New Beginnings

[taps the mic] Hello? Hello? is this thing on?

A little over a month ago, I started a new job. It was scary, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and exciting all at once. You see, my employer didn’t know I was pregnant before extended the offer. (Which will be another post on another day, but certainly something that added to my stress level and anxiety about the change.)

It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. I’m working with three different entities in a university setting. My co-workers have been extremely welcoming and incredibly kind. My supervisors have all been open and receptive to both my news and ideas. In addition to all that, the work is exactly what I liked most about my previous position and seems like it could provide more flexibility to me in the future.

Yet, new beginnings are hard. I miss my old co-workers. I miss my 10-minute commute. I miss having my husband on the same campus. However, I also know that this was the right decision. Not just for me and my sanity, but for our family as a whole.

we dont look back.disney

I’m not the only one starting anew this fall. My absolute favorite barre teacher, Rachel, has returned to the classroom. I attended her last class and to say it was bittersweet would be an understatement. Once we bought our house, I began traveling 20 minutes to the gym twice a week so I could continue to take her class. She gave me the push and confidence I needed to substitute teach for her on occasion. She reawakened my love for barre and ballet in general. She also became a friend.

We gathered together a few weeks ago to toast to our new beginnings. While we both know it’s not a goodbye – more of an ‘I’ll see you later’ – it doesn’t make the transition any easier. We spoke of how we know each of our decisions is right for us at this time, the anxiety that comes with starting something new, the change this has and will bring to our families. We also spoke of our excitement, our passion, and how our new journeys will fill a void that we didn’t realize we had until now.

It was wonderful.

Since then, things have only gotten better. I’ve enjoyed the lingering days of summer and, as usual am anxiously awaiting the start of fall. The JA and I feel like we’re in a really good place (and I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that), Baby A+ is doing well, and Watson’s still up to his normal shenanigans.

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter...they were begging to be eaten!

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter…they were begging to be eaten!

I’ve missed this space, but working on websites/social media all day does isn’t exactly inspiring me to come home and get back on my computer right now. I thank you for being patient, and promise to be back soon.

xoxo,

J.

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First Trimester Recap

I know I said this isn’t going to turn into a baby-centric blog, but I did want to let you know what’s been happening during those first few weeks after I announced my pregnancy.

preg header blog.jpg

First Trimester Recap

The Good Stuff
Running my first half marathon
Carbohydrates – specifically cookies, bread, and pasta
Naps
Crabs and shrimp
Seeing the baby for the first time
Hearing the baby’s heartbeat
Sharing the news with our immediate family and close friends

The Not-So-Good Stuff
Other fish/fishy smells
Periodic nausea (but not anything too bad)
Fatigue
Scaling back on intensity/frequency of workouts
HORMONES

The biggest issue for me was learning the limits of my hormone-ridden, pregnant self. If you recall, I ran my first half marathon just before week 9 of my pregnancy. I was burned out from running (or so I originally thought) and didn’t push myself as much as I know I could have. Upon confirming my pregnancy, I also started scaling back during some of my other workouts. I was unsure of how frequent/intense my workouts could be. It was hard knowing that I probably could have pushed myself harder and further, but wanting to protect my (very small) child. Things have gotten better since then, but I definitely had a moment or two where the JA had to talk me through a particularly rough patch while I sat crying and saying, ‘But I could do all this fine before!’

In regard to diet, my doctor has the ‘everything in moderation’ mentality. One of my first questions about food, being from Baltimore, was, “Can I have crabs this summer?” He answered, “Yes” and I was one happy lady. Ice cream has become a regular staple in our grocery cart in addition to gummy bears. I’ve scaled back on other proteins like chicken and fish, but have enjoyed baked ham, shrimp, and tuna here and there. While I do want to do what’s best for my baby, I know that making myself happy will produce a happy child. So if I want an small decaf iced coffee in the morning, I get one.

One question I get asked from non-pregnant friends is about booze. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t miss it. However, the urge to drink simply isn’t there anymore. I do miss champagne, but have used sparkling water to get my carbonation fix. Crabs aren’t the same without a nice cold brew, but I know that this period will only last a short time. Additionally, since my doctor is in the ‘everything in moderation’ camp, he has said that a glass of wine here and there wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I don’t trust my heavy-handed self to pour a correctly portioned glass. If I am to have a glass, it will be with dinner at a restaurant.

I think that’s it. We’re just passed the halfway point (ridiculousness), so let me know if you have any questions for the next recap!

For more information on this crazy journey, check out the Pregnancy page!

Pop Physique

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re well aware that barre is one of my all-time favorite group fitness classes. Being a former dancer, the moves came naturally to me and I reconnected with my inner child. All this without the pain of pointe shoes?! I’m so there.

So when I got the opportunity to attend a free class at Pop Physique Baltimore last week, I jumped at the chance.

pop physique logo

Let me tell you, they don’t call it ‘butt school’ for nothing. Although I’ve been taking barre classes at my gym on a regular basis, this was a bit more intense. This fast-paced, high repetition workout uses small movements to isolate various parts of the body to give you a total body workout within an hour. (Learn more details about the workout here.) Shaky legs are encouraged and the grippy socks are mandatory for a reason. The instructors were knowledgable, encouraging, and succinct – they aren’t there to mess around, they’re there to help you get the most of your workout. However, don’t get the impression that they are extremely disciplined or mean, in fact, just the opposite. They were more than excited to help me modify moves for my pregnancy, but also made sure that my form was on point (no pun intended).

belly at the barre

belly at the barre

While I don’t know if I’ll be back before the end of my pregnancy, the Baltimore shop does have a New Mom’s special so I’m hoping to see the team there in the new year.

TIU group at Pop Physique

Special thanks to Pop Physique Baltimore for opening their doors to the Baltimore Tone It Up crew! I paid a small fee to attend the class, and all thoughts and opinions on the experience are my own.

Spin, Sweat, Sip

I’ve chronicled my journey with running while pregnant, but what about other exercise? I’ve been trying to make the barre class at my local gym on a regular basis, but since I have more time in the summer, I wanted to take the opportunity to test out some of the newer exercise options here in Baltimore.

REV logo

I heard about REV Cycle Studio when they opened, but was a little nervous about attending a class. I haven’t been to cycle in ages, much less with a growing belly. But when I got the invite to #SpinSweatSip, I knew I had to go.

REV studio

The evening began with a preview of REV60Blast, described on the studios website as follows:

“Push through your fitness threshold with our intense, signature 60-minute cycling class. Get inspired by one of REV’s certified indoor cycle instructors, who are trained to help you crush your fitness walls over flats, climbs, and valleys. All fitness levels are welcome.”

Our instructor for the evening was Jami, who led about 20 of us ‘social media influencers’ through 45 minutes of spin combined with strength. It was a great balance and each portion was easily modifiable to fit one’s fitness level. Her music choice was on point, and her teaching style left you invigorated and ready to conquer anything.

SpinSweatSip

Once we finished our workout (which certainly lived up to the promise of making us sweat), we were treated to wine and appetizers from The Wine Market, a local restaurant.

SSS food

All in all, I LOVED this event. Often, a group fitness class can be scary the first time. This way, I was allowed to meet other like-minded people and chat/commiserate about our experience. I also got the chance to speak to REV staff and learn about other classes and specials they currently offer.

SSS group

Special shout outs again to REV for hosting and The Wine Market for feeding us. Can’t wait to return and try out some other classes!

Running While Pregnant: My Story

Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.

If you did the math from my last post, you’ll realize that I ran my first half marathon while pregnant. We found out a few weeks prior to the race and, by doctor’s estimate, thought I was only 6 weeks pregnant (actually, according to a sonogram a few weeks later, I was almost 9 weeks on race day).

