Virginia-Wine-Country-Half-Marathon.png

Tomorrow! I’m running the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon

So … tomorrow I am running my 2nd half marathon of this pregnancy!! The lovely people of Destination Races invited me to come and run the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon.

I OF COURSE said yes, because I heart running and also one of my very best friends Addie recently moved to Loudoun County, where the half is held.  

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon

Loudoun County is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 45 miles or 1 hour west of Washington DC In 2014.

I have been to Loudoun Country once before and couldn’t wait to come back.  I knew that there were some fab wineries and breweries (which sadly I cannot partake in right now! – 113 days to go, and still craving a cold beer) 

loudon valley vineyards

**In my experience all things in Loudoun are very kid friendly.  The wineries and restaurants all have an outdoor space that kids can run around safely and there are always a lot of families. **

I have also been dying to run in Loudoun County.  Check out this awesome trail:

W&OD Trail Run:

Built along the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, this car-free path takes visitors from Alexandria to the town of Purcellville, in Loudoun, VA.

Along the run in Loudoun, stop between mile marker 25 and 26 for a local craft beer at Old Ox Brewery or some live music at Lost Rhino Brewery. 

Continue the journey through the historic town of Leesburg, established in 1758, where you will enjoy boutique shops and locally owned restaurants.

 Visit the Wine Kitchen for a refreshing meal featuring local produce and wine, or dine al fresco at Shoe’s Cup & Cork. There, squeeze in a game of bocce in their outdoor court.

At the end of the trail in Purcellville, take a picture with the giant LOVE artwork at the train station or enjoy a glass of Virginia vino on the patio of Magnolias at the Mill, located in a circa 1905 restored mill. 

loudon county

I really can’t wait for this half, its going to be beautiful and Addie is also running with me.  I will say that I’m a bit nervous.  Running is touch and go, I never really know how I will feel … but I figure even if I walk a bunch, 13 miles through vineyards with a great friend is not a bad way to spend a saturday morning :) 

running buddy

#TBT NYC Marathon that didn’t happen 2013 … with Addie, whom I can’t wait to “wog” 13.1 with tomorrow!!

Stay tuned for outfits via my instagram … I am struggling with what to wear! 

pregnancy-running.jpg

5 Modifications for Pregnant Runners

Every woman who is pregnant is different, here are 5 modifications that helped me be a stronger pregnant runner… I hope it can give some advice to other #mamalete and #mamalete to-be runners

Running is huge part of my life.  My day doesn’t quite feel complete without a run, and everyone around me knows it.  My husband has looked at my frazzled self many times and asked me if I needed to go run.  My kids assume that when I step out of the house I’m running somewhere.  But it wasn’t always that way.  My husband learned what my outlet was and #theGs weren’t always the hugest fan of my sport … although I feel that we came to terms with my running some time when they were in vitro.  

This pregnancy is different.  This boy is stubborn.  He doesn’t love my running and although I have had extensive conversations with him about it, we are still not on the same page.  It doesn’t stop me from trying but it absolutely proves to me that all pregnancies are different.  If running with a twin pregnancy can feel easier than running with a singleton … there is just no rhyme or reason to comfort while running in pregnancy.  

However here are a few tips that have helped me in both pregnancies.  

Pregnancy running

1. Get comfortable shoes.  

This is not a time to try out anything minimal.  You’re carrying more weight than you are used to, and your joints are more malleable than normal.  Put on some supportive stability shoes for maximum balance potential.  

Shoes pregnancy

Brooks Ghost or Hoka Cliftons are my shoes of choice 

2. Sports Bra, Sports Bra, Sports Bra.  

I cannot tell you how many moms-to-be and new moms tell me they don’t run because of their boobs.  I get it, they’re swollen and painful … and any kind of bounce is agony.  Before you set yourself up for frustration, get a good sports bra.  

I don’t know if this is normal or not, but I typically grow 3-4 cup sizes in the duration of a pregnancy which means I can absolutely not squeeze into my much smaller bras.  I have tried A LOT of bras between this pregnancy and last … my absolute favorite are Lynx No Bounce Racerback Sports Bra.  They are magical and life changing.  

