Monday, October 16, 2017

Training For My First Race Postpartum

When I was barely nine weeks pregnant I completed a half marathon. I had been given the green light from my doctor, so I finished that race with my little bundle of joy inside me. That race is one of my favorite half marathons so I was actually really happy that I was able to complete it. And I still felt great afterwards so that was an added bonus. Immediately after the race was over (maybe about a week later) I signed up for the 2018 race knowing I would only be a few months postpartum. I figured it would be my motivation to get back into shape. Well now that I am officially cleared to run and workout, I have 14 weeks to get ready for the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

Usually before I start my training for any race I set a goal. I like to write down what I want to accomplish just so that I can keep myself accountable. This time around I am having a hard time figuring out what my main goal will be. I have been eyeing a PR, but lets be honest I would probably cause more harm to my body if I push for that. It took nine months (technically10) to create my tiny little human being, so I imagine it will take that long for everything to fall back into place. 

I know there are some female runners that can just pick up where they left off but I am unfortunately not one of those. Last week was my first time running and I can say with all honesty that I ran faster while being pregnant. Yeah I didn't expect that but hey I am rolling with the punches. I figured I would be slow but not that slow. Take in mind though, I am now running with a stroller so that is something I have to get used to. Something else I have to get used to is being more flexible. There will be days when I know I won't be able to run or workout because the baby will require my attention. Also, I am still trying to figure out this whole nursing and running thing. I literally have to plan my days around my baby's naps and feedings. So knowing all of this, it makes it a bit hard to set a goal and create an adequate training plan.  

What I've decided is to go week by week and modify my training plan accordingly. For the most part I'll shoot for 3-4 weekly runs, but I am not going to be worried about time. I figure the time will start to go down further along. I'm thinking half way through my training I'll get an idea of what my pace will be for the race. I'll also incorporate at least 2-3 weight lifting days to get back the muscle I lost during pregnancy. In the past, weight lifting has helped me strengthen muscles pivotal in running and in turn helped me get faster (double bonus). Stamina is what I am most worried about this time around. Last week the most I was able run was three miles and I was huffing and puffing to finish that. I'm hopeful that each week my stamina will get better...fingers crossed. Lastly, I am hoping to find the time to blog about my first race postpartum. I am going to shoot for posting my weekly training workouts on either Sunday or Monday. So follow me along on my training for my first race postpartum!

Any new moms out there training for their first race?
(would love to hear from you)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Surviving The First Six Weeks Postpartum

When I became pregnant I started reading on what to expect during the 40 weeks. I read articles online, blogs, books, and even talked to my friends that have had kids. When it came to labor, I knew what to expect since I've attended many deliveries for my job. Sure my birth story was not what I initially wanted but in the end I received a beautiful baby girl. What people didn't warn me about (and what I failed to research) was what would happen after birth. Yeah, nobody likes talking about it because it isn't pleasant. They want you to be all happy with your baby and not be tainted by what your body goes through afterwards. 

So yeah, postpartum completely took me by surprise. Somehow I just assumed that once the baby came out, my body would go back to normal. I mean seriously what was I thinking? I knew I would be lacking sleep but the rest of the stuff that came along was a little bit of a shock to me. 

*This blog entry may contain a bit of TMI so if you don't care to read about what the female body goes through after having a baby then I suggest you check my blog later. *

Oh recovery! Yeah, I am now six weeks postpartum and am finally starting to feel "normal." I had many complications during my labor so it made my recovery a bit tough. During my long labor, I had to receive many fluids and wasn't able to move around. Well those fluids kind of just stayed around. I literally weighed more after giving birth because I was retaining so much fluid. My ankles were non-existent. The swelling subsided I want to say around the beginning of week two. Luckily since I had gained minimal weight during my pregnancy, once the swelling was gone I was pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Immediately after giving birth the process of learning how to breast feed began. Right away my little one latched on and went to town. Unfortunately she wasn't latching correctly so my nipples cracked within the first 24 hours. My milk came within three days but the damage had been done and every time she latched it felt like someone was stabbing my breast with a sharp knife. This happened for about two weeks. I would cry every time she ate due to the immense pain and on top of that I was having to deal with engorgement issues. Now I know why women give up on breastfeeding early on. I had to keep reminding myself that this was all for her. With the help of a lactation consultant and my very good friend from college, I was able to receive great advice on breastfeeding and managed to push through the pain. 

Now, the bleeding...yeah I just assumed I would only bleed for a few days like a period. Once again, what the hell was I thinking? I bleed for four weeks. I am not kidding when I say that big blood clots kept coming out of me almost daily the first week. At this point it seriously felt as if some type of fluid was leaking out of my body from every orifice. I remember being so happy when I transitioned to a panty liner instead of wearing those huge pads. It felt like I was wearing a diaper. I practically lived in pajamas or very loose workout clothes for those four weeks. Wearing tights/leggings was just not an option for the first few weeks.

