Sunday, December 18, 2011

Post Pregnancy Work Out Progess Report and Tips

Sorry it has been a while. My husband went back to work on the 6th. With Christmas and a new baby, I don't have much time for anything else.

Any how, I want to summarize where I am at (currently 9 weeks post baby as of tomorrow) and give some advice after going through this process.

Apparel - All my pre pregnancy work out clothes fit me (some a little tighter than others), so I didn't have to buy anything new. I thought I would need something to keep my tummy in place, but I didn't. When I ran it felt like running on the heaviest day of my period. Now I only feel that way when I get to mile three, just shows my body is adjusting back. If you want to invest money in post pregnancy work out gear get some good sports bras. A nursing sports bra isn't necessary, but would be convenient. I just wear my pre pregnancy bras with a nursing pad in them to be on the safe side. They are REALLY tight and I am showing a little more cleavage than I would like, but they keep my boobs in place. It is not worth it to me to invest in new ones just for a couple month. I am going to need to replace all my sports bras soon any way.

Diet - If you read my blog regularly you probably know that I don't diet. I just try to eat as healthy as I can as often as possible, eating treats in moderation. I haven't put myself on a diet after pregnancy either (all the Halloween candy and holiday food is making it really hard!!!). I admit I have eaten desert almost every night (usually ice cream). I figure if I am working out almost every day and nursing, I can have a treat. I try to eat healthy the rest of the time though, eating as little processed food as possible, knowing grabbing an apple or some whole almonds is going to give me a lot more energy than those 100 cal packs with chocolate covered pretzels.

At 7 weeks pp, I had 9 pounds left to lose of the 25 I gained during pregnancy. I figure 3 of that is on my thighs, four of is around my belly, and the remaining 2 is in my boobs. I was surprised I hadn't lost more, but I am sure I am gaining back the muscle mass I lost from not working out as hard during pregnancy. (You should see my biceps now ;) ).

Exercise - Patients is key here. It is all coming back, but slowly. I can now run three miles no problem, even with the running stroller. My pace is down to the ten minute mile area, but I have had miles in the nine minute range with even spurts in the eight minute pace. When I started I though it would be forever for me to get fast again. With race season approaching I need to start working on distance and throw in some speed training during the week. Thirty Day Shred is going well. It has made a huge difference in my strength and endurance. I can notice the enhancements it has made to my running and the reduction in aches and pains in carrying around Hailey all day long.

In summary, I cannot stress enough to get in the best shape of your life before you get pregnant and stay as active as you can through out. It will make the process so much easier. I have had moms comment on how surprised they were with how early I went back to exercising (two and a half weeks). I felt fine at that point. I really think being in top shape helped. I haven't run a full marathon yet, but it has to be easier than having a baby. Treat having a baby like you are training for a marathon that never ends. It will make life so much easier in the long run.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Started 30 Day Shred

This week I finally felt strong enough again to start 30 Day Shred. For those who don't know, that is a Jillian Michael's work out DVD. There are three different levels of 20 minute work outs (30 if you count warm up and cool down). Ten days is spent on each level, equalling a 30 day program. I however, did not know the exercises were to be done consecutively over 30 days. My plan is to do the work out on my strength training days, so one day running, one day with Jillian.

I have done two days on level one so far. I am loving it. She keeps me moving and I am dripping sweat by the time I am done. It goes so fast. It is the perfect work out for me at home with the baby. I took a before picture, but I won't post it yet. I will wait to see what the after picture looks like first :)

I am feeling stronger with every work out now. My running pace is down to 11:30 and I can go farther more consistently.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Launching Operation Four Pack Abs

At two weeks and two days after Hailey was born, I got permission to start working out from my doctor. She wants me to do more core work than running and I agree with her. My abs and lower back feel weak. That does not mean I did not take the opportunity the first day to go running though ;).

I ran two miles and it felt sooo incredibly good. It was a lot easier than I expected too. I ran almost the entire thing, although it did take me 30 minutes. Since then I have gone on five total runs, with an average pace of 12:30. Slow yes, but I will take it. The farthest I have run is three miles.

My current work out plan is to take 30 minutes when I have it and either go for a short run or do 30 minutes of strength training. As soon as I feel a little stronger I am going to start 30 Day Shred. At this time, I do not feel like I can make it through one of the work outs. I have gone on two runs with the jogging stroller. Hailey likes it so far, in fact some times she starts to cry when I slow down. It gives me a lot of incentive to go fast and keep running.

Hailey and I on our second family run
Operation four pack abs? It is a goal. We will see if I get there. Working out again feels so good. I feel so much better after a work out then I do a nap. H goes back to work in a couple weeks. Hopefully I can continue to get my daily work out in. Running outside will be a lot harder. I have to go to the trail to run with Hailey and I don't want to take her out in the rain or winter cold.

Monday, October 31, 2011

One Week Post Pardum

Over the past week I have had a chance to reflect on things. I have some more good stories. A lot of pregnancy books focus so much on during the pregnancy they forget to talk about what happens after. Plus this gives me a chance to share the final results of my pregnancy experience.

Where cool socks to deliver
Although, you might be want to be willing to toss them afterwards, depending on what happens. I wore knee high Seattle Seahawks socks during my labor and delivery process. They are my favorite socks.  I was going to post a link to them, but they are no longer available. They are really cushy and keep my feet warm. I got a TON of complements on them. It seems like every nurse and doctor that came in the room commented on them. Fortunately the survived the labor and delivery process to live another day.

Utilize the nurses
This is something H and I were really bad at. We really should have used them more. There were a couple of times H was sleeping and I needed help moving around with the baby. I would have gotten more sleep if I had called a nurse. Oh well.

Hospital food sucks
They brought me meals every day and it really was inedible. I wish we had packed more snacks. I wasn't ready for how hungry I would be. I ate what I would call double meals for the first three days. For breakfast I would have a scone and a ham and egg sandwich. For lunch I would have a meal plus a protien shake and for dinner I would eat dinner plus a snack about an hour later. I also keep granola bars by our nursing glider. Now I only eat maybe one in the middle of the night when I am feeding Hailey.

Weight gain and loss
My pregnancy ended with a weight gain of 25 pounds. I was up to 27, but lost two the last week I was pregnant. As of a week and a half post pardum, I lost 13 of those pounds. I never had to wear maternity pants after giving birth. I can wear all my old shirts now too. I still wear two of my GAP maternity shirts for two reasons, they are really comfy and they are really long. I highly recommend them as a gift for anyone expecting. I bought two other tanks from Old Navy and I didn't like them nearly as much. I am actually pretty happy with my body after delivery. My hips are a little wider right now (but shrinking) and I still have a little belly, but I would say I would feel confident in a bikini. I also have no stretch marks!! I am so happy and feel so lucky.
Getting energy back
Each day I have more and more energy. I feel more like myself. I am trying to take an afternoon nap, but it does not always happen. I am the worst napper. I have been taking some walks with Hailey when we have nice weather. The walks take a lot out of me, but it is nice to get outside. Each day we can go a little farther. (I also LOVE our Bob Stroller, I will post a review for it when I can start running again. Even for walks it is worth every penny.)

Night sweats
Since I am still shedding my water weight, I sweat really easily. The first day I was home and took a nap I woke up and had H bring my a towel because my neck was drenched in sweat. It felt like I had a fever, but I did not. It was weird to see muscle definition in my calves again. I had no idea how swollen I actually was. I figured I had just lost muscle tone because I was not working out as hard. It is nice to easily get my wedding ring on and off again.

Finally, since it is Halloween, I will share a picture of Hailey in her costume.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby Hailey is Here! Birth Story

I'll try to spare you guys too many gory details. If you have any specific questions go ahead an post them in the comments and I'll answer them there.

