Back to It

When I found out I was pregnant and due early November, I realized I would be in my postpartum period over all the holiday goodness. Thankfully, Isla’s birthday was close enough to the holidays that it’s still acceptable to rock stretchy maternity jeans.

I told myself that I wouldn’t start worrying about trying to lose baby weight until after the holidays and until Isla had established a good eating schedule. Since this is the last maternity leave that I’ll ever get, I also promised myself that I wouldn’t do anything but cuddle my new baby for two weeks after she was born. Done and done. For two weeks, I didn’t lift a finger. It was amazing.

IMG_4327.JPG

Even though I didn’t really contribute to any household chores during that time, I still couldn’t sit still. The weather has been wonderful for this time of year here in Wisconsin, so we managed a few family walks those first few weeks. Once the weather got cooler, I was on my own. The cool temps felt so refreshing after being inside all day. For the first few weeks I kept the mileage to about two miles or thirty minutes of fast walking. At about four weeks postpartum, I was feeling pretty good and started to add some running in there. Talk about humbling. I stayed pretty active my whole pregnancy, so for that reason I wasn’t expecting it to be so difficult. My legs itched like crazy and my lungs hated me. Not to mention my lower abdominal strength being completely gone. I have some work ahead of me.

I’ve been getting out as often as I can and running the treadmill during nap time and it is getting a little easier than that first time a few weeks ago.

napttimeworkout

On Sunday, my sister and I laced up our running shoes and headed out for a run by my mom’s house. It was my first “real” run. We had a distance goal and got it done! We set out to run 3 miles and it felt really good. We ran around Humbolt Park…

humbolt park

and by the time we got back to my mom’s we were at 2.3 miles. So we ran around a few blocks and during that last stretch of distance, I was running close enough to my old pace again that I was hopeful it won’t be much longer to be back to where I was.

sundayrunday

And I celebrated my first glorious postpartum run with grandma’s 75th birthday cake…

postruncake

My first “race” will be a 5k in January. I’m excited to see how I do and where I am as far as speed goes by then. Now that I’ve added cardio back into my life, I’m looking forward to take a barre class next week! My sister and I are doing the last blast of 2015 (75 minute cardio class), but I’m hoping to sneak in a regular barre class before then.

How do you celebrate a really great run?

Any advice on returning back to running after pregnancy or an injury?

What’s on your schedule as far as races go in 2016?

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

familyoffour

 

 

