Wednesday, April 29, 2009

27 weeks pregnant with twins and stretching

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm trying to get more into yoga as I think it will help my brain and body in the homestretch of pregnancy. I'm now 27-weeks pregnant and loving it! I still have a ton of energy which I need to channel into setting up the nursery and cleaning the house.

Here are the latest from the commenters...

Man: "You're big! When are you due?"
Me: "End of July / beginning of August."
Man: "Whoa..."
Me: "Twins"
Man: "Wow, you're going to be GIANT! These next two months will be pretty miserable for you."

Man: "Hey lumpy!"
(side note - lumpy?!)

Me: "You'll never guess what people said to me recently!"
Man: "What?"
Me: recounting the conversation above and "lumpy"
Man: "Well ... people are weird."
Me: "I should have said: at least I have an excuse. But I'm bigger than that - I was just polite knowing I'd blog and vent later."
Man: "You sure are ... bigger than that! Haha."

OK, I'm starting to come around and see the humor. Besides, with the bigger belly I do get kicks and somersaults, squirms and stretches, and poky heads (the boys are curious, I can tell - they keep poking their heads out to hear what's going on).

Per Baby Center, here's what's going on in there:
Now that you're approaching the final stage of pregnancy - your third trimester - your baby is really starting to grow and fill the available space in your uterus. She can now open and close her eyes, sleeps and wakes at regular intervals, and may suck a finger or thumb. Although they're still immature, your baby's lungs will function with some medical help, if she's born prematurely.

Running Resources

There are SO many running resources out there, I decided to do a little digging and make a list of my favs. I've posted a version of this list before, but it can't hurt to post a friendly reminder.

Without further ado, here they are:
Training: - I log my workouts here and it helps keep me going! Think Facebook for athletes.

When I start training for the Nike marathon, I'm going to follow the Halhigdon program - I figure by then I'll need some structure.


Race organizations:

  • great online website for finding all kinds of events

  • Dolphin South End Running Group: also a running group as you can guess from the name. Coordinate races nearly every week often as fundraisers. I'm always in awe when I see these runners around the city and the hills of Marin - a handful are in their 80s and would leave me at the starting line in most races.

  • Envirosports: awesome trail races around the year. The races are rather informal and the prize is a rubber chicken. At the start of each race the director gathers all runners to sing America the Beautiful. Prices vary but come in around $30 - less if you don't get a shirt.

  • PCTR: some of my favorite trail races. Courses are typically well marked, well stocked with water, and well cheered. The coordinators are ultra-marathon runners so, needless to say, the crowd that shows up are on the intense side.

  • The Schedule: similar to but a little easier to navigate.

Races of note:

  • Bay to Breakers: I realize this isn't a race organization, but this is an event to look forward to year after year. It's a 12k through the city - some people run it, some drink it, some wear costumes, some wear ... none, everyone has fun. I have my costume planned already for this year: a white t-shirt with "I'm not naked ... but they are!"

  • Dipsea: hands down one of my favorite races in the Bay Area. Also one of the harder ones to get in to. You need to apply the day this race opens and practically drive the application and check to the house of the race organizer - first come, first serve. Then, a lotto to get in.

  • Healdsburg Half: Last year was the first year of this race and I placed 3rd in my age group! It was a gorgeous race with free wine tasting at the end. Yum.

  • Napa to Sonoma Half: a great mid-summer race that occurs in July. Also, a great excuse to wine taste after running. Beautiful race through vineyards, a great (huge) metal at the finish, and typically good weather.

  • Turkey Trot: similar to Bay to Breakers - aka, not an organization, but a race. A great fun race. A short race (only 5k). This was the run that inspired me to start running again.
Running Clubs:

  • Dolphin South End Runners - the oldest running club in the citySaturdays at 8:15am at Kennedy Dr. in Golden Gate parkWednesdays at 7:15pm in Woodside. Races nearly every weekend (including the famed Double Dipsea)

  • Excelsior Run Club (New Balance) - offers training and race info. Tuesdays at 6pm at Kezar, Saturdays and Sundays long runs in various locations

  • Fleet Feet Sports - offers training programs and fun runs. Tuesdays at 6pm at the store on Chestnut

  • Golden Gate Running Club (GGRC) - the group I run with and adore
    Sundays at the warming hut at Chriss Field at 10am for long runs
    Wednesdays at Kezar Stadium at 7pm for track workouts. I'm walking with them now but can't wait to hit the trails again.