About 8am on Monday, October 17th I woke up having contractions. Not sure if I woke up because of them or it was a coincidence. I tend to get up about 8am any way. They were pretty regular to start, about three to five minutes apart, but they were short in duration 30 seconds to a minute. In relative terms they didn't hurt that much either. I felt them mostly in my back, having terrible lower back pain in between the contractions. That was worse than the contractions themselves. I was able to eat some toast for breakfast. At about 10:30 am I had a yogurt and some coffee that came back up. I think the toast stayed down though.

By 12:30 pm my contractions were feeling more regular, so we called the doctor and they had us come in. One thing I didn't know is if the clinic is open they see us in the clinic and not at the hospital. It was nice to be able to go to my regular doctor (who was in). She checked me and I was only at 2cm, but fully effaced.They hooked me up to do a non stress test to make sure the baby was doing okay. She was, so home we went. We thought about walking around, but all I wanted to do is cuddle up on the couch with the heating pad to help my back. That gave me some relief. I was able to catch up on some DVR before we were scheduled to come back in to the clinic before it closed for the day. I had a feeling even before she checked me at 4pm nothing had changed and that was the case. Home again we went.

Again I sat on the couch with my heating pad. I remember trying to watch Monday Night Football and Diner's, Drive In's, and Dives. I tried to eat some soup. As the contractions got more intense that came up though. I also remember using Guy Frier's hair to focus on through my contractions. At about 7pm is when the contractions got too intense for me and at 7:30 I told H to call the hospital. The timing and the duration of them never really changed from 8am that morning, but the intensity sure did. I could no longer focus through them. The pain had also switched off my back and more towards the front.

The ride to the hospital was traumatic, luckily we only live 15 minutes away. By 8:30 they checked me again and I was at six cm! No wonder I was in so much pain. I wanted an epidural so bad just to get some relief. They walked me back to a room and the anesthesiologist came in. He turned me on my side to clean my back. The nurses checked me again, I was at eight cm. Then my water broke. The baby's heart rate started to drop during contractions. They had me get on all fours. I was at ten centimeters and starting to feel the urge to push. It was too late for me, like it or not I was having a natural child birth. I can tell you I defiantly did not like it, but proud I did it.

Her head wasn't in quite the right position. I remember them talking about using a vacuum to help and her heart rate kept dropping during contractions, so they talked about possibly doing a c-section as well. The whole room was a blur of people and pain. I am glad I can't see well with out my glasses. In the end none of those extra things ended up happening. After about six contractions, maybe 15 to 20 minutes of pushing she was out. She was healthy and I was relieved it was over. H didn't have a chance to even park the car and the grandparents didn't get called.

Hailey was born at 9:48pm. She was 7lbs, 10 ounces, 22 inches long. All ten fingers and toes accounted for.

Hailey going home

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Hoping

... For this baby to arrive. I am tired of having to share my body with this little person. I did get some good news from the pediatrician yesterday though. She said I can jog with the baby in my Bob stroller with the infant car seat attachment as long as we don't go off roading. That means I could be back on the pavement as soon as two weeks after having the baby! I am so excited. I am really looking forward to going on family jogs, H, the baby, and me. I've been tempted to try to run lately, just because I want to so bad, but the knowledge of knowing I will wet my pants is stopping me. lol.

PS... I promise to do a product review for my Bob stroller as soon as I can start using it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Will work out for free smoothies

This is what it takes to get me to the gym these days, free smoothies. At just about 37 weeks I have lost almost all motivation to do any sort of real work out. The only thing that sounds good is walking so that is all I am going to do. This week is my last real week at the gym. My membership is on hold for October and November. I get a free smoothie if I go to the gym tomorrow, plus I get to see my favorite trainer. It means I have to move around a little bit is the only reason I am going. I think I will want to move around more once I am done with work (next wednesday), but I am not holding my breath.

I am itching for a real, sweaty, dirty work out. I can't wait to start Jillian's 30 day shred to work on getting my fitness level back. I watch every jogger running by my house with envy. As crazy as it sounds, I miss my stinky work out clothes and having really dirty hair. I miss that hurts so good feeling. I love being sore the next day from a good work out. I am not sure how I am going to fit my boobs into my sports bras, but that is a problem I'll figure out later. Maybe I'll pick up some larger cheap ones at Target to get me by. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a suggestion for me. T minus three weeks left. Here's hoping for a smooth delivery so I can get back moving again sooner rather than later.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Staying Healthy in the Third Trimester

I am sharing this at almost 36 weeks, just so I don't forget to do it.... So here it is:

Work outs - I have been pretty consistently doing 30 minutes on the elliptical four days a week. Up until this last week I was also lifting twice a week too. I did mostly arm stuff. In month seven I did more ab stuff, but month eight I found anything with my abs and back were too difficult. This past week with the control of my abs lacking I decided to quite weights. I am just too worried about injuring myself. H and I went on a four mile walk about two weeks ago and I started to have what felt like contractions about mile three. At that point I stopped and had H come to pick me up. After I sat for about twenty minutes they went away, but that scared me enough to know that I just need to do enough to make me feel good and then call it a day. I haven't been swimming at all. I just don't feel like getting wet. I'm not ruling it out for later though. I find myself going on walks more now too, but I am on the elliptical mostly.

Diet - I continue to find myself not being able to eat a lot and not really feeling hungry. On a typical day I have my cereal in the morning with a banana. I drink my coffee over the next three hours at work, because both can't fit in my stomach at once. Around 11am I'll eat my lunch sandwich or I'll have chocolate milk, depending on what time I get to take lunch. For lunch I have a piece of fruit or veggies, yogurt, string cheese, and a 100 cal cookie pack. At about 3 or 4:30 I'll either have chocolate milk (if I didn't have it earlier) or a granola bar, sometimes those 100 cal cookies if I didn't get to them during lunch. H and I will eat a small dinner. For desert I'll either have a smoothie, a glass of milk, or chocolate milk if I didn't have it during the day. (See a theme here?) My cravings this past two months has been ice cold milk. I can't get enough of it. Anything cold is pretty much a friend of mine, but with my heart burn kicking it up a notch Popsicle aren't really included in this trend.

Health - The baby has been doing fine. She's just hanging out, swimming around. I'm up 20 pounds now. Today I really wanted to wear my riding boots, so I tried on my pre pregnancy skinny jeans. They fit! I was able to zip and button them. I ended up keeping the top button unbuttoned because it was too uncomfortable when I sat down. I figure it was worth bragging about. It was so nice to wear normal pants. I can't wait to get there again. Not too much longer.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pregnancy Symptoms I am Suprised By

I will keep this one from getting too TMI I promise. :) I have been thinking a lot about the things I haven't experienced that most women do during their pregnancy. Now that I am at 34 weeks along I figure I have a pretty good comprehensive list. So here we go:

My hips haven't gotten bigger. Granted I have pretty big hips to begin with. I remember shopping for maternity pants at month five and the sales lady telling me it is okay they were a little baggy because at seven months my hips would expand, well it is half way through month eight and my pants are still falling off. Oh well.

My feet haven't gotten larger. This one is a tricky one though. I do get to sit at a desk all day and I notice when it gets really hot or if I am on my feet a lot they do swell up. At that point I make sure to sit and elevated them, but all my shoes still fit and thank God. At size 11 shoe, my feet can't afford to get much bigger.

My wedding ring still fits. This one I am really thankful for. As I do retain more water weight it is getting tighter, but I can still get it on and off and that's all I can ask for.

As of today, no strangers have touched or asked to touch my belly. I'm not counting this out from happening yet. I don't want to jinx it.

No one has also said anything really rude to me...yet. Like the one above, there is still time left. People have said odd things, like the dude that started to tell me how him and his wife were going to start trying for their second. Or the guy that cracked a joke about me being put in the corner because their was an alien in my tummy. Nothing too offensive though.

I am still working out. I thought it would be like pulling teeth to even get enough motivation to go for a walk at this point. I think in October I'll put my gym membership on hold for two months and stick to walking and my mini home gym to save money. We'll see.

I haven't gained a TON of weight. I'm up to 18 pounds right now. I had fear that I would be like Kate Hudson in her first pregnancy and gain 60.

I don't have any stretch marks (yet). I have heard they can show up after my tummy shrinks back down. I'm keeping my figures crossed.

Things that have happened to me:

I can get really sick (and often do) and have bad heart burn.

The over heat easily. Although I think at higher temperatures than normal pregnant women, but it does affect me.

Shortness of breath, the baby loves to kick me in the lungs.

I get tired easier, but I haven't felt like sleeping at my desk.

That's about it. I really think it is 60% my lifestyle and 40% genetics for the reason some of these things haven't happened to me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Music to Run to

Maroon 5                                     Moves like Jagger
The Red Hot Chili Peppers         The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
David Guetta                               Where Them Girls At
Foo Fighters                                Rope (Deadmau5 Mix)
Britany Spears                            I Wanna Go
LMFAO                                      Party Rock Anthem
Pit Bull                                       Give Me Everything

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eight Months Pregnant and At the Gym

The last two weeks I have noticed an increase in the number of odd looks I get at the gym when I am working out.

I usually start my work outs on the elliptical or the treadmill and then do some lifting afterwards in the weight room. The weight room is some times a very touchy place. It can be filled with women, but often when I go it is filled with a bunch of 23 year old guys doing a 8pm work out, talking about the girl their friend took home the night before or how drunk they plan to get the following week end. Either way the looks I am starting to get when I am down there make me feel uncomfortable, so I have decided to move my lifting routine to home where I can do bicep curls in peace. I don't blame them, I would stare at me too. It is awfully odd and some what entertaining to see a very pregnant women doing lunges.

I am surprised I don't get more comments from people. They must be polite and follow the head phones on no talking rule. I have had a couple men give me support though. They tell me I look great and it is really good that I am still in there. It makes me feel good. One guy did start to go into how him and his wife were going to start trying for their second in a couple months.... TMI dude. The women have not said anything to me though. It fascinates me that it is mostly the guys talking to me about it, but I am not sure of a reason for the results I am seeing.

I have only seen one other pregnant woman at the gym. She was walking on the treadmill and so pregnant I am sure she was trying to get her labor to start. I only saw here that one time, so maybe it worked. She looked pretty miserable, so for her sake I hope it worked.

I thought I would come across more adversity and mean comments. All the strangers I have encountered have been really supportive though. They tell me I am a role model to other pregnant women and it makes me feel good. It keeps me going. Two months left.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My personal struggle with Yoga

I have what I guess what I call a hate/dislike relationship with yoga. I know it is good for my body and many people get really toned from it, but it just doesn't feel like a good work out to me. With limited time to work out during the week, I just don't have the time to fit in an hour long yoga session. I also find it pretty boring. I tried hot yoga once and got really ill during it (I admit I ran three miles in 90 degree heat before hand and hadn't eaten enough, but it was enough to turn me off from the experience).

I purchased a prenatal yoga DVD a couple months back thinking it would be more difficult than it currently is for me to do my regular work outs and it would be a good substitute. This past Friday I had planned to go to the pool, but I got off work late and didn't really feel up to making the trip to the gym. So I came home, changed, and popped in my yoga DVD.

There are three different ladies in the video. One is supposed to be the first trimester lady, the second the second trimester and then the third trimester lady. Being that I am small for my third trimester I followed the second trimester lady most of the time (plus I like to think I am hard core like that ;) ). I got bored about 10 minutes in, but stuck with it. It had to get more exciting right? The middle of the video did get more difficult, so it held my attention better. I was still bored though. Another thing I really don't like about the video is there is only one session for prenatal yoga and one for post natal. Good thing I got it on sale. I could probably find something similar On Demand for free.

My favorite part was the end. You get to lie down and take a nap.... Well you aren't supposed to fall asleep but that is pretty much what it looks like. All in all I did feel pretty good afterwards, it felt almost the same as getting a massage and much cheaper. I would still rather go get a massage, though. Bottom line, yoga will still be a last resort work out for me. I don't think it will ever be apart of my regular weekly routine. To seal the deal, the next morning our cat, McGuyver, threw up on my yoga dvd. I think he was trying to send me a message.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Working out and the second trimester

This is a summary of where I am at and what I experienced in my second trimester. I am really noticing a different in my body and energy level going into the third. I am so happy I am so close to the finish. I will try to do a recap on the third before the baby comes so I remember to do it.

My Body - For some reason in the second trimester I had a lot more trouble keeping food down than in the first. I think with me it is the inability of my stomach to make room for food and the baby in my belly causing me to spit up my food. I got put on anti nausea medicine and everything seems to be fine with the exception of maybe one or two incidents a month. My energy level went up and I have not had any crazy mood swings. My pregnancy so far seems to be contained to my belly, which I am very grateful for. My current weight gain is 15 points, so I think I am on track to gain 25 to 30 total. I feel pretty good about that.

Work outs - I stopped running at 20 weeks. It was hard, but I was just too uncomfortable. I still lift twice a week. My cardio is done on the elliptical, in the pool, or walking on an incline on the treadmill. This past sixth month work outs were getting a lot harder so I have dialed it down a notch by just pushing myself a little less. The thought of having to carry a 5 to 10 pound baby all the time plus a heavy car seat all the time keeps me motivated to continue to lift. Just doing a little now is going to make labor and getting back in shape a lot easier.

Food - My intense craving for hard boiled eggs and pickles have subsided, although I still enjoy them :) ... Work has been crazy so my new favorite snack is chocolate milk. It's a quick boost of calcium and protein. It tastes good and I can consume it at my desk while I am helping customers.

Well my daughter is currently kicking me in the side. She is probably trying to tell me it is time for dinner, so I am going to go eat. Happy week end!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diary of a four mile walk

I decided on Saturday I wanted to check out Kirkland Uncorked, which is my town's small town festival for the summer. Ironically it being a wine festival, you would think I wouldn't want to participate. They have a lot of booths with local artists and good food. I was at least able to check that stuff out. It is amazing how I treated my impending four mile walk almost like I would a ten mile run. I remember when I though an 8 mile run was easy. I can't wait to get back there again.

I packed up my back pack for my walk. I made sure to fill up a bottle of water and grabbed my wallet. I meant to grab some Swedish Fish in case I needed a pick me up but I headed out the door and was a half mile down when I realized I forgot them. At least I had some cash for a snack.

On my trip to downtown I focused on not getting lost. I took a different route than I would drive there and it tours through a bunch of neighborhoods. I have run through there before, but it has been almost a year. About an hour later I managed not to get lost and made my way to Downtown Kirkland.

I looked longingly at the wine garden. All those happy people chatting and getting drunk. That was not to be me. Maybe next year. Other than that, I felt pretty good. I did a quick tour of all the booths and didn't find anything that caught my fancy. I walked over to a small children's store that was downtown, but they have reduced their inventory quite a bit and they only had summer stuff, so that was a bust. I decided to turn back home.

The walk home I did along the main road for a change of scenery. I didn't feel tired until I hit the last mile. At that point my feet started to hurt and I could feel my body swell up. Luckily my sister called me during the last half of that mile to distract me the rest of the way. When I got home I put my throbbing feet up and collapse on the couch. For the first time I couldn't get my wedding ring off my finger. It took three hours for the swelling to go down enough.

I was really happy I made my afternoon trip. It took me almost two hours and I was exhausted, but it felt good. That's what matters.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Swimming work out

For this week swimming I decided to set an actual structured work out for myself. The effect was the time going by way faster and I ended up at the pool for longer than I wanted. I was having fun though, so that is all that matters. I also enjoyed the little boy next to me yelling at his dad saying "no daddy swim like her". He was referring to the fact I had my face in the water and his dad was swimming with his head up. It was pretty cute.