Okay, probably the most unpleasant things after birth (for me) were the healing of my stitches and the hemorrhoids. Both were incredibly unpleasant and unwanted. Sitting down was painful. I was this close to asking my husband to run to the store and get me one of those donuts to sit on. The stitches took longer to heal because of where they were. Whenever I used the restroom, it felt like they were tearing and opening up. But I have to say the worst of it was dealing with the hemorrhoids. Actually my constipation led to the hemorrhoids but they kind of go hand in hand. I guess it's completely normal to develop hemorrhoids after pregnancy...something I probably would have liked to know prior. Running used to help me keep regular but since I wasn't cleared for that yet I had to try other things. I tried everything to fix my constipation: drink more water, increase fiber intake, eat prunes, even taking both a pill and powdered stool softeners. I would cringe every time I had to use the restroom. There were many times I would just cry in the toilet from the pain of using the restroom. 

Oh and to top it all off, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression very early on. Something I never thought would happen to me but it did. My husband noticed it right away which made me be proactive and seek help immediately. Luckily I was seen right away with a therapist and a specialized OBGYN that deals with mothers with postpartum depression. I even joined a support group that has helped me out a lot. Of all the things that were happening to my body, this one was probably the scariest. I literally have no control over how I am feeling. The hormones are causing my emotions to be all over the place. Early on, I would cry for no reason and I lost pleasure in doing things that I used to like. It was as if I was having an out of body experience. Unfortunately, I am still dealing with this and will be for awhile. It honestly feels like I've lost myself and am now on a journey to finding myself back. Not sure how long it will take but I'm trying. 

When you combine all these things and add on to the fact that you aren't able to run/workout, it makes for a very miserable first few weeks after having a baby. Walks helped but it was never enough. I never realized how much I needed running in my life. I've always said that running is my therapy and it couldn't be more true now more than ever. Luckily this week I got cleared and am now able to lace up my running shoes and log in some miles! I have a new running partner with me which is making running 10x more enjoyable than before. 😀

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Birth Story

It's been three weeks postpartum and it all still seems surreal. I look at my daughter daily and just gush at how absolutely perfect she is. I hold her close to me and kiss her as often as I can because this time right now with her goes by quickly from what I am told. I still cannot believe I am a mother! I am now responsible for this tiny little human being that has captivated both her mommy and daddy's hearts.

Even though my pregnancy was absolutely perfect, I wish I could say the same about my labor. My labor was absolutely painful and long! Her official due date was August 18th but on that day I still felt great.  That night though, at exactly 10:45pm I got my first contraction and they kept on coming from that point on. I was always told I would just know when my contractions would hit and boy were they right! It was like a heavy menstrual cramp that wouldn't let up. Even though I knew labor was starting, my contractions were still about 10-15 minutes apart and manageable, so I figured I should try to get some rest. Well that night I got about 3.5 hours of sleep. It wasn't the greatest sleep but it was enough. 

The next day I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and started to monitor my contractions a bit more closely. The intensity of the contractions was getting worse and the time in between them was shortening. I also started noticing that I was starting to get "back labor" as well. So not only did I feel like my uterus was contracting but my back was starting to give me a lot of problems with every contraction. By that evening my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart so I called the hospital. I was informed that unfortunately I should hold off until I am 2-3 minutes apart since it is my first pregnancy. Also, my water still hadn't broken so I was still intact. I waited a few more hours and by that night the contractions had progressed to the criteria the nurse had told me and off we went to the hospital. Oh I should also point out that apparently my hospital was at full capacity and was actually diverting pregnant women to other hospitals. I was a bit upset by this but we took our chances anyway. We were actually able to get a room in triage while they assessed me. The pain was intense and I was exhausted! All I wanted was to get this show on the road and imagine my disappointment when I was told I was only 1 cm dilated! Ugh! They told me I needed to go home and get some rest tonight. How could I get rest with labor pains every 2-3 minutes and only getting worse? They actually recommended I take some morphine and try to sleep as much as possible since they assured me that by tomorrow I should be more dilated and hopefully have my baby. 

Well at this point I am over 24 hours of labor and still no signs of my little girl. The morphine did help but it made me a bit nauseas since they gave it to me on an empty stomach. I slept another 3-4 hours that night but when I woke up I just felt miserable. I had no energy and I was in a lot of pain. My husband throughout all this was amazing. He tried to make me as comfortable as possible but at that point there really wasn't much he could do. Walking seemed to help, so I walked around my living room and even walked around my block outside. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy. The contractions started to stack up and were getting longer so I called the hospital and they advised me to go and get checked out. So off we went again. I was certain that this was going to be it. The pain was too much for me to handle anymore and I was just genuinely exhausted. Once again though, I was devastated when the nurse told me I was still only 1 cm dilated. I just broke down and balled my eyes out. How could this be? How can I only be 1 cm dilated and be in this much pain? They advised me to once again take the morphine. I hesitated in taking it again but my body was barely running on little sleep. I wish I could say that I went back home and got some rest but nope...that did not happen. 