Lynx Sports Bra

3. Stride.  

My stride shortens in pregnancy.  I think its because I want to slow down, I also think its because my balance isn’t the same.  I recommend consciously taking a shorter stride.  I find that it leads to less hip pain and allows me to run at a deliberately slower pace.  

4. The Talk Test

This is a controversial one.  According to my doctors and the new medical research on active pregnant women, the advice to keep your heart rate below 140 is outdated.  The new advice is to test your ability to talk easily.  I find that I can get up to 160 and still be able to hold a conversation easily.  TIP: when I am not with a buddy I will try singing a song to myself out loud.  People may stare a little – but you gotta do what you gotta do! 

5. Ditch your Garmin

This is not a time to think about pace.  Follow your breath, do the talk test … but don’t go out for a run with a base pace in mind.  This one is particularly hard for me, I tend to plan something like 4 miles in 35 mins .  Somedays that may just happen, but more often than not it takes me longer to run 4 miles.  Rather than be worried that I’m too slow and therefore running late to the next thing I have to do, I now set out for an amount of time.  I tell myself I have 40 mins and I can either run, or walk or a combo of both.  I never feel stressed about it, and I never feel pressure to run faster.  

pregnancy running

Most of all … celebrate yourself.  Celebrate the fact that you are moving and shaking through these huge life and body changes.  Also, running is a fantastic form of fitness, but its not the only one.  Any kind of active mama is a winner in my book! 

The-North-Face-Ultra-Kilowatt-Shoe.jpg

Confidence in Pregnancy

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The North Face for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don’t miss the $500 North Face Giveaway below!

Confidence is something that I struggle with in pregnancy.  I wish I was one of those women who embrace their new body and rock the super tight preggo dresses with swagger … but I am not.  Thats not to say that I don’t take pride in the amazingness of whats happening, I just don’t love all of the changes that come along with it.  

I mean lets be real, pregnancy isn’t about suddenly having a huge belly.  It mean suddenly larger boobs, a larger bum, swollen ankles, skin and hair unlike it was before … all accompanied by extreme nausea and occasional vomiting.  #sexy sometimes It takes some work for a lady to feel beautiful and confident in this state.  

I’ve found that the sure way to a confidence buzz kill is trying to squeeze myself into pre-pregnancy clothes.  Yes some of them fit, but they don’t fit well and I can feel how different my body is in them.  Workout clothes is at the top of my don’t squeeze into list.  (Namely sports bras and shorts) 

Thankfully I have had the opportunity to test out some new clothes from The North Face … in slightly larger sizes :) 

The North FAce Mountain Athletics Gear

A. WOMEN’S GTD WOVEN TANK – as you can see this one is still a little big on me, but I love the longer length and the active stretch fabric.  I know it will be a short time before the bump fills this one out! (also … IRL this is day glow coral which i love, but is a little different than the pics online)

The North Face Tank

B. WOMEN’S ULTRA KILOWATT TRAINER – I just love these shoes.  First for their bright and bold color.  I actually had a runner yell – “We aren’t going to lose you in those shoes!” as he passed me the other day.  Haha.  They are also very springy, which is a lovely way to spend your run.  I love a little bounce in my step.  

The North Face Ultra Kilowatt Shoe

C. WOMEN’S BOUNCE-B-GONE BRA – The color of this bra just makes me happy.  I wouldn’t say that the bounce is completely gone, for instance I would need more support for a long run.  However for cross training and walking this is perfect.  

The North Face Bounce be Gone sports bra. 

*awkward sports bra selfie* 

D. WOMEN’S REFLEX CORE SHORTS – Oh my comfort.  The wide waistband and the loose leg make these my perfect running short.  They never ride up, the waistband stays secure under my belly and they are made of FlashDryXD, a technology that keeps you dry and won’t snag, pill or pull … I will be living in these shorts for the summer! 

The North Face Reflex shorts

I encourage you to check out the line, I was very impressed with the clothing and let me tell you that I am one picky mama right now.  Mountain Athletics from The North Face

Enter the GIVEAWAY here!! 

 The North Face Mountain Athletics Collection Give-Away!

Other ways to connect with North Face:

Visit Sponsors Site

I do feel more confident in well fitting workout clothes … I have also purchased a few maternity piece for my every day wardrobe that are comfy and flattering.  Maybe when my bump is super obvious I will start to love the changes a little more, I know I will love the result of all the changes!!