Running while Breastfeeding

running_feeding01

Pumping at 3 AM before heading to the start corrals!

My second son was born during a year I had signed up for a lot of races. Giving up running when he was born wasn’t going to be an option unless my doctor told me otherwise. So, I had to revise my training schedule around feedings and nap times. I knew I wanted to breastfeed him, just as I did my first son for a year at the minimum. When I was cleared to run at my 6 week postpartum appointment, the planning begun. My shorter runs included me feeding baby before I would head out the door. This was easy, it was going to be my longer runs I would struggle with. What helped me the most was obtaining a breast pump through my insurance. Being able to feed my son before a long run, then pump 6-8 more ounces after relieved tension and weight.

I ran my first marathon when my son was 4 1/2 months old. I had to average out being away for 5 hours, when I normally would feed every four. My plan involved me feeding and pumping before I headed to the start line, which stretched my time out to 7 hours without feeding. My son would have milk to drink but this didn’t help me from leaking or feeling super uncomfortable. So by planning to have Mav meet up with me around mile 15-16 I was able to pump enough to get me to the finish and back to the hotel. Strategic planning, feeding schedules, and a pump helped me run while breastfeeding. Pumping after feedings and while my son would sleep through the night, allowed me to create a stock pile of milk. So even on some longer uncomfortable runs I was able to feel as ease knowing my son wasn’t going hungry.

RNR_01

Breastfeeding at the finish line of RNR Las Vegas!

The Breastfeeding Shop is a perfect go to solution to obtain your breast pump. They work exclusively with your insurance company so you don’t have to pay for your pump out of pocket. If you plan on running while breastfeeding and don’t want to have to worry about being uncomfortable or baby going hungry while you are out; you are going to need a breast pump! Please check out the breastfeeding shop and fill out their form to get your pump today!

It’s Giveaway Time!

giveaway

TinkerBell Half Marathon Weekend is in just a few short days. This half holds a special place in my heart as it is my first! In honor of my first half, I am giving away a Momentum Jewelry Wrap to two lucky winners! In order to win, please click on the link below and make sure you follow my Instagram!

PrayRunLiveLove

WDW Marathon 2017

 

WDW_01

The 2017 WDW Marathon made me a Marathoner. It was the race I signed up for while I was 5 months pregnant and wanted that challenge after my second son was born. I look back now and shouldn’t have let the hormones run the show, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t have made the jump so soon. With only 16 weeks post baby and 10 weeks to train, I knew I had a lot on my plate.

Leading up until marathon week, I begun to prepare myself for 26.2 miles. I gathered as much information as possible; tips and wise words. My training was intense for a short amount of time. Also, between natural body changes and life, there were plenty of days I had to force myself just to get back out. I knew giving myself the short amount of time between having a baby and the

Under the castle hangs!! Feeling good at mile 5!

Under the castle hangs!! Feeling good at mile 5!

marathon may have been a stretch but I was going to stick to it. I meal prepped and stuck to a strict diet just the week of to ensure I had the proper nutrition and energy to keep me strong all the miles. I started to monitor which energy gels and hydration drinks worked best and for what amount time. One thing I would just have to accept is my milk production, since I was breastfeeding and that my boobs were going to throw me off during the end of my run. I didn’t even want to get the idea that I could stop and pump during the marathon. I’ll tell you now, I did pump after the run and filled 4 bottles for a total of 18 ounces! lol. Preparing myself for the marathon helped a lot. With proper nutrition I didn’t have any cramping or stomach pains during my run. Also, training prepared me to pace myself, slower then I was use to but at a pace that kept me comfortable. As long as I was under 12 minutes a mile, I was happy. My overall goal for the marathon was to “FINISH,” by finish I meant completing all 26.2 miles! (Disney will sweep runners if they fall behind and won’t be able to finish at 16min/mile pace.)

WDW_04

I had to stop for Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz!

The morning of the marathon it was 30 degrees, along with wind chill which brought temperatures down to 18 degrees. Nonetheless it was freezing!! The only change I could make in my attire was adding a top layer, with the hopes that my legs would warm up. Just three days prior to the marathon the temps were looking to be a solid typical florida 77 degrees. I couldn’t have prepared myself if I wanted to, unless I put a treadmill in a freezer while training. It’s really what it felt like.

WDW_03

Literally running through the pain! This was taken while at Hollywood Studios!

