Monday, September 30, 2013

A to Z Devotions for Writers

Today I'm happy to welcome Pamela D. Williams author of A to Z Devotions for Writers. Her book is a must have for any writer. Not only is it full of inspiration, it's full of great tips and writing exercises.
Pamela D. Williams,
Author  of A to Z Devotions for Writers

Welcome to my blog, Pamela! I'm happy to have you here. 

To start off, who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?
My two favorite authors are Gladys Taber and Jan Karon. My writing style is similar to Taber’s and my life is similar to the one Karon writes about.
What's your favorite part of a book?
The ending is always bittersweet for me—I love the resolution to conflict and the time to reflect but I miss the characters.
Who are your target readers?
For A to Z Devotions for Writers, my target audience is writers, of course. My other writing is mainly aimed at the average adult who is a Christian.
What are the major themes of your work?
God’s grace and His power to change us is the foremost theme of my work.
What is your writing process?
I usually jot down a few sentences that capture the gist of what I want to say. I pray about the direction to go with it. Then I flesh it out, followed by edit, edit, edit.
How do you get your ideas?
I really feel God plants them in my mind and heart and I just write them down.
How many hours do you write each day?
It varies. Some days I write nothing; other days I write for three or four hours straight. If I averaged it out, it would probably amount to about an hour a day, usually in the early morning.
Who inspired you?
One Christmas my mother gave me three books by Gladys Taber. I feel in love with her style, read ALL of her books, and decided I wanted to write like she did. However, I truly feel, writing is a call from God—He just happened to use Taber to get my attention.
Did you always want to write?
No, I always wanted to read; writing grew out of my love of reading.
How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
My personal experiences provide fodder for my writing.
Finally, do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Pray, edit ruthlessly, and research the markets very thoroughly before submitting.

Thanks again for dropping by! Here are the links to order this must have book! Amazon Barnes And Noble Crosslink

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

July 8 - July 14, 2013
6 Weeks Postpartum

Nathan's been great about giving me time to run; he just hasn't been as cooperative about giving me time to write about it!

Still keeping to the same schedule and including speed work. I'm back to running my old route on my long run days. Each week I add a bit more distance, but I'm not doing the entire 14 miles yet. Here are some photos I took along the way.

Passing one of three dairy farms...

Over a flowing stream...

Past one of five corn fields...

Storm clouds in the distance...

Beside an apple orchard...

And over railway tracks.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

July 1 - 7, 2013
5 Weeks Postpartum

Keeping up with the same schedule. I've also started doing speed intervals - running all out for a short period of time and then slowing back to my normal pace. I'm faster than I was when pregnant, but still not where I was before I was pregnant.
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

For my long runs I bought a new water bottle. It's from Runner's World.
Pros - it's lightweight and easier to carry than a regular water bottle.
Cons - the water still tastes like the plastic bottle.

We had a great 4th of July holiday. At first Nathan's eyes got really wide when he heard the booming of the fireworks, but eventually, he was over it and ready to eat. Makayla was so excited for the fireworks, but as soon as they started she kept asking when they'd be over! Go figure!
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

June 24 - 30, 2013
4 Weeks Postpartum
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

I've fallen into a somewhat regular schedule of running 4 miles Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings and doing a long run (around 8-9 miles) on Saturdays. I noticed this week that the tight feeling I've had in my lower abdomen has gone away. It wasn't a painful feeling, but whenever I'd start running I'd feel a tightness in my stomach that would slowly fade as I ran, but this week it's disappeared completely.

Another slight pain has developed, though - in my left knee. I notice it the most when I stand up after sitting for a while. It hasn't affected my running - yet.

One thing I've noticed about running in the morning besides the beautiful sunrises, is cobwebs! I'm constantly running through cobwebs. I understand running through them when I run through a wooded area, but some cobwebs are seemingly just hanging in mid-air. I can't figure out what they are connected to.

Nathan is doing wonderfully. On Saturday he was a month old. It's a cliche, but so very true - time goes by so fast!

Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

June 17 - June 23, 2013
3 Weeks Postpartum
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

This week all my runs were in the early morning partly because of the heat, but mostly because I was helping with my church's Vacation Bible School in the evenings. I'm glad that Nathan cooperated with me because after VBS I was way too tired to go for a run.

I love helping with VBS. I enjoy watching my daughter grow in her faith. I also find that VBS is a week-long boot-camp to strengthen my own faith. Sometimes simple reminders go a long way.

Monday - 4 miles
God's love helps us to stand strong.
Tuesday - 4 miles
Family and Friends help us to stand strong.
Thursday - 4 miles
Prayer helps us to stand strong.
Friday - Yoga
The Bible helps us to stand strong.
Saturday - 8 miles
Sunday - 4.5 miles

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

June 10 - 16, 2013
2 Weeks Postpartum

Since Nathan is getting into a more regular eating schedule, this week I was able to increase the amount of time running and started tracking my mileage again. My plan is to gradually increase my mileage as I (hopefully get faster).

On Monday I ran 4 miles in the evening. On my way home, it started raining, like heavy, buckets of rain pouring from the sky. I was soaked in seconds. At one point, a neighbor driving by in his car stopped and asked if I wanted a ride, but I was already wet so there was no point. I appreciated the offer. Getting rained on in the summer isn't that bad. The worst part was my cell phone getting wet - two weeks later it died.

On Tuesday I ran 4 miles in the evening and again it rained, but this time it was light and refreshing.

Thursday I again ran 4 miles in the evening.

On Friday I did Jilian Michael's Yoga video which was a great workout. I was surprised to find that I was able to do the workout without modifications. It was as if I hadn't had a nine-month break. However, while it was a good strength training workout, it lacked the stretching and meditation of my prenatal yoga video, so I'm looking for an additional yoga video that focuses more on stretching than on fat loss.

On Saturday I ran 5.5 miles in the morning. This was my longest run since giving birth and it went very well. I definitely felt like I could go farther - not quite ready for the 13 miles I was doing before pregnancy, but definitely ready for more than the 6-7 miles I was doing in my last trimester.

Sunday I ran another 4 miles in the morning.

2 weeks old

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

June 3- 9, 2013
1 Week Postpartum 

Since I'm trying to take it easy, I haven't really been tracking my mileage. My goal right now is to fit running into Nathan's nursing schedule.

Monday I ran for 38 minutes early in the morning.
Tuesday I waited until 7pm to run for 56 minutes.
Thursday I was finally able to run for a full hour from 8pm to 9pm.
Saturday I ran for an hour and a half.
Sunday I ran for an hour.

I'm definitely not back to my pre-pregnancy pace, but I'm faster than I was just two weeks ago. I miss running with my little guy. I think he misses running with me too. The only reason I'm not able to run in the early morning like I used to is because Nathan won't go back to sleep after he nurses. It's like he knows it's running time and he's ready to go!

It's hard not to track my mileage and pace, but I don't want to push myself too hard too soon and end up getting injured.
Nathaniel Lee 1 week old

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

May 27- June 2, 2013
39 Weeks Pregnant

Monday I ran close to 6 miles. The holiday allowed me to run in the morning, but gave me a bit of extra sleeping in time since hubby was off work.

Tuesday I ran 4.5 miles in the afternoon.

Wednesday morning around 4am my water broke. At 5am my contractions started, and 2 hours, 44 minutes and no drugs later, my son was born.
Nathaniel Lee
8lbs 2.6 oz
May 29, 2013
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

I'm happy to say that labor went according to my plan. Although I did say quite a few times that I couldn't do it, I managed to breathe through the pain of the contractions thanks to an awesome nurse. I do believe that running gave me the strength and endurance I needed; however, there was no way I could conjure up the relaxation I practiced in yoga.

I took Thursday and Friday off from running. Saturday I ran for a half hour and Sunday I ran for an hour. I know, that sounds crazy, but my doctor said it was okay as long as I didn't have any heavy bleeding and took it easy. We agreed it was important for me to run to alleviate/battle any post-partum depression.