So by now I am 48 hours into labor, only 1 cm dilated, and contracting like crazy. The morphine didn't work and all I did was cry that night whenever I got a contraction. I took a hot shower around three in the morning to see if that would help but unfortunately it did nothing. My poor husband tried everything to comfort me but nothing helped. He even called the hospital to let them know the morphine didn't even touch me and that I was miserable but they couldn't do anything for me. Needless to say I did not sleep that night.  My mother called early in the morning to check on me and later came by to help out my husband. So remember I said I was having back labor as well as the regular contractions? Well that day I started to get leg pains with every contraction just to add to the mix. It was excruciating and all I could do was breathe through them. That day I was barely eating. The thought of food just made me cringe but my husband tried his best to get food in my belly. I ate fruit, some oatmeal, maybe a quarter of shake he made me, and saltine crackers. I tried a hot bath, bouncing on a ball, heat packs for my back, massage, different positions, slight walking, but I just couldn't get relief. Towards the end of the day, my husband swears I was starting to talk gibberish and not making any sense. I guess at that point he got scared and told me we needed to head back to the hospital. I do remember just crying and telling him, "What's the point? They are just going to tell me I am not dilated enough." Somehow my husband convinced me get ready because we were heading back to the hospital. I cried all the way there from the pain. I couldn't believe I was now 72 hours into labor and heading back to the hospital.

I can only imagine how I looked being wheeled into labor and delivery by my husband. I had showered but my hair was a mess, I had no makeup on, and I was crying uncontrollably through the hallways of the hospital. I couldn't walk anymore because the pain was too much. Once I got to triage they saw me right away and examined me in between my horrible contractions. When the nurse told me I was was 5 cm dilated I just cried of pure relief! You would have thought I had my baby! I was just ecstatic that I was finally getting admitted and hopefully soon the pain would go away.  I was never against having an epidural for pain. I told myself if I truly needed it I would take it. Given my long labor at home I needed relief and rest before I needed to push so as soon as they asked if I wanted it, I quickly said yes!

I was told once admitted that it wouldn't be long before the baby made her appearance. Yeah...they were wrong! I was in labor for another 30 hours at the hospital. They tried everything to get her out but she was not having it. They started pitocin on me to speed up the contractions, they broke my water, they had me turn to different positions to encourage her to drop but she wasn't having none of it. Unfortunately when they broke my water they found some meconium which is something I feared since she was 5 days late at this point. I ended up getting a fever so they had to start antibiotics on me. Since my daughter was failure to progress the possibility of a C-section intensified. Oh and I had to go on oxygen since my baby was starting to get stressed out in the womb and having decels. Around 1:30 am they said it was time to start pushing. Of course the epidural had worn off at this point so I could feel everything. When the first contraction came to push, my baby's heart beat dropped drastically causing a whole sworm of people in my room. They feared that she had her umbilical chord wrapped around her neck and told me that I would have to vacuum her out or have a c-section. I said no to both those options and pursued having a vaginal delivery. My nurse was amazing! She supported my decision and even had me position myself in a way that would cause less stress on the baby. Because of the drop in her heart rate during contractions, I was only able to push every other contraction which was incredibly hard. Now that the epidural had worn off I could feel everything once again. Somewhere towards the end I remember looking at my husband and telling him, "I can do this!" I don't know where I got that burst of energy but it worked. Maybe a few pushes later and out she came! I cried when they placed her on me because she was finally here, my miracle baby. She gave me a run for my money but once she was out, she was perfect in every way. Because of my labor she had to be examined by the NICU team for a bit until she was cleared to do skin to skin with me. I can't even express how amazing that felt to have close to me. 

My labor was hard and long but I received the biggest blessing in the end. Dahlia Amerie Gomez is the apple of my eye and I couldn't be more happy to be her momma.

Other places you can find me:
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Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Welcome To The World My Beautiful Daughter

On August 23, 2017 at 2:51am I gave birth to the most amazing and precious human being, our beautiful daughter Dahlia Amerie Gomez. Words cannot express how much we love her. From the moment she arrived, she stole our hearts. My pregnancy with her was amazing but unfortunately her labor was a different story. I'll definitely be reminding her of that once she's older! It has been a week since we brought her home and even though recovery for me has been tough, and the sleepless nights have made me into a's been all worth it! It's really the small victories in my life right now that make me happy like taking a shower, brushing my teeth, getting three hours of uninterrupted sleep, and of course cuddles with my baby.

