An Upstate, NY resident who loves the marathon, a good beer, and all of the numbers/nerdy things. I write about my journey to a sub-3:00 marathon, training tweaks for improvement, and finding that "running/life balance" unicorn. On tap Next: Training to be a first time mom, here we go 2nd Trimester!

Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 2/20-2/26/17

After a busy weekend, I was looking forward to Monday being low key for the holiday. I ended up going to work for a little bit but then ran some errands and was home by noon. I did a bunch of work around the house but also took the time to relax- as I mentioned in my last log…little lady was super quiet all weekend with how busy I was. It made me a little more anxious and was a good reminder to not overdo things. After a good night sleep Sunday, by Monday afternoon she was back to jamming around and kicking me constantly. I love that.

Wednesday it was so nice out so I couldn’t NOT run outside. I decided to do a mini workout, run a loop around the block, do some strength and repeat. I didn’t push the pace, or effort on strength training but it was a good way to get the time in, but break it up allowing for rest/water/bathroom breaks.

This weekend was less than I was planning on for running- but got so much more out of some of the other things that went on. Friday I worked around the house in the afternoon and then spent 3 hours just chatting and catching up with a good friend Amber. The rest of the evening, Brian and I just spent together since we wouldn’t be able to most of the weekend.

Saturday morning my Mom was in town (she lives in Kansas City most of the time for work), so we met my sister and my nephews and had a good breakfast just to catch up- good family/mom/sister time. In the afternoon Britt picked me up and we headed to Syracuse for the night. Heather was coming in from Connecticut and we all got a hotel and enjoyed a night of laughs together. I admit it’s tough when 2 of your best friends live 1.5-5 hours away!

Sunday they both ran Lake Effect half marathon as a workout part of long run, and I yogged around cheering. It was cold, windy and a little snowy at times but still a good morning of running and friends time.

Week of 2/20-2/26 ( 25/26 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Presidents Day- Worked around the house most of the day
Tuesday: –
Wednesday: 2.1 miles run ( 3 x .7 mile loop) + 14 minutes strength training
Thursday: –
Saturday: –
Sunday: 3.2 miles run while cheering at Lake Effect Half Marathon + Worked all night on feet
Totals: 5.3 miles run + 14 minutes Strength Training

Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 2/13-2/19/17

A super slow week here with regards to working out, but with some good reasons…and also because I’m 25+ weeks pregnant and sometimes just don’t want to(and that’s cool:) ).

The week prior I had my 1 hour glucose test which I failed with flying colors- which left me with the 3 hour test this week. Isn’t that how you spend Valentines day? So Tuesday morning (after fasting all night) I sat for 3+ hours and had my blood drawn 4 times- needless to say by the time I was done all I wanted was food, and sleep. I rested most of the afternoon but was still feeling a bit off in the evening so figured no workouts or anything was for the best. Wednesday I got my usual afternoon time with my nephews, which is always a highlight of my week!

By Thursday I was feeling a bit better all around. My energy had picked up from the weekend and Tuesday’s Glucose test, and I woke to the news that by some miracle I passed my 3 hour glucose test(my levels were so high after the 1 hour test that we really didn’t expect to pass the 3 hour). That was a huge weight off my shoulders, the worry and anxiety I had was admittedly pretty high while waiting to hear. I still need to make some small changes, but ones that I know are important and will help me in the long run. Specifically- I have always been pretty bad about not eating consistently throughout the day. I always finish the day with around the same amount of calories- but they come in big chunks at a time usually. This is something that even in marathon training would get me- and I knew it but never took the time to change it. I might get busy and go hours without eating, and then binge when I finally did eat. This causes unnecessary drops and spikes in blood sugar which isn’t healthy.

