Happy 2018!

It is a single digit out. I live in North Carolina. I’m freezing. This is unreal.

The first week of the New Year came, and is about to be gone, and I’m feeling a few things. I can’t believe 2018 is here. I can’t believe I have a 16-month-old. I can’t believe I’m someone’s parent.  I haven’t made any New Years resolutions. Just plans for the new year. Here’s what we’ve got on deck so far for 2018.

  • Disney. We are going to Disney at the end of this month! I am fully aware that Liam probably won’t remember any of it, but my 4-year-old nephew will be into it, and to be perfectly honest, I will probably be into it. The parks are totally different, but while were down there, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t try to arrange a trip to Harry Potter World. I very honestly believe in the magic, and I have yet to receive my letter to Hogwarts, so I have to visit the registrar down there.
  • Rock n’ Roll DC. I ran my first postpartum half marathon in November, which I will recap shortly. (Spoiler, it was really fantastic.) I signed up for RnR in DC with a friend, and am now training(ish) for that race on March 10th. I say -ish because…
  • I’m running a 50k in April. I have had my eye on this particular race for a number of years, and after I got pregnant with my little nugget, I took a break from racing, and I definitely took a break from the thought of ultras. I got up the courage after doing some research with some trail running friends, and signed up for the North Face Endurance race in DC (technically in Virginia). We will see how it goes!  I’m doing a modified marathon training plan, and planning to put in some extra trail miles instead of just road miles.

And that’s kind of all I have so far. We’re playing with the idea of Crater Lake this year, I’m loving my job still, but exploring within the organization, and just just like….learning stuff, as a wise Jenner once said.

Not strictly resolution-based…what are your plans in 2018? 

hi there!

Are you wondering where I went?  Are you wondering if I gave up on writing?  I didn’t.  I just took a little break while work got nuts, motherhood got nuts, and while I started working on a few things.

Here’s what I’ve been up to.


I’ve been running for some time, but I took the plunge and signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon.  I decided on it after my old boss’s boss moved there to take a job.  I saw an ad for the half, and kind of fell in love with the finisher’s blanket.  (I’m a cheap sell.)  I signed up with a friend of mine, and we got an Air BnB for that weekend.  In prep, I’m running long at least once a week, and maintenance running when I can during the week as well.  It’s surprisingly like riding a bike – I’m just really frustrated with how slow I am.


I am a mom to a one-year-old.  It is so very cool.  He’s walking.  We’re still nursing.  He’s sleeping (okay).  And I swear, he’s the most active kid on the planet.  I’m struggling a bit with daycare – I feel like our transition to the toddler room from the infant room took longer than I cared for, and I struggle with feeling like I made the right decision to return to work.  I’m not sure that any of us have the answers, but I will say that outsourcing things that are really beyond your scope and abilities (if you can) is the total way to go.  We recently started having someone come in to clean the house one day a month, and I promise you, with everything in me, that that is the best investment of money (and in my marriage) that I’ve made in some time.

Finally putting my house together after having lived there for three years. 

This is so embarrassing to me.  We moved into our house about (okay, over) three years ago and I never really decorated or designed.  Our couch is a biohazard, a relic from graduate school.  We have no rug.  Our coffee table was a donation from a friend.  It’s simply awful.  So we’re fixing that.  A few weekends ago we took a full Saturday and went furniture shopping.  I made a decision on a huge sectional, and I’m acquiring pieces that fit, and purging things that don’t make sense.  Bonus points for Scotch Guard and those ottoman coffee tables so my kid doesn’t put an eye out.


I have sworn up and down and up and down and up again, for years, that I wanted to do radio.  I am totally dating myself by saying radio, but in college, I used to fantasize about doing college radio, but never really made the steps to make it happen (which I totally kick myself for now).  After watching enough Insecure, and getting inspired, I finally decided to put myself out there, get a cohost, and start a podcast, the Pop Tea Podcast.  It has been fun.  It has been so much work.  But darn, I think we’re kind of onto something here.  I will definitely post more about how all that works (if you guys are curious).

