Body After Baby: Month 3

Joining Elf 4 Health helped jumpstart my motivation. Thanks in big part to my round 1 and round 3 elves, Kelly & Hannah, as well as all my new instagram friends! I have just over a month left of maternity leave *wah!* and my goal is to be able to wear my work wardrobe when I return.

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Last weekend I did a MAJOR clothes purge – getting rid of quite a few items that even when I do fit into them again  I know I still won’t like. Two kitchen size garbage bags went to Goodwill, and 2 more are bundled up to try to sell to Fringe & Frey. Genevieve helped me pick what to keep and what to toss. I tried on every pair of pants I own, no joke, and almost ALL of them zip(!!). They don’t look great by any stretch of the imagination, but the fact that they zip is pretty motivating. I’m still looking to tighten up a bit, and ditch about 3-4 inches overall. I’m so close!

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One of the Elf 4 Health challenges this week was to create a fitness goal for the year. I have two! One is pretty loose: get back into running. I can’t really participate easily in this goal yet, as the roads are still pretty icy in my neighborhood and I dropped my gym membership last January. But I am going to train for Bloomsday (a 12K on May 5th), either to run, or to join the stroller group, which I’m only allowed to walk in. I’d prefer to walk, but it would be nice for Genevieve to be able to participate, so if I need to walk it I will.

My second goal is to go to Zumba every Saturday morning that I am in town. So tomorrow will be my first Zumba class since G was born, and I am so excited about it! I’d love to go Tuesday and Thursday afternoons too, but classes start at 4:30, and the hubs is still at work. But once a week is still pretty good.

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The other days of the week I plan to cross-train and weight train. I’ve been using G in my squats and lunges for my weights, and wow, my bum and hamstrings are killing me! I also use my elliptical a lot. Genevieve is not a huge napper – just short cat naps here and there – so I start my workout while she’s napping, then I transfer her to her play gym when she wakes up. Sometimes she lasts for the remainder of my workout. Other times (ok, most of the time) she gets fussy and I have to hold her. She LOVES riding on the elliptical with me. She talks to me and giggles the whole time. It is pretty cute, but if I don’t pay attention to my posture it can really kill my back. I need to order the Ergo to hold her, because she weighs too much now to make the baby bejorn comfortable. Here is a little video I shot of how I make this work (ignore my baby-talk voice!):

So there it is, my no excuses/make it happen approach to body after baby. It is working so far!

Mamas, how do you fit your work-outs in?

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Spokane Indians 8K Pennant Run Recap

Hi bloggettes, I’ve been MIA for a week now, sorry about that! The past few weeks have been full of changes, (all good, no worries), and I haven’t had the time or energy to blog. I thought I might muster up the energy to get a WIAW post, but I was wrong. So instead I’ll bring you a race recap instead 🙂

Last Saturday I was browsing The Inlander and ran across an add for the Spokane Indians Pennant Run (8K) benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. For $30 you receive a technical t-shirt, a $7 donation to the Ronald McDonald house, a ticket to a Spokane Indians game and a beautiful run along the Centennial Trail in downtown Spokane. Great deal!

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Unfortunately, I saw the add the day after the registration closed, so I had to pay an additional $5, and I won’t be able to pick up my race shirt for a week and a half. But I’m not too worried about that, it just means I have to travel to the Valley, which means a pit stop at Nordstrom Rack is in order.

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After seeing the ad, and after googling the conversion of 8K to miles (4.92 in case you’re wondering), I texted my friend, Kyndra, to see if she would be interested. She was, and we “trained” for the next week. AKA, I went to Physical Therapy for my knee injury, post Half Marathon, and discovered I strained my IT band (more on that fun later). Therefore, I ran 2 miles one day and 3 miles another.

After arriving downtown at 7:15, with the hubs parking pass in hand, we discovered his garage was locked and we couldn’t park there. We also had no quarters for parking meters. Woops. We had to hit up 2 Starbucks to swap dollars for quarters from their tip jar (apparently they can’t open the register without a cash transaction), and find a 3 hour meter. We finally arrived at the race packet pick up tent at 7:52, grabbed our stuff, and had to run back to the car (about 3/4 mile away) to stash our stuff. Luckily, the internet was wrong about the starting time (it said 8, actual race started at 8:30), so we arrived back at the starting point with enough time to stretch.

After the Little Sluggers Dash (50 yard dash with the Spokane Indians mascot for kids 3 and under), and the 1K Kids Run (again, running with the mascot, poor guy), it was time to start our 8K.

The course started near the Carousel in downtown Spokane, and followed the Centennial Trail through Riverfront Park, along the South side of Gonzaga’s campus, around Mission Park, and back. It is actually the same course I ran 2-4 days a week during undergrad, so a wave of nostalgia passed over me as I ran. 🙂

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The course was rather flat, except for a slightly steep overpass walking bridge (not pictured above!). I was very impressed with myself, as I ran the entire race (except for 2 30-second walk  breaks on the bridge). I finished in 50 minutes 32 seconds, with an average pace of 10 minutes 22 seconds per mile. I usually average 11-12 minute miles, so this was a PR for me!

If you’re thinking of running this race next year, two things you should know: there are 2 water stations (which double to 4, because you run by them twice on the loop), and you don’t get a timing chip. I wore my Garmin, but I spaced on pushing start until about 30 seconds in, and forgot to push stop until 30 seconds after. Woops.

But, it was a really fun small run, and great for the entire family. People were running with strollers, with their kids and with their dogs! It wasn’t a competitive race, like Bloomsday or Fueled by Fine Wine, which as a nice change of pace. Plus, you get to run along the Spokane River for half of the race – gorgeous!



Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon Recap

Better late than never, right?

I arrived in Newburg, OR on Saturday afternoon with my friend, Rhonda. We met Reese and checked into our, previously mentioned, smoking room at the Chateaux de Travelodge. I informed the front desk that I had reserved a non-smoking room, but they were completely booked. Inhaling 3rd degree smoke all night really impacted my body, and I woke up feeling sick to my stomach Sunday morning at the ripe ol’ time of 5:15 a.m.

standard pre-run peanut butter banana sandwich on whole wheat bread

After a quick digest of pre-run fuel, the gals and I set off to Dundee, OR, six miles down the road. We expected to have major issues parking, as Dundee is very small, with only one stop light, and over 12,000 runners signed up. However, we encountered no issues and parked across the highway from the race.

The starting area was in full swing when we arrived around 6:20 a.m., 40 minutes prior to start time. Only after we stepped out of a random group of people did we realize we had been standing in the bag check line, and had to go to the end of the line to check Rhonda’s sweatshirt. Sigh. Had I realized they would have a bag check I would have brought a soft pack with flip flops for after the race.

At 7 a.m. the line was still going strong, so the race management waited to start the race to ensure everyone was able to check their bags. I was pleased by how nice everyone was.

Then it was race time. I had my brand spankin’ new Garmin 405 all set to start and I lost GPS signal as I was crossing the start line! Grrr! I spent the first 3/4 mile fidgeting with it, nestling my water bottle between my armpit and my chest, until I was able to get a signal again. Therefore my watch results aren’t entirely accurate, but they give me a pretty good idea of exactly how difficult this course was.

Reese and I running somewhere around mile 4

The massive clouds of smoke from running through the vinyards…I was really wishing I wasn’t a mouth breather at this point!

I was going pretty steady for the first five miles or so. Then the hills really started to get to me. I knew a big hill was coming at mile 9, but I forgot about the monstrous one at mile 7.

*sidenote: the course and elevation were not posted on the course information page until about 2 weeks prior to race day.

Holy hell. I couldn’t even see the top of the hill, and it was a loop, so people kept passing me coming down the very steep, very skinny path. It was completely disheartening.

Once I got to the top, however, I was greeted by a beautiful vinyard.



I was also greeted by yet another hill! The vinyard was a diamond shape, so we went up, turned left, went up, turned left, went up, turned left, turned left and then finally went down.

On the second left Reese yelled something to the effect of there better be a lot of effing wine at the end of this bull.* Everyone around us started cracking up. It was all we could do, agony was all around us.

*Only with the real words. This is a PG blog after all y’all.

I thought I would enjoy going down the hill, but I didn’t. My knee chose that moment to seize up on me and it refused to run. I hobbled down the hill best I could, and attempted to jog a while longer.

But then I reached mile 9. Again, I couldn’t see the crest of the hill. I nearly broke down crying right then and there. But my body wouldn’t let me, it needed to conserve all the water it could to keep me hydrated!

(source)

For the rest of the race I kept a steady walk/run approach, and encouraged Reese to go ahead without me. But she refused to leave my side, noting that we were going to run this race together, and she quickly became my biggest cheerleader.

Caption for mile marker 12: That last wrong mile brought to you by your friends at Crumbled Rock. Yes, it was a VERY wrong mile. So was mile 7, so was mile 9!

