Winter Running with a Stroller + Week 22 Update

The end of January has been strangely warm with temps around the mid-20°F to 30°F's above zero! After a little hesitation (it just seemed too good to be true), I brought the jogging stroller out of winter storage.

Winter running with a jogging stroller is a little extra work but is definitely worth it to get some fresh air for you and the little one(s). This summer I wrote a post about tips for running with a jogging stroller and I am revisiting that today with a winter edition!

7 Tips for Running with a Jogging Stroller: Winter Edition

1. Check the Weather. Make sure it is in fact warm enough to take your little one outside in the jogging stroller and that there are no storms heading your way. My general rule of thumb is for the weather to be +30°F with low winds. Be sure to dress yourself and your child appropriately for the weather!

2. Use the Weather Shield. BOB makes an awesome weather shield that keeps the chilly wind off my toddler and keeps him a little warmer than the actual outside temp. The shield is handy even in the spring temps up to around 60°F! I definitely wouldn't run with the stroller in the winter without the weather shield.

The boys are ready to run!

3. Get Some Traction. Running on icy roads is hard enough and adding the weight of a stroller to the equation can make the situation even more challenging! Yaktrax have been essential to my outdoor running this winter because the roads in our town are super icy and I need an extra grip when pushing E's 25 lbs + the weight of the stroller itself.

Yaktrax - the best invention since sliced bread (for cold weather runners at least).

4. Be Visible to Vehicles. Dress bright, watch out for traffic and only run in daylight. Don't expect cars to stop for you, especially on icy roads. I wear my bright orange Boston marathon coat (that barely fits my belly now) and it makes me easy to see in the mostly white, snowy environment.

I'm starting to look more pregnant now but at least I can still see my toes! 

5. Pack Food & Drink. A perk of running with a stroller is the extra storage space! I always pack my water bottle plus a sippy cup and snack for E. If I put milk in his sippy cup, he's almost guaranteed to fall asleep :) A sleeping toddler is a happy passenger!

6. Always Wear the Safety Strap. The stroller's safety strap is like a lifeline for your child. It's tempting to not use the strap, especially when switching hands frequently, but it could mean the difference between life and death (that sounds a little dramatic, but it's true). Even the most experienced runners (umm, not me.) slip on ice and that stroller needs to stop with you!

Running with the safety strap attached (and the dog leash, too!)

7. Enjoy the Run! Have fun running and being outdoors with your little one. Running in the snow and ice is hard and then add the extra weight of a stroller on that - it really slows you down! Try running for a specific distance or a certain amount of time instead trying to run at race pace. If you're feeling crazy, leave your running watch at home. (Though take your phone with for safety reasons!)

A ride in the stroller is a great fix for a cranky morning... Poor guy was just tired.

Do you prefer to exercise outdoors or indoors in the winter?

And now a quick pregnancy update for this week:

Pregnancy Week 22: Baby #2

Baby's Size: Papaya, average fetus size: 10.5 to 11.8 in, 12.7 to 20.8 oz.

Cravings: Same as last week. Cheese and eggs, please. A cup of dark coffee with a little half n' half is near essential for my mornings.

Avocado Egg Salad. I could eat this every day! 

Aversions: Fried food gives me major heartburn so I would consider fried chicken my newest aversion :( It's probably for the better anyways!

I'm Feeling: Ecstatic to pick up Leo! I'm feeling really good and so thankful that this pregnancy is healthy and going well. Fears of going into preterm labor creep into my head now and then but I'm praying about it and being sure to drink a whole lot of water and rest more.

Sleep: The more the better. By 9:00 pm, I'm ready for bed and have been struggling to wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 am lately!

Weight: +11 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Thank You, God, for the gift of this pregnancy, the honor of being E's mom and for my husband returning home soon. I pray that You help me to remember to go to You with each and every decision I have to make and that our children will learn by my example.

