Baby 2.0 – 29 Weeks

Ahhh! I seriously cannot believe this is my last week in the 20s. Next week I’ll be 30 weeks- where does the time go? This week was less eventful than last week, but still memorable in many ways. Read on for details!

Grow baby grow! Same outfit from 19 to 28 weeks!

Grow baby grow! Same outfit from 19 to 28 weeks!

Baby

This week baby is the size of an acorn squash! He now weighs at least 2.5 pounds and is over 15 inches from head to heels. Between now and birth (in about 11 weeks!) he will triple in weight! The head is currently getting bigger to accommodate his growing brain, and his muscles and lungs are continuing to develop and mature. He is starting to get cramped as he runs out of room, and at the same time he has fat deposits under it’s skin which causes him to have surges of energy. So he’s moving all the time but has less room to move – which feels REALLY weird most of the time and causes my stomach to morph into weird shapes.

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Body

I felt pretty good this week physically. I started taking the recommended dosage of iron a little over a week ago (3 pills two times a day) based on how anemic I was in my blood test. After a couple days I noticed a difference in how I felt and my energy levels. It’s actually pretty amazing! I was worried that too much iron would cause some unpleasant side effects like constipation and nausea, but the brand my midwives recommended (MegaFood Blood Builder) is great and easy on the digestive system because its a “whole food supplement”. It also contains Vitamin C, Folate, B12 and beet root for better absorption and an extra boost. The only downside is that they taste awful, so it’s a little tricky to get them down at first. I’ve gotten used to it though!

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I continued to get pretty good sleep for the most part this week. The majority of the nights I was able to get 7-9 hours, which is huge! I did have a few bad nights but that’s to be expected at this point. Kyler likes to randomly have dance parties when I’m trying to fall asleep and then again around 3:30-4:00 a.m. He is so active that it actually wakes me up! I also woke up to a pretty bad leg cramp one night. I think it happened when I stretched my leg out. This was something I experienced last time as well, and I know it tends to be normal in pregnancy. My leg felt pretty sore for a few hours but it eventually went away.

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Mind

I had kind of a rough week in terms of work stress, but it was nicely balanced out with 2 more snow days and a 2 hour delay! These extra days at home with Kevin have been SUCH a blessing. I’m so happy to be able to spend more time with him before another little one comes along. We had a lot of fun this week playing with blocks and trains, coloring and practicing making circles, and making fun meals like Olaf pancakes with a new waffle maker my aunt gave us. I am cherishing these special days with my first born :)

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Another part of this week that made me really happy was finally getting to go home to Pennsylvania to see my family and friends. We haven’t been back since Thanksgiving! I never go that long between visits! We packed a lot of fun things into our short weekend trip- quality time with my sister and dad, my best friends and my aunt and uncle. I also got an amazing 7 mile run in around my hometown, which always makes me happy. This was our last long trip until after baby is here, so it was a little strange knowing the next time we travel or come to PA we’ll have another little one with us.

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Snuggling with Aunt Yaya (my sister)

Food

Our food plans were a little challenging to keep up with this week due to our oven/stove breaking. I never realized how often we used that thing! It broke on Sunday night and we ordered a new set of appliances on Monday. They told us delivery would be the following Monday, which wasn’t ideal but it was fine because our neighbors offered to let us use their kitchen since they work in the evenings. This was a huge blessing since we had already bought groceries for the week and didn’t want to throw our meal plan out the window. On Friday we went to Pennsylvania for the weekend, where I let myself have some of my favorite things but definitely did not go overboard at all like in Myrtle Beach. I was proud of that! It is now Monday, and we just received word that our delivery has been pushed back to Wednesday. We’re a little frustrated but we will just have to make it work until then!

Fitness

I’m definitely at the point in pregnancy where running and staying active feels like a roller coaster of highs and lows, and I go back and forth between good and difficult runs. I had one really tough 4 mile run on Wednesday, where I felt really heavy and slow and couldn’t find my groove. I pushed through anyway and was proud when I finished, but it was a little discouraging. My runs the rest of the week were fine though, despite some of them being mentally hard because they were on the treadmill. Then on Saturday my 7 mile outdoor long run felt great and at times I didn’t even feel pregnant. Even more surprisingly, I forgot to wear my maternity support belt but I didn’t even miss it or feel uncomfortable. I really appreciate the good runs lately because I don’t know how long they will last! This is the first week of my entire pregnancy that my weekly mileage has dipped below 20 miles, but I feel okay with that at this point. I ended February with 84 miles, which I am very proud of!