  • K-Stars - from what I hear, a more intense group - great runners
    Saturdays at 9am in Golden Gate Park
    Thursdays at 6:30pm at Kezar Stadium

  • Marathon Matt - a genius in marketing himself, offers training programs

  • Nike Running club - great running club when it's NOT Nike Marathon training (the marathon training is too overwhelming the first few weeks) Saturdays at 8am at Little Marina Green, Wednesdays at 6:30pm at Niketown

  • Pac West - offers great training programs and bootcamps

  • Pamakid Runners - a spinoff of Dolphon Running Club. I'll be honest on this one, I found them on Google (never heard of them). GREAT running tools available on their site. Thursdays at 6:30pm at Kezar Stadium

  • Presidio RX - a casual run club
    Mondays at 6:30pm at the Palace of Fine Arts (always a 5mile loop)
    Wednesdays at 6:30pm at Presidio Gate (4-6miles)

  • San Francisco Road Runner's Club - great for training for specific races
    Training is broken down by race runners are targeting

  • See Jane Run - training programs for running and tris

You know what's missing from this list? A mommies running group ... or hybrid run club with training for "making a comeback" ... or ... hm, thoughts are a brewin'!

Yoga changed my week - from downward dog, to upward week

I haven't taken yoga in a while. For some reason I have a mental block where I think I'm going to get bored in class. The reality is if the teacher is good, and mine tonight was rad (Kerri Kelly taught - she specializes in yoga for runners among other things), class flies by.

Tonight I decided to do yoga to counter all the work I've been doing in spin and channel my energy into being happy about my growing body. I think the boys loved class, too, because they were doing somersaults and kicking the entire time.

After 90-minutes of stretching and breathing I walked out a taller, more energized, and happier athlete.

Here's why I think yoga is so beneficial for mom's to be:
  • Practiced breathing
  • Worked posture
  • Worked core without crunches
  • Stretched legs / joints / muscles (read, reduce water retention)
  • A million other reasons
Here's why I think yoga is so beneficial for runner's:
  • Lengthen the muscles we work so hard to tighten
  • Work breathing (read, at mile 20 when you start hyperventilating because you "just can't do it" you take a deep breath and realize you can)
  • Prevent injuries
  • A million other reasons

Read my hands! Sign language for babies

Typically "read my hands" isn't a nice thing. For me anyhow (picture the 101N in rush hour with bad drivers - my "sign language" typically only suggests one word). But now I'm trying to learn new sign language - signing for babies. Apparently it's the greatest thing for talking to your kids when they can't yet talk.

Last week Matt and I went to a SF Parents of Multiples event, and one of the fathers there said he had been signing with his twins (who are now 18-months old) since they were born. Now, they can not only say exactly what they want to eat and when, but they're already potty trained!!! That alone is testimony enough for me.

You can read more on the sign-phenomena in this article from the St. Petersburg Times.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: gummy bears

Need I say more? I'm partial to the sugar free vitamin C kind. I LOVE gummies - I love eating them, playing with them (yes, I admit, I play with my food - my boys will be better than me), and daydreaming about them while finishing a gruelling spin class.
If you're interested, here's the history of the gummy/gummi from Wikipedia:
The Gummi Bear originates from Germany where it is popular under the name De-Gummibär.ogg Gummibär (rubber bear) or De-Gummibärchen.ogg Gummibärchen (little rubber bear). Hans Riegel of Bonn invented bear-shaped sweets and started the Haribo company in 1922, which produced and introduced its Gold-Bear product in the 1960s. Trolli is another gummi candy manufacturer and the first to introduce gummi worms in 1981.

Thank you Hans!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Money Saver Monday: Sale sites!

As you've gathered by now, I'm a sucker for a sale. With the twins rapidly approaching we've been trying to buy things as we find them for cheap. The SF Parents of Multiples sale was a HUGE help! But that only happens twice a year.

Introducing, sale sites!

I'm a sucker for a great deal and there are a handful of sites that offer great discounts on designer and not-so-designer goods.
  • Shnoop has a single item daily for great prices! Todays sale is an umbrella stroller for $99 down from $299 - yesterday they had a designer watch. You never know what you're going to get.
  • Gilt Group offers great designer goods varying from Vera Wang to White and Warren (my new maternity favorite).
  • Hautelook also offers designer goods - their shipping policies are a little lacking, but they'll get there (they don't let you order from multiple sales so you have to double pay shipping often).
  • Editor's Closet is a step above Gilt with designer accessories and clothes.
  • Ideeli is another designer site that has fewer sales but excellent deals.
My latest online discount purchase? Shoes of course! This time for the boys, not me. I bought these cute LAMB shoes for only $12.

Now if only the sites would sell diapers, wipies, and sitter hours ...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend roundup: hiking and shopping and clubbing - oh my!

It was quite a busy weekend! We've been out of town or had out-of-towners in for the past few months and this weekend we were both relieved to be in San Francisco seeminly plan-less. The "seemingly" is the key term here! Friday we raced off to Sports Basement for a GGRC 20% off sale (I LOVE Sports Basement), then went from sale to sale and landed at a SF Parents of Multiples members only sale. We accrued quite the baby pile with a tub, bottle warmer, books, snugglies, and things I've never heard of for cheap - rad!

