March 17, 2015
by hyedi
3 Comments

Race Recap: 2015 Point Bock Run

I debated doing a race recap, but even though I mostly walked this one, it was still a very challenging race for me, in its own way! This race took place a couple of weeks ago. J and I look forward to this weekend every year because it takes place at a brewery near where he went to college. We also have some friends who live there that we don’t see very often, so it’s a lot of fun to spend time with them. We’ve done this race eight times total now!

I started out right near the back of the pack and while most of the people right around me started out running, I wanted a good warm up before I even thought about running. Five miles is a long ways to walk! I picked up the pace in the second mile and decided it would be fun to try to negative split. My splits ended up, roughly, being:

16:01

15:29

15:01

15:02

12:43

And bonus: I wanted to finish under 1:15 and I did — 1:14:53!

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J had a great race. Even though there was a decent headwind, he PR’d with a time of 31:35 and placed 31st overall. This race has a super competitive field, so he was really happy with his finish.

My physical activity lately prior to the race had kind of been lacking. An early ultrasound showed I had a minor issue that the doctors wanted to keep an eye on, so I was on restricted activity for the first trimester. Had that not been the case, I’m honestly not sure how much I would’ve been doing anyways. I was a lot sicker this time around than when I  was pregnant with Charlie. Then, once I was cleared for physical activity, I got a bad head cold that lasted longer than a week. As soon as that passed, round ligament pain started showing up around week 16! Luckily, I’ve been able to manage the RLP with a brace the lovely Beth loaned to me and just back off of the intensity if it gets really bad. Last week, I did a combination of walking and walk/jogging for a total of 8 miles! The nice weather lately sure has helped :)

March 15, 2015
by hyedi
10 Comments

Pregnancy After Loss (PAL) Awareness Day

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In the United States, one out of every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage and one in every 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. These numbers do not include infant death from preterm labor, diagnosis of life-limiting conditions, or SIDS. Here in Minnesota, Governor Dayton declared today, March 15, as Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Day, and March, Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month. The amazing site Pregnancy After Loss Support has been leading the effort in raising awareness and acknowledging the difficult journey of balancing joy and grief during a subsequent pregnancy after loss.

I’m honored to contribute to the Pregnancy After Loss Support site as a Bump Day Blogger where I’ve been documenting my own PAL journey.

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We feel so lucky to have been able to get pregnant again, but it hasn’t been a joy-filled journey. We had our big appointment — the anatomy scan — last week. This is the appointment that, just under 11 months ago, we found out our unborn son was likely going to die. The one that changed our lives forever. But this time around, we got happier news, and with that, a small weight has been lifted. And in two days, I’ll be halfway done with this journey that, at times, has felt like it might kill me.

I’ve switched doctors twice, had three ultrasounds, more than a couple frantic calls to the doctor and quite a few panic attacks. And unfortunately, these are all very common and normal things to happen in subsequent PAL. But sometimes you feel like something is wrong with you, especially when those around you are telling you how excited you should be that you’re pregnant again and that you shouldn’t worry because it’s bad for the baby, or chances of what happened before are low, so it likely won’t happen again and that you need to think positively. Those things aren’t helpful because I know all of those things. But trauma is a very real thing. And those who suffer from it have very little control of the after-effects.

So that’s why this day and month are so important — please help spread the word to help support women and their partners who are navigating this, sadly all-too-common journey. Find out how, here.

February 26, 2015
by hyedi
5 Comments

A break + Walking for Charlie

Well, it’s been awhile. I hit a bit of a rough patch and decided to take a bit of a break. I also took an extended break from running after my fall and due to some other medical reasons. Then, as soon as I was about to start easing back into things, I got the WORLD’S WORST HEAD COLD EVER! (OK, I’m obviously exaggerating, here, but it was pretty bad). It also doesn’t help that the weather in Minnesota is still annoyingly cold, but I did get out for a 2.2 mile walk yesterday. The temperature was around 30 degrees, but there was a terribly cold headwind. I can’t wait for spring.

Since there hasn’t been any running going on, I’ve been focusing on making my 10,000 steps/day goal. It doesn’t happen every day, but I’ve been doing okay.

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I’m also signed up for a few races. The race we do every year in Wisconsin is coming up quick. It’s five miles, so I don’t anticipate I’ll be running it at this point, but depending on the weather, that’s a long ways to walk, so we’ll see. Hopefully it won’t be a DNS for me, but it could happen. I also have Goldy’s 5K coming up and the Faith’s Lodge Hope Walks and Rolls 5K! I’m putting together a team and doing some fundraising in memory of Charlie. If you’d like to join our team, you can register here. Or to donate, click here!

Since my training has been lacking, fill me in on how yours has been going!

December 11, 2014
by hyedi
2 Comments

Race Recap: 2014 Reindeer Run

The Reindeer Run was the last of three races I ran, three weekends in a row! I’m glad I had these races on the calendar, because my motivation has been really lacking when it comes to running lately — mainly because my ankle is taking FORever to heal. But anyways.

Race start was a bit later than I’m used to — 9:30 a.m. I met my co-workers at the Lake Harriet Bandshell around 9 a.m., after driving around for forever, looking for a place to park. Not quite 20 degrees and sunny, the lake was looking mighty lovely:

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We pinned on our bibs, took a group photo and were off!10806209_10152980448848854_3210557945152597690_n The first mile was basically just weaving through people and trying to settle into a pace, which was pretty much impossible. Luckily, my toes and fingers started to warm up once we started running.

Somewhere around mile 2, I found two guys who seemed to be running somewhere around my pace. TBH, if I were standing next to them, I would probably only come up to their hips. So deciding to keep up with these long-legged fellows made me feeling extra badass. The big mass of people had thinned out a bit, so I was finally able to find and maintain a comfortable pace. I had my Runkeeper going in my pocket, but didn’t wear a watch, so I had no idea what that pace was. Since my training was lacking, I had decided to run the race off of feel.

As we approached the mile 3 marker, I knew there would be a slight uphill and a big corner to turn before the finish line would be in sight. I also knew that I had enough left in me to pass some people on that uphill. I stayed with my tall man-friends and made my way up the hill and around the bend. At this point, I was able to pick up the pace a bit more and finish strong, but the guys I was trying to stick with had more left in the tank and finished a few seconds ahead of me. Oh well, I finished feeling good and was happy with a sub-30:00 finish. (The race wasn’t chip timed, but according to my Runkeeper, I crossed in 29:15.)

I grabbed some hot chocolate and a few snacks and then met up with my co-workers. We made sure to take a quick post-race selfie and then set out on the long trek back to our cars.

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A part of me remembers why I quit running this race a few years ago, the weaving at the beginning is super annoying and parking is definitely lacking. Not to mention, the blizzard-like conditions I ran it in a couple of years. But, the nice weather this year was awesome and I do love all of the costumes and festiveness of the race. Plus, running with my co-workers made it totally worth it! I think with a few small tweaks (start closer to the front, arrive earlier or just plan to park further away) this will be back on my list of annual races!

Have you ever run a similar race? Did you dress up?

November 27, 2014
by hyedi
3 Comments

Race Recap: 2014 St. Paul Turkey Trot 5K

This is a little out of order, since I am one race recap behind. Today’s turkey trot was the second turkey trot I ran this year! I walk/ran one in my hometown with my mom last weekend.

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To be completely honest, I was dreading race morning because all week I had been hearing about how cold it was going to be. And sure enough, it was two degrees below zero when I got to the start. My ankle is still giving me trouble, so I decided I’d take it pretty easy and bring my dog, Cole, along. We tested out the new Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection stuff  and jacket I bought him.

It was extremely congested for the first mile and so Cole and I had to walk. After the first mile, we were able to jog on and off. Finally, we were able to push the pace for the last mile or so. So really, I’m pretty happy with our time of 35:30!

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Now we’re off to my in-laws’ for yummy eats and family time and my parents come into town tomorrow. We’ve got some good meals lined up and my mom and I are taking a wreath making class on Saturday. I can’t wait!

This, by far, has been the most challenging and difficult year of my life, but I still have so much to be thankful for. I am healthy. I am married to the most wonderful man who I love so much. I have access to clean drinking water, food and health care. I have a supportive family. I have a roof over my head. I have a job that I love. I have the best friends I could ever ask for. And above all, this year, I am thankful that although brief, we got to meet our sweet Charlie and that before that, I was able to spend seven months with him, while he grew and fought, safe inside me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

November 26, 2014
by hyedi
1 Comment

Guest post: Using Aqua Aerobics to Train for a Race

I have a fun guest post for all of you today from the lovely Kaitlin who blogs over at An Apple Per Day! I loved this idea for a guest post because I’m always looking for new ways to cross train — especially when it can directly benefit race training!