Advertisements

She’s Here…+3rd Trimester Workouts I’m currently Loving

I’m excited to announce the arrival of our new treadmill! 😉
treadmillSince we purchased our house a few years ago, hubs and I have entertained the idea of getting a treadmill. We just weren’t sure of where to put it. We have three bedrooms upstairs, and while 1 sat empty for awhile, we knew sooner or later another babe would fill the space. Larry was worried that if we put it in our basement, he wouldn’t be able to use it because he would hit his head on the ceiling. We decided, last weekend, to take that risk.
Instead of purchasing one from craigslist, we opted for a brand new one. I know this machine will be put to great use so I wanted to make sure we had something of great quality that would last us without zero problems. We purchased it from 2nd Wind and are very happy so far with the customer service and sale. They also delivered it and assembled it. I came home from work yesterday and there she was just sitting there, waiting to be used. 2nd Wind will also come out and service it if something goes wrong.
Buying the treadmill forced me to focus on decorating our rec room. Initially, we thought the space would be great for a bar. But then came the Princess Sofia tent, the Frozen ball pit, and a mini trampoline and soon it became Madelyn’s play place. Larry’s dreams of “The Bear Den” will have to be placed on hold…indefinitely 🙂 Instead, I finally displayed the 2013 Chicago Marathon poster which depicts the Chicago lakefront running path-my favorite place to run. Around it, I have saved bibs from special races (PRs, first 5k/half marathon after baby, etc). Before I hijacked Larry’s “mancave” I made sure he was okay with it and he was. So this is what we have so far:
IMG_4186My second favorite room in our house.
I cannot wait to actually use it for RUNNING! I was able to manage a slow jog for about 2 minutes yesterday and it actually felt pretty good, but I didn’t want to press my luck since it’s been many weeks since I last ran. So instead, I did a walking hill workout while watching Usain Bolt on Ellen. How crazy is it that he was on Ellen the same day our treadmill arrived?! After my hill workout, I did some barre-like glute and thigh work and then headed upstairs for dinner.
My workouts these past few weeks have slowed down dramatically while my motivation has ramped up. (Hello Ragnar Relay 2016!!!)
Things that work for me in the 3rd Trimester
  • Walking! Something that felt uncomfortable for me the majority of my 2nd trimester finally feels okay. I’ve been doing a lot of walking along the lakefront-trying to enjoy the weather while I still can. A have a few different 3 mile routes that I tend to stick to.
  • Riding my bike. I’ve been told that pregnant women shouldn’t ride their bikes because of loss of balance or something. I’m happy to say that my balance to still pretty great and bike riding is still working for me.
  • Elliptical. Hello early 2000’s it’s nice to see you again. I can’t remember the last time I used to the elliptical at the gym before this pregnancy. But the elliptical reminds me of the early days of college when I’d head to the Klotsche center in my fold over cotton yoga pants and t-shirt with a Cosmo magazine in hand. My workout gear has slightly improved and I’ve since switched up the literature-making it a more enjoyable experience.
  • Spin class. My go-to cardio these days. As my belly grows and burpees and jumping around are getting slightly more challenging, spin class has become my replacement when I want a good sweaty workout without the high impact.
  • Barre. Always and forever. The only part I ever have to modify are abs and positions when the instructor has us on our bellies. When I can’t get to a class, I rotate through DVDs at home. My favorite substitute to an actual class are Physique57. They’re challenging, upbeat, fast paced and not super cheesy.

My goal in this pregnancy was to stay as active as I possible could as long as it was safe. I think I’ve done a good job of that. I still feel pretty good until I get to the end of the day and I have some sciatic pain that I’m sure won’t go away now until I deliver, since we’re so close to the end. The only benefit of this is on demand massages from my husband. Maybe we can keep that tradition up post baby?! I’m hoping that staying active will help me come delivery day and to help me bounce back a little quicker after the baby. And exercise while pregnant makes babies smarter…it’s science!