There is much more to Nathaniel's birth story, which I will share when I get a bit more time.

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

May 20 - 26, 2013
38 Weeks Pregnant

Since I'm writing this post so late, I think it's fair to offer a bit of a spoiler - this is my last full week of running before the baby arrived!

Monday I ran around 3 miles early in the morning.
Tuesday I ran between 3.5 and 4 miles early in the morning.
Wednesday was the highlight of the week. I dusted off the jogging stroller and Makayla hopped in for a ride to the park. Once we got there, Makayla played for a bit on the jungle gym but then she was ready to run. Why was she suddenly so excited to run? We bought her a new running skirt. Nothing like a new outfit to inspire a girl! I'd say we ran about a mile. Sadly, Makayla was much faster than me!
Makayla stretching before our run.
Thursday was my long run, around 7 miles.
Saturday I ran around 6 miles.
Sunday I ran around 3 miles.
My little 'Monkey' on the monkey bars.

Such a big girl! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-up

May 13 - 19, 2013
37 Weeks Pregnant

Photo Credit - Faith Laces
This was a week of transition. Makayla 'graduated' from preschool on Monday, which means my dependable schedule of running 5.5 miles on Mondays and Fridays and 8 miles on Wednesdays is no more. This week I struggled to define a new schedule.

Monday I woke up early and ran 3.5 miles because, although this was Makayla's last day of school, they didn't have regular class; instead they had a celebratory picnic.

Tuesday I ran as usual, getting in 4.5 miles.

I took Wednesday off as a 'rest' day, but worked for three hours in the yard digging up the brick edging around two of my flower beds.

Thursday I woke up early and ran 3.5 miles again, only this time it was in the rain. Thankfully, it was a much warmer morning and the rain didn't bother me.

Friday was another 'rest' day with three more hours of digging up brick edging around more flower beds. Thankfully, my back handled all the bending, kneeling and lifting.

Saturday morning I manged to fit in 7 miles before taking Makayla to swimming lessons and then going to a church picnic. The notable moment of this run happened as I passed a thicket of weeds. As I ran by, a duck burst out of the tall grasses flying off one way while a rabbit dashed off in the opposite direction. I had the distinct impression I'd interrupted something. I felt like a policeman unknowingly walking by a drug deal or something else nefarious!

Sunday morning I woke up earlier than usual to fit in 4.5 miles since Mondays and Thursdays runs were so short compared to my previous routine.

With Makayla out of school and the weather really heating up, I'm short on convenient times to run - unless I wake up at 4 or 4:30 in the morning. Whatever schedule I do come up with is only going to be temporary anyway, since when the baby is born, I'm going to have to play each day by ear and probably won't have a good set running schedule again until Makayla goes to kindergarten in the fall.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

May 5 - May 12, 2013
36 Weeks Pregnant
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

This week's highlights include spotting a tiny baby turtle and a live snake, both of which I stopped to photograph. As I paused, pulled out my phone and snapped the picture of the snake, it hit me how drastically different my runs are now than they were nine months ago.
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Back then I never would have stopped to take a picture of a tiny snake or even noticed the tiny turtle because I was moving too fast and was too focused on my time to really take in my surroundings.

Now that 'fast' is just a fond memory, I see a lot more when I run. Just a few months ago, this would have bothered me, but now with the 'finish line' of my pregnancy in sight, I can appreciate the differences in my running.

While I'm looking forward to running at a faster pace, I'm also going to miss running at a pregnant snail's pace. I'll miss my little running buddy kicking and moving in my belly. I'll miss the heightened awareness of seeing and experiencing the little things, like the icicles on tree limbs turning to brown buds and blossoming into pretty pink flowers.

In a few weeks, I'll still be able to run with my baby and experience the glories of nature, but it will all be in a different way. This change will be hard at first, but I have to accept that nothing stays the same forever - in running and in life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

April 29 - May 4, 2013
35 Weeks Pregnant
Photo Credit - Faith Laces
Path at Wilson College

Monday I ran in a steady, soaking rain. I had to borrow my husband's waterproof pullover. It did a pretty good job keeping me somewhat warm and mostly dry, but it made me look fat - not pregnant, just fat.

Tuesday I ran in the same pullover because it looked like it might rain again and it was sort of chilly out. Well, it didn't rain and I got overly warm so I took the pullover off and tied it around my waist - or rather, I tried to tie it around my waist, until I remembered - I don't have a waist anymore! The darn thing kept slipping off and I had to tie it around my neck, which sucked because a.) it looked ridiculous and b.) it kept sliding back and choking me.

Wednesday I had to run early in the morning again because my daughter had another field trip. Thankfully, it's getting light out earlier and the sky was already a light grey when I set off.

Friday I tried to fit in the 8 miles I should have done on Wednesday, but only got 6.5 because I happened to run by someone I know and (to be polite) I stopped to chat, which didn't leave me enough time to get in the other 1.5 miles. I hate not reaching my goal, but at least it wasn't because of an injury!

Saturday I ran 4.5 miles on a beautiful, sunny, but cold morning.

All in all it was another great week. No aches and pains that I can't handle. The weather could have been slightly better, but as my mom always told me, "In everyone's life a little rain must fall."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

April 22- April 28, 2013
34 Weeks Pregnant
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Not too much to report - but I can say it was a pretty great week! The weather wasn't too hot or too cold. I'm still able to run. I even managed to do my long run on Wednesday according to schedule.

Although Friday's run didn't go according to schedule. Because I was going to be chaperoning my daughter's field trip during my usual running time, I had to run early in the morning before my husband went to work, which didn't leave me as much time. It also meant I had to run in the dark. I don't mind running in the dark, but I don't prefer it. I did however, get to run under a beautiful full moon.

Photo Credit - Faith Laces

If I had one complaint (and what would pregnancy be without some complaining?), it would be the need for very frequent potty breaks. It's annoying! It seems like I can't go a mile before needing to stop, which is very inconvenient.

I have to admit - I can't get enough of these pretty pink trees!
Photo Credit - Faith Laces
Just seeing them as I run brings a smile to my face.

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - Z

Photo Credit - mconnors

I hate to have come all the way to the end of the alphabet and fizzle out. It's like running 25.2 miles and walking the final mile! But this is all I've got for an essential beginning with the letter 'Z':

A zip-up jacket is essential for pregnant runners (plop, fizz - oh how lame that is!).

Non-pregnant runners also benefit from a zip-up jacket, preferably waterproof. It's essential to have protection against snow, rain and wind.

For me, it was much easier to zip up my jacket in the fall than it is now. I had to wear my husband's jacket today as I ran through a steady spring rain.

So that's it! The end of another A-Z Challenge. For all of those who dropped by and for those who stuck with me through the end, thanks for reading!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - Y

Yoga is an essential for runners and for pregnant women, so it's no surprise, I'm listing it is an essential for pregnant runners.
Photo Credit - Microsoft Clip Art

First of all, let me just say that yoga is so much more than sitting, breathing and meditating. I know that some people (my sister for one) have the misconception that yoga is a waste of time, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Before I got pregnant, yoga was a regular part of my cross-training program. I liked doing yoga that moved quickly from one pose to the next and got my heart rate up. My preferred video was Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown. My goal for doing yoga was to strengthen my muscles and increase my stamina.

During my first trimester, it was all I could do to run on a regular basis. I didn't do any other forms of exercise because I was too sick and too tired. Early in my second trimester, I realized that it had been a mistake to neglect my cross-training after an alarming 'wake-up' call.

Out of the blue one morning, I woke up with pain along the outside of my right foot. It wasn't intense, but it was definitely there. I didn't run that day. The next day, although the pain was still there, I ran. As I ran, the pain increased and by that afternoon, I could barely walk. By that evening, I was crawling to get around.