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – 1 mile @ 11:10 pace (with the kids at my school’s running club)
  • Wednesday – ​4 miles @ 10:38 pace
  • Thursday – Body Pump + 2 miles @ 10:26 pace
  • Friday – 3 miles @ 10:21
  • Saturday – 7 miles @ 10:29 pace
  • Sunday – Rest Day
  • Run – 17 miles
  • Strength – 1x

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Week 29 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: + 1.0 lbs.
  • Total weight gained: +19.6 lbs.
  • Linea negra status: getting a little darker week by week, but I still can only really see it in photos
  • Stretch mark status: none yet!
  • Belly button status: definitely more shallow at this point than it was last time. It never actually popped last time but got close. We’ll see!
  • Favorite part of the week: going home to Pennsylvania!
  • Looking forward to: Truthfully- the Bachelor Women Tell All episode tonight. LOL! I have ice cream and everything! Can’t wait for the drama :)
  • # of days until my next appointment: 8

29 weeks last time around!​

Running in the 2nd Trimester

Just like that, another trimester is over! At the end of the first trimester I wrote a post about my experiences with running during those first few months. A lot has happened since then, so I wanted to write a post detailing how my running has changed as baby and I continue to get bigger!

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Shorter “long” runs. When I began this pregnancy, I cut my weekly mileage back to 20-25 miles per week. I decided I wanted to try to maintain at least 20 miles as long as I could. I figured this would taper off a bit during the second trimester, but surprisingly I was still able to run at least 20 miles a week. I did cut back in terms of my long run though. They went from 10-12 miles to 7-9 miles, except for the two half marathons I did in the second trimester. I know they will continue to get shorter from here, but there’s nothing like the feeling after a long run. I love it!

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Monthly mileage during the second trimester

Varied pace. Pre-pregnancy my natural running pace was between 8:30-9:30/mile. In the first trimester it quickly dropped to 9:30-11:00/mile, depending on the day. During the second trimester my pace has pretty much stayed between 9:45-11:00/mile. Some days I feel super heavy and slow, and some days I don’t feel pregnant at all. It’s definitely a roller coaster! My “sweet spot” in terms of pace right now tends to be around 10:30. It feels good and is easy to maintain. I’m sure that will start creeping up soon as I continue to get bigger, but as long as I keep moving I don’t care!

More support. In this second trimester I have really found myself needing more support for my rapidly growing belly and back. In my last pregnancy, I didn’t need a support belt until I entered the third trimester, but I needed it earlier this time around. Wearing it has made running so much more comfortable since it lifts everything up and supports it. I am currently using the Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Support Belt and it works great, but I just purchased another one to try out. I’ll report back on how it is!

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More energy. Even though it can be hard to get out there sometimes, I am motivated by knowing how much energy I will have afterwards and how much better I’ll feel- just like the first trimester. Knowing this has been key to getting through the second tri during the cold, snowy, icy winter months. It takes a lot of motivation to get out the door to run outside or on the treadmill when it’s freezing outside, but I need those endorphins even more when it’s cloudy and gloomy and I’m lacking vitamin D. Running has been so important to maintaining my energy levels and getting through my days!

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Knowing when to choose rest over running. At the same time, this trimester I have really been learning when it’s necessary to choose rest and sleep over running. After a late or restless night, or a rough night with my toddler, I know that my body needs sleep more than exercise. Most of the time when I let myself sleep in I will try to fit in some type of workout later in the day, but sometimes I don’t and that’s fine. I’m going easier on myself during this pregnancy than my first and learning how to cut myself some slack. It’s a work in progress :)

Even bigger clothes. In the first trimester I said goodbye to my many of my running clothes as I started to outgrow them. This trimester I said goodbye to even more. I have graduated up once again in running shorts, sports bras, and some shirt sizes. I can still squeeze into my capris but they are definitely not comfortable. The clothing I have for cold weather running is getting really tight, so I am definitely ready for warmer weather where I have a lot more options!

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More chafing. The reason for needing bigger clothes is that certain body parts are growing, obviously the belly- but also the butt, thighs, boobs, and other fun areas. The most painful of these growing areas is my inner thighs, which now rub together a lot when I run in shorts. I try to make sure to remember the Body Glide, but when I don’t the pain is unbelievable! This happened with my last pregnancy too, despite all my squats and lunges in Body Pump- and then my thighs (and everything else) deflated and it was fine. But it is not fun in the meantime! Ouch!

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Varicose veins. This is something that I didn’t experience with baby #1. I was very aware of this issue since three of my good friends developed varicose veins in their pregnancies. Two of them were my close running buddies, and the pain they experienced with these veins actually caused them to stop running altogether the last few weeks. I first noticed them in the middle of the second trimester. Actually my husband did, when I got home from a run and was getting ready to shower. They’re on the back of my right leg behind my knee (and also on my right inner thigh leading up to where nobody wants bulging veins- ouch). They aren’t painful right now but I can definitely feel them there. They feel full and throb a little, especially after long runs. I’ve been elevating my right leg when I can (tough to do as a teacher), wearing compression, and using essential oils which have all helped. They haven’t gotten any worse and they don’t cause me pain yet, so I’m hopeful they won’t get too bad. This is definitely something I will need to keep an eye on during the third trimester.

