Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 15 Weeks

Check out my guest post on SmartMom about The C-Section Process! 

It's almost been 16 week?! Not sure why, but even weeks seem like more of a milestone than odd weeks. Week 15 was filled with family and traveling, packing, unpacking, laundry laundry laundry, repacking, then unpacking AGAIN! My sister was visiting from California with her daughters, so I opted for a lot of quality time with some cute snuggle bunnies this week! I find that I have great workout intentions when I travel, but then I lose my gusto in the midst of being tired from traveling and spending time doing fun things. Kim has been traveling a lot for work, and I love how she continually fits in her workouts on the road! Here are how things went during week 15.

Henry actually interacted with his cousins this trip, as opposed to his 4 week old sleepy self last time they were together!

Weekly Workouts: 15 Weeks Postpartum

  • Sunday: 3 mile run. I hit my favorite trail in CT and it was HOT and HUMID! Probably my warmest postpartum run...in September?! Weather can be SO strange.

CT is very pretty.

  • Monday: Rest day. I did tons of laundry. Yes, I bring my laundry to my parent's house #NYCLife
  • Tuesday: Fitzala Workout! Lots of burpees, push ups, and squat jumps involved. I had a little assistance from a bored little girl. She counted how many reps I did for each set. We did a couple of dance breaks. FYI, squat jumps are still my most loathed exercise.
Someone else was roaming the backyard but OBVIOUSLY came around when it was time for push ups!

  • Wednesday: Rest and packing. Seriously. Packing for two people is taxing, but packing for a BABY is insane! Books, shampoo, laundry, diapers, they come with so much stuff! I was exhausted after a tough night of (limited) sleep and decided to relax and enjoy my family.
  • Thursday: Fitzala workout. I drove from CT with Henry sleeping in the back the whole time. It was so peaceful: just me, my ice coffee and Mumford and Sons Pandora (Which I have thumbs up'd and thumbs down'd to perfection). Someone got some intense mommy workout entertainment after we got home!
  • Friday: Walked about a mile around around the neighborhood. Henry had a doctor's appointment, which seems to tire me out and monopolize our day. Since he got some shots I opted to stay home and cuddle him a little more than usual.
  • Saturday: Fitzala workout. I finished 5/6 of the workout, and suddenly someone was ready to eat! Feels like the eternal story of my life! This is why I workout while he's awake!

Summary: I think I found a healthy balance. Henry is still struggling with consistent sleep, therefore mommy is struggling with consistent sleep. It's going to be such a game changer when he finally evens out just a bit more. I'm very happy that I fit in four workouts this week, can't wait to keep it up this week!

How about you? Do you make it a priority to workout while traveling? Do you opt to spend time with family over getting some miles in? How does it feel to get 8 hours of sleep? I forget. TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dairy and Soy Elimination Diet: Part 1

It all started with some spit up. I felt that Henry was spitting up a lot around 4 weeks old. A lot meaning 3-5 times every feeding, and sometimes an hour to three hours after eating. The doctors didn't think anything of it because he was rapidly gaining weight. Finally they realized he had reflux, and he went on Zantac. However, that didn't help. Basically, we went through a series of stool samples and eliminations; first it was dairy, and soy. We changed his prescription to Prevacid, and are finally seeing a change. It has all been a lot for me to process, here is what my research has yielded so far. 

Some things you may not know about dairy and soy:
- They are the two most common ingredients in packaged foods (At least to me!)
- They are in pretty much all cereal and bread.
- There are several names for soy.
- You can't have goat cheese when you're eliminating dairy.
- When ingredients list "natural flavoring", chances are pretty high that it means soy.

So, this is a new journey for me. I'm allergic to bees, that's it. Suddenly being "allergic" to food items, especially hidden food items like soy, is a  huge challenge. When you're told you can't eat something, all you want is THAT thing. I had "cooker's block"; I couldn't think of anything to make to eat. Now on week two of no soy and week four of no dairy, I'm slowly finding my way around avoiding those ingredients. Here are a few things I've made so far:

 L-R T-B: Cinnamon Life! MY FAV! I bought 10 boxes on sale. Eggs with any vegetables, cooked in coconut oil. Apple walnut quinoa. Seasoned sauteed chicken.
 L-R T-B: Coconut ice cream...yes it's as good as it sounds. Fresh salads with lots of protein and homemade dressing. Quinoa salad, this one included black beans, avocado, red peppers, cucumbers evoo and lime juice. Made from scratch pumpkin pancakes

Seeing him spit up less and be more comfortable is worth it. Despite his tummy troubles he is truly a happy baby. I love this little guy. And Baby Gap leggings.

How about you? Have you ever had to give up a food? Do you have any food allergies? What are you cooking lately? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 14 Weeks

This week things finally felt like they "clicked". I feel like I have been up and down with working out, suddenly being busy, and lacking consistency. This week I saw progress in my endurance, which was very encouraging!!! Here is what happened this week:

Weekly Workouts: 14 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: Rest. It was football Sunday, we had company over for the 1:00 and 4:00 games, so I decided to spend time with friends instead of escaping for some sweat.
Worth the rest to snuggle with this guy!!!
  • Monday: Fitzala workout! It was a new week, and the workout was AMAZING. It involved a lot of kettle bell moves, which I enjoyed the the challenge of. I also, for the first time in FOREVER, did REGULAR push ups! I did 30 (Three sets of ten) and felt so happy to see this progress. I tried working out while Henry was awake, because inevitably he would wake up "early" from his nap while I was in the middle of a workout. Needless to say, Henry will be able count up to 30 very soon. To top off a great day, I did a one mile run with Mr. Miller at the park after work.
My constant companions...little baby, puppy dog, and workout equipment!
  • Tuesday: Fitzala workout! I decided I liked it so much I would do it again.
  • Wednesday: 2 Mile run! I let Lambeau have a little extra off the leash time at the park before beginning our run, so I had to cut it short when a certain cutie woke up hungry.
He literally woke up as I was taking this photo. 
  • Thursday: I walked all over Manhattan! We were helping a friend out, so we got some great baby wearing miles (Probably 2) in. I also got another Fitzala workout in during the afternoon.
Subway baby = sleepy baby.

  • Friday: Rest day. I wanted to do yoga, but I found out that I have to eliminate soy for Henry, so I was overwhelmed and googling EVERYTHING. 
  • Saturday: I was hoping for a "long run" since we were in CT, but it didn't happen. We decided to drive in the night before instead of Saturday morning, so my hopes were heightened. Alas, little baby boy didn't have his best night of sleep.Considered running a bit later, but my niece did my hair for the 5pm wedding we were attending, so I was confined to having pretty hair for the day ;-) We DID, however, get some good cardio in on the dance floor!
My sister, niece and I tore up that dance floor. To quote my adorable niece when taking a break from dancing, "But I don't want to stop!" My either girl, me either.

Summary: I felt more consistent this week. Doing regular push ups, as small as that may seem, was a huge boost of confidence . I'm looking forward to some CT running this week since the low is in the 40's! I.LOVE.COLD.RUNNING.

How was your week? Did you attend a wedding like everyone I know? Are you in taper town/Peak training? Did you race this weekend? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Difference between Addition and Addiction

I do a lot of thinking while on the run. I've been doing a lot of stroller running, and seem to only think about a. Is Henry okay? b. Is Lambeau going to jump out of the basket? (He rides underneath during morning runs...we go for his walk and then run. Leaving the house is a task, so I combine my outings!) 

Lambeau loves his "basket"! I say "Lambeau get in your basket" and he jumps in.

While on a recent (re: rare) solo run, I got to thinking about how good it feels to be back to the activity that I love. I ran until I was 36 weeks pregnant, at which time my bladder helped make hanging up my running shoes an easy decision. After my emergency c-section, it made for a grand total of 14 non-running weeks. I missed it terribly, but at the same time I couldn't imagine running with my pain and rate of my recovery. Once I hit 8 weeks postpartum, I was ready. So on this solo run I got to thinking: Running is such a great addition to my life.

Throwback photo to the 2012 Philly Marathon with some pretty great people. Thanks, Running!

And then my mind ran with that. I recalled the article in Runner's World "No, Running Isn't Therapy". I loved this article, because it embodied my thoughts about running in a very poignant way. I agree that running is a great outlet, that it helps with stress and all, but there are some things that running can't solve. When it's taken away, what will you do? That's the problem I faced post baby. Thankfully the answer was rest and relax, because running is just a great addition to my life, not an addiction.

Toe surgery circa August 2013 sidelined me for a month. This was a tougher no running time, since it was the end of summer! Teachers get how stressful that is and you try to pack all the fun things into the remaining weeks before school!

The difference between addition and addiction is the place of something on your priority list. I used to get so upset with a missed run, an injury, change in schedule, or shortened run. Now? I'm just happy to run. I'm not worried about my pace, how long I go, or if I feel all jiggly and weird. Now, I understand different strokes for different folks in training, and training can get serious. Goals are great. Aspirations drive us. I think Psychology Today summed it up right, I'll paraphrase their definition of addiction:

"Addiction is the condition where an individual engages in an activity that can be pleasurable, but the continued act becomes compulsive and interferes with life responsibilities."

These days, I have different life responsibilities. I used to get so down and flustered when work would interfere with my running schedule. Now, life is all about finding the balance of being fully present with my family as well as enjoying the addition of running in my life. Running should enhance your life, not detract from it. I have definitely felt a shift in balance to enhancement within running friendships, running with my husband, and setting it aside as "me time"; a get to, not a have to.

How about you? Do you think running is therapy? How have you handled times when you couldn't run? Where does running rank on your priority list? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 13 Weeks

My little guy is three months old! I can't believe it. I thought I would be a lot further along in this game of "getting back to pre baby body status" at three months. I haven't been able to get a single one of my rewards from my postpartum fitness plan. Want honesty? I HAVEN'T LOST A POUND! I'm still 18lbs away from my pre baby weight. And you know what? I'm working with what I've got. I'm going to keep going, keep working at it, and earn my fitness back. My other choice is to sit and mope and stay the same, which I have no interest in. The challenge is to focus on my increased fitness, NOT my lack of numbers progress. Easier said than done, but I'm working towards it! Here's how things went this week:
Keep on going. God will guide you, He will give you the strength you need. #quotes #quotiful Create your own picture quote and download the app at www.quotiful.com 

Weekly Workouts: 13 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: Ran three miles! About a mile long walk on the beach. It was a windy overcast day, but we made the best of it! I seriously love running in VA Beach, I've had the most beautiful, peaceful....and HOT runs there! 
 My hair was WILD. The tail/head winds were extreme!

 It was even windy for Lambeau to run!

My Linus baby and I. He was very cuddly. I obliged!
  • Monday: Torrential downpour, nothing. Basically we took another lazy day and watched movies.
  • Tuesday: Fitzala workout! A great circuit workout. I had to use some household items because I didn't think to pack my kettlebells. Silly me ;-)
  • Wednesday: Beach and travel day. It was the most gorgeous day, so we soaked in the morning lazing on the beach. 
Family Beach photo!
  • Thursday: Rest Day with tons of running around.  Henry has been having some reflux issues, so we spent the day at his pediatrician then an ENT. I felt exhausted but didn't feel like I got anything done!
  • Friday: Fitzala workout. Made it two out of three rounds. Henry woke up from his nap and wouldn't continue snoozing, so we called it a day! We also went to the park and did some walking with some friends.
My companions for my workouts.
  • Saturday: Walked a mile. My hamstrings were tight so I decided to take it easy. It was a rainy day so it was easy to rest with my boys. 
Summary: I want a solid schedule. Easier said than done with an infant, but I want to arrange things to ensure I get my workouts in. Now that the pool is closed, I find it harder to leave Mr. Miller & Co. because it's so nice to spend time together! We're trying to run together today to see how that goes. We both feel like we need to be more consistent; we know what to do but we need the extra OOMPH to do it more consistently!

How was your week? Did you have rainy weather for your workout? Eat anything fabulously pumpkin? Do your animals interrupt you during your workouts? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Henry: Three Months

Lesson learned: Enjoy every moment! There are so many developmental things happening so fast! One day we would catch a fleeting smile, and suddenly he smiles 24/7! It's truly amazing in three months how this guy has grown.Here are some highlights:

Hi, I'm three months old! 
This was taken on 9/11/14, I chose his shirt on a day when NYC is remembered. Amazing how on a day of solemn remembrance, a little one can innocently brighten it.

  • Henry is smiling nonstop! He wakes up in the morning smiling, despite being hungry. I don't have that much self control! He's the best.
  • Henry has a dairy allergy/sensitivity. Although there is no test for this, his stool culture showed blood in the stool. After a week of no dairy for me, there was no blood in the new culture. Verdict: no dairy for mom! Wahhhh. But anything for my baby.
  • He is on a new reflux med. He distracted doctors by being a happy baby and gaining weight, but I persisted with evaluations concerning his spitting up nonstop (Oh the laundry....burp cloths on burp cloths on burp cloths!). We finally got an ENT consult and hope this new medicine will calm his reflux. Again, despite pain, he's a happy go lucky babe.
  • He is in his crib! We had him in the rock and play because of the reflux (upright sleeping helped tremendously), but now he's moving a ton and seems to be too constricted in the rock and play.
  • He loves to bicycle kick! Get this kid to a spin class STAT! 
  • We vacationed at Annapolis and Virginia Beach! Unfortunately it was raining 3 out of 6 days, but fortunately this guy roles with the punches!
  • He's a great jogging stroller baby! We go everywhere together, whether walking or running!
  • Henry weighs in at 13lbs 7oz, I'm getting a great arm workout!!!
Just in case he seems perfect...this post was written one handed! We had a whining/cranky fest on the night when Mr. Miller is at a Mets game! I currently have a sleeping Henry in my left arm. It served to remind me that he is so good even when tired. We are so thankful for a healthy baby boy who continues to exude joy.

Happy Three Months Little Lion Man!
Some fantastic outtakes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 12 Weeks

It's vacation week! Sadly we're experiencing some rain, so I'm blogging. This past week marked 12 weeks since I had Henry via C-Section, so that means the beginning of lifting and abs! I haven't broken out the kettle bells just yet, I stuck with 4lb weights to ease my way back into lifting. I was so scared to start ab work, and rightfully so: after my first "real" moves targeting my abs, it hurt when I laughed and coughed! (Full circle from when they hurt post surgery I guess?) Doesn't matter, I'm back to full body workouts and I'm excited! 

Weekly Workouts: 12 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: Nothing, spent the day with my family, visiting friends, and lazying about.
  • Monday: Repeat of Sunday, but this was spent mainly lounging by the pool.
  • Tuesday: Fitzala workout! It didn't seem hard at the time, but the crossfit type workout left me SORRRRRRRRRE. First time actively engaging my abs in an ab focused move, and it was difficult. The 'ol stomach has plenty of rehabbing ahead of it!
  • Wednesday: Rest day. Visited another cute Henry so I walked about 2 miles total "wearing" the baby.
  • Thursday: 1.5 mile run on the "first day of school". It was my first time in six years not helping kindergarteners separate from their parents and not lose their new class. Seeing kids walking to school gave me minor anxiety. Also did the Fitzala workout! Boy was I sore from the first one, and this one was much more difficult. I had to modify the ab work because my abs simply could not do the assigned exercise.
  • Friday: Rest day: driving to vacation! We stopped overnight in Annapolis and enjoyed a day of eating, drinking, and visiting with friends.
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Kings of the castle! A pirate pup and his first mate.

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At our favorite dockside spot in Annapolis, MD
  • Saturday: Rest day: driving again! We drove the rest of the way to VA Beach and went to a BBQ event. It was disgustingly hot and humid, so nothing happened besides more pool lounging.
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After a successful swim in the pool! It was so hot the pool was like bathwater! 

Summary: Only two days of "real" workouts. It was a busy week filled with traveling with an infant! It was definitely the kind of week where I felt like all I was doing was packing, unpacking, then repacking. It was also extremely hot at the beginning of the week, so I backed off from any stroller running. It's not worth it to get some miles in to have a hot baby! It made me extremely thankful for the cool summer we've had.

How was your week? Do you feel like it's "fall"? Did you or your kids start school? How is fall race training going? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 11 Weeks

Hello, September! I can't believe I'm not reporting to work today. I will be taking a year off from teaching to take care of little Henry, but reality still hasn't hit me. Seeing kids going to school on Thursday will definitely made it feel more "real". This past week was filled with fun, travel, and HEAT! It made me thankful that we have had a relatively cool summer. 

Weekly Workouts: 11 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: FANTASTIC 3 mile run! It is the best I have felt running with the BOB, and even averaged in the high 10's! 
PRISTINE morning on the West Side Highway! Henry slept through the whole thing.
  • Monday: I made it all four circuits of my at home workout
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. I wasn't feeling this swim, especially knowing that my boys were walking around the park enjoying the sunset, but I kept going and made it just as the whistle was blown to stop. It was, after all, my last swim of the season there.
And just like that, the sun sets on my (abbreviated) summer swimming.

  • Wednesday: 1 mile run (It was HOT) and two rounds of my strength routine.
  • Thursday: 3.75 mile run! BOB PDR! I FINALLY ran to the park and back. This is my old running route, and it felt like I was finally "running again", instead of driving my car to the park, running a mile or two, then driving home. It was definitely a slower pace since I was dealing with going slow/walking over uneven sidewalks, but it was totally worth it!
He's in there, I promise!
  • Friday: Rest day: I got a full body workout packing the car though! We drove to CT for the weekend!
  • Saturday: Unplanned rest day. You know when you feel tired and everything in you wants to work out, but you're just TIRED?! That was me. And you know what? My body was screaming for rest and relaxation, and that's what I gave it. I'm not going to sacrifice my body's need for rest to try to exercise on fumes. 
Sleepy weekend by the pool. We all enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation! Related: rolls on rolls on rolls on rolls!

Summary: I'm seeing progress and staying positive. Before my vow to avoid negative self talk, I would have been beating myself up over skipping my workouts Saturday and, spoiler alert, Sunday and Monday. However, spending time with family, floating in a pool, and visiting with friends made this weekend a healthy dose of much need decompression. Next up: full on working out! 12 weeks means weights and abs. I'm nervous and excited, stay tuned for the progress! We are going on vacation this Friday, so I'm hoping to maintain a healthy balance of working out and continued relaxation.

How was your week? Do you plow through exhaustion to get a workout in? When was the last time you jumped off a diving board? (I did it Monday! So weird but so fun!) Do you think the benefits of exercising outweigh the benefits of resting? TELL ME ABOUT IT!