I still don't know what exactly happened or what the injury was, but I limped for three days and had to take an entire week off from running. As I considered having to join a gym and run strictly on an elliptical, I decided to try a prenatal yoga video my husband had bought for me when I'd first become pregnant.

It wasn't like the yoga I was used to doing. It moved more slowly and didn't leave me panting for breath, but it felt good - really good. As I continued doing the video, I felt stronger and I felt relief from the lower back pain that has plagued me for my entire pregnancy.

After doing yoga regularly during my second and third trimesters, I've noticed several benefits:

  • I can still touch my toes. I'm flexible, which is a great thing for runners. In this article at Runner's WorldBruce Dick, M.D., a partner of Orthopedic Associates of Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York said:

If you don't have the flexibility in your hip flexors and hamstrings to create an adequate range of motion, your body will ask that motion to come from other joints--joints not meant to produce that motion. So you get early fatigue, early breakdown, and you expose yourself to injury.

  • My posture is better - especially when I'm running. Before I was pregnant, I ran looking at my feet. Now when I run I look straight ahead. This may be because of my belly, an attempt to alleviate my lower back pain, or it may be because of the focus I've put on better posture thanks to yoga.
  • I haven't suffered any major injuries. I had a problem in March but it was caused by a blister on the bottom of my foot. 
  • I feel stronger and more confident than I ever did during my first pregnancy.  
During pregnancy there are poses you should not do, so be sure to follow 'prenatal' practices. 

Helpful Links:

Yoga Poses To Avoid During Pregnancy

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - X

X-training (Cross-training) is essential to all runners, including pregnant runners.

X-training is doing another form of exercise besides running. What? There's more to life than running? I know. But it's true.

Doing other forms of exercise like swimming, cycling, Zumba, Pilates or strength training use muscles that running doesn't. Supplementing running with different forms of working-out makes us stronger, more flexible and most importantly, better runners. It also helps to prevent injury from over-training, which is crucial.

My plan for x-training during pregnancy was to join a gym and take water aerobics classes. That never happened. I find that going to the gym is too much of an inconvenience. I like working out at home because I can more easily fit it into my schedule.

I supplement my running with yoga and workout videos. The two videos I've used during this pregnancy are Pregnancy Fitness by Lindsay Brin and What To Expect When You're Expecting: The Workout.

Pregnancy Fitness has 4 DVDs - one for each trimester and a bootcamp dvd for after baby is born. I've found the workouts to be moderately challenging. Before I was pregnant I did workouts by Jillian Michaels and these are much less strenuous, but that's probably a good thing. I still work up a sweat and feel the burn in my arms.

What To Expect has six mix and match 10-minute cardio, toning and stretching workouts. I love being able to pick and choose which workouts to do together and deciding how long or how short a workout is going to be. Some days I just have time for 20 minutes and other days I feel like 40 to 60 minutes.

Without the strengthening and stretching of these workouts and yoga, I doubt I would still be running this far into my pregnancy. My lower back probably would have given out on me a long time ago.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - W

A watch is essential for all runners, pregnant women are no exception.

Watches range from simple to elaborate. My current watch is the Timex Ironman.

It's not very fashionable, but I never take it off - even, sadly to say, when I dress up. It's pretty comfortable. It has some useful features like a 100 hr. chronograph with lap or split option; 30-lap memory recall; 24-hr. countdown timer with stop and repeat capabilities and includes 99-lap counter, forward/backward setting and built-in setting reminders (taken from the website description).

Of course, since I've been pregnant I've only ever used my watch to track how long I've run. All the 'features' have been neglected. Okay, honestly, I never really used the features before I was pregnant either, but I liked that they were there and always intended to use them.

The two options lacking on my watch are a heart-rate monitor and GPS. After my daughter was born, five years ago, I had a watch with a heart rate monitor, which was a true benefit to my fitness. I could tell when I needed to push harder. But when it died, I replaced it with the Ironman, My intention was to eventually replace the heart rate monitor, which never seemed to happen because I'm so content with my current watch.

I've never had a watch with GPS, but it would be awesome to be able to accurately record my time, pace and distance. It's on my wishlist, but with a five year old and a baby on the way, it's really hard to justify the expense. 