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Even more bathroom breaks. Yup, this one is to be expected as I progress through pregnancy and baby presses on my bladder. It’s amazing how I can go to the bathroom multiple times before leaving the house and still need to pee while out on an easy 3-4 miler. Luckily the support belt does lift everything off my bladder while I run, which helps a lot!

Still racing for fun. Some people have asked me why I would want to continue racing while pregnant when I know I’m not going to be able to run “fast” or get a new PR. It’s not about that for me. I love to do races while pregnant because they motivate me and help me celebrate having an active pregnancy. In the second trimester I completed 4 races: a Turkey Trot 5K, the Blue & Gray Half Marathon, the Frozen 5K and the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon- and I loved every single one! I’m looking forward to more races in the third trimester.

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More aches and pains. Another one that comes with the territory of the second trimester. As I get bigger I do have some more occasional aches and pains. It doesn’t happen every single time I run, thankfully, but usually after longer runs- which is why I’m starting to cut back more. Sometimes I feel a little crampy or achy in my lower belly. If I do, I take that as a sign to either cut a run short or take a rest day the following day. It’s all about listening to my body and being safe!

Still appreciating every run. I am so happy and appreciative to be almost 29 weeks pregnant and still going strong with my running. I hope to continue feeling good and remain active through these last couple of months!

Baby 2.0 – 28 Weeks

Whew- what a week! Lots happened in pregnancy and in life! So many good things and one stressful household situation. Here are all the details!

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Baby

This week baby is the size of an eggplant. Thanks to my ultrasound today (more on this later), I now know that my baby is approximately 2 pounds & 9 ounces, which is on the bigger side of the range for this point in pregnancy! His eyesight is developing, and he is now able to see light and blink. He is also continuing to gain fat each week as he gets ready to enter the world. I know that the seventh and eighth months are the most important for brain development, so it is extra important to remember eat well and take care of myself to help those brain cells grow!

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Body

I felt pretty great this week! I am noticeable less bloated and puffy-looking now that we’re back from vacation and getting back on track with our normal routines and eating at home again. I didn’t gain any weight this week, so I think last week’s 2 pound weight gain was partly water or something due to the way we ate. I’m definitely feeling more like myself now!

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One thing that has really helped me feel better was making sure to get decent sleep. I slept so well this week once I was back in my own bed with my Snoogle pillow. It also helped that I had some snow days which allowed me to sleep a little later in the morning too. I am going to soak up every minute of good sleep that I can get from now until baby comes in May!

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This week I had another appointment with my midwives, who I grow to love more and more with each of my visits! My appointment started with my glucose test. Of course they only had the orange drink, and I can’t stand anything orange-flavored. Yuck! But I chugged it down anyway. After that I got to spend a lot of time talking with one of the midwives about everything pregnancy-related. I love how they listen to everything I have to say, patiently answer my questions and don’t make me feel rushed at all. Such a different experience than my last pregnancy. They measured my belly which was perfect at exactly 28 centimeters, and listened to baby’s heart rate, which was 140 bpm. At the end of my appointment it had been an hour so they drew my blood to test my glucose levels. While I was there I also scheduled the rest of my appointments from now until 41 weeks. That is crazy to me!

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A few days later I received the results of my tests and found out that my glucose test came back great. They want the levels for the 1 hour test to be below 180 and mine was 87. I also found out that my iron levels are low, which was a little surprising since they were fine with my first pregnancy. I’m going to try to bump up my intake of iron-rich foods but also start taking a supplement to help with this.

Mind

This week I had some situations that really tested my emotions! In a way it was a very relaxing week because I had off on Monday for President’s Day, then snow days on Tuesday and Wednesday, a 2 hour delay Thursday, and a snow day on Friday. It was great to have some extra time at home with my boy, especially on Tuesday when all 3 of us were home together. The rest of the week was spent doing fun things like playing with snow inside when it was way too cold to go out (sub-zero wind chills!), hanging out at the library, and baking muffins. :)

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The extra time at home also helped us get some much needed stuff done! I was able to secure a birth assistant and a birth photographer this week, which I am SO excited about! My midwives require each person to hire a birth assistant, who performs certain duties like a nurse would in the hospital but also acts as an extra form of support for mom and dad. I also have been thinking a lot about birth photography and decided it was something I really wanted. I met with a woman tonight who is also a doula and has 4 kids. She’s due in a few days with her 5th, and has had home births before. I am so excited for her to be there for the birth, and I can’t wait to be surrounded by such a positive, encouraging birth team!

In other exciting news, we transitioned Kevin to a big boy bed this past weekend! Since he has officially figured out how to climb out of his crib and Kyler will need it soon, we upgraded to a full size bed (mattress on the floor to start). He’s so excited about his big boy bed and has done an amazing job with it so far. Tonight is his third night sleeping there, and he napped in it over the weekend as well. We have been laying down with him until he gets sleepy and then we leave. The funniest part is that when he wakes up, he just lays there and sings songs. I was convinced he would come to our room in the middle of the night but I don’t think he realizes he can get out of bed. Eventually I showed him that if he wakes up, he can get a book from his bookshelf until mommy or daddy comes in, so he’s started to do that. I’m so proud of my big boy!