I am so lucky that she chose me to be her mother. My promise to her is to always love her unconditionally, be there in her times of need, and support her through any obstacles she will face. All I ask is that she realizes how much we prayed for her and how much she means to us. It was a long journey to get to her but she was worth the wait. 

"For this Child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart." 
- 1 Samuel 1:2.7

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, August 17, 2017

7 SAFE Exercises To Do While Pregnant

There has always been such a stigma about women exercising while pregnant. I've had to endure weird looks from people when out on runs and have also received comments from my own family about how I'm hurting my baby for exercising. I've expressed my frustrations about it here, but instead of getting mad at people for accusing me of hurting my baby I decided to do some research on what exercises are ACTUALLY safe to do while pregnant. So this blog post is for all the pregnant mommas out there that still want to exercise while pregnant. As long as you get the green light from your medical provider, these 7 exercises are safe to do during your pregnancy. They have helped me stay active and healthy during my entire pregnancy.  I'm currently 39 weeks pregnant and any day now our little miracle baby will be joining our family. Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones that has been able to exercise during my entire pregnancy. Fair warming, it does gets a bit harder towards the end of the pregnancy since the bump just kinda takes over.  I've just learned to modify workouts and listen to my body. Happy exercising mommas!

Walking/Running: Probably the easiest and safest exercise to do while pregnant. Getting in just a 30 minute cardio session with walking or running can safely help you stay active during pregnancy. Since I was runner prior to getting pregnant, my doctor said it was safe for me to continue during my pregnancy. My pace got slower but I just tried to maintain a healthy and safe heart rate for me and for my baby. Now that I am on my final stretch I have been logging in more treadmill miles in my garage but I'm still out there!

Barre: Barre is an excellent way to continue being active during pregnancy.  It is a mostly low-impact form of exercise for elongating your muscles and can be modified during all stages of pregnancy to keep your body healthy, strong, and flexible for labor. This in turn helps your muscles bear the weight you gain throughout your pregnancy and protect your joints from injuries as your ligaments relax.

Swimming/Water Aerobics: Pregnancy during the summer is not always easy. Looking for a great way to cool off and still get a good workout? Then take a water aerobic class or go out and swim some laps at your local pool. You'll feel lighter and more limber while out on the pool. It's also incredibly gentle on your loosening ligaments and joints.

Spin/Cycling: Indoor cycling is a great way to exercise while not putting any strain on your knees or joints. You can go at your own pace without the risk of falling. Wether you take a spin class or just hop on a stationary bike, you are guaranteed a good workout. The further along in your pregnancy though, you will have to make adjustments to the seat and handlebars since the baby bump can get in the way. If you are taking a spin class feel free to sit out sprints and hills if you feel overheated or exhausted at any point. Listen to your body ladies!

Yoga: Prenatal yoga is amazing for pregnant mommas since it encourages relaxation, deep core breathing, and flexibility which are all important during labor. Wether you go take a class at a yoga studio or watch a YouTube video, yoga is a great way to strengthen your core. There are specific prenatal yoga classes out there but if their isn't one around you then just ask your yoga instructor for modified poses. Side note: definitely avoid Bikram yoga since you need to pass on exercises that overheat you.    

Weight Lifting (modified): Light weights are totally safe during your pregnancy. Instead of using heavier weights opt for more repetitions. If you happen to have a gym membership, you can switch to using the machines. This can help with reducing your risk of injury since it is a controlled range of motion. I know there are some power lifters that continue to lift heavy during pregnancy (i.e. crossfit), but since I've never tried the sport I can't say yes or no to continuing. My advice is to listen to your body and stick to your medical provider's recommendations.

Pilates: During my pregnancy I did not actually try pilates but I do have pregnant friends that swear by it. I also know that many pilates studios have specific workouts geared towards pregnant women. A pregnancy-appropriate pilates workout focuses on strengthening your core and lengthening your muscles. By doing all those core exercises you help ease backaches, improve your posture, and your flexibility. All of which will help you out during labor.

Are you currently pregnant and still exercising?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

6 Easy Exercises To Try Out With Your Dog

I have always been a dog person. I love them. When my husband and I moved in together one of the first things I told him was that I wanted a puppy. He was willing to comprise as long as we found the perfect match for the both of us. After much research (hello Animal Planet and Dog Whisperer!) we decided on a chocolate lab. She was absolutely perfect from day one!

One of the main reasons I wanted a dog was to have a lovable running partner and boy did she deliver! I would run her in the morning, take her to a dog park for another hour and then at the end of the day my husband would take her for another run. She was spoiled to say the least. During the day she slept pretty much after all her morning activities. This was her typical schedule on my days off. During my long 12 hour work days though or when my husband traveled out of town it was difficult to keep that routine. Even with a dog walker during those days, we felt she was lonely.  So when an opportunity came to get another lab puppy, we kind of jumped at the opportunity. And then there were four of us with the addition to our black lab.

Labrador dogs are high energy dogs. I knew this and was fully prepared for it. I needed an active dog in order to continue staying active. Dogs as well as humans need exercise. It is a great way for them to prevent obesity, arthritis and anxiety. A dog that maintains a stable weight has a better chance of living a healthy long life...pretty much like humans right? So why not workout with your dog? Not only will your bond grow between you guys but everyone benefits from a little cardio. 

Not all dogs are alike. Like I said before, labs are high energy but maybe you chose to get a low-level activity dog. The trick is to choose the right workout for the both of you. This will ensure that both of you are engaged and still work up a little sweat.  Dogs make the best workout buddies. They never complain about working out or cancel on you last-minute. Best of all is that they're always excited to follow you out the door. Here are some exercises you can try with your dog:

  • Fetch: So easy and simple. My chocolate lab can do this for hours! I have to literally hide the ball because she gets super excited. While your dog retrieves the dog don't just stand there though. Incorporate squats, lunges, jumping jacks, burpees...or whatever your heart desires!
  • Doga: You can list this as one of the newest and trendiest workouts with yoga. Yes, it's out there!
  • Doggy paddle: Okay this one is mostly for water loving dogs like my labs. Go for swim with your dogs or maybe go kayaking and have your dog swim alongside. 
  • Running/Interval Running: Pretty self explanatory right? Grab the leash, go outside, breathe the fresh air and get those legs moving. You can either run continuously or maybe run in sprint intervals. Remember though, just like humans dogs also need to stay hydrated. 
  • Hiking: Hit the trails with your pup and explore the beautiful countryside. The harder the trail the more of a workout. Once again though, remember to provide water for your dog especially during the hot summers. 
  • Rollerbladding: I would probably only recommend this exercise to someone who has experience with rollerbladding. If you watch Cesar Milan: Dog Whisperer then you've seen how effective it is to burn off your dog's energy and to get a good workout. 

Don't have a dog but really considering one? Well I have a perfect website for you to check out. Have you heard of Puppy Spot? They have a No Puppy Mill Promise and a partnership with the AKC. They have so many available puppies to choose from. Here is the link for their selection of the most adorable puppies. This is their motto which they proudly stand behind:

"We are a community of dog lovers, committed to connecting the nation's top breeders to caring, responsible individuals and families in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Dallas, and across the U.S. We hold ourselves and our clients to the highest standards and aim to improve the life of each puppy, breeder and owner who joins our family."

I cannot picture my life without my dogs. They have been a part of my family from day one. Dogs show us unconditional love and I swear they are mind readers! When I have a bad day, my dogs just seem to cling to me a little more almost as if to say, "We are here for you if you need us." In the next two weeks my dog's lives (as well as mine and my husbands) will be turned upside down with the arrival of our baby girl. Luckily, I am confident my dogs will handle this new stage in our lives with grace. I can only hope my daughter will see the beauty in owning a dog as much as her momma!

Do you workout with your dog?
If you own a dog, what breed do you own?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get Brooks Endorsed!

Have you guys heard of the amazing campaign that Brooks started last month? They actually started it on June 7th, Global Running Day.  It's literally the biggest endorsement deal in history! They are signing runners of all speeds and abilities to be a part of the Brooks family. I had heard of the campaign a few weeks back but I was a bit preoccupied with other things to actually sign up. So I kind of signed up a little late in the game. Talk about pregnancy brain right?

So what do you get out of this endorsement deal? Well, you get exclusive access to training and nutritional services by some of Brooks finest coaches. You also get an official athlete card that you can share on social media so all your friends and family can see how special and important you are. And lastly you get your endorsement deal and you'll get a check for $1. Unfortunately the dollar deal is only applicable to Canadians and US residents.

I really can't say enough great things about the website, Brooks Athlete Headquarters. It is a great home base for all things running. From learning to perfect your running form to improving strength with new exercises, this website will have you motivated to train for your next race. This deal is about showing us runners the royal treatment. Still not sure? Watch this video and get encouraged to join one the greatest endorsement deals out there.

Knowing that Brooks is celebrating my passion for running and wants to endorse little 'ol me is pretty spectacular. By making me a part of their team, they're celebrating my dedication to the sport. Go me! So I guess the next big question is are you going to get #brooksendorsed ??

