{Why you should consider streaking!} #rwrunstreak 2016

I can’t say enough about my #rwrunstreak experience this summer.  In the past streaks have been hit or miss, and I’d never been as successful with streaking as I was with this streak.  I’m super proud of running 34 out of 36 days during the streak.

What was unexpected about this streak is all the benefits I gained from maintaining my streak.  I share them with you in hopes that you might try your own streak or join in the fall/winter streak from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day later this year and benefit, too.

{Benefit #1-Build on or maintain your fitness level.}

Even more rewarding than the number of days I ran was the way streaking helped me maintain and even build my fitness.  I attribute streaking with being the main reason why my recent 5 mile race at 24 weeks pregnant felt so great.  Running a mile feels like nothing most days now.  I also feel much stronger during runs of several miles than when I started out even though I’ve gained more weight and bump as my pregnancy has progressed.

This makes streaking a perfect way for runners to get back into running and to build fitness without overwhelming the body.  Because you get to pick the distance you run each day (as long as it is at least one mile) you can listen to your body.  Legs tired from your run the day before? Run one easy active recovery mile.  Legs feeling great and strong?  Go for a longer run.  You can always run just one mile tomorrow.  Maybe you just ran a marathon? A streak where you determine the miles not a training plan can be a perfect way to recover and find joy in running again.

{Benefit #2-Find you love of running.}


I know, I know streaking requires running everyday.  How can this make you love running? You get to control your run everyday.  You get to pick where, how far, how long, etc.  You can get creative with your route or run the same route each day.  You can determine your miles before you leave or run by feel and turn around whenever you want.  There is no training plan telling you what you must do.  Just you and your running shoes out for a run. Whether a newbie runner or an experienced runner getting back into running, you can find enjoyment in pounding the pavement.  Starting is always hard, but it will get easier!  Just don’t expect to love it right away.

I found that being able to run what I want, when I want made me find a lot more joy in running.  Yes, some days I dreaded getting out there, but I got to have that I-just-ran accomplished and awesomeness feeling, you guessed it, EVERY SINGLE DAY (well, except two.)  Talk about loving your run!

{Benefit #3-Lose the I’m busy excuse.}

I get it.  We are all busy.  I find myself using this word so much that I actually annoy myself.  But, guess what?  We all have time for streaking.  One of my biggest barriers to working out is feeling busy and like I don’t have time.  Make time for at least that mile and you will find making time for running gets easier and more important.  What is important to us we do.  I started planning ahead and over the course of the streak have gotten much better about making time in my life for running than I was prior to starting the streak.

Because you get to run what you choose each day it allows for the craziness of life to happen.  Have an unexpected event come up?  Run just one mile when you get home.  Have a crazy day ahead?  Run just one mile in the morning before your day begins.  Find yourself with some extra time?  I know me neither, but go longer.  It is the perfect plan for the busy person.

{Benefit #4-Lose the other excuses, too}

It is so easy to make excuses.  I’m pregnant so don’t even get me started on this.  If I wanted I could come up with an excuse every SINGLE day.  I’m tired.  My bump feels heavy. I’m nauseous.  I didn’t have a chance to eat yet.  I’m dehydrated.  My feet hurt.  My arches hurt.  It’s too late.  It’s too hot.  We have somewhere to be soon.  My back hurts.  I have a headache.  It’s raining.  I have heartburn.  I’m bored with my running route.  My Garmin is dead.  My phone is dead.  I’m sick of my running playlist.  The list goes on.  I’m pretty sure all of these excuses crossed my mind at least once during my streak time.  We all make them at times, but overcoming them can be so good for us.

Streaking helped me realize that I do have time to run that one mile before my packed day. It helped me see that running a mile at 9:30 p.m. is both doable and rewarding.  Streaking helped me see that no matter how hot, wet or dreadful the conditions a mile or two is definitely possible.  Overcoming excuses everyday has helped me make less of them.

{Benefit #5-Find your me time again.}

We all have demands in life.  Some days we feel like someone always needs us for something.  Our to do list is longer than the time in our schedule.  We just want some time for ourselves once and while.  Even just 10-15 minutes would have a rejuvenating impact.

Hello, #rwrunstreak!  Without intending for streaking to give me time to myself, it ended up giving me time to myself multiple days a week.  Some days were stroller runs.  Some days were family runs.  A lot of days though were just me and my music and my running shoes hitting the pavement.  It became a chance for me to clear my head, breathe the fresh air or catch up on some guilty pleasure TV while running on the treadmill.  It was time I would have struggled to give myself otherwise and I felt happier all around because of it.

{Benefit #6-Make running a habit.}

On the last day of my streak I mentioned to my husband feeling a sense of loss that the streak was ending. What would I do when I didn’t have to run?  How would I organize my day if a run wasn’t in it?  Without forcing it to or trying to running had become a need and something I wanted to be a part of each day.  Not running seemed, well, weird.