Then I hit mile marker 12. I knew I could do it: run for just 1.1 more miles. I was going strong, but then we were met with another hill! It was a gradual one, but my body was SO over hills! I had to walk again, and I am sure poor Reese cursed me for this in her head. But then we turned the final corner and it was downhill from there. As with Bloomsday, Reese and I grabbed hands and held them high above our heads, and sprinted toward the finish line! I have never been more happy to be done with a run than in that very moment.

We were handed cold water bottles, which I slammed immediately, and our gorgeous medals.

Then we stood in a very long line to pick up the most prized possession: a Fueled by Fine Wine Riedel wine glass, which served as our ticket into the massive finishers tent complete with tables of food (which was pretty picked over by the time my slow bootay hobbled inside) and nearly 30 wineries with bottles for tasting.

My final time was 2 hours, 53 minutes, 6 seconds. That is an average pace of 13 minutes, 12 seconds per mile. I would be embarrassed about this time, (I estimated a 2 hour, 25 minute finish), but this course was unlike any run I have ever done. It was literally the hardest thing I’ve done in my entire life.

Rhonda commented that if this had been her first half-marathon she would have given up on running all together. She also jumped into mom mode and kept telling me how proud she was of me all weekend. I loved her for this. I was damn proud of myself for pushing through all the way to the finish, even though I wanted to stop and have a fireman carry me back each time I saw them after mile 7!

And even though I was defeated at first, I am eager to sign up for another half-marathon. I know I can improve my time SO much, and think of how accomplished I will feel then?

A few days post-race the Fueled by Fine Wine Director sent out an email asking for feedback. Rather than just share this information with him, I thought I would post it here in case any of you bloggies are thinking of running this race next year (July 8, 2o11).

Room for improvement:

More food!

By the time I reached the finishers tent the food had been picked over by people who had NOT run the race. Yes, supporters could purchase drink tickets for $20, but they should not have had access to the food. I managed to grab two halves of a banana, some stale bread, a nubbin of a crossant and two brownie bites. The cheese and the rest of the fruit were gone. I could have eaten more energy chews, but I was not in the mood for those at all. I wanted REAL food!

More porta potties along the route!

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Each water station needed 4 or 5 porta potties. Only a few had them, and only 1 or 2. I had to pee starting at mile 3, but refused to wait in the long porta potty lines. Then I passed a fake porta potty after mile 9 and was so upset, It was on a flatbed, just teasing me! I managed to snag a no-line potty break at mile 11 because I couldn’t hold it any longer.

Take debit/credit cards at the pre-race expo.

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The emails prior to the race said to bring your debit/credit cards, but then the clothing tent didn’t take cards. If they want to make more money, they will get more impulse purchases if people can actually spend money!

Don’t allow children and pets to be in the wine-tasting tent.

The emails prior to the race said no kids, yet for some reason there were tons of kids there. This is an 21 and over race, therefore kids have no business in the wine-tasting tent. Plus they were taking the runners food! If kids come to support their parents, that is great, but a separate tent for families would have alleviated some of the congestion.

Post the course before the race sign-up cut off date!

I knew there were hills, the website made that clear, but I was in no way prepared for the type of hills I would encounter. I was training on hills, but I could have been training a lot harder had I known what I had gotten myself into.

The good stuff:

This course was brutal, but it was beautiful.

(source)

‘Nuff said.

I’m going to do this race again.

Maybe not next year, but I know I can improve my time, since now I know what to expect.

So there you have it, my first half-marathon recap. The Director also mentioned that for this race, PR stands for pretty run or painful run, as no one is going to have a stellar time. But for me, I’m just happy to have finished it without the PR standing for Paramedics Required!

What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever done?

OMG I ran a half-marathon

And I am still alive. I’ll do a full recap later this week, but until then, just know that the Fueled by Fine Wine Half-Marathon should have been named Hills From Hell! Here’s a glimpse of what I am referring to:

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There were multiple times I wanted to cry along the route, but whenever I saw a photographer I made sure to smile! The pictures were posted online today, and not a tear in sight 🙂

Prior to the race

I love this shot! Reese is trying to high five me (we high fived at every mile marker), but I’m paying no attention and sticking out my tongue.

Yikes to the heel strike!

I think I can, I think I can…

I think I’ll pay for this one, I was THRILLED to be finished!

Rhonda, me & Reese just after we finished, proudly displaying our medals and wine glasses.

So happy!

After run wine tasting party

I’m still insanely sore, and am not caught up as much as I need to be for work. Once I’m on top of things I’ll get on the race recap! All event photos from Evan Pilchik Photography.

