life, you can find this purse on Mato Naturals' website for $29.99.


I was sent this bag for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tuning In To Your Surroundings | AfterShokz Review

Disclaimer: I received Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Running while listening to music clearly has its advantages.

I used to only use music for training runs but last year I raced my last two marathons while listening to music. Running with tunes is proven to boost mood and motivation. And I believe it! Those races ended up being my second and third fastest marathon times.

The downside is, when my earbuds are in, I'm zoned out and tuned out to my surroundings.

The ear buds eliminated nearly all of the surrounding sound, though running with one ear bud out did make the practice more safe. (Notice the dangling extra ear bud in below picture.)


As a BibRave Pro, I received the wireless Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini headphones. This has been an exciting opportunity as my first step into the world of wireless music enjoyment.

The Trekz Titanium Mini headphones are unique because they utilize bone conduction technology that delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds. That means I can enjoy my music without sacrificing the safety of hearing my surroundings!


With my Wireless Trekz Titanium Mini headphones, I received a drawstring carrying case for the headphones, two rubber ear pieces (to keep the headphones from resting on the ears), a charging cord, a pair of ear plugs (not shown due to toddler confiscation) and a user guide.

The headphones are available in black, pink, blue and green.


Features listed on the AfterShokz website include:

  • Bone conduction technology (like I mentioned above)
  • Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability 
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear 
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass 
  • Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing 
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather 
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge 
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go 
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech 
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk 
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Over the past month, I have worn the Trekz Titanium Mini headphones on an assortment of runs both indoor and out and while listening to podcasts in the house. The bluetooth easily connects to my iPhone and I'm able to listen whatever podcasts or music I feel like that day!


What I LOVED about the Trekz Minis:

  • Wireless. There aren't any cords to deal with like on my regular ear buds. Less tangles, less hassle.
  • Safety. I am able to hear my music while being aware of my surroundings. If your surroundings are very loud, it will be harder to hear your music/podcast BUT your safety is worth it.
  • Ear-Free Fit. My ears are easily irritated by certain ear buds but the bone conduction technology keeps my ears free of any obstructions and therefore I'm able to listen comfortably for longer. 

What I DIDN'T love about the Trekz Minis:

  • Don't fit well with sunglasses. I run with sunglasses often and I felt like the headphones and the sunglasses were both competing for the same spot on my ear. I was able to wear both at the same time by placing my sunglasses on top of the headphones but it wasn't particularly comfortable and I adjusted often. 
  • Not compatible with my iPod Shuffle. (Granted this is a personal problem and at no fault to the headphones) I prefer to run with my iPod Shuffle because it is so tiny and light but bluetooth is not an option. Thankfully AfterShokz has an array of products both wireless and wired! The Sports Titanium headphones would be a nice option for running with the Shuffle.


Overall, I think these headphones are a win! They are very versatile - yes, you can even use them for making phone calls - and the "Mini" size is just perfect. The wireless Trekz Titanium Mini headphones are available for $129.95 with a 45-day money back guarantee.

And as a BONUS: When you order your AfterShokz here, you will get a complimentary 16-oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle with your purchase ($14.95 value for FREE). Use the code "FREEBOTTLE" at checkout!


Join us for #BibChat on Twitter hosted by AfterShokz on May 23rd at 8PM CT for a chance to win your own pair of Trekz Titanium Mini headphones! 

And here's my quick weekly workout wrap up combined with a "bump update". I'll spare you the weekly bump photos and instead show you an enticing picture of fruit comparable to the size of B3.

Our baby is... a lemon :)

Source: "The Bump" App

B3 Pregnancy: Week 13 Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

3-mile grocery run with the double stroller and dog. We stopped to let Saul swim in the river and enjoyed a perfect May Day! Upon returning home, we reseeded grass and that was sure interesting with the little ones' help.

TUESDAY: 

Strength Training - 3 x superset of thrusters, rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, flies, and "running arms" with 10# dumbbells followed by bodyweight lunges.

WEDNESDAY: 

(Treadmill) 3.03-mile run followed by weeding in the front yard.

THURSDAY

Stretching Day. Lots of walking and a fun morning at the park with friends. The sun and heat feel amazing and we were all pretty tired out!

FRIDAY:

Driving to Grandma & Grandpa's farm!

SATURDAY:

4-mile solo run!!! No double stroller, no treadmill!

SUNDAY:

Off - Rest Day

Name one song on your favorite running playlist!



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Third Pregnancy Fitness Perspective

The first trimester (and the all-day sickness) came and went. And, praise the Lord, it went quickly!

Now here I am, not really knowing what to write. With my first pregnancy, the blog didn't exist. With my second, I was all about the baby updates. I feel like I exhausted many topics, i.e. Running in the First Trimester and How & Why I Run During Pregnancy. Interesting topics but they are exhausted none-the-less.

With our third, though just as precious in our eyes, I'm struggling for words. Maybe I'm just more tired?

I read a couple "third pregnancy" posts from other bloggers lately, which were hilarious, though not particularly true for me. While a few things are difference (more tired, more achy), not much has changed since my last pregnancy.

Despite this being my third pregnancy...


I do take my prenatal vitamins daily and have been ever since nursing W.

I still exercise regularly.

We are planning on another home birth and praying that B3 will hang in there full term.

Same midwife, we love her!

I have random and ridiculous pregnancy cravings once again. One day spaghettios (gross), then donuts, then ham & cheese crackers, then eggs... It's nuts.

And I do have a chance to sit down in the afternoon because both kids still nap. When we grow out of napping, having a quiet reading or drawing time will be a "thing" in this house! A little quiet time is good for the soul - no matter what age.

Baby belly or a few too many cheeseburgers ;)

One of the biggest changes with my third pregnancy has been cutting back on exercise. While consistency is key in prenatal fitness, my goal is to maintain fitness while protecting the energy reserves required for wrangling toddler and almost preschooler.

"Maintenance mode" is the best way to describe my perspective on fitness during pregnancy.


I'm getting my heart rate up, lifting my little 10-lb dumbbells on occasion and pounding the pavement or treadmill belt regularly but I'm not setting any mileage records or speed goals. And it feels good!

If there is one thing I have learned over the past years, it's that pregnancy is a time to slow down and savor the moments. We're all excited to meet Baby 3 but time is going to fly way too fast. The next months with just my two boys are going to be sweet ones that I will treasure.

As for maintaining fitness, my loose "plan" looks like: 3 days running, 2 days strength training OR yoga. My pace lately has been an enjoyable 9:30-10:00/mile and mileage will linger around 2-5 miles per run. I'm not going to track my pace for each run, simply to keep me from getting competitive with myself.

It's a big change from last year's marathon craziness but it's a welcomed break and a precious season. There will be a day when I can chase that 3:15 marathon again but as for now I'm so thankful for where we're at.

The truth is, if you stay active during pregnancy, you don't start back on "ground zero" again after baby is born. Being consistent and intentional with regular exercise is building on your lifetime mileage base and experience.

It does make a difference and, after each of our children, I feel like I have come back a stronger runner - and person. It's funny how much each of our children has changed me, mostly for the better... mostly :)


My Weekly Wrap 04/24-04/30

MONDAY: 

Off. Still recovering from last week's cold.

TUESDAY: 

(Treadmill) 3 mile jog

WEDNESDAY: 

Strength Training

THURSDAY

(Treadmill) 3 mile jog

FRIDAY:

Off.

SATURDAY:

4 mile run with the half-loaded double stroller. Big brother stayed back to help dad cut down trees :)

SUNDAY:

Rest.

How has your perspective on fitness changed over the years?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.