Archive | October, 2012

Dawn of the Dead Dash

30 Oct
Dawn of the Dead Dash

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This went down this weekend. I went into full-on zombie mode, and it was awesome!

I have been ridiculously excited about this little event for way. too. long. But it finally came! I spent most of the day buying fake blood and Halloween makeup and planning my costume. About a half hour before leaving, I was covered in said fake blood and wearing my running shorts and a t-shirt.

Luckily, I had to run outside before we left to grab our laundry, at which point I realized that it was much colder than I’d anticipated…

So I ran back inside and changed into a warmer outfit. Unfortunately my warmer running clothes are more expensive, so I couldn’t pour fake blood all over them. But I think I captured the spirit of the zombie anyway… what do you think?

Zombieness

I am such a freak.

I wish I would have gotten a picture in my first costume though… it was a whole lot bloodier and zombier.

Anyway, we arrived a bit late (as per the fact that I sent us to the wrong start… whoops), but jumped into the dash anyway. Turns out that it was a lot more of a game than a race… weird.

The whole idea was that you all start at one location, run to three different checkpoints and then get free beer when you arrive at the finish with your bib marked off to prove you’d been to all three locations.

Now, maybe it’s the fact that I am fresh out of Provo (where no one–seriously, no one–drinks beer), but I was expecting that everybody would be all over the weirdness of this race just because of the race. But turns out that most of the people we met and were running with were only there for the beer. Come to think of it… it’s definitely because I’m fresh out of Provo.

It was fun to dodge zombies and run around Seattle, but we just skipped the finish line altogether. Turns out it was less of a finish line and more of a line for the bar. Should have seen that coming…

I had an absolute blast anyway! It reminded me of playing fugitive in high school. So much fun. More of a game than a race, but a good workout nonetheless.

And I should probably mention that I felt pretty hardcore running pretty much the whole thing when everybody else was walking–yes, I am 5.5 months pregnant thankyouverymuch. And I got a stranger compliment on my bump 🙂 I just love those. And I love that they are about how cute my bump is, rather than how big it is. I’m guessing that’s not gonna last my entire pregnancy though.

All in all, probably not something I’d do again, but it was fun! I think when I dish out money for races in the future, I’ll shoot for the ones that bring out the runners rather than the beer-thirsty college kids 🙂

Zombie Romance

Post-Dash… Sweaty and hyped up on endorphins.
Btw, in case you were wondering, it took me a full hour and a half to detangle my hair. I do it every year and swear every year that I’ll never do it again, but by the time Halloween comes around again I’ve forgotten what a pain it is to get out. At least it’s only once a year…

I’m excited to run next year’s Halloween race with a little frankenbaby outside of my body 🙂

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My Favorite Weird Food: Chia Seeds

30 Oct
Chia Seeds

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If watered regularly and exposed to sunshine, your nutritious seeds will double as a friendly plant.

I talked about chia seeds in this post, but I don’t think I fully communicated how great they are (as per the fact that the focus was on the oatmeal rather than the chia seeds). But now is the time to talk about them in their full, slimy glory.

I first heard of these weird little seeds in the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. He talks about how the Tarahumara Native Americans in South America use these seeds mixed with water and lemon juice as fuel during long (and I mean seriously long–think 24-hour) runs. They are one of the few non-meat foods that is a complete source of protein.

Born to Run

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This book is great.
Go read it if you love running.
Or if you think your body wasn’t made for running.
Or just if you know how to read.

So… McDougall claims somewhere around the middle of the book that eating chia seeds on a run will give you renewed energy and magically make running as easy as breathing. …At least that’s how I read it. So I mixed chia seeds with yellow gatorade and hit a mountain trail. And after about 20 minutes I felt like I was dying. So I tried the chia seeds. They absolutely didn’t work. Like at all.

Regardless, I still love chia seeds. They are so weird. But so good for you and fun to eat. They don’t really taste good, per se, because they don’t really taste like anything. It’s the texture that makes them so interesting. But don’t take my word for it… go buy some and try them yourself!

Ps: here’s the nutritional information…

Omega 3’s: When I hear “omega 3’s,” I usually think of fish (yummm). But turns out that chia seeds contain a whole lot of these bad boys. They can reduce the risk of breast cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, decrease your risk of depression, and even make your husband do the dishes. Psych! Unfortunately I haven’t found any kind of nutrient that will make that happen.

Also, turns out that omega 3’s are important to your little guy or girl’s growth! They are absolutely essential for neurological and visual development. And they help make breast milk after giving birth. Not bad, I say.

Anyway, since they are such weird little things, I’m excited to see what I come up with this week. Go buy some! Do it now! Even if you only sprinkle them on toast, you won’t regret it.

24 Week Bumpdate

29 Oct
Baby Bump 24 Weeks

That awkward moment when you realize that I’m actually a (pregnant) member of the undead… Kind of reminiscent of Twilight, right? No? Okay, that’s fine too.

