December Challenge – Merry Plankmas (and #sweatpink winners)

Drum roll, please…………..The winners for the Sweat Pink shoelaces are:  Elle, Brittany, Lila and Meghan.  I thought since I had four responses I would give them all a pair of sweat pink shoelaces.  Thanks for sharing how you get your sweat pink on.

Please email me at pipersrunblog@gmail.com with your mailing address so I can get these out to you 🙂

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Recently, I started following a great blog called Fat Chick 2 Fit Chick and I read about her December challenge that I believe some of you may really enjoy.

Merry Plankmas: 

Do one plank-a-day move each day.

FatChicktoFitChick

Details from Fat Chick 2 Fit Chick:

Let’s start planking it up daily for the jolliest month of the year.  Tweet me,Instagram me, and/or email me pics of your plank timers, of you planking, and of you passed on the floor from planking yourself silly!  I will post your pictures periodically through the month and give you a shout out for being awesome. Let’s motivate each other to make New Years resolutions a thing of the past.  

Why wait?  December 1st seems like the perfect day to be fit!  

Be sure to use the #merryplanksmas hashtag and tag me @fatchicktofitchick in your daily posts on instagram!  

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A few tips on planking:

How to do a plank.

Backyard Boot Camp (plank move)

10 Ways to Plank

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Sure hope you join the Fat Chick 2 Fit Chick challenge. I am hoping to join but will be waiting until baby arrives as I don’t think planking would be a smart thing to do at this point. Or, maybe it would. Maybe it would encourage this baby to come on out. Hummmm………

Do you plank?

Have you ever tried doing a plank a day?

What’s your favourite way to plank?

{Guest Post} Run Find Your Happy Pace

First I want to thank my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador Anna for inviting me over as a guest blogger while she takes care of baby! 🙂

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Darlena and I blog at Run Find your Happy Pace.  I am a military wife, mom of 3 and a runner.  Some of the toughest “jobs” you’ll ever love right?!  Don’t get me wrong I do love every one of them, the trick is the balancing act of all three.

Lets talk deployments shall we?  Since 2002 my hubby has been on multiple deployments.  Some short and some well….not so short.  I would definitely say running has helped me keep balance and sanity in all three positions.  But how does one run or train for a half marathon (or any distance) while the hubby is away.  Well that all depends.  First of all you really needed to be flexible and creative with your time.

Here are some of the strategies I have used over the years:

  1. The YMCA (or local health club) that offers great childcare.  Fun for them and a guilt free break for you.
  2. Get a jogging stroller / bike trailer (for 1, 2 or 3))  On the upside GREAT cardio conditioning!  However runs do require a bit more planning.  Just remember to pack snacks, drinks and when all else fails a portable DVD player. And for fall/winter be sure to get a wind/rain shield to keep the kiddos toasty.  Short on cash?  Check out second-hand stores, ebay and craigslist for great deals on used joggers.
  3. Find your local chapter of Mom Run This Town.  Many hold weekly group runs that are stroller friendly.  You get the benefit of running and making new friends!
  4. Kid “sharing”  find a friend that runs (or just needs a weekly break) and plan to sit for each other. (great for long runs when you just really can’t imagine pushing a kid for miles and miles)
  5. Long runs are NOT  just for weekends.  It took me a while (actually way to long) to realize I didn’t have to do my long run on a weekend.  This is a must for me while the hubby is deployed.  You can tweak any training schedule to fit YOUR schedule.  Right now my long runs are Thursdays when the kids are all at school.
  6. Get a treadmill (dreadmill/hamster wheel) of your own.  OK I know this isn’t feasible for everyone, but if you can swing it I highly recommend it.  I lucked out and got mine as a present when I turned the big 40.  Although I find long runs hard on them I have done it in a pinch.  They are also great for speed work and bad weather days.

All that being said I find the most important thing is that when I exercise or run (by the way I love Jillian Michaels DVD’s) I am not only a better runner I am a better wife and mother.  It’s not about being the fastest or the best, it’s about finding your happy pace (and place) in running and life.  So get out there and get moving and…Run Find your Happy Pace.

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A BIG Thanks to Darlena for helping me out this week and being a guest on Piper’s Run. You can read more about Run Find Your Happy Pace below on:

Blog is www.runfindyourhappypace.com

Twitter: @runfyhp

Instagram @runfindyourhappypace
Cheers!

Pregnancy: 38 Weeks

I am a little surprised we’ve made it this far but thrilled to know the baby will be a little more stronger and bigger then when Lilly was born at 36 weeks 2 days. Note to baby – I’m ready for you, come out, come out whenever you are ready.

