One week ago, I ran the Dreher Park Dash- a local 5k that's held annually. It was my first race ever, and it was awesome. When I started running in June, this was my goal, and at the time it seemed almost impossible considering I could hardly run for a full minute without stopping. I cannot even tell you how great it felt to see how far I've come, to be able to run the 3.11 mile course. On Thursday of last week, I came down with a cold, and by Friday I was feeling so miserable and was totally bummed at the timing. I rarely get sick, so it was so frustrating for this to happen right before my very first race. I was determined not to miss it though- unless I was completely unable to move- I'd just worked too hard to get there. So on Saturday I took vitamin C and some homepathic cold remedies (pretty mush all I could take while nursing Isaac), armed myself with tissues, and headed out to the park. Rain threatened all afternoon and evening, but somehow we stayed dry, and it was nice to have an overcast sky and cool(ish) breeze for the run.

I was slow, probably much slower than I would have been if I'd been feeling good. My time was 34:18. But I finished! It was hard- especially the entire last mile when I had a side stitch- but it felt good to push myself and complete this goal. Seeing my family cheering me on at the end was so special. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of running with all those other people, too. The atmosphere is charged with everyone's excitement and makes it easier and more fun than running alone.

Seth ran his first race that day, too! They had a "Kids K", and Manny went with him and carried him for a bit- our little guy was probably the smallest kid there : ). But he crossed that finish line by himself and was the proudest I've ever seen him.

When I wrote my previous post about running, one friend commented and asked about nutrition and running. I am of course not even close to being an expert, but I can definitely share what I'm finding works for me. For one thing, running several times a week and breastfeeding many times throughout the day and night makes a gal hungry. Those two things increase your need for calories and hydration like nobody's business, let me tell you. Oddly though, on days that I run my appetite is weird. I don't really feel hunger until I'm practically about to pass out from it. So I have to make myself eat, and snacking between meals is a must.

I run in the mornings, usually very early, so I don't eat anything before I go out. When my mileage gets higher I'll most likely have to eat  a little something first, but for now it's fine. I heard about a company called Vega Sport through Alicia Caine's blog (she's also written some good running posts). They are completely natural sports supplements, and I've noticed a big difference when I use them. I drink the pre-workout energizer as soon as I wake up (about 20 min before running) and when I get back I drink the recovery accelerator. I got mine from Whole Foods.

For breakfast post-run, I usually either eat some toasted Ezekiel 4:9 cinnamon raisin bread with almond butter or a bowl of raw oats. This is my favorite way to eat oatmeal, especially when it's hot outside. Rolled oats in a bowl, cover with almond milk, let sit for a sec, top with blueberries, sliced almonds, chia seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup. It's yum in a bowl. Throughout the rest of that day I try to remember to snack and drink plenty of water. When I go out I carry my insulated stainless steel water bottle, and at home I try to keep a full glass nearby as often as possible. For snacks, having healthy, easy-to-grab stuff in the kitchen is a must. I make granola and energy bars (my granola recipe is here on my old blog, and I'm hoping to do a post about the bars soon!), and I keep fresh fruit around (peaches have been spectacular lately). I also have a serious attachment to popcorn, and I make it on the stove kettle style pretty often.

My favorite sources of running information thus far have been from the ladies at Another Mother Runner. Their book Run Like a Mother is full of everything you need to know about starting running-from nutrition to clothing and how to train, and I also love their blog and podcasts.

I already can't wait for my next 5k, on September 15th. I'm definitely planning to beat my time! I'm also hoping to train for some longer distances, though that still seems daunting right now. But, a few months ago 3 miles was daunting too, so clearly anything is possible : )

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