New this week: During my first trimester, I remember I was just wiped out allllll the time. I went to bed early, woke up late, and usually took a nap during the day. Second trimester? Totally different story. I haven’t taken a single nap this trimesterT Until this week, that is… I was so tired this week that I actually took 3 naps. I’ve heard that when you get into the third trimester you get tired all over again. I’m still about a month away from that point, but I think my body is prepping for it. Or maybe I just need more sleep at night…

Other exciting developments include ever-increasing heartburn (so fun) and my first stab of round ligament pain (in the middle of the night when I rolled over).

Also.

That belly is really starting to look gigantic. I feel like things have really started cooking think week. And I had three strangers comment on my bump! I think that means I’ve clearly moved out of the she-could-stand-to-lose-a-few-pounds phase and am safely in the what-a-cute-pregnant-belly phase. It’s good to be here 🙂

Remember those Tiny Feet?

26 Oct
Baby Feet

Yes, THESE are the feet I’m talking about.

Last night I was blessed to experience my first time losing sleep because of my baby (3am bathroom breaks excluded). His cute little feet started kicking sometime in the early hours of the morning and it didn’t stop for a solid hour. He was just bouncing off the… uterus… and I thought it would never end. I kept poking him and rolling over to try and calm him down, but no dice. All in all, that little monster kept me up for a solid hour.

But.

I kind of loved it.

Overnight Oats–Not for the Faint of Heart

25 Oct
Baby Feet

Two little crossed feet. I just love those tiny toes 🙂

I had an ultrasound today! Nothing terribly exciting, just like my doctor’s appointment yesterday, but I got to see my little guy wiggling around. So fun 🙂 He’s starting to look a little cramped because he’s getting so much bigger. Turns out that he’s still small though. I’m halfway through my 23rd week, but he still looks like he’s almost 21 weeks old. I just keep hoping that he’ll catch up to where he’s supposed to be by February 18.

And I’m not sure if I’ve been reading too much Harry Potter, but… does he look a little like he-who-must-not-be-named? I love looking at his profile in ultrasound pictures, but straight on… yikes.

Babyface

The line across the top is his arm with his little hand on top of his head and his forehead is just to the left of center in this picture. Those big black holes to the right of his forehead? Eye sockets. Yikes. I’m hoping he looks a bit cuter (read: less creepy) when he’s born… Is it bad that my baby’s face creeps me out a little?

Creepy or not, I just love him and can’t wait to meet him! And see his whole face and not just the bones. In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking at those cute little feet.

On to food? Yes, I think that’s always a good choice.

I was so excited to wake up this morning because I made overnight oats last night! I’ve heard that they’re something you either love or hate, so I was a little wary, but they actually turned out pretty well. I think I’m going to keep making these yummy things. Beware: if you don’t like Greek yogurt, this might not be the breakfast for you…

I found this recipe on this blog and just added a lot of chopped up apple and a tablespoon of agave nectar to give it a little more flavor.

Overnight Oats

Okay, let’s get real.
They look pretty freaky.
But trust me, they are worth it. SO good for you!

Overnight Oats
6 oz. Greek yogurt, any flavor (I just used plain)
2 tablespoons chia seeds (have you read Born to Run? I love these gooey little things! More on them later though…)
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk

Mix, mix, mix, cover, and let sit overnight in your fridge. In the morning you can add fruit, a little more milk to make it less thick, or pretty much anything else you think would make it better, because there’s no way around it… overnight oats are pretty bland.

Overnight Oats Transformation

See the transformation? Overnight the oats get soft and puffy and the chia seeds really get–there’s no other way to describe them–slimy. It’s in a good way though, I promise. Make sure to try this because it is so yummy!

This recipe made a lot of oats. You could actually have it for breakfast for two mornings. I kept thinking about them throughout the day and kept going back… so… yeah, they’re gone. All eaten. But don’t worry, I’m gonna make them again soon 🙂

This is What Burned Success Looks Like

24 Oct

I made granola! First time ever. Today was a big day for me. Like everyone else in the world, I could eat granola nonstop throughout the day. Unfortunately, it’s ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, making granola yourself is really easy and a whole lot less expensive. Still tasty though 🙂

PB Dark Chocolate Granola

I read this blog and saw this recipe awhile ago, but I definitely made some tweaks (as per the fact that I didn’t want to run to Trader Joe’s for ingredients. Yep, I’m lazy like that).

Peanut Butter + Dark Chocolate Granola

Makes 20 servings (1/3 cup is 1 serving)

6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup pine nuts (I had some left over from making pesto)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used half of a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar)

Melt everything but the oats and nuts together over low heat and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl. This is the part where everything smells like no-bake cookies 🙂 Spread the oats onto a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees in 10 minute intervals for 50 minutes. Every 10 minutes, pull the granola out of the oven and mix it up so it doesn’t burn. Watch it closely, because mine got a little crispier than it should have… It’s still good though.