Week: 38

Baby’s Name: “Four”. Named by Lilly as when we ask her what the baby’s name will be she says “4”. Interesting!

Baby Items I Found: When I packed away all of Lilly’s clothes she out grew, I apparently forgot how many boxes there were. Found a box with all kinds of stuff on the weekend.

Challenges: I’m exhausted all the time, night-time seems to be the worst.

Exercise: Up and down the stairs, house work, a little walking and prenatal yoga.

Food: Not craving anything but in the evenings I don’t really want to eat dinner. I do eat, but it’s a struggle – maybe it’s because I am running out of room.

Gender: Still a surprise.

Maclean: (our dog) She has been hanging around my side of the bed at night and I just realised she’s been hanging around me today. Hummm….does she know something I don’t?

Mood: I’m ready for baby to be out and am over the whole fear of giving birth again.

Preparation for baby #2: Making a list of things we need to get once baby arrives, talking lots with Lilly about the baby. As I mentioned before, she includes the baby in everything now.

Random: I can’t handle some songs on the radio and have figured out that when I was in my first trimester (and extremely nausea) these songs where playing on the radio constantly. When I hear them today I get this extreme ill feeling and have to leave the room or turn the radio off.

Sleep: Really not much these days but I am taking advantage of being able to nap.

Photo:

Me and “the monkey” at 38 weeks.

Anyone want to guess when the baby will arrive?

Leave me a comment below.

Sweat Pink Giveaway here (ends Friday).

Life goes by fast

I remember when Lilly was born at 36 weeks, all I could think of “is this really happening”. I couldn’t make any decisions because it was happening so fast. We were ready but not really READY, if you know what I mean.

We took pictures the day she was born and pretty much every day after that! Then finally when she was around 3 months I started taking “monthly” pictures until she was 12 months old.

I recently came across a post from  7x7xMommy about her two daughters and how they captured their first daughter’s life and now with their second. You can check out a recent post on what they’ve done for their girls here – The Raffi Report.

 Lilly during her first year: 0 – 5 months

And 6 – 12 months:

This past weekend, we had to run a few errands and decided to purchase an ‘animal’ for the baby. Lilly made the final decision and will be giving it to the baby when it arrives! So, you’ll see a few random photo’s over the next year with this little guy:

The Monkey:

Hanging with our hospital bags….just waiting patiently.

The monkey has no name, yet.

If Lilly had her way, she would name it “4” as she has named the baby “4”.

Any suggestions for the monkey’s name?

Indulge me, what workouts are you doing today?

Anyone running a race soon?

Don’t forget about my little giveaway here.

Monday IS the beginning of the week, right?

Well, here I sit on another Monday morning, been awake since 5am.

Off work officially for 2.5 weeks, waiting for baby that could arrive “anytime” now and feeling like I have almost everything done before baby arrives. Yeah, right!

I still haven’t written my birth plan. It’s not like I don’t know what I want  during labour, I think it’s just the last major straw that i need to pull and finish.

It sit’s in front of me along with the pen….guess I’ll get at that after this post.

Learnings from this weekend:

1. Tractors aren’t just for boys. (Real life John Deere Tractors – Lilly loves them).

2. When your child is sick you get to snuggle with them a little longer than normal. Is it bad that I like that?

3. I am ready for winter, especially after our little snow fall this weekend 🙂

4. Baby, it’s time to come out.

5. Colds that don’t go anywhere just suck your energy out as they linger on to your every move or attempt to move.

6. Two naps in a day is normal for an almost 38 week pregnant lady, right?

7. I’ve lost misplaced my favourite Smartwool hat a mitts that belong to Lilly. Frig.

8. It’s Monday morning and I’ve got my to-do-list started but already managed to go in another direction.

That’s it.

You may see another post from me today, pending how the day goes.

Oh – and don’t forget to enter my little giveaway here.

#SweatPink Shoelace {Giveaway}

If I could choose one thing to do today it would be to go for the longest, hardest run that I could. My body is aching for a good long, challenge run. But at 37 weeks pregnant, it’s just not possible for me to do so – even though my mind is wanting to my body needs rest (at least that’s what my Dr. say’s). So a little prenatal yoga and little walks it is for me.

Just over a month ago I was lucky enough to join the Sweat Pink crew with Fit Approach as an Ambassador. Since becoming a sweat pink ambassador I moved into my third trimester of this pregnancy and have been limited to what workouts I can do 😦

You know, for a girl who’s pretty active (running at lunch time to fit one in, working out at home while our toddler sleeps and finding any excuse to walk a little more), it’s been pretty hard limited my “fitness” recently. But I know I’ll get back into a routine once this baby arrives and I’m feeling good to do so.

