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! 


  1. Do you have a front pack for your little one? I found that one of the best ways to walk with a little one until you are comfortable with using a jogging stroller. You can walk at a pretty good pace and you are caring a little extra weight, so it gives you a little extra workout. I have 3 boys and I tried a bunch of front packs and despite being a little pricey, I loved the Baby Bjorn. I used that thing every single day until my boy were too heavy to carry anymore! When you do look to get a jogger, I would suggest to get an InStep or Schwinn. I have never owned a BOB (I could never justify spending that much on a stroller), but the InStep or Schwinn are (to me anyways) more mid ranged prices and they are great. I still use my Schwinn with my now 4 year old and it still pushes with ease.
    Good luck getting back into shape! It might take a while, but you can do it!!

  2. Babywearing was a lifesaver for me when my daughter was born. I would do your research on the benefits of babywearing and the various types of carriers available on the market. I would not choose a carrier that places baby face out - research shows that it can cause spinal problems (and its just plain uncomfortable) for the baby. Rather look for a carrier or wrap that allows you to back carry, or carry baby on your chest with her facing inward. I started out with a wrap but did not care for all the fabric and wrapping that came with it. I was happiest with a soft shell carrier - like an Ergo or a Mei Tai. I know Ergo has carriers specifically tailored for outdoors/warmer weather that would help keep things cool during warmer months.

    Also, you may be able to find a babywearing group or class in your area that can give you some hands-on experience before deciding which one is right for you. I cannot tell you how much babywearing saved my life and my arms and back, etc.

    The best thing my midwife told me was to give myself a whole year to get back to my pre-baby body. Its unrealistic to think we can grow a human being for 9-10 months, and then just snap back into our pre-baby bodies. I really listened to my body and followed what I was ready for on my own time vs. what anyone else thought and I found that is what worked best for me. I would keep up with the breastfeeding because that will help you go back down faster as well. It might feel like it is taking forever to bounce back but after that year's time you'll look back and marvel at how fast it all went by.

  3. How do I follow your blog?? Are you on bloglovin? Maybe I'm a little blind but i can't find "subscribe" or "follow me" anywhere! :-)

  4. I've been using the Zombie challenge for 3 weeks now. I've never done the running thing before but it seems really good. I know that if I didn't have a woman talking in my ear then I would struggle to get motivated to do it. One thing that's really making me struggle at the moment is my breathing, I too am Asthmatic and I've not really got to terms with it yet. When I'm struggling during a run I tend to not take my inhaler because I want to try and wean myself off of it. I still don't know if that's possible. I've read lots of places that exercise improves asthma, is this true?

    Congratulations on the newborn!


  5. Just found your blog, it's wonderful! I'm so worried about running with asthma. And I was excited to hear you are from Oklahoma too, so you know the allergy struggle of our state and it's ridiculous bipolar seasons. Thanks for posting things to help motivate and inform about running with asthma. I have wanted to start running, but there isn't a great variety of info out there for it.

    Congrats on your little one! I have two little boys who have walked a couple of 5k's with me like champs (my youngest just had his first birthday a few months before his first walk, he did better than the 4 year old), pretty soon you and her can have awesome matching tutus and fun running/walking together!

  6. Thanks for the shout-out, Ros! I hope my blog can also inspire your readers with asthma to get out there and start running! Good luck with the newest addition to your family and your route back to running :)