WIAW Birthday style

Yesterday I turned the big 2-8. I know this doesn’t sound old to some people, but it is the first birthday I’ve felt old. And tired. And cranky. I usually am thrilled to celebrate my birthday, but not this year. I have wrinkles now!

My co-worker* helped brighten my outlook, however, with a bouquet of balloons 🙂

*Thanks Corinne!

The majority of my birthday eats were consumed quickly via tupp-faux-wear containers, as yesterday was the first day of summer school. Last year I celebrated in Paris…

turning 27 was a whole lot more fun than turning 28!

But back to my birthday eats, WIAW style.

B

Breakfast was a little un-overnight oat action: raw oats, 1 T chia seeds, splash o vanilla, 1/2ish cup organic blueberries & a little cinnamon. Mixed cold before I left for work, and consumed on arrival.L

Lunch included leftover Mexican(ish) quinoa salad and lemon chiffon yogurt.S

Snacks included carrots + Greek yogurt dip*

*purchased on clearance, Miss Smart would be proud!

and an awesome strawberry shortcake cupcake, that another co-worker (Thanks Shan!), made me. I neglected to take a photo, but it was reminiscent of this:(source)

D

Dinner was a little Flying Goat action (duh). By the end of the day I was exhausted and had no energy left to do anything other than open gifts (below), read my book (Water for Elephants, meh) and have a casual dinner.

Aubrey Salad (romaine, roma, cuke, red onion, mozz & lemon vinegarette)

Maherita (recycled photo, the sun was far too bright for food photography)

And my gifts? They fit in with my original W (weigh-in). Twenty-eight marks the year of running. The hubs got me a Garmin 405(!!),the super fun bondi band* I wanted,

*perfect for my half-marathon this weekend!

and my parents got me a running log and the complete book of running for women.

The hubs also got me The Borrower, a tale about a Librarian who kidnaps a 10-year-old boy obsessed with reading to save him from his over-protective crazy mother. It looks really good 🙂

 

What was your most memorable birthday?

June gloom slacker.

In San Diego June is known as “June Gloom.” A month of drab weather caused by a marine layer of some sort. Wikipedia does a much better job of explaining it, so I’m not going to bother. But Spokane is certainly giving San Diego a run for its money. We’ve had three times the normal amount of rainfall over the past three months, and it is really getting old. I don’t know if my peonies will ever bloom. I would really like my dining room table to look like this:

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But I just don’t think it is a possibility in the near future. Humph.

My outdoor runs are non-existant too. And I really, really hope that my 8 miler this weekend can be outdoors, rather than on the dreadmill.

Another thing I’ve been majorly slacking on are the Fashion Friday posts. Aside from Lindsay’s guest post a few weeks back, I haven’t really kept up on this feature. I could give you a litany of excuses, but I’m sure you don’t really care why I haven’t snapped my daily outfit photos. I did nab a few over the course of May, however.

I’m more concerned with building my running wardrobe lately. I purchased a few  socks…

and am currently eying some running capris and tanks.

and possibly some new running shoes…

The one positive is that it is day 3 of the no-candy challenge, and I am rocking it! Not enjoying it, per se, but I haven’t had any candy 🙂

What is your favorite attire to run/exercise in?

I’ve discovered I cannot run in shorts. I can use the elliptical, but runs are a no-go. Thank you womanly thighs. But I think the Brooks shorts above might solve my problem. I also am a tank top girl. I hate having shirt lines too close to my neck, I feel like I am choking.

On running.

I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with all things exercise lately. My gym buddy started riding her bike to work, (go Erica!), and while this is great for her and the environment, it hasn’t helped me get my bootay to the gym before work. I did take note one day (during bike to work week, of course), and rode my (very pretty) bike to work and parked it in my office.

Why yes, that is an apple eraser magnet on my white board. Teacher nerd alert!

It was a fun and short (4 miles) ride, but my back got all sweaty due to my goodies, (purse, lunch, 2 water bottles & coffee), on my back.

But aside from that, and a few (very lackluster) elliptical dates, I have been a major slacker over the past week. Contrary to my weigh in Wednesday this week, (which was written on the previous week’s work outs).

The culprit? Cramps. Thank you mother nature. I think working with middle schoolers has propelled me back to the days of trying to get out of gym because of cramps. Hormones must be a catchable disease. I’ve got a pimple on my nose to back this theory up.

I know that getting my heart rate up and the blood flowing will help alleviate my cramps, and subsequent crampy attitude, but I’m much more content to whine about it, curl up with a bag of Kettle Buffalo Bleu chips and nosh on  dark chocolate.

