A Reflection on my Running Journey

I was reminded yesterday that it has been just over three years since I officially started my running journey.

Thank you timehop

Thank you timehop

For years and years I had wanted to start running but just never fully committed. I picked up running for a short time when I was in college but never fully committed and was over it after a few weeks. It wasn’t until the Spring of 2011 that I bought myself some real running shoes and committed to the Couch to 5k (C25k) program.

Soon after starting the C25k program Neil (who also started it) and I signed up for our very first 5k. We chose to pick a more picturesque 5k in Portland Maine for our first 5k experience. We both signed up for the Old Port 5k (there is also a half marathon) and we recruited my parents to come cheer us on.

Cheers to an awesome month of running!  Now let's do this!

While I was by no means the fastest runner (or the slowest) I completed the race and felt such a rush at the end that I wanted to sign up for all the races. After this initial race I kept up with my running until I got pregnant with Edith in the Winter of 2011. I actually figured out I was pregnant after having the worst run of my entire life. I felt terrible, was super slow and just felt off so I went home and took a pregnancy test and at 4 weeks along I found out I was pregnant.

After that extreme morning sickness  hit and combine that with frigidly cold, windy and snow conditions l ended up choosing the couch over my running shoes.  While I started to feel better around 18 weeks along I just wasn’t prepared to start back running after taking 13 weeks off and instead chose yoga, walks and strength training over running. In the end I did no running at all during my pregnancy (besides the very early weeks).

Once Edith arrived I was thrilled to know that getting back to running was just around the corner…or so I thought. I was convinced that since I had been active during my pregnancy, had no issues during my pregnancy and had an amazing birth experience that I would heal quickly and be back to running at the 6 week postpartum mark. Well the healing process took far longer than I had initial thought, probably closer to 10 weeks before I started to feel “normal”. I started back running and was pretty consistently until Neil got a job in Portland Oregon and we found out we had three weeks to pack up and move.


apparently this is my lucky race top

However when I found out we were moving I immediately looked into races in the area and found a quarter marathon in May to sign up for. As soon as we arrived to PDX in January 2013 I started my training schedule and was fully committed to running. That May or rather last May I ran my first postpartum race and it was exhilarating and then I seemed to just crash. I had gone from little to no running to running four days per week and after the race I felt burned out.

The entire summer I ran around 1-2 times per week and it wasn’t until the Fall that I started up running around 2-3x per week. I needed a break, time to recharge and have that desire to run again. Once that desire to run started again I was ready to sign up for another race until oops I found myself pregnant again.  I ran during the early weeks of this pregnancy as well but just like with Edith I experienced intense morning sickness, I’d say even worse this time around and I decided once again to stop running. Just like my pregnancy with Edith I ended up not returning to running after taking 10 weeks off.

Here we are now at 39w1d pregnant and I know that running is in my near future again. This time around I know that healing may take longer and that I need to let myself heal and not rush back into running until my body feels good. My small goal is to start back running in late September/early October. Once of the benefits of living in the PNW is that we have mild winters and I don’t mind running in the rain so I will be able to keep up with running through the winter.

I actually won a race entry via a twitter chat to the same race I ran in May of 2013 and was able to defer the entry to next years race and plan to possibly train for the half this time around (I’ll decide once I see how running goes). I am thrilled to get back to running and knowing that there will be no more pregnancies after this one so I can really get back to making running a big part of my life.

In preparation for running yesterday my husband treated me to two new running tops and some gloves for this winter. It feels so good to know that I have some cute, comfortable and new running gear to get me back into the groove.

Share your running story in the comments! 

For that mamas out there what was your experience with running before, during and after pregnancy?

Healthy Seasonal Recipes with PAM | Warm Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

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Something exciting happened this past weekend…TOMATOES! Yes finally our local farmers market vendors have tomatoes and I am seriously in heaven. You would have thought the two huge heirloom tomatoes and three pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes would have lasted us all week but since I have been on a crazy tomato kick we are already out of them….four days later.

I am hoping that this baby makes his/her appearance very soon but I am also hoping that we can make it to the market to stock up on super sweet and juicy local tomatoes. I am salivating just thinking about buying more. Lately my favorite way to enjoy them has been on top of toast. Sometimes simply raw and sliced up with a little salt and pepper and other times I like to saute them up with a little onion or shallot and serve warmed.
Healthy Seasonal Recipes with PAM | Warm Cherry Tomato Bruschetta Warm Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Warm Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • PAM Organic Olive Oil Spray
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 slices of sourdough bread


  1. Toast up your sourdough bread; you can simply do this in a standard toaster, under the broiler in your oven or if you have a grill try grilling up your bread (my favorite method).
  2. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Spray to coat the bottom with PAM Organic Olive Oil Spray <– this spray keeps things light and healthy plus clean up is a breeze. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is soft.
  3. Add in the cherry tomatoes and garlic and cook until the cherry tomatoes start to break down; this should just take a few minutes.
  4. Season with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Top each slice of toasted sourdough with the warm cherry tomato topping.

Healthy Seasonal Recipes with PAM - Warm Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Leaving up to 99% less residue, PAM is your ally in the kitchen and allows you to save time during prep and clean up.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ConAgra via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ConAgra.

Summer Entertaining with Blue Diamond // Antipasto Plate with Almond Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Tastemakers. As always all opinions are my own. 

Neil and I have always enjoyed entertaining whether it’s a pizza party, a potluck or our annual pumpkin beer tasting dinner. My favorite time to entertain however is during the summer when the days are longer, the sun is out and there is little need to do much cooking. I prefer to whip up some salads, grill veggie burgers and of course set out a few snack plates to start off any gathering.

Blue Diamond Almonds - Stuffed Peppers

I am particularly partial to antipasto platters because there is little work involved for me and they just look beautiful. I head to the grocery store pick up a few varieties of olives and various other antipasto bar items including peppers (hot and sweet), artichokes, roasted garlic, marinated tomatoes and basically anything else that looks good. I will finish off my platter with toasted bread, pita chips, crackers and hummus. Since I don’t like to do everything store bought I usually add in my own little treat and this time I made almond cheese stuffed peppadew peppers.  Blue Diamond Almonds - Stuffed Peppers 2

What you’ll need for the almond cheese:

  • One 6oz tin of Whole Natural Blue Diamond Almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (this provides the cheesy flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons sweet white miso
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simply toss all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and then stuff your peppers and enjoy!

Blue Diamond Almonds - Stuffed Peppers top Share you summer entertaining tips below! One of my top tips is to keep it fresh and simple so that you can also enjoy the party!


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