Our 5th episode celebration!

The podcast is a pop culture discussion (one of my favorite things), so if you’re into that, give us a listen, follow us, and post a review on iTunes so we’ll be poppin’ and I can make some money.

Anyways, what have you guys been up to?  

My first postpartum run.

You know how I write now?  I hunch over in my bed, Liam in plain view in his pack-n-play, usually after I get him to bed for the last time, close to midnight.  I like it.  I wonder what writing and being creative might look like once we sort of get on a better schedule.  But since he was born, this seems to be the time that I can get anything done for me that I’d like to get done.  Which honestly usually means texting my friends, having a glass of wine followed by a crap-ton of water, trying to shower, and doing nothing else that I’ve meant to do all day.  Oops.  I’ll figure it out one of these days, right?

So I’ve been running for a few years now, and though I’m like super duper passionate about being active in general, running is something, that though I don’t do it fast or particularly well, seems like a natural state of being for me.  So it kind of broke my heart into a million pieces when, in the middle of my pregnancy, I developed some major pubic bone pain (I affectionately referred to it as vagina bone pain), which rendered me pretty unable to run.  I was in the pool, I lifted weights, and I did everything else to get my heart rate up to bring my baby boy into the world in the best way I could, but running was really painful.  So I looked forward to getting back into it at some point after I had Liam.

I was (am) under no false assumptions, and I was (am) not willing to hurt myself for the sake of saying that I ran three days after I gave birth.  Plus there was no way physically that I could have done that because I was in a haze of nausea, sweat, exhaustion, and nursing my swollen bits back to health.  PLUS I WAS TENDING TO MY CHILD. Which, let me tell ya, changing diapers and nursing, especially in the beginning, is this neverending pattern, and you look up, and the day is over again for weeks.  So I walked, slowly at first, and then a little faster.  And then, one day last week, the baby happened to be asleep around the time when Austin came home from work, and I just felt like I might be okay to try running again.  My boobs were empty enough, so I strapped one a good bra, put a supportive tank over it, and left Austin with Liam for a few minutes.  And duh, I was already wearing my uniform, a pair of Lululemon tights I alternate throughout most of my pregnancy, a nursing tank, and a pair of Brooks from their heritage collection so cute, that people think I actually may have some semblance of style.  Which…I’m trying, ok?

Okay, so anyways, I felt like I wanted to try, and that I could try, so I went out.  It was slow, and I felt sort of bouncy, but it didn’t hurt, and it came back to me just like (ugh cliché time) riding a bike, or typing a password into your gmail, or getting into your house when you’ve been drinking a ton and you shouldn’t remember how to get in, or what your alarm passcode is, but you manage, and even plug your phone in before you go to bed.  I did a little over a mile, and I sweated probably about as much as I did the day I had Liam, but I did it!

When I was done, I literally felt on top of the world.  I really questioned at some points whether I’d ever run again, just based on the amount of pain I was having, and I think the answer is going to be absolutely yes, if I’m smart about it.  Obviously, I’m not running a marathon next week, or even next month.  But I’m getting to run for fitness again, and will run a trail again, and build up to where I’m able to bust out miles and miles for funsies with friends.  And that’s a really really exciting feeling.  I don’t have running FOMO anymore!

That said, God willing, I’m going to try another short slow one this weekend if I can get Liam Neeson to hang out with dad for a few minutes.

What are you up to this weekend?


What a week what a week what a week!

So, some updatey-type things.  I am still pregnant lol.  Every day I walk into work, I see my boss’s eyes widen, and he’ll (in the nicest way) be like “Oh thank God, you’re here!”  It’s funny, like on Wednesday, I was feeling a little pukey, and I ended up lying around the house for a long time, and on Thursday when I came in, everyone was like, “Oh!  We thought you might have had your baby!”  Nope, still here!

The week’s been good.  Productive at work, and not so much at home, but hoping for that magical burst of fairy energy that will help me straighten up and get that last push to get things together.