Nutritional Information
190 calories
26g carbs
7g fat
5g protein
21mg sodium
11g sugar

I’m so excited to eat this with Greek yogurt in the mornings! Or with milk… or over ice cream… or just by itself. I love granola!

In other news, I had a doctor’s appointment today! Nothing exciting, really, but turns out that in my last ultrasound little man was too squirmy so they didn’t get a good picture of his heart. So… I get to go back tomorrow to get another! I love getting to look at him, so I’m not complaining. Hopefully I’ll come back tomorrow with some new and adorable pictures of the little guy who has taken up residence in my uterus.

Running & Cocaine

23 Oct

A few weeks ago Michael’s cousin, Melissa, and her husband, Kimball, invited us over to their house for dinner. They live in a little town called Maple Valley, which is a little ways away from the city, and it was so nice to drive through a canyon, see some open land, and spend time in a neighborhood. I forgot they existed! Can you tell that living in the city is killing me a little?

Anyway, Melissa and I were talking about running during pregnancy and she told me something that just blew my mind. During her first pregnancy, her doctor flatly told her that she absolutely should not be running during pregnancy, so she asked about her friend who ran 5 miles a day while she was pregnant. He said: “Well some women use cocaine when they are pregnant and sometimes their babies turn out fine, but that doesn’t mean you should do it too.”

Is that just crazy or what? Running and cocaine? I mean, they’re both pretty addictive, but I really don’t think they have much in common besides that.

Fortunately, we live in a time when doctors (with the exception of Melissa’s OB…) generally agree that exercise is healthy and completely safe during pregnancy. A lot of things have changed over the last several decades, apparently.

Pregnancy in the 1950's

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Anyone else think that “bump” looks a little lumpy and suspect?

Even though we are a few years past the whole be-careful-not-to-break-a-sweat-when-you’re-pregnant mentality, some of it obviously still lingers.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately dialed back my running. In fact, I had registered for the Wahsatch Steeplechase (which I hadn’t trained for…) and just skipped it completely after finding out I was pregnant. See, I’ve wanted to run this trail race for years, but after I crossed the finish line of the Ogden Marathon (in late May), I needed a serious break from running. So I took one.

Unfortunately, I had signed up for this beast several months earlier (it took place in late June):

Wahsatch Steeplechase

This race is seriously hardcore.
It gains 4,500 feet of elevation in the first 7 miles.
Someday I’m going to actually do it, but it will be when I want to do it.

Anyway, the day before the race I freaked out. I knew that a positive pregnancy test was the only plausible out, so I took one out of sheer desperation. I knew there was an option it would come back positive, but I didn’t feel any different and was genuinely expecting a negative result. Obviously the positive result was a complete shock. So much of a shock, in fact, that the only emotion I felt for a few days afterward was relief (at not having to run the Wahsatch Steeplechase).

Looking back to that day, I probably could have run it. I might have hated it (okay, let’s get real. I most definitely would have hated it… And there was a pretty high chance I would have come home with the Bloodiest Runner award at the end–yep, they give that out), but I probably could have run it without any harm to my little guy (who is kicking me quite ferociously at the moment).

Pregnancy Exercise

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Yesss. This is EXACTLY what I need for jogging in Seattle. Who doesn’t love a sexy maternity unitard? Oh wait…

Back in the day (think 80’s and even 90’s), doctors thought it was really unsafe for your heart rate to rise above 130 bpm during pregnancy. These days, we know there isn’t much truth to that. In fact, you don’t need to worry too much unless you start getting close to your maximum heart rate, which you usually can’t accomplish without an impressive amount of effort.

Exercise during pregnancy isn’t just okay to do, it’s healthy for you and your baby! According to WebMD: “Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.”

Health benefits aside, exercise makes me feel just a little hotter 🙂 Trust me, that goes a long way when the size of your belly is the most noticeable thing about you… It’s pretty emotionally tough to see your waistline quickly expanding and finding that your clothes don’t come anywhere close to fitting. Let’s not even talk about my arch-nemesis, the bathroom scale. But when I get out and sweat, I feel so much more attractive. I never realized how vain I am! Maybe it’s just me (though I suspect it’s not), but how I look is really important to me. And even though pregnancy has definitely forced me to alter my ideas of what is attractive, running gives me a little boost in the mornings. Shallow? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.

Ps: If you’re pregnant and have never really been into exercising, you can start today! Seriously. I feel like I’ve heard all my life that you can maintain the intensity of your workouts after you get pregnant, but you certainly can’t start exercising if you haven’t already been doing it. FALSE! Unless your doctor gives you the thumbs down, you can start exercising for the first time when you are pregnant if you start out easy. Make sure to read this for more information if you’re thinking about exercising during pregnancy!

And on that note, I’m going to bed. And I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning! Am I the only one out there who absolutely adores these appointments? I’m just hoping this one doesn’t involve… an exam. You know what kind of exam I’m talking about. Eek.