Big Catch Up Post

Oh, hey there. Long time, no see. It’s been about six months since I last published a post here. It’s no secret that I’ve felt ambivalent about blogging for a long time, and recent events have caused me to feel that even more so. It just seems like the blogging “boom” has passed, and people favor Instagram and more quickly consumable media these days. But I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed sharing. This blog has always been more like a public diary for me than anything else, and it’s nice to look back and see what I was up to at various points in my past. So here I am again. We’ll see how long it lasts.

When last I wrote, I was an injured runner. Those of you who have continued following along on Instagram know that this is still true, mostly because I got pregnant this summer before I was able to get an x-ray for diagnosis. We were trying for baby number two, but I honestly didn’t expect to be successful so quickly, and pregnancy plus unnecessary radiation is kind of a no-no. But that means I haven’t run in six months. I can’t even really go for walks without pain. I have to wear shoes constantly, or else I’m super limpy. I have some very stylish Croc sandals for “house shoes.” And I’m six months pregnant, so I’m exhausted and sore and not really working out at all. I aspire to be doing more at-home prenatal workouts, but it’s HARD to make the time and find the motivation.

So what have I been up to? I’m still home full time with Vera, which is both the hardest and best job I’ve ever had. She’s now eighteen months old and, most of the time, an absolute delight. She’s smart, outgoing, and so good-natured. We make our rounds of the local play groups and story hours, spend time with family, and do lots of reading and play at home. She sleeps through the night and takes one two-ish hour a nap per day, but it can be as little as one hour or as long as three hours depending on the day, so it can be hard to plan out my time. We also live “in the boonies,” so it can be hard to get to the bigger activities or play spaces while constrained by her current schedule, and our world can feel very small.

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Other than momming, I don’t have too much going on. I recently joined the board of my favorite local community theatre group, which is cool and interesting, but really not all that time-consuming. I have a couple of meetings a month and am obligated to go see shows and support my friends (which I would do anyway). It’s good to have meetings that force me to put on pants and talk to adults, but it’s not exactly socialization. I’m still not going a great job of making time for my friendships, but I’m working on it. The whole “living in the boonies” thing really doesn’t help with maintaining friendships.

Another recent development is that I’ve deleted my Twitter account and abandoned my “fitness” IG. I realized I was spending way too much time looking at stuff that wasn’t serving me and it was actually making me feel less good about myself. I’m back on Facebook, but mostly use it as a way to find events and stay connected with people I actually care about. I still kind of hate it, but feel like it’s a necessary evil at this point in my life. Instagram is still my favorite form of social media, but even it is becoming a time suck, and I spend more time scrolling than I do posting or commenting and connecting.

I have recently become more interested than ever in the low/zero waste movement, and have been taking some steps in my own life to reduce my consumption and the amount of trash I and my family produce. It’s hard, because plastic and other trash are EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING, usually unnecessarily so. It also takes time and often costs more to switch to more sustainable products, and we have very little disposable income because Ben is the only one working. Having my sewing machine back in action has helped a lot. I’ve made my own “unpaper towels” and cloth napkins, and I’m in the process of making reusable cotton flannel facial rounds to replace cotton balls. I have a lot more I want to do, but we just don’t have the money right now.

And of course, I’m growing another human. Which takes a lot of time and energy. I haven’t been a good sleeper for a long time, but it’s compounded by pregnancy. I wake up 3-4 times a night due to my bladder, or hip pain, or who the hell knows. I often spend Vera’s naptime just sitting on my butt, knitting or reading, because that’s all I have the energy to do. I wish I could actually nap, but I’ve never been a napper. I just don’t fall asleep quickly or deeply enough to be worth it. I have plenty of projects I should be doing, like painting the new baby’s dresser, or sorting and washing baby clothes, but I just CANNOT right now. My house is semi-clean and I take a shower every day and that’s about all I can manage.

In general I feel pretty stagnant. I am in the trenches of life with small children, and while I know it’s a season of life that will someday pass, probably faster than I think, most days I feel like I’m just not contributing very much to society and have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I have a lot of fitness goals that I’d still like to accomplish, but they are on hold until after pregnancy and possibly even until after I’m finished breastfeeding baby number two. Right now I’m just focused on having a somewhat healthy pregnancy and getting this baby into the world with both of us healthy. I’ll figure out the rest later.

 

Manic Monday Training Recap – 05/27/19

Manic Monday

Training For VCM Relay: May 26, 2019
What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 05/20/19: 3 mile run | 3 mile run + stretching
I zipped out for three rather speedy miles when Ben got home from work. It was quite windy, but sunny and warm.

Tuesday 05/21/19: Yoga | Rest
I had a last-minute doctor appointment for what I thought was a tick bite (it wasn’t, yay!), and since my doctor is an hour drive each way that pretty much shot the day in the foot. But I did stop at Fleet Feet for running fuel… and walked out with a new pair of Altras!

Wednesday 05/22/19: Speed Work | 5 x 400 (3.25 miles total)
I NEEDED this run. Vera is teething and has been super clingy and sad, and I needed me time. I also hit some really great paces, which made me feel so great!

Thursday 05/23/19: Strength | Strength
I put my new, custom made plyo box to work and did a CrossFit inspired workout. 5 rounds each of 10 x box step ups, 10 x thrusters, weighted carry, 10 x dumb bell snatches and 10 x wood choppers. I did a 2 minute plank finisher as well. I miss CrossFit so much!

Friday 05/24/19: 4 mile run | Rest
My folks decided to come up for a last-minute visit, so I had to run around cleaning my festering pit of a house before they arrived. They brought lunch and wine, and by the time they left I was too full to run.

Saturday 05/25/19: Rest | Active Rest
I mowed the lawn and did some stuff around the house, but otherwise kept it easy.

Sunday 05/26/19: VMC Relay | Leg 5 of VCM Relay (5.44 miles)
I felt great the whole time, and kept a great pace!

Weekly Mileage: 11.69

Total 2019 Mileage: 191.79

A pretty good week and a great race! I was riding high yesterday, feeling bulletproof and dreaming about fast summer running. But as the day went on, my left heel started hurting. I did a bunch of rolling and stretching but I woke up limping today. BOOOOO. I’ll write more later this week (does anybody care about a race recap?), but for now, I’m wearing my most supportive shoes at all times and taking it easy. On the docket for today: Memorial Day BBQ.

Have you ever had a great race and then had a mysterious injury afterwards? This is the second time I’ve ended up with a hurt foot after a race even though nothing hurt during…

Manic Monday Training Recap – 03/25/19

Manic Monday

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 03/18/19: 3 mile run | 3 mile run + stretching
I was amazed I managed three miles the morning after running four miles, but it seems some of my stamina is finally coming back.

Tuesday 03/19/19: Yoga | Rest
Unfortunately, I developed a terrible sore throat overnight, and come Tuesday, I didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING.

Wednesday 03/20/19: 4 mile run | Rest
I was still feeling yucky, and I’m at a point in my life where forcing myself to exercise when I don’t feel like it is 100% not happening. I didn’t even get out of my PJs for the second day in a row.

Thursday 03/21/19: Strength | Rest
Another day off due to sore throat, cough, and congestion.

Friday 03/22/19: 3 mile run | Rest
Still sick.

Saturday 03/23/19: 5 mile run | Rest
And now the whole family is sick. Vera was up a bunch crying because she was congested, so I was up a bunch.

Sunday 03/24/19: Rest | Rest
I was feeling better and probably could have run, but I decided to just do some cleaning and meal prep instead, and start fresh on Monday.

Weekly Mileage: 3

Total 2019 Mileage: 88.75

Well, that was a disappointing week to say the least. But as I said above, I’ve reached a point in life where I’m not willing to suffer through workouts when I’m sick. It’s just not worth it. Now that I’m rested up and feeling better, I’m ready to tackle a new week.

Also, I am now officially registered for the McClure-Miller Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k on May 11. After DNSing the Turkey Trot back in November, this will be my first post-baby race. It’s an annual fundraising event that I’ve run every year since 2014, except for when I was pregnant last year, and it’s my favorite race. The vibe is wonderful and the organizers do a great job with food and awards.

Do you rest when you’re sick, or do you push through workouts?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 03/18/19

Manic Monday

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 03/11/19: 3 mile run | 3 mile run
It feels good to regularly be running three miles again. What was once my bare minimum mileage is now a decent challenge.

Tuesday 03/12/19: Yoga | 45 minutes yoga
Penelope and I did Yoga With Adriene’s “Yoga For Strength and Focus” video, which was quite nice. Of course, doing yoga with a crawling baby is a whole new ball game, but we made it work.

Wednesday 03/13/19: 3 mile run | 3 mile run
I didn’t really feel like it, but I’m trying SO HARD to be consistent and get back to running regularly. I ended up doing it, and I’m glad I did.

Thursday 03/14/19: Strength | Rest
I was tired and had a bunch of errands to run, so a workout didn’t happen.

Friday 03/15/19: 3 mile run | 3 mile run + stretching + rolling
Another three miles! I’m getting tired of treadmill runs, but treadmill runs are better than no runs.

Saturday 03/16/19: 4 mile run | Rest
My right hip was bothering me a bit, so I decided to rest.

Sunday 03/17/19: Rest | 4 miles
I wasn’t planning to run, but I ended up in a really crappy mood Sunday evening, so I escaped to the treadmill after putting Vera to bed, and ended up feeling a lot better for it.

Weekly Mileage: 13

Total 2019 Mileage: 85.75

Well, this is the highest mileage week I’ve had since before I got pregnant, and Sunday’s run was my longest run since before I got pregnant. It feels SO GOOD to be getting back to “normal.” I still have work to do, but I’m excited to do it.

Are you a morning runner or an evening runner?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 02/11/19

Manic Monday

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 02/04/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength + stretching
My body felt refreshed after taking a full rest day on Sunday, but I still kept the pace nice and easy for this run. I also did 30 each of clam shells, reverse clam shells, side leg lifts, glute bridges, and air squats, and finished up with my split stretch routine.

Tuesday 02/05/19: Strength | Arms + Abs
I did a couple of short workouts from the Tone It Up Girls’ bikini series. It’s crazy how weak my core is post-baby, but I’m committed to working on it regularly.

Wednesday 02/06/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength + stretching
This workout was EXACTLY the same as Monday, just a tiny bit faster on the run portion.

Thursday 02/07/19: Yoga | Yoga
I pulled up Yoga With Adriene’s “Yoga for Runners” video. It was just what I needed.

Friday 02/08/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength
Another short, easy run, and a bit of hip strength. I didn’t get to do my whole routine because Vera got fussy.

Saturday 02/08/19: 2 mile run | Rest
We traveled down to my parents’ for an overnight, and I opted to take a rest day with the option to run on Sunday instead.

Sunday 02/10/19: Rest | Rest
Oops. Yeah. After a huge Sunday breakfast of pancakes and mimosas, then the drive home, I didn’t feel like running.

Weekly Mileage: 4.5 miles

Total 2019 Mileage: 53.25

Not a bad start to my 5k training plan. I didn’t get to my “long run” on the weekend, but I’m not too upset about it. I know that distances of up to 2.5 miles feel pretty good right now, and seeing my parents was a good excuse to miss a run.

Did you run long this weekend? How did it go?

Goodbye Streaking, Hello Training!

When I started my run streak at the beginning of the year, I mostly wanted to just make running part of my life again post-baby. I was having a hard time finding motivation, and needed a fitness goal. In the back of my mind, I hoped that I would be able to make it the entire month of January, but wasn’t making a big deal out of it. I just wanted to see how far I could get.

When I reached the end of January, streak intact, I started seeing starry-eyed visions of streaking for the entire year of 2019. It was exciting and a bit scary and I so wanted to keep going. But this past Friday and Saturday, I started feeling some worrying niggles in my right knee. I hemmed and hawed and hoped it would go away. But I when I woke up at 2:30 on Sunday morning to feed Vera and felt that twinge, I decided immediately and unequivocally that it was time to practice what I preach and quit before a niggle became a full-blown injury.

I have to say, I absolutely loved my run streak. I loved the consistency of knowing each day that I had to get down to my treadmill and get it done. I loved pushing through hard paces. I loved cruising through easy miles. This run streak helped me feel like a runner again. It helped me reconnect with a body that had started to feel foreign and uncomfortable. It made me feel like me again.

I’m proud that I made it through 33 straight days of running; I am equally proud that I listened to my body and quit before I hurt myself.

To be completely honest, part of me is scared that without the streak to keep me going, I’ll stop running again. It’s cold. It’s dark. I have a 7 month old baby. Motivation is low this time of year. I need something else to keep me inspired now that the streak is done. Therefore, I’ll be loosely following a Hal Higdon 5k training plan. I say “loosely” because I always mix up the days a bit, but generally follow the recommended mileage for the week.

It’s an eight week “beginner” training plan, which has nice, low mileage. I probably won’t actually run a 5k race at the end of this plan, purely because there aren’t many races available during Vermont winters, but I’m looking at it as prep for the races I hope to run this spring and summer.

 

I’m excited to build up my mileage again. The longest I’ve run since Vera was born is 3.5 miles, and that was months ago now. I don’t necessarily want to do a lot of distance running this year, but I’d like to get to the point where a distance of five miles feels comfy and doable, cause right now that feels almost impossible. When I complete the plan, I’ll have to reevaluate and see what’s next, but I’m hopeful that by then, running will be back in my life for good.

What running/fitness goal are you working toward right now?

First Post-Baby Race: DNS

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know this, but my first post-baby race didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped. In fact, it didn’t go at all.

We packed up the car and headed to my parents’ place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was our first holiday as a family of three, and we were excited to see my parents and my sisters. I made lists on lists to make sure that we wouldn’t forget anything we might need with a baby in tow. But I forgot one crucial thing for myself: a sports bra.

While for some women, the lack of a sports bra might not be a deal breaker, that is SO not the case for me. I was a busty runner long before baby, and now that I’m breastfeeding, my boobs are even more out of control. I can’t just run out to Walmart or Target and get something last-minute. Of course, I discovered the missing sports bra at 7 am on Thanksgiving, so even if I weren’t a busty lady, replacing the bra would have been tricky. Add to that the fact that Baby V had her first fever overnight on Wednesday into Thursday and we were up all night, well, it wasn’t exactly a recipe for a good race anyway.

Obviously, I was incredibly disappointed that I wouldn’t be running. But honestly? It was kind of a blessing in disguise. It was absolutely FRIGID on Thanksgiving morning, and windy to boot. And I would have had a really hard time leaving a sick, cranky baby to go run.

This was yet another reminder that life with a baby is always going to be different, and will continue to throw curveballs. My priorities have shifted and that’s OK. As one IG follower commented, “Baby snuggles > running.”

When is the last time you DNS’d a race?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 10/01/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery – 09/24/18 – 09/30/18

Monday 09/24/28: Rest
Continuing the trend from last week’s recap, today was a rest day. Between another rough night with Vera and being out of the house for a huge chunk of the day due to baby yoga, I didn’t manage a workout, and I’m totally cool with it.

Tuesday 09/25/18: Postnatal Core + Tone It Up Bikini Arms
It was a chilly, dreary day, so rather than running, I did some strength work. It’s humbling to realize how much strength I’ve lost this year, but I’m committed to getting back at it.

Wednesday 09/26/18: 75 Minute Postnatal Yoga Class
My yoga studio opened a new location that’s about 20 minutes closer to where we live, so I’m PSYCHED. My lower back has been incredibly sore lately so it felt wonderful to get a good stretch in.

Thursday 09/27/18: Rest
No excuses, just didn’t get it done.

Friday 09/28/18: Rest
See Thursday.

Saturday 09/29/18: 5k Run
2:1 run/walk intervals. Perfect running weather. Happy runner.

Sunday 09/30/18: Rest
We had a busy day of visiting Grammie, grocery shopping, and wandering around the Underhill Harvest Market.

Not the week I had hoped for, but it is what it is. This week is supposed to be week one of training for the Turkey Trot 5k, and I’m a little anxious. Training plans and I generally don’t work out that well, and now that I have a baby I suspect they’ll work even less well. Still, all I can do is try.

 

I’m Ready for a Comeback

As I teased on Friday, I’ve registered for my first postpartum race: the Zack’s Place Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving.

I ran this race in 2012 (pre-blog days) and loved it. I was registered to run it again in 2014 but DNS’d due to a foot injury. The race is in Woodstock, VT, which is just a few minutes from my parents’ house. We’ll be with them for Thanksgiving this year, so I’m excited to do this race again. The registration fee is only $30, and the pre/post-race perks are great.

Needless to say, I’m feeling both excited and nervous. As of Thanksgiving, I won’t have run a race in over a year, and I haven’t yet started running postpartum. At this point, I don’t have any goals, other than to get to the starting line healthy. I’m sure some goals will become clear over the course of training. In the meantime, I just can’t wait to start running again!

Who else will be running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving?