Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mommy Workout Series: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Hey guys!

Like most moms of active toddlers I've got a very little free time. I count myself lucky if I can pee alone these days, let alone squeeze in a workout. As a result, I've had to get a little creative in the ways I get my daily burn. After a particularly rough day with Audrey, I was laying in bed trying to honestly think of a point in my day where she was even remotely occupied enough that I could workout AND not in need of my help and it hit me: During her morning preschool shows!

We don't watch a lot of tv around here, but every morning I usually turn on one of the typical toddler shows (like Sesame Street or Sophia the First) and she likes to watch, dance to the songs, and bring her toys to show her tv friends. It's not like I can leave her long, but generally she is occupied enough that I can do my own thing nearby, so that's where I got the idea to create workouts specifically for that golden hour of not-so-free-but-slightly-less-hectic time.

I present to you, The Life's a Wheeze Mommy Workout Series! I will be featuring a new kids show regularly (hopefully once a week) with a workout to go with. I'd love to hear what suggestions you have for shows and any feedback on the workouts (too hard/easy) but I tried this one out and it kicked my booty! I will try to keep these equipment free so that there's even less excuse to miss a workout. I have a few others already started, but the first in the Series is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Workout! We love Mickey Mouse around here and Audrey does too.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm back! First Post-Baby 5k Recap

Hey guys! I'm really back! A week ago I ran in my first 5k back after baby and it felt awesome to get back out there!  (Exclamation Point!! Sorry - can you tell i'm excited??)

I had been meaning to do a race for a while now ( I have been walking a lot and even running a bit) but I just haven't felt like I was ready for a race. However lately a bunch of awesome things fell into place:
  • Kevin got a great new job! It was really hard to give up working together because we really do love it, but this was an amazing opportunity for him so he decided to take it. This was super awesome because it helped lead to....
  • I went part time! We kept debating doing this for a while and we finally decided that it was the best thing for our little family if I could be home more with the baby and we could avoid daycare (grandma watches her 2 days a week). I will also be starting a new job next week and I'm really looking forward to a less stressful environment. Obviously this will make it a lot easier to sneak in some running time on my days at home too!
  • I quit breastfeeding! I made it 9 months with her but I was sooooo ready to give it up even if I did feel guilty about it. I may do a post on my thoughts about it one day, but for now the big thing is I can now take all of my allergy and asthma meds again and I feel healthier than I have in ages. This was huge for me. 
  • Audrey can run! She is officially old enough to ride in the jogging stroller and she actually seems to like it. Yay for being able to run without coordinating babysitting, although I still have to worry about mosquitos and the 100 degree heat.
So all of these things sort of happened at once and then on top of it Kevin's sister (Katie) has started trying to do a couch to 5k program and asked us if we wanted to do a glow run with her again. We agreed and that's how I ended up doing this race. 

The race she chose was the Oklahoma City GloRun 5k. Here's a snippet about the cause it supports:
Proceeds from the race will benefit The Referral Center (TRC). TRC is a local government funded non-profit medically supervised detox facility located here in OKC. We provide full medical care and counseling to those going through drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
The race was pretty pricey for a 5k with no medal ($40 when I signed up) but I was still excited to try it out and the park it was hosted in is the park I do a lot of my training runs in anyways so I knew it would be a good one to start back up.

Packet pickup started at 6pm that night near the start/finish line of the course and there were a few fun activities. Once you picked up your bib there was a DJ playing fun dance music, glow paint stations, places to buy glowing tutus and tiaras, and a shaved ice truck. There may have been more going on but we got there fairly close to the start of the race and it was a little crowded so we didn't do much wandering around.

After we picked up our packets we pinned on our bibs and got our glow sticks all lit up and ready to go. I decided not to dress up a lot this race (I'm still feeling a little self-conscious post baby) but I'm pretty sure I will start back up again soon. Katie did dress up and got lots of compliments and it made me really miss running in a tutu! I did have really awesome led laces and some glow face paint. By the way: glow face paint doesn't glow during runs. Lame.

We snapped a bunch of pics and then it was time for the 1 mile race to begin. The race was a little weird because the start and finish line were the same location for both races. The problem with that was that they had the 1 milers run and then made the 5k runners line up and then the 1 milers were coming back into the mob. The DJ saved it when he told the 5k runners to make a tunnel and cheer on the 1 milers but it seemed pretty disorganized. In addition there were no volunteers stationed at the parking lot that connected to the race route so there were people accidentally driving down the race route for the 1 milers. That got straightened out fairly quickly though!

After the last of the 1 milers made it back it was time to start the 5k. The course itself wound around the park through trees and plenty of dark areas and had small rolling hills. It was cool with everyone wearing LED and glow in the dark gear. Before the race, Kevin and I agreed we would walk most of it since he hasn't run at all in over a year and I've only done a few 1 mile bursts. That plan went out the window when Katie wanted to stick to her training plan (she's doing couch to 5k and it had set intervals she was supposed to run that night) and we didn't want to get split up, so we decided to try sticking with her as long as we could.

The course itself was pretty simple, with  two "glow tunnels" along the way (big black tunnels with black lights and bright paint designs) and not much else to make it a glow run. We could hear the DJ for the majority of the race and it was a fun way to cheer us on. There were also volunteers every quarter of a mile or so with flashlights pointing in the right direction (the path was very well marked).

I felt great the first mile or so but then started to have a little trouble keeping up with Katie (she was supposed to run 5 min straight at one point) so we had to slow down and take shorter intervals. We did manage to keep an average pace of about 14:40 overall including stops to take pictures and fix my shoelaces (they were the light up kind and they kept falling off!) several times. We had seriously planned to walk it so I was glad that we managed to jog as much as we did.

fake running shots are a must

Running next to Kevin again was great. We don't get a lot of time for us as a couple anymore because of the baby so it felt great to be next to him doing something that made me feel like I can only describe as "home". I had no idea how much I missed running in general, but especially having time for the two of us. When we run together we tease each other and talk about the course or silly little things that pop in our heads. Getting too cheesy here sorry, but spending time with him without cell phones, computers, work talk, or baby talk really is the best feeling. I'm one lucky girl!

After about 2.5 miles I guess Katie finished her training plan and started to slow down (it has set intervals for a certain amount of time) so we caught up with her and kept together to almost the finish line. She wanted to sprint to the end about a quarter mile away and we waited a little longer. Once we finished we got our finisher ribbons and cheered on other runners behind us.

Overall I had a great time, but there were some things I didn't like, so I'll break it down for you:

  • The good:
    • The DJ was a nice touch and he was playing some great music and saved a lot of awkward situations
    • The event in general was run by really nice people. Everyone we talked to seemed really sweet and supportive and there was a lot of cheering going on along the sidelines. 
    • The course was well really well marked.
  • The bad:
    • The parking situation was not clear at all. The race blocked off one of the major parking lots for the park so a lot of people (myself included) were trapped until the last people finished the race and as I said before, some were even driving down the course. 
  • The ugly:
    • There were no water stops along the course. The race was advertised as a family race and there were lots of small kids (under 10) trying to run and these poor kiddos were complaining they were thirsty. Considering we were running in the dark in 100 degree heat, I think it's even more important to provide water for everyone.
Well that wraps up this race recap! I had a blast getting back out there, but I don't think it was the most organized race. I think I'd do it again if they could make a few improvements and/or lower the price. See you soon guys!

** Sorry night races = crappy pics. I promise to take better pics next time!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

long time no see!

I've missed you guys! Sorry it's been so long. My little girl is officially over 6 months old now (wow time flies) and I think I'm actually ready to get back into the world of running again. I thought I was before but hah! lol

*If you don't want to hear about breastfeeding woes, skip this part and know that it says blah blah blah excuse blah blah want to get back out there lol*

I tried running a few times while I was away from the blog but it always ended badly. I couldn't take my allergy meds (still breastfeeding and it decreases your supply) so my asthma hasn't been cooperating. However, my girl is now 6 months old and I'm so proud we made it this long while breastfeeding. I was planning on going a full year (and still hope to), but things have been tricky. I've always had issues with supply and had to supplement with formula from the start (drs orders) but I tried everything to increase my supply. It just never happened. Then I found out my little one has reflux and we started to realize that she does so much better with formula. I know that's not true for most people and I seriously DO recommend you breastfeed if you can, but for us it's always been a struggle because breast milk makes my little one sick. Anyways, long story short, I'm starting back up my allergy medicines now. I've come to the conclusion that running and being a healthy (both emotionally and physically) mom is way more important to my little girls overall health than maybe an extra ounce of breast milk a day. I will still keep breastfeeding and hope to make it to the year mark, but I've finally decided to allow myself to be ok with taking care of myself too.

*okay we're done now!*

The point is, I'm really ready to commit to being healthy again and I'd love all the support I can get! Once Audrey is 8 months old (on July 4th), I'm allowed to start running with her. In order to ramp up to running I will be walking at least one mile every day (and hopefully more some days( until that day and I plan to do a 5k on the 4th of July as well. If you are trying to start up exercising again, or maybe doing it for the first time, send me an email and we can harass each other into actually sticking to our goals! Who's with me? Please, PLEASE don't be shy. Let's actually do this!

I really will try to post more I pinky swear! I had no idea how incredibly time consuming having a little baby at home and working with an hour commute each way would be! Eek! Speaking of my little girl, here's some obligatory cute baby (and daddy) pics!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Starting Over

Before I tell you what's going on with me I'd like to take a minute to give a shoutout to a reader Alex who is running the London Marathon in 2014 and raising money for Asthma UK. It's a great cause so please go visit his site and donate! Thanks Alex for getting out there and raising money for such a great cause! Okay back to the regular blog post...

So I'm one month into life with a newborn and I've come to one conclusion: Mom's are superheros. Seriously I have all the support in the world including an amazing husband that often works from home, both sets of grandparents within 6 miles that often bring us meals, my sister constantly offering to babysit, etc. Somehow this is still the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding. I love my little girl to pieces!

Okay so back to running topics: I've been trying to get out and start walking. I'm not really cleared to run yet (in 2 weeks I have my follow up appointment with my dr and hopefully then I can). However even walking has been a little hard on me. Don't want to get into the gory details, but it's not asthma related and I'm still healing. However I have gotten out to walk a mile or so almost every day and I'm hoping that I will start slowly running again by Christmas. My asthma has actually been fabulous despite having to cut back on medications because I'm breastfeeding. 

Here's my rough plan to get back into the swing of things:
  1. Walk a mile or more daily until I'm healed enough to run. I have no idea when this will be, but I'm guessing by Christmas.
  2. Do a couch to 5k program. I started an app right before I found out I was pregnant and had to stop running. The app was called Zombies, Run! It's an 8 week 5k program and it plays your music plus has triggers to tell you when to run/walk. In addition there's a story-line going on about zombies that's fun. I love all things zombies  (The Walking Dead and I are close friends) and thought the app was a cute way to get you interested in running so I think I may try it again. It's extra motivation to run when you hear zombies chasing you!
  3. Sign up for some 5k races. I think the best way to stay motivated is to actually run races. I doubt I'll have time to do intricate costumes like I used to but it's still fun to get out there and run with other people. I plan to do 5ks for a while before I jump back into half marathons. 
  4. Sign up for a half marathon. Once I feel comfortable with 5ks again I'll start training for a half and sign up for a fun one. Right now I'm considering Disney Wine and Dine,  Rock n Roll Vegas, and potentially waiting until 2015 for WDW or Princess. 
I feel optimistic that 2014 will be a good year of running for me and I'm excited to start things off as soon as I'm really able to. However, running with a newborn has lots of challenges (especially as a breastfeeding mom)! Here's some I've already figured out (some are obvious, some were unexpected!) and some ideas I have to overcome them:
  • You can't run with babies. I totally thought that I'd buy a jogging stroller and be running around the neighborhood as soon as I could walk again. WRONG. Apparently it's not safe to jog with a baby until they are at least 6 months old, and a lot of doctors recommend waiting a full year. Who knew? I haven't talked to our pediatrician yet about jogging, but I will soon to find out what she recommends for when we can use a jogging stroller. However, in the mean time I plan to try to do my runs/walks around the neighborhood and have my husband watch the baby while I'm out. By running close to home I'll save some time and could be back quickly if he needed me. 
  • Breastfeeding is a huge time commitment. Breastfeeding is incredibly beneficial to babies, but it's also time consuming! One thing I didn't realize before having a baby was that even if you pump ahead of time and choose to give the baby a bottle, you still have to pump again while they eat. So in other words, every time they eat you have to get milk out whether through directly breastfeeding or pumping or else your milk supply will decrease. So that means you can't take a break to go run while she has a bottle. Again, I plan to run near home to help with this one. That way I can feed her right before I leave and as soon as I get back. Also by choosing to run shorter distances for now until she is going longer between feedings will help. 
  • Having a newborn is exhausting. I'm running on fumes most days because our little girl rarely sleeps more than 2-3 hours at a time. It's totally normal, but hard to motivate yourself to get out the door and run when you can't keep your eyes open. To combat this problem I plan to find little ways to motivate myself, like podcasts, the zombie app, etc to keep me wanting to go back out and run. Races also make me excited to run even on my worst day so I hope to do at least one a month!
  • Your body changes drastically. Obviously I've got some extra weight on me, which is a bummer. That means that most of my workout clothes are tight, but luckily I had a few things that were big before that now fit me. What I didn't expect was that my shoe size changed. You guys, I have giant feet. We are talking monster size! Then after the baby I went up at least a full shoe size ( I haven't been fitted yet). My running shoes no longer fit which is a giant bummer because they were brand new! Lucky for me, my mom has a pair that fits me that she doesn't use. They are no where near ideal, but they work for now! I'm hoping santa brings me a good pair of sneakers for christmas! 
So does any one else have any suggestions for overcoming some of the obstacles that come with a newborn? I'll take all the help I can get!