Continue to guide Baby 2's development so perfectly and help my body to carry him or her to full-term. Give me the wisdom and understanding to be a godly wife, mother and to hear Your Voice every day. Amen."
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. PROVERBS 3:5-6
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.51 miles with the jogging stroller & dog, 9:47/mile. Windy and snowy!
Tuesday: G-Fit Workout of the Day
Wednesday: 4.01 miles with the jogging stroller & dog, 9:41/mile. Very icy, but less windy today.
Thursday: 3.015 treadmill miles, 9:57/mile.
Friday: Strength training
Saturday: 3.06 treadmill miles, 9:49/mile.
Total Mileage: 13.56 miles
Linking up at Fitness Friday, Mommy Moments and The Fit Dish with Jill and Jessica.

Conquering Unhealthy Food Cravings #dishthefit

Cravings. They are a battle for non-pregnant people and pregnant women alike. It just so happens that my pregnancy with Baby #2 has been full of them! 

My first pregnancy wasn't this craving-crazy. From mac & cheese to eggs with toast to popcorn, Chinese food and one day it was even Spaghettios (gross, I know...), I've been all over the board this time.

Some view pregnancy as a free ticket to cave in to all of your cravings but that just creates more trouble when it comes to losing the baby weight. Plus, baby is eating everything you do and that is motivation enough to make healthy choices!

The below Bible verse comes to mind when making food choices (and any choices in life!). I have the freedom to eat what I want and cave into cravings because, hey, I'm pregnant! But is it beneficial for the baby and myself? Is it constructive in working towards my fitness goals? Am I honoring God with my body by doing this?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:23
It's so timely that we are sharing our ways of overcoming unhealthy temptations or cravings this week at Jessica's and Jill's link-up, the Fit Switch. #dishthefit

5 Ways to Battle Unhealthy Food Cravings

Pregnant or not, here are a few of my approaches to handling unhealthy food cravings!

1. Exercise.

On days that I exercise, it's easier to eat healthy. I'm not sure why that is. Endorphins, perhaps? A good workout distracts me and keeps the cravings at bay... for a while at least.

Ready to head out for a winter run with the jogging stroller and the dog.

2. Stay Hydrated.

Dehydration can actually be mistaken as a sugar craving. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and are well-hydrated before reaching for that treat.

3. Rest Well.

Being overly tired makes your body crave a quick energy boost that usually comes in the form of sugar or other carbs. If possible, do something to rest your body and mind. That can be easier said than done for parents of little ones! E always rests very well during jogging stroller runs. As I'm sweating like a pig running through the snow, he peacefully snoozes... I'm thankful for a content stroller passenger!

4. Choose a Healthier Substitute.

To satisfy the craving, opt for a healthier alternative. Craving ice cream? Try some frozen yogurt. Craving mac and cheese? I buy "organic" mac and cheese to feel a little less guilty and then add spinach and ham to make it slightly more nutritious.

5. Indulge in Moderation.

Now and then it's okay to give in and have a treat. Confession: I had a Oreo Birthday Cake mini-blizzard from Dairy Queen on Sunday and I don't even feel bad. Live a little and let yourself have a treat, just don't let it become a daily habit!

How do you conquer unhealthy food cravings?

Linking up at the Fit Dish link-up.

Baby #2 Predictions + 21 Week Update

We had Baby 2's ultrasound this week!

The ultrasound tech gave E a mega-load of stickers for being such a good big brother. He sat relatively well, only broke one crayon and got stuck in the chair twice.

We didn't find out Baby's gender but we can still have some fun making predictions! A little anticipation will help to pass the next months before Baby 2's arrival. The doctor said Baby 2 looks great and is measuring right on track!

Baby 2's side profile, little feet and face

I sent a mini survey around to my family and so far the general consensus is that we're having:

  • Gender: Girl
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Weight: 6.5 to 7 lbs.
  • Birth Day: end of May

As for me, I feel like we are having a girl this time due to my increased morning sickness, more intense pregnancy symptoms and being more tired than pregnancy #1. Then again, I also thought E was a girl and Leo guessed boy - he won a cheeseburger for guessing right.

Baby's gender is up in the air, but I am pretty certain we're having a dark-haired, dark-eyed little one like our E. Can't wait to meet him or her this spring! We've got a favorite girl name and we're still brainstorming boy names... fun name ideas are welcome :)

Pregnancy Week 21: Baby #2

E has mastered the weekly belly picture by now.

Baby's Size: Pomegranate, average fetus size: 10.5 in, 12.7 oz.

Cravings: Eggs, American cheese, cheesy popcorn, macaroni & cheese. Cheese. More cheese.

My attempt to "healthify" boxed mac & cheese

Aversions: Food without cheese. (just kidding, I'm not that cheese-crazed)

I'm Feeling: A little less tired and excited that Leo is coming home next week! Baby kicked the activity into high gear this week and I feel a lot of kicking and punching. I think it's time to start digging through our newborn baby clothes to get the gender neutral outfits set out... nesting already?!

Sleep: We (E and I) are both sleeping better now that we are at home more. It feels good to be in our house, though we do miss Grandma and Grandpa!

Weight: +10 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Thank You, Lord, for our ultrasound this week and for blessing Baby 2's growth and development. Continue to be with him/her over the next few months and help us all to prepare for our little one's arrival! I pray that You help my body to carry Baby to full-term and give me victory over my fears with preterm labor and adjusting to being a mom of 2. Amen."
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57-58 (emphasis added by me)
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.01 treadmill miles, 9:58/mile.
Tuesday: Ctollerun strength training
Wednesday: 4.014 treadmill miles, 9:57/mile.
Thursday: G-Fit Workout of the Day
Friday: 3.01 treadmill miles, 9:58/mile.
3.11 snowy, slushy miles with the jogging stroller and dog. 10:18/mile.
Saturday: Extra recovery and stretching day. Found my muscle roller!
Total Mileage: 13.144 miles
46°F and sunny in January?! I could hardly believe it!

What are your predictions for Baby 2?
If you're a parent, have you correctly guessed your baby's gender before?

Linking up at Mommy Moments.

My 5 All-Time Best Health & Fitness Decisions #dishthefit

It's Tuesday and that means we have our ultrasound for Baby #2 this afternoon!

And it's time to #dishthefit with Jill and Jessica at the Fit Dish link-up. The topic for this week is to share your five all-time best health and fitness decisions.

Here are my all-time best health/fitness-related decisions that I've ever made. Make sure to stop by the link-up to check out the other posts. This will be fun because everyone's list will be a little different!

My 5 All-Time Best Health & Fitness Decisions

1. Waking Up!

The 5:30 a.m. time slot is the best time for me to fit in time to read my Bible and run a few miles before the toddler tornado wakes up. It doesn't always feel good to wake up but I never regret starting my morning with God and a good run!

2. Just Signing Up.

Having a goal race in mind keeps me focused and motivated to exercise on the days that I just don't feel like it. My love for running all started with signing up for a 5k on a whim and now long-distance running is something I hope to do for life. Just sign up!

A year after that first 5k, I ran my first marathon and I've been hooked ever since.

3. Form a Support System.

Keep in close community with those who encourage you! And let the negative things people say to tear you down go in one ear and out the other. My husband, family, friend, and other women who value fitness keep me motivated and moving forward every day. #fitfam

4. Strength Train + Stretch.

When I first started running marathons I did about zero strength training and minimal tightness. After working through some IT band issues and hip tightness, I learned that regular strength training and stretching post-run keep the pain at bay. Especially while running pregnant now, alternating running and strength training days works best for me and rolling out my muscles often keeps my legs fresh.

My favorite muscle roller ever! Now could someone tell me where the toddler hid it???

