Sunday, October 29, 2017

Half Marathon Training: Week 2 Recap

Hello! I am going to make this recap short and sweet since today was a long day for me. My little one didn't take any of her naps today which made for a very fussy baby and two crabby parents. Anyways here's how my week looked:

MONDAY: Once again I started the week with a beer. No workout, no running...just some good ol' carbs to prepare for the week.

TUESDAY: San Diego got a pretty intense heat wave so I ran on the treadmill. I once again used the app Aaptiv to get a quick interval run. I modified my run since I felt the speed they recommended was a bit too slow even for me. I ran a total of 3 miles and felt much stronger afterwards.

WEDNESDAY: Once again it was another hot day in San Diego so the plan was to do another run on the treadmill. Unfortunately my daughter didn't agree with my plan and woke up way to soon from her nap. Needless to say I only ran half a mile before I had to stop. Oh well!

THURSDAY: With much cooler temps, I bolted to the bay and ran four miles with the stroller. Man it felt great to get outside again! My run wasn't the worst but it also wasn't the greatest. Four miles is still tough with a stroller but I felt better than last week so I definitely noticed an improvement. 

FRIDAY: It was was supposed to be my "long run" day (and by long run I mean just five miles) but once again my little running partner had other plans. At least she let me run 3.24 miles before she started to get pretty fussy. I realized that 3-4 miles might be her sweet spot so anything more than that I may have to run by myself. 

SATURDAY: Rest day for me. 

SUNDAY: I realized that my training week starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday (which happens to be today). Since the weather was amazing this morning, I asked my husband if he could watch the baby while I did my five mile run. Today was the first time I ran outside without the baby and stroller. It was nice to have some "me" time but I realized I missed the company. I guess that motivated me to run faster because I did WAY better than I thought I would. It made me really excited and hopeful that I may do well on this half marathon after all.

So a few things I realized this week:
  • Running with a stroller is a lot harder than I thought. I am way slower running with it. 
  • Even though running with a stroller is hard, I truly enjoy it because of the company. I love having my baby around me. 
  • I am more flexible than I thought I was. This week I had two days in which my runs had to be stopped due to the baby. In the past if I missed a run I felt guilty and tried to catch up on my miles on another day. My approach is way different this time around. If I miss them then oh well. Life goes on. 
  • Oh yeah...In my mind I could have sworn the race was on 1/21/18 but nope it is on 1/14/18! So that means I am running with one less week of training. Whoops!
This coming week I am hoping to tie in some strength work, add more speed work, make my long run six miles, and start incorporating the foam roller or stretch more. My mileage is going to slowly start increasing in the upcoming weeks so I have to get better at recovery. I'll be honest I hate the foam roller. If I could stretch a bit more post runs, I think I can avoid the foam roll all together. We shall see.  So there you have it folks. Week 2 done! Have a great week.

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Twitter: fitwrunner
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Half Marathon Training: Week 1 Recap

Well, I can officially say I survived my first week of training for my upcoming half marathon! I was even surprised I managed to workout 5 days out of the week with a newborn. Somehow I was able to sneak in my runs during her nap times which worked out perfectly. Hopefully this continues but I'm not holding my breath. This little one has a mind of her own. Also, this past week we had a break in the weather and actually had some really cool temps...the perfect running weather! I made sure to take advantage because Mother Nature is drunk and this coming week it's expected to get into the 90s! The 90s in late October?!?! That is just unheard of but whatever. Anyways here is a quick recap on how my week went.

MONDAY: Okay so don't laugh or judge me, but I started my training by taking a rest day and drinking a beer. It wasn't my intention, but the day got busy.  When I finally put my baby down for the night, the last thing I wanted to do was hop on the treadmill. Soooo I drank a beer to celebrate the beginning of Week 1 instead. 

TUESDAY: So Tuesday was really the first real day of training. I wanted to just get a feel of how I felt running after last week. Remember I barely got cleared just last week so it's like starting from scratch. I decided to just run three miles to get an idea of where I stood. Well, I managed to finish the three miles but it wasn't pretty. It was hot. I was slow. I even kind of felt awkward running. I finished though and I just told myself that at least I am going forward. 

WEDNESDAY: I really wanted to run outside but I wasn't able to leave the house, so I hopped on the treadmill for Wednesday's workout. It was actually the first time back on since I was pregnant. It was also my first run all by myself. Up until then, all my runs postpartum had been with my baby in the stroller. It felt kind of liberating but I actually missed her. She's turned into my little running buddy. One of the accounts I follow on Instagram posted an interval workout that included an 800 meter run, burpees, and squats. Since I needed to run and also work on strengthening my legs and core, I modified her workout. I started of by running a slow 800 meter warm-up, followed by four sets of intervals that were composed of a faster 800 meter run, burpees, and squats. I then finished it with an 800 meter cool down run. Needless to say, I was drained by the end of this workout. 

