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Black Hawk Running Trail of the Houston area nestled in Dixie Farm Road Park and branching off into comfortable neighborhoods is a delightful find. Running trails in the Houston area are plentiful. Finding running trails that provide a runner with some basic amenities is easier said than done. Thanks to my Foursquare app I stumbled across the reviews and found it was a reasonable distance from my house so here we are!

Black Hawk Trail Dixie Farm Road Park

It is nice to see trees!

However, due to the short stature of the pines which line the trail and the gully you will find yourself baking as you stroll along at Black Hawk Trail. Much to my delight, there is a fork in the main loop trail we came across that had some wilderness appeal. Tall trees and thick underbrush. There was the pleasant scent of wood and foliage. It was very nice to experience the reprieve from the scorching sun.

Black Hawk Trail Dixie Farm Road ParkWhen I take my kids on trail runs I usually offer a compromise: First we run the trail, and if everyone is civilized and cooperates, we will stop at the playground.

I like when we can all find an activity at the same place.

Dixie Farm Road Park PlaygroundDixie Farm Road Park not only provides access to Black Hawk Trail but also has bathrooms, a towering playground with a supple fall zone and shade, picnic tables, workout station, and a front porch swing. Something for everyone makes it worth a trip and see how it fits your needs.

 

Check out the Black Hawk Trail Running Rubric:

With an overall score of 29 it is worth another visit in my opinion.

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free  3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum  3
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)  3
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side  2
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat  2
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind 2
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated  2
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed  3
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean  2
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs  2
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail  2
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water  3

So, this is Houston, and in the Bayou City, we are constantly enduring significant heat and humidity. With that being a factor when considering the best trails of the Houston area to get out on especially during the summer I suggest early mornings or a day with a good breeze to help cool you off if you hit Black Hawk Trail.

What do you think about Black Hawk? How does the Trail Running Rubric help you decide where to run?

 

Happy (running) Trails!

Priscilla

 

 

blog mommy and me 2

The creator of the Mommy and Me class was such a genius! I have always loved the idea of Mama pairing up with her perfect little "mini me" (or "mini Dada") to experience self development classes, usually fitness focused, allowing personal growth as a parent bonding with your child, and provides your child with the opportunity for gross motor development and social development in a safe environment.

There is a distinction between mommy and me classes for child development and mommy and me classes for mama, but always the classes ultimately benefit all involved. At PreMo Fitness we offer water aerobic classes for women, and while we don't require your child be present, we invite moms to bring their children to workout, and have fun! We are ALL busy. Today's women insist on doing it all. What we tend to neglect is our own health and fitness. We sacrifice so much to be perfect and we end up taking away from what is actually necessary.

With Mommy and Me classes - especially like the classes offered at PreMo Fitness we can not only take care of our motherly fitness needs, but we can also bond with our child, while providing  a unique and rich environment for our little budding being. It just gets me so excited! And it is absolutely the ultimate multi-tasking; fun, fitness, and family time ALL AT ONCE!!

When I started my business I truly wanted to focus on women in all stages of motherhood, and emphasize the absolute accessibility to all! I understand not having a support system that accommodates personal time. I understand that small gnawing sensation in the pit of your gut because you chose you time instead any of the other millions of things on your to do list. I strive to find enriching experiences for my children, I imagine I am not alone in those efforts. When you exercise with your children, you demonstrate health and fitness for your child to model in youth and as they grow. It is truly such an impressive power we can only assume will have a lasting impact.

Mommy and Me Classes vs. Real World Frustrations

We all know there are those times where your little mini me has an utter emotional and loud break down. With the kind of expression that compels strangers passing by to not only look (or stare) but also contribute to the effort to assuage the small volcanic eruption you are holding in your loving, and stressed arms. We have all experienced this less than welcome inclusion of others.