5. Create a Budget-Friendly Home Gym.

It's a challenge to make it to the gym with a little one at home, especially if the gym doesn't offer childcare! Having a home gym means it is possible to fit in a workout early in the morning, during nap-time or even after bedtime without leaving the house.

Buying our own treadmill has been a well-worth-it investment as it has paid itself off in a year rather than paying a monthly gym membership. We just got a secondhand dumbbells and barbell weight set last week - so excited! The yoga mat and foam roller are from way back in my single days and are still in great condition.

A home gym doesn't have to be expensive, especially if you are willing to go secondhand! A post on creating a home gym on a budget is coming in the future...

My "Home Gym" = Treadmill + Free Weights + Yoga Mat + Foam Roller

What is one of your best health/fitness decisions ever?

Linking up at the Fit Dish and Fitness Friday.

Blessed in the Mess + Week 20 Update

This week went from routine to plain old chaos. I had started writing this post about our predictions for Baby #2 but that will have to wait til next week...

Here's my attempt at making a long story short:

Little E and I have been staying on Grandma and Grandpa's farm while Daddy is gone for training. Our Monday started with breakfast, visiting with Uncle Ry and a nice bath for E.

During nap-time, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and cleaned up the house (the aftermath of my toddler tornado). That evening, my mom and I went to Zumba together while Grandpa watched E.

After Zumba, we picked up a pizza and went home to the guys. When we got in the house, it smelled like something electric was burning. I went upstairs to put on my sweats and the burning electrical smell was even stronger.

My parents did some quick investigating in the house and heard crackling in the upstairs wall. Mom called 911 while I threw on E's winter clothes and ran him out to the van. E kept warm while we ran to save whatever things we could from the now smoking house.

Blessing: We all made it out of the house safely.

My parent's home last winter and then on the night of the fire.

Soon flames were coming out of the roof and we were doing our best to get valuables out of the house. While sprinting back and forth with belongings, I asked God to keep us safe in this - all the stuff doesn't matter in the end, but protect the lives!

Blessing: The police and firefighters were quick to get on the scene.

While my parents stayed at the house with the firefighters, E and I went to my grandparents' farm to call it a night. E got some rest but I stayed up until 1:00 am when my parents made it there safely. We were so thankful for warm beds to sleep in.

You know something is wrong if I'm up at midnight watching TV!

The next day we went back to see the house and condition of what was left. The upstairs had the fire damage though my room escaped with only a large whole in the ceiling.

Blessing: The fire started early in the evening before we were all asleep. 

My youngest brother's room wasn't so lucky. As I walked down the hall, I hardly recognized a thing.

Blessing: Uncle Ry had just packed up and left for college at noon so he wasn't in his room.

It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to a place where we had so many memories, but we have so much to be thankful for at the same time. Looking back at the blessings a midst that fire allows us to see God's goodness even when life isn't feeling so good.

Thank you so much to everyone - friends, family and acquaintances - who have helped my family! It so appreciated so much it's hard to find the right words to express our gratitude

God promises to keep us in perfect peace when we trust in Him even when we are facing trials. The Lord is our eternal Rock.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
ISAIAH 26:3-4
How have you been blessed this week?

To lighten things up a little, here's Baby #2's 20 week update. We're halfway there!

Pregnancy Week 20: Baby #2

E wanted to remind you that he is 22.5 months... Baby #2 can't steal all the show!

Baby's Size: Banana, average fetus size: 6.5 in, 10.2 oz.

Cravings: Dipping eggs and toast. And still that cheesy popcorn.

Aversions: Hmmm... probably the smell of burnt insulation.

I'm Feeling: Exhausted and overly emotional. I think it's due to the craziness of this week rather than pregnancy. I am excited for Baby 2's ultrasound coming up next week!

Sleep: Not sleeping well with Leo gone and lately I've been sharing a bed with my cuddle monster. No complaints though - having a bed to sleep in was a blessing after the fire.

Weight: 135 lbs at the halfway point, +10 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, I can't thank You enough for watching over us always and especially in the fire on Monday. Thank You for protecting us and always providing what we need! Give my parents and helpers energy through the clean-up process. Watch over Leo while he is training and prepare us for the upcoming ultrasound. Amen"
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 4.05 treadmill miles, 9:52/mile, and Zumba that night.
Tuesday: "Rest" day after the fire issue the night before.
Wednesday: A lot of walking, some jogging and packing stuff out of the house.
Thursday: 3 treadmill miles, 10:00/mile.
Friday: 2 treadmill miles, 10:03/mile. Exhausted.
Saturday: 3 treadmill miles, 10:00/mile.
Total Mileage: 12.05 miles

Linking up at Fitness Friday and Mommy Moments.

Enter the For Two Fitness New Year Giveaway!

I am so excited to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing New Year giveaway!. For Two Fitness has the most adorable maternity active-wear and they are easily my favorite maternity fitness apparel brand. For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the New Year. Read the details below.

Happy New Year! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, and friends. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at $1000. We have phenomenal prizes, including the newest offering from BOB - a Revolution FLEX jogging stroller - plus prizes from ASICS, Ergo and Maison Drake baby boutique, and For Two Fitness – all facets of your healthy mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

The grand prize winner will win everything you see listed here. Prizes have been furnished by our wonderful brand partners in connection with a sponsoring ambassador (Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddy and Melody from Will Run For Margaritas). Here are more details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy:

Grand Prize Giveaway items:
  • The New BOB Revolution FLEX single stroller 
  • For Two Fitness maternity athletic outfit (top and bottom of winner’s choice) 
  • Ergo 360 Baby Carrier furnished by Maison Drake baby boutique 
  • Asics Running Shoes (1 pair of the winner’s choice)

Wow! We are thrilled to give away these amazing prizes. This contest runs from Monday, January 12th through midnight on Friday, January 16th. Visit the For Two Fitness site to enter. Be sure to follow @ForTwoFitness and our co-hosts @run4margaritas and @momslrb on Instagram in order for your entries to be valid.

Thanks for celebrating the New Year with us! Good Luck!!

My Fitness Motivation Vision Board #dishthefit

How are your 2015 resolutions going so far?

We're nearing two weeks into January and in the coming week I'm joining up with the Tuesday Fit Dish link-up once again! We are sharing fitness related tips and the optional topic was to make a motivation vision board.

Creating a vision board was a first for me and it was a blast. Basically my "vision board" is a collage of pictures that inspire and encourage me. Someday when E has more of an attention span for crafts, I hope we can create a hands-on motivation vision board to hang on the wall!

Here's my motivation for keeping those 2015 resolutions:

My Fitness Motivation Vision Board(s)

My Faith: We are called to be good stewards of the bodies God has given us. My focus is to put Him first in my life and glorify Him in all I do - and that includes running and exercise!
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 (emphasis added by me)
View Pins Here

My Family: Being a healthy example for my son, exercising as a family and staying fit in my second pregnancy are big motivating factors for me! We love to be active together and want to model fitness as a lifestyle for our children.

Running Goals: Running is a matter of physical training and, even more so, mental training. Running is a great way to train in mental toughness! Running is a lifestyle and to continue to stay fit well into my years. And I would be lying if I said medals and chasing PR's didn't motivate me!

View Pins Here

Fueling Well: Over these years of growing as a "runner", I am seeing the importance of fueling your body well. Though I am definitely not a master chef, I am doing my best to learn how to cook healthy meals for my family! Like I said, I do my best... but I do crave Spaghettios from time to time (gross, I know - blame it on the preggo hormones).

View Pins Here

Racing Dreams: My racing "bucket list" keeps me motivated and dreaming of running in different places - or possible family "run-cations" (running vacations). Running the Disney Marathon and then taking our kids to Disneyworld afterwards is one of my dreams!