THURSDAY: Sadly, even though the weather was nice, I had to also make Thursday's workout indoors on my treadmill. To make things a bit more interesting though, I used the app Aaptiv. Have you tried it before? I got a free two week membership to give it a try. Basically I chose a treadmill workout and someone coached me through it with music in the background. It was kind of cool but I still need to play with the app a bit more before I am truly sold on it. Either way I managed to do some more interval work but this time just running. My body was happy that I didn't have to do anymore burpees or squats. 

FRIDAY: The weather was perfect! It was in the 60s with some light drizzle. I took advantage and went to Lake Murray to log in some miles. I wanted to push myself by running four miles. I know it may not sound like much since I was used to running longer distances but the key word is "used" to.  Those four miles were tough. Even with the cooler temps, I still was exhausted when I finished. I was actually surprised my baby didn't fuss during the run since it's the longest she has been in the stroller. 

SATURDAY: Saturday was all about cross training. I went to a spin class hosted by the San Diego Sweat Pink Chapter. I am a member of the community so it was fun to meet up with other amazing ladies and get our sweat on early in the morning. There were goodies at the end and some lucky ladies actually walked away with some cool prizes. If you are in San Diego and want to join our community, email me and I'll get you in contact with the right people. The more the merrier. Anyways, the workout was a lot of fun. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I loved taking spin classes while I was pregnant. I really enjoined hoping back on the bike.

So what's in store for this coming week? Well I am going to aim for a five mile run, more interval work, strength training, and I'll be bringing out the foam roll. My legs aren't as sore as I thought they would be but I need to get better at stretching at the end of my workouts. That's where the foam roll will come into play. I have a very serious love/hate relationship with it, but I think most people typically do. Thanks for following me in this postpartum fitness journey. See you guys next week to recap Week 2 of my half marathon training. If you can't wait until next weekend, then come follow me and my workouts on Instagram. Have a great week everyone!

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Monday, October 16, 2017

Training For My First Race Postpartum

When I was barely nine weeks pregnant I completed a half marathon. I had been given the green light from my doctor, so I finished that race with my little bundle of joy inside me. That race is one of my favorite half marathons so I was actually really happy that I was able to complete it. And I still felt great afterwards so that was an added bonus. Immediately after the race was over (maybe about a week later) I signed up for the 2018 race knowing I would only be a few months postpartum. I figured it would be my motivation to get back into shape. Well now that I am officially cleared to run and workout, I have 14 weeks to get ready for the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

Usually before I start my training for any race I set a goal. I like to write down what I want to accomplish just so that I can keep myself accountable. This time around I am having a hard time figuring out what my main goal will be. I have been eyeing a PR, but lets be honest I would probably cause more harm to my body if I push for that. It took nine months (technically10) to create my tiny little human being, so I imagine it will take that long for everything to fall back into place. 

I know there are some female runners that can just pick up where they left off but I am unfortunately not one of those. Last week was my first time running and I can say with all honesty that I ran faster while being pregnant. Yeah I didn't expect that but hey I am rolling with the punches. I figured I would be slow but not that slow. Take in mind though, I am now running with a stroller so that is something I have to get used to. Something else I have to get used to is being more flexible. There will be days when I know I won't be able to run or workout because the baby will require my attention. Also, I am still trying to figure out this whole nursing and running thing. I literally have to plan my days around my baby's naps and feedings. So knowing all of this, it makes it a bit hard to set a goal and create an adequate training plan.  

What I've decided is to go week by week and modify my training plan accordingly. For the most part I'll shoot for 3-4 weekly runs, but I am not going to be worried about time. I figure the time will start to go down further along. I'm thinking half way through my training I'll get an idea of what my pace will be for the race. I'll also incorporate at least 2-3 weight lifting days to get back the muscle I lost during pregnancy. In the past, weight lifting has helped me strengthen muscles pivotal in running and in turn helped me get faster (double bonus). Stamina is what I am most worried about this time around. Last week the most I was able run was three miles and I was huffing and puffing to finish that. I'm hopeful that each week my stamina will get better...fingers crossed. Lastly, I am hoping to find the time to blog about my first race postpartum. I am going to shoot for posting my weekly training workouts on either Sunday or Monday. So follow me along on my training for my first race postpartum!

Any new moms out there training for their first race?
(would love to hear from you)

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Surviving The First Six Weeks Postpartum

When I became pregnant I started reading on what to expect during the 40 weeks. I read articles online, blogs, books, and even talked to my friends that have had kids. When it came to labor, I knew what to expect since I've attended many deliveries for my job. Sure my birth story was not what I initially wanted but in the end I received a beautiful baby girl. What people didn't warn me about (and what I failed to research) was what would happen after birth. Yeah, nobody likes talking about it because it isn't pleasant. They want you to be all happy with your baby and not be tainted by what your body goes through afterwards. 

So yeah, postpartum completely took me by surprise. Somehow I just assumed that once the baby came out, my body would go back to normal. I mean seriously what was I thinking? I knew I would be lacking sleep but the rest of the stuff that came along was a little bit of a shock to me. 

*This blog entry may contain a bit of TMI so if you don't care to read about what the female body goes through after having a baby then I suggest you check my blog later. *

Oh recovery! Yeah, I am now six weeks postpartum and am finally starting to feel "normal." I had many complications during my labor so it made my recovery a bit tough. During my long labor, I had to receive many fluids and wasn't able to move around. Well those fluids kind of just stayed around. I literally weighed more after giving birth because I was retaining so much fluid. My ankles were non-existent. The swelling subsided I want to say around the beginning of week two. Luckily since I had gained minimal weight during my pregnancy, once the swelling was gone I was pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Immediately after giving birth the process of learning how to breast feed began. Right away my little one latched on and went to town. Unfortunately she wasn't latching correctly so my nipples cracked within the first 24 hours. My milk came within three days but the damage had been done and every time she latched it felt like someone was stabbing my breast with a sharp knife. This happened for about two weeks. I would cry every time she ate due to the immense pain and on top of that I was having to deal with engorgement issues. Now I know why women give up on breastfeeding early on. I had to keep reminding myself that this was all for her. With the help of a lactation consultant and my very good friend from college, I was able to receive great advice on breastfeeding and managed to push through the pain. 

Now, the bleeding...yeah I just assumed I would only bleed for a few days like a period. Once again, what the hell was I thinking? I bleed for four weeks. I am not kidding when I say that big blood clots kept coming out of me almost daily the first week. At this point it seriously felt as if some type of fluid was leaking out of my body from every orifice. I remember being so happy when I transitioned to a panty liner instead of wearing those huge pads. It felt like I was wearing a diaper. I practically lived in pajamas or very loose workout clothes for those four weeks. Wearing tights/leggings was just not an option for the first few weeks.

Okay, probably the most unpleasant things after birth (for me) were the healing of my stitches and the hemorrhoids. Both were incredibly unpleasant and unwanted. Sitting down was painful. I was this close to asking my husband to run to the store and get me one of those donuts to sit on. The stitches took longer to heal because of where they were. Whenever I used the restroom, it felt like they were tearing and opening up. But I have to say the worst of it was dealing with the hemorrhoids. Actually my constipation led to the hemorrhoids but they kind of go hand in hand. I guess it's completely normal to develop hemorrhoids after pregnancy...something I probably would have liked to know prior. Running used to help me keep regular but since I wasn't cleared for that yet I had to try other things. I tried everything to fix my constipation: drink more water, increase fiber intake, eat prunes, even taking both a pill and powdered stool softeners. I would cringe every time I had to use the restroom. There were many times I would just cry in the toilet from the pain of using the restroom. 

Oh and to top it all off, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression very early on. Something I never thought would happen to me but it did. My husband noticed it right away which made me be proactive and seek help immediately. Luckily I was seen right away with a therapist and a specialized OBGYN that deals with mothers with postpartum depression. I even joined a support group that has helped me out a lot. Of all the things that were happening to my body, this one was probably the scariest. I literally have no control over how I am feeling. The hormones are causing my emotions to be all over the place. Early on, I would cry for no reason and I lost pleasure in doing things that I used to like. It was as if I was having an out of body experience. Unfortunately, I am still dealing with this and will be for awhile. It honestly feels like I've lost myself and am now on a journey to finding myself back. Not sure how long it will take but I'm trying. 

When you combine all these things and add on to the fact that you aren't able to run/workout, it makes for a very miserable first few weeks after having a baby. Walks helped but it was never enough. I never realized how much I needed running in my life. I've always said that running is my therapy and it couldn't be more true now more than ever. Luckily this week I got cleared and am now able to lace up my running shoes and log in some miles! I have a new running partner with me which is making running 10x more enjoyable than before. 😀

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons