Jelly legs

One of my New Year’s resolutions (goals) for this year was to work out three times a week. I was loose with my definition of working out, and counted walks around the neighborhood with the babe some days. But this allowed me to keep this goal successfully for about four months. It was great, even if all the workouts weren’t incredibly intense. They were something. I was sticking with it, checking off three little boxes I would draw in my planner each week. Yay!

Then, at some point after I went back to work, I became less committed to this goal. Body Pump was skipped, runs were “rescheduled” and Corban wasn’t up for walks in 100-degree heat. I have lots of excuses, but the truth is, I lost sight of the goal and prioritized other things.

I’m actually OK with that. There have been more important things to attend to this summer, and that’s fine. The only thing I feel really guilty about is still paying for a gym membership I haven’t been using.

But recently I’ve been craving exercise. It used to be such a big part of my life, and for the past month or two it’s been virtually nonexistent, so now I miss it.

Tonight, I went to Body Pump for the first time in… I can’t even remember. My mom came with (she was in town babysitting Corban today). We both almost fell down the stairs after class. Jelly. Legs.

I love that feeling of exhaustion that comes at the end of class. It’s totally different from the feeling of exhaustion I get when Corban wakes me up at 4 a.m. This is a good feeling – an alive feeling (not a dead-to-the-world-4-a.m. feeling).

This morning I wrote my workout plan in my planner for this week. I got that tough first workout out of the way and checked the box. Now that I’m reminded of what I’m missing, I’m looking forward to sticking with it again.

Does your workout mojo ebb and flow? How do you get back into it after some time away?

Getting back in shape after baby

For the first few weeks after Corban was born, I was content to take it easy, rest and let my body take its time recovering from childbirth. I tried not to lift too much weight (even Corban’s car seat was a bit much) or be on my feet too much.

As I started to feel better, Corban and I went on a few walks, but walks have never really been my thing.

Three weeks and five days after Corban was born, I was ready to run*.

Peter hung out with Corban and I headed to the Y for the first time in months (I never got around to canceling my membership, so I am just going to consider it a donation to an organization that does a lot for the community so I don’t feel too guilty…) The plan was to walk on the treadmill, then work up to a run, and just see how I felt.

As it turned out, I felt amazing. I ended up running for 25 minutes straight, at a pace ranging from 11 minutes per mile to 9:30 per mile.

It was extremely encouraging, but knowing my injury-prone self, I knew I should take it slow in building up mileage. So here’s my tentative plan for getting back into running shape:

Goals: Work out at least three times per week. Run a half-marathon this spring, most likely the South Shore Half-Marathon on April 7 ($12 race entry!).

Training: January 1 – 29 do weeks 5 through 8 of couch to 5K (using the Ease into 5K app); January 30 – April 7 do a 10-week half-marathon training plan (not sure which yet – will keep you posted). I also would like to make baby yoga a weekly habit (we have not been able to make it out the door in time to go since our first class) and get back to Body Pump in the next week or two. Body Pump seems daunting right now – I know the first class will be the hardest!

So far the couch to 5K plan has been going really well. It is forcing me to be really conservative with mileage buildup, which is great. The workouts are measured in minutes, not miles, and they usually involve a walking break in the middle. I’m up to 25 minutes of running.

Earlier this week the weather was freakishly warm for January in Wisconsin, so I was able to run outside and take Corban with me. That’s right, I did a few stroller runs!

We bought a running stroller for $25 on Craigslist, but Corban is still too small for it, so I used our Baby Jogger City Mini with the car seat attached. The City Mini is not meant for running, but the front wheel locks into place, which makes me suspicious that it actually is perfectly fine for running but they tell you it’s not for liability reasons. Either way, Corban is nice and secure in the car seat so I feel comfortable taking it on short, slow runs (like mine were).

Running with a stroller is tough! Granted, I was running with a heavy car seat in a stroller that is not fully optimized for running, but still. Not only is it heavy, but you can’t swing your arms and you have to concentrate on keeping the stroller in line and in control. Hills and wind were brutal!

It was nice having my little buddy out there with me, though.

Anyone else have fitness goals and training plans for the new year? Please share! And join me on Daily Mile for daily training updates.

*I know a lot of people wait for their six-week postpartum check up before exercising, but I was told to do what feels comfortable with no set time restriction.

28 weeks

*First I have to say grrrr to WordPress for somehow turning my long post into zero words and zero photos after I hit publish this afternoon – no error message or anything either so I’m just discovering the blank post. Fist of anger. Now I shall attempt to rewrite it*

28 weeks seems so far along! I still get surprised when I see my growing belly in pictures, like this:

Side note: That’s my favorite maternity shirt. I bought it with my bump bucks at Destination Maternity when I bought my jeans. I like that it’s loose without losing my shape and flowy without making me look like a giant kite.

And… spotted! The Shirt on The Morning Blend:

Speaking of The Morning Blend, the last time I was on (September 29) I broke the news to them that I’m pregnant. Yes, six months pregnant and showing, but somehow it hadn’t come up yet.

This is mostly because I have sort of been discreet about it there. I’m supposed to be hip and happening when I talk about what’s going on in Milwaukee, and somehow pregnant doesn’t seem to fit well with that image, so I’ve been wearing looser tops to kind of hide it. And they didn’t know the pre-pregnant me, so for all they knew I just had a chubby tummy.

When I told the hosts, Molly and Tiffany, they were, of course, bubbly and excited (like they are about most things) and they nonchalantly mentioned it on air (they’re good at that kind of thing – that’s probably why they get paid to chat on TV). Tiffany threw in a joking, “Hope you’ve told your mom already!” since we never discussed talking about it on air. I had to laugh because my mom was the first person we told back in May and they were the very last.

