Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to work

Last Tuesday I went back to work full time from being on maternity leave. While that was a big challenge in itself, what is also difficult is still finding the time to get my work outs in.

As I figured out after I had my baby, I can't manage working out for more than 30 minutes at a time. It is just too much to ask for a 60 minute work out right now. I signed up for a half marathon in May (seven months post baby) and I am doing the 5k instead. I just don't have the base up to do the mileage per week I need to train. I'll revisit the idea in the fall. I am at 12 to 15 miles a week right now.

The first week back my goal was to not make myself guilty if I didn't get to the gym or get a run in. I found with the hours I work, I needed to work out in the morning. At night I would get home and it was only an hour or less until Hailey needed to go to bed. I would miss a moment with her entirely if I chose to work out. After bed time I would be too tired to work out. Coming to this conclusion, I had to get up to exercise at 5:45am.

I'm not a morning person at all. I have always worked out at night. Any attempt to work out in the morning was usually an epic failure. The first couple of days back to work I focused on going to bed earlier to help me with the early wake up time. Since Hailey got up at 6am sometimes, adjusting to the early time was a bit easier. By the time I felt ready to work out in the morning, my body was really craving to go running. I told myself if I got up that day to work out I could reward myself with an afternoon coffee. So I got up and ran three miles. It wasn't that bad and I felt so much better knowing it was out of the way. I also had more energy in the morning at work. Coming home and giving Hailey cuddles felt that much better too.

I've only attempted my morning get up twice, but so far it has been pretty easy. After a full month of doing it I plan to reward myself with some new running tights. On those really tough mornings I will do the afternoon coffee. So far maintaining five days a week seems manageable. On cross training days I'm doing 30 Day Shred at home (yes still, that's a whole different blog post).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Race Report: Valentine's Day Dash 2012

This past Saturday was my first post baby race. Green Lake's Valentine's Day Dash has become a new tradition for me, in which I celebrate the start of race season and February's holidays with a fellow February birthday girl. Since I am still working on getting my speed back up to where it was and she hadn't run three miles in who knows how long, we decided not to "race" the dash. It was nice though because we got to focus more on fun.

Valentine's Day Dash has about three thousand race participants and is held at Seattle's famous Green Lake. It is the perfect beginning 5k for someone starting out. The entire course is flat. The crowd is not too large to get lost, but not too small that you lose the fun. It is awesome people watching. People dress up in all sorts of festive outfits.

My Valentine and I have worked out the perfect parking spot, a short five minute walk from the starting line. We got there around 9 am, 30 minutes before the start. There was a quick bathroom pit stop and then we got our race packets. We toured around the booths really quick and then it was time to line up for the start.

Before the start we quickly realized we should have made a bathroom stop before getting in line. It's only a 5k, no big deal right? We can make it. Well after the first mile we quickly realized the race would be much more enjoyable if we stopped at the bathroom. So I was that girl, that I made fun of, who takes a potty stop during a 5k. Now I have answered my question on who really does that.

After our bathroom break, the rest of the race was a breeze. We quickly got back on pace to where we were. My final time was 34:21, with an 11:05 pace. Given the pit stop, I consider it a pretty good time! I also did not almost vomit in the Tunnel of Love this year (thanks Hailey!).

We celebrated our finish with a fruit omelet at Brown Bag in Kirkland. I'm already looking forward to next year. I need to add to my race outfit to make it more festive. Maybe some tacky hear socks?