Saturday brought a mellow day with another jaunt to the SF Parents of Multiples sale (this time it was too overwhelming) then a long walk with Matt and Linz. Linzy and I have both been on the hunt for inexpensive desks so we stopped in every furniture store around - some more ... eclectic than others.

Wrapping up our adventure, Matt and I explored a hidden San Francisco street (there are tons!) and found secret gardens and amazing views galore.

Saturday night brought clubbing! I haven't been clubbing since studying in London (and boy did Rye and I club - a past life). Matt and I bussed it over to Bambudha Loung to celebrate Jamie on her bday.

It was a bit funny being that pregnant lady in the club, but another pregnant girlfriend was there too - phew!

Post club Matt and I did a little comparison over who was more full - I think I'm winning here.

Today brought more walking and a loooooooong nap. You know, I think I'll take another!

Friday, April 24, 2009

26-weeks and counting! The twins are growing

Yesterday was another ultrasound - I've grown to love these check in appointments and getting to see the boys. It's incredible, even though they're still growing, they've already taken on their own personalities. "Baby B" does somersaults - literally, yesterday he did two. "Baby A" loves kicking in the weirdest places - yesterday his feet were in my ribs (ouch!) Needless to say, we're going to have two active boys. Maybe they'll run Boston with me one day :)
Before the flipping:

Tired boy:

Kicking my ribs:

These boys are lovers (not fighters) - check out that heart beat!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Runner's World daily has some other good ideas on running green.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 Questions with Michelle Aguilar: Season 6 'The Biggest Loser' winner

Can you imagine being trapped in your own body? Or feeling like you can't control your body? Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with 'The Biggest Loser' winner, Michelle Aguilar who went from 242 pounds to 110 pounds (a 45.45% weight-loss) over the season. While she lost 132 pounds total, Michelle gained a lot more - she gained insight into herself and her relationships with friends, family, and food.

Michelle's story is one of personal victory and is truly inspiring - and not just on a "diet" or food level.

"Being on the show made me peel back layers of myself," said Michelle about how she became empowered to lose all the weight. "I'm now more atonable to feelings and have better relationships with myself, my family and friends, and food."

I hope you find Michelle's tips as inspiring as I do. I'm not trying to lose weight, mind you, but health and sense of self are something we all need occasional reminders on. Here are five questions that give a look into Michelle's journey:

What motivated you to get on the show, and stick with it?
As a woman, the idea of standing on a scale on national TV in a sports bra and shorts was not appealing. That said, I needed something dynamic - I was at a point where I wasn't feeling good and wasn't healthy but didn't know how to change. I had been watching 'The Biggest Loser' and knew the show was about changing the relationship with food and weight - not just about losing weight. My wonderful family and friends helped me stay on track. Before the show, I had a great support network, but I never knew how to tap into that network; I felt like I was inconveniencing people asking for help or venting about a bad day. Instead of turning to people as an outlet and network, I turned to food.

You came a long way on the show and had to workout for 6-8 hours a day. What are your workouts like now?
I'm a cardio girl - I know how to listen to my body and what it responds to, now, and I know that cardio is 'it.' I'm hooked on the elliptical, spin, and the treadmill. I'll be honest - I don't LOVE getting on the machine for a workout, but with good music or a good show on to help me through the workout, I know I can stick with it. More than sticking with it, I know if I finish a workout I'll feel better in the end.

I mix strength training in with the cardio - I like low resistance so I don't bulk up too much.

You mentioned good music helping get through a workout - what's on your playlist right now?
  • All American Rejects: Move Along
  • Beyonce: I'm a Diva
  • Jason Mraz: I'm Yours
Obviously a healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with a good workout routine - what are your "super-foods"?
My #1 go-to is Milk - it is packed with everything I need to stay energized and healthy. I've also learned to love "real foods" like fruits and vegetables. I always keep snacks like fruit or nuts in my bag so I don't get to the point of being overly hungry - I know if I get to that point I'll eat poorly.

With this new healthier diet, what are your tricks for going out to restaurants?
I always remind myself that it's my food, my body, and my money. When I'm eating out I'm a bit high maintenance - I make my food choices based on what I know is good for me and what my body needs, not what I think will be easier for others (like the waiter).

I've also really learned to watch my portions. In the past, if a huge plate of food were put in front of me I'd eat it all because I felt like I was supposed to. Now I eat normal portions and only eat what I need - then I either box up the rest or get rid of the plate so I don't graze.

Got Milk? is sending a couple of fans to this year's season finale on May 12, 2009 in Los Angeles. To find out how you can win a free trip to Los Angeles, tickets to the finale, backstage access and a chance to meet Michelle, visit and submit why you live well with milk in 200 words or less. The giveaway ends tomorrow, April 22.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The mental race

This past weekend I participated in the Xtera Redwood Peaks trail race with "Team Lemon" (aka, a great (bright) crew from Lululemon). This was the first time I've ever walked a race and it was ... interesting but tons of fun.

Here are the highlights:
Cowhollow Team Lemon

Pre-race "stretching"

Post race decompressing

Power foods

Money Saver Monday: Specials

With marketers trying to capitalize on the economy problems and companies always trying up up net new leads, specials are in abundance.

Last week Emily turned me on to San Francisco's "Spa Week" where a handful of spas offered $50 massages and facials. Yes, one could argue that the true money saver would be to skip the massage or facial, but really I think an investment in self-pampering goes a long way and ultimately helps save more (sanity!)

Spa week has ended but with the summer kicking in (and the 90 degree heat in San Francisco proving that) there are many more specials to come.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Take it and Run Thursday: Running blogs

Running Blogs - How and Why? Most of our TIaRT participants are also running bloggers - it's a way for them to talk about and think about their running. But we also know that about half of the runners in the Lounge aren't bloggers and many are interested in getting started but not sure how to get started, why to do it or how it can help their running. Share your tips for how you use your blog to help your running. Talk about how/why you started, what keeps you blogging and how you use it to keep you running.

A good friend of ours started blogging and it helped curb her shopping habit. Rad! I started to try to enjoy the same benefits, but to no avail - no cubing for me. But what I did notice is blogging was a great outlet to rant and talk about all the wacky things that happen in San Francisco. Eventually I turned my blog to running - a healthier outlet. Having a blog where I can write about my running adventures helps:
  • Inspire me to race - and do well in the races (it is after all fun to toot one's own horn)
  • Meet other runners - the online world connects us through stories
  • Daydream - I have a wishlist of about 10 races I need to do in life, blogging about them will hopefully help me put check marks next to those listed
It's also fun posting pictures and race and workout write-ups to reference back to. All the trails start meshing together after a while so it's nice to remind myself which 20k had the 4,000 foot climb, and which only had 2,000 feet.

I do have to admit, more than writing a running blog I love reading running blogs - other runners are the best inspiration to get out there and train and go!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

25 weeks pregnant with twins

I'm now 25 weeks pregnant with our twin baby boys and counting. It seems like every day there are new changes and people loooooove pointing them out. Here are the latest:
  • "You've gotta stop wearing tight sweaters - looks like you've got a beer gut"
  • "Hey baby maker"
  • "Are you smuggling a watermelon?"
  • "Looking freakish..."
  • "Whoa!"

Comments aside, there really is a lot going (growing) on in there. Per Baby Centre UK, here's what's happening:

"The baby now weighs nearly 1.5 pounds/ 660 grams and is approximately 13.5 inches/ 35 centimetres long from crown to heel. He makes breathing movements but has no air in his lungs yet. At 26 weeks, fetal brain scans show response to touch. If you shine a light on your abdomen, your baby will turn his head, which according to researchers, means his optic nerve is working.

At every antenatal visit, your midwife or doctor will take your blood pressure and do tests on a sample of your urine. In this way, pregnancy-related conditions such as pre-eclampsia and diabetes can be detected and treated.

Your fingers, wrists and hands may be feeling achy and numb. The carpal tunnel in the wrist is swollen, as are many other tissues in your body. Nerves that run through the tunnel end up pinched, creating pressure that manifests itself as shooting or burning pain. Wearing a brace may help; so will taking vitamin B6. Talk to your midwife or doctor about other ways to cope. Find out about natural remedies for numb or achy fingers."

Well, I may be bulging but I still got biceps! Actually, these are new - with running on hold, I've had a chance to hold (curl and press) more. Good practice for holding the boys...

What would a week be without a super pose (aka, hands on hips):

My heart hurts - no love

Walking home tonight, I was weaving up Union Street and was struck by an initial feeling of joy and then socked in the heart. A little boy was running up and down the hill around an apartment doorway giggling and screaming with joy. He kicked his legs up higher and higher and waved his arms more and more seemingly elated to be playing withe someone. As I neared, I noticed a man standing in the doorway looking the opposite way as the little boy (when the boy's joyful strides brought him in front of the man, the man turned his head) and smoking a cigarette (to add to the pile below). As I proceeded up the hill and closer to this odd scene, I noticed the boys joyous jumps seem to wilt. After I passed the scene and was further up the hill, I heard a gurgled pained sound and turned to look back - the boys giggles turned to guttural cries and he was sitting in front of the doorway staring up imploring the man to look at him. His joy and eagerness to play turned to sorrow as he was being ignored. Then the cries stopped and the boy just sat there.

So sad.