I started out with a 3x 100 yard swim for my warm up. I alternated freestyle and breaststroke, those are my two favorite strokes. It's my work out, I'll do what I want :) ... After my warm up I spent five to ten minutes stretching. On some work outs I will admit I get lazy and don't stretch, but since swimming moves my ligaments in ways they really aren't used to I never skip stretching during swimming. It is a cramp waiting to happen.

After I stretched I went into a 10 x 100 yard swim, alternating breast and free again. I started out on a 1:40 interval, but realized that was too fast for my breaststroke sets. I slowed down the rest to a two minute interval.... For those that don't know what intervals are, you know that big clock next to the pool that just has second markets on it? Watch it when you take off, then when you get back see how long it took you to do your lap. It was taking me a minute 35 to do a free lap and a minute 45 to do a breast lap, so I decided I wanted a least a 15 second rest, so I would leave on the 60 second mark each time. HTH.

The next set I did 10 x 50 yard kicks on a minute interval. This time I alternated free, breast, and back. I like kicking on my back, just not swimming backstroke. Don't ask my why, it's my weird little thing. I started to get really bad heart burn during this set for some reason so I switched to all breaststroke towards the end.

Finally, I did a 200 yard cool down to finish off. I had originally planned to do another 500 yards, but that heart burn was getting to me and I had been at the pool for over an hour at this point.

So to round up:

300 yard warm up, alternating favorite strokes
10 x 100 yard swim on two minute interval
10 x 50 yard kick on a minute interval
200 yard cool down

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Swimming and Shopping

My purchases from Saturday. Can you guys which tank is the real Lululemon tank?

I used to be a swimmer in high school. I love to swim. When I was little my mom would worry about my sister and I because we would refuse to come up for air while playing in the kiddy pools. Every year in the summer I seem to get the itch to swim laps again. Being pregnant, it feels extra good because of the weight the water takes off me. Also, I feel like it is such a good all body work out I can lift less, which really isn't true, but call me in denial.

I set out Saturday after work to find a suit I could lap swim in. My racing suit no longer fits, and my beach bikinis will not stay in place (or on) for that kind of work out. My goal was to find an athletic bikini, so it could grow with me. Maternity suits are ugly and I would probably not wear it again. Swim suit shopping stinks and it is even worse being pregnant. After striking out at Big 5 and Sports Authority I ended up at Silvia's Swimwear. I grabbed a couple bikinis and tried them on. They were terrible! Like most women I am a different size on top than on the bottom. The suits sold as a pair with the same size top and bottom were not going to work. The tops were either too lose or the bottoms were too small. The sales girl recommended I look at the triathlon tops and try to find a fuller coverage bottom in the regular suit section. It was brilliant! I found a top that fits and she brought me a couple plan black bottoms (picture above). Everything was in place and it didn't look hideous. Plus I would have a triathlon top if I ever decided I wanted to do one.

I tried out my new suit in the pool later that afternoon. I did not have any issues. My bottoms didn't shift at all when I pushed off the wall and my top stayed covering my top. I also had freedom of movement. I liked the top so much I actually wore it the rest of the afternoon. I did not keep track of how many yards I swam. I switched between breaststroke and freestyle for about 40 minutes and did ten minutes of kick exercises. My first day back I did not want to push it too hard and my work out also included a two mile round trip walk to the gym and back. I was already feeling tired when I got to the gym.

My other goal of the day was to head to Costco. I had heard they were currently selling a style tank that is almost an exact replica of Lululemon's Cool Razorback Tank (my favorite) for less than half the price. My purchases are pictured above with the real Lulu tank. Can you tell the difference? I can, but it is very subtle. The stitching on it is almost identical and the fabric is exactly the same. Even the long skinny tag on the shirt is the same. The sizes do run a little larger. I am currently wearing one of my Costco purchases and I am really satisfied with it. It even feels exactly like the Lulu tank. Oh and if you were wondering, the Grey tank is the real Lululemon. I think my Costco fax Lulu's will take me to month eight (fingers crossed).

Friday, June 24, 2011

More lifting work outs

I am enjoying my lifting work outs right now, so I thought I would share what I did at the gym today (on top of my 30 minutes on the elliptical).

Weighted lunges - I grabbed two five pound weights (light kettlebells work well too) and let them hang from my sides. (Do 20 lunges on each leg, or walk down a long hallway and back)

Step ups or hops - This is really good to do in between exercises to keep your heart rate up. I did hops onto StairMaster with two lifts underneath it before I got pregnant. Now the only place I hop is into bed, so I step up and down. (Do for one minute)

Push Ups - Use the StairMaster again so you are on an incline and do 20 push ups.

Hamstring Curl Machine - Do 20 each leg on a low weight. I did 20 pounds.

Chest Press - Lie on a bench and keep your legs up in the air to work those abs, even being pregnant I can still feel them. (20 times)

Kettlebell Obliques - Pick up a pretty heavy kettlebell in one arm (I used 20 pounds. A weight will work, but I find kettlebells to be more effective) and work those obliques (the muscles on your sides, you know where love handles grow). Let the weight drag your shoulder down and use your oblique on the opposite side to bring your shoulder back up. (20 each side)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back at the Gym

During the Summer months and when I am training for a race, I do not go to the actual gym a lot. It is much easier for me to run outside and lift from home. Now that I have not been running, I have been using my gym membership more. I have to say it feels really good to be back. The air conditioning will start feeling better and better if it ever starts getting warmer outside. I like having more options with exercises too. Here's a few I did on Thursday. I got these from my favorite trainer, Kellie.

Airplanes - This one I can't really describe. It's a combination of a balance exercise and rows. You stand on one leg and then pull your arm and leg in at the same time. (2 sets of 12 on each side)

Monster Walks - Requires a resistance band, which I don't have at home. You place the band around your ankles and try to take large steps forward. It looks and feels like walking like a monster. If you don't feel like a zombie you are doing it wrong. (walk about 50 yards)

Wall sits with bicep curl on the exercise ball - Put the exercise ball on the wall and put your back up against it. Get down into a sitting position, doing a bicep curl at the same time and come back up. (3 sets of 20)

There is one side effect of me being at the actual gym more. I think our cat Corona missing helping me with my work outs. I got this picture of her trying pass for one of my weights. Too cute.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Product Review: Running Skirts

I spent a frustrating summer last year trying to find a pair of running shorts that didn't look like my thighs ate them after I started out on a jog. I've tried several different types, but haven't had any luck. On different chat boards I had heard some girls swear by running skirts as an alternative. It was worth a shot, but which one to try? I decided I would start with the original Running Skirt and I have fallen in love.

In my running skirt in Hawaii, tank by Lululemon
Running skirt offers two styles, one with a brief liner and one with a bikini liner. I choose the brief liner. Luckily, I bought my skirt from a representativein a booth at the Kirkland Half Marathon. She recommended I buy a size down to prevent the briefs from riding up. There is no way my running/lifting behind is a size 4/6, but that is what she put me in. I wore my skirt for my runs in Hawaii and for doing stairs and I have had no issues with the shorts riding up. It is a minor miracle.

The Running Skirts line is designed by two twin moms. I love that it is designed by women (probably why they fit so well). These women are real athletes too. They sell other apparel besides the skirts. I also bought a pair of compression socks from them. The socks are a great price (for compression socks) and the colors compliment the skirts. Running skirts also offers a maternity skirt, but I am not sure if it worth it. I personally do not like things that go up and over my belly. I find my hips and butt are enough to keep my pants up currently. The regular skirts are low rise enough, my belly does not get in the way. There is a diagram on the website showing a woman wearing her skirt all the way through her pregnancy, which gives me hope I will be able to too. I bought it a month ago and no problems so far (knock on wood).

The only thing I do not like about running skirts is the price. They are pretty expensive. I recommend signing up for their email list and grabbing coupons if you see them at an event. So far my skirt is well worth the money and if it lasts a long time it will be worth slowing building up my skirt wardrobe.