A few days post-streak with a few days off and I’m itching to run.  I feel grouchy having missed a couple of days.  I like that I have a need and desire to run each day again.  It makes it so much easier to keep at it and enjoy all these benefits when I want to run.

{Benefit #7-Get over a distance requirement.}

In the past if I didn’t “have time” to run more than two miles I wasn’t going.  I always thought what was the point?  I wouldn’t feel like I worked out.  It would be a waste of time when I could get something else done.  There is no fitness benefit to such a short distance.

Post-streak I know this is absolutely not true.  If you are not training for a long distance race, then running even just a mile a day can feel like a workout and build fitness.  It can relieve stress and make you feel more relaxed.  A mile IS enough to change a bad mood or negative attitude.  A mile can make you feel accomplished.  And all those one mile runs add up over 36 days.  Even running one mile each day is 36 miles at the end of this streak.

Of the 66.6 miles I ran during my streak, 21.5 of those miles were from runs of less than two miles.  21.5 miles I would have skipped in the past because they wouldn’t have been enough or really counted for an experienced runner like me.*  I’ve had a change of heart and now see the benefit in running “just one mile.”  There is no mileage requirement to be a runner after all and this helped remind me of this.

*Keep in mind for a beginner or someone getting back into running this is great mileage.

{Benefit #8-Run further.}

Some days your run a mile and you are ready or have to be done.  On occasion though everything clicks and a planned one mile run turns into two and then three miles or more. You got yourself out the door, the hardest part, by saying “just one mile.”  Then running took over and you ran further than you thought you would.  Streaking allows you this opportunity everyday.  If you give yourself a chance, you might surprise yourself.  I know I did on a multiple occasions.

Before you think streaking is not your thing or say you can’t, consider the benefits!  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Now go run just that one mile!


Bumpdate {24 Weeks}

Today I am 25 weeks and the photo below was taken yesterday.  So much for keeping up with these updates!  With the 4th of July holiday we were on the go and did not have time to take a bumpdate photo.  Oh, well!

Baby Girl,

We may have found a name for you!  Just like last time we casually came across a name without looking in a baby book that both your dad and I like.  It is way too early to say if it will be your name or not as lots could change, but we’ve started calling you it on a regular basis.  Of course your dad still calls you Mildred quite often, our nickname for you.  I do not use this name as I just can’t.  You are not a Mildred.  

This past week we bought your brother a baby doll to get ready for your arrival along with some big brother books.  He could not wait to get his doll out of the box and immediately gave her kisses.  It was so sweet.  We could be wrong, but we think he will be such a sweet big brother.

We can’t wait to give you kisses for real in a few months!



Feeling: More like myself

Last Thursday marked 24 Weeks for baby girl and I.  The past few weeks I have been feeling much more like myself.  I have not been so emotional and have been getting my drive back to get stuff done full force.  This is so exciting for me.  I love being productive.

Cravings:  Cereal (Kellogg’s Special K with Red Berries and Chocolate Chex)

Weight Gain: At my 25 week appointment today I was up 15.75 total pounds.  This brought on a panic initially because that means I gained just over 8 pounds in the last month. Eeekkkk!! I did look back at my last pregnancy weight gain and this exact same month I gained 7.5 pounds and then my weight gain leveled off again until the end.  Here’s to hoping that’s the case this time, too.

Or maybe it had something to do with wearing jeans and long sleeves to this appointment compared to a sundress last time.  We will find out.  I try not to stress too much as I believe if you are eating right and exercising your body does what it needs when you are pregnant, but seeing an increase like I did is never easy.  I remain about 3 pounds lighter than my last pregnancy at this point even with the big jump this month.  A healthy baby girl is all that matters, but let’s be real.  We would all prefer a healthy child without unnecessary weight gain.

Symptoms:  I’m still feeling tired at the end of the day and I’m thinking this may be here to stay.  New with this bumpdate are that lower back aches are becoming a regular along with some sciatic nerve pain.  Nightly heartburn after I go to bed showed up a week or two ago just like during my first pregnancy.

Exercise/Workouts:  I maintained my #rwrunstreak during the past few weeks logging the following miles during each week along with the following workouts: 

Week 22-Ran 10 miles (2.05, 3, 1.1, 1.2, 2.64) Both of my missed runs during my #rwrunstreak from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July were during this week.  It was a tough week.

 Week 23-Ran 12.8 miles (1, 1, 1.07, 2.04, 1.5, 5, 1.2), 1 strength training session, 1 short hike (.8 miles) and 1 hour outdoor yoga class.

Looking Forward To:

 Getting baby girl’s room complete (same as last time).  I purchased most of the items we are going to be putting in her room.  Now it is time to tape, paint and decorate.  Hopefully we will have some time to get to this soon.



{Remembering Jesse Parker Race Report-5 Mile}

Saturday I ran the Remembering Jesse Parker 5 Mile Race.  Because of the races proximity to one of my favorite holidays, the Fourth of July, I just had to take the opportunity to dress in Merica related attire (Tank-For Two Fitness, Shorts-Oiselle, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands).  If you follow me on Instagram @sneaksandstilettos or on Facebook, then you know I did not wake up feeling like I wanted to run this race…at all.

Running this race though was such a powerful reminder to myself that sometimes we don’t even know what is best for ourselves.  I wanted to run the race, but didn’t feel like it that morning.  Had I given in to those negative thoughts, I know I’d be regretting it now. Instead I got myself ready, out the door and to the start line despite not wanting to.

Once that gun fired I was surprised by how good it felt to be out there amongst others running.  The race atmosphere is so inspiring and uplifting.  Seeing other runners go for it also makes me love running races.  Everything just clicked Saturday morning, and I felt strong and great the entire race.  I was able to maintain a slightly faster pace than what I likely would have running on my own.  Just another benefit of racing!

While running pregnant I never focus on my pace too much.  Lately though I have been liking using my Garmin more than my Runkeeper app so I can keep a close eye on my pace. This helps me make sure I’m not going too hard when that uplifting song comes pumping through the headphones.  Going too fast just makes the rest of the run harder these days, and I try to maintain a conversation pace a majority of the time when running.

Saturday the miles felt easy and my pace reflected that.  Despite one bathroom stop just before mile 3 being included in my time, I managed a 9:57 pace overall according to my Garmin.  Some days I run this pace, some days a bit faster and other days slower for sure. Each day is different when pregnant running.  At 24 weeks pregnant I will definitely take it!  Going by feel is the best advice I’d give to women looking to run while pregnant.  Use the watch as a reference not an expectation and you’ll be much less disappointed or frustrated as your pregnancy progresses.

I kept having to tell myself to not get caught up in the race and slow down.  I had the whole race to go!! Racing (or running) pregnant is all about listening to your body, running appropriate paces and accepting that your performance will not be what it would be if you were not pregnant. Race times will slower, your place higher and your pace not what you are used to. So why race when pregnant? Racing is a great way to keep elements of the sport you love and can be incredibly motivating to keep running as the weeks creep towards 40!

My mile splits are included below as this is a race report, but is only for my reference.

Mile 1-9:21

Mile 2-10:02

Mile 3-10:58 (Bathroom break)

Mile 4-9:55

Mile 5-9:28

Overall I’m feeling really good while running and am so excited that running 5 miles still feels great and fairly easy on most days.  Again each day is different, but I was already getting very uncomfortable on most of my runs at this point in my first pregnancy.  Here’s to hoping this feeling good continues.  I’m attributing a lot of how I’m feeling to the consistency of my running with completing the Runner’s World Run Streak from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July.  Stay tuned for a post on my #rwrunstreak this week!

Here’s to more pregnant miles!

Remembering Jesse Parker 5 Mile Race
Age Group-7/11


{Motivation Monday-Winter Cold And Yuck!}

So this post is much later than normal, but that is with good reason. Yesterday was sort of crazy! We were supposed to host Friendsgiving, and we did but it was not as expected. One friend and her husband got in an car accident on the way to our house, so they didn’t make it. Another friend’s husband ended up taking his brother to the airport and with slippery, snowy roads wouldn’t make it back in time. Instead of eight of us there were five. On top of that I wasn’t feeling well, but thought I knew why.

Fast forward an hour or two after our guests left. I was feeling terrible, but had fallen asleep on the couch (it was 8:00 p.m.-I never do that). All of a sudden I hear Ryan yelling and racing off the couch because…our Christmas tree had fallen over! How that happened we haven’t a clue…Elf??!! Elf claims no involvement in the incident.
He caught it before it hit the table with a candle burning on it. I shot up off the couch to help. Ornaments were everywhere, although only a few shattered on the floor. Now picture this, Ryan is trying to screw the tree back in the stand while I’m standing and holding the tree. I realized the sudden movement had made me feel extra queasy. That’s right the taco chicken chili our guests enjoyed would be coming back up! I ran to the bathroom leaving Ryan to hold the tree from the bottom until I came back. This process happened about four more times before we got the tree up. Poor Ryan was stuck under that tree for awhile, poor me and my repeated up chucking! I’d like to say the grossness was over, but it was a long night.

