Hope you enjoyed my last post. I added a video of Maebels first year of life that wouldn't post earlier so go check it out here.
I've been back to officially working with my coach Pardon Ndhlovu for the last three weeks. He is a coach under the McKirdy Trained umbrella of coaching and we are a really good match from the start. For starters, he at least pretends my jokes are funny... even though, for the most part, I'm dead serious about training and racing, I also consider myself to have a healthy sense of humor. If you can't laugh with me, then it's not going to work. He also gives really difficult workouts that are different than anything I've done before. I worked under the same coach for over 10 years (Joe Catalano, the great), but change is good and essential for progress. Additionally, he is also very understanding of injuries and makes me feel comfortable communicating when I'm not feeling right... which has essentially been all the time, so far. He has even shared some of his own experiences and frustrations with his own injuries... and he's an Olympian... so it happens to the absolute best.
I worked with him all through my Boston training and felt like I experienced a break up when he told me he wanted me to take some time to recover and start back up when I'm ready. I was ready. I was all in--- emotionally--- but my body wasn't ready and I had to come to terms with that. It was like the nail in the coffin on my postpartum running goals... but I needed to bury those goals anyway because, in hindsight, I set them based on my first experience post-baby... and since I now unequivocally know that every experience, every pregnancy is different, It was really foolish to set goals before I even had the baby.
So What have I been Up to?
Most of you follow me on Instagram, and if you don't it's probably because all my narcissistic posts about my training each and every day are a bit too much for you (it's cool, I totally get it), but I've got goals and if I need to hold myself accountable through every avenue that social media and the World Wide Web has to offer in order to be successful, SO BE IT!
I last posted my training in a post titled "Road to Nowhere" I got injured sometime in March and lost all direction. I signed up for the Vermont City Marathon. It seemed like fate. I thought it was everything coming full circle. I was wrong. Sometimes injuries are just injuries and circles are actually spirals. Depending on your perspective you can spiral upwards or downwards. Initially, I was on an upward spiral looking forward to Vermont. I spent a fortune to hire a personal trainer to get me stronger than I've ever been before and I was excited... but then after a few weeks of just strength training I attempted to run again. I rehashed the injury and I spiraled downward... I spiraled downward HARD. On this downward spiral, Pardon "broke up" with me, and I continued to go to personal training but spent the majority of the time crying because I couldn't do anything without groin/abdominal/hip/adductor pain and I was perseverating on the fact that I could not get better. I was convinced if my calf injury occurred because my hip/groin/etc weren't firing or doing their job... I'm screwed for life... because I've now scored through every postpartum hip/groin-ish injury listed on google, and have read every persons question and comment about never finding answers. It was settled, I'm one of them. For sure I'm one of them. After all, I was spiraling downwards, so I couldn't see anything but the worst possible scenario and I just tried to wake up in the morning and keep at it anyway... or at least drag myself to a place where there was a person keeping me at it. Peak Fitness. I should note that during this time Pardon did not "break up" with me, he still checked in with me at least once a week and I always felt like I was the bottom of the totem-pole don't bother checking in with me, I'm useless and he always assured me that I was still working hard and training even though I wasn't running. I believed him just enough to not quit. I continued to roll out and ice and bike, and do everything I could in addition to the personal training in order to heal. I had to be moving in the right direction, I thought.
I Just to quickly fill you in on how I found Peak Fitness, my Physical Therapist now has two offices and one of them is in Peak. So you can work with a Physical Therapist who works directly with the Personal Trainers on staff. Mike and Paul worked together to come up with programs for me to increase the load on my calf in small amounts. I had done a lot of work and we thought I was strong enough to try jumping rope to build tolerance 5-10 seconds at a time. I literally jumped twice and that was it... unable to walk again after I believe 4 more weeks off.... (I can't remember now, I "reinjured" the calf so many times it's all melded together.) I lost it. LOST IT. I didn't cry, I literally just walked out of the room for a minute. The trainer suggested a punching bag but I wanted nothing. If it's not running, it's nothing. It's never going to heal, I'm wasting my money, wasting my time, nothing is possible. I reached rock bottom and my trainer, Paul, who at this point remained remarkably positive (despite the fact that I was constantly saying "I've spent a lot of money and I still can't lift anything pain free") challenged me and bargained with me to start coming in with only the intention of moving pain free and seeing that as a success rather than a failure. I never blamed him, I just was feeling dumb for ever believing I could get strong or that I was worth the investment... I felt guilt that I used the money my husband got for his bonus when there are a million and one more important things than my selfish pursuits....but they believed in me... and So I committed to changing my mind if not for me, for Paul, who had gone above and beyond anything I had paid for... (He's a trainer, not a counselor).... and for my husband and family who had made a lot of sacrifices for me to even get to the gym... and for Pardon, who kept reaching out even though he had no obligation to me, at least for now. I'm one of those people that is better at doing things for others than I am for myself, so in an instant, instead of being frustrated that lifting my leg up to my chest without pain was all I could (barely) do .. I worked hard to find pride in it... (and needed all the headpats on instagram for it, they really helped). I could not give up on doing the little things simply because it wasn't as much as I hoped or wished for. It was so so SO far from my goal that I couldn't see where I was going anymore but I had to keep trying because people were investing in me. On instagram people were investing in me, and at home, and at the gym, at work. Every direction I turned people were not allowing me to settle and so I kept going even though I, personally, wanted to eat cake and get fat (which, some days I did.... okay, many days...). I get a lot of messages on instagram telling me I'm inspiring for not giving up, but it's not me who doesn't give up, it's everyone around me. As my college coach would say "Surround yourself with good people and great things will happen"...
Before I knew it heel slides and assisted movements were a thing of the past. I started lifting. really lifting and it felt good! I attempted another run... another fail... but, honestly, I didn't think much about it. I accepted it right away because I was enjoying lifting so much that I felt like I had another outlet. I accepted that maybe it had to do with breastfeeding... maybe I had extra relaxin, or maybe there was something in my diet missing (I got blood tested and my ferritin was really low, even without training), for some reason my body couldn't heal my calf yet... but you know what was healing? The hip/groin/adductor/ab area. I felt more stable and confident as the days and weeks passed by. My posture improved and because of that so did my mood. Suddenly I'm spiraling upward again and I wasn't even running yet. I knew there was an end to this phase of injury because I was getting better in the places I thought I never would (hip/groin area)... and although the calf for some reason still SUCKED BALLS... I knew that would heal, too. (fingers crossed, As I write this I'm not out of the woods yet, just at the edge hoping I don't go back in).
I started running again after another 8 weeks and it was touch and go from the start with the calf. Typically the calf was such an aggressive and sudden pull, that I took my chances since it was presenting as more of a "burn" or "ache" than anything else. This was a hard stage. I was being pulled in a downward direction, but I fought it hard. I wasn't going to let this happen. I wasn't spiraling upward, but I was maintaining my position. I took another week off. I did the ice bucket, I walk ran for nearly a month, I started noticing what treatments worked better than others. I bought KT tape, compression socks, new inserts for my shoes. Placebo or not, I did not care... "the placebo effect is still an effect" and I needed all the reasons to believe I still had a shot at 2020 or 2024, or even just running casually but pain free for life.
I really turned a corner when I woke up with heel pain and felt it in my calf as well. I could have felt defeat and retreated, but instead I tried to figure out what my body was telling me. I read a lot about the plantaris tendon. Is that what I hurt? My initial injury occurred on a run where I jumped over several mounds of snow... The injury was sudden and stopped me in my tracks, If the plantaris tendon takes 6-8 weeks to heal and that's what I hurt, no wonder I keep re-injuring it! A lot of what I was doing to strengthen the calf was probably bothering the plantaris. I will never know for sure, but as soon as I started treating my "calf injury" like a plantar injury (working on the foot rather than the calf, never walking barefoot, icing with the ice bucket, rolling with tennis ball) I've been primarily free of any signs of injury (other than the heel pain when I wake up which is subsiding)
I'm running every other day and walking on most of my off days. My first week I ran 9 miles, then I did 17, now I'm up to 21 with my longest run being 8 miles. I'm fearful of writing this post and putting it out to the world. I feel like my "training for training" is over and my "training" can finally begin... but I know progress isn't linear, it's a spiral and sometimes you go down, and other times you go up. The thought of going back down is terrifying after how low I got, but I've been mostly up lately, and that's all I can ever hope for.
Hi All! Most of my readers follow me on instagram and interact there, so you know I'm still alive... Running injuries just left me feeling uninspired and unable to articulate any emotions or feelings since nothing was really feeling right. I have a lot of blog posts brewing, and want to get back into writing about the less concrete side of running; some of what I've learned through injury and through 20 plus years of competing. How to balance performance based stress, how to manage emotions during low times, and more, With that being said, tonight is the eve of my second baby's first birthday, and I want to pick up where I left off, talking about motherhood.
I was a mother of two girls two and under for almost exactly a year (two weeks and two days shy)... I have learned A LOT but a here are a handful of the hardest things I learned.... the list is endless, because it's that difficult of a transition (In my opinion the transition from none to one is less jarring than one to two). So weather you have one child already and aren't sure if you are ready for a second... or maybe your expecting your second and want to know what you're in for.... or maybe you already have two and want to compare notes.... It's also for those you who have more than two kids and want to take this moment to laugh at my struggle wishing my problems were still yours (because everything is exponentially more difficult each child, I imagine). Or if you're just plain bored.
Here are Five Hard Lessons I learned once I became a mom of two (two and under)
1. Its NOT twice as hard...
Lets start at the most obvious and most important thing I learned: It's not twice as hard... OH NO! It's at least ten times harder than having one child... especially in those first few months where you are still getting to know this little stranger you took home from the hospital one day. I don't want to make it sound impossible, there are definitely things you have more confidence in having already had a child (like trying to put clothes on.... remember how you thought you'd break those little arms? Round 2? You've got this!) But for the most part, everything that just started getting easy is hard again. Potty training, toddlers sleep patterns, keeping a schedule, laundry... and things you haven't even thought of are suddenly issues. Like, how the hell do I get two kids in and out of the car? What happens if I'm in public and the older child starts throwing herself on the ground or refusing to walk? How am I going to carry her out when I don't have enough hands for this...? Everything is harder .... everything. You also pray a lot... and if that's not your thing, you probably self talk a lot "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can"... Or you just never leave the house. Leaving the house is scary... especially in those early stages. The level of difficulty, this first lesson, is so in your face those first few months that it needed to be mentioned all by itself even though in many ways it summarizes all of what's to come.
2. Shopping SUCKS!
This is important... because shopping is exponentially more difficult (as mentioned in lesson number 1, everything is). It's so hard that I had many people praise me on social media for trying so early. People even sent me suggestions on online shopping (like PeaPod) that helps you avoid the hassle... but I hate staying in one place so I put on my big girl pants and got to it. I put the toddler in the seat provided by the cart and the infant car seat (until recently) in the body of the cart. Everyone contained, I got this. This is my number 1 reason for shopping at Walmart. Not only can you fit both kids, but you can also fit your shopping list. (It's truly a no brainier that I shop here because it's also the closest store to me). As Raea got older, whenever I had my husband we'd practice with her walking and staying with me. Sometimes shes too tired to walk now, and Maebel no longer is in the infant carrier, so Raea is in the body of the cart and Maebel is in the provided seat. You gotta do what you gotta do but this takes time. Let me simplify it for you by breaking down some of the places I learned are good to go, or a no go when it comes to carriages.
Other places you can shop at comfortably: Cosco, Sams Club, BJ's, Wegmans
Moderately accommodating, as in you can fit the kids and minimal shopping list items: Target, Whole Foods, Babys R' Us (RIP), Shaws, Price Chopper (most grocery stores... but stick with above if you can).
Toddler/Infant FAIL: Kohls (I hate you!), Marshalls, Trader Joes (sad face), Michael's, AC Moore (forget about DIY projects anyway-Impossible), CVS, Party City
Other Major Fails: Nearly all clothing department stores. Not only do they not have carriages, but they barely accommodate a stroller, never mind a double stroller. When it comes to clothes just give up on life.... Sure, you can shop online, but your body is changing again... and you have no idea what its going to look like next so... Online is a risk.... So, your stuck with your halfway fitting clothes or you can do what I do, the Walmart Special... I'm just going to get milk, or juice, or some bodily fluid on it anyway... why would I spend a lot? Faded Glory FOR LIFE!
3. Your First Born has a lot to learn and will Still take up Most of your Time.
Your first child is at a weird age when you first bring home that baby... The toddler is discovering independence, but also lacking the skill or safety awareness or maturity to truly be independent, so your poor baby is on the floor kicking and screaming while you chase after, play defense for, and teach your first born how to do certain things themselves. Since maturity is a factor here, not everything can be successfully taught before the baby arrives... proceed with caution. For example, I tried really hard to finish potty training before the baby, but Raea just wasn't fully able to pull up and down her pants without making an even bigger mess, so I inadvertently made my life way more difficult because she was trained enough to hold it and ask to go and refuse to wet a diaper... but wasn't trained enough to actually do it herself. I can't tell you how many times I broke my own rules and told her "you have a diaper on, it's okay"....and then proceeded to argue with a two year old over this since she was way above wetting herself. Your baby wont be too mobile for at least the first 5 months, so take the time to teach independence in the areas you can as early as possible because once that newborn grows and gets mobile, you're going to need some true independence more than ever... but also, you'll need some back up! Both my kids walked really early (Raea 7 months, Maebel 9 months) so it's been a bit crazy around here. I was cooking one day and Raea made Maebel cry. When I asked her what she did (yes, I assumed she was picking on Maebel... #badmom... Don't worry it's in lesson 5). she said "Maebel put somethin' in her mouth!" and sure enough, Maebel had found a rock near the endless pile of running shoes, and put it in her mouth. Someday I'll have a mudroom, but until then, I have Raea watching Maebels every move! Which only occasionally has it's perks.
4. Feeding the baby is never ever relaxing.
I breastfeed, so I can really only speak to that, but I imagine it's similar for bottle fed babies too, infact possibly worse in the beginning because at least I have a free hand. When I had one child I loved breastfeeding. Talk about time to restore and rejuvenate? I know some people struggle, and I'm lucky I didn't, but once we got into the swing of things when it was time to nurse Raea (at least before she was mobile) I would just sit on the couch, watch tv or close my eyes... drink water, put my feet up, turn on music... ahhhhhh.... relax. No MORE. NO NO NO. Breastfeeding with two is so hard! because lesson number 3, your first born is a dangerous little human climbing on tables and chairs... opening refrigerators, spilling the tupperware everywhere, climbing on the couch your sitting on, jumping on the couch... pulling your hair, trying to sit on your shoulders, being so loud it's impossible to get the baby to sleep... ... Ahh... Ugh... Why can't you understand that if you just give us this little bit of time, I can play with you, or help you, or do WHATEVER YOU WANT... Just let us finish!!! This is one of the things that actually has gotten more difficult as the baby ages (and I think bottle would be easier at this point since most babies can hold it by themselves). Maebel can't make up her mind these days, she wants to play but she wants to eat, wants to play, wants to eat, latch, unlatch, latch, unlatch, teeth, teeth, teeth, TEETH!! I feel like an open bar and a chew toy at once, abuse! I.... cant..... even.... That's all I can say. She's one today, wean, wean, WEAN!!!! Why wont she wean!?
5. You Don't Learn Patience...
People might disagree with me here, but IMO you don't learn patience. Patience doesn't suddenly grow. I am an extremely patient person. My work involves a significant amount of patience, and it involves the same type of patience used for parenting (I'm a teacher for students with ASD, and most have significant behavioral difficulties... so I do a lot of discipline and behavior modification) and patience does not grow. I don't suddenly have more of it because I have another child. In fact, the last thing that happens to your patience when you have another child is that it grows. How can you get more patience when you are using it all up everyday? .... What you do learn is where and how to disperse your patience across the day. You learn the art of not giving an F about stuff at work or what that aHole driver did, because you have two little people at home who require a lot of your patience, and who deserve it. You literally don't care about things you used to because you can't. You don't have room to care. With that being said, you will run out of patience at home because now there are two... and lesson number one, this is exponentially harder. This has been especially evident for me as my first born is starting to become a little bit of a bully towards her younger sister. God it kills me when she knows shes doing something wrong but does it anyway. I yelled at her just today because she was intentionally scratching Maebel and literally saying "look mommy I'm scratching Maebel" and Maebel is screaming and I'm arms deep in dishes. Now I do this for work... I know she is looking for attention- she's a walking, talking, FBA- and the right thing to do is redirect and maybe pick up Maebel and give Maebel all the love in the world and ignore the scratching and talk about it later once balance is restored, but I've run out of patience. "In your room you go!" and now I'm a monster. "Punishment reinforces the punisher".... You don't learn patience, you learn to let things go, and maybe forgive a little. Forgiveness towards yourself for losing your cool, because it will happen. When you have one child you certainly lose it from time to time (although I can probably count on one hand how many times it occurred with Raea before Maebel, and now it happens almost daily) but there are a lot more chances for you to restore and rejuvenate with one (Lesson Number 4), with two you are in multiple directions all day... all day... so instead of patience growing, your ability to forgive yourself grows... and actually... as that grows, you become a bit less uptight and find ways to rejuvenate within the chaos. It's not patience growing, it's your ability to accept that you might suck at life sometimes, but as long as you are only a reasonable amount of sucky, forgive yourself, have a conversation with your child about your intentions behind your crazy shit , say sorry, and move on... lots of chances to get it right.
The Biggest Lesson I learned thought, and this isn't a hard part is that while patience doesn't grow,
When your pregnant, you are trying to wrap your head around how it will be possible to love another human the way you love your first. You intellectually know you will.... but you don't really know how. It doesn't make sense because the love you have for your first is endless... how can that occur twice (or three or four, or 8 times?) but it happens.... You do. You love them equally.... differently... but equally... and the coolest part is how different they are. It's not like you have a "type" like when you're looking for a partner in life... One can be loud and out going, and it's perfect... and at the same the other is reserved and introspective and you love that, too (neither of my kids are reserved, but it was an easier example to share than the examples I have).... Before I had kids I heard it all the time "It's so so hard, but so rewarding" and I didn't quite understand...I also didn't understand why people would be all like #wheredmybabygo? and be all sad about their kid growing up... but I get it now. My baby is one today... ONE! And my first born just turned 3. What?! How did this happen? It's so cheesy, but it's the realest thing ever:
"The days are long, but the years are short"
It's been a hard year, but the most rewarding.
Following Lauren's lead (@thefoodierunner_) , who turned me onto a new person to follow, Ralphie of @simplyonpurpose, I'm joining in on the "I'm this kind of Mom" Movement celebrating all the different types of moms out there adding their own personal "mom-flare" to the world of Parenting.
It's important to celebrate the type of mother you are, rather than the mother you are not... so here are some details of how I parent, and a really good excuse to share some super cute pics that I may or may not have already shared. Join in or comment below with the type of mom you are (or want to be!)
I am the kind of mom who doesn't have strict bedtimes. I have a strict bedtime routine but I start it at anytime of the day that works best for me. I will not stress myself out over the fastly approaching 7:30. If I want to take them out to dinner after a late night fun-run, I do... and if they are driving me absolutely bonkers and I need to get them down earlier than usual just for my own sanity, I do that, too. They don't know how to tell time yet, so I'm enjoying this while it lasts!
I'm the kind of mom who makes her kid(s) say please and thank you.... for everything. I can't think of a time where please and thank you are not useful. You want dinner? Say please. Someone opened your juice box for you? Say thank you. Period... and for God Sakes, if you know how to talk, none of this whining shit.... Which brings me to the next item, I often swear in front of my kids... so hopefully the please and thank you isn't coupled with an F-bomb in the future, and if it is, I hope the please and thank you at least cancel it out.
I'm the kind of mom who Doesn't believe in "crying it out" but doesn't believe in whatever the opposite is either. I want to stick to the same method but just as I need different things, my babies do too. Raea always had better coping skills than Maebel... It's just who she is. I "give in" to Maebel way more than I did for Raea because Maebel needs me more... and also I don't have the energy for some real solid sleep training because there are two of them now, and when one cries, the other wakes up shortly after. I recognize this is a short period of time in our lives and no matter what I do, it will pass... so I do what I can do and move on...
I'm the kind of mom who believes in natural consequence (within reason). My kids have bumps, bruises, and scratches. I let them climb on tables and chairs and jump on the bed... we try new things that maybe we don't like at first, and we keep trying until we are sure... and even then, you might have to wait before I can help get you out of a mess. There's also a healthy amount of rough housing around here. They aren't kids forever and I want them to learn through their own experiences now so that they will be able to do that with more important things in the future. It sounds cheesy (because it is), but I want them to know that it's okay to fall and that I'm here to help them if they need it... but they can probably get up by themselves. Sometimes I crave being a "sweeter" person... but it's just not me. I grew up in a family of 10 and sometimes rubbing a little dirt on it isn't the worst way to grow and learn.
I'm the kind of mom who breastfeeds with my phone in my hand because its the only time I have a full excuse to be sitting and how else will I keep up with instagram? Or someday's when the baby was up late and the toddler was up early and my husband is half way across the country, I let the toddler have the tablet in her room in the morning so I can get an extra few minutes of sleep. Oh, I also used the iPhone to kickstart potty training (we are only in pullups at night, now!) We watch TV on Saturdays for almost the entire morning, and I'm okay with that. I don't think screen time is going to be the death of them. We get outdoors, and do crafts, and all sorts of other things, too!
I'm the kind of mom who doesn't skip bath time. I love giving them baths. I sleep better when I'm clean so I hope and pray they sleep better when they are, too. I still haven't figured out what makes Maebel sleep through the night and what doesn't. Raea has always been easy. She sleeps so deep that she wets her bed and literally doesn't notice and will full blown sleep in her pee until the next morning. So much for being clean (hence still needing the pull-up).
I'm the kind of mom who really really tries to feed my kid well and sometimes that means huge tantrums at night and going to bed hungry. We try to incorporate a green vegetable into every meal. I often bribe my daughter to eat her vegetable's with a dessert... which is two parts strawberries, one part whipped cream. The whipped cream is a small price to pay for the broccoli and spinach... sometimes there are sprinkles involved, too. Whatevs. .
I'm the kind of mom who believes your children come into this world and instantly become your teachers, not always just the other way around... so I try to be open to the lesson that they are here to teach me when times are tough.
I'm the kind of mom who blogs while chaos breaks out. Yup... Chaos. Annnnd my time's up.
Happy Mother's Day!
What kind of mom are you?
IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM, here are my birth stories of my two babys, and some postpartum stuff for all you mamas and mamas to be out there! Hope you enjoyed your day
This week was my first week since my calf injury that I was able to run 5 days. My coach is definitely taking my history of injuries seriously and building me from the ground up. I really appreciate that. When hiring a new coach, I was intimidated and afraid to admit that I couldn't do something. This is partly why my first few weeks ended in disaster. I was in pain and didn't speak up. I kept running through it hoping I'd turn a corner. Now, I'm realizing this isn't like some of those college programs out there that you either can handle it or you can't. This is individualized personal training, and I've honestly never experienced it before. I am in this position where I feel like I need to prove myself, and while I know that that feeling is in my head, it actually motivates me. The coach I worked with after college was an assistant coach from the college program, so he knew what I could do already. After I got injured and pregnant we lost touch, and I had my husband coach me for a year since I had so many new variables... Now I'm coached by Pardon Ndhlovu from McKirdy Trained. It's the first time I found a coach rather than the coach found me.... So it has a bit of a different vibe and I think it's been good for me. So far I've been really impressed with the patience, and responsiveness, and the shared belief in even my most far fetched (but NOT far fetched ) goals. #believe
This week I started off solo parenting to continue last weeks challenge. I had a personal goal of maintaining patience. I was starting to feel under the weather toward the end of last week and because of that I was quick to snap at students and my children. I wrote patience on the board for my students so that they, too, could help me achieve my goal by practicing being patient themselves. I notice that when I start losing patience that is when everything starts falling apart. So even though in the very moment it feels impossible to keep my cool due to lack of energy, I had to tell myself that in the end, losing my cool costs me much, much, more.
Monday 30 mins, 3.6miles, 8:14/mi: Once upon a time my toddler slept in. It was a dream. Going to bed early, sleeping in late... Gone are the days.... Now, I get an early (for me) wake up call ranging from 5:30-6:30... If I"m lucky I get to sleep until 7:00... but either way, our treadmill is in the garage, so if Matt isn't home I'm running at night. I just simply can't predict what time I should wake up to start running to be sure I'm done before Raea is up. This was particularly long day because I had a staff meeting right after school as well, but I went to bed early Sunday so I was feeling renewed. The end of solo parenting was in sight!
Tuesday: Surprise Morning run! 5 miles, 40 minutes, 8:30/mi It was supposed to be 50's and rainy today, but the morning started off with black ice and a 2 hour delay. My school is the last tier so some schools in my district start nearly 2 hours earlier than I do. This made me feel like the ice on the roads would be mostly clear for me to run. I had a babysitter coming to the house anyway, so that's what I did. I started really slow and it was slick in spots to begin with, but by the end it was just rain. Cold, wet, rain... (which is what I like!) I rushed around to get to work on time and was really really relieved to have this done. Taking another treadmill run out of the equation really renewed how I was feeling about finishing up the solo parenting days.
Wednesday: 1 hour on the bike: Another 2 hour delay. I actually didn't believe it... but after buses crashing all over yesterday, I think most places were being overly cautious. I had a cross training day today, anyway. So I got some awesome morning snuggles! I even got to work a little early so I could take care of some report cards and have one less thing to do as the week progressed. Matt also surprised me letting me know that he was coming home one day earlier... So THATS A WRAP! No more solo parenting this week (technically Thursday morning until the babysitter comes, but Matt will be home in the afternoon)! Not going to lie though.... this was the hardest one hour of exercise I've done in a long time.
Thursday: 45 minutes, 5 miles: Sneakerama fun run! I can't even tell you how nice it was to have my husband home and to be able to meet people for a run! I ran with Barbara McManus for the whole run. Somewhere around 8:50 pace. Part of me wants to run fast all the time and show all my progress, but I know that that is not how improvement happens so I was happy to take it a little easier.
Friday: 40 minutes with Fartlek. 5.5 miles, 7:22/mi: I was committed to making this day about me. After Matt was gone for 10 days, today I just wanted to relax... and by relax I mean get a really good run in and then do 75 minutes of yoga. I felt unbelievably smooth on this run. I think the combination of Matt being home and the fact that it's Friday and I was done work for the week (also had all my lesson plans and progress reports completed so I didn't need to do any thing over the weekend) had me feeling a huge sense of relief and freedom. My body felt it. Below is the data with the fartlek sections at the end.
Saturday: OFF Its so much harder to get motivated to do anything when I have the day off from running. However, I did do all my drills and bought myself some more liquid Iron and B12 to get my numbers back in the normal range. After getting my period back I could tell I must be hovering in the low normal or just below normal range. Also, I really have no idea why I don't buy this stuff off of amazon. SO MUCH CHEAPER! Pretty sure I paid like $40 at the vitamin shoppe. Whoops.
Sunday: 10 Miles, 7:48/mi: Brought my girls over to my moms today so Matt could meet a client to run and I could get my own run in. I wanted to run alone today, actually. I thought running with Matt would be nice but I was thinking it would be easier to honor my body if I'm by myself. I really want to make sure I can listen to any of the messages my own body will send me. I think at this phase I don't really have an established "easy" or "hard" pace. Once I add volume and workouts what feels easy today might not tomorrow... but for now, I'm pretty excited to genuinely feel great at sub 8 pace after a day off.
Total Mileage: 29.3
Average sleep: 6:45 (not consecutive)
Overall, another good week. I've definitely got some momentum on my side. I proved to myself that I'm capable of doing this even with my husband gone (but please don't leave me during peak week!) Maebel will be starting solids hopefully this week or next which should improve my sleep situation a bit. Some days are great others not so much... it's really inconsistent still. One thing I really learned while Matt was gone is that I have to be insanely flexible with the when and the where I work out. Some days I'll get to do my run at an ideal time, in an ideal place... and other times it's past my bedtime and I'm on the treadmill. I thought I would have to transition into a morning runner, but really I have to transition into a more flexible runner... figuratively and mentally. I need to be willing to do the run no matter what. Obviously there will be times it wont take priority (if I'm sick or the kids are sick)... but with a treadmill in the garage and a bike in the house, there's not much excuse. There's always time for something.
