Challenge Accepted

At the beginning of the month, as I was leaving The Barre Code, my friend-instructor Jen asked me if I was participating in the Get Hot for Summer 2015 challenge (take 18 classes in 21 days & be entered to win a lot of very cool prizes!!!). Before I could even answer, she told me I was doing it.
The only challenge I’ve ever participated in at The Barre Code was the bingo challenge over the holidays because it involved both classes and fun holiday activities, like treating a friend to hot chocolate and making Christmas cookies. A “challenge” I could easily attain.
IMG_2892I usually take about 3-4 classes a week because with my work schedule and Larry’s work schedule that’s all I could fit in. Or so I thought. By participating in this challenge I would essentially be doubling my class load. I looked at my schedule for June and decided to go for. Challenge accepted.
I decided to take on the challenge because the past two summers I have dedicated my time and sacrificed my social life to marathon training. I was THRILLED when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, but a part of me felt a little sad that I was going to have to “take it easy” this summer and take time off from training for anything for the rest of the year. I like setting goals for myself and achieving them, so the thought of doing nothing all summer really didn’t sit well with me. Enter this challenge and a new mindset: instead of wallowing, I decided to look at it as training for my delivery-which is definitely an athletic event in its own right.
How I made it work
*Each week, I fit 6 classes into my schedule. Luckily, I get an hour to workout that’s built into my work day (if the work gets done) so that helped out A LOT. Because of Larry’s schedule change I moved my normal night classes to morning classes. I’d drop Madelyn off at daycare at her normal time, but instead of heading to work right away, I went straight to The Barre Code. When we were in Chicago visiting Larry’s parents, I took advantage of trying out a new studio in Oak Park to get my 6th stamp for the week.
oakpark*I attended class 5 times a week, but one day a week I doubled up on classes.
*I found time in my schedule. The day I ran my 5k, I also signed up for a 9am barre class.
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*I scheduled my classes ahead of time. At The Barre Code, you have to cancel a class before the 4 hour mark in order not to get charged a $10 fee. Once I was within that 4 hour mark, I was committed. The only workout you regret is the one you didn’t do.
I completed 18 classes in 19 days. I took the last two days off from the challenge because I had a lot to get done around our house before we go out of town. I took 11 Barre Code Classes (strength training), 5 Interval Classes (cardio!), 1 TBC class in Oak Park (2 cardio blasts sandwiched between 30 minutes of strength training, and 1 Brawl class (cardio kickboxing). Overall, the challenge left me feeling strong, energized and fit in my ever growing body. The days I doubled up on classes, I noticed that my appetite was really high and naps were necessary. I enjoyed taking the cardio classes and modifying as I saw fit. I plan on writing a post on how I modified the classes throughout my pregnancy.
gethotchallengeNow that the challenge is over, my goal is to attend as many classes as my schedule allows me to (reasonably about 4-5 classes a week). I can’t wait to take on the next challenge which will probably be after the baby is born.
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What was the last fitness challenge you participated in? What was it? How do you find time to make fitness a priority in your life?

