Category: running

Enough Stalling!

It’s been a year since I published something … Anything. I’ve thought of various posts and thoughts to share and never got around to it. But here I am today, tapping away on my phone. Why?

I need some accountability. 

I started blogging again while reading awesome running blogs to keep me inspired to start training again. Then I got pregnant with Adam and then I had four kids and life was chaotic. Then I had an ankle injury and then it was summer … You get the idea. Every excuse under the sun. Some valid, some weak. 

This week I started another training plan. It’s actually my second attempt to complete Train Like a Mother‘s Heart Rate 101 plan. Earlier this summer I started the plan, did great for 8 weeks, then bombed it as temperatures climbed. I’m hoping this second attempt is even better – and the program is only 8 weeks now, so hurray!

It’s slow. I mean, slower even than my post-baby, post-injury pace. A heart rate cap of 140 for most runs means I am slogging. Especially when you add on temperatures and asthma meds. But the changes are worth it. 

So yeah … accountability. And doing the plan. Last time I skipped some of the strength circuits (okay, most of them) and never did the resistance loop training.This week   I’ve done them! Next week … I’m going to try!

We’ll see where I end up in 8 weeks. 

Return of the red face!

She’s baaack ….


Yes, that’s right – it’s return of the Red-Faced Girl! Adam will be eight weeks old on Monday. (WHAT?!) I had my six-week post partum checkup last week and was cleared for exercise, so I’ve been easing back in … yoga and an occasional, purposeful walk to test the waters.


So here are my fitness plans (such as they are):

  • Ballet class weekly – YES! I’m going back to the Tiny Erin dreams and taking a ballet class. If I’m going to pay for fitness instruction, it might as well be something I actually like! Two classes in, and I love it. It’s so hard to get out of my mental games, but I’ll get into that another time. I think it’ll be great for strengthening my feet, ankles, and legs.
  • Yoga at least weekly – four babies have done a serious number on my core. I’ve halfheartedly worked core before because … more babies. Why bother until I knew we were done? Well, Adam is the crowning glory on children for our family, so there you have it. Time for core work, and I’m going to start with yoga focused around core exercises. I need to add arm balances and upper body strengthening, too, but I think toting the baby around is already helping with that … and the ballet upper body work.
  • Running/walking – today was about a 15 minute mile, two minutes of walking and one minute of running. I feel pretty good about that, actually! It’s been nine months since I dared to run. Nothing felt like it was falling out (#fourkids) and I didn’t feel exhausted after. Granted it was a little over 1.5 miles, but still! It was Houston and gross outside.

That’s it. No weight loss goals specifically, just toning and getting fit again. This is a picture I took at the beginning of August. I’ll keep taking a picture with me and Adam at the beginning of each month to see what changes – for him and for me!

IMG_4300 What else should I think about for post-baby fitness? Can’t slash calories – nursing takes a lot, especially when you’re also active. Do you have ideas for healthy additions to my diet that will get me those extra calories without loading up my sugar and fat?

A Dream is a wish … etc.

Pardon me, my four-year-old has been watching Cinderella over and over. Yes, the classic and iconic princess has claimed Nora’s #1 Princess spot, over the likes of Elsa, Sofia, etc. Rapunzel and Elsa are probably rounding out the top three, with Sofia making a strong push for third too.

This past weekend was the Disney World Princess Half Marathon weekend, full of such fun as the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon), kids’ races, a fun 5K, and princesses everywhere. I would have loved to run this but … did I mention baby due in June? And not a good pregnant runner? Thought I might have.

Also this weekend came an announcement of a Disney race close to my heart: the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon in September 2016. The husband is French, see, and 2016 is our 10th anniversary year. I’d already talked about wanting to do the Tinkerbell Half (Disneyland in California) as my “We’re done having babies!” race in May 2016, and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon (Disney World in Florida) since it’s near our anniversary in November 2016. (And earn that coast-to-coast, because why not? It’s a big year.)  So if we added in a Disneyland Paris in September for an unofficial “around the Disney world” challenge … ah, it’d be so fun. And expensive. Let’s not forget expensive.

So dreams and wishes and et cetera … in honor of all the Disney racing fun, I thought I’d share some fun running costume boards I’ve put together. I started doing these for the Disney 10K in 2014, and it’s become a fun little hobby of mine. I’ve done some of the “main” princesses, but love to do characters less known or emulated.

First: a princess who always does her best. Sofia‘s sister Princess Amber.

A Princess Always Does Her Best


A Princess Always Does Her Best by dormousie featuring a short sleeve print shirt

Not feeling the princess vibe? How about Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates?

Pixie Dust, Away!


Pixie Dust, Away! by dormousie featuring NIKE

Oh, okay … in honor of the French run and my own teenage Disney obsession, here’s country Belle.

Très Belle!


Très Belle! by dormousie featuring a white apron

What are your running dreams for 2016? If the Disney plan doesn’t work out for me, I may have to look into the Texas Wine series

Yoga for Two

I’ve talked a bit about my fitness plans for this pregnancy in my weekly updates, but thought it might be fun to talk a little more specifically. For each of my babies/pregnancies, I’ve really enjoyed finding other moms who’ve had similar experiences or tried things similar to what I’m interested in, so I can see how it went for them. Every pregnancy, woman, and baby is different, but there’s some sort of comfort in seeing what the sisterhood is up to while carrying a baby.

I mentioned before that I had hopes of running during this pregnancy. Unfortunately, my experience during Jude’s pregnancy turned out to not be a fluke. Starting around 8-10 weeks, my body simply can’t handle running anymore. My heart and breathing rates go up too high, too fast, and I’m gasping for air. My pace, if slowed down to a comfy heart rate, is essentially walking. Even that can put additional strain that I’m not comfortable with during pregnancy, especially given the asthma issues I developed while pregnant with Seth.

I decided to go back to yoga, something I’ve always enjoyed but don’t do enough of at any time. I need help with my strengthening in general. I would love some core and pelvic area stretches and strengthening. I also need some stress counteraction since I don’t have the running working for me right now!


Somehow this isn’t the stress release I thought it would be.

I’ve been a fan of Shiva Rea for a long time. I had her prenatal yoga dvd, so I tried it a few times. Honestly, I just get bored doing the same thing over and over. Prenatal classes are hard to find at times and locations that work for me. I didn’t feel confident enough modifying in a standard class, and I didn’t want to buy more DVDs. I did rent a couple on Amazon Instant Video and … Well, I wasn’t too impressed.


Most of my yoga DVDs came from Gaiam, so i decided to try their Roku/streaming channel. (I’m not doing referral links … This is just my opinion.) I must have done their free trial or some other sort of trial, because I know I wouldn’t pay $90 for a year subscription without testing it first. Because that’s exactly what I ended up doing.

There are two teachers I really like: Twee Merrigan and Mara Branscombe. I’ve tried multiple practices from them and have enjoyed all of them. Yes, there are some issues. At some point in every video, the narrator seems to forget whether she’s mirroring or saying the actual right/left in her instructions, and it gets confusing. That’s minor, though, compared to the general quality of these practices. The practices are varied lengths — 20/30 minutes or 40/60, which I appreciate. Lots of options! Lots of instructors, too.


This right here? That’s what I needed and was looking for. Gentle pushes, gentle strength, targeting the areas a pregnant body needs help with. Loved it big time today.

My hope is that doing yoga more regularly gets me into a “need it!” mindset after the baby arrives too. I could use it postpartum, of course, and they have options for postpartum yoga and Pilates, too. I also need to build it into my running routines so I’m a more well-rounded runner. I need the counterbalance to the tighter hips and legs, and the focus on the upper body.

I’m even going to get brave at some point soon and try a class. While pregnant. Not for pregnant ladies. Maybe next week.

Also? My Raw Threads shirts have been AWESOME yoga wear in this first half of the pregnancy. I just got a For Two Fitness yoga shirt from Zulily, so I’m loving that wardrobe option too. Now if I could just make yoga pants official work wear, I’d be totally set!

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