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The benefits of cross-training (training in an alternate sport in order to improve fitness or performance in a main sport) are well-established, and topping the list of those cross-training workouts that have shown to be highly beneficial for long-distance runners is aqua aerobics, including aqua jogging. In fact, a regular (weekly) non-running workout will give your joints and muscles a break from the effects of running on a hard surface. Additionally, using different muscle groups and movements than used in running, which an aqua aerobics routine can provide, will help prevent injury.

The benefits of aqua aerobics and aqua jogging have been widely studied in recent years, and they are growing in popularity for people of all ages and levels of athleticism. For more reading, follow these links:

Benefits of Cross Training

Cross-training with aqua aerobics to prepare for a race has a variety of benefits, including:

  1. Aqua aerobics is low-impact and has a very low risk of injury.
  2. Aqua jogging closely mimics a runner’s land-based running form.
  3. The intensity of water workouts can easily be adjusted with ankle and wrist weights.
  4. Aqua aerobics provides a unique alternative environment for training.

To get started with aqua aerobics in preparation for a race, first determine at what level intensity you want to cross-train. To get your heart rate to 70% or above for an extended period of time, consider using ankle weights or hand-held dumbbells that are specially designed for water use.

Next, invest in a buoyancy belt. These fairly inexpensive pieces of equipment will ensure that you retain proper posture while exercising or running in deep water. The belt should fit snugly around your waist and keep your upper body out of the water. Water shoes (also called aqua shoes) will offer added resistance, which means a more thorough and efficient workout. Be sure that your attire in the pool is comfortable and free of straps that will need adjusting as you work out.

Try These Aqua Moves on for Size

Spiderman: Target your core and back muscles with this gravity-defying move for runners. In chest-high water, stand facing the side of the pool, about a foot away. Sweep your hands back and forth behind you for stabilization as you “run” up the side of the wall and then back down to the pool bottom. Do six reps, alternating the leg you lead with each time. Note, pool gloves will enhance this exercise substantially.

Core-building Plank: A strong core is essential for runners. Using a flexible Styrofoam pool noodle across the front of your body, grip it in the middle and press down firmly, leaning forward until you are inclining at about 45 degrees, but with your head just above the waterline. Try to build up to holding the plank for two minutes; rest for thirty seconds and repeat. Note: planks can be held for as long as you are able.

Cross Country Skiing: This great upper and lower body workout is a great cardio-busting runner’s workout. In shoulder-high water, start in a standing “cross-country ski” position, with one foot in front of you and one foot in back of you, with knees slightly bent. Place arms in opposite position (if right arm is forward, left leg should be back). To do the exercise, simply jump and switch the arm/leg positions. Build up to being able to do two sets, with 12-15 reps each. To increase muscle tone, use hand-held water dumbbells and/or ankle weights.

What to Remember

It is vital to maintain a stable core during aqua aerobics workouts. Check your form before each exercise, especially when using ankle and/or wrist weights. If you feel pain at any point, or excessive “day after” pain, discontinue your workout and check with your doctor.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

November 25, 2014
by hyedi
4 Comments

Being watched while you sleep part two: the results

After a little mishap that involved the sleep clinic forgetting to send my doctor the results from my study, I finally got the information I’ve been waiting for since last week. The doctor did a great job of explaining everything and I found it really interesting to see how long I spent in the different stages of sleep. Even though it wasn’t severe enough to warrant the CPAP during my sleep study, they did find mild sleep apnea and were able to show me just how much it’s affecting my sleep (it’s a lot).

Perhaps the most interesting thing they found, that totally confirmed what I’ve always thought, is that (at least on the night of the study) because I didn’t get quality sleep throughout the night, I ended up in a deep sleep right before waking up, which explains why sometimes it’s SO HARD to wake up in the morning, even if I went to bed early the night before. Instead of making me get a CPAP (making me likely one of the youngest people to need a CPAP), they recommended starting with a device that I’ll wear in my mouth at night that will help keep my airway open. I’m feeling optimistic about having a plan of action, even if it does sound like it’s going to be an expensive plan of action. And they couldn’t get me in for my next appointment until December 4, but that’ll be here before I know it.