What watch do you wear? Do you recommend the Nike + Sportwatch GPS powered by TomTom?

I basically use my watch to tell time, but would love to use it to support and improve my running, especially once baby is born.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - V

Photo Credit - Jeltovski
Whether you are pregnant, running, doing both at the same time or doing nothing at all, vitamins and minerals are essential to our health.

It's ideal that we get our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat, but in some cases, like pregnancy, a supplement is recommended (at least by my doctor).

Essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant runners include:

  • Vitamin B6 - Found in baked potatoes, banannas, chicken, tuna and fortified cereals.
  • Vitamin D - Our bodies make it when we are exposed to sunlight, so running outdoors is a great way to get vitamin D. This is one vitamin that is difficult to get from food alone.
  • Vitamin C - Found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, and bell peppers.
  • Vitamin B12 - Found in meat, dairy and eggs. 
  • Calcium - Found in milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
  • Iron - Is found and absorbed most easily from red meat and dark poultry; however, as a vegetarian, I get my iron from beans and spinach. It's harder to absorb iron from these sources but combining spinach with oranges makes it easier to absorb.
In addition to those I've listed, runners also need potassium and sodium, while pregnant women need vitamin A/beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B2, B3, folic acid, and zinc. 

Helpful Links - 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - U

Okay, first off, this post is sort of a repeat of an earlier post. Partly because I feel it's an absolute essential worth repeating and partly because the letter 'U' was a bit difficult - okay, more so because I had a hard time thinking of a 'U' essential.
A true expression of 'unwavering resolve'.
Photo Credit - Microsoft Clip Art

To run throughout pregnancy takes unwavering resolve.

Well, isn't that just another way of saying determination?

Yes, and I warned you this was a a bit of a repeat. But that was 16 letters and 19 days ago! Surely a reminder is in order:)

I resolved to run during pregnancy before it happened. When it finally did happen, my resolve was seriously tested by first, nausea and then later, lower back pain. To keep running, I had to unwaveringly focus on my goal.

So far so good, but I still have one month and roughly 12 days to go. Knowing I've made it this far makes it easier to stay determined, but during pregnancy anything can happen!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - T

Photo Credit - Faith Laces
Time is perhaps one of the toughest essentials of running during pregnancy to come by, especially if you already have children and a job.

The keys to making time are determination, organization, routine and flexibility.

The bottom line is that if something is important to us, we will make time to do it. During pregnancy a multitude of other things will seem more important than running, but remember that running is important for mommy and for baby.

For mommy, running reduces nausea, fatigue, constipation and lower back pain. It also elevates her mood and energy level.

For baby, running (or any regular cardio fitness regimen) increases blood circulation and placental efficiency, as well as helps to reduce baby fat without negatively affecting normal body weight.

During pregnancy, there are plenty of important reasons to make time to run.

For more benefits to running during pregnancy check out these posts from and

Benefits of Running During Pregnancy
If Paula Can Do It (Running While Pregnant)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap-Up

April 15 - 21, 2013
33 Weeks Pregnant
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

This week in running can be summed up in one word - beautiful. I spent most of my runs capturing signs of spring!

I'm happy to report that so far, my body is holding up! My prayer is that I can continue to run throughout the next month and 13 or so days (estimated due date is June 5th) and as soon as possible after baby is born.

Although, I have to admit, it's going to be lonely running without him! Right now, I'm so much slower than I used to be, but I've accepted that and it's a price I'm happy to pay to have such wonderful quality time together. Lately I've even been reaching down and rubbing my belly and speaking softly to it while running.

My 8 mile long run didn't happen on Wednesday because Lowes decided to deliver our new freezer without letting us know and messed my entire schedule up! I tried to make it up on Friday, but the forecast was calling for severe storms and I didn't want to be caught too far from home (or the church as the case was) in a thunderstorm. I wouldn't have worried if I wasn't pregnant, but baby makes me more cautious. I only got 6.5 miles, but I can live with that.