But I do have half-marathon training to complete. And I need to get my head (and legs!) in the game. So when I stumbled upon a running survey on Lori’s blog, I thought it might be fun to do and just enough motivation to get me through today’s scheduled 9 mile run. Nine miles. Oy.

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What is your favorite type of cross training?
Elliptical. There is just something about zoning out with a copy of Women’s Health magazine, (or US Weekly….Hubs, time to renew!). Sometimes I do HIIT, but usually I just set the resistance to 9 and go for an hour.

What is your favorite song to run to?
My current favorite really surprised me: Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine. I threw it on my Bloomsday play list, just to try it out, and wound up falling in love with it. I usually repeat it 3 or 4 times on a long run.

Other favorites include: Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, Banquet by Bloc Party, Rolling in the Deep by Adele, Opposite of Adults (ftg. MGMT) by Chiddy Bang, Firework by Katy Perry, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, Sealion  by Feist, The Owls Go by Architecture in Helsinki, and Inkwell (Crashed-Cop-Car Remix) by Blue Scholars.

What brand of shoes do you wear?
Asics (T964N), but they are very worn out. I need to get my bootay to The Runner’s Soul and have them watch me run/get new shoes.

Do you wear a hat when you run?
No. I have a small sweat-wicking headband, but I really want a bondi band. Specifically, this one:

(source)

It’s perfect for my Fueled by Fine Wine 1/2 Marathon, don’t you think?

What temperature is your favorite for running?
Between 45 and 60 degrees. Because of my athsma I have a difficult time regulating my body temperature, and overheat very easily. Or maybe my athsma is resultant of my inability to regulate body temperature. Whatever the case, I prefer to run in slightly cooler weather. But I need to get used to running in the heat, or my July 10th half is going to suck!

Do you have any big races coming up?
I’m running the Fueled by Fine Wine 1/2 marathon on July 10th. I am also toying with the idea of the 10K Dirty Dash on August 20 in Spokane and the Iron Girl 10K on September 11th in Seattle.

What is your favorite distance?
4-5 miles is a nice every day distance.

Are you a morning, noon or evening runner?
Morning, but not by choice. I can’t run at the end of the day because things always come up. Noon would be preferable, but there is that whole working woman thing that gets in the way.

Do you run solo or with a buddy?
I run solo, but my partner in crime, Reese, and I text each other after our long runs to ensure we stay on track for half marathon training.

What is your favorite pre-run fuel?
I added this one, since I couldn’t answer two for-seasoned-runners-only-appropriate questions.

Usually a peanut butter and banana sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. But today I decided to change it up (not much) and eat oats topped with cinnamon, raw sugar, half a banana and some chunky peanut butter.

I’m (kind of) experimenting with different pre-run foods so I know exactly what will fuel be best for my half this summer.

What’s your favorite post-run snack?
Green monster! My fav mix is 1-2 cups baby spinach, 3/4 cup frozen tropical fruit blend (strawberry, mango, pineapple), 1 cup vanilla almond milk & 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder.


What’s your FAVORITE race?
I’ve only run one, Bloomsday (12K), and it was so much fun 🙂

Do you wear a Garmin?  If not, how do you track your runs? 
No, but it is on my birthday Amazon wish list. Only 5 more weeks Hubs…

Last week I downloaded the Log Your Run app. It uses GPS to track my mileage. I got the free version, which has emergency contact info, the ability to customize a play list (which doesn’t work for me, since I dropped my iPhone in a fountain last summer and the iPod function doesn’t work), and has a couple other features. It doesn’t, however, break down my miles/speed for me. I think the pay version might do that. It is also kind of a pain to have to start/stop and put in my iFitness belt. A Garmin will be much more user friendly, but the free app works for now.

Who is your running idol?
I don’t have one. But I am quite impressed with my running buddy from afar, Reese. In 2010 her resolution was to run a race for every holiday, and she did!

How long have you been a runner?
I became a runner in 2011. I toyed with running before this year, but it never stuck until March 2011.

Do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on?
No – swollen fingers!

What’s your favorite workout? repeats? long runs? tempo? fartleks?
Long runs.  I cannot sprint, or even run quickly, to save my soul. Slow and steady is my mantra. Plus long runs gives me plenty of time to think, sort out my life, and create new recipes. Yes, I constantly think of food while running: what will I eat to refuel, what can I make for dinner without going to the grocery store, do I have enough ingredients at home to make a dessert?

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What about you? What is your favorite exercise? Do you use running as therapy too?