Pregnancy #2: Weeks 16-19

IMG_3731This second trimester has been extremely smooth sailing so far. For the most part I feel about 100% like my old self, just a tad more emotional than normal but other than that, I’m feeling good. I don’t remember being this emotional when I was pregnant with Madelyn but I’ve definitely had my fair share of crying this pregnancy: hubs new work schedule, going through Madelyn’s baby stuff, watching her fall asleep, and even toddler temper tantrums have all brought me to tears. The struggle is real my friends and I hope that this is one side effect that doesn’t stick around much longer.
Aversions: Still going strong with salmon. I made another attempt to eat it the other day, and I manage to get down a “Madelyn” sized portion of it. I now cover my hardboiled eggs in spicy brown mustard. They taste kind of like deviled eggs. A typical breakfast for me is two hard boiled eggs topped with spicy brown mustard along side a mound of fresh strawberries. Weird pregnancy food combinations at its best.
Cravings: WATERMELON! We’ve gone through 4 so far (it’s only June) and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who’s eating it. Well, Madelyn and myself. Ice water. I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where my water has to be ice cold. Also, burgers. I could eat them for dinner every night if I allowed myself to.
watermelonWorkouts: Same as before. Running and barre. I’ve been going to all of the classes that The Barre Code has to offer to include the cardio classes and I want to do a post on how I’ve modified each class with my pregnancy. Running is starting to be hit or miss. It really all depends on the positioning of the baby at that moment. When I go out for a run and realize it’s a no go, I walk for the planned distance that day. (Usually about 3 miles).
Madelyn: She’s officially in her “big girl” room and it’s been…interesting. We’re back to fighting bedtime and her wanting one of us to lay with her until she falls asleep since now we can fit in her bed with her. The first night in her new room she went down like a dream. I knew it was too good to be true. So we’re working on it and trying different things to see what works best for her (and us) and going from there. If anyone has any tips or advice on how to get a toddler to fall asleep in her bed by herself, I would greatly appreciate it. The good news is that once she’s asleep, she stays in there all night. Even in the morning, she will call one of us to come get her when she’s awake and ready to start her day at 5:45am. She now wants both a brother and a sister. Sorry kiddo.
Energy: I wish the second trimester honeymoon phase lasted until delivery day because energy wise I feel great. I’m more than ready for bed at the end of the night and the day I decided to run the 5k then take barre after I was more than ready for an afternoon nap. But overall, I feel wonderful and I’m savoring every last bit of it because I know what’s ahead of me.
What’s new these past few weeks? My hips hurt at night. When I lay on one side for too long it starts to hurt and I wake up and have to switch over which usually prompts a bathroom trip. I have a snuggle pillow that helps a little bit. Now that it’s summer, I need to keep reminding myself that I’m pregnant. Yesterday I spent way too much time out in the sun doing stuff in the garden and with Madelyn. When we got done swimming yesterday, I ate a giant pretzel and felt much better. I also sat under a tree in the shade at the playground while Larry played with Madelyn…something I never do!
Things I’m looking forward to:
-Our 20 week ultrasound this week!
-Finding out the sex of our baby with our family
-My girls weekend trip
-An anniversary/babymoon getaway
-Feeling more frequent/stronger kicks. Hubs finally felt the baby move the other day and it was like the first time all over again. It was really cute. He had all these questions for me after :-) I can’t wait for Madelyn to feel/see the baby moving around in my belly.
-Getting the nursery set up. The positive about not finding out the sex of the baby the first time? Getting to reuse things like swaddling blankets and towels all over again. We also have a good amount of pajamas to get us started. Once we find out what baby #2 is, we will decorate the nursery accordingly. I don’t want Madelyn to go into the room and think that the baby took over her old room. Most things will stay the same, but I want to make it look as different as possible.
We’re having a little party with our family on Sunday to find out the baby’s sex. I was anti-finding out, but Larry wanted to know and we didn’t find out with Madelyn so I’m compromising. I agreed to it as long as we did it with our family in a fun way and not in the ultrasound room.
Cannot wait! Any guesses of we’re having? We’ve got a little bit of both according to the old wives tales.

Rock N Sole Run: 5k Recap

I’m alive! Our month has been extremely busy and I feel like we’re finally getting into the “swing” of our new schedule. I’m making the best of a “not so ideal” situation because it looks like it will be this way for awhile.

On Saturday I ran my first official 5k of the year. I signed up for the Rock N Sole run a while ago, while running was still feeling completely normal to me. I figured if race day approached and running didn’t feel great, I could at least manage to walk that distance.

I was a little nervous going into Saturday’s run because the last time I ran (June 3rd) it felt awful and I had to stop and walk about a mile into it. I tried switching to timed intervals of 2 minutes running one minute walking, but the baby wasn’t having it. The little one must’ve been positioned just so that running just didn’t feel good. So, we stopped to walk and my sciatic started bothering me.

I had no expectations with how this run was going to go. I figured I was going to have to stop and walk part of it but, much to my surprise, I finished it with no walking breaks in 31:46. Definitely not my fastest, but also not my slowest either. I’ll take it for being 4 1/2 months pregnant.

rns5kThe Rock n Sole run offers 3 distances: 5k, quarter marathon, and a half marathon. I’ve now run all three distances and the half marathon race was probably my favorite. The 5k comes in close second. The quarter marathon was just a tease distance for me.
3 medalsThe 5k course started at the south entrance of Summerfest and ran along the Summerfest grounds and the lakefront path. The 5k almost feels like a separate race from the quarter and half marathon since the start location is in a difference area. I parked a good distance away from the start and had to walk a few blocks through the area of where the start was for the longer races, and the energy was much more different. When I got to the 5k start, it was a bit more chill and felt a little isolated-kind of out in the middle of a giant parking lot. I loved the course, even though we didn’t get to run over The Bridge, but it got a little crowded when we got back on the running path near the art museum. It was a giant 3.2 mile loop and we ended where we started. Overall, it was a great run and the rainy, misty weather felt great once we got going. Had it been hot and sunny, I don’t think I would’ve made it without stopping. I had my handheld water bottle with me too (a running staple these days) and I think that helped. The positioning of the baby has a lot to do with how I’m feeling. When we first started running the baby was pressed up against my bladder so that every time I stepped, I felt like I had to pee. About 5 minutes in, the little one must’ve shifted because I felt good the rest of the race.

I was feeling so great after running my 5k, that I decided to take a 9am barre class after. I’m participating in a summer “Get Hot” challenge and completing 18 or more classes in 21 days. So far, I’ve completed 15 classes and I have until Sunday to get in the other 3. I’m trying to complete the challenge by Friday. Fingers crossed!

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Anyone complete any races lately where they did surprisingly well? The last 5k I ran was the Bacon Race last summer and I ended up setting a PR without even trying/training!
Race Day Outfit
racedayoutfit5krns
1. Moving Comfort Sports Bra-The best running sports bra ever known to woman!
2. For Two Fitness Tank-Running for Two. I love this tank. It fits perfectly and stays put. Too bad I had to keep a sweatshirt on the whole time because it was so cold out!
3. Flip Belt. Held my phone and important things like free Noodles coupons. I used this belt during the Chicago marathon and won’t ever go back. And it’s definitely not riding up these days over the belly so it stays put on my hips.
4. BeMaternity by Ingrid & Isabel from Target. The best maternity workout pants I have yet to find for a great price. While my leggings and yoga pants do fit, they all cut right into my waist giving the illusion that I am wearing pants that are too small for me. Not making me look pregnant, but just large. I like these pants because you can either have the band for under the belly or right over the belly. I will be purchasing more of these pants this weekend.

Happy National Running Day

Happy National Running Day, which is followed by National donut day (Friday, June 5th) which I also plan on celebrating as well.

How did you celebrate the day? I headed down to the lakefront with a few of my favorite ladies for a little fun run followed by a burger from Kopp’s which I shared, along with a milkshake, with my peanut. It was the perfect way to kick off “summer”.

runday

To further celebrate this national day of awesomeness, I partnered up with Kristen from Jonesin’ for a Run to answer some interview questions regarding running.

  1. Why do you run? I run because I can. I run for my sanity after a stressful day. I run to be a more patient wife and mother. I run because I like pushing my body to the limit. I run to set a positive, healthy example for my young daughter. I run to feel strong. I run to set goals. I run because it’s therapy. I run because it’s my passion.
  2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? By running 3 miles with my mom and my daughter in tow, and celebrating with a cheeseburger afterward.
  3. How many miles have you run so far this year? 112 miles. Not too bad for finding out I was pregnant at the end of February.
  4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year? The biggest thing I’m training for this year will take place early to mid-November. Other than that, I’m just taking it month by month. Next weekend I’m running the Rock n Sole 5k in Milwaukee, Now I will have done every distance of that race which is kind of cool.
  5. Before I leave for a run you must have: My garmin forerunner. Headphones if I’m running alone. Sparkly Soul Headband (I’ve tried LOTS and these are the best) and or a visor/hat and sunglasses. And water. Always water.
  6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs? Garmin Connect because it syncs up with my Vivofit and I can access it on my phone and computer very easily.
  7. Who is your favorite running partner? My one and only little love bug. And my mom. She keeps me motivated and provides me great conversation.
  8. What races have you ran so far this year? Next weekend will be my first one of the year so far. I’ve been a wimp during the cold winter months. June is usually the start of prime racing season for me in Wisconsin.
  9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be? Just have fun with it. It might suck at first, but fall in love with the feeling it gives you after. I’ve been running for years and I still have days where I feel “off”.
  10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word: Evolving.

How did you celebrate National Run Day? Anyone excited for National donut day?!?! I know this prego is!

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Happy Tuesday my friends. This weekend was a bit crazy because of some work things, but my in-laws took Madelyn for us on Friday so that helped balance out the work/home life a bit. She got to have fun in Chicago with her grandparents and I got to come home, after a crazy Saturday, to an empty house. It was kind of amazing actually, because I can’t remember the last time I was home alone.
What’s a girl to do on a Saturday night all alone? Grab a $10 take and bake pizza from Whole Foods, a salad to go with, and of course swing by cheesecake factory for a piece of dessert. Everything was delicious and I was sounds asleep by 9:30pm.
saturdaynightLeftovers for days…
On Monday, I enjoyed a much needed workout at The Barre Code, ventured off to a doctor’s appointment, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Madelyn in the backyard while picking some rhubarb. I was never a huge fan of rhubarb until we inherited a huge plant when we bought our house a few years ago (mostly because I didn’t know how to eat/prepare it). We’ve had so much that I’ve given some away and I still have some in our freezer from last year.
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Yesterday, Instead of utilizing nap time to catch up on household chores, I decided to whip up a batch of paleo strawberry rhubarb muffins. I was going to make strawberry rhubarb crisp, but decided muffins would be a much better option since I was still in a sugar coma from Saturday night’s lemon torte dessert. I am also sick of eating hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and muffins seem to be the next best “grab and go” breakfast option. They were delicious! I can’t wait to make them again.
Ingredients
-2 heaping cups of almond flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-a pinch of salt
-3 eggs
-1/4 C honey
-1 Tbsp ghee, melted
-1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp orange juice
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 C strawberries, chopped
-1/2 C rhubarb, chopped
Instructions
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line muffin tin
-combine all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients into a separate bowl until well blended then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir in strawberries and rhubarb.
-fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full
-bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool (or eat warm) and enjoy!
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Healthy tidbit of the day: If you have left over strawberry rhubarb mixture, stir it into some plain yogurt and sweeten with honey. It’s a delicious breakfast treat without all the added sugar that most  “fruit-in” yogurts have in them.
What’s your favorite summer produce?
During a busy morning, what’s your go-to breakfast?

The Long Weekend

Long weekends just never seem long enough. My weekend started on Friday. I spent most of the day buying plants and doing yard work. Our front yard is finally coming along. When we first moved in, we tore out three huge, but dying bushes and the space has been empty for almost two summers. I just couldn’t decided on what I wanted to put there. So this weekend I planted three knock out rose bushes and some forget me knots. That took up a majority of my day.

On Saturday, My mom, Madelyn and I started our day off with a fun run at Performance Running Outfitters. When we were there for the Run Like a Mother Event, I saw they hosted flap jack fun runs on Saturday. I asked the owner if jogging strollers were okay and she said yes. I found a new summer Saturday activity for Madelyn and me. I enjoyed a nice easy 3 mile run and she enjoyed pancakes and sprints on the track afterward.

pro sprints

Sunday was a lazy day filled with blueberry pancakes and staying in our jammies until noon. The weather was less than desirable for outside activities. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for a day like that. Our weekends have been so packed, I just wanted a day to do nothing and that’s exactly what we did and it was wonderful.

On Memorial Day, we took Madelyn to her first Brewer’s game. It was quite the experience. My husband had nominated me for Hero of the Game awhile back and I was lucky enough to the throw out the first pitch during Madelyn’s first baseball game. I wasn’t too thrilled to hear that he had done this (I couldn’t remember the last time I really threw a ball!!!) but I surprised myself and I had a lot of fun. Our seats also got upgraded. We ended up sitting in the third row behind home plate. Not too shabby for Madelyn’s first game.

firstpitch

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We kept Madelyn occupied with popcorn and lots of cheering and lasted until about the 5th inning which is a lot longer than I thought she would last.

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Popcorn always does the trick.

I love long weekends but not when they’re followed by an extra long work week. I’d rather have it the other way around.

Parents out there, how do you keep your little one entertained for long periods of time? This little one is constantly on the go, but I wouldn’t have her any other way!