Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something


30 day challenge

30 Day Challenge and Training Update

A few weeks ago I posted about my newest 30 day challenge attempt (I’ve only actually completed…well, zero all the way through, but one almost all the way), which I was particularly excited about because it is geared specifically towards runners.

I started on September 1 and fell a bit behind as there have been a few nights I didn’t get home until late, so even though its the 20th I just finished Day 17. The challenge is broken into five sections and each section has its own set of stretches/exercises. The number of sets typically increase each day.

Stage 1; Basic Mobility and Balance Training (Days 1-6)

  • Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Adductor Stretch
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Single Leg Balance Exercises

This stage felt awkward to me, in that I felt like I looked silly, but the benefit of the stretches and balance made sense so I told Bryan to stop looking at me funny.

Stage 2: Basic Strength and Core Training (Days 7-12)

  • Split Squat
  • Hip Thruster (this is as awkward as is sounds)
  • Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift
  • Mountain Climbers or Standing Core Control

Stage 3: Intermediate Mobility and Plyometric Training (Day 13-18)

  • Modified Pigeon Stretch
  • Lateral Hip Stretch
  • Spiderman Rotations
  • Single and Double Leg Jumps

This is the stage I am on now and this one has been the most difficult for me to get through. I regularly use the pigeon because of my injury but had trouble with the lateral for the first few days and cut a few. The spiderman rotations made me a bit dizzy (I get dizzy easily) so I modified them, and the jumps have caused some soreness in my calf so I didn’t do them today.

I haven’t looked ahead so I am not sure what awaits me at Stage 4 and 5, but so far, overall, I do feel like this is benefitting my running. Each stage has videos that not only explains the exercises but also why he recommends them (so when you feel silly you at least understand why).

I’m training for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon and ramping up my running a bit so I thought this would be a great time to try this out. Granted, more than one thing has change since  I’ve started. I got my new shoes, started this challenge, and stopped carrying things in my hands while running after reading this article (read it! I promise its interesting!). Since then, I’ve noticed an improvement in my pace and one comparatively closer to that of my pre pregnancy running. I don’t expect to PR this half marathon, but I’m excited to see some faster numbers again.

5 miles at 8:30 and this is without attempting intervals!
5 miles at 8:30 and this is without attempting intervals!

Today I ran 7 miles at an 8:48.

On the minus side, I’m still over pronating. I don’t know that I expected my shoes to fix it, but I’m still seeing the exact same wear pattern on these shoes, perhaps even a bit more so than the others. Also, I got a blister after my 10 miler last week, so it makes me wonder if I might have to try a different pair next time around. Despite that, I haven’t felt any extra butt or hip tightness, so that’s a win!

Stay tuned for the rest of the challenge in (hopefully, if I don’t miss too many more days!) a couple weeks.

Those of you who joined in, how is it going?

To sign up for the 30 day challenge, click here. Its free and you’ll receive daily emails with the exercises, or you can click the link to the dashboard on day one, bookmark it and go back (that’s what I’ve been doing)


30 Day Challenge – Running Style

Admit it.

You’ve completed tried at least one of those 30 day challenges.

The ab challenge. (yup)

The squat challenge (kinda)

The plank challenge (kinda)

The arm challenge (nope – I get enough arm challenge carrying twin toddlers thank you)

I follow quite a few fitness and running fanatics on twitter, one of which is Kinetic Revolution. He offers a free 30 day challenge that he claims will change your running. Run Faster. Run Stronger. Or so he says.

Historically, I am not very flexible. Yoga has helped this some, but even my once a week practices start out pretty awkwardly. I’m stretching almost every day, but I’m told by my chiropractor at every visit that I’m still too tight (ugh). Since I’m really focused on trying to keep running without injuring myself again, I thought I’d give this a try.

The first week focuses on Basic Mobility and Balance training. From what I can tell, its based on a series of stretches (hip flexor, hamstring, abductor) and balances (single leg with eyes closed) with a few tweaks.

If you’re interested in joining me, you can sign up here. (you get a daily email with the exercises.) Or you can follow along while I do this (and blog about it to keep myself consistent and honest) and see if it works for me.

What’s your go to running stretch/exercise?

Also, I know I’ve been pretty fitness heavy lately – fear not, more twins posts coming soon.

April 30 Day Challenge (Days 16-30)

DAY 16:  Have you ever bonded with someone IRL over infertility, even just for a few minutes?  It could be a family member, friend, neighbor, or even the clerk at the grocery store who noticed you OPK and vitamin purchase.  Tell the story.

At a neighborhood block party last July, I met a couple of women in a similar boat, where we all half jokingly complained about how unfair it was to be stuck in this situation. Since then, one has gotten pregnant and two of us have not.

DAY 17:  If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?

  • To get pregnant, like, yesterday.
  • To be in a financial situation that would allow us to fix some things in our home and allow me to work part time with our child
  • To have a happy, healthy family

DAY 18:  What is your favorite infertility-related quote?  It doesn’t have to be explicitly related to infertility, but one that means something to your personal journey.

This is actually a running quote, but I believe fits well here: “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done”

DAY 19:  List 5 pet peeves.

  • slow drivers
  • talking on the cell phone in the check out line (I have no idea why but this drives me bonkers)
  • people who say they are going to do something, and then don’t
  • Messes
  • Disrespect

DAY 20:  Were you a product of infertility?\


DAY 21:  List 5 guilty pleasures.

  • Dr Phil
  • I downloaded the latest Justin Beiber song on my Ipod (I know, I know)
  • Draw Something/Words with Friends
  • Naps
  • Eating dessert for dinner

DAY 22:  How has your financial situation affected your infertility journey?

The better question is, how hasn’t it? Any extra money I spend makes me wonder if I should save instead.  If we had insurance coverage or could afford multiple attempts, we would have done an IVF procedure already. As it stands though, we have enough money for one, which is why it has been put off multiple times at this point. If I’m going to throw that much money into a 65% chance, I feel like I need to try everything else. Plus, God only knows why, but we are still holding on to some hope of a natural BFP so that we can use the money on house improvements (and a freaking vacation!) instead.

DAY 23:  Put your iPod on shuffle.  List the first 10 songs that play.

  • My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
  • Green Day -Burnout
  • Evanescense – Lose Control
  • Britney Spears – Kill the Lights
  • Savage Garden – To the Moon and Back
  • J LO feat Pitbull – Dance Again
  • No Doubt – Sunday Morning
  • Highland – La Varita
  • Muse – Thoughts of a Dying Atheist

DAY 24:  Does your religion (or lack of) help/hurt/affect your infertility journey?  Have you found religion?  Lost it?  Does it affect what treatments you do?

I’ve always thought that infertility would cause me to turn away from God and religion, but strangely it has brought me closer. I find myself praying more than I have before, for things like strength, patience, and of course, pregnancy.

DAY 25:  What was your first baby or pregnancy-related purchase you ever made?  Was it before or after you started trying to conceive?  Or was it after you were already pregnant?  Why did you choose that particular item to buy first?  If you haven’t purchased anything yet, why not?

We bought a changing table from a neighbor selling it at a yard sale. We actually have a crib and glider as well that another neighbor was selling. It was such a good deal we couldn’t pass it up!

DAY 26:  Post a picture of something that makes you happy.

DAY 27:  What do you use the “nursery” for right now?

Spare Bedroom.

DAY 28:  Have you ever done something “non-traditional” in order to help you conceive?

I tried “fertility massage”once.

Day 29:  What is your favorite book?

I don’t have one favorite to be honest. But my favorite author is Jodi Picoult.

DAY 30:  After a month of infertility talk, we need a distraction.  Give us a link to one of your favorite non-infertility-sites, or tell us about your favorite distraction activity/book/feel-good movie.

Words with Friends 🙂

April 30 Day Challenge (Days 1-15)

So I realize the point of these 30 day challenges is to get you to post every day for a month.

I suck at that, but I do like participating so I’m bundling mine.

DAY 1 – What is the meaning behind your blog name?

When I started the blog it was meant to keep me motivated during my training for my 2nd marathon. It was also meant to keep me sane during infertility. I use it as a journey to the marathon finish line, and the fertility finish line. Annoyingly, I  had already chosen my url name “a course to the finish line” and then when I tried to name the blog it was taken, so now my blog name and URL don’t match. It drives me nuts.

DAY 2 – How did you and your partner decide when you were ready to start trying to conceive?

Truthfully I was simply tired of taking hormones (the pill) and said that I was stopping. We could either use another method, or see what happened.

Of course, nothing happened.

DAY 3:  What is in your handbag?

Uh….wallet, my inhalers, a change purse, a couple pens, chapstick, a small medicine container, lipgloss, keys, nail clippers, my phone and sometimes my Sony E-Reader. (when I can find the blasted charging cord)

DAY 4 – Besides Mother’s Day, what is the toughest holiday for you as an infertile?

Christmas. It just isn’t exciting to me as an adult anymore.

DAY 5:  List 15 facts about yourself.

  • I am a chap stick addict.
  • I only like fine point pens. And I guard them with my life
  • My least favorite household chore is dusting
  • I’m always involved in a couple different activities, ranging from choir to sports
  • My sister and I are 8 years apart in age
  • We hosted 2 exchange students when I was younger, and my parents hosted a couple more after I left for college
  • I eat cereal for dinner at least 1-2x a week
  • I’ll talk to anybody – I’ll jump right into your conversation too
  • When I was a kid, my favorite lollipop flavor was lemon and orange
  • I  had straight hair until 8th grade
  • I hated my curly hair until I was in college
  • I’d rather read than watch TV
  • I can drink coffee and then go to sleep
  • I can listen to the same song over and over again
  • I can’t walk out of Target without buying something

DAY 6:  Talk about how you chose your RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist).

There is only one place in the area. Not much of a selection.

DAY 7:  What is in your makeup bag?

Brushes, mascara, eye shadow and mineral makeup

DAY 8:  If an observant stranger were to walk into your house, what clues could lead them to believe that you have struggled with infertility (fertility)?

My metformin script, the BBT on my bedside table and at the right time of the month, OPK’s in the trash can.

DAY 9:  If you won the lottery what would you blow your money on (after charity and bills, of course)?  List 10 things you would buy or spend money on.

  • Vacation
  • Pay for all IF treatments
  • New floors in house
  • Build screened in porch
  • New mattress/bed for Bryan
  • New washer/dryer
  • Fence in backyard
  • Landscaping
  • Hire a maid to deep clean every few months

DAY 10:  If you are no yet pregnant/a parent: What are you MOST and LEAST looking forward to after that first beta?

MOST: making the announcement

LEAST: worrying about miscarrying

DAY 11:  Where do yo like to shop?

The Outlet Mall, Old Navy, Gap – places like that

DAY 12:  If you are not yet a parent: What are you MOST looking forward to about parenthood?

Gosh. This feels like a cop out but I’m really not sure. I look forward to most all of it.

DAY 13:  Describe your dream vacation.

Something tropical and all inclusive. Beachside. Where everything is planned and I just have to show up! Massages, facials and all of that included. And of course, beautiful scenery to run. 🙂

DAY 14:  Tell us about your funniest Clomid/Follistim/injectables mood-swing story.  If you don’t have one, tell us your funniest general infertility drug story.

Well we haven’t entered into the drugs yet so I don’t have one.

DAY 15:  List 5 things you want to do before you die.

  • Have kids (duh)
  • Run a sub 4 hour marathon
  • Write a song (even if it sucks)
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Skydive

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