Once the gun went off for my corral it was game time. I tossed my throwaways and started down the road. I was freezing but my mind wasn’t focused on being cold, it was focused on watching my pace. I really didn’t want to leap out and tire out too quickly. The first 10 miles flew by, I had ran out of Epcot and through the Magic Kingdom. The one thing about the WDW Marathon is WDW is huge and you cover a lot of highways and parking lots. Once you get in the Parks it feels good to be able focus your eyes on something. This allowed me to use my highway miles as a way to pick up pace and the Parks as a place to slow down a little bit. By the halfway point, I was feeling good. It was smack in the middle of Animal Kingdom and I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was still cold but it didn’t really bother me. I watched as some runners stopped at a bar and had a drink at the halfway mark, good for them I thought. There’s no way I could ever do that, lol. Heading out of Animal Kingdom and my way to the ESPN Park there was a lot of nothing, my mind started to race and I kept checking my watch. I was calculating numbers when I didn’t have to and was reminding myself, my goal for this race was not to come in first or last but, just to finish!! The idea of “just” finishing was hard to accept but with so many unexpected changes the weekend brought, it was all I could grasp. Although an ideal time for me to finish was 05:00:00 hours.

WDW_05

My oldest son was signed up to participate in the Saturday Kid’s Races, which were cancelled due to weather. However, we had fun later in the week and did our own 100m dash!

Miles came easier and my legs only felt stronger through the ESPN Park. Up until mile 20 I was soaring. In between mile 20 and 21 my left knee started to hurt. Through training I never experienced anything like this with my knees especially my left. So I was really caught off guard. As the pain escalated, I only begun to grow more frustrated. I wrestled with the idea I was undertrained, didn’t stretch enough, or maybe should have taken a pain killer, even though I’m too chicken to even take an Advil. The runner in me couldn’t imagine walking the remaining 4 miles, that would be the longest 4 miles ever!!! So I had to think fast, while I DO NOT recommend training your mind to think this way in case you may have a serious injury. I DO recommend learning how to use mottos and positive self talk in order to push your runs. I started to tell myself the “pain” was me growing stronger. I stopped at a medical tent at mile 22 and took a moment to stretch, and started to push myself up the road. I was just starting uphill on an offramp that would take me over and into Hollywood Studios. Uphill was grueling and as I came down the ramp, I straighten my left leg to keep it from bending, I built momentium and powered into Hollywood Studios. The Parks had just opened at this point and crowds started to form around the blocked off areas for runners. This was an adrenaline boost for me, it let me really meditate on my surroundings and off of my pain. I left out the park and started around the Swan Resort, another fun sight to keep me focused.  I had two miles to go at this point and I wasn’t planning on slowing down, a quick mile later I was already at Downtown Disney. That last mile the crowds grew bigger and louder, with that much excitement all you want to do is finish strong! Before I knew it I was rounding the corner to a finish line! At that moment nothing hurt, I was overwhelmed with emotion, and was tearing up. As I crossed the finish line, as cliche as it sounds…a part of me changed. I know many runners say this but it does. You feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders you never knew was there. I had started a mission months before the race, I had weak moments, I had strong moments, I stayed focused, and it was finally finished.

Post Race Photo!

Post Race Photo! “I DID IT!!”

Shortly after the finish line, I was reunited with Mav. My Mother-in-Law had flown down from DC for the weekend and watched the boys. It was still too cold for them to join me at the Friends and Family Area. It wasn’t too long before the warmth of the race wore off and we ventured back to our Hotel. My official finish time was 05:34:33.  A half hour later then I had anticipated but I had a time that represented, “I finished.” I was cloud 9 for about a day after obtaining the Marathoner title before I knew I wanted to do another one, lol. It’s funny how that happens. I registered for the LA Marathon in March and I’m now training to not just, “finish” but to run at solid pace that is similar to what I have ran my half-marathons. I’m happy I made WDW my first marathon, I learned a lot from the course. I had fun, stopped at photo ops, and took advantage of every water station. The runners were great as well and enjoyed meeting so many different people. I hope to eventually return to the WDW Marathon in the future but for now I’m glad I was at least able to check it off my bucket list.

My WDW Marathon Splits - overall: 05:34:33 for 12:46mi/pace (I managed to stay within my goal pace for a majority of race, slowing down at mile 22) 

My WDW Marathon Splits – overall: 05:34:33 for 12:46mi/pace (I managed to stay within my goal pace for a majority of race, slowing down at mile 22)

 

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016

The bling ;p

The bling ;p

Where do I begin? The whole race weekend was everything I expected and more! The fun part with the Tinker Bell Half  Marathon is that they’ve had it fall on Mother’s Day Weekend the last couple of years and with the 2017 dates already up, it looks like Disney will continue the trend. It makes the race weekend so much more special! As I mentioned in earlier posts, I received the half marathon registration as a Christmas Gift! So it was one of the last races open for the weekend. The other races include a 5k, 10k, the Pixie Dust Challenge (10k & half) as well the kids races. Since I really wanted to experience the whole weekend, I volunteered the first two days. Which I’m really glad I did! I love being able to give back to my community when I have the time, being a Mommy it’s not always that easy and with this race I was able to help MOMS Orange County. By volunteering it allowed me to appreciate everyone’s handwork and what goes into a race. The first day I worked with participate package pick-up and on the second day I helped with the Neverland 5k “finish line” handing out medals. Both days were crazy hours (it’s a Disney run ;p) and I met some awesome people from all over the nation!

Friday evening into Saturday, I took a break and stretched a whole lot. I had my form roller going on rotation. I wanted to make sure my IT bands were stretched and ready for 13.1 miles! I had my last runs prior to the race on Tuesday and Wednesday, which were both under 10 miles. So I was confident in my training schedule, the only thing I wasn’t sure about is my pelvis and loosening ligaments. At 24 weeks pregnant, I’ve had my ups and downs with pressure and slight discomfort but nothing that kept me from running. It just doesn’t allow me to keep a consistent pace. It’s funny because all the runs I had up until this race really prepped me for the miles mentally, the idea of running 13.1 miles didn’t scare me at all. I was really excited to brave the Parks and cool streets of Anaheim. The non-pregnant inner Heidi just wanted a decent time. I knew I wasn’t running for time anymore but for the commitment and promise I made to myself when I asked for the runDisney gift in December.

Crossing the finish line =)

Crossing the finish line =)

Sunday was race day and I had my alarm set for 3 AM. I’m not too far from the Parks so, I wanted to leave by 4 AM as the race had a 5:30 AM start time. The one thing I knew I wasn’t going to do is start at that time as corral placement put me back about 20 minutes later. In order to get a better corral placement, I would have had to submit a time from a 10k or more run before Feb 5th which I didn’t have at the time =( Believe me though, I did try after the deadline and had those times all printed out to see what information could do but oh wells, it all worked out because I really didn’t know if I could keep the paces I had during my previous runs in March. Another plus is Disney Runs aren’t meant to be a PR race. No matter what corral you start in, there are so many narrow areas especially when entering the Parks where there’s really nothing you can do but power walk. Also, there is fun photo stations for runners to stop at and take pictures with characters. It’s really meant to be a fun run half marathon, if that makes sense..lol. Mav and Baby Baby carpooled with me to the run as they were my ChEAR SQUAD! It was awesome because Mav found some cool spots to watch me run also if you purchase a ChEAR SQUAD package, they have areas for your squad to go in and around the Parks to cheer on their runner. Since I had a tracker, Mav had mile to mile updates on my whereabouts….he loved this! Once the race started, I was feeling good… the course was smooth and the first 5k set you running on the overpass and through the parks. As I mentioned this is where things slowed down and made me a bit uncomfortable with my pace. I wanted to maintain around a 10 minute mile so I kept myself around 9:15-9:45 to make room for those “power walk” areas. Out of the parks, you were on the streets of Anaheim. Hitting mile 6, mentally I was feeling great. I was hydrated and my focus was set but this is when the pelvic pressure started to chime in. It wasn’t terrible but enough to make me rethink my pace calculation. I tried a few different things to see if I could slow down however, I would have had to either keep my pace or walk the rest of the course. There was no way I was going to walk 7 miles so I just stayed positive and kept an eye for pressure to pain. By the time I made it to Historic Anaheim and passing the Rinks, I loved the energy of different charities and fans that came out to cheer, it  got me excited and allowed me to stay focused on how important this race has been for me the last 6 months. Mile 9 – 12 was a blur, I had that runner’s high and the miles came easy as I was getting close to finishing. The last mile I was able to pick up my pace and buddied up with some runners near by who we kept reminding each other, “we got this.” (sometimes I run and speak out loud, hahaha.) Before I knew it, I was rounding the mile 13 mark at Downtown Disney and crossing the finish line! I know I sound so cliche but, it’s really the best feeling in the world! I ended up finishing at 2:13:04 and kept my promise of maintaining a 10 minute pace…which I can’t complain because that isn’t terrible for my first half marathon let alone being 24 weeks pregnant! The medal was the icing on the cake but really this run meant so much to me and reuniting with Mav and Baby Baby in the Friends & Family area made my morning.

Not too shabby for my first half marathon & 24 weeks pregnant

Not too shabby for my first half marathon & 24 weeks pregnant

After the run as any Disnerd would want to do, I spent some time in the Parks with my boys. Overall, my Mother’s Day was made by 10 AM, lol. Even though we still had a day planned ahead of us. I really enjoyed this run and plan to run it again next year. Mav mentioned he would love to do the 5k as a family and come up with  costumes, which really surprised me. Since it’s not a timed run…I was like, “Hey, let’s do it! We’ll just need a sitter for Little Little and to sign up a lot earlier ;p” I’m all for making a new Mother’s Day tradition that involves a weekend versus a day ;p Signing up for this run motivated me to work on training towards running a marathon and now with completion of my first half marathon I feel comfortable with my decision to run my first Marathon in January of 2017 and plan to run another in May. While the idea of 13.1 miles doesn’t scare me at all, the idea of 26.2 does…I have a lot of training to do after Little Little. One run at time but I’m really looking forward to 2017!