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, July 13, 2017

7 Easy & Safe Core Exercises for Pregnant Women

One of the first things that I learned during this pregnancy is how important having a strong core is for not only relieving back pain but also in preparation for labor. Having a strong core also helps out significantly with postpartum. I'll be the first to tell you that before I got pregnant I hated doing core exercises. Honestly, it was mostly because it's been my biggest weakness. I knew I had a weak core going into this pregnancy and it really showed as soon as the first trimester. This lead me to quickly start doing a bit more research on safe exercises to do while pregnant to strengthen my core. I figured it could only help right?

Each pregnancy is different so please consult with your doctor first before starting any exercises while pregnant.  I received approval from my doctor early on and just recently got confirmation once again that I am still healthy and able to continue exercising. While doing my research on safe core exercises, I found these to be some of the benefits:
  • They increase flexibility and provide better joint mobility which allows for different birthing positions while in labor.
  • Core exercises can prevent abdominal separation during pregnancy.
  • It's easier to regain fitness back after pregnancy.
  • It creates a strong spine and back muscles that will ensure good posture, even as your belly continues to grow.
  • Can decrease back pain.
Throughout this pregnancy, I have really tried to listen to my body in order to feel what's right and wrong. I've taken great pride in trying to be as healthy and active as possible not only for me but my my growing bump. Who would have thought that just a few simple exercises would have such a huge impact on my posture and ensure a pretty smooth pregnancy (knock on wood). I still have a few more weeks to go (give or take six weeks) but taking the time early on by strengthening my core has significantly helped me  Here are 7 easy (pregnant safe) exercises you can do to alleviate back pain and strengthen your core:

  • Heel Slides: Lie on your back with your upper back, neck and head propped up above your heart with your palms on the ground along your sides for support. Bend both knees to bring your feet in toward your butt. Keeping the heel above but close to the ground, extend one leg at a time. Then bring it back in to starting position. Alternate sides.

  • Single Heel Drops: Lie on your back with your upper back, neck and head propped up above your heart with your palms on the ground along your sides for support. Bend both knees at the hips to 90 degrees and lift both heels up off the ground so that the feet are in-line with the knees. With control, engage your abs to lower one heel. Touch the ground gently before you raise it back up to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side and continue to alternate legs.

  • Pelvic Tilts: Stand with your back against a wall and relax your spine. Inhale as you press the small of your back against the wall. Exhale and release to complete one repetition.

  • Triangle Pose: Stand with feet wide, right foot turned out and right heel aligned with arch of left foot; raise arms to shoulder height and out to sides, palms facing floor. Bend forward from the hips over right leg, placing your right hand on your shin or ankle, as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling, palm facing forward; turn head to look up at ceiling. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.

  • Stretch and Tuck: Start on all fours. Extend your left arm straight out in front of you and your right leg out behind you. Engage your abs as you draw the extended elbow and knee in toward your core. Release to full extension and continue. Complete the same number of repetitions on the opposite side.

  • Cat/Cow Pose: Kneel on all fours and draw your abdominals in. Inhale and gently arch your back. Tip your tail bone up and look towards the sky. Exhale, round your back and tuck in your chin towards your chest. Repeat sequence 10 times. 

  • Child's Pose: Sit on your heels and reach forward elongating the spine. Rest your forehead and breathe deeply into your back. As your belly grows, keep your big toes together and spread your knees apart to create space.

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Monday, July 3, 2017

July...Time to Re-Evaluate How Your Year Is Going

Since we are now in the month of July and half way done with the year, I figured it would be a great time to re-evaluate my goals/resolutions for the year. I was already pregnant at the beginning of the year so I really didn't have any fitness goals. Correction...I did have goals but they had to be adjusted real quick. That was a first for me since I usually plan out my racing calendar by the beginning of the year. I map out what races I want to sign up for and what my goal times are for each one.  On the calendar I initially had 4 races plus the Ragnar Relay for the year. Originally my goal was to train for a PR during my first race in January. I was still coming off my marathon high from the Chicago Marathon so my training was on point. But then life threw me the greatest curve ball which forced me to adjust my race goals and pretty much cancel all races until further notice, my little miracle baby.

See, I was barely seven weeks pregnant at the start of the year and was considered high risk because of my struggles with infertility. I was literally on pins and needles trying to keep my growing baby alive and well. My biggest fear was of course having a miscarriage in the first trimester.  Once I received the green light from my doctor saying I could run, my goal changed from setting a PR in my January race to just finishing the race and enjoying the course. As for the remaining races, well I quickly decided that it was in the best interest of my baby to take it easy and try to enjoy this pregnancy.