Pregnancy + The Barre Code

Happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m looking forward to a low key weekend with my girl after celebrating her three years of life last weekend. We have a date to the farmer’s market and a baby room to get in order.
Speaking of babies… I’ve been very fortunate this pregnancy to be able to keep exercising without zero complications. Now that I’ve entered my third trimester (wait what?!?!), I’m definitely slowing down-but overall I still feel great and I credit that to staying so active through my pregnancy.
While running has officially been put on hold until after baby is born, one workout that remains constant in my pregnant life is barre, specifically classes at The Barre Code.
running42atbarre
When I was pregnant with Madelyn, there were no barre studios in my area, so I did Barre DVDs instead. While they were good, nothing compares to taking an actual class and staying accountable.
The one thing that I love about The Barre Code as opposed to other traditional barre studios is that they offer a variety of other classes, specifically those that are cardio based. So far, I’ve been able to modify all the classes that The Barre Code has to offer. While I tend to stick with mostly barre, I sometimes try to sneak in a cardio class. Some days, no matter how pregnant you are, a good sweat session is just necessary.
Here’s a run down of all the classes that The Barre Code in Milwaukee has to offer and how I was able to modify them through my pregnancy, the first two trimesters.
Brawl-(description taken from website) Brawl, which has been recognized by SELF magazine as one of the best workouts in the country, is an intense class that combines cardio kickboxing sequences with strengthening work for the thighs and glutes. 
-Such a fun cardio class! I like it because you actually have to remember and think about what’s coming next, so it’s good for the exercising the mind and body.
First trimester modifications: Not too much to modify in the first trimester. Keep an eye on your breathing and make sure not to get out of breath. That’s the main modification for most of the cardio classes. I was able to still get a good workout in, but definitely didn’t go all out like I did pre-pregnancy. I used to leave that class drenched.
Second & third trimester modifications: Range of motion when doing any core twisting exercises has been limited. You’re supposed to avoid any twisting when you’re into the second trimester, so as the belly started growing I avoided this. Instead of twisting, I would just keep my core center and move my arms (in a punching motion). I’ve also had to dial down the cardio. A few weeks ago, we had a segment that was hook left, hook right, burpee. Repeat. I was able to keep up in the beginning but through out class when I felt like I needed a little break, I just kept doing hooks in place of the burpee and skipping out on every other set of burpees. For moves like diagonal knee raises, instead of jumping I would just keep my supported leg on the ground for every other. That helped control my breathing a little bit. You know your body, and you know what you are capable of.
TBC & Interval (Interval has now been replaced with HIIT)-(description on their website) I combined these two classes because a lot of the moves are the same, it’s just the layout of the class that is different. TBC has a cardio section, but is mainly toning. Where as Interval is mostly cardio with a small section of strength training sandwiched in. I will focus on the modifications I made to the cardio sections and talk about the toning modifications in the barre section.
First trimester modifications: Same thing as Brawl, make sure that you are able to still talk, never work so hard that you’re losing your breath. Always have water with you and drink it throughout class as needed.
Second trimester modificationsThe belly’s starting to grow and jumping, burpees etc are starting to get a bit more challenging. For mountain climbers, I took them to the barre. You can still get your heart rate up and keep your core engaged while placing less strain on your core. On days when I couldn’t do burpees, I would either walk one foot back at a time or walk my hands out to a plank, hold it, and walk my hands back in toward my feet. Things like jump squats, I eventually just went to onto my tip toes and never left the ground. A-Jacks also became non-existent sometime in the second trimester.
Barre Code-(Description taken from their website) A full-body workout that consists of isometric holds and heavy repetition, working muscles to fatigue to develop muscle stamina and endurance. A range of different props are used in each class to challenge the body and engage the mind.
My favorite prenatal class to take at The Barre Code.
First trimester modifications: In the first trimester I didn’t have to modify anything. I kept working my core as long as I could to help keep it strong for labor and delivery.
Second trimester modifications: I didn’t have to start modifying abs until I was well into my second trimester and the bump became evident (somewhere around 20 weeks). Some days I could lay flat on my back without zero problems, but other times I’d get short of breath and I’d have to place the playground ball behind my lower back. It all depended on how the little one was positioned in there but at around 20 weeks I stopped laying down, used the playground ball and kept the “crunching” moves to a minimum. Any movements where the instructor had us in prone position, I would either do on all fours or standing, depending on what it was. Some seat movements started to get tricky. There’s one move that works your hamstrings and seat where you have one foot on the barre and the other in the air. For that tricky move, I just kept my feet on the ground and did hip raises. At 27 weeks, any balance work on the green disc became non-existent. It was challenging enough for me just to do one leg lunges into a high knee without the added challenge of the disc and so I set it aside for later use.  Planks/push ups mostly stayed the same with a few plank modifications and taking rests when I thought I needed it. Thighs and arms for the most part didn’t need any modifications either, which is why I think this class is my favorite for my pregnant belly.
I’m so glad that I’ve been able to keep working out through my pregnancy. I wanted to write this post because when I was doing a google search for pregnancy modifications at The Barre Code, nothing came up. There were a lot of blog posts for other studios that offered traditional barre classes, but I was more interested in the cardio classes and some portions of Barre Code since it is faster pace and intense than most barre classes.
A few *Important* things to keep in mind:
-This is just advice that has worked for me. Every pregnant body/pregnancy is different from one person to the next.
-If you’ve never taken classes at The Barre Code, I wouldn’t advise starting when you’re pregnant. Save it for post-baby. I felt comfortable keeping up with this workout because I’ve been doing it consistently for nearly 2 years now.
-Finally, tell you’re instructor that you’re pregnant!! You may not want to tell everyone right away, but it’s important for the instructor to know. They can offer you different modifications at various stages of pregnancy. Take time to ask them questions before or after class. If I get there early enough, I will usually ask the instructor what she has planned for abs and just adjust my own routine as necessary. My PT gave me a few ab exercises to do that are safe throughout all trimesters of pregnancy, so I usually just stick to those. You might feel funny doing something completely different than the rest of the class, but as they see your growing belly-they’ll get it!IMG_2513-2For more tips on how to make workouts lower impact, check out this post!

For Two Fitness Review

*This post is sponsored by For Two Fitness. Even though for For Two Fitness sent me an item to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Since the belly officially “popped”, I have been on the search for workout pants that don’t cut into my middle causing unflattering and uncomfortable lines around my belly. I purchased a pair of maternity capri’s from Target a few weeks back, and they were okay. Something that would last me throughout my pregnancy.

For Two Fitness sent me the Ultimate Maternity Micro Plush Fitness Pant to try out. Since I am in LOVE with their tank tops, I had high hopes that these pants would be just as amazing.

IMG_3922

What I love most about these pants is that they can be worn 1 of 3 ways: Above the belly, below the belly , and mid-rise.

IMG_3926

IMG_3927

I’ve worn the pants now to various barre classes and out for walks with Madelyn. I love the way these pants fit and they’re perfect for barre. One because the studio is air conditioned so I never felt too warm in these pants. And secondly, the flare leg on the pants is flattering  but yet they don’t get in the way too much during seat and thigh work. I have a few other flare-leg workout pants that get caught in the way of each other during certain workout moves.

As far as outdoor activities go, I will probably be living in these pants come fall. So far, we’re having a decent summer and with being pregnant I prefer shorts and tank tops for all outside workouts. Even though the pants breath pretty well, they are still fairly thick.

What I also like about these pants is that they can be worn even after pregnancy. The active capris I purchased from Target are cut to fit a pregnant body so they will fit differently after the baby is born. These can (and will) be worn after baby #2 arrives. That’s always I plus I look for when purchasing maternity clothes.

Overall I think these pants are great for air conditioned studios and cooler weather temps and I would definitely recommend them to any mama to be looking for good, quality workout gear to last her through pregnancy and beyond.

Pregnant mamas out there, what is your favorite, go-to piece of work out gear? Besides having properly fitted pants, I’ve been carrying around my hand held water bottle!

At It Again

Hey guys! It’s been quiet around here lately, sorry about that. I’ve been busy with work stuff and I’m currently away on a little work trip. As much as I’ve been enjoying the lovely weather and just focusing on myself, I can’t wait to get back to my family and to whip up some delicious meals in my kitchen. DFAC food is wearing on me and I’m officially sick of eating out.

One advantage of going TDY is that I have all the time in the world to workout. I’ve been hitting up the gym a lot and trying to run outside as much as I can rather than on the treadmill, but the heat and the sun has made it tough. My body just isn’t used to it considering I wen’t from a climate of -10 degrees to over 80 degrees! I think my longest outdoor run here has been about 3 miles.

The other day the gym was closed for maintenance so I decided it would be an outside run day instead. When I got back from my run, someone told me about a Crossfit gym on base they went to that offered FREE classes! She told me that they start you off with 6 On Ramp classes to get your familiar with Crossfit and the proper techniques. My sister, a coworker and I all decided to give it a try today.

crossfitAAFB

This experience was much better than my last one. The instructor went over what Crossfit was, the pyramid-reminding us all how nutrition is key to everything we do, and then got into the 9 basic moves of Crossfit. For today’s workout, he had us doing three exercises AMRAP. He went over each move, explaining what proper form looks like and things not to do. He watched us do each of the exercises and corrected us as needed. We did the three movements (10 Air Squats, 15 sit-ups, 20 broad jumps) as many times as possible in 8 minutes. I was able to get through 4 rounds plus 3 sit ups. After that 8 minute workout, he went over cool down techniques and great hip stretches to do against the wall. It felt wonderful! One thing I’ve been lacking during my workouts is a good stretch session. My hips & glutes were super tight.

I would LOVE to be able to complete all six On Ramp classes here, because they’re free but I’m not sure that time will allow it. After today’s session, Crossfit is something I can definitely see myself getting into with the right gym and the right instructors. I feel that because you spend so much one on one time with the coaches, your personality definitely has to jive with theirs. I love the community that they have built and I think it’s awesome that they’re certified coaches doing it for free, simply just to help people.