Sunday, I finally felt the baby hiccuping! It wasn't during a run, but it was cool all the same.

I'll end with some of the images of spring I caught this week:

Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Photo Credit - Faith Laces
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - S

Saucony Cohesion 6
The great thing about running is that it doesn't require a lot of equipment. All you need are a pair of shoes, and some runners don't even bother with those! Although for me, shoes are a running essential!

Since I started running in junior high school, I've worn many different brands including, Nike, Addidas, and Brooks. I ran my first marathon in Brooks and loved them, but my preferred brand of shoe is Saucony.

While the proper shoe for your foot type is always important, it's even more important during pregnancy when ligaments and joints are looser and more prone to injury. To determine what type of running shoe is right for your foot, take this test to determine whether you have medium, flat, or high arches.

  • Medium Arches = normal pronation - can wear any shoe
  • Flat Arches = over pronation - should wear motion- control or stability shoes
  • High Arches = under pronation - should wear neutral-cushioned shoes without added stability or support. (I fall into this category.)

The Brooks Blog says that you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. While The Runners Guide gives a more in-depth look at various factors that affect when to retire the old and bring in the new.

Typically, I replace my shoes every six months, which I found out was way too long during pregnancy. From now on, I'm going to do a better job tracking the mileage on my shoes and paying closer attention to any little aches and pains that would indicate my shoes have finished their race.

Repinned from

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - R

A regular running Routine is essential to continuing to run during pregnancy.
Photo Credit - kconnors

Before I got pregnant the first time with my daughter, I was running sporadically. When morning sickness struck, I wasn't prepared for the severity and since I hadn't been running regularly, I didn't give it a second thought when I stopped running all together.

Before this pregnancy, I was following a regular running routine- 5-6 days a week - so when morning sickness struck, I was too used to running to give it up and kept at it despite the nausea.

I admit I'm a bit OCD and when I get into a routine, I tend to stick with it no matter what. Sometimes that can be a bad thing - like when the family wants to go hiking during my scheduled 'cleaning' time. But at other times, I can use it to my advantage - like with running during pregnancy.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - Q

Brooks Arch Tab Running Socks
@ Dicks Sporting Goods
I admit I've struggled with essentials beginning with the letter 'Q'. This one came to me a few weeks ago in the middle of my third trimester when I realized that all socks are not created equal.

Quality socks are essential to running during pregnancy.

I splurge and spend a bit more money on socks specifically designed for running like Thor-Lo, Brooks, or Under Armour because I like the way they feel - thin but cushioned in the ball and heel, lightweight, but thick enough to prevent chafing and breathable to keep my feet dry.

Experia Powered by Thor-Lo Running Socks
@ Dicks Sporting Goods
However, sometime around the beginning of my trimester, blame it on pregnancy brain, or just plain absentmindedness, I found myself running in plain old Hanes socks, which is why I believe I developed major blisters on the balls of both my feet during an 8 mile run.

I might not have put two and two together if not for randomly pulling a pair of pink Thor-Los out of my sock drawer one morning and realizing what I'd been doing. Since rectifying my mistake, I've remained blister free.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - P

I have a plethora of 'P's in today's post!
Photo Credit -

It's essential to be prepared while running during pregnancy!

Prepare to fight morning sickness with Preggie Pops or peppermints!
Photo Credit - Google Images

Prepare for frequent potty stops! Public restrooms and porta potties are essential along your running route.

Prepare to modify your normal running program as pregnancy progresses.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - O

Photo Credit - Microsoft Clip Art
For me, organization is essential to running during pregnancy. Actually, for me, being organized is always essential to running. Planning runs into my daily schedule helps keep me on track.

As I've written in other posts, pregnancy provides many excuses (some good and some bad) not to run. By planning to run and organizing your schedule around running, it's harder to put it off.