First let’s talk about the funniest thing that happened last week – this spine thing.  So like a year ago, someone left this really really elaborate, doctor-grade spine in my office, and we could not figure out where it came from.


Since I’m going to be out on maternity for a while starting sometime soon, I’ve been straightening out my office, and the spine had to go. So I put it up for free on one of those buy/sell/trade/free pages on Facebook, and within MOMENTS, I had requests left and right for this thing. And then I got these unbelievably weird comments. One suggesting that I send the spine to Obama, and another simply stating that there were plenty of spineless people in this country that could use it. Uhhh…ok weirdo, do you want this thing for your classroom that you’re decorating or not? Anyhoo, a guy ended up coming to get it, and I hope it works out for him. I had ZERO idea that I was in possession of such a hot ticket item, but glad this somewhat offbeat item could find a home.

I think I found a new occasional lunch spot?

I sort of mentioned this last update this place I found in downtown Raleigh, Raleigh Raw, which is this really crunchy kind of juice place with really interesting food combos.  I will caveat this place by saying it is pricey for lunch, okay?  I’m not saying it’s not worth it, but it costs more than snagging something quickly at like Wendy’s, but hear me out. IMG_9351.JPG

My friend Devin went and told me exactly what I needed to order, this bowl thingie with rice and sesame seeds, and mango and watermelon and some salmon…I don’t know, there was a lot going on, but it was delicious, super super filling, and I didn’t feel the least bit crappy when I finished it. Now, someone in my office complained about what that horrible smell was, but hey, can’t win ’em all.  If you’re local and and all into this sort of thing, check it out.  They also had kombucha on tap and some other interesting stuff in their grab-n-go, so it’s worth checking out.

I also swore I was retired from teaching as of last week I think, but that was not to be.

I had to fill in last minute for class two times this week, and I think I’m really retired now.  This Zumba class I did today, I did a lot more coaching than I am used to, but it was literally exactly what the baby wanted, and I couldn’t do more without feeling like I was overdoing it.  I am so grateful for the fact that I have remained active for so long, and I plan to keep walking and stretching, but my Pump/Cycle/Zumba days are on hold for now, and that’s what the baby wants 🙂

On that note, I am so excited for when the time is right and I’m able to run again.  I miss it.  More than missing running, I miss the social aspect and the efficiency of being able to go for a run and then pretty much being done with my cardio for the day. I’m not good at doing things slowly, and sometimes I’m too slow for my own liking these days.  But that’s okay.

What are your plans for the weekend?

17 Weeks

How far along:  17 Weeks.

Baby is the size of a: Turnip.  Turnip for what ::cue Lil’ John song::.

No seriously, I barely know what a turnip is.  This one is a little lost on me.  This other app I use says white onion.  So white onion.

Due date: Sept 3rd, 2016

Total weight gain:  I will weigh in this week.  I have not stepped on the scale in a long time, but my clothes fit okay.  Except my bras.  This week I’m putting in an order for a few new sports bras and going to Soma for a new real bra.  I can’t squeeze into these old ones anymore.

Sleep:  Sleep is good.  I am always waking up to go to the bathroom early on.  Even when I nap.  Which this week, was a crap-ton.  Seriously, I slept all day on Good Friday, and part of the afternoon on Saturday.

Best moment this week:  I went to Step after my class on Tuesday evening, ran on Thursday, and then ran again and cycled on Saturday.  My energy comes in waves.  I am learning to completely take advantage of these pockets of energy.  Which is why I’m writing on a Saturday night and not passed out.

Food cravings:  Nope.  Since I had a good long weekend of eats last weekend, I really chilled on it this week.

Food aversions:  Not really.  Smells are kind of ick to me .  I ate a bowl of veggies with my dinner, and left the bowl on the desk I’m working on.  The smell is irritating me.  And it’s just like snap peas.

Symptoms:  Still really profound pockets of fatigue.  But they are mixed in with some energy.

Looking forward to:  The usual.  I feel like I’m really caught up at work, so time to catch up more on reviews for my team and stuff.  Makes me feel like a real Beyonce when I can be pregnant AND work AND work out at the same time.  Doesn’t always happen.  But feels cool when it does.