In other news

It’s no longer surprising when strangers notice and comment on the fact that I’m pregnant. My favorite cashier at Pick ‘N’ Save commented the other day (I hadn’t seen her for a while) and coworkers who I don’t talk to very often feel comfortable enough to congratulate me based on appearance.

Haven’t had any annoying experiences with strangers petting my belly or asking if I’m having twins, but one conversation was kind of borderline. In the work cafeteria one day, a woman I don’t know asked me when I’m due, and upon hearing “January,” exclaimed, “Wow! You’re small but your baby sure is growing!”

I wasn’t sure how to take it, but then I realized I wasn’t clear that I’m due the very first day of January, and at this point in the year January seems eons away (no one wants to admit the Wisconsin winter is coming), so she probably figured I was only a few months along. Oh well!

Workout update

I suppose since I wrote down a workout plan last week in an attempt to hold myself accountable, I should actually fess up to what I did this week. Here’s the original plan with my actual “workouts” in bold beside it:

M: Walk to the Y (2ish miles) + 7:20 p.m. Body Pump / Incline pushups and tricep dips
T: Prenatal belly dancing / 1-mile walk and Body Pump
W: 2-mile walk to farmers market and back over lunch / 1-mile walk to farmers market (it’s closer than I realized and I was short on time)
Th: 5:30 a.m. Body Pump / Nada
F: Rest / Standing in the kitchen prepping food for a couple hours (that counts right? Standing that long is challenging these days)
S: 3-mile walk / Yardwork

OK, so I fell short by quite a bit. I’d really like to get more walking in and I have no excuse for that. Morning workouts are just not realistic right now because I feel like a bag of bricks rolling out of bed (and to anyone who knows how hard it is for me to get out of bed normally, it’s way worse than normal now!)

But I’m really happy I made it to Body Pump, even though it was a very challenging class even under normal circumstances. I was wiped by the end! When you’re carrying extra weight inside of you, lunges are so hard! And that’s without adding extra weight on the bar like usual.

I think my best action plan for walking more is to get in mid-afternoon walks at work. It feels great to get out of the office for a little bit, and I’m usually too tired or it’s too late after work.

OK, I think I sufficiently summed up my original post. It might even be better written this time. Time to go comfort the husband as he mourns the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers. Here’s to a good week ahead for all!

‘One on the way, actually’

This morning was my week to go on The Morning Blend (local NBC morning show) and talk about what’s happening this weekend for Tap Milwaukee – an experience I’ve only done once before, and so was feeling pretty nervous about.

I sat on set going over all the locations and days and times in my head while waiting for my turn, and started chatting with the two women who were up before me – an organizer and a participant in the Dirty Girl mud run. Somehow they started talking about their pregnancies, and how they were so huge and tired at the end that they just wanted to give up on life.

One of them said, “In the last few weeks I remember just resigning myself to the fact that this was going to be my life from now on. I’d just wear mu-mus and have my husband help me put my socks on every day.”

The other woman said, “At one point, I was lying on our bed and I just told my husband, if our house starts on fire right now, I just don’t think I can get up to leave.” We all laughed.

Then she turned to me, “Do you have any kids?”

“One on the way, actually,” zing!

We all laughed again and they apologized for possibly terrifying/traumatizing me as I head into those long weeks of gigantic-ness.

The absurdity of the ill-timed conversation actually helped calm my nerves before my segment, so for that I thank them.

Here’s the segment. It went smoothly and I didn’t say anything ridiculous or inaccurate – hooray! I also think I successfully did not look obviously pregnant for yet another week (I do this every three weeks).

In other news, I made it to Body Pump again tonight! I was sore from Tuesday, but managed to keep the weights at the same level. Squats and lunges were particularly hard on sore muscles. I literally was on the verge of tears during lunges – and I’m not one to use the word “literally” and mean “figuratively.”

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a post for you on our final painting project from last weekend. I saved the best for last!

Pregnant at Body Pump

I have been far, far less active over these past four months than ever in my adult life (which I’ll consider to be the past 5 years).

In the early months of 2011, I intensely trained for and raced The American Birkebeiner cross country ski race (34.5 miles – recap here). Then I switched into half-marathon training mode and was building up some nice speed and endurance.

But in April, I became absolutely swamped at work. I barely had time to sleep or eat, let alone run. This lasted well into my first trimester, when even if I did have some free time to work out, I was way too tired to even think about it.

I’ve still been quite tired in my second trimester, but I’ve definitely gained back some energy. I really would like to take advantage of this time, when I’m not too big and have relatively more energy, and stay as active as possible. But I still haven’t been able to get back into the groove of working out.

It’s frustrating! I crave exercise, but never can muster up the drive to do it. I really think this is because I’ve fallen out of the habit. I’m stuck in a rut.

Today, I decided to change that. I packed my gym clothes and vowed to leave work by 5:15 so I could make it to the 5:35 Body Pump class. And whaddaya know, I did!

I was actually nervous walking in to class. I looked back at my records (yes, I keep a workout log…) and I haven’t been to Pump since May. May! I have been paying my $30-something a month YMCA membership for nada. Yikes. And the last Body Pump class, I remember, was early in my pregnancy and it was TOUGH.

Because of this, I took it light on the squat, chest and clean & press weights, but was feeling really good so went normal on the rest of the tracks. I will definitely be sore tomorrow, but it felt SO good to get back to the gym.

Last summer I had a Body Pump instructor who taught up until, it looked like, the very end of her pregnancy. She was intense, but inspirational, even then (if that pregnant lady can bench twice as much weight as me, then how can I not get through this track?). My doctor told me it’s fine to do all the exercises in the class for as long as I feel good, so hopefully I can continue for a while. If it starts to become too taxing on my body, of course I’ll stop, but today felt awesome.

It just takes one day and one decision to change a bad habit.