In the mean time, I have two sweet pairs of Sweat Pink “Pink Laces” to giveaway!!!

sweat pink ambassador

To win a pair of pink laces:

Leave a comment telling me how you get your “sweat pink” on AND why?

(Why are you active?)

I will pick two winners on Friday November 30th 2012 at noon (Atlantic Time Zone).

(Unless I am having our baby, then I will pick to random winners ASAP).

Open to those in Canada or US. Contest open for 1 week, winners chosen at random.

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Check out my Blog Roll for more Sweat Pink Ambassadors

AND

I have a few awesome Sweat Pink ladies guest posting this month and next. I’ll have one per week this month so be sure to check back and read their posts.

You can read the first two here:

Molly’s Motivation.

Are We There Yet? Running With Passengers

And check back for more Sweat Pink Ambassadors each week.

Cheers, Anna from Piper’s Run

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Piper’s Run on Pinterest

Guest post: Are we There Yet? Running with Passengers

Today’s guest post is from Sarah at Run, Mommy, Run.

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I’ve considered the last six of my 12 years of being a runner to be my “mommy runner” years, meaning I’ve had company with me.  And no, not your typical running buddy.  My company required snacks, toys, and frequent potty breaks.

It all began in 2006.  No longer trying to perfect the art of running with a baby bump, I now had to face the challenge of running with an actual baby.  With a husband that works a crazy schedule and no immediate family in my area to help out, leaving the baby at home wasn’t an option.  And with running being my go-to stress reliever, means of losing baby weight, and pretty much favorite activity in the world, I wasn’t about to give it up or trade that time in for workout DVDs in my living room while baby napped.  And so, a mommy runner was born.

Six years, thousands of miles, and an additional kid later, I’m still running strong.  We’ve moved from a single stroller to a double and my 4 year old and 6 year old have not only become Mommy’s running buddies, but my race buddies as well.  I’m constantly having other mothers stop and ask, “How do you do that?  How can you run so much with them?”  The journey to mommy runner hasn’t always been easy and I’ve definitely faced my challenges.  But over time we’ve found a nice groove and you can too.

Start young.  This is particularly important for new mothers.  Start running with your babies while they are young.  The earlier you start and make it a routine, the easier it is for your child to adapt and grow to expect it.  Running with mommy will just be another part in their day, and if they are used to it they will like it more.  That being said, don’t start too young.  You want to make sure you’ve gotten the good-to-go from your doctor before you start running for the first time if you have just recently given birth.  You also don’t want to plop a newborn baby down in a jogger.  It is recommended that you wait until the baby is around 6 months of age and able to sit up and support themselves before running with a stroller.  I used the treadmill lot during the first six months.  To be on the safe side, be sure to speak with your pediatrician before you begin running with your baby if he or she is under six months of age.

Buy the expensive stroller.  Normally I’m all for saving money, but this is one time in your life you are going to want to splurge, especially if you plan on putting a lot of miles on your stroller or plan to race with your stroller.  For starters, make sure you get a jogging stroller, which is made for running.  Try not to faint at that three digit price tag.  Trust me, it’s worth it.  Most have only three wheels with the front wheel locked.  There are several excellent strollers on the market, and every mama is going to have a different opinion on them.  Take the time to try them out and see which one you like best and which one your child likes best.  I spent a good hour pushing my daughter around REI in joggers before buying my double.  You’ll get some funny looks, but it will be worth it to get the one that best fits your needs.

Don’t be afraid to overpack. There’s nothing more discouraging than getting you and baby all ready for a running, heading out the door, and realizing you forgot something.  Pack heavy.  Take a water bottle for both you and your kiddo and a few snacks as well.  If it’s even slightly chilly pack hats, mittens, jackets, blankets.  Whatever you don’t bundle up the munchkin in you can shove in the compartment underneath.  In the summer, pack plenty of sunscreen for the both of you.  Pack toys and try not to get too upset when the toys are dropped…a lot.  And I do mean a lot.  You’re going to stop and pick them up at least 10 times.  Just try to keep in mind a happy, playing child is better than a screaming, crying child.