And in case you missed it…

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

13 Weeks

12 Weeks

End the Drug War?

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor.  If you feel you are struggling with depression or anxiety or any decisions as it relates to pharmacological treatments of these conditions, please seek professional medical help. 

My pregnancy has lowered my tolerance for peoples’ bullshit entirely.  Which is good I think.

On Saturday morning, someone in a group I’m a part of on Facebook, dedicated entirely to Trail and Ultra Running, posted this meme.


The post generated such a huge response that eventually, an admin took notice and removed the meme from the group, but not before a discussion carried on, lasting for hours and hours.  The original poster popped in here and there and admitted he didn’t know much about antidepressants, but that he hadn’t meant offense.  But it appeared the damage had been done – especially once a few folks mentioned that their particular conditions – PTSD and clinical depression – were managed well with both.

I love running.  I have been doing some form of exercise seriously for the last (almost) 6 years or so, and I have been running for a good bit of that time, logging 3 full marathons, 8 or 9 half marathons, a few 5ks, and countless numbers of trails miles thanks to North Carolina’s really sweet trail system. Not really sure what else North Carolina has going for it as of last week, but we sure do have some nice trails. I’ll leave it at that.

I also have taken Celexa that entire time, until when I recently found out that I was pregnant.  I ran, did yoga, Zumba-ed, lifted weights, swam, biked, and climbed, at least 5 days a week.  It still wasn’t enough to completely lift the fog that sometimes literally clouded my vision and made it hard for me to put one foot in front of the other.

And many, many other folks share in my experience.

Here’s why.  Trauma changes the very structure of your brain.  Trauma can mean all sorts of things.  It can mean something like military service.  It can mean sexual molestation.  It can mean abuse.  It can mean childbirth.  Sometimes, your brain structure is altered due to genetics as well.

So when one experiences trauma, your brain adapts.  It switches from functioning like a typical brain to what I call a “war zone” brain.  And you, being the incredibly resilient human being you are, cope in the best way you know how.  Sometimes it manifests as profound anxiety, which can mean so many things.  Sometimes it can manifest as a phobia, a seemingly irrational fear.  Sometimes it manifests as depression or a depressive disorder.  And while physical activity can and will help, for those of us suffering with an imbalance of neurotransmitters, there is virtually no amount of dead lifting that can help you to “outrun” a diagnoses disorder.

So when people post things like the meme above, I have a huge, huge problem.  Here’s why.

  1. It’s dismissive.  People who are suffering with very real illnesses don’t need to be told that running on a trail will heal their illnesses.  It’s just as ridiculous as telling someone suffering with any physical ailment – diabetes, a heart attack, hypertension – to treat it with trail running.  Now running, or some form of physical activity is necessary to health and wellness, and can help to treat these, but is not a cure.  In addition, telling someone their medication is “shit” is, in fact, shitty.  As someone who is most certainly not this person’s doctor, it’s really not your business to tell someone being treated that their medication is shit.
  2. What exactly do you know about depression/antidepressants? I happen to know a lot about the nuances of a lot of drugs.  I am a social worker by education who happened to have suffered with depression myself.  I have some insight.  Many people do not.  So if your only knowledge of pharmacological treatments is some article you read about school shootings back in 2001, it’s best you keep your ill-informed opinions to yourself.
  3.   Everyone is “running their own trail” so to speak.  Perhaps you went through a divorce and experienced a bout of sadness (not the same as a clinical diagnosis, by the way).  You ran, and now you feel better.  Great!  I sincerely congratulate you.  But recognize that not everyone walks the same path.  And your brief dance with sadness does not compare to someone struggling with any of the symptoms of a depressive disorder.

So before you share something like that meme, please think about the fact that there are some people who balance therapy, medications, and physical activity to strike as perfect of a balance as possible to put one foot in front of the other.





Returns (I guess a sorta PSA?)

There are a few things I’m wildly passionate about – kinda pet peevy things that have bugged me forever.

One is people not putting their effing shopping carts back at Harris Teeter, which I’ve mentioned before.  It’s kind of a trigger for me.  Like I wrote into the local paper about it.

The second is returns.  Or why I can’t stand the abuse of return policies.

And I think I’m sort of sensitive to this having worked pretty extensively in retail.  We have a really really generous return policy, and unfortunately. what that means is that sometimes folks really abuse the policy, and use it as an opportunity to use us a a closet.  Which totally blows for us (the retailer) because we don’t always get credit on things returned to us so we take an L.  Some of that stuff is built into the prices.  Some of it isn’t, and it drives prices up.  Not a fun place to be.

So yesterday, a person in a group I’m a part of on mentioned that they got a notice from Amazon because as a runner, they’d been ordering shoes, and sending them back, due to some issues with some foot pain and whatnot.  Which I get, but also, I understand completely where Amazon is coming from.

image1 (2)

Now, Amazon isn’t super transparent about what the magic number is that will get you one of those fun notices, but it seems like by communicating early and asking if everything is okay with your account, they’re sending the message that they get it, but you can’t treat them like a personal shopper.

Which I totally get. I have, we all have, been in a spot where you have to return something because it’s just not working, defective, or not what you thought it was, but when you’re staring at 4, 5, 10 returns in the span of a month, you really need to question if there’s another way you need to start going about purchases.

So I know places like Amazon, Lululemon, and REI cracking down on their return policies is so annoying, but super necessary.  And if you find yourself starting to become a chronic returner of an item, or a category of item, it may be time to switch up the game plan.

Onto happier things!

What are your favorite places with the BEST customer service?

I continue to be impressed by Amazon – I broke my Kindle, and they really were apologetic, and asked what they could do to help me fix it.  I totally ended up buying another because they were so nice to me.

FitBit – I lost the band on the Flex Twice – ended up spending MORE money because of how awesome they were to work with.

Lululemon – I checked in with one of their educators to find some good maternity stuff, and because they know their products so well, they were able to give me immediate word on what would work throughout the pregnancy.  I will spend some money there for sure!

12 Weeks

This isn’t turning into an annoying blog.  I promise.  But I figured that someone might like the update, and I might regret it if I didn’t update.  PLUS I feel like a lot of moms, especially ones that are further removed, get amnesia and try to act like they’ve never heard of whatever symptom you might be having.

12 Weeks

How far along:  12 Weeks

Baby is the size of a: Clementine.

Due date: Sept 3rd, 2016

Total weight gain: I’ve put on a few – like maybe 5ish the last time I checked?  My boobs are absolutely gargantuan.  I’m still waiting on a belly. So that folks aren’t just assuming that I’m bloated.  Like I care though.  I’m too tired to care.

Sleep: Constantly.  I could sleep any time of the day.

Best moment this week:  Zumba party – I felt great, and really felt a surge of energy.

Food cravings: I like pickle chips from Village Drafthouse.  But since they’re fried, they’re kind of a kiss of death.  One really really fun thing about pregnancy is that your digestion slows way down.  Food that may upset you a smidge in real life, really have an adverse affect on you while pregnant.  Beans and fried things do not feel good whatsoever.

Food aversions:  I’ve been veg for a while.  I have been eating some chicken and turkey, but it’s a little rough for me, because meat tastes pretty meaty.  But the smell of cooking meat is disgusting to me.  Red meat in particular smells bloody, and I think there’s a pretty good chance I won’t be eating that any time soon.

Symptoms: I’m just tired.  But like I said, I think that’s starting to lift.

Looking forward to: Catching up on things.  I always feel like there’s something else to be done.  I don’t think as long as I live, that I will ever feel caught up.  And more running, now that my energy is slowly seeping back in.

Big Life Things!

Hi!  I have not been posting here with my usual frequency but I have a really good reason, which I will totally get to later.  I promise.

First off, how was your freakin’ weekend?

