This post is dedicated to my first real running buddy, Amanda. She's one of those friends who you meet once and you know you're going to be best pals forever! We've gone through college graduations, weddings, half marathons and now...babies together! She's due with her first sweet baby (a girl!) later this month.
We were talking the other day about how the anticipation for labor and delivery is a lot like a big running race. There is so much preparing and build up and nerves, and then it just happens. You just do it and it's awesome. It got me on this tangent all about how running races and having babies is TOTALLY THE SAME THING. It's probably why so many moms like to run. We're just super awesome at the whole process. It's in our genes.
So, whether you're a runner thinking about having a baby, or you've had a baby and you're thinking about running your first race, just know, YOU'VE SO GOT THIS.
So....you sign up for a race. The only real difference here is that sometimes you don't exactly choose to have a baby, and I don't know of anyone who has been secretly registered for a race without their knowledge. Regardless. You take that pregnancy test, you submit your race form and BOOM - all of a sudden there's a big date circled in your calendar several months away. The countdown (and the training!) begins.
Your body hurts. From sore hips and lower back to other achy muscles, your body goes through lots of changes when you start running more mileage AND growing babies...and it usually hurts!
You're hungry ALL THE TIME. Runners call it "Runger". Preggo mamas call it eating for 2. Whatever you call it. We eat all the time. Best to keep it to lots of healthy fats and protein, but let's face it, sometimes some icecream is necessary too.
You lose sleep at night. You're exhausted from growing babies OR running miles...but somehow when your head hits the pillow you can only think about a million worries about babies and pregnancy, or where your next run route will be, or what you'll eat for breakfast...
You've gotta get ALL THE GEAR. Once you start running more, you'll find yourself addicted to finding the best gear. You need some new shoes, oh and a running water bottle, Maybe you need a new Garmin. Of course you hit the fitness section in every clothing store. And babies...duh. You need everything. You're shopping for all their gear PLUS some new stretchy waisted clothes for yourself!!
Don't forget about your core! Keeping your core strength strong throughout pregnancy is so important! It will help with back pain, and strength to deliver and recover quickly! It's equally important for runners as your core is wear your power and stability come from!
It's helpful to have a buddy. Running buddies are the best thing ever. They keep you motivated, and are someone to make those long runs feel shorter. Plus, they probably won't mind you talking about all of your sleepless running thoughts. Same thing with a pregnancy buddy. It's awesome if you can find a fellow preggo mama with a nearby due date, so you can compare notes/worries and go through all of the stages together!
You drink water constantly. It's so important to stay hydrated when you're running all the miles, and growing all the babies!! Keep a water bottle with you all the time!
You become a Pinterest addict. We all get really research-y about our coming challenges. Mamas build boards full of dream nursery's, newborn photos and what to pack in their hospital bag. Runners have all the latest speed workouts, foam rolling tutorials, post-run smoothie recipes and motivational quotes!
Race day is near and you seriously consider your ability to finish. I'm pretty sure every future mother and every racer has had AT LEAST one freak out. "How in the WORLD will I EVER be able to DO THISSSSSS?????"
Labor / Race Day
You should eat a high quality pre race meal. Of course with labor, you often won't know the day you'll end up in the hospital. With a run, it's best to always fuel up the morning of a big race! My go-to race day breakfast is a gluten free waffle with peanut butter and banana. It's no big surprise that that is also what I ate the morning of my induction for baby #2!
Your husband better be there to cheer you on. It's always amazing to have the ones you love cheering you on at the finish line of a big race. You might want all of those loved ones in your delivery room cheering you on too! Or at the very least...that husband BETTER be there. That extra boost of motivation and support is just what every racer/mama needs to push to the finish line!
You should pick a mantra. Having a positive affirmation or mantra can be incredibly helpful in keeping your focus for a race or during labor. Things like "I am strong", "My body was made for this" "or Just Breathe" are all equally great for runners OR mamas!
"My Body Was Made For This"
All you can think about is food. Maybe it's just me, but with both of my girls, all I could think about while I was in labor was how hungry I was. Likewise, usually the second half of my long races consists purely of me deciding on my post-race meal. After I had baby #1, they brought me gluten free french toast and bacon. I have to say, it may have been the best post-race meal ever!
You're pretty sure the race will never end. There's a point in the day when you're pretty sure that baby might just stay inside forever. And that finish line looks SO FAR away. But guess what?! You'll get there. That baby will arrive, the finish line will come into sight...I promise!
Delivery / The Finish Line!
All of a sudden, the finish line is in sight! You can see it! Up ahead! The crowd is cheering and just like that, you have a boost of energy and start sprinting! Or...they say..."baby is crowning...it's time to PUSH!"
That final push to the finish is always the hardest! You're already exhausted. But those final pushes and that last big sprint are always the hardest!
Side note story. When I was delivering my first daughter, my nurse midwife was actually one of the participants in a bootcamp class I had taught. She of course was loving the fact that I was the one getting my butt kicked for once, but also knew just how to coach me through the final pushes. She kept saying, "it's just like a marathon Alyssa, you're ALMOST to the finish line! Finish strong!" So apparently this blog post has been like, 3 years in the making.
You did it! You get that shiny medal/adorable baby handed to you and the last 10 months of work just slips from your memory. You can't stop looking at it and it's best to just put it right up on your chest for a couple hours. Snuggle it and wear it proudly.
Bring on the post-race pictures! You've GOT to have lots of pictures to remember this day! So many pictures of the baby, the mama, the racers, the fans, the daddy...so many pictures all the way around.
Bring on the post-race drinks! Ok maybe not RIGHT away for the mamas. But I love having a little post-race margarita later in the day, and you can bet those mamas are excited to have a drink sometime soon too after a long 9 months!
Eat ALL THE FOOD! Have I mentioned that all of this is really just about the food. Oh yeah. I think you've got that. Refuel that body! You'll need it for muscle recovery and energy!
Everything hurts. You're gonna be sore the next day. It's just inevitable. Your body just did an amazing thing!
Taking a bath feels AMAZING. Epsom Salts and oils are where it's at y'all. My post-baby baths became a weekly thing for a while and it was the best half hour of my day. It helped with healing AND stress! Runners, the same baths will feel amazing on your tired muscles!
You might need some time off. Mamas - take those 4-6 weeks before jumping back on the workout train. Let your body really recover! Did I mention it just did an amazing thing? Runners, you may need to give your body a few weeks of recovery as well. Keep moving, but maybe keep the intensity a little lower.
And then you do it again. Most likely you'll get addicted to the swag, the runners high, the adorable babies... and sign yourself up to do it all over again!
Are you a mama? A runner? Both? What comparisons did I miss?
As a special Amanda's-baby-month treat - I'm opening up just 5 of my
Baby on the Way Essentials kits for sale this month!
They are super affordable and include all of my favorite oils for pregnancy, labor
and even new baby care PLUS a diffuser and fractionated coconut oil. Literally everything you need to get started using oils.
These are all really beneficial to runners too! Imagine that!
You'll also get special access to my Oily Mama's
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It's that time again! HALF MARATHON TRAINING is in full swing, y'all and I'm PUMPED about it! You all know by now that I LOVE having a plan to follow. It's just so much better than winging it all the time!
Since our Colorado trip earlier this year, I've put running on the way back burner, mostly because it's hot and it made me just hate life (just being honest here!). I knew I wanted to run the Corpus Christi Harbor Half again (I did it 2 years ago!) so I just kind of put running on maintenance mode until the official training began.
Well, week 1 arrived and I'm already feeling so much better about running! It's amazing how powerful the mind is when it comes to exercise. I don't talk myself out of finishing a run, because I know I have to cross that workout off my list. PLUS, I have an awesome running buddy Sara to meet me at the curb in early mornings. BTW - FIND A RUNNING BUDDY. It makes all the difference in the world!
So...how did the first week go?
I was asked on Monday from a friend "how in the world are you going to get all of your miles in with the kiddos?". My answer? "I don't know. But I'm going to schedule my runs and make them a priority." I've used the "kids will wake up" "it's too hot" " my husband is too busy" excuses for TOO LONG.
I'm doing this people.
Will it be tough some days? Yes.
Will I probably be begging people to entertain my children when I get to those double digit run days? Yes.
But that's what our tribe is for (look out mama friends...I'm comin' for ya!).
So all that being said, the word that best describes this run week was "Free-ing". I committed to 2 early morning runs with Sara, and my husband agreed to deal with the kids awake OR asleep.