Needless to say I’ve broken my #rwrunstreak (bah humbug) and missed my #elf4health circuit workout today. Hopefully I’m feeling healthy enough to workout tomorrow. Today was a day spent in the couch feeling like crap. I’m hoping to eat something tonight. Days like yesterday and today are good reminders of how great it feels when we are healthy. I’m far too often guilty of taking my health for granted. Being sick and an accident are all reminders that someday we might not be healthy or able to do what we want to do.
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This week and in the future don’t put off what you could do today. Take that challenge and go for it. You never know when that opportunity might be taken from you. Run in that cold weather. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do, but seem to always put off.
Oh, and make sure your trees are secure people!

Happy Monday!

{Friday Fab 5-Christmas Decor Special}

If you know me, then you know me and Christmas go together like a couple who are nauseatingly in love.  Despite the rare fact that we don’t have a tree yet, we have lots of other holiday decor in the house right now. I posted most of my running photos to Instagram this week because I am participating in Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak (run everyday from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day), so here are some of my favorites from decorating this week!

{#1-My advent calendar}

Advent calendar

I made this last year out of a mini-muffin tin after never finding one I liked.  In each muffin spot is either a holiday activity or tradition to do such as watch a Christmas movie, get peppermint hot cocoa and walk to look at holiday lights, or build a snowman.  It’s a fun way to celebrate the season and get excited each morning.

{#2-Holiday Garland and Mistletoe}


Keepin’ the romance alive one kiss at a time.  I recently read somewhere that some married people kiss only once a week.  The average is 11 to 40 times per week, but those kisses last only a few seconds.  Regardless of the number, kisses happen way less frequently in married couples than dating couples (or so this article said).  Why not try to change this?!

{#3-Lottery Advent Calendar}
I’m not for sure if you can call this decor, but I do.  It decorates our refrigerator, and it gives us hope that one day we will have both of our student loans paid off.  One can dream right?  Oh, and we take turns lifting a flap and scratching that days ornament.  I have the odd days this year.  I secretly picked odds because you get to go first, last, and have an extra day.  😉

{#4-My advent tree}
I know, what is with me and advent decor.  This little tree is in our bedroom, and I hold it near and dear.  My grandma gave this to me for Christmas when I was in elementary school.  The lights have since stopped working, but the joy it brings me to wind it up and hear it play music everyday after opening a drawer and adding an ornament to the tree hasn’t.  This was always a favorite of mine growing up, and it still is.  I always think of her when I add an ornament.

{#5-Our Christmas village}


This village once belonged to my mom.  She passed it on to me several years ago.  It is time consuming to put up, but so pretty when it is done.  And a couple more photos because it is just that festive and lovely.



Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-Holiday Running Mix}


My RunKeeper was acting weird last night, AND I know I DID NOT run or swim across the lake last night!

I love the holidays-the lights, the movies, the music, the everything! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to run to Christmas music while enjoying the lights in people’s yards, the festive parks, and to de-stress from the holidays. The first snow usually occurs during the holiday season and provides a change in scenery for the same routes.

To brighten your next run, I’ve created a holiday run mix to put some festive energy into your upcoming miles. The first and last couple of songs are just a bit slower beat than the others to let your properly warm up and cool down between the main part of your run. If you are participating in Runner’s World run streak (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day), then this mix will likely help you complete a run everyday between now and New Year’s Day. If you hate holiday music, then bah humbug to you! Remember even a mile a day can help relieve holiday stress and put some extra spirit in your holiday cheer!
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Happy Monday!


{Motivation Monday-Thanksgiving Week}

With Thanksgiving just days away, it is time to start planning your exercise and food choices TODAY. Yes, I said today. I find that by planning workouts and thinking about food ahead, I’m much less likely to miss workouts and go crazy with food. With the holidays bringing yummy foods and traditions that revolve around food, I find it best not to restrict myself from having foods I really enjoy. Some foods I don’t really love (aka gravy), so I choose not to eat them. Foods that I love that are associated with specific holidays such as pumpkin pie always find there way onto my holiday plate. I also try to fill up on healthy foods like vegetables first. To get you thinking about your food choices, consider this photo below and the miles you’d have to run after eating this meal. The point is to eat what you really enjoy and not what you don’t.
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This year I’m balancing my extra turkey day treats with a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. What a great way to mix in physical activity along with your regular traditions. I try to make sure I consistently workout during the holidays as I know I will be indulging in extra calories. By sticking to a workout plan and eating healthy meals when not enjoying treats of the season, I don’t feel guilty having some extra calories at specific times during the holidays. I also don’t finish the holidays feeling like I’ve got an eternity of working out to do to lose the unwanted pounds gained.

If you need some extra running motivation, take a look at Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak Challenge. The goal is to run a mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. That’s really only 10 minutes a day (tips to be successful)!

One last holiday motivation challenge is the Elf for Health Challenge (outlined below) that addresses many overall healthy choices and lifestyle changes.

How do you balance food, fun, and exercise during the holiday season? Which of these challenges would you be most likely to tackle? Choose one-you CAN!

Happy Monday!