I've got a secret...

I’ve got a secret…

If you remember, I felt like I was burning out on running the weeks prior to the race. I was getting very fatigued while running (makes more sense in hindsight) and wasn’t feeling very motivated. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I knew I wanted to continue with the race – it was just a matter of strategy.

After receiving the go-ahead from my doctor, I reached out to a friend of mine who ran a full marathon at 5 weeks pregnant. (Yeah, I know, she’s amazing.) She told me that she ran her race in intervals and recommended I carry a water bottle to remain hydrated. Both of these pieces of advice helped me greatly on race day.

SO weird checking that box on the back of my bib pre-race.

SO weird checking that box on the back of my bib pre-race.

I ran the first few miles of the race straight – starting my intervals around mile 5 and switching them up again around mile 8. My knee began bothering me at that point, and I took the majority of May off from running to let it heal (and because I was still in midst of immense fatigue during my first trimester).

As my energy returned, so did the running bug. However, there were factors to consider before pounding the pavement: some areas of my routes are alongside busy streets with no sidewalks, I’m not willing to sacrifice much-needed sleep in the mornings to get up and run, and the Baltimore humidity being a few. Plus, how would my knee react? I tested it out at the end of May and made it 2 miles before pain shot up my knee.

So, what was I to do – give up running altogether? Not a chance. Not for me. Especially not when the JA’s running again. It would break my heart.

That brings us to now – my second trimester and still not running like I used to. I’m doing intervals in the morning with Watson when I’m feeling up to it. It’s been somewhat of a rough road (ok, so I may have had a huge meltdown on Sunday after only interval-ing a mile), but reading this post from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point helped immensely. I’m slowly learning to temper my expectations, knowing that my body has another purpose now.

All smiles after 2 miles of mostly running yesterday. Victory!

All smiles after 2 miles of mostly running yesterday. Victory!

Have you ever had to take time off from a sport you love? How did you cope?

Finally Free

The weather here in Baltimore was GORGEOUS this weekend. Warm, sunny, breezy, and low humidity – why can’t the entire summer feel like this?

Luckily for us, Watson was cleared for exercise on Friday! If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that with his heart worm treatment, he’s been restricted for multiple months. We’re supposed to ease him back into an exercise routine, but he was having none of it – running laps around the back yard the first chance he got.

puppy selfie

We explored a ‘new to us’ trail on Saturday and Sunday we tested out my knee with 2 miles of run/walk intervals. There wasn’t any pain, so hopefully I’ll be back to running soon!

trolley trail

trolley trail 2

The nice weather is scheduled to continue this week so if you’ll excuse me, I’m unplugging and heading outside!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Losing Steam

Ever have those days when it seems like time is moving so quickly and then you get into work and the day drags on? That’s what my life feels like as of late. It’s so nice outside and there are so many graduation-related activities happening that our ‘down’ time anything but relaxing.

Watson, however, has nothing but time.

Watson, on the other hand, has nothing but time.

With all that’s happening, I’ve definitely lost my workout mojo. I went to barre last week and ran on Sunday, but that’s about it. The humidity is already kicking in here in Baltimore. I’d wake up and work out, but I’d rather snooze. These are lame excuses, but they are swirling in my head. The JA’s been doing wonderfully with continuing his routine – working out a few times a week, sometimes twice a day. But for me, that time is over. Training is done and I’m happy with my race performance. I’m hoping that when Watson’s ‘cage rest’ is finished at the end of the month, that getting back into our morning and afternoon walk routine will light a spark and get me back in the game, but what until then?

lack-of-motivation

I trained for so long for the half marathon that now it’s over, I feel a bit lost. While I don’t want to jump into training anytime again soon, I also don’t want to lose all my dedication and tenacity (not to mention my muscle definition and sense of accomplishment).

HELP! What do you do when you’ve lost motivation?