Planning my Return to Fitness – Postpartum

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As I am writing this – my little buddy is napping. He’s a bit nocturnal. Sleeping in the morning/early afternoon and partying throughout the evening. I consider myself fortunate that he sleeps from 1am-7am with a feeding in between – so I get around 5.5-6ish hours of broken up sleep a day. I’ll take it.  The days are long but the weeks are flying by.

Adjusting to being a mother is a challenge. I’m someone who never changed a diaper in their entire life prior to having him. I also have little to no experience being responsible for children. I was a sleep away camp counselor for two years, but my kids were 8 years old. So they knew how to sleep through the night and use the toilet. Despite my lack of experience I think I’m doing a good job. I can be hard on myself though – I need to tell myself that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

Luckily – my body has recovered decently from pregnancy and labor. In my first trimester I lost six pounds so I had a generous cushion when it came to the pregnancy weight gain. I ended up 18 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight – the weight came off in the first week and I’m down a few more pounds from that which can probably be attributed to stress and breastfeeding. I also had an easy healing process after delivery.

Right now, I’m taking it easy when it comes to exercise and have been trying to fit in a quick daily walk with the baby – for my mental health since I’m indoors most of the day.

I hope to ramp up my fitness routine after my six week postpartum doctor visit. It’s going to be a challenge balancing baby with a workout schedule – but if I slowly ease into it I think I can make it work.

I’m viewing my return to fitness as somewhat of a clean slate: I built up a great running base pre-pregnancy, took a brief hiatus in my first trimester, and started a manageable regimen beginning second tri through the majority of my third. One thing each phase had in common was that my fitness was solely focused on running and walking. I’d like to start incorporating a few new things into my routine.

  1. Workout Videos / Strength training

I will be home with my baby pretty much all the time. I’m fortunate to have family nearby who are open to babysitting while I go out for a quick run, but in the beginning, I know that I will not be able to take a daily run. No worries, this is a perfect opportunity to bring strength training into my life with some workout videos.

I have a few DVD’S that have been collecting dust, I plan on finally pressing play and doing them.

There are also a variety of videos on YouTube and I might, just might, dabble in some Beachbody videos (I draw the line at Shakeology, though)

While I might not get the runners high, I know I’m building a stronger base to my running routine. Strength training is important! Also my baby is getting bigger and it’s getting harder for me to carry him.

2. Fit4Mom

When my baby’s immune system gets a little stronger – I plan on trying a class at my local Fit4Mom. Fit4Mom is a fitness class designed for moms – and you are able to take your baby with you and incorporate him in the workout. It sounds like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet mom friends.

3. Running

Of course – running is the foundation of my fitness regimen – and I have a few goals for the rest of the year. There are a few 5ks over the next few months that I plan to walk – including one in a couple of weeks. Sometimes just being a part of a race (even without running) gets me motivated to stay active. As far as legitimate running – I plan on easing back into it and getting serious about training in the summer –  there is a local half marathon in October that I am making my comeback race.

Life has certainly been turned upside down – but my family is slowly falling into a routine – and I am looking forward to introducing exercise back into my life.

 

 

My Fitness in the Final Stretch of Pregnancy

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My last “official run” – 36 weeks and 3 days

Today I proudly put my running shoes in the closet – and they probably won’t see the light of day for the next two months (at least). As I am writing this, I am 38 weeks pregnant. I’ve written in the past about my hiatus from running during the first trimester and how I slowly started incorporating it back in and was able to complete a 10k at 24 weeks.

Since then, I was able to maintain a consistent routine. I aimed to complete four 3 mile run/walks per week. Since it’s winter in Ohio, it can get cold out there, I’m lucky to belong to a gym with an indoor track where I can get the miles done. On those unseasonably warm days I was able to head outside for a run.

One thing that I had to tweak the most is my time on treadmill. For some reason – the bouncing on the ‘mill brought me pain in my baby belly area. To minimize this I had to really space out my running intervals – I kept them short and frequent instead of running for long stretches of time.

A few days after I hit 36 weeks – something changed. I started to become a lot more tired during and after a workout – and sometimes I would feel tired the entire day. My mom and I went on a relatively easy 3 mile walk, and that knocked me out. The days after that, I still was feeling fatigue, so I made the decision to conclude working out until well after the baby is born. I plan to hopefully go for a few short, easy walks – but am definitely not planning on anything more intense than that.

I know when I’m ready, running will be there to welcome me back.

Couch to 5k: What Started It All For Me

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Since I’m taking some time off of training for long distance races – I felt like reflecting on what helped me develop the habit of running.

The Couch to 5k program has been around for a while. I think in the last 6 years I had started and quit it many, many times. Why? Well, sometimes lacing up your shoes and getting out the door can be the hardest thing.

In November of 2013 I had recently moved to San Francisco. At the time I was unemployed and had a lot of free time. I also lived in a walkable neighborhood that was hilly, but not too hilly. Between my time, location, and the mild SF weather – I decided to give the Couch to 5k antoher try. I downloaded the free c25k app, and got to it.

The program is built upon running and walking intervals which week by week slowly transitions into being able to run for 30 minutes straight. The app gives you audio cues for when to walk and run, so you don’t have to keep looking at a stopwatch.

A big milestone in the program is Week Five – Workout 3 – which is the first time you run continuously for 20 minutes. After I completed that workout I felt super accomplished and excited.

9 weeks later (January of 2014) – I completed the program. March of that year I signed up for my first half marathon and the rest is history!

I strongly recommend the couch to 5k program for anyone who wants to start running. Even if it takes a few attempts to be faithful to the program – when followed through it can change your life!

2015 Mid Year Goal Check In

At the start of this year, I listed my running goals for 2015.

Here is my current status on each of those goals:

  • Half marathon in March – My next half marathon will be taking place in March. My goal is to finish in under 3:15.

Achieved – I finished the Rock’n’Roll San Francisco Half Marathon in 2:40:51.

  • Run a sub 3 hour half marathon

Achieved. – Please see above and/or here.

  • Run at least three half marathons in 2015 – I am already signed up for one in March, and I am aiming to run one in May and another in the fall.

In progress. – As I am writing this, I ran one half in March and am registered for another one in September. After that I have only a few more months to run my third half marathon. I am eyeing one taking place in mid-October, but I have not pulled the trigger on registering. This is probably the top of my list of goals I have yet to achieve this year.

  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 – This might seem like a lofty goal, but I know I can do it. I plan on running in at least three half marathons this year. Between that and training, I know it can happen.

In progress (most likely will not be achieved) – I greatly overestimated the mileage I would run this year. I just assumed that if I would be training for three half marathons this year I would easily cover 1000 miles. Not the case. It is Aug 6th and I have run 313 miles this year. If I continue on this track I will probably reach a little over 500.

  • Consistently blog about running and other things – Blogging only about running can kind of be redundant, in my opinion. I would love to have this be a running/lifestyle blog

In progress (doing pretty well in my opinion) – I work a full time job, consider myself somewhat of a private person, and my life isn’t super duper exciting. This blog has had the longest lifespan of any other blog I’ve started and since I have been running consistently and racing pretty frequently – finding inspiration for content has not been too difficult. I still have not shared my blog with family or friends (aside from my husband). My audience mostly is people who have come across my blog on WordPress and from the Team RunDisney group on Facebook. I hope to eventually feel comfortable enough to share my blog with my personal social network, but now is not the best time.

I feel good about where I am right now – running is a hobby I truly enjoy and I love writing about it.

Summer Check In

It’s been a while since I’ve wrote here – so here’s what’s going on:

My next race(s) on the books is  the Dumbo Double Dare taking place at the end of September (10k and Half over a weekend). The races are in Disneyland and I am running it with my husband. We are making it a race-cation. Training for the half and 10k are on track – my goal for the Double Dare is to finish with a grin on my face!

I’m looking forward to the Disneyland 60th nighttime events – specifically the Paint the Night Parade and World of Color. I have a feeling there might be a few emotional tears streaming down my face.

I’m still on the fence about doing another local race.

I signed myself and my mom up for the Princess 5k taking place this February in Walt Disney World. This is my mom’s first RunDisney event and I am so excited for her. We’ve already booked a hotel on property – the weekend is going to be a blast.

The Joy of Not Training for a Long Race

Shout out to Ashley at Fiddle Dee Me, who inspired me to write this post based on a recent post of hers.

I signed up for my second half marathon immediately after I finished my first. The three months before my second half were filled with numerous weekends of long runs – sometimes lasting 2+ hours (I’m a slow poke, remember?). I had to plan a lot of the weekend in advance – early Saturday morning wake ups, or at least devote an entire morning/early afternoon to running and recovery.

I have my Dumbo Double Dare (10k + half) taking place in September, but I was intending to sign up for another half taking place at the end of May. I’ve decided not to do it

Why? Because it is a treat to have my long run be 6-7 miles. It’s a treat not to have the weight of 13.1 miles hanging on my shoulders. It also allows me some time to work on increasing my pace. I haven’t done speed work in a while. I would love to run a 30 minute 5k one day.

I have a 12k in a month – and I’m super excited about it. I don’t have a goal time. The time limit is very generous due to the race being walker friendly – I just want to enjoy the course and savor in the post race festivities.

I’m eyeing a half at the end of July, but life might get in the way, and that’s ok. I still have my half in September and maybe I will do another half in the fall so I can achieve my goal of three half marathons in 2015.

I started my running journey with the goal of completing a half marathon – it’s nice to step back and savor the miles under that.

The Bad Runs Are Still Good

Sometimes I feel like I speak too soon. Shortly after writing about one of my fastest runs, I follow it up by experiencing a slower run.

My 9 mile weekend long run was a tough one. I woke up the morning of with a stuffy nose and a sinus headache. After a leisurely morning filled with Tylenol, Advil, Coffee, and breakfast, I started to come around and feel better.

This weekend has been pretty rainy in San Francisco, but Saturday morning was experiencing a rain free moment. It was a good time to start the run.

Even though it wasn’t raining, the humidity was high and my body felt it. The majority of those nine miles were tough. However I bit my tongue and completed my miles.

In the past, I might have labeled this run as a setback, but I am slowly realizing that every run is an opportunity to grow. This run was a great opportunity to experience non-ideal weather and non-ideal feelings. Sure, every run would be great to complete after a night of great sleep and during perfect weather, but that’s not real life, and the more non-perfect runs I have, the more I am training myself to be able to maintain my running routine at any situation — rain, heat, snow, bad nights of sleep, etc.

I am starting to realize that there is no such thing as “mastering” running. Just because you have ran xx number of miles in the past, does not mean any run less than xx miles will be easy. Each run is its own animal, and it’s dependent on many things including your body, your mind, and the elements. I suppose that’s what is beautiful about the sport — there’s always a challenge around the corner.

Picking Up the Paces

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My running pace is slowly increasing. My most recent weekday 5k run clocked in at an average pace of 12:11 per mile.

My average 2014 Avengers training pace was 14:30 per mile.

I need to credit my fastest 5k to my husband who ran with me and kept me at a brisk clip, we even raced a little towards the end.

Seeing these improvements in my time is so encouraging. It’s part of the reward of maintaining a running routine, and it keeps me going. The thought of one day comfortably holding a ten minute mile feels doesn’t feel like a pipe dream anymore.

2015 Running Goals

Ugh…I’m hesitant to do this because I feel like making my running goals “public” will cause me to fail in achieving them. However, one of my goals is to have a successful running blog, and I can’t be successful at that without being transparent.

  • Half marathon in March – My next half marathon will be taking place in March. My goal is to finish in under 3:15.
  • Run at least three half marathons in 2015 – I am already signed up for one in March, and I am aiming to run one in May and another in the fall.
  • Run a sub 3 hour half marathon
  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 – This might seem like a lofty goal, but I know I can do it. I plan on running in at least three half marathons this year. Between that and training, I know it can happen.
  • Consistently blog about running and other things – Blogging only about running can kind of be redundant, in my opinion. I would love to have this be a running/lifestyle blog

And here is my pipe dream goal:

  • Run a marathon – I’m going to be honest, this one might not come true. My reason for thinking it might be possible is because of the half marathon I plan on running in May. If I am able to have a few more long runs after that, I might be able to run a marathon in July. We’ll see. I’d like to have a life outside running and marathon training might not make that possible.

What are your running/fitness goals for 2015?