Friday Five 4/17: Five Things Pregnancy Has Taught Me

Happy Friday! and happy due date to Baby S! In honor of baby's due date, I thought I would share with you five things pregnancy has taught me. The past 40 weeks have truly been a rollercoaster of ups, downs and in-betweens. I've learned a lot and know that motherhood will have it's own learning curve. Here are five things pregnancy has taught me:
1. Pregnancy isn't easy - period. I haven't had a difficult pregnancy or any serious complications or concerns (thankfully we have had no complications) but it certainly wasn't a breeze.

2. Pregnancy teaches you humility- There are a lot of embarrassing things that happen during pregnancy (natural or not some things are embarrassing, it's true!).  After awhile of trying to "keep it together" I finally gave in and did the best I could to make it through the rest of pregnancy with grace, patience and humility. At first it was hard to ask for help and accept that I just couldn't keep the same pace I always had. Once I let myself be vunerable to that, everything went a lot smoother.

3. Listen to your body- A lesson that many runners already know but pregnancy really drove this point home for me. If I was tired, I slept. If I was hungry, I ate. If I needed to be lazy for a bit, I let myself be lazy without feeling guilty. Listen to what body + baby are telling you, don't push too hard (well, at least not until you're in labor :p).

4. Accept help- I am a do-er. I love to be busy, checking things off my never ending to-do list but I learned very quickly to accept help from friends and family. Dishes, cooking, laundry, cleaning, running errands, etc. were all things that people close to me helped with. It was difficult at first, I wanted to do everything, maintain my regular routine and energy level but help from those around me became invaluable when I was sick (for weeks) with morning sickness and towards the end of pregnancy when almost everything drained all of my energy.

5. You are stronger than you think- Pregnancy, like running, has taught me that I can do hard things. 


What Does Being "FIT" Mean to You?

For most of my life, fitness and healthy living and even running, wasn't a part of my lifestyle. Sure I played soccer and basketball (or should I say I attempted to play) in elementary and high school (CYO) but in college, I (like so many others with their new found freedom) was living a far from healthy lifestyle. Only recently (within the last five years) have I made BIG changes in the way I live and the way I view "healthy living". There are a lot of common misconceptions and opinions out there about what it means to be "healthy" and "fit". With different views and opinions being thrown at us via social media, it's often difficult to find your fit identity or what you do that makes you healthy and happy. There's no one size fits all version of being "fit". It could mean being super speedy, strong, flexible, having serious endurance, mastering a difficult skill or it could mean keeping up with your kids, throwing the frisbee around at the park or playing a game of pickup basketball with friends. Being "fit" means something different to everyone.  I've had a lot of time to reflect lately on what choices are best for me and my family so that we lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. It's true what they say: fit isn't a destination it's a way of life. Your version of being "fit" can change, evolve, grow into something totally different.  It's what you actively do in your daily life to keep you healthy and happy. What do I do to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle? Here are a few things I came up with:

Eat Clean- For me, being "healthy and fit" starts with what I fuel my body with. Clean eating- wholesome, fresh foods are a must in our household. I try to keep as much fresh produce in our fridge as possible, make dinner from scratch (rather than takeout or prepared foods) and try to live by the rule "buy nothing from a box" or "avoid the center aisles and stick to the perimeter" when I'm at the grocery store. I'll be the first to admit that we don't always do the best job (I do have a thing for the occasional Shake Shack meal) but for the most part, we do a pretty good job. Room for improvement but not a total failure. Food = fuel for all of life's activities.

Keep Moving- Being sedentary isn't in my nature. I love to be on the go and try to do something everyday that keeps me moving. Whether it be going for a walk, a run, yoga class or trying to squeeze in as many steps as possible, I try to keep on my feet. Being fit to me means to physically keep moving - going for a run, training to be faster and stronger.

Sleep- I'm convinced that a good night's sleep can cure almost anything and is often overlooked as an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Beauty sleep is important ;)

Making myself a priority- Hmm you might be thinking this doesn't fit on the list but it absolutely does! Making myself a priority or carving out time for myself is so important. Going for a run, heading to a yoga class or getting to the gym are all things I do for myself. When I make time for myself and make it a priority, it makes me a better version of myself - a happier person, friend, wife and soon-to-be mama. Everyone needs a little "me" time!

Question: What does being "fit" mean to you?


Music in the Miles

Before I lace up and hit the road (not that that's been happening a lot lately), there is always one running accessory I can't leave home without: my headphones. I've been running with music since I first started.  I enjoy listening to songs that get me movin' and groovin', put a pep in my step, push me and pace me. It sets the mood for my run and it moves me and keeps my legs going. I can't think of a time when I ran (solo) and didn't have music.  I know for some, this is unimaginable, just as running without headphones or music seems unimaginable to me.  I can see the value and enjoyment of running sans music...to clear your head, be alone with your thoughts, hear the noises outside, focus on your breath/footsteps, etc.
I have all different types of play lists: classic rock, country, dance party, pop, 80's, there is even a Disney themed play list (yep, that's right). On longer runs I listen to audio books or podcasts. They help to pass the time and keep me distracted. The only time I don't run with headphones is when I am running with a friend. The music is replaced by conversation.

I also run (most) of my races with headphones.  I am always careful and cautious about this.  I don't have my music too loud, I take them out if I need to hear something or run with only one in but because it's something I always train with.  Not wearing them on race day would make a difference in my performance (or at least I like to think so!).

So...in the debate of headphones vs. no headphones and music vs. no music...where do you stand? What is your power workout song?

Here are a few songs I've added to my running playlist for when I get back out there (it's mostly a mix of pop and country, that's the kinda gal I am!).

Eli Young Band- Turn it On 
Sam Hunt- House Party
Cole Swindell- Let me See Ya Girl
Olly Murs (fet. Demi Lovato)- UP
Mark Ronson + Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (who doesn't have this on their playlist?!)
Zedd- I Want You to Know 

Question: Headphones or no headphones? Music or no music? What's on your playlist? I need to add more to mine!