Friday, August 5, 2011

So much to say and so little time

I don't even know where to begin...

Emmett celebrated his first birthday on 8 July. We had a big celebration on the 9th with family and friends. Our theme was "Going Green". All the food was locally grown/raised (local meat and produce) and/or organic. We use real plates, cups, utensils and cloth napkins. Eric's mom made the birthday cupcakes from scratch. We asked people not to bring cards and instead did 1 giant homemade one.

Some of our guests really go into the theme with their gifts to Emmett. One little girl (3 years old) picked out some of her old toys for Emmett. Another couple gave us a baby Columbia sweatshirt that their daughter had worn and I had gushed about. One of my sisters made a donation to a wildlife foundation in Emmett's name. Emmett also got a firetruck made out of recycled milk jugs (online company called Green toys I believe) and a savings bond.

Emmett's first birthday represented a return to normalcy (or new normalcy) for both Eric and I. I think we are finally hitting our stride with this whole parenting thing. We sort of have our individual roles figured out and the clock is running smoothly.

On the fitness side of the house, the first year after Emmett's birth felt like forever while I was living it, but now, looking back, it seems manageable. There were days when I felt like I would never feel like myself again or never run again. Luckily, I was able to curb some of those feelings by trying to incorporate some cross training in.

Aside from my collegiate running days, I can confidently say that I'm in the best shape of my life. (And certainly in better all around shape than my running days). For me, it was very frustrating to go back to ground zero after Emmett's delivery and piece my body back together again, but it probably taught me patience and compassion for others in similar positions. Sure, there are some days when I say "why me?", why did I have such a rough road to recovery after delivery. Why was I the one who was gifted with so many post delivery issues/injuries? But most days, I'm happy to be moving and happy to be on my feet. Muscle wise, I'm definitely a pre pregnancy strength if not higher. My endurance is back up....leg speed is a little slow, but I don't do a ton of speed workouts anymore. My abs are still pretty shot, but definitely getting better.

I have started weaning Emmett and it's going really well. The first nursing session I dropped was the one that happened right after my morning workout...and that freedom has been amazing. I continually struggled to keep my milk supply up post workouts, so dropping that session completely eased that pressure. I'm still working to get off those last 5 lbs of baby weight, so starting weaning has also given me the freedom to watch what I eat a little more (before, I was so fearful to cut or change anything or risk having an angry/hungry baby latched on to me all day.) I also no longer pump/nurse in the evenings. Eric puts Emmett to bed when I work and we stopped giving him a bottle at night....which means that I could give up pumping entirely!!! Whoop, whoop.

As for those last 5 lbs of baby weight....well, this might be as good as it gets. And I'm completely OK with that as well! I put up a good fight, but my body is just different. I'm pretty much back into all pre pregnancy clothes which was more important than the number on the scale to me anyway (mostly because I didn't want to replace my whole wardrobe.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Swagger is Back

My running swagger is coming back. I had to drop the hammer on some "designer runners" today. On my trip around the lake (5 mile run), I blew past not 1 but 2 legitimate runners WITH the baby stroller (the bright yellow one which makes me all the more obnoxious). They were both dudes decked out in what my friend calls their "cutest running outfits" complete with racing sunglasses. One of them was rocking the Vibram 5 finger shoes. So, he definitely deserved it.

My only regret is that I didn't have some smart ass saying on the back of my shirt. In high school, my personal favorite t-shirt read "I'll see you when you get there". That one really used to tick the Army guys off.

My running stroller is getting a lot of action this week because Emmett is in quarantine. The little kid has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease which he picked up from some little snot fest at the gym daycare. I kindly refer to Emmett as my little, dirty slum child.

In other workout news, I have been lifting hard core. I did a pre pregnancy lifting routine the other day using at least the same weights or heavier than I did before pregnancy. I forgot how much I love weight lifting. I used to shy away from it in college because I tended to "bulk up" with extra muscle (more than you need for distance running).

(My workouts now mostly look like this: I run 2 miles to the gym with E in the stroller, then I go to an aerobics/toning class or lift on my own, then I run 2 miles home. Sometimes I do a few exercises at night with my students.)

I have my eye on running my first marathon in December. I'm not sure how Emmett will appreciate uber long runs in the stroller. So far, the longest he has done is 1 hour. But maybe I can bribe him with snacks.

Also, I finally fit into the last of my pre-pregnancy jeans (milestone 10.5 months). Yeah, reference previous post....nothing looks the same, but I met my goal....I guess.

I'm planning on starting the weaning process for Emmett when he turns 1 year old. It will be interesting to see what happens with weight and such then. My midwife also thought that some of my "delivery injuries" will heal as my estrogen increases after weaning.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just because you can wear your pre-pregnancy jeans, doesn't mean you should

I apologize this blog has been woefully neglected. It's not that I don't have things to say....maybe I'm just disheartened to share them.

Today, Emmett is 9 months old! When you are in the middle of the newborn stage, it seems like forever, but really the 9 months has gone by quick.

Although Emmett is super cool, I wrote this blog originally to try and detail running while pregnant and then getting the body back after baby. To sum it up, here's what I learned....the phrase "9 months on, 9 months off" is true. I tried my best to make myself into a case study to refute this claim, but alas I failed. In fact, my phrase might end up being more along the lines of "9 months on, never off" but I'm still going to try.

Officially, I'm about 3 lbs up from pre-pregnancy weight and I can wear 50% of my old jeans and 25% of my old shirts. But here's the reality, just because I can zip those zippers does not mean I should be waltzing down main street in those jeans. I'm not going to lie....Stacey London ("What Not to Wear") would not approve. The "Muffin Top" look is NOT in this year. The "I'm painted to your butt" look is for night time wear only. And, again, let me be honest, I can't blame the last 3 lbs I need to lose. My body is just a different shape these days.

Yes, I'm going shopping today. I tried to hold out. I squeezed in extra aerobics classes, running and weight lifting all in hopes that when Emmett turned 9 months I would suddenly look like my pre baby self. It was not to be. Don't worry, I'm not turning to Mom jeans and sweatpants yet, but my days shopping at the Buckle and buying expensive bedazzled butt pocket jeans are over.

On the running front, yes, I'm running and able to run a lot more these days. The only reminder that I had a baby (well, besides the fact that I now push a giant neon yellow stroller when I run) is that after I do a hard workout or race, I feel really achy "down there". And often I have to take a day off after a hard day because it's too uncomfortable to do anything with impact. If that symptom will be there forever, I can live with that.

What do my workouts look like now? I joined a gym in January WITH daycare (best decision ever). I made myself go to aerobics class every single day at 9:15am. That was the second best decision I made. I didn't realize how much all around strength (especially in my back, abs and arms) I had lost until then. I didn't always like the aerobics classes, but I just did them. They brought me back to the basics on strength, flexibility and balance. I believe that simply running wouldn't have done that for me.

So now, I usually try and run a few miles before class and then do the classes about 4 times a week. On one day a week, I'm doing intervals (400m - 800m...NOT fast). On Saturdays, I try to run a little bit longer. I just completed a 12K trail race last weekend and am looking to do a half marathon in May.

I will finish my Personal Trainer certification next month and also plan to go ahead and get my Group Exercise certification. I would love to specialize in pre and post natal fitness.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another post pregnancy PR

I ran 37:41 today for my 5 mile race (Brooks No Frills Race Series). I'm pretty proud because I feel like the legs are finally getting the message to break out of the pregnancy pace rut.

I also dropped the hammer on some girl who tried to pass me in the last 1/2 mile. I was like "hell, no....I have been literally working my butt off to get back in shape and you will not pass me". It was a little of the old swagger coming back (even though I was mid-pack at best in this race).

Total for today was 7 miles (5 mile race + 2 miles w/u and c/d).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Superficial milestones

Pre-pregnancy "fat" jeans - I OWNED you tonight. What, What !!!!

All joking aside, this is a really big milestone for me. It's only taken me 7 months! I really thought the baby weight would disappear a little easier. Pretty much all that running I did during pregnancy didn't help me one dang bit losing the weight post baby. My new goal is to get into ALL my old pre-pregnancy jeans in another 2 months.

I had to chuckle, I was lecturing the other night on "Training the Pregnant Client" (ie Personal Fitness Training). I was reviewing with my students all the benefits of exercise for pregnant women and thinking about how a lot of them did NOT work out for me. Easier and shorter labor (NOPE), quicker recovery/healing from labor (HELL NO), faster return to regular activities (NOT), faster/easier weight loss (I WISH).....I know, I know, everyone always says to me "think about how bad it would have been if you didn't work out". To that, I sarcastically say thanks.

I'm also pretty happy to report that my pain is continuing to decrease every month and I don't have any "limitations" on exercises anymore. I can run up to 6 miles at a time now, although I am still mostly keeping the running to every other day.

(I'm about 5-6 lbs above pre-pregnancy weight and 9 lbs above my goal weight.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Post baby PR

I've decided that having a baby resets all my running PRs. Kinda like being a born again virgin, I'm a born again runner. I ran 40:29 for 5 miles on Saturday. So, by my book, that's about a 4 min PR. I have to do it this way, otherwise I would cry to think about comparing this time to my pre-baby times.

My goal is to get under 40 mins for 5 miles in 2 weeks. Perhaps leaving the shots out before doing the run will help. But then, I would feel really cold (it was 14 degrees this past Saturday.)

I apologize I have not been keeping up with workout postings. Eric accidently erased my workout log during a computer "fix". In summary, I ran 3 times this past week and did aerobics classes in between. This week, I hope to increase running to 4 times a week and do the aerobics in between.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This may be as good as it gets

Emmett is 6 months old today! I'll say it again....6 months old! How did 1/2 a year just flash by in a instant? Emmett is right on schedule with all his milestones. He's a big boy with big feet and a big smile. I, on the other hand, failed to meet any of my post-pregnancy milestones in the first 6 months. I think my original plan was to be running again by 6 weeks post partum and down to pre pregnancy weight by 4 months. I'd like to think I was not living in a fantasy world and that, had delivery gone a little smoother I would be there (but maybe I'm kidding myself). My new goals include running a 1/2 marathon in April and getting down to my pre-pregnancy weight by Emmett's 10 month milestone (following the 10 months on, 10 months off weight mantra).

I find that I have something very strange....cesarean envy. I spent my entire pregnancy reading and working out in hopes to avoid the cesarean delivery. And now 6 months after my regular delivery, I really wish I had a doctor slice open my layers of muscles and organs to deliver Emmett. Maybe I'm crazy....or maybe I think that I might have recovered from a cesarean faster than my own delivery. I know, I know, you will say that it was better for Emmett to come down the "normal" way. But I'm not sure he appreciated being stuck for so long either. Emmett has 1 floppy ear, an ear that sticks out a bit farther than the other one. That ear is Emmett's battle scar from his delivery. He came down ear first and that little ear was just a flat flop of skin when he was born. It actually took a bit to start looking like an ear. If that ear could talk, it might have wished for a c-section as well.

Today, I ran 5 walking. I was so proud of myself for my 44:40 time (just under 9 mins a mile). It's been a long time since I ran that fast or that far. I don't feel 100% back to normal but I did it anyway. As I was running, though, I had a thought. Maybe this is as good as it gets. Maybe, after baby, this is what I have to work with. Honestly, I still have some lingering pain. Before baby, I never thought about just happened. Now, the pain is just enough so that I remember that I had a baby about every other step. I feel how jarring running is on the body and the impact of my footstep resonates through my bones. But, all in all, it's not bad. Today, the snow was falling, the road was quiet and somewhere in there, I realized I was enjoying myself. So, if this IS as good as it gets, I can live with that.

This was my first week as a stay at home mom and I was also proud I made it to the gym every day (and sometimes twice a day). I love my gym with daycare.

3 Jan: 30 min run (.5 mile warmup, 200 meters at 6:53/mile, 200 meters at 10:00/mile for 2 miles, cooldown .5 mile at 6.5mph)
- all around weights, some balance exercises

4 jan: 5 miles on treadmill (pace btw 6.0mph and 6.5mph)

5 Jan: 30 mins elliptical “hill” program, level 8, arms, back and abs
Did ab workout with one of my students at night

6 Jan: Butts and Guts class at Aspen….ouch!
Ran 1 mile after at 6.0 – 6.5
Evening: circuit workout with students + ran another mile

7 Jan: “Recovery day” did Morning mix class

8 Jan: 5 miles (no Frills racing series) in 44:40. Very proud! Ran negative splits.