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Postpartum running has not been kind to me. Not too long after I posted my Week 1 (take 1) I found myself debilitated with shin pain. Could I have run through it? Yes. In the most excruciating way... but knowing this happened in my first postpartum comeback, I decided to get in front of this one a little more. I took some time to cross train right away. For cross training I alternated between the bike trainer and walking on the treadmill. I needed to get my shins adjusted to some level of impact without setting myself back. After about a week or so I ran again and it went really well! At this point in time there weren't too many really cold days... but one morning I woke up and winter had arrived. I warmed up my legs with some looseners inside and headed out the door. A few miles into my run my calf muscle cramped up and pulled... bad... an injury I'm very aware of (read about it at the end of this post). My best guess is that it was from my shins and since I bought spenco inserts to help the shins, I just changed where the force was and BOOM, problems. I also found out that I have an accessory navicular bone, and it's really wreaking havoc postpartum with my ligaments and tendons being more loose.
After about a week and a half of limping around, I was able to resume cross training, but no way was I ready to try out my calf. My coach sent me a list of 11 strength training drills to do so that's what I committed to. We decided I'd start with a 3 minute run and the rest of it walking at the 3 week mark just to give the calf a test run.... BUT that didn't happen either. I was hit with the worst cold and sore throat I think I've ever had! Turns out I probably got two different viruses at the same time.... which I guess is better than another interruption in training. I really needed to rest but with no sick days at work and Christmas around the corner, I couldn't afford an unpaid day. Also, I was determined to make sure neither of my kids got sick, so I decided to pump extra breastmilk for Raea so she could get some of the antibodies Maebel was getting to help fight what I had. This was very draining, but worth it. Neither kid was sick for the Holidays! I was way too depleted to start running during this stretch, and there was literally no benefit to starting now. I took it as a sign from God that my calf needed a little bit more time to repair. I started cross training again once I was better. On December 26, I tested my calf with a 20 minute walk, 5 minute run, 20 minute walk. I was so nervous about my calf, but grateful it turned out okay! Since then I've officially considered myself in "training mode" albeit very mild training and barely running.
I set some big goals for 2018, and I'm officially in pursuit. I had some bad breaks, but everything cleared up in time for the New Year. How cool that the New Year started on a Monday. It must make all you OCD loggers tingle with happiness!
So without further explanation, here is this my second first week of Boston Training.
Monday 1/1: 50 minutes of Cross Training on the Bike Trainer. I listened to a Podcast featuring Molly Huddle and that got me through very easily. Using Podcasts instead of music is so nice! I've been missing out! So many great interviews to catch up on! I also added the R8 to my morning routine, and got back on my supplements. I'm pretty sure I'm anemic again due to some random bruising. Breastfeeding sucks the life out of you if you don't stay on top of it!
Tuesday 1/2: 45 minutes total. 18 minutes of walking (to safe ground) and then 15 minutes of running. I have my watch tucked in my sleeves when I'm running and I was so surprised I averaged under 8 minute pace with real ease! I think the Cross Training helped more than I thought! I got nervous about my calf but I felt no pain. Only some weird lingering pelvic instability (which probably contributes to the calf pain in some way or another... but I'm doing all the strength to help this). I worked all day and the concrete plays a huge role in how fatigued my legs feel at the end of the day. I made sure to do some stretching and R8 Rolling.
Wednesday 1/3: 20 minutes of running in the morning. It ended up 22ish, I ran 2.5 miles in 8:41 pace. I was really proud of this day since I got in my drills and also a good amount of rolling and stretching. I even drained my legs for 15 minutes. Concrete floors!!!
Thursday: 1/4 Bombogenesis didn't bother me! I only had 40 minutes of Biking, so it worked out that I had to stay indoors. I enjoyed listening to Gwen Jorgenson. If she can set such ambitious goals after her baby and no one is making fun of her, I CAN TOO! On top of that I also did yoga, and all my drills plus some bonus drills that I'm adding to my coaches list for my groin. The instability in my pelvis needs to go away. Des Linden got me through the yoga and drills.
Friday: 1/5 I ran outdoors in the snow for 15 minutes with walking on either side for a total of 55 minutes. My calf didn't cause me any trouble, so I think it's safe to say that as long as I stay on top of the strength training, and stretching and rolling, My calf should be back to its normal self (although I need to make it better than that, obviously!)
Saturday: 1/6 It's weird to take a day off when you're hardly doing anything. I was tempted to do some Cross Training, but instead I focused on doing drills and I got some yoga in at night.
Sunday: 1/7 This run was everything. I walked 10 minutes, then I ran 25. 25 amazingly awesome (and surprisingly easy) minutes! After all this time, I finally felt strong and like I could trust my body! I went downhill, I went up hill, and I ran somewhere in the 8:15/mi pace which is way faster than I thought would feel easy. It just goes to show that the cross training on the Bike is paying off for the cardiovascular element, and the strength training is really getting my legs ready to bare the extra weight I still have from pregnancy. I finished up with a 10 minute walk.
TOTAL: 7 miles So I did a total of 7 miles running. Not very impressive, I know. I'll just remember how far I've come when I get to Boston (and beyond). However, if you don't look at the miles, and just look at the minutes, I did 3 hours and 24 minutes, and that isn't all that bad for time on feet at this early stage.
Here are some products mentioned or seen in this post. Every product below I have and use often. Each one plays a key role in getting me to the next level! If you're interested in getting any of these, the links provided below also support this blog. Thanks!
It's no secret I've been trying to Monetize my blog since earlier this month. I intend to mostly continue on doing what I'd normally do... I'm just pushing myself to actually follow through and write. If applicable, I've started to include links to products directly related to the topic I'm covering... (so if you see one, and it's something you're interested in, help a girl out!)
I was blogging anyway, why not try to make something of it?
In the process of learning the ins-and-outs of having a blog to make money (even if your goal is, say, gas money?), I've created a Pinterest. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm way behind on this stuff. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the little "Promote" icon and I followed my curiosity to pay for an advertisement. I scheduled to pay a whopping $2.00 (because.... I still need to pay for gas) to promote a post I wrote a long time ago and just recently edited and linked to the products I originally mentioned. This post was organically created, and was the most "pinterest worthy" post I had... so it made sense to experiment with the promotion features with this particular post.
It was titled "10 Things they DON'T tell You: POSTPARTUM" and if you don't remember, this was the image that I soon found out was not worthy of an advertisement:
Still tweaking some things on the new blog location, but thanks for your input and patience so far!
Today I have a review for you, my first one! When I put the Milkies Milk-Saver on my instagram story, I got SO MANY comments about it. Where to get it, how it worked etc. etc.
SO, without further a-do, I give you my first ever YouTube video review. I've got some other running and non-running things I want to review so subscribe to my channel so you can get it first! Also, if you like the product, help a sister out and follow the Amazon link below to purchase!
It's a very popular topic. You see it everywhere on facebook, twitter, instagram. People (especially women) posting pictures of their transformations along with a lengthy post about how they have changed and feel great about their body, and just look at how it's changed.... Now, I have no problem with the programs themselves or the message people are trying to portray. It sells, I guess. Image sells.
I'm ONE WEEK postpartum today, and starting to feel human again. I managed to get myself out of the house a few times and everywhere I've gone I've been told how I look amazing. I think I do! I worked hard! BUT as much as I'm happy to look good, how I feel and what I'm able to do is much more important!
I think it's time we change the conversation from "Body Image" to "Body Function". Is it just semantics? Maybe... But removing the word "image" removes the idea that what you look like has a direct correlation on what you can do and it's simply not always true.
I don't post about Body Image because I'm not concerned about what my body looks like but I am concerned about its function all the time! If we put the focus into the function, the physical changes will follow suit. At the moment I couldn't tell you how much weight I have lost because I have not stepped on a scale. In fact I never knew exactly how much I gained (I know I weighted 167lbs on my last appointment, but I never knew what I started at). I can tell you that although I feel like my image is going to bounce right back, I'm putting all of my focus on the function.
I have some joint dysfunction right now. My pelvis and pubic bones feel abused... standing on one leg is a struggle, and since running is entirely done on one leg that is something I absolutely need to correct. I'm still unable to use my abs to sit up, and my upper abdominal muscles still feel like I have a baby stretching them out. Maybe it's from carrying a nearly 9lb kid (as opposed to the 7lb kid I carried the first time) Maybe it's because I ran longer than I should have, maybe it's just normal and since I'm chasing after a 2 year old I notice it more... I don't know... But I do know with 100% honesty that I'm not concerned with my image at all... and for you pregnant mamas following along or postpartum mamas that are worried or feeling down from stretch marks...
....Focus on improving what your body can do, your body function, and you will create a spiral of positivity that will change how you perceive yourself, which will change how others perceive you, and THAT is the only way to change your body image.
Since Baby #2 is going to be making its way into the world in these upcoming days or weeks... I have been reflecting and thinking a lot about my first experience with Raea. I thought I'd take the opportunity to blog about it since I never did before.
Let me preface by saying that although it is nearly two years later, I remember most details. I remember being in the worst pain I've ever felt (until the pain got worse... which it did) and looking up at my husband between vomiting and contractions and saying "I'm not going to be one of those women who forgets how painful this is! I'm going to remember this!" and I'm almost certain I have... One thing I wish I did was have more photos. I had my professional camera for once the baby came, but wanted Matt to be "in the moment" and didn't want to give him photography duty... Now I realize how long labor is... We will have more photos this time!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!