Hiking at Jefferys Cliffs

Happy Saturday! Checking in today to tell y’all about another hiking adventure I had last weekend.

If you’re close to western Kentucky I highly recommended checking out Jefferys Cliffs Conservation and Recreation Area. It’s 230 acres of sandstone plateau formation with cliffs, rock shelters and forest. And fall in Kentucky right now?! GORGEOUS. My pictures don’t even capture all the beauty there is to see.

It felt so good to get out of the house and get some exercise and fresh air. While I have a long way to go before I’m back in great hiking/running shape, this was a great motivator to build up my endurance again! I can’t wait until EJ is a little older and we can bring her along to hike with us!

Have you found any new hiking spots near you? Let me know in the comments below your favorite local/off-the-beaten-path trails.

I can’t wait to get back to running

Hi friends! Coming at you through the fog of new parenthood. We’re 3.5 weeks into life with our sweet Emery Jane and while she is super cute – I think she has her days and nights mixed up – so I am exhausted from basically never sleeping.

While we are slowly getting into a routine and learning what works best for baby and for our little family, one thing I am excited about adding to the mix is being able to run/workout again!

While I’m trying to wait until I’m cleared at my six week postpartum appointment to do anything too crazy, I’ve been slowly adding in some uphill walks on the treadmill and light upper body strength training into my days whenever I have time (ha! which is usually never but I’m working on it)

So much of my identity before becoming a mom was tied to being a runner and I don’t want to lose that now that I’ve added motherhood to the mix. I’m excited to see how I can balance everything in the future and I can’t wait until EJ gets old enough where she can join me on stroller runs!

Did you wait until your six week appointment to start running or did you get back to it earlier?

Favorite maternity workout clothes

Even though my running has come to a screeching halt during pregnancy, I am still trying to get out and active every day. Early on in my pregnancy when I looking at other blogs to see what women were wearing during pregnancy + working out all I found were ladies who were several sizes smaller than me. While I’m not quite plus size, I am usually a size 10-12. So hopefully this will help anyone who isn’t a size 4 (no shame at all to those who are smaller! Yall are rocking it. I just want to put my experience out there and hopefully help other women who are a different body type)

My trusty Oiselle long rogas are literally the first thing I change into when I get home from work and I live in them during the weekends. I own five pairs and four of them are size 12 and one of them is a size 14. They are still fit great (though the 12s are almost snug, they are still comfortable!) I never found any true maternity athletic shorts that I liked so I’m hoping my rogas can hold out for another 7 weeks.

This maternity tank from Amazon. Loved it so much I ordered a second the day after one came in the mail.

My ProCompression socks! Swollen feet really started to affect me this week and I have been wearing my ProCompression socks nightly around the house. Thankfully I had five pairs from marathon training, but I’m thinking of buying one or two more pairs (the puppy love design and the marathon navys) to add to my rotation.

For my daily walks and on the weekends when I am about and about more, I always wear my Hoka One One Clifton 5s. So much support and they are wide enough that my swollen feet still fit comfortably.

For work, I usually wear some black Crocs sandals I snagged on a whim one day when looking for shoes. I sized up but they are still getting a little snug – this Kentucky heat and humidity is not doing me any favors.

What are some of your maternity workout apparel must-haves?

Holiday gift guide for the runner in your life

Struggling to find gifts for the runner in your life? This gift guide has you covered with gift ideas ranging from $ – $$$.

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Books — 26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career by Meb Keflezghi, Stronger by Kara Goucher or a number of other running books. 
Oiselle mug — I mean someone can never have too many coffee mugs, right?!
Trigger point foam roller — hurts so good.
Winc wine subscription — Uhm, yes please. Different wines hand-picked and delivered to your doorstep? Sign me up too.
Run stickers
House shoes — These from LL Bean have been on my wish list for weeks!
Yeti — coffee mugs, bottles, coolers, etc. You can’t go wrong. 

What did I forget? Leave your favorite gifts as/for a runner in the comments below!

Adventuring in the cold and what to wear on those cold runs

Anyone else already over this cold weather?! I know it is so easy to stay inside during the winter months, but getting out in the sunshine (even in the winter) is SO important!