I have heard some female runners say it is too girly to wear a skirt while running. It is not "hard core" enough. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a girly girl. I just like clothes that fit and the better I look in my work out clothes the better I feel. Some of the running girl designs are pretty girly. I just won't buy those ones. :) I've slowly built up a collection of running apparel and proud to say that I look pretty cute while being covered in sweat. For those of you who don't have monster thighs I won't judge you in your shorts that stay put. Don't judge me in my skirt.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time of Running Death 20 Weeks Pregnant

This week marks the end of running during my pregnancy. Some girls can go farther; I am just not one of them. It became uncomfortable with the baby bouncing around. I enjoyed the running, but I was not feeling well at the same time. I have decided there are other things I can do both the baby and I will enjoy more.

I am still working out four days a week. I have more energy now than in my first trimester, so on my days off I am trying to incorporate a walk on those days. I sit at a desk all day for work, so getting some fresh air really helps. I am lifting three days a week, instead of the two I was doing before when I was running more miles. For cardio I am doing the elliptical at the gym and stairs. I also hope to start swimming again. I need to go get a new suit though. I fit in my racing suit two weeks ago, but I do not thing I will any more.

The stairs to Crestwood's Park
Meet my new best friend and worst enemy are the stairs to Crestwood's Park in Kirkland. Just a brisk walk from our home the stairs are the perfect work out spot. It is also popular with many of my neighbors. On memorial day I counted 30 people on the stairs at one point. With 211 stairs to climb, it would be a good training spot for The Big Climb in Seattle.

My nutrition is going pretty well. As the baby gets bigger I am having a really hard time eating any full size meals, with out losing it a half an hour later. My snack times are still at 11 am and 4pm. On occasion I have split my lunch between one and my four pm snack. The same goes with dinner at seven and nine pm. I cannot have my coffee with my breakfast any more. I have to slowly sip it over an hour or two. My cravings continue to be pickles and hard boiled eggs. I have also added Swedish Fish and tartar sauce to the mix. I don't combine the Swedish fish with the tartar sauce, though :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vacation Run Big Island Hawaii

Sorry for the long break. I just got back from nine days on the big island of Hawaii. We stayed just 25 minutes North of Kona. My goal for the trip was to get in quite a few runs. I packed a ton of work out clothes. It did not happen like I thought it would. Either running in Hawaii is hard, or running while pregnant in Hawaii is really hard. I think both is probably true. I ended up only doing two runs, a three mile run and a two mile run. I also did some lap swimming in the pool and a few short walks. I decided that was more than good enough for a vacation week.

Unlike my Maui trip, this time I made sure to get up right away and get going on my runs before the sun got too intense. I knew if I waiting until the afternoon I would never make it. The first run I did was along the coast line. It stretched from the house we were staying in to the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. The run was flat, but pretty difficult due to having to run through several sandy beach trails. Besides my normal slowness, I had to stop to walk quite a few times. I just got too tired. The run is posted at the bottom of this post.

View of one of the beaches I ran through
 The second run I did ran along the road inside the resort area. The view consisted mostly of lava rocks and the golf course. The miles of lava rocks reminded me of when I watch the Iron Man race in Hawaii and everyone looks hot and near death during the marathon portion. I ran a mile before I decided to just turn around. The baby was just too uncomfortable. I decided her or she was right about the run needing to end.

I will miss Hawaii. This time I do not know when I will be back. I know I will be though. Until then, I will dream of being able to run there again and getting a good nap in by the pool afterward. Here is to a warm Seattle summer. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Race (Spectator) Report: Kirkland Half Marathon

Just to start out, I did not run the Kirkland Half Marathon/5k. I might have had I had an easier time running the begining part of my pregnancy, but I didn't so that is that. The course does pass near my house, though. One of my good friends was running it too, so I decided to take part in the fun.

It was a dreary, cold, Pacific Northwest morning. The start time for the race was 7:30 am. Talia (my friend running) set a goal to run about ten minute miles, so I set my alarm for 7:40. I got up and looked out the window. The walkers were just walking along the main road. I got dressed and started a pot of coffee. Then I grabbed my neon green "go talia" sign and walked out to the course. By the time I made it out there, most of the elite runners had passed and it was still mostly walkers passing by. (I should explain, you can walk the half marathon too, the walkers start before the runners... just in case you hadn't figured that out yet.) I am not the best cheerleader. I am good at making signs, but not so good at the yelling. Talia became popular with the people walking by, so they were doing the cheering for me. One man even declared that he was Talia. I think the real Talia would argue that.

I had to start looking really hard once the crowd of runners started to pass. There were a lot of white hats like hers running by. Talia saw me first and smiled. She loved her sign. I wish it was later in the race she ran into me, but I am sure it helped boast her over some of the hills she still had to run the next three miles of the course.

I went back inside, where it was warm and dry for the next hour. That coffee I made tasted sooo good. At 8:45am I started to make the walk down to the finish line. I met up with the course at the mile 12 marker. I debated on waiting there for Talia or to keep going for a little while. I decided to walk and knowing she would catch up with me soon. About a half mile down she did. I think I was almost more excited to see her than she was to see the finish. I ran with her a little ways and when I got too hot from all my layers I told her to go pass these girls 10 yards in front of her. I caught up with her at the finish line. Her time? 2:13 and some change! I'm so impressed. The Kirkland half is no easy course. I'm sure the next simpler course she does she will get under two hours.

We walked around the vendor booths to check them out. I bought a running skirt and some compression socks. (I will post a review for them soon.) I said goodbye to Talia and her husband. Then I walked my way back home. I was sad I could not be part of the race, but at least I got to participate in the way I could. I also got my exercise for the morning with the long walk to the finish. Sorry I don't have any pictures. I really need to get better at that for you guys. Talia, I hope you don't mind being part of my blog this week. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Race Report: Spokane Bloomsday

Sunday was the 35th Annual Spokane Bloomsday Run. This year over 60,000 people signed up. I have not been able to find any data yet on how many finished. It doesn't matter any way. That is a lot of people. We made the trip over to the mountains in pretty good time. We made a stop at the Road House Grill for lunch in Ellensburg and our friend's mom made her annual home made lasagna for us to eat for our prerace dinner (yum!). All tired out from our journey, I went to bed at 9pm.

The weather was unseasonably cold for Spokane this time of year. The temperature at start time was 44 degrees. Knowing the forecast, I packed layers to wear, and my running gloves. I was really worried about, for lack of a better word, all my snot production due to my pregnancy. It is worse in the cold, which makes me more likely to gage and barf.

The next morning our wake up call was at 6:30am. I got up after an okay night's sleep and I had a major head ache. I forgot to pack my mouth guard and I had been grinding my teeth all night. My stomach also did not feel very good. I made sure to go upstairs and eat a small breakfast. I had oatmeal, a piece of toast, a banana, and some coffee. At that point I took some aspirin for my head ache. I went back downstairs to use the bathroom before we left. My stomach started doing flip flops. I barely made it to the bathroom when I lost my entire breakfast. I was so upset. I really needed the fuel for the morning. Not only that, I was really worried about how the race itself would go. On a normal day I probably would have gotten back in bed, but everyone was waiting for me to leave for the start line, so I collected myself and got in the car.

The entire car ride over I made sure to sip water. I contemplated the whole way whether or not I should run. It could be a really miserable 7.5 miles or it could be that my stomach would settle and all would be okay. I decided that I didn't go all the way to Spokane to just hang out and go home, so I kissed H good bye (he was sitting on the side lines due to his injury) and slowly walked to my green bib corral to wait for the start.

I love the race corals for large races. All the body heat kept me warm and the sun really helped too. It was amazing to look out to the sea of people in front and behind be. I made sure to line up at the end of the green pack, since I knew I would be much slower than the others in the corral. I was too stubborn to move back a corral from where I qualified last year. It turned out to be a really good choice to stay in the same corral. I think I must have just missed qualifying for yellow last year. Maybe next year I can "prove it" and move up a corral. :)

It was a long, cold, wait in my pin to cross the starting line, but 25 minutes later I finally did. It was hard to start out since I was so cold and stiff from waiting. I did a good job at staying at a slow and steady pace, despite the temptation to take off like all the others. I just laughed on the inside because I knew in about half a mile they would get tired from their sprint and I would start passing them.

Soon enough I did. I actually passed people! I also started to feel really good. I just took things slow and steady. I didn't have any problems with my stomach at all. I was feeling so good, It was hard to make myself stop from running the hills. The first three miles were awesome.

After that it felt like the baby woke up from what ever nap it was taking. It started to feel like I was getting poked. It didn't hurt, it was more like a "cut it out mom, I'm trying to chill out in here". It made me smile, and I kept on going. I knew as long as it didn't hurt the baby was fine. He or she needs to get used to running any way :)  We will be doing a lot of that together.

I got a lot of comments on my shirt. About five people taped me on the sholder and told me how awesome it was. One man said I was sending a really great message. I heard other people comment on it from behind me. A couple times even, when I passed guys, I heard them say common we need to get moving if she is passing us.

Doomsday Hill is right before the end of mile five. Last year that is what really tired me out. This year I knew better to even attempt to run it. As soon as I hit a decent incline I stopped to walk. It really helped me save my energy for the last two miles. I felt much better running them this year than the last. I was so thankful.

My finish time was 1:32:10, just a hair slower than my goal, but I really don't care. I finished the race, felt good, and didn't barf. Biggest thing of all, I had a blast! I love Bloomsday. It's so well organized it puts other larger races to shame. Race organizers should really mentor with the Bloomsday organizers. I can't wait until next year already. Below is my mile splits, if you are interested.

1         11:14
2         11:49
3         12:56
4         11:53
5         13:12
6         13:03
7         12:08
8         11:00

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spokane or Bust!

This weekend is the Spokane Bloomsday 12k! For those who are not from the area, it is an annual race held in Spokane, Washington. The website says it is in it's 35th year. It is currently averaging 50,000 runners a year. Last year, my first time running it, there over 55,000 people signed up, with just over 50k finishing. Seattle Rock and Roll limits their registration right now to about 30,000 people. The population of Spokane, Wa is estimated at only 205 thousand people. That is a lot of runners. You also have to finish the race to get your race shirt, which is a little different. Needless to say, I am really excited! It is hard not to when you see how much the whole town gets into this race. Last year my time was 1:19:36. I expect to be much slower than that this year. I think I am going to go for around 1:30 for a goal.

After passing so many people during my last race I felt inspired to purchase this shirt from On the front it reads "running for two" and on the back it says "you just got passed by a pregnant runner". I am excited to wear it and to see what kind of response I get during the race, although I don't think I will be passing a lot of people. I do not look pregnant either, so we will see if anyone really notices.

I was actually able to run four miles yesterday! That is the first time I have been able to since March 6th. It was hard and slow. My average pace was close to twelve minute miles and I have to stop to walk on hills because my heart rate gets too high (which makes me feel nauseous and dizzy). My average heart rate was still 150 with a max at 178. I feel pretty comfortable with that. I need to watch those 170s though.

H and I had an attempt on making onion soup out of my Best of Clean Eating Cook Book (my Amazon Associates Account isn't linking properly. I'll fix it later. Grrr). It did not turn out good at all. If we try to make it again we will skip adding the vanilla to it. When we were done it tasted a lot like water with onions floating in it. We ate the cheese croutons as a snack and ordered pizza. Better luck next time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Staying Healthy in the First Trimester

Right now I am 14 weeks pregnant. There are not a lot of blogs out there talking about working out during pregnancy, so I figure I'll share my experience. Leave a comment if you want more detail about something or have a question. I am no doctor, but I am happy to share what I am going through.

Pre-pregnancy (I'll use PP for short) I worked out five days a week. My off season work out routine looked something like this:

3 to 5 mile run
Cross training day (which for me was my gravity class and an elliptical warm up if I had time)
3 to 5 mile run with speed training or hills
3 to 5 mile run plus lifting
6 to 9 mile run

I tried to keep up the same schedule. My doctor told me to just listen to my body and do what feels comfortable. She promised to let me know when I had to stop doing certain things. I quickly discovered my current schedule no longer worked. I did pretty well the first month, but my long runs became impossible. I have only been able to complete two six miles runs since I became pregnant. On both those runs the last three miles I had to stop to dry heave multiple times (this was on my way home, so there wasn't a way to cut it short at that point).

Towards the end of the second month I started to have less energy (equalling to little motivation) and started to feel more nauseous. If I felt good I could get out for a three mile run. If I did not, I would hit the elliptical. For some reason running really made me sick. Most of the time I could manage the elliptical or lifting just fine. There were a couple occasions I set out to run, started to feel my stomach turn and just went back home to lift. My five day a week work outs have been cut to four days a week. I just feel too tired and felt the need to rest. For all you girls out there who run full and half marathons into your second trimester I don't know how you do it. Props to you for sure!

Now being at week 14 I feel a lot better. I am noticing right now when I get my heart rate too high I start to feel sicker, so I am having to hold myself back. It is really frustrating, but I know if my body responds by wanting to hurl it is the best thing to do for me and the baby. I can run more during the week, but I haven't been able to run farther than three miles at a time. My goals was four to five last weekend, but there was an unfortunate vomit incident that made me cut it back to two miles. No good. Below is what my schedule looks like currently:

3 mile run
3 mile run and lifting
3 mile run (hopefully more one week sometime here)

I do not think I will be able to do Gravity much longer. It is making me really motion sick. I cannot lay on my stomach any more and I will not be able to do ab exercises soon. Luckily, my trainer is awesome and she is thinking about changing her class so I can still take it. We will see what happens.

It took me a little while to get a good system down with my eating. At work sometimes I would go with out eating from 7am to 3pm. I would try to eat a snack at noon if I knew I had to take a later lunch, but if I did not get a chance to eat it, it wasn't the end of the world. I was also really good at not eating something if I knew it was bad for me just because I was hungry, like french fries, chips, candy, really processed stuff, etc. Now if I skip a meal I WILL shove a whole pie down my throat because I am hungry. I also had no ideas how many calories I should be eating. I figured I was pregnant, so I should be eating more, but I had no idea how much. I made several mistakes, but now I have a schedule down. Here is what my day looks like:

7am Breakfast
11am Snack (usually whole natural almonds or a piece of fruit)
2pm Lunch
4 to 5pm Snack (what ever I didn't eat in my lunch or some more almonds)
5 to 6pm granola bar
8pm Dinner

That has kept me from eating a whole pie or a plate of french fries. To answer the calorie question, here is what I read: 1st trimester 100 calories more, 2nd trimester 300 calories more, 3rd trimester 500 calories more. I am still tempted to eat things that are bad for me, but oh well. I'm pregnant I am going to enjoy it and not stress over a few splurges. Everything in moderation. Luckily my cravings have been pretty healthy, eggs and pickles. On my eggs I will take out one of the yokes to make them a little healthier. Last time I went to the doctor I had only gained four pounds so far. I am not sure if that is normal or not, but the doctor has not said anything, so I am sure I am doing just fine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Race Report: Seahawks 12/5k Renton Landing

First of all I must start off by announcing, yes I am pregnant. This blog will turn into how I am managing my work outs and not to stuff my face over the next six months. After the baby gets here I'll talk about how I am managing to get back into shape afterwards. I am not looking forward to how hard it is going to be, but I know the new addition to our family is worth it. I am currently 13 weeks along, due October 20th. My next post will be all about how I have managed thus far. It has been a struggle, let me tell you!

I originally signed up for the Seahawks 12k (7.5 miles), before I found out I was pregnant and had every intention of still doing it. Since then I have only been able to manage two six mile runs in month two and both of those I spent the last three miles having to pause to dry heave every half mile. Needless to say half way through my third month I decided attempting the 12k was not a good idea. Especially at Seahawks they don't allow walkers for the 12k (their permits don't allow road closures for long enough). Fortunately, the Seahawks also allow a 5k run/walk and I knew I could at least walk that.

Seahawks start and finish

There were A LOT more people this year! Last year maybe a thousand people lined up at the start. This year there was over 3,000. I think next year they need to split the start times for the 12k and the 5k runners. A lot of the 5k walkers clogged up the front of the line. It was really annoying and I wasn't even racing for time.

I felt really good at the start. I wanted to go faster, but knew I should hold back. I had not run a full three miles in almost a month. I felt great through mile two. Mile three is when I started to get tired and a little nauseous. I knew my legs weren't tired though so that is what prevented me from stopping and walking.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1     10:14
Mile 2     10:10
Mile 3     10:11
Mile 3.1  8:17
Me on the left at the finish. Recognize the jacket?

Overall it was a fun race. My finish tile was 31:42. I'll take it. I was not racing and it isn't too much slower from my last 5k. Looking at my Garmin it looks like my heart rate got way too high. I think it was picking up other monitors at the start. I do not think 223 beats per minute is right at all. I have noticed it having this problem at the start of other races. My average heart rate was 173, which seems closer to correct, but still a little higher than I would prefer given my current condition.

I liked the changes the race organizers made in the course. It was much more intuitive. The course for the 5k was not a challenge. It is all flat, so another good beginner 5k race. None of the players were there this year due to the lock out. I really enjoyed getting my water from Brandon Mebane last year. Blitz and the cheerleaders were still at the race though.

I'll use signing up for the 12k next year as my motivation to get my mileage back up and to get back in shape.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Product Review: Adidas Marathon 10 Jacket

April showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring a lot of rain. So I get wet when I run outside. I know people say you'll get wet anyway from sweating. The question for me is how wet do I really want to get? I prefer only slightly damp myself. To solve this dilemma, I asked for the Adidas Marathon 10 jacket for Christmas thinking it would keep me dry but also warm during the winter months. So far it has worked really well. My mom also chose to buy me the bright 90's colored one (the sleeves have hot pink stripes), so I can be well seen. H thought it was cool, so he looked for a version in the guys section. Adidas does sell the Marathon 10 for guys, but they don't have cool colors like teal and hot pink for the men.

Me in my Marathon 10 Jacket

I have worn it on several below freezing runs, 28 degrees, 32 degrees, etc. It kept me warm and cool at the same time. The jacket has a lot of breathing holes in it so air can circulate. I found on my longer runs I would open the zipper 3/4 the way down after I got warmed up. I never felt the need to take it off, though. The sleeves have thumb holes in them so they stay down. I can wear my gloves under then pretty easily. The hood has a hole for my pony tail, if I ever wanted to wear it. I think I would be just too uncomfortable. I'd rather wear a hat. I have to any way to keep the rain off my face. The fabric is light weight and comfortable. The jacket is also easy to wash. The length on it is good (I am 5'10"). That was another thing I was concerned about.

I thought I would be able to wear my running watch under the sleeve, but I can't. I have to wear it on top. It is still comfortable. H says I look like a dork, but it works. The sleeves are slightly short for my long arms. I have been able to stretch out the thumb holes so it is comfortable to wear, but it was touch and go for a while. I thought I might have to return it.

Like I said it only keeps me from getting really really wet. I still don't stay 100% dry. It is much more comfortable to wear than the alternative. If I didn't wear it I would have to ring out my clothes when I got home. Wearing this jacket I don't. If you live some where rainy and have the cash, I would recommend adding this jacket to your running wardrobe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Gym

I have been working on building my home gym little by little over the winter. Eventually I hope to be able to save money on my gym membership by just putting it on hold during the summer. When I get a treadmill to get me though the winters, I hope to cancel it completely.

A must for my work outs from home are a set of free weights. I asked for 5lb, 8lb, and 10lb weights. The 5lb ones I use more for balance exercises like star poses or side planks. The 8lb ones I use for bicep curls and over head presses. The 10lb weights I like for chest presses and days I am feeling really strong.

I also got a 8lb Danskin toning ball. It is filled with sand and is squishy, so it is easy to grip. The ball also works really well for balance exercises or things like leg lifts, since it is easier to hold in place than a free weight and smaller than a medicine ball. I also use it in place of my medicine ball on occasion for ab work outs.

My favorite piece of equipment is the Bosu. I bought the pro version because they home version has mixed reviews on the quality. I figured it is worth the extra 50 dollars. The Bosu adds the extra challenge I need while lifting. It also helps work my core at the same time since I am forced to balance. It makes me engage my abs so I make sure to protect my back. I use it most for legs, but it can be used for a ton of exercises.

I also have two medicine balls, a 10lb for H and a 6lb one for me. I like medicine balls if I am working out with H or for ab exercises. They are great for bouncing too, but I have yet to work out at home on a surface that really lends to that type of pounding.

H also has two 30lb dumbbells. I do not touch those. Someday I might add a extra heavy kettlebell to my set of weights, but it isn't a priority right now. I have enough to get me by. Kettlebells are pretty expensive, but great for a core work out. They really work different muscles than a regular weight would. I still have my gym membership, so if I really want to use one I'll go there.

Horray for home work outs!

My home gym

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Music to Run to - creating run playlist

This is something really cool a friend sent to me. It is a website where you plug in either your goal pace or your beats per minute heart rate and it suggests songs for you to add to your playlists. It also has different playlists people can upload, like you can on iTunes. At least these ones are limited to running for the most part. Check it out Thanks Talia for the tip!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vacation Run Hawaii

This past week I was in Maui, Hawaii for my little sister's wedding. I think it is physically impossible for me to go for a whole week without a work out, so I usually plan to get a couple runs in. Usually we do some hiking in Hawaii, but with H's injury that wasn't going to happen this time.

I ended up getting two three mile runs in. My body really had a tough time adjusting to the 80 degree weather from the 40 degree Seattle weather. We stayed just off the Ocean, so I chose to run along South Kihei Road. It is a flat road that goes for miles and runs along the Ocean and our condo. My favorite of the two runs was when I decided to run towards Wailea vs. North Kihei. There was more shade in the other direction and I just felt safer.

Above is the details of my run. My pace was really slow. The heat really was a problem for me, so I just took it easy. A slow run is better than no run. Getting out also helped me explore the area we were staying, so I knew some restaurants and cafes we might was to try out during our trip. I tried to look for ones with lines or a lot of people were eating at to see what might be good. It is a good vacation tip if you are staying in a town. By getting out it also helped me enjoy the view. Not too shabby. I get to go to the big island in two months. I cannot wait.

Kamaole Beach I, Kihei, Maui Hawaii

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gimpy Athlete

For those of you who don't already know. My H has an injury. We will start from the beginning. This all began a little over two weeks ago.

H plays on an outdoor soccer league on Monday nights. It was the last few minutes of the game and he felt a pop in the back of his right leg. Right then he knew he probably tor his Achilles tendon. He was just running down the field, no one around him at all. It just went pop.

This led to an 11pm trip to the emergency room to get his leg looked at. I would say it is the easiest ER trip we will every have. We were in and out of the hospital in just over an hour. The doctor told us he probably did tear it and to follow up with an Orthopedist. They wrapped him up and sent both of us on our way.

When we got to the Orthopedist four days later (who happened to look like a cross between McDreamy and McSteamy, sigh), he told us H would need an MRI to figure out where exactly the tear is and how bad it was. Depending on the location and the damage done H may or may not need surgery.