In addition, they strongly recommended that I make some lifestyle changes and stick to them for at least 30 days to gauge whether or not they are making any difference. I’ve decided to start these now since I won’t have the device for another month or so. These changes include:

  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday
  • Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
  • Cutting back on alcohol — going to attempt to cut out alcohol altogether for the next 30 days since I really don’t drink much anyways
  • Winding down before bed (I have a habit of working, watching Parks & Rec or being on Twitter right before I go to sleep)
  • Making sure to be well hydrated throughout the day and then limit fluids right before bed

Some changes that weren’t suggested but I’m going to make on my own include:

  • Cleaning up my diet and no sweets in the evening
  • This isn’t a change, but I’m going to continue to keep a notebook by my bed to write down any thoughts that are likely keeping me from falling asleep or falling back asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night
  • I’m going to attempt to make my sleep schedule incorporate a morning workout so I make sure to get in my 30 minutes (or more) of exercise everday
m4s0n501

November 24, 2014
by hyedi
10 Comments

A Day in the Life (With One Photo an Hour)

Saw this fun idea on Andrea’s blog to do a day in the life post with one photo each hour. I decided to document my day, yesterday, which mostly included a long car ride back from my parents’ house in Wisconsin.

8:00 a.m. hour

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Breakfast at my favorite place and more importantly, Intelligentsia coffee!

9:00 a.m. hour

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I’ve desperately needed a car wash for an embarrassingly long time now, so when I received a $25 value gift card to a new car wash in my hometown, I decided to go all out and get the ultimate, full service wash and now I have a sparkling clean car — for a day or so at least.

10:00 a.m. hour

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Cole is ready to make the drive back to Minnesota!

11:00 a.m. hour

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Caught the hubs’ up on Serial on the way down to my parents’ house and finally got to listen to an episode that was new to the both of us! Just a few more to go to be all caught up.

12:00 p.m. hour

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J is listening to the Packers/Vikings game and I’m less than interested so I take selfies instead

1:00 p.m. hour

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Still full from breakfast, so got a little snack when we stopped to gas up the car.

2:00 p.m. hour

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Still in the car, but about an hour and a half from home, so I fire up the computer to get some work done. Had to wait until now for my hotspot to work again!

3:00 p.m. hour

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Wake up, Cole! We’re almost home!

4:00 p.m. hour

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Someone’s happy we are home!

5:00 p.m. hour

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Holiday card photo preview!

6:00 p.m. hour

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Kitchen update: all of our appliances have been purchased! So tonight before leaving for yoga, I spent some time online, researching flooring, cabinet and light switch options.

7:00 p.m. hour

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Photo didn’t turn out great, but hit up a Sunday sunset yoga class at Yellow Barn Wellness

8:00 p.m. hour

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Spent some time after class chatting with two of my favorites!

9:00 p.m. hour

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Helped Watched J do some work in the kitchen.

10:00 p.m. hour

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Checked my football picks and finished the Cowboys/Giants game and then lights out!

Tell me about your day yesterday!

November 17, 2014
by hyedi
10 Comments

A Healing Weekend at Faith’s Lodge

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After Charlie died, we had multiple people (caregivers, counselors and social workers) recommend that we go spend a weekend at Faith’s Lodge. So, sometime in late September, we filled out an application and found a weekend that worked — November 14-16 — and made our reservation. As the date drew closer, I felt myself getting more and more anxious about going. I was nervous about telling our story. And I was worried about connecting with the other couples there.

Faith’s Lodge is about two hours away from the Twin Cities and its mission is to provide a place for families and parents to go if they have a child with a serious illness or have lost a child. There are designated weekends for families with children who are ill vs. bereaved families and further designated by what age the child was when they passed away.

We took a half day off of work on Friday, dropped off Cole at my in-laws’ and crossed over the Wisconsin border.

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As we pulled up to the lodge, I was totally blown away by how much more beautiful the lodge and property were in person, but I could also feel my anxiety building. To make matters worse, I knew we were going to be the last to arrive — the other couples had nearly 24 hours together prior to our arrival. But once we walked in and were greeted by name by the lodge manager, Lisa, I started feeling more at ease. She gave us a tour around the gorgeous 12,000 square foot lodge — there were multiple rooms where groups could gather or we could go to be alone (all with fireplaces), an arts and crafts room, a theater room and a huge kitchen and dining area.

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Then, Lisa showed us to our cozy, yet spacious room and let us get settled. I laid down for a quick nap and then we headed upstairs for dinner. Lisa showed us where we could put the pictures we brought of Charlie — on a table with photos of the other couples’ beautiful children. We made our plates and joined a few other couples for a comforting dinner of soup and sandwiches. We all introduced ourselves and one of the other couples asked if we would be comfortable telling our story. I took a deep breath and told them about that ultrasound, the waiting, the specialist appointments, the roller coaster of emotions, the hospital visits, Charlie’s birth and finally, how we eventually said goodbye. It wasn’t long before tissues were being passed around the table and the other couples took turns sharing their stories with us. They were incredibly sad and moving stories, but they were also beautiful in how these parents are remembering their children.

After dinner, we had a group-led discussion with a social worker. We shared our story again and got to know the stories from the couples who weren’t at dinner. We all cried together and after that, we were all so emotionally exhausted that we went retreated to our rooms for bed.

The next morning, J and I slept in and made our way upstairs for some breakfast and arts and crafts.

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Mid-afternoon, we decided to go into town to catch the end of the Gophers vs. Ohio State game and get some burgers and beer. We found a dive bar with friendly service and some pretty darn good food! And of course, I ordered a Spotted Cow.

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Our last night at the lodge was one I’ll never forget. After dinner, we gathered in a room upstairs, downloaded Catch Phrase on my phone, divided into two teams (girls vs. guys, duh) and sat in a circle. For the next two hours, we laughed more than I’m sure a lot of us have in months. It was then that I realized just how familiar everyone seemed and how comfortable I felt with them, even though we had just met 24 hours earlier. The internal “I don’t fit in anymore” feeling that’s become a new part of my identity disappeared and I felt at ease.

We said our goodbyes the next morning and by the time we got home, there was already a group email chain going with all of our contact information in hopes of staying in touch.  I realized that while it’s not a bond that we wish we had, we do have something significant in common and whether or not we ever see each other again, I know we won’t forget one another.

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November 12, 2014
by hyedi
5 Comments

Roommate Reunion #BritneyInVegas

Last Thursday night, I went to the first out of 11 shows that Garth Brooks is playing here in Minneapolis and it was hands down one of the best arena shows (and one of my favorite shows, EVER) I’ve ever been to. Then, bright and early Friday morning, two of my BFFs/college roommates and I headed to Vegas for a quick girls’ weekend.

With the time change, we arrived in Vegas at 9:30 a.m. and by the time we dropped our bags at the hotel and found a bar with a patio, it was about 11:30 a.m. We promptly ordered this when the waitress suggested it:

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While we knew the 100 ounces of margarita wasn’t a good idea, it did seem like a very Vegas way to start our trip. But yeah, bad idea. After the bar, we headed back to the hotel where our fourth roommate, who drove from LA, met us. We got ready, went out for dinner and then it was time for BRITNEY!

She. was. terrible. And I loved every minute of it.

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Post-Britney, we did a little gambling, had a few more beverages and found some cheese fries. But then, all of a sudden, I hit a wall and was EXHAUSTED. It was then that I remembered it was almost 4 a.m. Minnesota-time. We headed back up to the room where I promptly passed out.

On Saturday, I woke up earlier than I would’ve liked, but really couldn’t sleep anymore. We found some breakfast and Starbucks and then made our way down to the pool where we stayed for the next four hours. I think those four hours were among my top moments of 2014. It was so amazingly relaxing. The weather was a perfect 75+ degrees and oh so sunny. Perfection.

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Eventually it was time to leave the pool and get ready for dinner. We headed to the Cromwell where we had reservations to try Giada’s new-ish restaurant. The entire menu looked pretty delicious, but we opted for the tasting menu experience which ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It was four courses with the highlights being the bacon-wrapped dates, the Sicilian roasted lamb and the amaretto chocolate cake complete with edible 24 karat gold. We got sent home with a cool “souvenir” that included recipes for the dishes that were a part of the tasting menu, and to my husband’s delight — a signed Giada headshot. lmao.

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We had an early flight Sunday morning and came back to 30 degree weather and snow. Lame.

Post-running fall update: Walking around Vegas wasn’t good for my ankle/knee and definitely slowed my recovery. I now haven’t run in over a week which is a major bummer.

What’s your favorite Britney song?