View Pins Here

Have you ever created a vision board?
What motivates you?

Linking up at Fitness Friday, Mommy Moments and the Fit Dish.

Running in the 2nd Trimester + 18 Week Update

We're back from church and all cozy at home now. The winter weather advisory from this weekend has passed and now it's just ridiculously cold.

Prior to the blizzard weather, we have been blessed with some pleasant temps and sunshine. E got to play outside and he tried out his hockey skates for the first time on New Year's Day! I love making family memories like this!

E's first skate at 22 months old!

The next day I took our dog out for a 4-miler. The cold weather and our lack of playing outside has him a bit down in the dumps. A run cheers everyone up.

These Yaktrax are the best invention ever for any of you cold weather-dwellers. It was very snowy and icy on our run. I definitely would have opted for the treadmill if I didn't have these Yaktrax! This is my second winter using them and I haven't slipped yet.

Now if only they made them for dogs ;)

Staying active in the second trimester has been good to me so far and helps so much with pregnancy energy levels and handling discomforts. Alternating running and strength training days is the perfect balance for me and I am focusing on working at a lower intensity this pregnancy.

My goal is to continue with this routine of running for 30 minutes four days a week at a comfortable pace with two days of strength training mixed in. If the week doesn't go as planned, it's not the end of the world. Each week is a new beginning!

Here are a few helpful tips for staying fit in the second trimester:

Tips for Running in the Second Trimester

In Kara Goucher's book, Running for Women, Goucher's ob-gyn, Robin Barret, MD, offers tips for running in the second trimester. Dr. Barret happens to be an avid runner and marathoner herself in Portland, Oregon.
  • Keep Running. Running doesn't cause preterm labor!
  • By the end of the 2nd trimester, you will probably need to decrease your weekly mileage and pace.
  • These common symptoms may interfere with your running:
    • Bladder pressure - Empty your bladder before starting your run and pick routes with bathrooms or good ground cover!
    • Pelvic pressure/discomfort - You may need to alternate running and walking. You may also need to start using more low-impact equipment - elliptical, bike - or swim.
    • Contractions - See tips for pelvic pressure. Call your provider if contractions don't stop or you have any bleeding.
And now for another pregnancy update!

Pregnancy Week 18: Baby #2

Baby's Size: Sweet Potato, average fetus size: 5.6 in, 6.7 oz.

Cravings: Breakfast food, especially dipping eggs and toast. And cheesy popcorn!

Aversions: Nothing in particular.

Eating: My appetite definitely increased at 17 weeks and is about the same this week.

I'm Feeling: Baby is usually sitting pretty low and is very active whenever I sit down. Now and then he/she slides up to jab me in the ribs, too :) Nothing painful at this point, it's more so just fun to feel baby moving. I'm excited as our first ultrasound date is coming up in two weeks!

Sleep: I've been sleeping like a rock lately, aside from being up once a night for a bathroom break.

Weight: Up 7 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Father, thank You for the time we have had together as a family this week and for our growing toddler and Baby #2! I pray that You guide their development and lead them towards a personal relationship with You. This week I am praying for our family to grow in love, joy, peace and patience and I pray that we grow closer and closer to You, as we aren't able to bear any fruit apart from You! Amen."
Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. JOHN 15:4
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.02 miles on the treadmill, 9:56/mile.
Tuesday: G-Fit workout of the day
Wednesday: 3.01 treadmill miles, 9:58/mile
Thursday: Carrie's Dumbbell Workout: Upper Body
Friday: 4.1 snowy miles with our dog, 10:25/mile
Saturday: 3.01 treadmill miles, 9:57/mile.
Total Mileage: 13.14 miles
What winter activities do you enjoy as a family?
Do you have any tips to add for fitness in the second trimester?

Linking up at Mommy Moments, the Fit Dish and Fitness Friday.
View more tips for running in the first trimester.