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And after all of that positive news we had a little scare last night. We were cooking dinner and noticed a very strong smell of gas coming from the kitchen. We called the gas company and they told us not to touch any light switches, to get off the phone and leave the house because it sounded like a gas leak. Talk about scary! They sent a guy out to check the house and he found a leak coming from our oven. He turned the gas off to the oven and did readings all over our house, and they all came back clear. I was so paranoid about going back in but he insisted all was safe. There is a problem with our oven which was causing the gas to leak out, so now we need to get a new one. We went ahead and bought it but it doesn’t come until next Monday, so we’re without an oven and stove until then! We use them a ton so we’ll have to be creative with dinners this week. I’m just so thankful we caught the leak quickly and it didn’t turn into a MUCH bigger problem, but it definitely gave this pregnant chick quite the anxiety attack.

After the drama of last night I really needed a pick-me-up today, and I got it! I got to see our sweet baby at my ultrasound! The ultrasound was to check on my placenta and if it moved up and away from my cervix. At my 20 week appointment it was only 2 centimeters away, which is considered risky. Thankfully today it was 8 centimeters away, so we are in the clear to have our home birth! Yay! The ultrasound tech was super nice and took some extra time to show me the baby, and even switched it over to 3D so I could see his sweet face. He had his hands up by his head the whole time, but I was able to see a little bit of his mouth and eyes. So cute!

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Just like every other ultrasound so far, he was measuring a little big, and his head measured 29 weeks 2 days! Whoa!! I know that those measurements aren’t really accurate though, and I really hope that one isn’t!

Food

This week we got back on track for the most part after our indulgent weekend away, which felt great! I could not wait to get back to our normal eating routine and cooking at home. My digestion was better and I had a lot more energy. Unfortunately with our stove situation we won’t be able to make all the meals we have to figure out how to make that work.

Fitness

Due to our crazy weather I was stuck inside most of the week, which is really tough for me. After coming home from Myrtle Beach on Monday I did all of my runs on the treadmill, because there was just too much snow/ice/cold temperatures to risk going outside. By Sunday I was going crazy, and I purposefully waited to do my long run until almost 2:00 p.m. when I knew that temperatures were going to rise up to the 50s. I was hoping some of the snow would melt and it did! I ran 7 blissful miles outside and LOVED it! The only thing I didn’t love was that I forgot to put Body Glide between my legs, which is becoming more and more necessary lately. I got some pretty bad chafing between my thighs as a result. Boo! Live and learn!

  • Monday – 2 miles @ 9:39 pace
  • Tuesday – 3 miles @ 10:34 pace
  • Wednesday – ​Rest Day
  • Thursday – Body Pump + 2 miles @ 10:32 pace
  • Friday – 4 miles @ 10:12 pace
  • Saturday – Body Pump + 2 miles @ 9:54 pace
  • Sunday – 7 miles @ 10:44 pace
  • Run – 20 miles
  • Strength – 2x

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Ouch :( And that’s only 1 side!

Week 28 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: + 0.0 lbs.
  • Total weight gained: +18.6 lbs.
  • Linea negra status: I feel like something is definitely starting to emerge!
  • Stretch mark status: nope, but motioning up every day because I’m only getting bigger and bigger.
  • Belly button status: still getting shallower!
  • Favorite part of the week: my snow day with both of my boys at home
  • Looking forward to: going to see my family and friends in Pennsylvania this weekend. We haven’t been to my hometown since Thanksgiving!

28 weeks last time around!​

Baby 2.0 – 27 Weeks

Hello third trimester! I cannot believe that you are here! I had a pretty great week overall. I worked 3 days and then we spent the rest of the week in Myrtle Beach visiting my in-laws and running our half marathon! What a way to kick off my final trimester. Here are all the details.

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Baby

This week baby is the size of a rutabaga! He is about two pounds and almost 15 inches from head to heel! No wonder I feel him stretch from my ribs down to my pelvis these days! Baby is sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and even sucking his fingers. He is developing more brain tissue  which means his brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. From here on out he’ll be working on packing on the pounds to get ready for life on the outside!

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Body

Not too much to report as far as physical symptoms go this week. I am mostly feeling tired because I didn’t get great sleep at all, which is a huge bummer because last week I did and it was so nice! Kevin was a little sick and not sleeping well due to a persistent cough, and apparently Kyler does not want to stop moving at night. Those two things combined meant no sleep for mama. It was the same in Myrtle Beach, but also worse because Kevin’s nap and nighttime routine were thrown off since we were out of town and in a new environment. Also, since I was so tired from being up most of the night I took a lot of daytime naps, which further messed with my nighttime sleep. And then lack of sleep meant my emotions were kind of all over the place again. Basically it was a big cycle and a mess! We had a great time while we were away but my body is very happy to get back into our old routines and schedules.

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Anyway, in other news, when I start a new trimester I think it’s always fun to see how much I have grown since the last! I did this comparison last time and wanted to do it again, so I wore the same shirt for my 27 week picture as I did at 13 weeks. Oh yeah, lots of growth happened over the last 14 weeks!

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I feel like I look puffy this week due to the eating out we did while we were away- especially in my face compared to last week. I’m sure there was a ton of sodium (and calories) in the foods we ate, and it reflects in the way I look and on the scale- but I know I’ll be back to normal once we get back into our normal routine of meal planning and cooking so I am not too worried about it.

Mind

Aside from sleep deprivation, I felt pretty good mentally and emotionally this week. It was really nice to have time off from work and spend a long weekend together in Myrtle Beach. We jammed a ton of fun things into our 5 days there and really made the most of it. We took Kevin to the beach and aquarium, went to one of his favorite places (the bookstore, which he calls the library), spent time with his grandparents and their puppies, got to go on a fantastic Valentine’s Day date and a few runs together. Here are some pictures of the fun we had!

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Food

This week we finally let ourselves indulge a bit and eat out for the first time this year! It was amazing, but I sure am feeling the effects of it now like I said earlier. Some of our indulgences included my favorite pizza at Mellow Mushroom before the race, Japanese Hibachi dinner for Valentine’s Day followed by the best ice cream sundae ever, loaded baked potatoes, chips (my guilty pleasure), and waffles for breakfast at our favorite diner before we left. It was all so delicious and so worth it, but it felt great to eat my standard oatmeal for breakfast and a yummy salad for lunch today- that’s for sure!

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Fitness

The biggest news from this week was obviously our race! Kevin and I ran the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon and had an amazing time. Other than that, I took it pretty easy this week. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to make it to Body Pump at all due to our travel schedule and sleep issues, but I did squeeze in a mini-strength training session at home so I guess that’s better than nothing! My runs consisted of a 3 mile treadmill run before we left, 4 miles along the beach with my hubby in beautiful weather, and our half marathon. I had 3 glorious rest days and enjoyed every minute of them! Now that the half is over I’m ready to cut back a bit. I will be keeping my long runs around 6 miles and cutting back further from there when I feel ready.

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – At-home Upper Body Strength Workout (20 min.)
  • Wednesday – ​3 miles @ 10:11 pace
  • Thursday – 4 miles @ 10:18 pace
  • Friday – Rest Day
  • Saturday – 13.1 miles @ 10:14 pace
  • Sunday – Rest Day
  • Run – 20.1 miles
  • Strength – 1x

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Week 27 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: + 2.0 lbs.
  • Total weight gained: +18.6 lbs.
  • Linea negra status: not sure, I feel like if I squint I can see it starting to come out!
  • Stretch mark status: nope
  • Belly button status: still getting shallower!
  • Favorite part of the week: my entire Valentine’s Day- running the half with my hubby and then our date night later that night!
  • Looking forward to: Not setting an alarm tonight because we have another snow day tomorrow!
  • # of days until my next appointment: 2! The dreaded glucose test. Fun!
  • # of days until I get to see the baby again: 6. I will be having an ultrasound to see if my placenta has moved up from where it was before- only 2 cm. from my cervix. Fingers crossed that it has!

27 weeks last time around!​

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon [2015]

This past Saturday on Valentine’s Day Kevin and I ran the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon together. This is my 3rd year participating in this event and it’s definitely becoming a favorite tradition of mine. We ended up finishing with a time of 2:14 on 2/14… completely coincidental! I can’t believe how amazing I felt during this entire race. I didn’t have a single moment of discomfort, and I ran this half 10 minutes faster than the Rock & Roll Seattle Half that I also ran at almost 27 weeks in my last pregnancy. I even had a huge negative split, running the last half of the race 4 minutes faster than the first half! Needless to say, this race exceeded all my expectations and was very special to me, especially after my marathon DNF here last year [scroll down to the bottom for details on that]. To experience it all with my husband by my side made it even more memorable. Here is how it all went down!

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One of the things I love about this race is that it’s not too big but not too small either. This makes the logistics of pre-race and race day activities easy but still exciting. We arrived in Myrtle Beach very late on Wednesday night and had a beautiful day on Thursday to enjoy the weather, a run together by the ocean, and some beach time with little Kev which he loved. On Friday morning we headed to the expo right when it opened and relaxed the rest of the day until it was time for dinner at our favorite pre-race restaurant, Mellow Mushroom. I had been waiting for this meal for a while and it did not disappoint (it never does!).

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That night we went to bed semi-early with alarms set for 4:30 AM. One of the things I don’t love about this race is the 6:30 AM start time! Ahhh! But we got up, drank our coffee, ate our breakfast and got ready to go. We bundled up quite a bit because the temperatures had dropped to a freezing 30 degrees with wind chills lower than that. It was really nice to have Kevin participate in the pre-race routines with me just like old times :) And it was also nice to be able to let little Kev continue to sleep peacefully with my mother-in-law staying behind to be with him!

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Around 5:40 we left the house and drove 20 minutes to the race start at Broadway at the Beach. Since I was paranoid about needing to pee a million times and waiting in lines for the porta potty in the cold, we stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom on the way. After that we made our way to Broadway. I love that the race starts and finishes in this area because there is tons of parking, and you can stay warm in your car until really close to the race start time. We just sat in the car for a little bit and talked, and I couldn’t believe how different I felt this year compared to last. I was so relaxed, so excited, not nervous at all about what was to come like last year before the full marathon. It was a great feeling, and really comforting to know that I was going to get to run the entire race with my hubby. We ended up jumping out of the car and running over at 6:20, with enough time to use the porta potty (again, I know- but there were no lines at all!) before the gun went off too! Score! We hopped into the 2:30 half marathon corral and before we knew it we were off and running.

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Even though it was much colder this year than previous years, the wind was minimal which made a HUGE difference. Last year I felt like I ran into a steady wall of wind for the first 5-6 miles. It was really draining mentally and physically, and I think that attributed to my DNF and how weak my body became when I realized I had to quit. It was a much more enjoyable experience running without that wind, and my body warmed up quickly. The first mile was our slowest, as we tried to get through walls of people like usual at the beginning of the race. But after that we were able to settle into more of a groove. I was feeling great.

  • Mile 1 – 10:45
  • Mile 2 – 10:21
  • Mile 3 – 10:31

Shortly after the third mile Kevin told me had to stop to use the bathroom. I thought this was hilarious, because usually it’s me (the pregnant one) who needs to stop to go pee! He ran off to go while I continued running. I knew he’d be able to catch back up to me easily and I didn’t want to lose my momentum, and he did within a minute.  Before I knew it we were passing mile 5 and about to head off the main road we had been running on and into a little out-and-back segment in a shopping area called the Market Common. I felt like this race was flying by!

  • Mile 4 – 10:12
  • Mile 5 – 10:16

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We headed into the Market Common to do a little loop before heading back along the beach to run back to where we started. It was nice to have a little change of scenery from the road we had been running on for a few miles, and there was a small band set up  there that gave us a little adrenaline boost. While we were in the Market Common shopping area we passed the halfway point (mile 6.65) and I noticed I my time was exactly 1:09. I realized if I maintained the pace I was running I would beat my expectations for this race by a lot. I had predicted around a 2:30 finish. I wasn’t sure if I could maintain it or not, but I figured I would hold onto it as long as I was feeling great like I was. We were having a blast running together and taking fun pictures. Have I mentioned I missed racing with him so much?

  • Mile 6 – 10:12
  • Mile 7 – 10:10
  • Mile 8 – 10:13

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A little before mile 8 we exited the Market Common area and started running along the road that was adjacent to the beach, back toward the start/finish area. I loved being able to look out at the sand and the ocean. I knew that we had a little over 3 miles running on this road before we would turn to head back. I was expecting the wind to kick up a little on this stretch since we were right by the beach, but it wasn’t too bad. I actually started feeling hot at this point and decided to take off my hat and gloves, and unzip my jacket a little. Once I did this I felt a lot more comfortable and was able to settle into a natural pace again. Again, the miles kept ticking by, and when we passed mile 9 I was really proud of Kevin, because that was the farthest we had run in training together. After that point he was getting into mileage he hasn’t run in years. He said he felt great and was so happy he was running with me on Valentine’s Day. That made me happy <3

  • Mile 9 – 10:07
  • Mile 10 – 10:15
  • Mile 11 – 10:18

At around mile 11.5 we turned left and started running away from the beach and back toward the stadium where the finish line was. Again, this change of direction and knowing we were close to being finished gave me a boost of energy and I picked up the pace effortlessly. I kept thinking about how this was my last long race until the fall, and probably my last pregnant half. It made me feel a little emotional and gave me the motivation to kick it up a little for the last 2 miles.

  • Mile 12 – 10:01
  • Mile 13 – 9:39

When we turned the corner to run the final stretch to the finish line the crowd was pretty quiet so Kevin tried to get them to cheer and be loud. It worked, and we had everyone clapping as we crossed the finish line!

  • The last .1 miles – 8:17 pace!
  • Finish Time – 2:14:04, 10:14 average pace

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When I saw that I had finished in just over 2:14 I was so happy. I was even more amazed when I realized I had run the second half of the race in 1:05, a negative split by 4 minutes! I spent most of the race not even feeling pregnant at all, and was shocked I didn’t need a million pee breaks :) I am so happy to have had such a positive experience with this race this year. It felt so good to be able to cross the finish line and get my medal after my DNF during the full marathon last year. It was a little bittersweet though, since this is my last long race until later this year once baby is here, and most likely my last pregnant half marathon. I’m happy to be starting to cut back a bit now on a positive note, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

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Kevin posted this picture with the caption, “She runs for two, I drink for two!” LOL :)

Past Recaps:

Baby 2.0 – 26 Weeks

Well, week 26 was definitely more eventful than week 25! It was a rollercoaster, pretty great in some ways and not-so-great in others. Read on for the details!

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Kisses for baby brother Kyler :)

Baby

This week baby is the size of a head of lettuce (umm, huge!). He is starting to soak up all of my antibodies to prepare his immune system for life on the outside. He is also starting to practice “breathing” in amniotic fluid, and is continuing to develop all 5 senses. As of this week there’s officially less than 100 days until my due date… 98 days to go. Eek!! That sounds a little scary!

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Body

I had some more physical symptoms this week compared to last.​ It’s like my body gave me a break then decided to kick it back up again- maybe another hormonal fluctuation? Most notably this week I had a good amount of heartburn and headaches. I also had some nosebleeds, which has happened on and off throughout pregnancy but for some reason it happened quite a bit this week (maybe due to the dry air?). I’m definitely feeling pregnant lately! On the plus side, the whole family is pretty much over our congestion and coughing, which is making us all a lot happier!

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My goal for myself this week was to focus on getting quality sleep, at least 7 hours a night. There were only 2 nights that I wasn’t able to do that and got about 6-6.5 instead. Coincidentally I was extra emotional the following days, so I’m realizing how much decent sleep affects my mood, emotions and overall feeling of well-being. My goal is to really make that a priority for the next 14ish weeks of pregnancy!

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I found this picture from 26 weeks last time around and I thought it was interesting to compare! I’m wearing the same shirt in both pictures but obviously there are some differences. This time I’m less blonde and less tan, my belly is shaped a little differently and is positioned lower, and my butt is bigger (LOL), yet I’ve gained almost the exact same amount of weight as before… actually a little less at this point! It’s so interesting how two pregnancies can feel and look different with the same person, just two years apart!

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Mind

I was a little sad and emotional on some days this past week because I’m starting to realize how quickly things are changing, and will continue to change as we make the transition from 1 to 2 kids. My baby boy is turning into a big boy and I can’t sit with him in his glider to read books and rock him before bed like we used to. He’s getting too big and so is my belly, and it’s just not comfortable anymore. Soon we will have a new baby in this nursery but he’ll always be my firstborn, who taught me how to be a mommy and showed me what unconditional love is all about. It’s been the most amazing and challenging ride of my life and I know it’s still only beginning, but I feel really emotional about closing this chapter soon. This past week I got pretty upset during Kevin’s bedtime routine because I realized it was probably one of the last times I could sit with him in our chair, since it’s so uncomfortable for me now. I started crying while trying to rock him before bed and he looked up at me, put his hand on my cheek and said, “It’s okay Mommy.” Cue even MORE tears! We’ve been doing this routine every day since we brought him home from the hospital, almost 2 1/2 years ago, so to not to be able to anymore makes me very emotional. I know we are going to need to come up with a new special bedtime routine so that I can continue to have this time with him now and once the baby is here too.

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In other stressful news, we woke up one morning this week to find that someone went on a shopping spree with my husband’s debit card. This is the first time something like this has happened to us and we felt so violated. Luckily I caught it really fast and we were able to contact the bank and all of the companies that the person spent our money on, and we got it all back and canceled our card. We’ll just need to keep an extra careful eye on our accounts now to make sure nothing else pops up. Ugh, what a headache!

Food

So we are now into February and our “eat at home” challenge from January is continuing! This week’s yummy meals included pasta with lemon basil butter sauce, black bean and quinoa enchilada bake, spiced red lentil soup, homemade burrito bowls, and Mexican salads with roasted chickpeas. Talk about delicious! Dinners like that do not make me miss eating out at all!

Fitness

This week I felt pretty good on most of my runs! We went back and forth between cold and warmer weather, and this past weekend was amazing! Saturday it was 55 degrees, and Sunday got close to 70! I was LOVING it, although my “long” run of 6 miles on Sunday with my boys felt more challenging because I’m not really used to the warm weather anymore. I also was able to run with Laura on Saturday and made it to Body Pump twice this week. It was a great week for fitness!

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – 2 miles @ 11:17 pace
  • Wednesday – ​4 miles @ 10:26 pace
  • Thursday – Body Pump
  • Friday – 4 miles @ 10:32 pace
  • Saturday – 1 mile walk + Body Pump + 4 miles @ 10:30
  • Sunday – 6 miles @ 10:35 pace
  • Run – 20 miles
  • Walk – 1 mile
  • Strength – 2x

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Week 26 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: +0.4 lbs.
  • Total weight gained: +16.6 lbs.
  • Linea negra status: not sure, I feel like if I squint I can see it starting to come out!
  • Stretch mark status: nope
  • Belly button status: still getting shallower!
  • Favorite part of the week: spending time with my family in the beautiful weather this weekend
  • Looking forward to: Heading to Myrtle Beach for our mini-vacation on Wednesday! So soon!
  • # of days until our next race: 5! Eek!

