Thursday, March 26, 2015

Embracing The New Me

When I started life's a wheeze things were very different. I was different. Back then I was starting to get into running, dead set on actually achieving my goal to run my first half marathon, and really frustrated that there wasn't more information out there about running for people like me, people with asthma. I had tons and tons of free time (although I didn't know it then) and my biggest struggles were designing the perfect running tutu costume. I was living on my own, didn't have a strict schedule, and my life revolved around my love of running. Above anything else I was a runner, Running always came first.

I started this blog based on those things. I wanted to provide more information (and hopefully inspiration) to other asthmatics. I wanted accountability to keep me pursuing my goals. And honestly I just loved sharing and creating a discussion about my passion for running and running events. As I grew more confident as a runner and finished more races, I became more and more attached to the blog and I met a lot of amazing people through it.

When I got pregnant, I naively assumed everything would stay the same. I thought I would have to take things slower, maybe back off of distance events until Audrey was here, but I'd continue with running and my blog just the way things were. There are moms that do that right? Soon after I found out I was pregnant (I found out late into my pregnancy - 15 weeks) I learned of some complications I had and was told not to put any stress on my body. I could walk but I wasn't allowed to lift more than 15 lbs and definitely no running. That was a major blow. Later some restrictions were removed but I was never really able to run.

When Audrey was born I chose to breastfeed as doctors encourage all mothers to do. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to take any of my allergy medications as a result (not true for everyone, but it was for me).  I struggled hard to run even a mile here or there without having a major asthma attack. I'm just now getting to the point where I can run again (no more breastfeeding hallelujah) and it's like starting over completely new, maybe even harder. My lungs aren't conditioned, my muscles aren't strong, my joints are loose, and oh yea, finding free time as a mom is crazy hard.

Now, who I am as a person and my priorities in life are so completely changed from who I was when I first started this blog. Above anything else, I am a mother and a wife. Kevin and Audrey are my entire world and running will always come second to my family. Instead of picking out what costume to wear at my next race, I'm endlessly playing games of hide n go seek or coming up with some fun new learning activities. Instead of paying for several 5k races a month, I'm buying diapers and miniature socks that will only be lost under the couch in a few hours time. The Sara that started this blog would never believe it, but I absolutely love every second of my new life. I'm lucky beyond belief.

But what does that mean for the blog? I've missed life's a wheeze so much. I've missed running SOOO much. I kept wanting to post, but I never could run and felt like I couldn't post without any running stories to share. I really want that to change. I still hope to be a runner, I have plans for races coming up now that I'm more capable. However the blog can't be just about running anymore when the reality is, that's just not the biggest part of my life anymore. I will still post about making healthy choices, running, and you better believe family running costumes will be in the future. But I also want to be able to talk about my other passion in life: my family and being a mom. I'm always evolving as a person and I've learned that the blog needs to as well.

Anyways, I've missed you all tons and if you're still interested in hearing what antics my family and I get up to, I hope you stick around. I see big adventures in my future and I can't wait to share them here with you.

QOTD: So, what posts would you like to see coming your way? If there's any topic you are interested in, please leave a comment. I'll be listening!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mommy Workout Series: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Hey guys!

Like most moms of active toddlers I've got a very little free time. I count myself lucky if I can pee alone these days, let alone squeeze in a workout. As a result, I've had to get a little creative in the ways I get my daily burn. After a particularly rough day with Audrey, I was laying in bed trying to honestly think of a point in my day where she was even remotely occupied enough that I could workout AND not in need of my help and it hit me: During her morning preschool shows!

We don't watch a lot of tv around here, but every morning I usually turn on one of the typical toddler shows (like Sesame Street or Sophia the First) and she likes to watch, dance to the songs, and bring her toys to show her tv friends. It's not like I can leave her long, but generally she is occupied enough that I can do my own thing nearby, so that's where I got the idea to create workouts specifically for that golden hour of not-so-free-but-slightly-less-hectic time.