Not only am I trying to avoid the treadmill, but I am trying to take Murphy out in the cold so we can both burn some energy. The fresh air is good for both of us!

What to wear when running in the cold:

  • 30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights or shorts, depending on your preference.
  • 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms? A windbreaker over a base layer, and two pairs of tights or wind pants over the tights.
  • 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops and a jacket.
  • Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, gloves, something to cover your face.
  • Minus 20 degrees: Hop on the treadmill.

Hiking at John James Audubon State Park

Happy Friday!

Yesterday I took a random vacation day off from work to go hiking with my dad! He is preparing for a backpacking trip to Yosemite later this month and want to get more miles under his belt and asked me to tag along!

We hiked 11 miles in six-and-a-half hours at John James Audobon State Park (which is about 40 minutes from our house).

A lot of the trails looped around by each other, so we hopped on and off several trails to make an almost 4-mile loop. Dad had his 45-pound backpack on and hiked with it the entire time (so impressive!)

At 63-years-old he is still adding adventures to his bucket list and I am so proud of him for getting out and exploring more of the world.

It was such a gorgeous (but hot and humid) day! But I loved being out of the office and out in nature. The terrain was pretty rough in some places, but the views were great. I love having some great parks here in Kentucky that I can easily explore. Even though my legs are pretty sore today, I can’t wait to go back soon!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Where has been your favorite place to hike?

Sometimes you have to toot your own horn

At work the other day we had a meeting to talk about mid-year review. We discussed what’s worked, what hasn’t and what changes we want to make.

But before the meeting even started, my boss went around the room and said something positive he has noticed in each employee since the start of 2019. It was such a boost of confidence and really set the tone for the meeting.

I’m lucky to work for a place that encourages growth and goals.

He also said how great of a job, as a team, we had done over the last few years. He said sometimes we need to toot our own horn. 

It was like a lightbulb had gone off.

We should be damn proud of the work we do. Not only am I proud of what I do professionally, but I am proud of the work I am doing with running, in my marriage and with all my jobs.

So friends, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Be proud of the work you do. Don’t wait for someone else to recognize your work — RECOGNIZE WHAT YOU DO FOR YOUR SELF.

Thanks for coming to my TedTalk. Ha!

Other random tidbits from life lately.

I saw this on Instagram the other day and loved it –

Getting in shape is hard

I saw this on Twitter from Steve Magness (@stevemagness) at it really hit home.

I thought I would share and maybe it will help you too.

“Getting in shape is hard. And expectations can kill the motivation to do so.

It’s easy to compare yourself to some prior fitter you, but all that does is set you up for disappointment & frustration. Be kind to yourself. Try to get a little bit better from where you are right now.”

Making an effort to get Murphy outside more

Like most dogs, Murphy has a ton of energy! While he gets 3-4 daily walks, I began to feel like that wasn’t enough and since it warmed I have been making more of an effort to get us both outside and being as active as possible.

He is good for about 2-3 miles of running and sometimes more! He loves being outside and exploring all of our local trails. Sometimes when no one is around, my brother and I will each pick an end of the trail and have Murphy sprint back and forth. He loves it so much (he’s so speedy!) and it’s great way for him to get some energy out.

While it’s not always the most convenient (he stops to pee on everything), I’ve been making more of an effort to take Murphy outside with me as much as possible. I hate leaving him behind and he is always SO HYPED to go outside. Plus I know the fresh air is good for both of us!

I just want to spend all my time outside

Does anyone else feel that way after a long winter? I love having so much daylight when I get home from work and I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible outside. I’ve been reading, planting flowers, running and taking Murphy for 400 walks a day.

What’s your favorite way to spend time outside?

Look at this fun sidewalk chalk art on my run yesterday! I looped back around to snap a picture and I’m happy I did. So fun.

I also tried a new-to-me flavor of Nuun and it was pretty good! It’s been getting up in the 80s and I’m trying to increase my distance and speed on my runs, so I figured an extra boost wouldn’t hurt anything.

By now yall know I am obsessed with Murphy. But for real, isn’t he the cutest?! This is actually a live picture on my iPhone and it’s so cute because he starts off with my mouth closed and once he sees me with the phone he smiles. MY HEART. SO PRECIOUS.