Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Fitness’

Back in the Saddle Again!

I haven’t had much to blog about lately. Mainly because when I first started to write this blog, I wanted it to be about all the silly little tricks I use and what I tell myself to motivate myself to stay busy. But I haven’t had anything to say because I wasn’t very motivated. I’ve been floating through life lately, I haven’t been propelling myself, but I think that needs to change.

Also, I wasn’t ever going to be a good “mommy blogger!”

So what has motivated this sudden change back to blogging? I had time off from Dec 24th – Jan 5th and I decided that I needed to clean out my clothes closet and dresser drawers. I like to do organizational projects when I have significant down time. I’ve lived in three apartments/homes in the last 8 years and every time I move, my storage space gets smaller. I haven’t purged clothes in a LOOOONG time (let’s just say that I still had about 40% of the clothes I wore in high school).

1) I was motivated for the need for space! The clothes I wear all the time had nowhere to live.

As I was going through my clothes, purging them, I realized how few of them fit. In all fairness, some of them were originally tight, belly shirts or pleather shorts from high school – but other things should have fit and didn’t. (In the end, I donated about 80 pieces of clothes – I stopped counting at 63. I also threw away a bunch of old clothes – like over-worn bathing suits, again from high school – but I didn’t count those.)

My drawers and closet have so much more space! Now, I just wish I felt that way in my clothes.

2) I want to fit in my clothes again!

Trying on so many pieces of my own clothes really made me aware of how much I have gained since buying most of them.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and I learned something sad. I gained 38 pounds when I was pregnant. I lost 32 of those pounds by her first birthday. Since June, I’ve gained 5 pounds!!!! That’s right, I lost most of the “baby weight” and then gained 5 pounds for no good reason! Ugh! Where are my running shoes?

I went to Planet Fitness yesterday as a guest of my coworker who is a member there. I liked it well enough, so I’m going to sign up this weekend.

And here is my plan: I need to go to the gym a few times a week during lunch (I’m directing a high school play so my wonderful man, T, is already on full-time parent duty 2-3 nights a week. I feel bad making him do every night so I can go to the gym. Especially because he’s just signed up for Daily Burn so that he can work out and be at home at the same time. I’m excited for him but I want a treadmill. Also, I would miss Baby Girl’s face too much if I was out 4-5 nights a week (plus working full-time).

Playing with hats at Target around Halloween

Playing with hats at Target around Halloween

Next, I need more lettuce in my life. I used to eat salads with almost every dinner as a kid. I almost never eat salad now! So that’s going to change!

And maybe less ice cream…

*Having just reread this, I realize I sound like I’m freaking out over 5 lbs, but I was a little heavier than desired before I got pregnant so this is actually about 20-25 lbs. I’m really just bumming because my weight is moving in the wrong direction. And I miss running!!!! I miss my lovely running trail that I moved away from and I’ve yet to find another good one. I think that might be some spring motivation.

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Paddy’s Road Race 2013 – Race Recap

I am BEHIND! This 5k was almost 3 months ago! It was my first postpartum race and bonus: T and the baby were with me as well! This course was my first ever race, 2 years ago, and I was excited for the symmetry. So how was the race?

Well… it was good, a little rough, and I learned a VERY valuable lesson.

First the good – it felt awesome to be out running again with other runners! So, so good!

T; my friend, Ellen; and I wait with the baby at the back of the line. It was essentially a stroller parking lot!

T; my friend, Ellen; and I wait with the baby at the back of the line. It was essentially a stroller parking lot! I had dressed the baby in her Halloween costume because this race was at the end of October, but it was too warm for her to wear all of it.

There were a ton of spectators at this race, and a bunch of them were little kids giving out high fives! I love when kids are at a race to support people. I hope Baby Girl is one someday. And for this race, I was thrilled to high-five at least 8 kids – and one kid’s mom high-fived me because of the stroller! It was nice motivation towards the end.

I  received the same compliment repeatedly and I loved it – it was about how we were running with a baby small enough to still be in the car seat attachment – and how that was impressive. I didn’t know this before I was pregnant but a baby has to be 4 months old before you can run with him/her because of neck strength. The baby, at barely over 4 months old, had only been approved for about 3 days by her doctor for running. Clearly, I was excited to run with her as soon as possible! (T would want me to mention that he ran with the stroller for the first half and I did the second half – it wasn’t all me, despite what the pictures make it look like.)

If you’re ever at a race and see a woman pushing a baby in the car seat attachment for the stroller, give her a nice big “Wow! Go you!” If she’s anything like me, I can promise you it will make her feel like superwoman! (especially if she’s running as slowly as I was! We ended with a 13 minute average pace, whoa slow!)

I'm running with the car seat insert, the woman behind me isn't (in case you needed a visual)

I’m running with the car seat insert, the woman behind me isn’t (in case you needed a visual)

It was a little rough because T and I hadn’t trained enough. (T even trained less than I did – I at least have a gym/locker room in my office building so I could run at lunch, T was on his own). We ran the first mile, walked for 1/2 a mile, and then ran the remaining 1.6 miles. Of course the only spectator/supporter we had there (the husband of a friend, Ellen, running the race) saw us while we were walking! 😦

The lesson I learned was this: change the baby’s diaper IMMEDIATELY before the race starts! We fed the baby before the race, but we didn’t think to change her. We drove 45 minutes, waited at the starting line for another 30, and didn’t think to change her before it started! (Clearly, we’re bad parents…) To make matters worse, she was wearing a cloth diaper (we use both cloth and disposable) – and cloth diapers don’t wick away the moisture so if it’s wet – she’s uncomfortable and unhappy and she’s letting you know it! The poor kid screamed the ENTIRE run! We originally thought she would take a nap on the run, but no, she was way too miserable!

As soon as we crossed the finish line, we found a quiet place to change her diaper and she was happy as clam. Lesson learned!

There was actually a second (lesser) lesson that I learned on this run. If you’re a man, and you want your picture taken, run in a kilt!!! T proudly wore his sportkilt (it’s cotton instead of wool and is machine washable). Out of the professional pictures: there are 15 of me, 16 of Ellen, and over 50 of T! The photographers LOVED him!

Here’s my favorite photo of him, doing a heel click, about to cross the finish line:

About to cross the finish line!

About to cross the finish line!

It also makes me think of Jill over at FlyingJumpKicks.

As another random thought, I’m sure the camera man is glad T didn’t go “traditional” with the kilt… the coming down pictures are a sight to see! Thank goodness he chose to wear black shorts! I’d share one of them with you, but I don’t think T would enjoy me posting “up skirt” photos of him, even if he is wearing shorts…

Fitness Idea

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise when you don’t feel comfortable about your body, especially when you have to exercise around other people. It’s so easy to worry if others will judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves.

Also, I was talking with some friends about a friend of ours who is struggling. This friend is extremely overweight (I’m guessing she weighs about 400 lbs) and struggles to take weight off because her knees hurt so much. It’s a vicious cycle: her knees hurt because she’s so overweight and she remains so overweight because her knees hurt. Which made me start thinking, isn’t it terribly sad that swimming, the activity that grants the greatest amount of buoyancy (and less joint strain) is also the activity that requires the least about of clothing and the most amount of skin showing?! So in order to exercise in that environment, one also has to overcome the greatest amount of self-esteem issues?

It really got me thinking. I wish that a chain gym would pop up to address that issue. I feel like Curves (and all of the other gyms in that vein) popped up to address the issue that lots of women feel uncomfortable working out in front of men. I wonder if a pool that encouraged people to wear shorts and t-shirts instead of speedos would be well received?

I know I would love that right now! Especially if I didn’t have to buy a swim cap and goggles. I’m not a serious swimmer but would enjoy having somewhere to comfortably swim right now… without any judgment.

Additionally, it would be great if I didn’t have to get over my issues to just BUY an outfit, let alone use it. Granted, I’m pregnant, so my issues of size may pale in comparison, but I least I can sympathize with the issue.

Good luck to anyone else feeling this way! And have you ever heard of a pool like this? (if so, I hope it’s in Massachusetts!)

Saturday Morning Motivation – Voice in Your Head

liar voice in head

I’m off to prove that the voice inside my head who thinks I will always suck at yoga is wrong!

How about you? What will you do today that you didn’t you could do before?

Prenatal Yoga – The Sequel

I went back to prenatal yoga at Destination Maternity this week as planned (if you are pregnant and live near this chain retail store, I recommend checking them out for their free classes). Unfortunately, this time around, the class contained more of my fears than the first one.

When I went last week, it was a small class and we had a substitute instructor (one of the weekend instructors filled in). This week, the class had almost doubled in size, but was all different people, and the regular instructor was back (she was totally nice, but was different). Also, I got stuck next to a woman who was 8 months pregnant and crazy flexible. It’s so hard not to compare oneself to those around us, isn’t it?

I’m not flexible… at all! I was never flexible and on top of that, I’ve had back surgery – making my back extra tight. In fact, at one point, the instructor came over to pull on my hips because my back didn’t look right. So then I awkwardly had to mention that I’ve had back surgery. So then she immediately stopped touching me (as though I was on fire) so as not to injure me. Ugh… I’m a train wreck. I totally could have benefitted from her help, but I always want to warn people not to have high expectations because fused vertebrae don’t function the way you want them to. I wish I could have really talked to her, but it was just a big ball of awkward with lots of witnesses…

There was really only one downside to having a different instructor: the poses and sequences were different. It made everything feel new again and made me feel more insecure.

Experience

Something that I loved about being a beginning runner was that I could do it on my own. I would run along a trail with only a few other people around. I didn’t run on the street or at a gym (although I had tried both in the past), which felt in the open where other people could see me. I loved that I could change my pace as needed without any assumed judgement from others. (Let’s be real, no one actually cares, but it feels like they do when you’re red-faced and just starting out). I loved that I could repeat my trail over and over again, day after day to “get it right”. I was competing against myself until I got good at it. Every day, I would try to run at least 10 feet more than where I stopped to walk the time before (or to the next lamp-post or to the end of the next song). And when I ran that trail from start to finish without a break, I felt amazing and so proud of how far I had come in my own growth!

But with yoga, I don’t feel like I’m mastering things, everything still feels new and awkward and constantly changing. And I know it will get better. I know that when I’m über round at 8 1/2 months pregnant and actually know some of the poses, I will feel as though I’ve improved. It’s just so hard to get there.

i-may-not-be-there-yet

And all of this makes me think about the “January Joiners” at the gym (you know, those people who make a New Year’s resolution to get fit and suddenly join the gym). If you are one of those people: good luck! You can totally do it! Just give yourself a chance (and ignore everyone around you).

If you’re a regular at the gym and are feeling a little irritated by all the new people at your gym: take a minute and think about how it felt when you first joined, or if you didn’t struggle, imagine how hard it might be for them. Please, try to make them feel welcome. More fit and happy people can only be a positive thing for our communities (the exercise community as well as your local community).

Being new at the gym can be so intimidating as you’re pushing your own physical limitations as well as feeling uncomfortable in the new environment. Let’s all try to feel welcoming.

I know that when I attended this second class and it was ALL new faces, I was intimidated all over again. It’s so easy to think that everyone around you thinks you’re an idiot if you’re a novice, let’s try to keep that in mind. If you’re not a novice: be welcoming and smile at the new people. If you are a novice: smile a lot at strangers and try to remember that no one is judging you as harshly as you’re judging you.

Or at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself… (we’ll see how it all goes after I try a weekend class this weekend).

Fly

Prenatal Yoga

This past Tuesday, I decided to give prenatal yoga a shot. My doctor thought it would be a good idea and I feel like a ton of people have recommended it… so why not try it?

I’ve never been into yoga before though. The few times I’ve gone have been disastrous. Have you ever taken a yoga class and there is a girl in the back falling down? And occasionally when she falls down she takes out the person next to her? That’s me! Always! It’s embarrassing.

Yoga cat fail

But everyone thinks that pregnant ladies should do yoga and my doctor mentioned that a retail store near me, Destination Maternity, offers a free class. 

I dragged one of my coworkers along because she often goes to yoga and because if I was going to accidentally topple someone to the floor, I didn’t want that person to be 9 months pregnant! Megan’s not pregnant, so I thought it might be safe. Turns out that while Destination Maternity is awesome enough to offer the class for free (always), they only want pregnant ladies in the room. Oops! Luckily the instructor was pretty nice about it and let Megan stay.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t fall over! Not even once! Yay! I really enjoyed myself and I’m totally planning to go back. I would go for tomorrow morning’s class if I didn’t have to go to a conference this weekend.

yoga cat

I will admit that while I was proud of myself for doing something that counts as exercise, I didn’t get that same elation that I did from running. And let me just say that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that “runner’s high” that everyone talks about, but I ‘ve always felt so proud of myself after a run. I shouldn’t be too hard on yoga though because even if I didn’t break a sweat, my muscles were aching the next day. Specifically the muscles on the outsides of my hips. My belly muscles (I can’t even call them abs right now, that seems like a joke… even if it’s their name) were really sore the next day as well, but I don’t know if that was from yoga or just generally from being pregnant.

This is going to sound stupid, but I’m going to share it in case there are readers who didn’t know this either. The whole “belly expanding” thing hurts (not a ton, but it’s uncomfortable). About 2 days out of every week, it feels like I’ve pulled or strained a muscle. And the muscle of choice changes every week. So far, it has moved up a few inches every week as the belly expansion moves higher. The strained/pulled muscle thing makes total sense, it’s just not something I ever expected/thought about before getting pregnant.

Besides enjoying the yoga, it was nice to be around other pregnant ladies. Excluding Megan, there were 5 pregnant ladies in the class (counting me). We broke down like this:

  • I’m 20 weeks pregnant (5 months)  – this is my first child
  • Woman #2 – 34 weeks (out of 40) – I didn’t hear what number child she’s on
  • Woman #3 – 26 weeks pregnant – 2nd child
  • Woman #4 – 12 weeks pregnant – 2nd child
  • Woman #5 – 6 weeks pregnant – second child

I had the smallest belly. I know that women “pop” faster with their second child, but it still made me nervous that I’m doing something wrong… luckily I saw my doctor today and she says I’m right on track for weight gain and shouldn’t worry about anything.

I also think it’s super awesome that Destination Maternity offers this free yoga class. They also offer free classes on Newborn Care, Lactation, and  New Moms group support thing… If you have a Destination Maternity near you and you’re pregnant, you should totally check them out!

Diva Dash Recap

Let me start by saying that I LOVED this race! I’m pretty sure this is the first race where I thought to myself “Man, I can’t wait to run this again next year” WHILE still running it! It was a ton of fun and if it comes to a city near you, I recommend checking it out.

My team and I put our best foot forward for this event… and we did it in pink, zebra striped socks!

First, it was a 5k with 11 obstacles. The obstacles consisted of climbing over mountains made out of hay, dirt, and tires (separate mountains). Climbing over “jersey barriers.” Scooting through a maze that was also covered in a net around waist height (so you had to bend down to go through it). There were plenty of balance beams. We had to carry large logs for awhile. And my favorite: the thing where you have to run with your feet through tires (so you get some nice high knees) while also being hit by inflatable pink balls!

My favorite obstacle. Looking for my teammate.

On top of the fun obstacles, the course itself was pretty challenging. Some of it was on a paved road, some of it was over gravel, but most of the running was a gorgeous trail run through the woods. Obviously, this part is specific to the Massachusetts one. I like to consider myself a trail runner (although let’s be real, half of my trail is paved), however, my trail is along the Charles River and is mostly flat, flat, flat. The trail for this 5k was LEGIT! It was winding, thin, and constantly going either uphill or downhill (steeply). And we actually had to hop over fallen trees! Luckily, everyone started in preassigned waves that were separated by 15 minutes, so I never felt like the course was crowded. Absolutely top-notch orchestration, I have to admit.

Besides the actual run, there were a lot of things that I liked about this race. It was my first ever “Women-only” event. If all “women-only” events are this nice, I will totally be doing more of them. Everyone was so cordial! Plus, so many people really thought about what they were wearing. I loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of my favorites, but let me at least describe them.

  • For about half of the run, I followed some women from a Boston Book Club, the back of their shirts read “I like BIG books and I cannot lie” (oh how I love it!)
  • There were about 20 women in aprons as “Domestic Divas”
  • There were some shirts that read: “My mascara runs faster than you!”
  • “If you run faster, you’ll get wine sooner! “
  • “Oxygen PLEASE!”
  • And one of my favorites: some women from a labor and delivery unit at some hospital (it said on the front of their shirts but I can’t remember now) had on the back of their shirts “We deliver!”

My team all dressed up. Who doesn’t love Animal from the Muppets?! Also, this is what happens when a bunch of theater nerds creating a running team…

Everyone was so friendly and encouraging the whole time, I had no idea women could all be so supportive of each other. Early on in the race, I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest, but I could try for the nicest! So anytime I was passed by someone or actually passed someone, I threw out a compliment. It was so easy! Everyone had on something cute (even if it was just a pair of socks that said “Bad Ass (with an arrow pointing up).” It was great chatting everyone up. Of course it was easier to talk to everyone because this was my first race without music. Whoa! But one of the women on my team ran my pace, so we had each other to talk to the whole time. That’s a first for me and it was awesome!

That was actually another of my favorites for this race. I ran as part of team of 10! We were a variety of speeds and we all mostly ran our own race… but with a buddy who was similar to us. I loved it!

They also have the best swag bag I’ve gotten so far:

Our swag included a t-shirt, a drawstring bag, a canvas bag, a magazine, and a Luna bar.

Plus, 90% of the vendors at the vendor fair were giving out free goodies. For example:

  • Socks from Asics
  • Frozen greek yogurt pops from Yasso
  • 5 hour energy shots
  • More Luna bars
  • Sahale Snacks – I took the cranberry, sesame seed, and honey covered almonds – AMAZING! I totally recommend them!
  • Beer from Coors light
  • Coconut water from Zico (I’ve tried coconut water a ton of times and I must be missing something, I never see the appeal)
  • And samples of about half a dozen energy or recovery drinks – most of which tasted pretty chemical filled.

There were just a few things that I think Shape could work on for next year:

  • They could use some bottles of water at the finish line. Instead we were given 3 oz dixie cups that we could fill up ourselves… dehydration was plentiful
  • On the course we were handed the same cups and we could also fill them up ourselves, on Facebook a lot of runners complained that they should have been filled up for us and I can see their point. I was running slowly so it didn’t bother me, but if I was going for speed I would have been pretty upset.
  • Something to nibble on at the finish line would have been good (none of us knew about the Luna bar in our bags). Once we realized everyone was giving out samples, it wasn’t so bad. But those first 30 minutes waiting for all of our friends to finish was a little tough without food.
  • They had a bag check at the race and I’m glad I didn’t use it (I left everything in my car), it was a total disaster!

All in all though, I would totally do this race again! It was a blast!

Because I didn’t know what the run/obstacles would be like. I didn’t go in with many expectations. I was hoping to finish in 45 minutes. I thought there would be more upper body stuff (there was really only 1). Next year, I know to be smarter on the obstacles. When going over the Jersey Barriers (you know, those large sometimes concrete road blocks, these were plastic though), I lead with my right leg on all of them and my right glute hurt like whoa the whole time. Next year, I need to switch up the leg choice every other time.

The course’s jersey barriers

Final stats:

Time: 44:53:97
Place: 3184 (out of 5489 total – thus 58%)
Division Place: 1379 (out of 2286 – thus 60%)
Pace: 14:58
On my team, I was the second fastest runner (well… tied for second when you count my racing buddy, one other women on our team beat us by about 15 minutes). I’m pretty psyched about that too!

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