26 weeks last time around!​

Stridebox: January

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 9.11.18 PMIt’s time for another Stridebox review! In case you haven’t heard, Stridebox is a $15 monthly subscription box for all things running related. As of today I have tried everything that was in my January box (with a little help from my hubby) and I am ready to review the items I received.

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To celebrate the new year, Stridebox unveiled a new look. They had a new box design, a different “Stride Guide” and the box was loaded with stuff- not just food, but gear and other fun stuff too!

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Here’s everything I received this month and my review of it all!

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Detour – Smart Bar (Blueberry): I can’t believe these filling little bars have only 130 calories and 10 grams of protein! It tasted pretty good too! They are gluten-free and made of organic whole grains, oatmeal, whey protein and natural sweeteners. I also noticed real pieces of blueberries and apple when I ate it. I’ve just started seeing them in grocery stores around me, so I might pick up another one some day. Although I do try to choose bars that do not contain dairy or whey protein because my body doesn’t digest it well.  Retail: $14.85/9 bars ($1.65 each).

G Endurance – Gatorlytes:  This teeny tiny packet contains an electrolyte blend especially for salty sweaters and athletes who tend to get cramps. My husband and I both fall into this category, so we thought this would be a great product to try. However, we missed the memo that you are supposed to mix this with regular Gatorade or another type of sports drink. We just mixed it with water and my hubby took one sip and spit it out. He said it just tasted like salty water and didn’t understand how people could drink it. Duh, note to self: read the directions more carefully next time! We’ll have to give this another shot and do it the proper way. Retail: $14.99/20 pouches ($0.75 each).

Designer Whey – Protein2Go (Lemonade):  Another whey-based product. I passed it onto Kevin who doesn’t have any dairy sensitivity. He mixed it with water after a long run and said it was just okay. He said it tasted like watered down lemonade and he didn’t think it was worth the pretty steep price, over $3.00 for one pouch. We wouldn’t purchase this one again unfortunately. Retail: $15.90/5 pouches ($3.18 each).

GU Energy – Brew Recovery Drink (Chocolate Smoothie): I passed this one onto my husband because again, it was a dairy-based drink mix and I knew my stomach would hate me if I had it. He was super excited because he loves anything and everything chocolate. He mixed the packet into a smoothie with banana and ice and said it was delicious. However, like the lemonade protein mix the price per packet is a little steep, and Kevin said he’d be more inclined to buy a large container of protein powder instead because it costs less.  Retail: $36.00/12 packets ($3.00 each).

Nuun Energy (Cherry Limeade): I’m a big fan of Nuun so I was excited to see this in my box! Especially because it was cherry limeade, a flavor I haven’t tried before. These little tablets contain electrolytes, B vitamins and no added sugars. They have recently added a little bit of caffeine too, which I definitely appreciate. I like to drink Nuun after a sweaty long run, and sometimes in the summer I drink it while running as well. It always does the trick for me :) Retail: $8.00/10 tabs ($0.80 each).

2Toms – Blister Shield: Okay, so I lied earlier. I said I had tried everything in this box and then I realized I hadn’t tried this yet. That is mostly because I tend to get blisters more in the summer when it’s really hot and I sweat a ton, so I want to save it for then. This is a pretty interesting product- it’s a powder that you pour into your shoe, sock or glove that prevents friction and blisters. It then washes out with soap and water. I’ll be interested to try this and see how it works in the summer! Retail: $1.50/pouch.

Stridebox – Mini Training Log: This cute little training log contains 13 weeks, plus a section for training notes, and a race tracker. I have used Daily Mile to track my running for years, but I’m a paper and pencil girl at heart so I love this (which is why I love my Erin Condren Life Planner!).  Retail: $5.99.

Stridebox Safety – StrideLights: Since many of my runs lately have been in the early morning darkness, I am all about the safety products these days! These little lights are motion-activated and lace into each shoe. The battery is good for over 150,000 strides and is actually really bright. This is definitely a great addition to my gear to ensure my safety in the dark! Retails: $9.99.

Fun Extras – Running sticker, Stridebox temporary tattoo, and Rundana coupon. Who doesn’t love stuff like this?! :)

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My only criticism of this month’s box was that it contained a lot of products that were whey-based or had dairy in them. In the past my boxes have maybe had 1 or 2 items that did, but this month the majority of the nutrition-related items were dairy-based. Not a huge deal to most people I’m sure, but as someone who is sensitive to dairy it definitely put a little bit of a damper on this box.  Oh well, can’t win them all! I do like the new look of the box and the way they notate on the Stride Guide whether the product is best used before, during and/or after your workout. My February box has shipped but I haven’t received it yet. I can’t wait to see what’s inside!

Previous Stridebox reviews:

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Stridebox (I wish I was! LOL). I purchased this subscription myself and all opinions are my own.