Running for Today

Several years ago I stepped on a treadmill to see if I could stay on for a full 30 minutes without stopping. That day changed my life in countless ways. Running both challenged and inspired me and I loved every minute.

One of the top ten moments in my life will always be the day after my first half marathon. I will never forget walking down a very quiet hallway at work and it literally “clicked” that I had finished a half marathon. It had taken a full 24 hours to set in, but when it did it felt amazing. Thank god there was no one around because I was so giddy I couldn’t stop grinning.

For me, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done – and something that I never thought I was capable of achieving. I was never very athletic….so when I woke up at 6am on a Saturday mornings to run ten, twelve or fourteen miles – I was doing something many people chose not to do and that in itself was so motivating.

It was never only the act of running that I craved – it was the overwhelming satisfaction of having completed a run. Pair that satisfaction with the moments that made the world feel incredibly peaceful – and you have the runners high. Moments just hearing the rhythm of your own steps with nature  that makes everything seem perfectly in balance.

Unfortunately too much of anything can be toxic. Fast-forward two years to a few months before my 30th birthday – and a about a month before my first full marathon. I was placing an enormous amount of pressure on myself to run a full marathon. “26.2 before 30” – that was my goal…my mantra.

My body had other plans. Six weeks before the marathon I had to completely stop running for  six to eight weeks due to Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Something common to runners that would keep me from running several weeks past race day. To say I was crushed was an understatement, but even worse was the amount of relief I felt.

I realized then that I had taken one of the best things in my life and removed any joy it gave me by setting unrealistic expectations. By pushing myself without taking moments to acknowledge and appreciate  any progress  I was living in the future because the present was never enough.

What I learned the hard way is that you can’t force things, you can’t always have a plan and being in the moment to appreciate what’s real is so important.

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Life is Busy

As Todd and I are ramping up physically, emotionally, financially….in every way to prepare ourselves and our world for pregnancy ….a baby, life is just busy. Today was a day that felt like I didn’t sit down until 9:30 pm.  When I did take a moment I thought, “How does a baby fit into this life?”

I am sure every mother and pregnant woman out there has had that same thought a thousand times if they had it once. And I’m sure the answer is…it just fits….as though it always belonged. I can only imagine today what that is like and am so excited to figure out how this will all work in the coming months.

Reading the comments on the Nursery Project’s post titled “Finding the Time to Exercise” made me wonder….

New Moms: How is life post baby? More hectic than you imagined?

Prenatal Vitamins – One Step Closer…

Ahh vitamins. Something I have never been great at taking consistently. I do blame my mother – being a very picky eater as a kid my mom always made sure I took my vitamins and I hated every minute. There was nothing pleasant about them – usually they were too big, didn’t have a great taste, and taken on an empty stomach definitely made  me nauseas…or worse.

Vitamins take on a whole new meaning once you’re trying to conceive. It’s so important that our bodies have an ample supply of calcium, folic acid, and iron (along with other important nutrients) to avoid serious birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord. Spina Bifida can often occur when a mother does not have a sufficient amount of folic acid while pregnant. Many of these defects can occur the first 28 days after conception, which is why it’s so important to begin taking prenatal vitamins when trying to conceive.

Wondering what you can eat that contains folic acid? Green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits will help your body absorb folic acid. Of course, follow doctors recommendations and eat these foods in addition to, not in place of, your prenatal vitamin.

When I knew that Todd and I were going to try to start a family the first thing I did (other than stop taking birth control) was Google prenatal vitamins to start my baby making research.

I was overwhelmed with what I found. Conflicting reports of how many milligrams of each vitamin supplements should have, over the counter or prescription, DHA supplement or not? This was the first time I started to panic about the entire lets-have-a-baby idea…..and we hadn’t even officially tried to conceive yet.  Talk about a buzz kill.

Doing research solely on my own was out of the question. About a week and a half ago, when the vitamin craziness began in the Krokowski household,  I called my gynecologists office.  I explained that we were ready to begin a family and I wanted to understand what steps I should be taking in preparation.

Lucky for me my annual exam  is due in a few short weeks so I will be having a ‘pre-conception’ visit along with annual the week of November 15th. In the meantime, my doctors office did put together a very nice goody bag for me to pick up. The bag had several different types of prenatal vitamins to try – along with a nice brochure on pregnancy.

I was slightly perplexed as to why I needed to sample different types/brands of prenatal vitamins. Vitamins are vitamins, right? Actually, it turns out they can differ in taste, aftertaste (think burbs), pill size and could make you constipated.

I’ve been taking prenatal vitamin for a full week and happy to report that all is well.  I have tried the Nestabs DHA and really do like them. There is no taste, no aftertaste and they are vegetarian – a great bonus.

Moral to this post? Call your Gynecologist when you’re ready to start trying to conceive and ask for prenatal vitamin samples. If you have questions about genetics (heredity diseases and such) then definitely make an appointment for a preconception consultation.

The great part about all of this? When I stopped by my doctor’s office to pick up my packet of prenatal samples I could not stop smiling. To me, it was the first real step in trying to start a family. It was definitely a moment that I stopped to appreciate what was happening and felt so grateful to be experiencing it.

On a side note, we had unusual weather the last twenty-four hours and have a few inches of snow on the ground. It was a bit chilly when Todd had to walk the dogs this evening, not your usual Halloween weather!

And it’s here….

So this is my first blog…ever. I thought it would be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family – but also share my experiences with the world (or at least those who care to read).

With life changing so fast it will be great to have this blog to look back and remember the highlights!

This happens to be Halloween weekend, which if you know me – you know is my absolute favorite time of year! Todd and I will be attending an annual Halloween party with friends tonight.

By the way, if you’re looking for a quick and easy red wine sangria recipe check out Recipe Girl’s post. I’ve made this a few times over the years and am taking it with us tonight for the party. It’s not too sweet….which I love.