Sometimes you need a nudge: the power of the personal trainer

For the past 10 or so years I've had the same workout (give or take a run):
30-minutes cardio (run or elliptical)
3 sets of 15# free weight curls
3 sets of 15# free weight bench presses
3 sets of 15# free weight pulls
3 sets of 15# free weight extensions
50-100 situps

When I started running more I'd skip the weights and just do 1-2 hours of running outside with the occasional plank thrown in for core.

Intro - twin pregnancy - no running, no bench press. Upon joining the Bay Club I swapped running for swimming, spin, and yoga - love that trio! But I still want core and more arms (I do not want my warm wabbling after me as I wave the kids off or high five a fellow runner). Yesterday I took advantage of one of the free Bay Club training sessions - in a word, rad.

The trainer introduced me to:
Varied plank - with leg extensions
Lunges with weights but with the added twist of a step-up block and doing curls for each step
Kinesis machines for more launches and squats with weights
Free weight presses on the bosu ball starting with 15 reps and then alternating arms to work core
Assisted pull ups
Lateral push ups
"Lawn mowers" on the kinesis machine
Closed out with stretching (I threw in a quick swim before the stretch)

I had been exhausted rolling into the gym and not much looking forward to someone telling me what to do. Leaving I felt re-energized, gym-high, and sore - the good kind.

I guess new really can be good!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: bacon salad

Let me first clear this with - I LOVE bacon. Bacon and eggs, BLTs, steak wrapped in bacon - you name it, I love it. So when I'm too tired to cook, a great go-to is bacon salad. Bacon salad is easy, fast, can be healthy, and oh-so-good.

Serves 2:
Toss organic mixed greens in a bowl with
1 chopped up tomato
1/2 avocado
2 tbsp soft goat cheese
5 slices of cooked bacon

Matt prefers bacon cooked in a skillet - I dig the micro-bacon (wrap bacon in paper towels and microwave for 2-3min until crispy brown.

To dress:
2 tbsp olive oil (I love the kind from Lucas ranch)
2 tbsp balsamic
pinch sea salt
pinch pepper

Yesterday I healthed it up a bit by adding 6 spears of steamed asparagus cut in 1-in sections.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Money Saver Monday: Make the ask!

With bank rates and investment "guarantees" seeming to plummet it seems credit card interest rates are skyrocketing. So how do you save? Well, first off - try to stay out of debt. It's taken me 29 years to learn to do this (OK, fine, I've only had a credit card for 11 years, but you know what I mean) and living debt free, especially when you're a 20-30 something living in a non-stop city, is tough! But it's important.

Second best to being debt free is being on a low APR credit card. Sure, you can open new credit cards - get one for every color of the rainbow. OK, no, that's a joke - I don't recommend this one because juggling 1-2-3 credit card bills is tough enough, but staying on top of more? No thank you. Right now credit card companies want to keep their credit card users (especially the "power" user who exercises the card) - they want to keep the uber user for two reasons: 1) they get interest from you, and 2) every financial institution is struggling right now - they need something (spenders) on the horizon to keep them afloat. So what's the money saver hint? We've heard it before - ask. Call your credit card company and ask for a lower loan. If the first answer is no, suggest that you'd like to cancel the card (but you have to mean it - have a plan here). APR down, money saved.

I've tried it, it works, trust me.

Runners are the new "black"

Even though I can't run right now (insert poor me voice ... but the trade off is very worth it) I'm still leading the Lululemon fun runs on Mondays at Lululemon on Union Street and I LOVE it! Weekly I get to meet up with a group of 8-12 local runners to give running tips (like if you're going to race on hills, train on hills (you'd be surprised how many runners forget this tid bit)) and routes - typically one flat and one hills. Besides loving to see the progression of new runners and seasoned runners, I love "hanging" with ... you guessed it - runners!

I hinted at this with my running group post, but runners truly are a different breed - they've got soul / sole (?) Here are some cross overs I've been realizing lately from the running world to the "real world":
  • Need a beer? Runners are some of the most fun people to go drinking with - after a hard race or training run, there's nothing like throwing back a cold one. (Don't worry - my "throw back" is on hold)
  • Need mommy advice? Running moms are - well, hard core. They've done it all from races to delivery and are great with advice.
  • Like to talk shop? I'm always amazed by the brains I run into and with on the trails - I think there's something about the mindlessness of running (or forced mind break) that attracts corporate mucky mucks.
  • Feeling trendy? Running seems to be taking over Hollywood with stars doing marathons and triathlons.
In a nutshell, I think runners just have it. That little bit of craziness, heart, and soul/sole (a lot of sole actually).

An inspiration: Kara Goucher

While walking today, my walking buddy and I were talking about training and how training for a race can actually be more rewarding than the race itself. This is something I desperately need to work on. Last year, building up to the Rock 'n Roll marathon in San Diego I did a handful of long runs (not surpassing 15-miles, though) and mostly stuck with 5-6 mile runs around my house.