Tips To 'Organize' Your Run

  • Plan ahead - look at your weekly schedule and pick the most likely days and times when running is possible.
  • Mark it on your calendar, 'to-do' list or in your daily planner.
  • Track your completed runs - times, distance, feelings, ect. - on a calendar or running journal.
  • Share your runs online through a blog or on dailymile.
  • Track your runs through Apps, like these listed on dailymile.
  • Lay out your running clothes the night before.
  • Keep your running shoes by the door.
  • Be flexible - if you planned a 5 mile run but only have time for 3 miles, run the 3 miles and worry about fitting in 2 miles later in the week or on another run.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A-Z Essentials For Running During Pregnancy - N

I interrupt my regularly scheduled A-Z post to bring you this special message. Today N is for No words. I have no words to describe the horrible tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon. My prayers are with the victims and their families.

Good Nutrition is always essential for everyone all the time. During pregnancy, it becomes doubly important because we are nurturing our bodies and another life inside us. And if we are running during pregnancy, nutrition becomes even more vital to not only nurture our baby, but to keep up our energy and health so that we have the strength to run.
Photo Credit - Microsoft Clip Art

Nutritional guidelines abound. A simple 'Google' search yields a ton of helpful articles with tips and meal plans. In the interest of keeping it short and simple, here are the tips I've tried to follow during my pregnancy:

  • Eat whole grains/high fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Limit processed foods and sugar.

Photo Credit - Microsoft Clip Art
Oatmeal for breakfast keeps me feeling full during the morning before my run. Eating a pre-run snack like a banana or raisins gives me a quick boost of energy and an apple and peanut butter crackers after a run replenish my strength.

As a vegetarian, I worried about getting enough iron. I didn't want to rely on my prenatal vitamin. Spinach is a great source of iron and when combined with oranges, the iron is more readily absorbed into our bodies. So I've tried to include the following salad (adapted from my father-in-law's popular recipe) in my diet as often as possible:

Ingredients -

  • lettuce
  • fresh spinach
  • mandarin oranges

Dressing (equal parts) -

  • vegetable oil (can substitute olive oil, but it's not as sweet)
  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey
I don't think about my diet every second of every day, I just try to be conscious of what I'm eating.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekly Running Wrap Up

April 8 - April 14, 2013
32 Weeks Pregnant 

Photo Credit - Faith Laces
It was a beautiful week, but at the risk of being labeled a malcontent, I have to say - it got a little too hot a little too fast. I was gearing up for warmer temperatures, but wasn't prepared for summer weather!

On Monday I was finally able to shed my heavy winter fleece jacket, which put my 'bump' prominently on display. I felt a bit self-conscious in a t-shirt and running tights. But I'd been anticipating this change in wardrobe and only gave it a second (or third) thought before the rhythm of running soothed away any worries of curious stares.

On Tuesday it was over 80 degrees and I had to shed even more layers and run in just a tank top and running skirt. I felt really exposed. When I asked Makayla if people would stare at my belly, she said, "Yes!" (For more of that conversation check out this post.)

Despite worrying about being stared at, I went for my run through our neighborhood park where both baseball fields were occupied by practicing teams. As I ran between them, I heard boys laughing.

The teenage girl inside me started shrieking, "OMG! They are so laughing at the pregnant woman!" The older and wiser me silenced her, "Teenage boys aren't paying attention to pregnant ladies." The older and wiser me was 99% confident.
My pregnant shadow
Photo Credit - Faith Laces

Wednesday was just as hot. At this point, after Tuesday's run, I was over any self-consciousness. But my new worry was that it was too hot for the baby. I carried water with me and didn't push too hard, but I kept thinking about how he can't cool himself off and began worrying I was boiling my poor baby.

Thursday during my prenatal appointment, I expressed my concerns to my doctor who laughed and said, "You can't cook your baby!" She said hydration is key and that I can continue to run even in the hotter temperatures as long as I drink plenty of water, which I knew and even blogged about in this post, but it's always good to hear confirmation.

On a completely unrelated note, today is Makayla's 5th birthday! I can't believe that 5 years have passed since my life completely changed or that in less than 2 months it's going to completely change again!
Happy Birthday, Makayla!