Anyone try any new fitness classes lately? I think all my cardio work from The Barre Code helped me kill it today in those broad jumps!

Sunday Photo Dump

jbirds1. Wireless headphones. Hubs surprised me with a little marathon training treat this week. I had been complaining about how with my new Lifeproof phone case, I had to add a headphone adaptor to my earbuds when I ran. It was just too many wires and if I ever forgot the adaptor, I wouldn’t be able to use my earbuds. Enter these wonderful Jaybird headphones in a fancy carrying case. I’ve ran in them twice: 5 miles & 18 miles and I didn’t have to adjust them once. It was pretty awesome.

buttdown2. Workouts with Madelyn. Planking with a little toddler on your back is a fun little challenge. Whenever I’m on the ground stretching or doing core work, she comes up to me and says, “Mama, ride, ride!” With this face, I could I resist?

cheeseflattza

3. Flattza. I was craving a DIY pizza on Friday and I saw this crust at Outpost a few weeks ago, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I had a chicken sausage pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, mushrooms and DiSalvo’s pizza sauce (best pizza sauce ever!). This crust was delicious and a perfect platform for pizza. I love all of Angelic Bakehouse’s products-never disappointed. I also had no idea that Angelic Bakehouse is located in Cudahy, WI?! Who knew!

negativesplits4. Negative splits. Something most runners try to achieve. I’ve played around with my pace all summer. A few weeks ago I came close to achieving negative splits during a 4 miler, but I was off by ONE second! That killed me. I redeemed myself with this run. Also my fastest 5 miles of this training cycle.

18.53 5. 18.53 miles. What was supposed to be 20, was cut short because of warmer temps and poor planning. Trying not to beat myself up over it, I definitely feel ready for Chicago but I just wish I would’ve done the whole 20. Time to taper, rest these legs, and find a new sports bra…I suffered some MAJOR chaffing in my boob area. I actually used stride glide in that area and it was by far the worse I’ve ever had. I’ve been braless all weekend…your welcome.

iwearmysunnies6. The cutest Packer fan. She insisted on wearing her sunglasses in the house and we’re dressed to cheer on The Pack! (Who aren’t looking the greatest right now :-/ )

Happy Sunday!

Runners out there, how do you beat chafing?

 

 

The Family that plays Together

Happy Packer Day! Madelyn clearly knows what’s up. 

packers2014

I hope everyone’s week is going well. One day closer to the weekend and to my little cousin’s wedding! I’m thrilled to watch her get married, and I can still remember when she was born…how’s that for feeling old?! 

303620_10100227538792498_578457672_n
Al & her fiance at our wedding

We definitely started our week off with a bang. On Monday, Madelyn spent some quality time with her great grandparents and my mom, while hubs and I hopped on the Amtrak and ventured down to Chicago for the Cubs vs. Brewers game. I can’t remember the last time I was at Wrigley Field for a game, but it felt good to be back in familiar territory 🙂 

belmont stop

When we got into the city, we ventured into Old Town and visited the Fleet Feet there. Of all the stores to visit in Chicago…clearly I have a problem. I think I love this store so much because it’s my first experience with running stores. I remember calling my mom after my first visit there and saying, “They just have so much stuff for running!” I also participated in a few of their fun runs during my Chicago days. As we left Fleet Feet, it started to pour. We didn’t really have an agenda until the game, so we kind of ducked out from the rain and then decided to head toward Wrigley.

IMG_00531

We ate at Mo’s Cantina before heading to the game. The day turned out to be perfect. Great weather and an awesome date, what more could a girl ask for? 

IMG_00551

After the game we met up with Kristine for a few drinks and before we knew it, it was time to catch the late train back to Milwaukee. But not before stopping for some Lou’s. Of all the Chicago style pizza the city has to offer, Lou Malnati’s is my absolute favorite. That crust tho! Unbelievably delicious. Hubs ordered our pizza to go because he didn’t think we’d have enough time to eat there. His plan was just to have us eat it at on the train. I had a better idea. Instead, we sat in the park near our old apartment, shared some pizza and talked about the old times. This is the same park where we took Oliver on his first walk and where we had our engagement pictures taken. By far my favorite place in Chicago.  