Reading a recent interview with Kara Goucher on Runner's it looks like Kara's success truly kicked in (to high gear!) post college and with training. I think Kara is one of those amazingly talented natural runners. She's been running since Jr. highschool (I'm guessing before, too) and didn't really train for races - but she pushed to the max race days. Come college Kara started training to stay in the now much faster field. Post-college she became a true running star with U.S. records and the Olympics under her belt (running water belt?) In the RW interview, Kara notes training played a key role.

I think training is important for a few reasons:
  • It prepares you mentally - in any race there's going to be a hurdle, knowing your body can get over that hurdle is huge
  • It's fun! Training really is part of the race - while my "training" was minimal at best prior to San Diego, I got to enjoy San Francisco and Marin hills and trails in the prep - all of those made it a great race
  • Your body needs it - this is probably the no brainer, running takes a lot out of your body and muscles need to be prepped to go any distance

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!!

Upon waking this morning Matt pronounced that I am now the Easter egg - or should I say, my belly is the egg. I can handle that as long as no-one tries to wrap me in gold foil and hide me in a grassy field.

I can't believe that next Easter I'll have baby boys to celebrate with. They may not be able to eat candy eggs by then, but being the great mom I'm planning to be, I'll gladly help them out.

Group think

Even though I'm not running right now, I'm still very thankful to have my run groups.

Today I woke at the luxeriously late hour of 9am and headed out to meet Leanne and GGRC. Sunday's are GGRC days as they meet for group runs at 10am (a perfect time if you ask me). Leanne and I met to circle up with the group and talk routes and then we went off for a walk with her adorable baby. After a fast paced walk up and down the Marina Green we met back with the club for "hang time" as they recounted their routes and daydreamed about races to come.

Run group has turned into walking Sundays for me and they're just perfect. I get to think on my race wishlist and hear the latest from the SF running circuit (and there's a lot!).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

24 weeks (aka 6 months!!!) belly pics of the twins

I think the boys are considering becoming gymnists already ... I can feel them moving, flipping, kicking, and growing constantly! And I love it.

I'm not at 6-months (24 weeks) and growing. I'm not sure how much more my body can stretch, but I'm sure it'll figure it out ;o)

Again with the super woman pose:

Mental note, brights really do make everything look bigger (and I have told you lately - I LOVE my Lulu Remix hoodie and Groove pants?):

"Baby B" (it's Wilson) loves hanging out on my side - you can see him sticking out his bum here:

p.s. I really do still have a belly button - the boys play kick ball with it sometimes - you just can't see it in all it's outie glory here...

Per Baby Centre UK, here's what's going on in there:
Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Real runners swim

In my ongoing plight to find fulfilling cross training to supplement my lack of running, I'm falling more and more in love with swimming. Today I worked legs and core with the kickboard alternating between laps doing breaststroke and freestyle (freestyle is hard!). Here's the drill:
  • 2 laps breaststroke
  • 1 lap kickboard
  • 2 laps breastroke
  • 2 lap freestyle
  • 2 laps breaststroke
  • 1 lap freestyle
  • Stretch
  • Plank
  • Home for a giant dinner

I'm confident swimming will stick when I take my workouts back to the trails. It's helping with my breathing now, but I can already feel my already faulty IT band grooving back into place. Current injuries aside, here's an interesting data-point from Runner's World: "Runners who swim regularly may recover from their road miles faster than landlubbers do." An even older article in Runner's World notes lap swimming is effective cross training because it "helps you maintain cardiorespiratory fitness while simultaneously strengthening and soothing your body."

To diaper bag or not to diaper bag?

With babies comes so much stuff. Stuff for baby, stuff for house, stuff for mom - it's a never ending list. There are two buckets of stuff, I think, the need to haves (diapers, clothes, somewhere to sleep) and the nice to haves (cute diaper bags, matching onsies, sheet sets and curtains, etc.) I do love the nice to haves, though, I have to admit!

Today on Editor's Closet (email me if you'd like an invite to the site) were the cutest Timi & Leslie diaper bags for 50%+ off. I only fell in love with 5, but I refrained from buying any. I have a feeling diaper bags are going to become my new shoe - aka, a mini obsession.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Taco night!

Throughout college every Tuesday was "Taco Tuesday." Fast forward a few years and when I first lived here Linz and I would go to Nick's Crispy Tacos (side note, best tacos outside of San Diego) every Tuesday to continue the tradition. When Nick's started catering more and more to the bridge and tunnel crowd (nothing wrong there) and changing their reggae to top 10 greatest hits, we scrapped taco Tuesday in lieu of other Ts (Thai Tuesday, tilapia Tuesday, etc.)