Make it fun.  The main reason most young children don’t like to ride in the stroller for a long period of time is because it’s boring.  My longest run to date was nearly 14 miles and with both kids.  That’s a long ways in a small child’s mind.  They have to sit still, they can’t get out, and they are there a long time.  Try and make the run as fun as you can.  Rather than use your iPod headphones, use the speakers and have a sing-a-long while you run.  If your child is old enough, make a list of things you might see while on a run and have him or her check them off as you do.  Make up games.  A favorite game of my daughter is to figure out how many miles we are running total, then figure out how many miles we have left.  She counts off each mile and practices a little math without even realizing it.  And run in interesting places.  This won’t only make the time go by faster for them, it will help you too.  Make a habit of literally running errands.  Run with your children to the post office grocery store, etc.  You’ll make more use out of your time and they will think it’s fun and silly to run to such random places rather than drive the car.  It’s also a great way to explore your city.  You’ll be amazed at how much small children take in while being a passenger and you may just find some new places to visit.

Reward a long run. And not just for you.  If you are having your kiddos sit in the stroller for an hour or more, take a few minutes to let them play at the park when you are done.  They can run around and play while you rehydrate and stretch.  Almost every one of my weekend long runs that I do with my children finishes at the park for about 30 minutes of play time.  They know that and have learned over the years that’s what happens at the end of the run.  So gone are the days of “Are we there yet?” They sit patiently (for the most part) knowing that when I’m done they get their turn.

 

Bribery does not make you a bad mom.  In a perfect world, our children would ride in our strollers, happily cheering mommy on as she runs.  But in the real world, especially when our children grow older and more vocal, sometimes the only sounds coming from them are whining.  There will come a day when you desperately want to run and your child, for whatever reason, feels the need to annoy you.  By all means, bribe the kid.  It will not make you a bad mom, it will make you a less tense mom who is loving her runner’s high.  Your bribe doesn’t have to be big, just something that’s good enough to make the little guy want to sit still just a little bit longer.  A personal favorite of mine is ice cream…partially because I like ice cream after I run on a hot day.  But even simple things like promising to play a game when we get home tend to get the job done.  The thing to remember with a little bit of bribery is that you have to keep your word. Nothing’s going to make your child hate running with mommy more than thinking a ride in the stroller equals disappointment.

Technology does not make you a bad mom either.  Sure when we were kids we were forced to sit through hours of boring events without a smart phone to entertain us, but that doesn’t mean our kiddos have to suffer the same fate.  They are blessed with a world of technology, and whipping out the iPhone is a surefire way to finish your run.  Don’t feel too guilty.  I’m sure, if given the chance, our parents would have done the same.  I prefer to save technology for only dire circumstances where I feel I have to do something.  For example, mile eight of a 12 mile run and a brother and sister that are about to battle to the death.  I certainly don’t give them my phone on every run, but at the same time I don’t hesitate when I need to pull out the big guns.  If you are still feeling guilty about too much screen time for your little one, find some educational shows or apps so they can learn a little while they play.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Yes, we’d all love it if every run went perfectly and we ran our best.  More than likely that won’t happen with a stroller.  The sooner you accept it, the happier you’ll be.  I’m not saying you won’t PR with a stroller.  One of my fastest two mile runs was with the double jogger as well as one of my fastest 10K races.  But unfortunately, more often that not, something goes off plan when you are a mommy runner.  Something falls out of the stroller, someone has to potty, a baby spits up or needs to nurse, juice gets spilled, diapers need changed, someone wants to run only to discover 10 feet later that they no longer want to run with mommy…the list is endless, really.  These things are fine and a normal part of motherhood.  Don’t let them discourage you from running with your little one.  Remember that one day that little one won’t be so little, and you’ll have lots of time to run solo then.  For now, clean up that spilled juice with a smile on your face and keep in mind that pushing a heavy stroller may just make you faster when race day comes.   I trained for my first half marathon doing over half of my training runs with my double jogger.  I was extremely happy with how well I raced on race day.  Although I’ll admit there were several times along the 13.1 mile course that I had to control the need to talk out loud and point out all of the interesting sights.

Just like any other area of motherhood, being a mommy runner is a juggling act and takes a little trial and error.  But with practice and patience, you’ll be pushing your happy kiddos and getting plenty of miles in.  Over time you’ll be amazed at how much they enjoy going for runs with mommy and you may even surprise yourself with how far you can push that stroller.  You’ll smile as other mamas see you out there in all your glory, pushing your little one.  And you’ll be filled with pride when the day comes, and it will come, where you pass a group of male runners with your stroller in tow.  Feel free to flash them a slightly cocky smile.  You earned it.

Thanks so much Sarah for being a Guest Blogger today.

I’ve sure learned what my future running will be like with 2 kiddies in tow.

Don’t forget to check out Run, Mommy, Run – it’s a great blog.