During this pregnancy, I learned real quick that I needed to change my way of thinking. When I made it to the second trimester, it was like a sigh of relief. The chances of my baby making it to full term grew exponentially and that's when my way of thinking started to shift. In life nothing is guaranteed and even as much as we plan and prepare, things can always take a different direction. It's the curve balls that challenge us and test us. They can either break us or make us wiser and stronger. At the beginning of the year I came across this quote:

This quote literally spoke volumes to me. I have since applied it to my personal life, my work life, and my fitness goals.  Maybe this year isn't going according to what you had in mind. What are you doing to fix it? What are you doing to get back on track? Life will always provide road blocks that get us off track but it's what we do to get back on course that makes us stronger. So I guess what I am trying to say is take the time to re-evaluate how your year is going and remember that challenges are placed in our path to make us appreciate all that we have. For example, even though I have not been able to run my typical mileage this year, I am extremely grateful that my body is allowing me to get any exercise done. I've still been able to enjoy runs, spin classes, yoga, swim, and even attend November Project. I am 33 weeks pregnant and now take each day by day. As for my work life, I am still able to work and provide a stable paycheck for my family.  I have not had any complications with work and I still enjoy doing what I love. I am extremely appreciative of my coworkers since they go out of their way to make me comfortable during our long 12 hour night shifts. I can't plan my life like I used to (which is new for me), but I now listen to my body.  If my body says you need rest, I listen. If my body says you can go for a run, then I run. Learning to let go has probably been my biggest challenge but jus as the quote says, it's made my life so much more meaningful.

How is your year going?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner


I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Yes, I am 32 Weeks Pregnant & Still Running

Okay, so I know that in the past pregnant women were discouraged to do any physical activity while pregnant. It was a big no no to even think about working out while pregnant. Basically, doctors discouraged women from any strenuous activities and scared them into believing that working out led to miscarriages and/or early labor. Well ladies and gentlemen....the times have changed. Unfortunately though, people still believe a pregnant woman shouldn't work out/run during pregnancy. So when people see me out and about running through beautiful San Diego, I get weird looks. Even family members (i.e. my parents) think I am hurting my baby. Well I have news for all you skeptics, exercise during pregnancy is not only okay for the baby it can also help during pregnancy and post partum recovery.

I am 32 weeks pregnant (almost 33 weeks) and I am still running, swimming, taking spin classes, doing yoga, and even doing some light weight training. Yes, I consulted my doctor the second I found out I was pregnant to get the green light. Most often than not, your medical provider will tell you to remain active as long as you are comfortable. The rule of thumb is if you were active prior to pregnancy, then it is usually safe to remain active during pregnancy. However, this is not the time to start trying to workout to loose weight or to train for a marathon. Of course each pregnancy is different so it is important to consult with your doctor about exercising while pregnant. To me, that's just common knowledge but just wanted to reiterate that little information. For example if you have a low lying placenta, noticeable bleeding/spotting, or are at high risk for preterm labor your doctor may suggest to not exercise. That's why it is always recommend to consult with your doctor. For my pregnancy, everything has been going to plan. I've had absolutely no complications and have felt (for the most part) pretty freaking amazing.

Here are some of the benefits of exercising while pregnant:
  • helps with constipation, bloating and swelling
  • helps with posture
  • increases your energy and improves your mood
  • helps you sleep better
  • may help with preventing gestational diabetes
  • may improve your ability to cope with labor and help recover post partum

Babies also benefit from momma exercising. Here are a few of the benefits babies receive:
  • a healthy/fit heart
  • it can boost brain health
  • helps reduce the chances of diabetes
  • lower BMI

I know this sounds like a soap box but I am kind of getting tired of people telling me I am harming my baby because I still exercise. I have news for those people...I AM NOT! I listen to my body and stop when I feel I need to stop. I keep a close eye on my heart rate and try not to get it too elevated. I stay cool and keep myself as hydrated as I can. I avoid exercises that are not safe for a pregnant woman.  And most important of all, at every doctor's appointment my baby has measured great and has shown no signs of distress. I am not selfish for wanting to continue running or working out. I know my baby is a blessing and I would never intentionally cause her harm. So for those that are judging me...please stop. Me and my baby are healthy and I'll continue working out until it is no longer safe.

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner


I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Product Review: GoMacro Bars

I am always looking for new foods/snacks to try. Let's be honest here I love food but finding healthy foods that actually taste good and not like cardboard can be a bit difficult. And because my life is always on the go, I am always searching for healthy bars what can fill me up while I am out and about. I had heard about GoMacro bars and had seen them at some local stores but was hesitant to try them. Even though I love trying new food, healthy food can be either a hit or miss.

When the lovely company reached out to me to try out the bars I of course jumped at the opportunity. Not only is this a family owned company but how they started was dear to my heart. You can read a bit more about their story here.  GoMacro firmly believes in five principles that are the foundation of the products they sell:
  1. Vegan
  2. A Macrobiotic diet
  3. Wholesome food
  4.  Source sustainability
  5. Give back to the community
"The pursuit of health is a path of living in balance
with ourselves and nature with products that have
positive effects on the world."