This week, with Lis in town and "family dinner" very in order, we decided to re-introduce Taco Tuesday. Phew!

Now that you're caught up to speed, here are the tasty (and easy!) specifics:
Tacos - beef and turkey:
  • In separate pans saute onions, then add the meat
  • Salt to taste (no taco packets - too many chemicals)
  • Saute until browned
Taco toppings:
Chop up and add the following to small bowls for people to build tacos themselves:
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1c shredded cheese (my fav is tillamook)
  • 1c shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 white onion
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa (I skimmed and didn't make it fresh this time)
Taco shells:
(Trader Joes sells great organic corn tortillas)
  • In a pan heat olive oil
  • 1by1 heat shells on both sides
  • Place on a plate between paper towels to remove excess oil
Serve all family style and enjoy! The best part of family dinner? Extra hands for dishes :) Thanks Lis and Jamie!

Monday, April 6, 2009

To do: fun runs with Lululemon!

I may not be able to run, but I still love the Lululemon fun runs. Weekly we meet at Lululemon on Union St. at 6:30pm for 3-5 mile runs (or walks). Recently PacWest started offering yoga for runners at 7:30pm on Mondays at Lulu so we've been keeping the runs to 3 miles so everyone can get back in time to stretch/yoga.

Here are this week's runs:
3-mile hills / parks:

  • Start at Lulu
  • Down to Gough
  • Right on Gough and up to Washington
  • Right on Washington and over to Fillmore
  • Up Fillmore to Broadway, right on Broadway
  • Up up up to the park and down Lyon St. stairs to Union
  • Back to Lulu
3-mile flat:

  • Start at Lulu
  • Over to Fillmore and down to the water
  • Run along Marina to Sports Basement
  • Turn and backtrack to Baker
  • Right on Baker and up to Union
  • Down Union to Lulu

Elliptical machine vs. running

In my ongoing quest to cross train for running (read between the lines - find alternatives for running) I've been doing more and more elliptical training in lieu of running. I've never been much of a fan of the treadmill - they hurt my knees and running in place just doesn't do it for me. Elliptical machines, on the other hand, minimize impact. Yes, you're still going in circles, but at least with elliptical machines you can catch up on the news (US Weekly with the occasional Economist thrown in) and watch television - two luxuries that are too difficult for me on the treadmill (it's just not as fun reading trash mags with some news thrown in and feeling carsick while bounce bounce bouncing).

Per Men's Total Fitness (don't ask why I'm reading that - Google): "according to the results of several recent studies, users of elliptical trainers were able to burn roughly the same amount of calories as treadmill users with the impression of using considerably less effort. This perception of a more effortless workout is probably due to the low impact nature of elliptical trainers."

Calories aside, I like:
  • The cardio workout
  • Getting my heartrate up (not over 140!)
  • Ability to practice pace and build in hills (faux hills)
  • Core and arm workout (core from practicing good posture while going, arm from using the handlebars)

Money Saver Monday: Discounts for twins

As we continue to build out our nursery and team twin Taylor shopping list, we're becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the costs associated with twinhood. One saving grace is that many companies offer discounts for multiples - here are a few ( has a great list with information on all of the discount offers):
  1. Coupons for diapers & wipes from Huggies, Pampers, and Luvs
  2. Discounts on portrait photography from JC Penny
  3. Discounts on baby products from Baby Planet Boutique (10% off purchase of 2+ of the same item and free shipping on orders over $100)
  4. Discounts on baby products from Great Baby Products
  5. Free circus tickets from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Tickets
  6. Discounted baby products from Babies 'R' Us
  7. Free baby products from The First Years
  8. Two-for-one baby toys from Tiny Love
  9. Coupons for baby food from Beechtree
  10. Discounted diaper genie
And one I just learned, 10% off purchase of 2+ of the same product at Giggle.

For many of these, especially the free offers, companies need proof of twins so Matt and I are prepping envelopes with addresses to put copies of the boys' birth certificates when they come.

Let the shopping and saving begin!

Triple thread: Under Armour blog

I've been blogged! As many of you know, I'm on "Team UA" for running and get to wear and test Under Armour shoes and clothes (which I LOVE)! Today I was blogged - you can read my post and learn about other UA Runner's online here:

Here's a copy of my post:
Amber Taylor is a member of Team UA RUN and a Run Captain for the PacWest Athletics training group. She's our 3-in-one Teammate as she's running around with TWINS, but still managing to spread the word about Under Armour. Thanks Amber! Here's her story.

I have been been running since the age of eight, when I started playing softball simply because I liked running the bases. I joined the cross country team in junior high school, and in high school I competed both on the cross country team and the track team. In college, I took a break from running and branched out to lacrosse, scuba diving, yoga, but still entered the occasional race for run--Bay to Breakers in San Francisco and the Bend Marathon in Bend Oregon.

After college I became Clinician at Lindamood-Bell (a learning clinic that works with children and adults with reading and comprehension difficulties). I loved teaching but for some weird reason wanted to try corporate life and got into high tech marketing. Upon making the shift I learned that 60+ hours a week in an office or cube weren't easy and reintroduced running to my daily routine more for a stress break than anything.

In 2004, I moved to San Francisco and "found my running legs" again and began running for fun and fitness. A New Year's resolution in 2008 prompted me to join the Golden Gate Running club, which ultimately inspired me to take on trail races and half and full marathons on a regular basis. Running and racing have become way more than a means of fitness - they're a stress reliever, a social forum, and a brain workout (trail races are tough!) I have since run numerous trail races with PCTR and Envirosports and am thrilled to continue to place in my age group (a few weeks ago I took my first 1st in a 10k trail race). I also ran the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon in 2008, where I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

I'm now 5.5 months pregnant with twin boys so Boston is out this year, but I've deferred it for next - what a great way to get motivated and train post-pregnancy - and, I get a built in cheering section!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To buy: Lululemon Jesus pants

I am in love with my new Lululemon Jesus pants. They're made with luon light which is awesome because they make for a lighter pant and can take me from Spring into Summer. I'm planning on sporting these to work when my boomin' belly goes beyond my jeans' capability (something I'm certain will happen soon).

Why I love them? Let me count the ways:
  1. They're perfect for pregnancy as I can roll them up or down
  2. They're a flowy fit and comfortable for those (very very rare) warm summer SF days
  3. They're simple

Can't run, but I can walk much faster - pregnant waddle walking

For the past few days I've had a running baby mix stuck in my head:
Paul Simon's Can't Run But
Britney Spears' Baby One More Time (mostly the oh baby baby (get it? Two babies?))
Men at Work's Ain't Nothing Gonna Hold Me Down

I can't run but ain't nothing going to break my stride
I can't run but I can spin much further
Oh baby baby
I can yoga much de-tighter (had to think of something to fit - not working)
I can't run but I can walk much longer
Oh baby baby
I've got to keep on moving

I don't see this one hitting the charts anytime soon :)

To do: brunch!

I love brunch - it's hands down, one of my favorite meals. Today we had some old co-workers and friends over for a perfect Spring brunch: frittata, salad, fruit, bread and brie, and mimosas (for the non-preg diners).

Fittata is surprisingly simple! I decided to make it with a twist because I didn't feel like waiting for potatoes to boil and soften enough for the frittata. So, here are the two kinds I made:

Parmesan, asparagus, and mushroom:
  • In a pan, saute handful of asparagus (8 spears?) and add 3/4c mushrooms until soft
  • In a bowl whisk 8 eggs with 1/2c parmesan
  • Put eggs/cheese and sauted veggies in a baking dish
  • Put in pre-heated oven at 350 for 25min
Cheddar, egg:
  • In a pan, saute 1/2 white onion
  • In a bowl, whisk 8 eggs and 1/2c cheddar
  • Put eggs/cheese and sauted onion in a baking dish
  • Put in pre-heated oven at 350 for 25min
Why frittata is good:
  • Eggs are loaded with nutrients: riboflavin, B12, and choline, which may well not only help developing brains in utero, but protect us from age-related memory loss; omega-3s
  • Asparagus root contains compounds called steroidal glycosides, which may help reduce inflammation; calcium, magnesium and iodine and is an excellent source of folic acid
  • Onions are low in saturated fat (which I made up for with the cheese) and high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate and manganese

Friday, April 3, 2009

To buy: stroller - the great strolloff!


As we're nearing 6-months and getting closer to shower kind (the baby kind, not the ohmygodistink after spin kind), we're getting more into stroller research ... and it is daunting!

Our requirements are pretty simple:
  • Work in the city (read: get through doors and fit on the sidewalk)
  • Grow with the twins (read: infant through toddler)
  • Be able to run/walk/stroll up and down the San Francisco hills
  • Pack into the car
We've narrowed it down to two: the BOB Revolution Duallie and the Bumbleride Indie Twin .

BOB Revolution Duallie :
  • Cost: $569 (need to buy the carseats and all accessories separately)
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Width: 30.8"
  • Specs: 12" swiveling front wheel, side by side seats, fits infant carseats, holds up to 100 pounds
Drawback: only fits 1 infant carseat

Bumbleride Indie Twin :
  • Cost: $590 - 650
  • Weight: 34 pounds
  • Width: 29.5"
  • Specs: 4-wheels, 12" air tires, side by side, fits infants on up, holds up to 90 pounds
I'm going to have to sell off nearly half of my beloved shoe collection for a stroller ... now that's love!