IMG_00671Today, I met my mom for lunch at Sven’s Cafe. I haven’t been here in a while, but I stuck with my usual. Mixed greens salad with goat cheese, chicken, walnuts, grapes and balsamic. It never fails me. I also had an Italian soda with pumpkin. It was good, but just a tad bit too sweet for me. My mom had the coconut Italian soda and that tasted much better.  

svens

I also decided that today would be my last day of work for the week. I have so much to get done before this weekend and I want to spend some time with Madelyn before she heads down to Chicago (for the first time ever without us!!!!) to spend time with her grandparents for the weekend. I know she will have a blast, it’s me that I’m concerned about 😉 

Tonight, I was really feeling a bike ride. The last two runs (the only runs this week!) I’ve had have not been the greatest. My legs have felt heavy and I’m left feeling defeated. I don’t know if it was the humidity or the fact that I ate like crap this weekend (or both) but I haven’t been on my A game. So I decided it would be best to give my leggies a little break and head out for a bike ride with my entourage in tow. 

IMG_00811It felt really good to work my legs but in a different way. We rode up to Leff’s Luckytown for some food before the Packer game, and then rode our bikes back. The best way to consume “not so healthy” food. I told hubs it felt great to work off the food we just ate as opposed to just sitting there and letting it sit in our stomachs.

Tomorrow, I have a barre class on the workout schedule and then taking the day to chase Madelyn around while trying to smuggle her with hugs & kisses. it’s funny, I’ve spent a whole month away from her so you’d think a weekend would be no problem, but it never gets easier. 

What’s on your workout agenda for the weekend? Any other fun plans? I’m also headed to a marathon Q & A session at PRO this weekend! I’m thrilled for that! 

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week 12

Hey guys! Happy September! I can’t believe it’s already that time of year and that football starts this week! EEEEEK! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The temperatures become a little more bearable for outside running, pumpkin in everything, and cozying up in blankets with the scent of fall candles are all of my favorite things.

Continue reading

Pinterest IRL: Tone that Tush

You know that Pinterest board?  The one that doesn’t involve gourmet recipes or suzy homemaker DIY crafts?  You know, the one that involves pictures of beautifully toned & tanned people with six-packs promising you workouts that will lead to the body of your dreams?  That board.  I actually did something from that board yesterday for the first time ever-and it was pretty brutal…in an awesomely good way of course.  I might just make a habit of it 🙂
Yesterday was a cardio/weights day for me.  I had planned on doing a steady/easy cardio session since I went balls to the walls at Zumba on Monday afternoon and wanted to take it easy on Tuesday.  I actually had every intention of packing running clothes to run outside during work but when I saw the temperature, I quickly changed my mind.  20 degrees with high winds?  No thanks!  It was even too cold for little Madelyn, who started saying “Brrrr!” when I picked her up from my mom’s last night…cutest thing ever.
So last night, I hopped on the treadmill at work and did the 400-calorie Tush-Toning Interval Workout courtesy of PopSugar Fitness.   As I was writing the workout down in a notebook that I could prop up on treadmill, I thought to myself, “This won’t be too bad.”  It was mostly walking but on an incline.
tushtoningworkoutA serious incline.  I definitely underestimated the power of walking at a 15% incline.  When I run on the treadmill, I normally set it to a .5-1% incline to simulate running outside, so 15% was definitely a challenge for me.  When it was over and done with I was super sweaty and my legs & butt felt pretty noodle-y.  There were times when I felt like the 7mph speed was too slow, especially toward the end when I had some energy to burn.  I ended up doing about 2.5 miles and burned closer to 300 calories rather than 400.  Overall I felt like it was a good workout and it got the job done.  I like that it was mostly walking, with a sprinkle of running, since I’m still trying to remedy some plantar fascia pain in my left foot.  I found an interval creator in the app store on my phone that I’m going to play around with and come up with my own treadmill workout to post, so stay tuned for that!
Do you have a Pinterest “Get Fit” board?  What’s the best workout you’ve pinned (and done) so far?