I present to you, The Life's a Wheeze Mommy Workout Series! I will be featuring a new kids show regularly (hopefully once a week) with a workout to go with. I'd love to hear what suggestions you have for shows and any feedback on the workouts (too hard/easy) but I tried this one out and it kicked my booty! I will try to keep these equipment free so that there's even less excuse to miss a workout. I have a few others already started, but the first in the Series is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Workout! We love Mickey Mouse around here and Audrey does too.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm back! First Post-Baby 5k Recap

Hey guys! I'm really back! A week ago I ran in my first 5k back after baby and it felt awesome to get back out there!  (Exclamation Point!! Sorry - can you tell i'm excited??)

I had been meaning to do a race for a while now ( I have been walking a lot and even running a bit) but I just haven't felt like I was ready for a race. However lately a bunch of awesome things fell into place:
  • Kevin got a great new job! It was really hard to give up working together because we really do love it, but this was an amazing opportunity for him so he decided to take it. This was super awesome because it helped lead to....
  • I went part time! We kept debating doing this for a while and we finally decided that it was the best thing for our little family if I could be home more with the baby and we could avoid daycare (grandma watches her 2 days a week). I will also be starting a new job next week and I'm really looking forward to a less stressful environment. Obviously this will make it a lot easier to sneak in some running time on my days at home too!
  • I quit breastfeeding! I made it 9 months with her but I was sooooo ready to give it up even if I did feel guilty about it. I may do a post on my thoughts about it one day, but for now the big thing is I can now take all of my allergy and asthma meds again and I feel healthier than I have in ages. This was huge for me. 
  • Audrey can run! She is officially old enough to ride in the jogging stroller and she actually seems to like it. Yay for being able to run without coordinating babysitting, although I still have to worry about mosquitos and the 100 degree heat.
So all of these things sort of happened at once and then on top of it Kevin's sister (Katie) has started trying to do a couch to 5k program and asked us if we wanted to do a glow run with her again. We agreed and that's how I ended up doing this race. 

The race she chose was the Oklahoma City GloRun 5k. Here's a snippet about the cause it supports:
Proceeds from the race will benefit The Referral Center (TRC). TRC is a local government funded non-profit medically supervised detox facility located here in OKC. We provide full medical care and counseling to those going through drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
The race was pretty pricey for a 5k with no medal ($40 when I signed up) but I was still excited to try it out and the park it was hosted in is the park I do a lot of my training runs in anyways so I knew it would be a good one to start back up.

Packet pickup started at 6pm that night near the start/finish line of the course and there were a few fun activities. Once you picked up your bib there was a DJ playing fun dance music, glow paint stations, places to buy glowing tutus and tiaras, and a shaved ice truck. There may have been more going on but we got there fairly close to the start of the race and it was a little crowded so we didn't do much wandering around.

After we picked up our packets we pinned on our bibs and got our glow sticks all lit up and ready to go. I decided not to dress up a lot this race (I'm still feeling a little self-conscious post baby) but I'm pretty sure I will start back up again soon. Katie did dress up and got lots of compliments and it made me really miss running in a tutu! I did have really awesome led laces and some glow face paint. By the way: glow face paint doesn't glow during runs. Lame.

We snapped a bunch of pics and then it was time for the 1 mile race to begin. The race was a little weird because the start and finish line were the same location for both races. The problem with that was that they had the 1 milers run and then made the 5k runners line up and then the 1 milers were coming back into the mob. The DJ saved it when he told the 5k runners to make a tunnel and cheer on the 1 milers but it seemed pretty disorganized. In addition there were no volunteers stationed at the parking lot that connected to the race route so there were people accidentally driving down the race route for the 1 milers. That got straightened out fairly quickly though!

After the last of the 1 milers made it back it was time to start the 5k. The course itself wound around the park through trees and plenty of dark areas and had small rolling hills. It was cool with everyone wearing LED and glow in the dark gear. Before the race, Kevin and I agreed we would walk most of it since he hasn't run at all in over a year and I've only done a few 1 mile bursts. That plan went out the window when Katie wanted to stick to her training plan (she's doing couch to 5k and it had set intervals she was supposed to run that night) and we didn't want to get split up, so we decided to try sticking with her as long as we could.

The course itself was pretty simple, with  two "glow tunnels" along the way (big black tunnels with black lights and bright paint designs) and not much else to make it a glow run. We could hear the DJ for the majority of the race and it was a fun way to cheer us on. There were also volunteers every quarter of a mile or so with flashlights pointing in the right direction (the path was very well marked).

I felt great the first mile or so but then started to have a little trouble keeping up with Katie (she was supposed to run 5 min straight at one point) so we had to slow down and take shorter intervals. We did manage to keep an average pace of about 14:40 overall including stops to take pictures and fix my shoelaces (they were the light up kind and they kept falling off!) several times. We had seriously planned to walk it so I was glad that we managed to jog as much as we did.

fake running shots are a must

Running next to Kevin again was great. We don't get a lot of time for us as a couple anymore because of the baby so it felt great to be next to him doing something that made me feel like I can only describe as "home". I had no idea how much I missed running in general, but especially having time for the two of us. When we run together we tease each other and talk about the course or silly little things that pop in our heads. Getting too cheesy here sorry, but spending time with him without cell phones, computers, work talk, or baby talk really is the best feeling. I'm one lucky girl!

After about 2.5 miles I guess Katie finished her training plan and started to slow down (it has set intervals for a certain amount of time) so we caught up with her and kept together to almost the finish line. She wanted to sprint to the end about a quarter mile away and we waited a little longer. Once we finished we got our finisher ribbons and cheered on other runners behind us.

Overall I had a great time, but there were some things I didn't like, so I'll break it down for you:

  • The good:
    • The DJ was a nice touch and he was playing some great music and saved a lot of awkward situations
    • The event in general was run by really nice people. Everyone we talked to seemed really sweet and supportive and there was a lot of cheering going on along the sidelines. 
    • The course was well really well marked.
  • The bad:
    • The parking situation was not clear at all. The race blocked off one of the major parking lots for the park so a lot of people (myself included) were trapped until the last people finished the race and as I said before, some were even driving down the course. 
  • The ugly:
    • There were no water stops along the course. The race was advertised as a family race and there were lots of small kids (under 10) trying to run and these poor kiddos were complaining they were thirsty. Considering we were running in the dark in 100 degree heat, I think it's even more important to provide water for everyone.
Well that wraps up this race recap! I had a blast getting back out there, but I don't think it was the most organized race. I think I'd do it again if they could make a few improvements and/or lower the price. See you soon guys!

** Sorry night races = crappy pics. I promise to take better pics next time!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

long time no see!

I've missed you guys! Sorry it's been so long. My little girl is officially over 6 months old now (wow time flies) and I think I'm actually ready to get back into the world of running again. I thought I was before but hah! lol

*If you don't want to hear about breastfeeding woes, skip this part and know that it says blah blah blah excuse blah blah want to get back out there lol*

I tried running a few times while I was away from the blog but it always ended badly. I couldn't take my allergy meds (still breastfeeding and it decreases your supply) so my asthma hasn't been cooperating. However, my girl is now 6 months old and I'm so proud we made it this long while breastfeeding. I was planning on going a full year (and still hope to), but things have been tricky. I've always had issues with supply and had to supplement with formula from the start (drs orders) but I tried everything to increase my supply. It just never happened. Then I found out my little one has reflux and we started to realize that she does so much better with formula. I know that's not true for most people and I seriously DO recommend you breastfeed if you can, but for us it's always been a struggle because breast milk makes my little one sick. Anyways, long story short, I'm starting back up my allergy medicines now. I've come to the conclusion that running and being a healthy (both emotionally and physically) mom is way more important to my little girls overall health than maybe an extra ounce of breast milk a day. I will still keep breastfeeding and hope to make it to the year mark, but I've finally decided to allow myself to be ok with taking care of myself too.

*okay we're done now!*

The point is, I'm really ready to commit to being healthy again and I'd love all the support I can get! Once Audrey is 8 months old (on July 4th), I'm allowed to start running with her. In order to ramp up to running I will be walking at least one mile every day (and hopefully more some days( until that day and I plan to do a 5k on the 4th of July as well. If you are trying to start up exercising again, or maybe doing it for the first time, send me an email and we can harass each other into actually sticking to our goals! Who's with me? Please, PLEASE don't be shy. Let's actually do this!

I really will try to post more I pinky swear! I had no idea how incredibly time consuming having a little baby at home and working with an hour commute each way would be! Eek! Speaking of my little girl, here's some obligatory cute baby (and daddy) pics!