ANOTHER week later after H's MRI we were back to see the sexy Orthopedist. It turned out H's tear was actually higher up in his leg in the ligaments leading to his Achilles, closer to his calf. Since the tear is buried in muscle, surgery is not an option and it needs to heal on its own. Plus there are different studies done on the benefits of doing surgery or letting it heal on its own. End result - H does not need surgery! He'll be in a boot and crutches for the next eight weeks while it heals with visits to the Orthopedist to check how it is healing up.

I was pretty bummed when H got hurt. We would go running together on occasion and I feel like I've lost one of the things we could do together as a couple. Hopefully he'll be walking soon enough and we can get outside together when the weather gets nice. Maybe, just maybe, he'll be able to run again by this fall. I am just thankful he is okay and does not have to have surgery. Three cheers for that.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Music to Run to

Lady Gaga               Born This Way
Mumford & Sons    Little Lion Man
Young the Giant      My Body
Foster the People   Pumped Up Kicks
Rihanna                 S&M
Britney Spears      Hold it Against Me

Rihanna S&M is my absolute favorite new song. I have not been able to stop singing it in my head all week end. Young the Giant My Body is a really great long run song. I recommend it for Marathon playing lists. Oh and yes, I think Lada Gaga's new song sounds like Madonna's Express Yourself.

I'll try to do another post for you guys early next week. Start singing "SSSSMMM,, SSSSMMM, SSSSMMMM".

Monday, February 28, 2011

Half Marathon Series - Water

Water is important and on hot days or anything longer than seven miles. During those runs you are probably going to want to carry some with you.

Some people do just plan their long runs around water stops (Jack in the Box here, Starbucks there, drinking fountain over there). That is great for refilling water bottles, but I am the type to slowly sip along the way. Plus once the temperatures start warming up water becomes even more important. Here are some ideas for carrying water.

Handheld water bottle - This is a great option for shorter runs. H purchased the one linked. I like to "borrow" it on short runs during hot days. The water is carried in hand. I switch hands every mile or so.

Hydration belts - The one linked is mine. I like the metal circle in the back because it helps the belt move on my hips, so it stays in place pretty well. It is worn low on the hips.

Holster Hydration Waist Pack - I have seen these more on marathon runners. Not sure what the difference is. Perhaps if I start doing some marathons I will give it a try.

Multiple bottle belts - These are belts usually worn around the smallest part of the waste and carry as much as four bottles. Personally that is a lot of extra weight to carry. I would rather stop and refill my two bottles. I see a lot of guys wearing these types of belts. Once again, not sure why, but a lot of dudes wear them.

The other thing to think about is if a sports drink is appropriate in those bottles. I personally dislike Gatorade during a work out. It gives me heart burn and upsets my stomach. The best thing I have found is CytoMax. They served during Seattle RNR and I have never felt more hydrated during a race. I also like GU Brew for recovery after runs. It has protein in it, so I wouldn't carry it during. In the winter months I usually go without a sports drink, but during the summer it is helpful. After tough winter work outs I just like to guzzle water and have a protein smoothly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Half Marathon Series Posts - Fuel

It is the end of February which means the sun might start coming out in Seattle again (although it is currently snowing here right now, so who would really know). This also means the start to race season. Some runners may be thinking about starting to train for their first half marathon. Hopefully they have already picked out a training plan, but if you are one of the ones who has not, I mention a few in this post here.

Today's topic is fuel. One thing I have learned is fuel is very personal and there is not a "best" option. Fuel is needed for ever hour out doing physical activity. I take it with me if I am doing nine or more miles, but in the beginning I would take some for seven miles, pausing at 3.5 for a snack. In order to narrow down what H and I liked we bought a bunch of different types from the running store and found what worked. Even asking the guys at the counter what they liked all three of them had different answers. Anyhow, below is a breakdown of the different types I am aware of. Some I have tried, some I have not. If you have your own favorite post it in the comments.

GU - GU is what the name says. It is a jelly paste consistency. It reminds me a little of hair gel, except a little thicker. Honestly, it makes me gag. That is just me though. A lot of people are huge fans. I have heard girls say they like the chocolate or vanilla flavor because it tastes like frosting. I will stick to real frosting thank you very much. There are many different brands of Gu, the GU brand tends to be the most popular though.

Cliff Shot Blocks - These are my personal choice. They taste like extra gummy fruit snacks. Shot blocks go down pretty easy and do not give me a stomach ache. Shot blocks are sticky on the teeth, so it usually takes a couple swigs of water to wash it down. Beware of chewing them in dusty environments, your teeth might get coated in dirt. GU also makes a brand on shot blocks called Chomps. I have not tried those.

Sport Beans - These are jelly beans full of electrolytes, sugar, and carbs to give you energy. To me they are not best for running. I cannot imagine trying to put a bunch in my mouth and chew while I continue to run. I think they would be great for hiking or for transitioning in between sports. Or you can eat them before setting out.

Natural foods - All sports fuel is really made of are sugars, carbs, and electrolytes. In a pinch just grab some real jelly beans or a fruit roll up. Just try to pick something with natural ingredients in it, like real fruit. It will not help with hydration, but it will give you energy. Leave the protein bars at home though. Those are really meant to refuel before or after a work out (depending on what type you buy).

To caffeine or not to caffeine?
Many of these different products have the option to buy them with caffeine or with out. That is another personal choice. Just be careful you do not take in too much or you will get dehydrated. My favorite is the shot blocks with half a shot of coffee. It gives me a little energy for the way home, but does not leave me dying of thirst.

Go to the running store, spend ten dollars and try out some different types on the shorter of the long runs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Race Report: Valentine's Day Dash

This past Saturday I ran in my first 5k. Hard to believe, but it was. I ran the Valentine's Day Dash around Green Lake in Seattle, Washington. H had to work, so my friend Talia ran it with me. Back in January when I signed up my goal was to run nine minute miles. We ended up meeting that goal with our official pace being 9:02 (my watch says 8:54 average pace, so that is what I am going with) and a finish time of 28 minutes flat.

We arrived at the race about 40 minutes early. We were able to get around with little traffic issues and with minimal lines at the porter potty. We grabbed our race packets and had enough time to go back to the car to drop off our stuff and come back to the starting line.

We got in line for the start in between the nine and ten minute pace groups. That turned out to be a big mistake. The first mile we spent a lot of time and energy trying to pass people. Next time we will over estimate on the faster end. There is no time to be waisted in a 5k! Our first mile pace was 9:05.

Mile two we had passed most of the people slowing us up. I was hungry to see the two mile marker we saw on our drive in. I was feeling really good at this point, especially for running so fast for a sustained time. Our two mile pace was 8:36.

The last mile is where I struggled. I started to feel nauseous. My legs still felt pretty good, though. I started to slow down a little bit. Watchers on the side lines were cheering us on so I had to hang in there. Finally we were reentering in towards the finish, where we go through the "tunnel of love". At this point is where my stomach could not stay in place. I knew I had less than a quarter mile left. I wanted to hang on so badly, but my gag reflex could not. I had to pull to the side really quick in the tunnel of love and almost lost my breakfast. Luckily I didn't, I hung on, but my quick pit stop cost me a precious 10 to 20 seconds that would have helped me smash my goal! Argh! Talia was a good friend and stuck with me. We finished together and I got some water. It helped settle my stomach. Our last mile pace ended up being 8:58.

The race itself is a lot of fun. It is a good beginners race too. It is completely flat. Only part of the race is run on Green Lake, which is nice. Those poor spectators out walking their dogs do not need to get run over by a bunch of people and much less racers need not worry about dodging them either. The tunnel of love added some interest along the race course. I do wish it was not right at the end (and I also wish I didn't almost throw up in it).

On of the best parts was after the race Talia and I went to Brown Bag in Kirkland where I attempted to eat most of this fruit omelet. Yum! Next up Seahawks 12k in April..