Mine was/is good.  These posts are always kind of time warpy, because you pre-post, and you pre-write, and you’re talking about things that are kind of still happening, and you come back to unfinished stuff, and it’s just weird.  But my weekend, which is almost over, has been really really good, and really restful.

It started off like a house on fire.  Friday evening, we hosted another Zumba/Cardio Dance party at the Y, which featured like 5 teachers for two hours.  I ended up working a good bit from home on Friday, so by the time the party started around 6:30, I wasn’t completely worn down.  Here are a few shots from the evening.



After the party, Austin was still at a Hurricanes game for some hockey sports, so I headed to the Drafthouse for some post-party food which included some pickle chips (ugh, so delicious even though I despise pickles in their true form) and veggie burgers.

Saturday was another full day.  I taught a class, went and helped Austin repair a few things we needed, and snuck a mid afternoon nap in before I hit the couch really really hard and finished the night with cartoons.  I was seriously in bed well before midnight, and slept hard until I had to come into work to help Fleet Feet out on a busy(ish) Sunday.

Big Life Thing

So here’s the deal.  I’ve been really annoying and “vague blogged” a few things here and there.

So out with it!

A day or so after Christmas, I went out drinking with some friends of mine, then we went to the gay club to dance.  I had a great time, but the next day, I was feeling…off.  Not hungover, and not sick, but like I had some vertigo going on.  Which is the best way to describe it, but probably not 100% even capturing it.  I mentioned this to a friend over text, and she responded “knocked up”.  I told her there was no way, but stopped by the Walgreens right across the street, and picked up a really, really cheap pregnancy test that came in like a box of two.

It came out positive.  So I took the next one.


I showed Austin, who was in a veritable state of shock, and he sort of paced around the yard for a while before I sent him on a mission to pick up a few more fancy tests, the ones you see the commercials for.

Positive, positive, positive.

Of course, at this time, I’m panicking, and had send photo evidence to Chelsie (“knocked up”) who immediately replied with a “congratulations,” and some really fun emojis, photo evidence to Jill, my trainer, and photo evidence to Kaity, all mom friends of mine who I felt would have more insight on if the tests were indeed reading the way I was seeing.

All that to say, is I am pregnant and have been very pregnant since around Christmastime.  I have really wanted to share with bunches of people, but it’s kind of conventional wisdom that you don’t share before 12 weeks.  Which I really have mixed feelings about, but, I will share more on that later.

Eep!  We are nervous – this was not necessarily the most expected or most planned thing right now, but we’re in a good place for it, and there’s no time like the present, right?  I think I was more nervous before I told people because I was afraid if I told people I would jinx it, and I’m also good friends with some couples who have struggled with fertility issues, and I’ve been afraid that this would be a lot for them.  Which, for the record, has not been the case – everyone has been really rockin’ about it, and I have even had some offers for clothes and books.  Which lord knows I could use, because I really have no idea what I’m doing.

So really quickly, let me answer a few of the biggest questions people have had for me.

Your boobs are getting huge!

Not a question.  But yes, they are beginning to get out of hand.  But what can you do, that’s not something that’s going to change, right?

How are you feeling?  Have you been sick?

I have not been sick.  I have been ridiculously, hopelessly exhausted.  I have never experienced exhaustion like this in my life.  I rely solely on naps and drinking lots of water.  My doc says it will pass in the next few weeks or so, so I am really looking forward to more of a surge in energy.  I have been feeling less deathly the past few days, so I am hoping this means that maybe it’s coming.  But I have been in bed well before midnight every single night except a drag show I was at last week.

What about teaching your classes?  Will you have to cut back?

I don’t know.  As of right now, I am teaching all my regular classes except for my Friday Barre, and I feel great teaching.  In Body Pump, I have gone a lot lighter on my squat and my back weight, but overall, I’ve been doing the same.  I have cut back on my running, due to nothing other than the fact that I am exhausted, but I’m still running.  I’m not sure if that will change, especially toward the end of the pregnancy.  But, as of right now, I just don’t know.

All of that said (I feel like I just dropped a damned bomb on you), how was your weekend?  Do you have any burning questions for the pregnant workout lady?