Meh, walking

I’ve never been a big fan of walking for exercise.

For one, it’s inefficient. Why walk when I can get the miles in faster by running?

Also, unless you’re walking with a partner, it’s boring. It’s less physically engaging so therefore less mentally stimulating for me. Because running can be such a physical challenge, it takes mental focus. It’s often like an inner game with myself, setting and achieving even tiny goals within the run. But walking is just… moving forward slowly.

Before you get your panties in a bundle: yes, I realize there are many benefits to walking and I completely respect those who do it and love it. I am just not one of those people.

Or at least, I wasn’t.

I discovered in Tucson that running is probably no longer an option for me. I went out for a run and only lasted .5 mile before my stomach started to feel tight and uncomfortable. That was that. I walked the rest of the way and said sayonara to running until January.

So walking seems to be the next logical form of exercise to turn to. I can’t bring myself to face an elliptical, and although I keep saying I’ll start swimming again… well, swimming takes a lot of effort (driving to the Y, getting wet, etc.) There’s always belly dancing, I suppose (and yes, I will try that next week… I missed it this week).

So yeah, I’ve been trying to get out and walk more. And I have to say, tonight’s 2.8-miler around the neighborhood was one of the toughest workouts to get through! Not because I was sweating and out of breath, but because I scarfed down a big bowl of Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese a bit too close to the time I headed out the door. A full stomach plus the usual little pains of walking while pregnant (which seem to crop up at exactly .85 mile for me) do not make for a comfortable workout.

And I admit, even without the mac ‘n’ cheese, walking is a challenge now. I’m bigger, I have less stamina, my belly starts to hurt after less than a mile and I haven’t exactly been a fitness queen over the past 23 weeks, so this walk was just as challenging as a pre-pregnant run. I’m actually a little scared for how much harder it will become in the next months.

To fight the boredom (because even though it’s more physically challenging now, I still get antsy), I downloaded some Focus on the Family parenting podcasts on my iPhone. I feel really old typing that. But that’s one benefit to walking – since the act itself takes less mental focus, you can actually pay attention to podcasts or audiobooks.

So, basically, walking is growing on me. And that’s a good thing.

Prenatal belly dancing?

Oh yes, it exists. In this day, that’s not surprising.

The surprising thing is it exists a mere 10 minutes from my house, at Destination Maternity (a retail store, I believe) in Brookfield, Wis. And it’s free. Ha!

So I pretty much have no reason not to try it out, right? I mean, sure, I’ll probably feel incredibly ridiculous and uncoordinated and embarrassed (I’ve never been very good at any sort of dance-based exercise classes), but I’m not one to pass up on something so seemingly outrageous.

The good news is, aside from prenatal belly dancing, they offer free prenatal yoga, piyo and weights classes. I’m definitely interested in piyo, and will give the weights class a try (though I have a feeling it will seem really tame compared to Body Pump). If nothing else, it’s a good chance to meet some other pregnant ladies.

Here’s the class schedule. Apparently there is a binder at Destination Maternity where you can sign up for whichever classes you plan to attend. Destination Maternity is located at 16010 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield.

‘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.