Getting the run out of the way before breakfast was life changing! I love the fact that I can take the girls running with me, but for right now, this "me time" is what I need. I didn't have to rush the hungry kids out the door when it was already too hot to run, while feeding them muffins on the go. Our mornings became stress free again, because mama had already had her run. I'm not gonna lie, we had some tough nights this week, and it was tempting to bail on those early mornings, but I'm so glad I had a running buddy waiting for me! Today I slathered myself with eucalyptus and wild orange oils in a desperate on-the-way-out-the-door attempt to wake up! It worked!
I did my other 2 runs later in the day with the kids, which was hot, but they were short, so not so bad. I've been liking listening to podcasts while I stroller run to keep my mind off the extra weight and to keep the kids quiet!!
I also loved that I still am incorporating other workouts into my week. I did 2 strength workouts (1 with my Mommy Strong crew, and 1 in my driveway) and 2 yoga workouts. I love Runners World Yoga and Yoga with Adriene!
I'm feeling really balanced and motivated to continue plugging away at this training cycle.
1 week down, 11 to go!!
Who else is training for a fall race? I want to hear about your training and your goals!
Feel free to follow me on Instagram (@homefield_essentials) - I post way more on there than this little bloggy blog! I'm gonna try to do regular updates on here though, as I'm learning that every little bit of accountability helps me!
Here we are, August 1st and you all know what that means....FOOTBALL TIME!
As a college football coaching family, our year pretty much revolves around the different "football seasons". There's more than 1 football season, you say? Well, yep. We've got Fall Camp, Actual Season, Post Season Play (hopefully), Recruiting Season, Spring Ball, did I mention recruiting season? Oh yeah that happens all year long.
But we start to get really excited when August rolls around because it's the real deal football time. I love taking the girls to practices and games, and I love seeing the spark of passion that lights up in my coach hubby's eyes when he gets back on the field.
I was reading back on some old blog posts of mine and found one from a few seasons ago that still really rings true to me. It was about supporting my coach through a healthy season. I know not every wife has the time or ability to do this, but I really try to take it upon myself to set my coaching hubby up for success during his season. You might want to check my old post out too - mostly for the funny comics I posted! Is it bad when your own blog posts make you laugh? I digress.
Last year, I have to admit, I didn't do much in terms of helping my husband out. I had a 10 day old baby and a 2 year old at the first game, and I was pretty much happy to just survive last season. But this season we're ready to roll again and I'm excited about some of the things we do to get ourselves and my coach ready for a winning season.
As far as me and the girls go, I make sure to have a pretty set (and fun!) fall schedule. Staying busy keeps us sane, and I'm excited to have a fall filled with Mommy Strong fitness classes, music class, some visitors and lots of fun little day trips. I also like to plan out a few weekly meals so that we don't end up eating cereal for dinner every night! Finally, we have a tradition of making new team shirts for the girls each year before the first game, so that will be a fun activity to do sometime this month!
As far as supporting my coaching husband, I"ve put together some of the things I send him off with for a healthy and successful season. If you have a coach (or any active, busy, hard working person!) some of these things might just make a perfect care package for them too!
Obviously, this initial stash won't last the whole season. I send lunches (and breakfasts and dinners usually) as well as healthy snacks like hard boiled eggs throughout the season too.
The Coach gave me list of stuff he needed for the locker room. I don't ask many questions, I just buy the list!
This makes my heart so happy. My husband Mr. Tough Football Guy was really skeptical of essential oils when I first ordered them. Fast forward to now...he asked for a diffuser in his office, uses oils every day and has been asking me to send samples in for other coaches!
He even had the idea of creating a "Football Season Survival Kit" for coaches with all of his favorite doTERRA products! He has seen how much these products have helped him, and I love that he wants other coaches to experience it too!
A few of the must-haves he told me he needed:
Need this survival kit for YOUR coach?
Click here to get in on this Home Field Exclusive Kit while it lasts!
I always like to send something a little personal too - this is one of the books I've given to him in the past to add to his collection at the office. I also like to print a few recent pictures of the girls for his office!
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I love connecting with fellow coach's wives...what are your favorite things you do to prepare yourself (or your coach) for football season?
I'm curious...where are you watching football from this year?
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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