The weekend weather was AMAZING. I got outside for the first time in months! I overdid it a little bit though, with regards to just being a VERY active weekend. Saturday morning I spent a few hours cleaning, then ran, and then went to work on my feet all night where it was super busy. Sunday we ran errands and I opted not to run (even though it was gorgeous) because I was still feeling a bit drained from Saturday and had to work again Sunday night. I didn’t like the feeling of overdoing it Saturday- and it made my little lady far less active which I REALLY didn’t like. So I’m being extra cautious about days that I work on my feet . {Little lady is back to being rambunctious in my stomach and running circles around and kicking- she just needed some extra sleep and extra time of me laying down and taking it easy}

Week of 2/13-2/19 ( 24/25 weeks pregnant)
Monday: –
Tuesday: Happy Valentines Day!- No workout, recovering from 3hr OGTT
Wednesday: Work+ Babysitting Nephews
Thursday: –
Friday: –
Saturday: 2.4 mile run + LONG night at work getting my ass kicked
Sunday: Evening at work on feet
Totals: 2.4 miles run

Hollie Hughes: Pushing Her Son to a World Record

As runners, we can often vividly recall our past races, we can instantly feel the race morning nerves long after the race has passed.

When Hollie Hughes thinks back to the 2016 Wineglass Marathon, she harkens back to race morning, and relives the moments spent getting herself and her six year-old epileptic son to race the 26.2 miles from Bath to downtown Corning, New York.

Little did she know as she pinned on her race number, that a few hours later she would break a Guinness World Record pushing her son in a Team Hoyt Chair to a 3:10 marathon. Their whole story though, began years before and continues to unfold.


Pregnant Runner Wear and Gear

pregnant runner wear and gearWhen it comes to running clothes during your pregnancy, whether it’s six weeks, three months or six, there will come a point where your pre-pregnancy running clothes no longer fit you. Maybe they’ll hurt your growing boobs or maybe you’ll notice a big slice of belly sticking out of the shirt you thought still fit in pictures.

At some point, you’re going to have to find some new running outfits to go with that growing bump. Before you balk at this idea, thinking you’ll skip any running gear purchases because you’ll only need these new items for a few months, the good (though slightly disheartening news) is that even after your baby is born, you won’t instantly return to racing weight. What fits you during the latter stages of pregnancy will likely also fit you for a while after pregnancy.  Read more >>

Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 2/6-2/12/17

This week was a little less than I was planning on it being but all things considered I still feel pretty good about it. The previous weekend took a little more out of me than I bargained for and had me feeling it for Monday & Tuesday. On Friday I had a long prenatal appointment, which included a flu shot in my left shoulder and blood work for glucose testing in my right arm. By the time I got home Friday both arms were a bit sore (boo freaking hoo- right?), and I felt pretty crummy on Saturday which is par for the course for me being the day after the flu shot.

Sunday was another busy day but was so glad I got to be at the gym for a while as my good friend Amber ran FIFTY yes 50 miles on a treadmill to raise money for the local veterans outreach center. She raised over $1600 dollars! Donations are still being accepted, for a great cause—>donate/read more here.

Week of 2/6-2/12 ( 23/24 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Nada- I was pretty whipped from a busy weekend. Opted for complete rest.
Tuesday: Nada- still feeling pretty tired.
Wednesday: Work+ Babysitting Nephews
Thursday: Treadmill- 2 miles walk, 2.5 miles run
Friday: 15 Minutes Yoga/Stretching
Saturday: No workout, lots of housework
Sunday: 3 miles walking on the TM + 7 hours of working on feet
Totals: 2.5 miles run/5 miles walked/15 minutes Yoga

Treadmill Tip of the Week: Teach Yourself How to Pace

treadmill is an awesome pacing toolWe’ve talked about workouts, long runs, strength training, and even ways to use the treadmill to become mentally stronger. Our basic philosophy when it comes to the treadmill is that it’s a useful tool and nothing more. In that light, it’s easier not to hate the darn thing, anyway!

But this brings me to my point with this post. The treadmill is a tool with many uses, and the one that has been most impactful in my life is using the treadmill to learn pacing. The treadmill is the perfect tool to teach you to get the pace right, whether it’s of the easy-run or goal-marathon variety.  Read more >>

Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 1/30-2/5

After the last few weeks being sick on top of pregnancy, I mentioned that I needed a little bit of structure going forward. I thrive on training plans for a reason, but also know that if I gave myself something TOO strict I’d feel pressured and that isn’t something I want during pregnancy.

Goals for the week:

  1. 5 days of Yoga (specifically 5 of the February dates) with Bonus if I do the other 2 as well.
  2. 2 measurable activities (Running, Walking, Biking, Ellitpical etc.)

The first one might seem crazy since I haven’t been doing much at all, but I know myself well enough that the best way to kick start me is with a big yet small goal. 5-6 minutes every day is attainable, and making it happen almost every day for a week is really helpful in getting into a routine. During training for races, I often make a goal of 10 minutes for recovery per day. It’s small, easily attainable and forms a routine/good habits. As for the second goal, I wanted to start small and just say 2 cardio sessions basically. I didn’t care if it was short, but making a point to do it was a good way to start.

Week of 1/30-2/5 ( 22/23 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Womp womp- nothing.
Tuesday: Nada.
Wednesday: Work + Babysitting Nephews = 15 minutes of Yoga at 9 PM followed by BED.
Thursday: Treadmill- 1 mile walk/1.3 mile run + 10 minutes yoga later in evening
Friday: 15 minutes yoga + Brians surprise birthday dinner party!
Saturday: 10 minutes yoga + Girl morning with mom + Family dinner at night
Sunday: 2 mile walk with Brian and Pepper + 10 minutes yoga + Superbowl!
Totals: 3 miles walk/1.3 miles run/60 minutes yoga

While it still not an overly active week (compared to pre-pregnancy)it’s the most active in one week I have been in a while, more importantly the most consistent I have been. Very obvious that I do much better with at least a small goal or two, and at least SOME structure.


Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 1/9-1/29

It feels very strange and leaves me wondering if I should even publish these as there isn’t much of anything at all. But at the same time, it’s honest and real life to be able to admit things aren’t always hunky dory right?

This specific 3 week chunk was a bit altered because of being sick, which forced me to cancel a few run dates and also opt NOT to do something on days that I really felt motivated to work out. It started the first week, then went away or so I thought but then came back this past week with a vengeance and need for a trip to the doctor. Not the end of the world but definitely put a damper on any plans to be active.

Week of 1/9-1/15 ( 19/20 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Probably on the couch.
Tuesday: Probably on the couch.
Wednesday: Probably on the couch.
Thursday: Half day at home sick with fever/headache
Friday:  Work Both jobs (14ish hour workday)
Saturday: WOD: Cheering at Cuse Basketball game
Sunday: Work PT Job (on feet)
Totals: -NADA-

Week of 1/16-1/22 ( 20/21 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Day off- Day of all the cleaning/organizing/purging!
Tuesday: Work + meeting with pediatrician + meeting with therapist
Wednesday:  Work + Babysitting Nephews
Thursday: Probably on the couch
Friday: Work + Dinner Date with my Dad
Saturday: Working on the Nursery!
Sunday: Work PT job (on feet)
Totals: -NADA-

Week of 1/23-1/29 ( 21/22 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Half Day at home sick- Prescribed antibiotics for the mother of all sinus infections
Tuesday: WOD: Finishing season 1 of the Blacklist while sick in bed
Wednesday:  Work + Babysitting Nephews
Thursday: Work and couch time
Friday: 15 minutes yoga

Saturday: Work PT job (on Feet)
Sunday: 15 minutes Yoga + work PT job (on feet)
Totals: 30 minutes Yoga

After these last few weeks being what they were, and feeling like I really DO want to do more than I am (though, still not a ton). I am going to try a VERY LOOSE plan for the coming weeks. More like, setting small goals and seeing what I can do. I feel like I need SOME structure otherwise I will cave every damn time to puppy snuggles/baby kicks while curled up watching TV. Wish me luck!

12 Ways Running Trained Me for Pregnancy

Even though I’m not running much these days, I’m a runner at heart. I still find a way to relate running to life. As I progress through this pregnancy, I find myself noticing more and more how similar pregnancy is to training for a race. I know Parsley covered the marathon versus birth debate and Caraway just made fun of comparing marathons to birth on Friday, but too bad. It’s so true! And it goes so much further than wanting to eat everything and being tired all of the time.

So while I’m taking a break from training myself, and as my friends ramp up their own, we still have so much we can commiserate and laugh about with each other. Here’s my list of twelve ways that pregnancy is just like training for a race.


Pregnancy, Running, Identity and Purpose

We’ve talked about changing running identities before. Life changes, we change, our running changes. Sometimes that means change of scenery, and I myself went through this as I transitioned from the track to the roads after college. Maybe it’s the transition from road racing to trails or back to the roads. There are so many ways we adapt our identity throughout our running lives.

Lately, I’ve found myself struggling with my running identity in a way that I never saw coming. Don’t get me wrong. I knew pregnancy would affect my running but failed to predict the degree. Most people would assume I’m talking about slowing down, the break from competition, or the loss of complete control over my body. In reality it’s a little bit of everything.

As I reflect on my running and what I want out of it during pregnancy I’ve come to realize that, throughout every transition I have made, throughout my entire running life thus far, my running identity has always been tied to one thing. Read more >>

Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 12/26-1/8

Unlike my last “training log”, I actually have SOME fitness activity to post for the last 2 weeks! Still nothing crazy(once a week isn’t exactly breaking my running bank), mixed in with lots of random life things like working and home projects.

I’m admittedly not of the breed that I currently feel OMG Badass getting a run in while pregnant yet. In fact, it’s pretty uncomfortable to start and doesn’t always get better(but sometimes it does!). Adjusting my goals/mindset has been big, and learning to be okay with whatever does or doesn’t happen each time. Round ligament pain has been worse some days than others, but I bought a support belt that should help per recommendation from some friends. I’ll keep my posts updated with how that helps, or doesn’t in the coming weeks.

These 2 weeks included the week between Christmas and New Years, as well as some more home-reno stuff so I focused a bit more on those things than anything else. Now that we are past the busy season for life, I think it will be a bit easier to find motivation as we move along.

Week of 12/26-1/1 ( 17/18 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Day of Cleaning/Sanding/Painting Kitchen Cabinets. All the bending and reaching, basically yoga workout in disguise.
Tuesday: Probably on the couch.
Wednesday: Probably on the couch.
Thursday: Probably on the couch.
Friday: 2.1 mile run (20 minutes ‘mill) + 10 minutes upper body strength
Saturday: NYE! Big dinner and relaxing at home playing cards and watching College Football/Movies
Sunday: WOD: De-Christmasing the House
Totals: 2.1 miles run/10 minutes fitness-strength


Week of 1/2-1/8 ( 18/19 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Day of Purging/Cleaning. All the bending and reaching and throwing- I was going from 7AM till after 8PM without a nap. I was dead afterwards.
Tuesday: Work both jobs- 12 hour day
Wednesday: WOD: DANCING & SMILING ALL DAY. *It’s a girl!*
Thursday: 3.7 mile TM run, .6 mile cool down walk
Friday: I don’t remember- probably couch time.
Saturday: Cleaning, errands, some couch time- Saturday Stuff
Sunday: VERY lazy AM together, worked for a few hours on my feet in the evening.
Totals: 3.7 miles run

Goals for the next 2 weeks: Increase to 2-3 workouts/week, Fit in some regular stretching (expanding body is sore!)

Barley’s Pregnancy “Training” Log 12/12-12/25

It feels a little strange to publish this “training log” for these 2 weeks, but for the sake of transparency it’s good to do. I literally did not run or work out for fitness (these days straightening my hair, going up and down stairs, and cleaning the house are workouts….but I won’t count those here) in the past 2 weeks. Call it Holiday slump, call it pregnancy laziness, call it whatever…doesn’t really matter.

15672648_10100789699652526_1414797912557566507_nI DO want to get into a routine, and at least have some regular fitness going on. I’m starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with my changing size (not about how I look at all…I LOVE my belly…it’s very much about how I feel). But I also won’t force it, at least right now. I’ll be one of the resolutioners this year I guess. Because right now, celebrating the holidays, doing things for others, and renovating our kitchen has my attention. Quite frankly I wouldn’t enjoy a run right now anyways, not knowing my kitchen is in shambles. I kid- sort of.

Week of 12/12-12/18 ( 15/16 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Wrapping presents and eating 3 bowls of cereal.
Tuesday: I think this was a recliner kind of evening.
Wednesday: WOD- surviving the mall at Christmas time.
Thursday: Snow storm! That 2 hour commute in the morning did me in.
Friday: Drive to Buffalo, HR Interval training watching the Sabres game!
Saturday: 90 Minutes walking around Niagara Falls (US Side) Park with Brian
Sunday: Tailgating, and Dancing to the shout song repeatedly at the Bills Game (Sorry Cleveland Saltines!)
Totals: ZERO miles run, but a whole lotta fun

Week of 12/19-12/25 ( 16/17 weeks pregnant)
Monday: Recovering from being away all weekend
Tuesday: Volunteering wrapping presents at local Domestic Violence Center
Wednesday: WOD- surviving the mall at Christmas time- this time with Brian in tow for help!
Thursday: Work + more volunteering wrappings presents
Friday: I could have done something, but didn’t.
Saturday: Christmas Eve- Time with Brian’s Family
Sunday: Christmas Day- Time with My Family
Totals: ZERO miles run, again. But…productive and happy.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday!

On the 12th Day of Christmas Running Gave to Me: That Runner’s Perspective

Writing notes at christmasNon-runners don’t always get us. We use acronyms, like MPW or GMP, that only make sense to us. We run at all hours, spend time and money on races that sound insane to any outsider. We get side-eye for skipping out early due to an early morning run date. What’s more, they don’t see how running imitates life and vice versa.

I find a way to relate everything in life to running. And while the non-runners in my life might think me obsessed, I think this perspective is the best gift running has given me.

Some days the runner’s perspective manifests in little ways, like when we run our normal route in the opposite direction, and see all the same things, but in a different way. Other times it enables us to feel gratitude we otherwise might not feel. It’s like smiling and laughing during the second half of a race that’s not going well, because even without a new PR, you’re really living.

No doubt you, like me, have read a million articles about running that leave you nodding your head along in agreement. And as I’ve read through the previous 11 days of this year’s Salty 12 Days posts, I wasn’t shocked to find myself understanding even the most different experiences than my own. We runners all share a similar perspective – we get one another. It’s that runners’ perspective that allows me to feel the gratitude along with all my fellow Saltines for all that running has given to me, has given us. Like …


Barley’s Pregnancy Training Log 11/28-12/11

Helloooo second trimester energy! It wasn’t a HUGE boost but enough that I started feeling more apt to get things done after work besides just sitting around. Though, I still did do quite a bit of that.

Before pregnancy I was pretty good about working my training schedule with my work schedule (1 FT Desk job, and 1 part time job on feet (lifting, walking, standing, etc…-Serve/Bartend)). Over time I learned not to have hard workouts on the days I work both jobs, and those were the best days for rest days or recovery runs. I also had to be cautious where I did my strength training, as lifting trays with jello arms is not a good combination. This is actually a long overdue post I need to get working on- How to manage your training with work. Anyways, when I started feeling a bit better in pregnancy I realized I needed to do the same thing- I need to be careful about not overdoing it especially on days I work both jobs.

The last 2 weeks I had to keep that in mind, as right now even the 3.5 mile runs I have been doing tire me out like crazy since I haven’t been running much. So, when I have both jobs- there will be no run/workout except maybe some yoga if I’m feeling ambitious. Over the weekend I really could have gotten some exercise in before going into the restaurant, but instead chose to get things done at home and to spend time with Brian and family/friends. Not making excuses, more just stating the facts:)

Week of 11/28-12/4 ( 13/14 weeks pregnant)

Monday: 3.5 easy miles after work. This was my first run in 3 weeks so definitely was a bit sore after!

Tuesday: Work Both jobs

Wednesday: Recliner workout with the remote and Netflix.

Thursday: Recliner workout with the remote and Netflix.

Friday: 20 Minutes at home strength training

Saturday: Work PT Job (on feet)

Sunday: Christmas Tree hunting, Time with Brian’s parents. Was supposed to work at night but luckily got called off and we just relaxed at home.

Totals: 3.5 miles run/20 minutes strength


Week of 12/5-12/11 (14/15 weeks pregnant)

Monday: Check-up at the docs! All good! Find out gender in another month :)

Tuesday: Spent time with a friend after work!

Wednesday: 3.5 miles easy (some round ligament pain but not too bad) + 10 minutes upper body strength

Thursday: Work Both Jobs

Friday: Spent time with my sister and nephews after work!

Saturday: Work PT Job (on feet)

Sunday: Work PT Job (on feet)

Totals: 3.5 miles run/10 minutes strength

So again, not crazy exciting training logs- but just a real look at how I’m working through the whole pregnancy thing. Maybe the next 2 weeks will be a bit more eventful with workouts, maybe not!


Barley’s 1st Trimester Training Log

Whew! Hard to believe I am already into my second trimester. I feel like the first actually went by pretty quick. We had VERY frequent doctor visits/checkups which really made it go by faster/with a little more ease. I talk more about the actual pregnancy/life change aspects of my first trimester –>here, but for Salty you guys get my running and training!

Before you get too excited, it’s NOT that exciting. Quite frankly I lost the desire for running, and that is something I am working with in a lot of ways (mentally and physically) right now. But I did get some things accomplished besides Netflix marathon sessions.

The first 4-ish weeks of pregnancy(obviously not knowing at the time)

Barley’s Training log 8/29-9/447 miles/20 minutes strength

Barley’s Training Log 9/5-9/11/1648 miles/40 minutes strength

Barley’s Training Log 9/12-9/18-1655 miles/20 minutes strength

Barley’s Philly Marathon Training Log 9/19-9/25/1659 miles/30 minutes strength

Next Two Weeks (pregnancy known but symptoms not really kicked in fully)

Week of 9/26-10/2 (23 miles/20 minutes strength)

Tuesday: Easy 6ish miles + 20 minutes strength

Wednesday: Easy 6ish miles

Thursday: Workout 4 x 5 minutes (5:57 avg pace), 6 x 300m (5:20 avg pace)

Friday: Positive pregnancy test! Cue the trust issues/running worries, didn’t run rest of the week.

Week of 10/3-138418-006-036h10/9 (29 miles run/2.5 miles walk)

Tuesday: Easy 5ish miles

Wednesday: Easy 5ish with some random fartleks

Thursday: 2.5 mile walk with Brian and his Sister in Charlotte, NC

Friday: Easy 4 miles + Strides

Saturday: Volition America Half Marathon 1st place female (1:29:30)

Symptoms Kicking In, Motivation TANKED 

Week of 10/10-10/16 (20 miles Biking)

Saturday: 20 miles Biking while my best friend did her last long run before her marathon, Sherpa Duties for me! Loved it!

Week of 10/17-10/23 (6.2 miles Run)

Saturday: 6.2 miles easy with a friend

Week of 10/24-10/30 (3.1 miles run)

Saturday: Easy 5k Costume race with my sister dressed as Rex/Rob Ryan!

Week of 10/31-11/6 (3.1 miles run + NYC Marathon Spectating)

Wednesday: 3.1 easy miles after work

Saturday/Sunday: LOTS of walking and maneuvering around NYC for Marathon Spectating…this was a workout for me.

Week of 11/7-11/13 (2.5 miles walking)

Sunday: 2.5 mile walk with Brian and Pepper (our Lab)

The 2 weeks between 11/14-11/27 there was ZERO exercise.

As you can see, things REALLY dropped off. Symptoms really picked up around weeks 7/8 for me and my mental focus was really shifted to focusing on anything else besides being active. Honestly, I have no regrets. I did what I thought was right, and didn’t push myself. I am all about pushing, stepping outside comfort zone but this isn’t the time for that for me. This is about handling the stress and worry that accompanied my first trimester.

It wasn’t all bad, in fact I enjoyed the break. I caught up on things around the house, I spent time with friends and family, and I truly feel like I got a lot out of my first trimester by allowing myself to really let go of the running situation. Do I want to get back into some semblance of a routine, of course! But it’s not my top priority.

Now that the news is out there, I plan on posting my training logs probably every other week or so since there isn’t a ton in them. But I can say that the energy boost of the second trimester is real and has definitely sparked a little bit of a desire to do more!