The other day I was in HEB, making a serious effort to replenish our kitchen with all three kids there to endure what seemed to be a never ending maze of aisle filled with a bountiful of "no we are not buying thats". At about half way through the store my youngest daughter, who is almost 9 months old began to express her serious disappointment and hunger. Not with crying, but with the loud pterodactyl like screech, that seemed to echo off the high ceiling and shiny floors. It was like surround sound when my two year old son decided to join in, and because my ten year old thought it was cute, she chimed in with just as much volume and enthusiasm as her two younger siblings. In utter shock I stopped what I was doing to gock at their solidarity and wild behavior. I looked around...what could I say? I gave the many eyes a sheepish grin and considered joining the kids with a super inappropriate curtling screech of my own... What else could I do? I reasoned with the oldest, and provided some stern response for the two year old...with no availe...I offered a bargain..."sure you can have that completely unnecessary Paw Patrol bucket"...I quickly ran out of options, and while the strangers tried to console the little screechers they could not be heard over the trio, all I could tell was their mouth was moving. So what did I do? I smiled, and owned it. I know few bystanders appreciated the unparalleled sounds that came from my vicinity. But, I chose to let it run it's course. It was also helpful to fill their mouths with the scrumptious samples we eventually came across too.

All of that is to say: If you do intend to participate in a mommy and me class that puts most of the focus on mom, then there are some things to think about. As a mom we know that not every day is an easy going or carefree experience. We as moms know sometimes children express themselves in a less than desirable way. It will be unavoidable at times, to switch gears and make more accommodations on our child's behalf. Sometimes we can find a way to compromise, reason, negotiate, or appease our child while we get our me time. I always think it is worth it to make some effort to make everyone happy, but when all else fails, we as mothers should not think less of our self because we are unable to please everyone all the time. In the end, do what you feel is best! Mama is always right! And try not to beat yourself up when you do something for you. Mommy and me classes is designed to please and accommodate everyone involved in a safe and understanding environment. We have all been there and you are not being judged for any of your personal choices, so you can stop being so harsh with yourself and be in the moment.

Join in the conversation and share what you think on the topic of mommy and me classes! Or share what you think about PreMo Fitness classes which focus on mommy while your little mini me joins you! I look forward to seeing you in our classes and reading your comments!

Best Health!

Priscilla

 

 

Sugar Land Memorial Park is a beautiful park with a pleasant running trail. There is a decent space for parking, and the layout of the entire park allows for efficiency while providing pleasant scenery. One of my favorite features of this park is the BRunning Trailrazos River views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy the breeze that comes off the water while I am working up a sweat as I jog and push my double stroller.

The river is an impressive force of nature; local residents are all too familiar with it's power. At this very moment; while I write this; Sugar Land Memorial Park is actually under water, as the Brazos has exceeded it's capacity and spilled over the banks into the park due to the massive rainfall over Memorial Weekend 2016. Brazos River Flood Sugar Land Memorial Park

Safety is not optional, and I strongly recommend waiting until the park is officially open before trying out the trail and enjoying the other features of the park.

The trail is two loops which connect directly in front of the parking lot, almost in the shape of a figure 8. It runs parallel to the Brazos river, and at the south loop, which is closest to the skate park and dog park area there is a view of the Brazos as it goes under a bridge. The skate park has been closed every time I have gone to the park, and both the dog park and the skate park were under water the last time I went, which was about a week after the historic flooding event on Tax Day 2016.

The first time I went to the Sugar Land Memorial Park to run I appreciated the sight of a man doing what looked like Tai Chi with a samurai sword, under the pavilion in front of the water. It was peaceful and interesting to see, not an everyday occurrence for me.

The city website also indicates there are plans to continue the trail further west toward the bank of the Brazos. I look forward to the updates and hope to see the progress. It is part of an effort to connect various areas of Sugar Land by walking/ biking trails.20160408_090511 20160408_090444

Sugar Land Memorial Park Running Trail Rubric

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free   3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum   3
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)   2
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side   3
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat  2
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind   3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated   3
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed  3
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean   3
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs  3
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   3
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   3

20160408_090456The Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail earns a score of 34 out of 36. I often forget to wear bug repellent, and last time I got bit, and the worry that the kids were getting bit made me run faster to get them back to the car. So, while it is a motivator to pick up the pace, I do recommend bringing bug repellent on the trail. I try to avoid spraying the kids with Deet, it makes me nervous, so I use the clip on repellent and I feel pretty good about it's effectiveness in most environments.

While the score is similar to some of the other trails I have evaluated, I think it should be noted it is always give and take with preferred features. This has the water to help cool the air, but there are no trees to provide shade from the blazing sun. For some, no trees is a deal breaker. And while I prefer both trees and water, I have come to terms with one or the other around here.20160408_090621

I hope you get out and try the Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail after it drains and returns to normal. I look forward to getting back out there and exploring new areas and having a nice jog! Let me know what you think when you go, and leave me comments, and updates on the park and the clean up process as well as the progress on the extension of the running trails.

Happy Trails (running!!) until we meet again!

Best Health!

Priscilla

trail runningI was introduced to the Randolph park through a trail running club, of which I am a member. I was really impressed with all aspects of the park right from the moment I pulled into the parking lot. It felt like I was getting a hug from nature as I was greeted by the beautiful, white moss covered trees. A wide spread plot of land with a multitude of activity areas fenced by trees and creeks. There are a couple of large parking lots, and the running trail loops the park area with routes sprouting off of the main loop cutting through the center of the park; meandering between playgrounds and picnic benches, tennis courts, soccer, football, and baseball fields, and friendly strangers. And although I did not get to linger in the herb garden (my children insisted on spending extra time on the slide and swings) I felt a little giddy when i came across this lovely little corner of color and unexpected whimsy. Thank you; to the creative folks that came up with that idea, and the designers for making it ever so inviting. I look forward to going back for a trail run and a picnic under the trees in the herb garden.  20160303_110739

I don't want to be misleading with my introductory description; It is a size that no matter where you stand; at any one time the opposite side of the park remains visible. I especially appreciate that every square foot of the park has been utilized, providing something for all types of park patrons.

Trail Running Rubric Randolph Park








1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free   3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum  3
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)   3
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side   2
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat   3
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind  3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated   3
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed   3
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean   2
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs   3
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   3
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   3

Randolph Park Running Trail scores a delightful 34 out of a possible 36! There of course are variables like bugs which may come and go with weather changes. It was not very humid on the morning I went, and in fact a light sprinkle prompted an end to the kids swinging. While there is ample parking, there may be days and times where the parking becomes scarce due to those attending an activity at one of the field sports, or a tennis match. I felt my children and I were safe, especially after seeing a couple of sheriff's patrolling. The occasional trash nothing more than a deflated balloon, or old soda can, located on the far side of the park in the grill and picnic area which has a view of a run off creek which butts up to a neighborhood. I could see a small footpath running parallel and on the opposite bank of the creek. It appeared that some might could gain access to the other side and explore further, but it was clearly unsafe for me and my stroller. (I am not condoning jumping the creek! PLEASE BE SAFE!) There was also a clearing I was curious to explore on the side near the sports fields, looked like a wood frame hanging swing was situated right in the middle. It was less than inviting with a maintenance man riding a  lawn mower in that vicinity. All in all a wonderful trail running experience for the whole family.

I look forward to going back to Randolph Park and as summer sets in here in the Houston area, the trees will make for an enjoyable trail running experience. I hope you can get out and try Randolph park for one of the many great features and see how the Trail Running Rubric can be useful to you!

Happy Trails (running)!!
Priscilla
More About Randolph Park

Even More About Randolph Park

The coastal city of Seabrook prides it's self on their community wide, interconnected trail system, with at least 10 miles spanning from one side of the city to the other. While doing research online about local area trails I found this little gem on the city government website; a nature path and running trail and less than an hour from my home. (which I consider a reasonable distance to travel to exercise in nature, especially living in a city where most week day commutes are over an hour) I was very excited to find a place that encouraged trail running and bird watching so conveniently located. Plus, one of my favorite features in nature: water! This is a beautiful coastal view, with trees and wildlife surrounding a lively and fun filled park.

trail running seabrookThe parking lot is packed, but we find a spot next to the buzzards picking through the dumpster. (nature is truely all around us!) I notice an overflow lot outside the park fence for those days when everyone has the same idea to head out to the coastal park. The sounds of the ocean waves as they gently break along the rocks is so soothing I opted not to turn on the music and zone out to the beat. There is the convenience of a park bathroom, which after a 45 minute drive is absolutely necessary. The park looks out on the gulf, picnicing families have overtaken most of the large wooden picnic tables. There are children of all ages running around on the playground and climbing on the hills and tire structures. There are multiple families camped out on the very large doc, fishing, chatting, listening to some rap music, children chase each other with bait fish. We can see a huge white cruise ship going out a few miles down the coast line. We are there at sunset and the sky is beautiful pink and orange framed by white caps of choppy water.  trail runningThe trail directly off the park is gravel and a reasonable width in most areas. There is a small water inlet on one side of the trail, with a fence preventing people from exploring, and a sign warning against it. An enclosed cemetary sits unassumingly on the other side of the trail located toward the from of the trail head, and the front of the park. There is also a sign at the mouth of the trail stating the presence of toothy wildlife, for people to be aware. Tall water grasses, and flowering bushes line either side of the winding trail. Safety markers also are posted periodically throughout the trail, to provide a more specific location for emergency services, in case help is needed. The trail is very relaxing, and my family and I enjoyed the entire visit. We did not feel comfortable running on the trail with the stroller, due to the number of people, and the potential to collide with them coming around a corner blinded by the abundance of follage. It was less than a mile in distance in one direction, and while the city promotes the use of the trails as an interconnected system, it appeared we would have to venture out onto a small road to get to the next gravel trail. My boyfriend and I did not feel comfortable taking the stroller out onto this two lane road, to get to the trail we saw up the road on the way into the park.

20160131_164330_resized I admitted to myself a couple of times, my discomfort in the environment, and I felt unsure about going out with the kids by myself. All of my concerns are completely unfounded, and mostly based on a feeling...and I may also be a wee bit paranoid. When I see a group of people all wearing the exact same color clothing, but not the same like a team or club would wear, I find it kind of suspicious of indicating membership of a gang. I could be very wrong and I do hope that I am wrong. I saw regular patrols by marked police cars, and at no point felt like my life was in danger. I just took note, and spent a bit of time cautiously observing the environment for a change in tone and culture. As the park came around to time to close, I saw an increase in patrolling, and the park goers actively packing up.

Pine Gully Park Trail Running Rubric

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free   3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum   1 - with potential to expand at risk of safety
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)   2
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side   3
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat   3
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind   3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated   1
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed   2
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean   2 - trail and park clean, but signs, especially the trail map is completely covered
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs   2
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   3
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   3

I feel it should be noted, things like bugs, or parking are going to based on day by day conditions. Overall, the trail scores well at a 28 out of a possible 36 points. I would easily return to explore and hang out at the park with the family. I enjoyed the sights of the trail, and my indescribable connection with all things water puts the view far above the rank of 3 for me. I recommend you get out and try it, take the family and your stroller and do some walking or running if you can find the rest of the trails. 😉

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20160131_164220_resizedLet me know what you think and how your visit ranks on the trail running rubric. Hit me up if you have any questions or comments you can reach me at  prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com or class details at premofitness.com and as always: Happy trails (running)!!

Best Health!

Priscilla

 

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Rice University Running Trail  of the many Houston Trails is a beautiful, tree covered loop surrounding the Rice campus, and adjacent to the medical centers.

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                                     The trail running rubric shows a score of 28 on my personal rubric I use to evaluate my experience running with my stroller on the trails in the surrounding area.

RICE UNIVERSITY RUNNING TRAIL - HOUSTON TRAILS RUBRIC:

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free  3 - free public space
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum  3 - loop about 3 miles and just turn around to adjust the distance
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)  2 - loose gravel, like running on sand
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side  2 - passing possible, occasional departure from trail to pass oncoming runners
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat  2 - small cluster of micro flies in a couple of areas
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind  3 - beautiful trees and foliage, campus and neighborhood architecture,
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated  2 - some crowded passing
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed  3 - mostly runners concentrating on the run, some smiles
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean  3 - very clean
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs   2 - tree stumps with faded orange paint, a lot of parking lot intersections w/ posted yield to cars
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   2 - charge to park on campus, but free parking in adjacent neighborhood
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   1 - no toilets, one water fountain location

The Rice University Running Trail of the Houston Trails rubric does not account for a few issues I wanted to mention. Parking on campus does have a fee, but a couple of blocks away from the university you can find neighborhood street parking with no restrictions. While pushing my stroller I found the trail difficult due to the width, and the tree stumps, and the narrow ramps between drive way parking lot intersections with the trail. I would occasionally scoot a bit off the trail while passing oncoming runners and double stacked walkers. This seemed to be encouraged based on the breakdown of the edges of the trail, like it was extended outside the trail perimeter to allow for some unofficial widening. I also saw some individuals stepping off the path as they passed me. From my view it did not appear necessary to pass safely, but I suspect my double wide stroller looks intimidating in comparison to the trail width. 20160129_165307_resized (1)

 

Also, I would like to stress the value of staying on alert due to the many intersections where cars cross the path of the trail to enter and exit the parking lots surrounding the university. Consider going at off times, to reduce risk, the cars have the right of way, not the pedestrians, signs are posted as a reminder.

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Rice University Running Trail - Houston Trails
Map My Run App screen shot of the Rice University Running Trail - Houston Trails

I have this quirky mindset, where if I don't have a water bottle on my person, I begin to panic I might die of thirst, and start contemplating sucking the last few drops of fluid out of puddles on the ground...SO...I always pack multiple waters into my stroller before I set out. However, located on the Rice University Running Trail of the Houston Trails; there is the convenience of a water station for those on the trail working up a thirst. But, there is no bathroom facilities located on the trail, which is a bummer, because it takes me some time to get to the Rice University running trail, and I personally prefer to have access, just in case. I guess; if one became desperate for relief, one could use a near by business, or seek out a restroom on the university. I imagine that would be frowned upon, but when a person is in that situation of urgency, the power of persuasion or obliviousness or indifference becomes a trait.

I really enjoyed the urban nature experience I found on the Rice University Running Trail of the Houston Trails, I think everyone should try it; stroller, sprinter, dog walker, really EVERYONE! I do feel the trail culture was primarily runners, healthy, fast pace runners, that actually lapped me while I took my walk and stopped to take pictures. I, at no point, ever felt like I was unwelcome, I never saw a scowl, nor heard a groan, because I was crowding the trail with my stroller on what might have appeared to be a leisurely walk. There are walkers, people with backpacks, people waiting for the bus, and I did see a couple of moms with strollers or older kids walking on the trail. But, I am not sure this trail suited me, I would go back of course, and I would recommend it to others. It is awkward to attempt to describe, and as a blogger, it probably seems silly that I am at a loss for words to adequately describe why; but this trail is just not a good fit for me and my stroller. 20160129_164810_resizedLet me know if you want to know more about the trail, I have tons of great pictures of the grand trees and the sights on the trail I will share more if comments request I do so. I would love feedback about your experience on the trail or what you think about the rubric, or how I scored the Rice University Running Trail. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy trails (running) from stroller running Mama!!
Best Health!
Priscilla

1 Comment

trail running with my stroller
Me and my two youngest after a quick neighborhood jog.

Hi All! I am just getting back from my maternity leave, recovery and learning to manage my time. I'm easing back into my workout routine and I want to share my experiences using my stroller on local trails. I have always enjoyed trail running, I especially love it because I can have my children with me while I exercise. They enjoy riding in the stroller, checking out the scene, and feeling the sun on their face and breeze in their hair.

To aid in sharing my experiences on the trails I run, I have created a rubric which breaks down my personal preferences and how stroller friendly the trail is, using a point system. The higher the number the more desirable the trail. Many times there will be multiple trail options in a single park, or variation based on parking location. I will try to be specific enough to identify the route I took or the location I parked if there are multiple options. I hope to get out on the trails frequently, and I hope to share with everyone just as frequently, but weather conditions, health, other life obligations may keep me from getting out as much as I like. So, here I am - putting it out there - my goal, and please feel free to keep me accountable.

THE TRAIL RUNNING RUBRIC:

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water

Your questions, feedback on how I can adjust the trail running rubric, or suggested trails are more than welcome. I break things down by my experience of twelve individual aspects:  cost, trail length, trail material, trail width, bugs, view, crowd (quantity), crowd (culture), cleanliness, safety, parking and amenities. I use a scale to indicate preference, with the overall lowest score a possible 12 and the overall highest score a possible 36. Again, this is my opinion of trails as I use my stroller. I push a double Summit X3 (I love it!) and I estimate my total load weighing around 80 lbs, and it does not feel that heavy, but I notice other runners clearing the trail when they pass me. So, my opinion will be specific to my experiences and what I need in a trail while trail running to have my best workout.

I am looking forward to getting out on the trails this year and sharing my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy reading my evaluations and I appreciate your contributions! Happy trails (running!!)

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I absolutely love water especially activities like water aerobics and I always have! I undoubtably have a natural, almost instinctual connection with the water. In the way a sensory deprivation chamber can induce a meditative state; I come to know my mind and body better when I am in the water. Water is a significant symbol in many spiritual practices, it has the ability to cleanse, and purify, and even heal. It is a necessary component to life, keeping us healthy with adequate intake. The world's living creatures large and small need water!

I was a self conscious young child, with my rounded belly and my chubby cheeks. I was uncomfortably squeezing into my clothes and skin as long as I could remember, I also hated elementary PE and would "fake" an asthma attack on days I dreaded the activity. I did not lack athleticism, but I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, and suffered from anxiety in new, or frequently changing situations. In Jr, High I joined the swim team and found my body immediately transformed into strong and slender, and I felt confident and accomplished. It was then that I understood the benefits of fitness in the water, and I couldn't get enough.

The first water aerobics class I taught was at the public pool and it was apparently an appealing class to the more aged crowed (due to the great benefits for individuals with arthritis and osteoporosis) with an oldies mixed tape (yes a cassette tape and "boom box") as the preferred music by the clients. As I became familiar with the routine, and studied various texts on the subject I began making changes in the class and found the class growing by word of mouth. And the demographic became more diverse, appealing to women of all ages and even pregnant women. Fast forward 16 years, I have taught water classes at various locations since those days and I have only expanded my knowledge and I am still putting my own twist on the tried and true exercises that benefit women in the water (I have also changed the music!)

How Water Aerobics Benefits Mama ( & Everyone Else):

The health and fitness benefits to exercising in water are extensive and all encompassing. I found the benefits as a young girl, it provided the cardio and toning my growing body needed, and the controlled breathing with the practice of competitive training taught me to manage my asthma symptoms with minimum medication usage.

During water aerobics water provides a resistance which is proportional to the effort exerted against it. Depending on the speed of the movement the resistance felt is 4-42 times the resistance from the air, and can be increased by more surface area, or higher speeds as well as the use of various aquatic tools. This makes a water workout a highly variable weight training and cardio option for any level of ability.

Buoyancy of water nearly eliminates the effects of gravity on the body, it supports 90% of the body's weight which reduces impact and increases flexibility. This makes water exercise an excellent choice for pregnant women, who are feeling the effects of the hormone Relaxin on their joints and are prone to injury, or who are uncomfortable carrying their extra weight and growing belly and need the extra support.

Also, when we are pregnant our heart rate increases more quickly during exercise usually during our first trimester especially caused by under fill. Which is a symptom of the body not building up the blood supply fast enough to redirect to the uterus during pregnancy. Exercise in the water actually decreases the heart rate by making the heart work more efficiently. The hydrostatic pressure of the water pushes equally on all body surfaces and helps the heart circulate blood and aiding blood flow back to the heart. Our heart rate is said to beat 10-15 beats slower per minute in the water during suspended water exercise than for the same effort applied on land, which is beneficial for those who are pregnant and not pregnant. This balance of pressure also prevents swelling a, typically symptom of pregnancy.

While exercising during pregnancy, it is important to keep the body cool, and not overheat. Water aerobics in a pool at a temperature between 85-80 degrees allows the body to regulate temperature while exercising. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are the same for those who are not pregnant when it comes to metabolic regulation, decreasing fat and increasing muscles and strength, necessary to maintain our fat burning ability even when not exercising. Aquatic exercise will also aid in the digestive functions, easing irregularity and constipation, associated with pregnancy. Water aerobics is safe for not only mom but baby too. Research shows women that exercise during pregnancy have shorter, easier, less painful labor and recover from delivery much quicker. Children who's mother exercises during pregnancy perform better on the Apgar evaluation, and cope with the stress of delivery more effectively.

With so many benefits to water aerobics, I should probably address the possible reasons to be apprehensive (and provide a rebuttal of course!) Some ladies may be modest about showing so much flesh, and then being physically active, especially during pregnancy and in a postnatal body. I wear a high neck line speedo style swim suit that provides full coverage, I have even found swim pants on the market. There are also swim suits with skirts and special suits with ruching, and designs that disguise those places on the body, we workout to eliminate. A swim suit that makes you feel confident and comfortable is an important purchase, and when your health is the reason to take action, there is no better motivation. Perhaps, as an adult, swimming is not a strength, or even a skill; there are still activities you can take part in, in the shallow end of the pool, and I have personally worked with women, who found comfort in the use of an aquatic belt, which provided the buoyancy to keep them afloat, while they performed aqua jog laps in deep and shallow water. It is never too late to learn to swim, and I can absolutely refer you to someone if you are interested in gaining the knowledge. Honestly, I cant think of another possible reason why a woman would not want to exercise in the water. If you have any reasons, please share, and while I understand aquatic fitness may not be for everyone, I do believe most women will notice the benefits immediately and fall in love with the water, no matter the stage of motherhood.

I would love to see you in the pool! I offer classes in Bellaire, check out the link premofitness.com or contact me prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com to find out when - talk to you soon!

 

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pregnant-woman-running

Did you make a New Year's Resolution for 2015? What was it? I would love to hear from you in the comments, about your goals and how you are doing with those goals. According to statisticbrain.com the number one New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, and staying fit and healthy is the number five most common resolution. The site also states that 64% of people that make resolutions are still maintaining them after one month. (way better than I thought!) Unfortunately only 46% of those who set New Years Resolutions last past six months.

Did You Make Any Resolutions?

So, my question is: did you set a New Years Resolution, and are you still working towards your goal? statisticbrain.com also states: "People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions." Have you shared your goals with friends and family? Someone to help keep you accountable? Someone that will check in on your progress? Did you make a specific goal, right down to the number of lbs. you want to lose? Or the size pants you want to wear? Or are you measuring the grams of fats, sugars, carbs and proteins you consume in each meal? How "explicit" have you been in your resolution, and how successful do you think you will be? I invite you to share your challenges and strives.

I personally don't make New Years Resolutions, but I do make resolutions regularly. I am constantly setting goals, for my personal development, fitness, spiritual endeavors, and family, through out the year. I take some resolutions more seriously than others and some stick better than others. Some of my most recent personal resolutions: spend quality time with my family, more consistently. I aim to gather my family at least once a month for a nice dinner, and some demonstrations of appreciation. I have set a goal to change my morning habits, and to make time for meditation and self reflection during the morning while the children still sleep (instead of letting my youngest be my alarm). My fitness goal is to workout harder, and really focus on pushing myself physically. I also want to get more control over my food intake, limiting my refined sugars to once a week, eat salad for at least one meal a day, drink a kale shake for at least one meal a day, and having some freedom on the third meal. As far as my business goals, grow! baby! grow! I need to be more specific, and honestly, out of all my goals this one is the hardest. All my goals are huge struggles for me to manage. I'm not quitting, but I'm not at 100% achievement, I know where I lack focus and discipline, and all I can say is I am building better habits and studying those who demonstrate success, and share strategy. I am open to suggestions, please don't hesitate to share!

Good luck on your resolutions, (New Years or anytime of the year) let me know how I can help you reach your goals, and I hope you reach your goal, and maintain for as long as that goal is of value to you. Check out my site: premofitness.com or email me: prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com if you have any questions about how I can help you meet your fitness goals!

Join the Conversation on My Fitness Blog!

fitness blogHI! My name is Priscilla and I am very excited to join the blogging world in 2015 and create a forum, where fitness and health from the perspective of a woman in all stages of motherhood can be shared. I hope the topics in this fitness blog will be interesting to you, and I invite you to join the conversation, ask a question, or leave a comment, and I promise to respond. This is an open dialogue, started in an effort to benefit the audience, with the hopes of being entertaining, informative, and applicable to your life. Please share your suggestions for new topics, because I want this fitness blog to be something you will look forward to reading and find relatable, and worth your time.

Check out my fitness website where I offer prenatal and postnatal fitness services at premofitness.com  or email me at prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com if you have questions or comments you don't want to post. I look forward to hearing from you about fitness for you and about my fitness blog!