They've stayed true to their mission and have come up with bars that are nutritious and healthy. While aiming to affect the world positively, their products are USDA Organic, kosher, non-GMO, Certified Vegan and Gluten-Free.  These bars are cold-pressed, nut-butter based that are chewy and filling made from simple and clean ingredients. Their high protein, plant-based ingredients are the perfect way to keep you fueled throughout the day. What more could you ask for right?

I am always one to have a snack with me at all times. My coworkers used to always tell me that if they were ever stranded somewhere they would want to be with me since I always have some type of food. It's true though. I tend to get a bit "hangry" if I go without food for too long. Sooo...finding healthy snacks to eat on the go is a huge priority to me. One of the things I love about these bars is that (depending on the flavor you choose) they are high in protein. They are great for a quick post workout meal. So far my favorite flavors are Prolonged Power, Morning Harvest, Sunny Uplift, Protein Pleasure, and Everlasting Joy.

So where can you find these bars? You can find these bars in stores around your neighborhood or even online. I have been able to find them at Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, and Sprouts here by my house.  You can purchase their vegan protein bars online for 30% off plus free shipping for first time customers by using the code Macro30.

Okay so my final review: Would I recommend these bars? Yes! Will I continue to purchase them? Of course! Like I said at the's hard finding healthy food/snacks that actually taste good. And these bars passed the husband test too! The hubby is not one to like all my healthy food but I actually found him eating one of my bars and actually enjoying it. That sold the deal for me!

Have you ever tried these bars? 
What is your go-to-snack?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

**I was provided with a sample pack but all thoughts are my own**

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Embracing My Pregnant Body

I am officially 23 weeks pregnant and so far my pregnancy has been going great. I have been blessed with one of those pregnancies where I never got any morning sickness and I haven't blown up like a balloon (yet). No complications so far and I am still able to workout/run. For the most part, I still have a good amount of energy. Okay, it may sound like I am bragging but that is not my intention. I actually am having a hard time dealing with one thing, my body changing. Coming from a history of body image issues, seeing my body change right before my eyes is a hard concept to grasp. I have absolutely no control over the changes happening to my body and it brings back many bad memories of self hate.

I grew up with my parents calling me fatty as my nickname. I would constantly place myself on "diets" when I was in middle school and high school. By diets I mean I would starve myself to loose weight and play sports just to burn the little calories I would eat in a day. Yes, I had very low self esteem and didn't recognize how screwed up in the head I was. It's sad really because I was not alone. Plenty of girls go through this during their teenage years. They start this unhealthy cycle and it can lead to bad choices. Honestly, we live in a world where being skinny is glorified; where super models are idolized for being skinny. I'm Mexican and I have always been a bit curvy. Growing up that just wasn't what "beautiful" was. I used to pinch my fat, cellulite and just cringe. I wish I could say that I have completely grown past my body image issues but that isn't entirely correct. In the last recent years, I went through many infertility treatments that led to a significant weight gain. Even after coming off all the hormones, my body never fully got back to my baseline. And now that I am pregnant, I am having to embrace the weight gain and see my body change once again.

I know I am growing this tiny miracle and I should be thrilled...and for the most part I am. I truly am blessed that I am pregnant. After many years of being told I couldn't have kids, this pregnancy is truly a miracle. But then there are days I look in the mirror and go back to my old ways of pinching my love handles, checking out my cellulite, and scanning my body for any new stretch marks. I think it was a bit worse during the first trimester though. During the first 13 weeks I noticed my hips widening, my boobs getting bigger making me top heavy, and my stomach was in between looking pregnant or having a beer belly. Recently, I've noticed I've lost a lot of muscle since I am not lifting as heavy as I used to. I've gotten tiny spider veins on my thighs and my skins is a bit more loose on my legs due to loss of muscle mass. However, the skin on my stomach is getting tighter. Sometimes I look down at my pregnant belly and wonder how can it get any bigger? One thing that does amaze me is how my body just knows what to do. It literally is taking 40 weeks to cook this tiny human.

Learning to let go and embrace my pregnancy is something that I deal with on a daily basis. I started a journal to write down any negative thoughts I may have. Once I am done writing I don't allow myself to think about any more negative thoughts. It's helped and I find myself more content and overall happy with my pregnancy. I actually don't even write in it that often anymore. I guess that's a good sign right? I am more than half way done and I know it will get tough towards the end but like I said, I need to stay positive and just be thankful that I have the opportunity to carry this tiny human inside me.

If you've been pregnant (or currently pregnant),
have you dealt with body image issues?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons