Pushing Through

Things learned in the past 24 hours:

  • Sometimes babies will cry and there is absolutely no cause for it. I may have already known this to be true, but I feel like it finally sunk in yesterday.
  • When faced with the option to have a beer before or after your run, always go with after. You will run faster knowing what awaits you at home.
  • If the forecast says 65 and zero humidity in July, no matter how you feel or what kind of day you have had- RUN!

There were so many things I would rather have done last night when Jim got home. The top of the list was indulging in one of the Not Your Father’s Root Beers that are finally back in stock in our area. If you haven’t tried it yet you really need to get on it. If you can find it. The entire South Shore had a five day outage that ended yesterday, and I’ve already heard of shortages. 

Two of the four I grabbed yesterday. Not risking another outage.

Two of the four I grabbed yesterday. Not risking another outage.

I would have loved to have locked myself in the bedroom and watched Netflix for an hour or two. A bubble bath would have been heavenly. But alas, I laced up and pushed myself out the door because I knew weather like we had last night was a rare gift this time of year.

My 12-week half marathon training plan starts on August 3 with a rest day, of course. WHY DO TRAINING PLANS START WITH A REST DAY?!? I want to run on day 1, not wait around until Tuesday morning! Ok, rant over. The first run will be three miles and my goal yesterday was to push through the 2-mile mark without stopping, something I had yet to do since Hayden came along.

Oh, Nike+ how I've missed you.

Oh, Nike+ how I’ve missed you.

 

Those orange lines are where a side-stitch got the better of me. There were a few times I considered hitting “End run” and walking home, but instead I gave myself two two-minute walk breaks. It wasn’t easy, but I kept reminding myself that nothing about this comeback is going to be easy.

My body isn’t where it was this time last year, but I started this running journey before and made it through the finish line of the Chicago Marathon less than a year later. If I can start from nothing and conquer 26.2 miles, I can absolutely go crush 13.1 on Cape Cod to kick off my 30’s.

I made it down the driveway and ran straight into the kitchen, grabbed my beer and hit the floor. Because when the floor is that close, why bother making it to the couch? I miss the days of feeling human after a 12-miler involving Heartbreak Hill, but there were hundreds of runs leading up to those. For now, I’m happy with rewarding myself for a 2.08 miler at a less than ideal pace.

This weekends goal is to run a 5K on Sunday. Since it’s supposed to be 90 and humid as all get-out this will likely be a treadmill run. I’m fine with that. AC, controlled intervals and a machine to help me stretch out afterwards? Way better than a heat stroke on pavement.

What are your weekend workout goals? Anyone racing? Where, when and how’s the swag?! 

 

7/16 FitBit Data

All green everything

All green everything

Adjustments

Life with an infant is all about adjustments.

Learning to leave the house an hour before you need to be anywhere.

Calling 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, “sleeping through the night”.

Having one cocktail on date night instead of three because the thought of even a slight hangover brings tears to your saggy, exhausted looking eyes.

Getting back into a workout routine requires a little extra flexibility than it did pre-baby. Our morning walk has been a staple of our daily routine since Hayden turned two weeks old and I got the clear from my doctor to walk more than the length of our driveway. Until last week, those walks were the only form of exercise available to me and I took them VERY seriously.

Now that I have all of my old workouts as options (in addition to the walks) I went slightly overboard over the past week and wanted to do them all.

Elliptical? Did it.

Spin Class? Went. Nearly died, but went.

I’ve even managed to build up to a little over 2 miles on my runs, which I’m considering a huge accomplishment since I started at 1.4 miles the first time out. Intervals seem to be the best workouts I’m having lately and I’m ok with that. It’s 5 minutes on, two minutes off and I’m slowly building up the “on” time each workout. Even though I might not be able to plan when I can workout, it’s nice to have goals when the opportunity presents itself.

  
What I’m getting used to is not being able to plan my workouts too far in advance and jumping up to hit the gym whenever the opportunity presents itself. Since Hayden can’t go to the gym daycare until she’s six months old bringing her with me isn’t an option. On Tuesday Jim got home from work early and I was changed and at the gym within 15 minutes of his arrival.

It’s not just the logistics of getting workouts in that I’m adjusting to. Listening to your body is a whole different ball game after you’ve had a human removed from it and are spending your days raising said human. In case no one has filled you in, babies are exhausting and unpredictable. As a direct result, by the time Jim gets home from work most days I am also exhausted and fairly unpredictable. I’m sure it’s making his life extra awesome these days. I’m working on it. 

Last night I spent most of the day dreaming of getting out for my run the moment he walked through the door. When that moment actually came, I was so exhausted all I could think about was doing the dishes and going directly to sleep. At 7pm. For the night.

Part of me felt guilty for not getting outside on one of the few non-hot/humid nights we’ve had lately. The rest of me felt too sleepy to really care.

And with that, it’s time for our morning walk!

Past few days of FitBit data for your amusement! 

   
    
    
 Hope everyone is having an awesome week! How do you balance your workouts with everything else in your life? Any tricks from the moms out there for not being so exhausted? I’ve tried “sleep when baby sleeps” but I usually can’t fall asleep and end up more frustrated than when I laid down in the first place. 

 

Christmas In July

I just did the impossible: I successfully put Hayden down for a nap. She actually stopped crying and went to sleep. This has never happened, and I’m going to revel at this parenting success for a moment.

Ahhh.

Ok. Moment had. If 6 weeks of parenthood have taught me anything, you’ve gotta take the wins where you can.

Now that she’s down, the dishes are done and the laundry is put away (mostly), I actually have time to write about yesterdays glorious 1.43 miles.

Oh, Nike+ how I've missed you.

Oh, Nike+ how I’ve missed you.

 

I had my 6-week postpartum checkup at 1pm yesterday. By 1:05 I had successfully asked my doctor three times if I was cleared to work out. By 1:07 it was official. “You are free to resume all pre-baby activity.” I think I was happier than when the JP pronounced Jim and I husband and wife. Just kidding, honey. Maybe. 

Naturally my first stop after the doctors office was Marathon Sports for a new pair of shoes. Partially because Buster ate my last pair. Partially because running is more fun with new sneakers. Partially because I’m now a size 8 instead of a 7.5. I guess that whole “Your feet grow when you’re pregnant.” thing is true. Who knew. Either way, 

Like a kid in a candy store.

Like a kid in a candy store.

A bright new pair of Asics GT 1000s, and some fancy new workout clothes later, I was even more excited to run than when I went in. On the way home the sky started looking all sorts of dark and scary. We made it into the house and exactly 15seconds later the sky opened up and it was a tropical downpour outside. I knew the trusty weatherman said the showers would be “on and off” for the night, so I refused to let it ruin my hopes of a run.

Jim walked through the door from work at 7:00 and by 7:05 I was changing into my workout clothes.

“But there’s thunderstorms, you’re really going to run in this?”

Yes. Yes I am. Barring a tornado warning nothing was stopping me.

There was barely a drizzle by the time I hit “Start Run”.

The next 16:43 were the most freeing minutes I’ve had in months. When I wasn’t able to run I really felt like I had lost a huge part of myself. I missed how clearly I think when it’s just me and the pavement. I missed how no matter how badly the run itself may hurt, how good I would feel by the time I turned into our driveway. Most of all, I missed the time that was just for me. I rarely run for or with anyone else, not because I don’t have friends who run; but because I treasure the solitude and the freedom to go at my own (now very slow) pace.

Deep down we know it, but rarely do we treat the ability and time to run like the gift it really is. So while the sneakers and workout clothes are great, my favorite gift I gave myself yesterday was those 16 minutes.

Side note: I’m going to be posting my daily FitBit stats. You have a FitBit? You want to be friends? Let’s get some challenges going!

7/8 FitBit Stats: 

 

Green means good.

Green means good.

 

 

You Have To Start Somewhere

Today is the day I’ve been waiting roughly ten months and six weeks for. Barring any sort of unexpected catastrophe between now and 1pm, I will be cleared by my doctor to resume workouts and start my Cape Cod Half Marathon training today. Woo-freaking-hoo. Seeing that typed out it looks sarcastic. It’s not. I promise. It could be the first time I’ve ever meant for something NOT to be read sarcastically. First time for everything I guess. 

Last night I did lots of “I can work out again!” prep.

I cleaned out my closet and organized all my running/gym attire. Turns out, I own more gym clothes than any other type. Combined.

I stocked my house with all of my favorite healthy foods.

If you do not own one of these pineapple slicing gadgets, you need to fix that immediately.

If you do not own one of these pineapple slicing gadgets, you need to fix that immediately.

 

I broke out the FitBit that has been collecting dust in my dresser drawer since I gave birth.

I didn't do anything out of the ordinary so I'm using this as my baseline for goals.

I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary so I’m using this as my baseline for goals.

 

And most importantly, I bought new socks. Lots of new socks.

Let me backtrack here. I have always said that if Jim and I hit the lottery, my first order of business is making sure I never wear the same pair of socks twice. There are few simple pleasures in life greater than the feel of a brand new pair of socks. Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up…

As has been the routine the past few weeks, my mom came down this morning and we went for our morning walk with Hayden. Since I haven’t been able to run it’s been a nice  way to ease back into some sort of exercise routine. The view doesn’t hurt either.

 

She enjoys the view when she's not napping.

She enjoys the view when she’s not napping.

 

The entire time we were walking I kept thinking about how excited I am to be able to run this route tonight. Then I realized, I probably won’t be running most of it. I’m trying to be as realistic as possible with my expectations during this training cycle. For the first time in my adult life, it has been MONTHS since I’ve run. I have absolutely no idea how my body is going to handle the comeback.

So tonight I’m going to workout with zero expectations. No matter what happens, there is nowhere to go but up. I’ll run (slowly), walk (even slower), wheeze and come back with my first workout under my belt. That’s all I can hope for.

The Past 10 Months

Ten months ago I was in my final semester of grad school.

I was engaged and planning our upcoming wedding.

I was not expecting to find out that I was… well, expecting. I certainly wouldn’t have insisted on the open bar if I had thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. At least everyone else got to. 

Other than the extra guest only us and my Maid of Honor knew was in attendance, our wedding went as planned. It was a party and people treated it as such. I could bore you with details, but you weren’t there and probably aren’t too interested. This isn’t TheKnot. I accept that. Instead, here are a few highlights.

We always get dressed up to kiss on the jetty.

We always get dressed up to kiss on the jetty.

Buster getting ready for his close up.

Buster getting ready for his close up.

 

Then we got married.

Then we got married.

 

So what’s happened in the ten months since then? And why haven’t I been here?

Despite all odds, I finished my last semester of grad school. I have now completed all course work for my MEd, and can go do my practicum hours at any time in the future that it’s convenient. Jim and I decided pretty early on that we wanted me to be able to stay home with our kids while they are young. After talking with my advisor, the plan is to complete my practicum hours when I’m ready to go back to work full-time so my experience has timeliness on its side.

After school was done I kept working at the bar until ten days before my due date. Honestly, I think having such a physically demanding job and being on my feet so much helped me feel great for most of my pregnancy. I went into my last shift feeling really sad about leaving for a few months, and likely only returning in a limited capacity. There were several times when I was near tears as my regulars gave me hugs, well wishes and more than a few baby gifts. Then there was this interaction with a random woman.

RW: “What are all the hugs for?”

Me: “It’s my last shift before I go on maternity leave. I won’t be back until the fall at the earliest.”

RW: (gently grabs my hand as I’m pouring her cocktail) “Sweetie… do you have a home?”

Me: (Staring like a deer in headlights) “Umm… do we have a home?”

RW: “Yes sweetie, do you and this baby have a place to live?”

After her husband screamed “Why the F*&K would you ask that?” she explained that “the only people she knows who get themselves pregnant these days end up with their homes in foreclosure. It’s sad.”

Yes, we have a home. No, it’s not in foreclosure. Yes, this is the craziest thing that happened during my pregnancy.

With that, I was ready for some time off.

Now, back to why I wasn’t here at all during those pregnant months. I thought about blogging a lot. There were times when I opened my laptop, wrote a page or two, then hit delete and slammed the Macbook shut in frustration. Pregnancy brain hit me pretty early on. In retrospect, it was likely a combination of pregnancy brain, A&P exam prep and wedding plans that sent my brain into a “VIP Only” area. If I wasn’t going to be tested on it, billed for it or meeting it in nine months, I couldn’t keep it straight. I’m still working through it, which I will use as an excuse for why this post is so all-over the place. I’ll get back in my groove at some point. Bear with me.

Along with pregnancy brain, the internet is a special kind of cruel to pregnant women. You can’t win in any arena. A pound under the AMA recommended 25-lb weight gain, you’re putting vanity before your child’s health and must be reported to DCF. A pound over, you’re a fat, lazy slob who is certainly going to be teaching your children terrible habits. No matter what you do, never, NEVER ask about wine during pregnancy. Trust me on that one.  Just head over to the “What To Expect” message boards and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

At the end of the day I decided to leave the blog alone for my pregnancy mainly because I didn’t know how I was going to feel. If there’s anything more unpleasant than a grumpy pregnant woman it’s a grumpy pregnant woman with a blog to spew her rage at the Internet.  I knew lots of women who swear they never felt better or more confident then during their pregnancies (I call bullshit on 90% of them). I also know women who refused to leave their homes unless necessary after the six week mark because they truly didn’t feel like themselves or someone they even knew. Like most women, I fell somewhere in the middle of these two groups. I had my days when I felt horrible and I had my days where I felt incredible. Most days, I felt like an alien version of myself who awkwardly moved around with a medicine ball of increasing size under my shirt.

So, on May 25, after 107 hours of labor.. yes, you read that correctly, ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN HOURS… Hayden James made her grand entrance into the world via C-Section.

She was pretty sleepy after the whole ordeal.

She was pretty sleepy after the whole ordeal.

 

The past six weeks have been amazing, exhausting and every feeling in between. Getting to experience every holiday, milestone or mundane activity as her first has added excitement to every single day. Celebrating the 4th of July with her this weekend was even better than we had hoped since she LOVED the parade and fireworks.

This Wednesday I have my postpartum checkup where I am hoping to get the go-ahead from my doctor to start working out again. She knows that I plan to ring in the big 3-0 with a half-marathon that morning so I need to start training ASAP.

I’ve decided to go with Hal Higdon’s Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan to prep for the Cape Cod Half Marathon on October 24. This race has one MAJOR hill that you get the joy of running not once but twice… ugh. But since I know hills aren’t going anywhere in races I may as well start training for them.

So I’m back, in more ways than one. I can’t wait to share the highs and lows of getting back into racing after a baby with everyone. Most of the blogs about postpartum workouts I’ve found seem to be a little one sided. Women who were already nearly elite-level athletes that jumped right back into 7:20/miles and easily qualified for Boston by the time their babies turned one. I wasn’t that fast to begin with and I don’t know if it will be that easy for me.

But I’m excited to find out!

How did you get back into a training routine after baby? And if you had a c-section, I want to hear from you even more! Am I forever doomed to have this little indent, or is my doctor telling the truth when she says it goes away for most women. 

 

Thoughts From the Treadmill

My runs are my me time. Sometimes I think about life in a big picture way, other times I work through specific problems or issues I’m facing.

Other times I think about complete nonsense. Here is a snippet of today’s thoughts while I was on the treadmill.

.03 miles – I should have peed before I started. I hate when I have to pee early in.

.12 miles – I have to pee. Damnit.

.28 miles – Ok, I feel better after peeing. I hope the lady next to me doesn’t think I just had to take a break a minute in. She looks like she might be judging me. Please stop judging me.

.72 miles – I wonder what Buster is doing. He’s probably sleeping. Actually, he’s probably chewing on something. Definitely chewing on something.

1.14 miles – This feels great. I’m going to CRUSH NYC!

1.15 miles– What was that snap? Why is one of the straps of my sports bra hanging in front of me? Did judge-y lady next to me notice?

1.76 miles– Why does my pinky toe suddenly hurt? Is this a symptom of Ebola? Note to self- google Ebola symptoms when I get home.

2.03 miles – Is there something I’m forgetting for the wedding? Hair appointment (check), nails (check), venue (check), florist (check), rings (check)… Checks. I must send out checks when I get home. Then I’ll check our bank account and have myself a good cry.

2.58 miles – This strap is getting really annoying. How does this even happen? Champion is getting a strongly worded email from me.

2.76 miles– Why do they show Red Lobster commercials in MA if we don’t have any Red Lobsters? Any why do they insist on playing them at the gym? I want those cheddar biscuits. And the shrimp scampi. And all the rest of the food. I’m hungry.

2.98 miles– This strap is getting out of control.

3.1 miles– Alright, I better hit stop before my boob pops out and I’m asked to leave. Forever.

 

This is the nonsense I think of.

And in case you were wondering, Buster was sleeping. After he chewed his brand new bone to bits.

 

New York City Marathon Training- Some Updates

I could apologize for not writing as faithfully as I would like to.

But I won’t.

The fact is that I have hit a busy streak in life that is fairly unprecedented and something had to give. While I love this little blog and keeping up with all of my lovely blogger friends- Happy Health Sweaty appears to have taken the hit.

With that said, I’m here and I have a few updates to share.

NYCM Training

As I got further into the Nike+ training plan I wasn’t crazy about how it was structured further into the schedule. The biggest issue I had is that it offers no flexibility to move around runs and hikes the mid-week mileage pretty early on.

So, after some careful consideration, I went back to running 3mi/day for a few weeks and adopted the Coach Dino 18-week training plan. I’m two weeks in and LOVING it! Instead of getting pretty check marks on my Nike+ interface (which is really the only thing I miss about that program), I get to check each run off when I get home. The plan is proudly displayed on the fridge, which Jim thinks is me taking the whole “I’m going to be a teacher” thing a little too far.

I can cross it off just like homework assignments in my agenda in Jr. High. Don't act like you didn't highlight each assignment as it was completed. No, that was just me? Liar.

I can cross it off just like homework assignments in my agenda in Jr. High. Don’t act like you didn’t highlight each assignment as it was completed. No, that was just me? Liar.

This plan is 5 running days and I can throw in cross-training as I see fit. I’ve been consistently improving in terms of speed and endurance and love feeling the changes on each run.

 

In Nike+, this is what progress looks like.

In Nike+, this is what progress looks like.

Hills are getting easier to climb. That doesn’t mean I like them any more, but they’re getting easier. I still dread hill day more than long runs, but I don’t feel sick to my stomach before heading out the door anymore. I’ll take it.

Looking ahead a few months into the schedule and peak week still falls the week of my wedding. There’s nothing I can do to change this, and I’d just be lying if I said I’d be focused on fitting in a 22-miler the week I’m saying “I do”. Maybe it will happen the week before, maybe the week after, but most likely just not at all. I’ll run 20, and hope for the best.

 

Wedding Planning

I’m still not the best “Bride to Be” there has ever been. I’m making progress and knocking things off the to-do list one at a time. Am I forgetting things? Probably. If I am, are they going to become emergencies day of? Probably not. The way I’m looking at it is if I haven’t thought about it and no one else has asked about it, whatever “it” is probably doesn’t mean that much to me. So, just like with other low-priority items, it’s not making the cut. Sorry, flatware selections.

We did decide on cake. So far, that has been my favorite task. It’s certainly the one we took the most seriously.

Bakery 1

Bakery 1

 

Bakery 2

Bakery 2

 

 

At this point Jim said "I'm not tasting anymore, now I'm just eating."

At this point Jim said “I’m not tasting anymore, now I’m just eating.”

 

Bakery 3. There was more eating.

Bakery 3. There was more eating.

 

What I am most excited to be planning is our honeymoon. Right now it looks like Hawaii and Bora Bora are the top two contenders, so if you have a recommendation on either let me know. I’ve done Hawaii, he hasn’t; but I also went 12 years ago and I’m sure it’s a different experience when you go with a spouse. Since we’re waiting until February to go we have some time to decide, but I’d like to get as much planned as possible before the fall semester takes over my life.

 

School

Fall 2014, you are my nemesis. Epidemiology, A&P, Promotion Strategies and 3 other classes to balance while getting married and training for a marathon. If I make it through this semester alive, I’m sure I’ll owe my liver a big-giant thank you detox over Christmas break. For now, there is one summer class left and then a month of academic freedom and lots of beach reading. Taking any and all recommendations.

 

Those Angry Tweets

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed an angry tweet or a million over the weekend. Let me explain- I’m an 80y/o man inside. I enjoy waking up early, going to bed at a reasonable hour and I listen to talk radio in the car and at home. My favorite radio show for the past 10 or so years has been Opie and Anthony. You may have heard of them for a string of ridiculous antics pulled back in the early 2000’s; but the show kind of gets a bad rep. It’s an uncensored show that talks about news and current events and regularly has stand up comedians commenting on issues and it basically makes me laugh my ass off first thing in the morning. A time when everyone needs a good laugh.

Well, last weekend Anthony got assaulted in Times Square, went on a Twitter rant against the woman who assaulted him (clearly a lot of inappropriate/offensive language was used), and Anthony was promptly fired by Sirius/XM, effectively canceling a major part of my mornings. Let me clarify that I don’t agree with a lot of what Anthony had to say, but the fact that he was FIRED for voicing displeasure at being assaulted on his personal Twitter account I think is a HUGE concern for all of us on social media.

Yes, what he said would be grossly inappropriate in the workplace. But he didn’t say it there.

I’m sure I’ve said a lot of things on this blog that people wouldn’t agree with. But this blog isn’t related to my employer. I like to think that I can say what I’d like here without my employer firing me if they disagreed. What it boils down to is a free speech issue and that companies are going overboard in trying to censor employees off working hours. I don’t like it, and made that very clear to a few people, including Sirius/XM.

I try to keep the RunBritRun account friendly. I just felt like I had to use my voice to stand up for my beliefs on that one.

Also, speaking of social media, I made this decision a week or so ago.

 

I'm officially Facebook free!

I’m officially Facebook free!

 

Going Facebook Free

It’s amazing how often we run into people we haven’t seen in months and find ourselves already knowing pretty much everything they’ve been up to since the last time you saw them. That vacation they took? You saw the pictures. Their engagement- you heard the WHOLE proposal story when they posted a status update about it. Your ex’s baby: Seen.

Last week I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen since last summer and therefore, not since our engagement. I didn’t post much about it on the -book, but who I saw said “Oh yeah, I saw on Facebook- congrats!”. It made me think about how much I would have enjoyed sharing that news in person. A style of communication that seems to be increasingly lost in our generation. That was the final straw. I quit Facebook. And I have to say, I don’t miss it.

 

I do miss this blog though. And I miss you. What have you been up to? Tell me all about it in the comments. Are you running NYCM too? Let’s be friends.