Life Lately

Hey there, friends. I kinda dropped off the map there for a bit. In addition to feeling a LOT of ambivalence towards blogging (that’s a post for another day), life has been absolutely bananas. Here are a few updates on what’s been going on in the life of Rae.

To start off with, Vera is apparently one of those babies that just isn’t a good sleeper. Usually, between three and four months of age, babies develop discernible sleep patterns and schedules, and begin to sleep for longer periods of time (think 6-8 hours). We thought we were approaching that point when we started getting regular four hour chunks, and even a few five hour chunks, but as soon as we hit the three month mark, it all went to hell. Either she hit a growth spurt or started the dreaded four month sleep regression a month early, but she hasn’t slept longer than four hours since, and generally wakes at LEAST every 3.5 hours every night, usually even more frequently. Oh and naps? What naps? She might take two or three half hour naps a day. It sucks. A lot.

To help with the sleep issue, our pediatrician recommended me trying a dairy-free diet. V was having pretty regular bouts of crying due to gas pains during the day and waking up at night, so the doctor suggested both probiotic drops and going dairy-free for a while. Since starting both, Vera has had pretty much no episodes of gas-induced fussing. Whether that’s the dairy or the drops is kind of a guessing game at this point. We have Vera’s four month checkup next week, so we’ll be asking the doctor about next steps. Boy I hope I can start eating cheese again soon. It’s been extremely hard maintaining a dairy-free diet. Of course it’s worth it for the kiddo, but it’s no fun. Halloween was a huge bummer, let me tell you. Most commercial chocolate has milk in it. Boooooo.

5k training. Right. I’m training for my first post-baby race. It’s going… Not well. You may have seen my post on Instagram, but with three weeks to go until race day, I’ve missed more scheduled runs that I have completed. I haven’t been to yoga in over a month, and haven’t done any strength training in weeks. I know that I will be able to cover the distance, but I had really hoped to race this one, to see what I can do. The way things are going, this will end up being more of a fun run than a race.

We also turned our lives completely upside down to install hardwood flooring in more than half our house. While we are absolutely delighted with the results, it was a really difficult two weeks. I don’t recommend doing major home renovations with a new baby in the house. Our furniture was every which way, there were tools everywhere, sawdust all over everything… And it was very noisy. Not at all conducive to baby naps.

56219593769__1975cbfb-ace1-4c55-b2cc-20194bcae515

Vera’s room in progress

On the health front, things have also been less than stellar. I got a cold, which Vera and Ben then both got as well. And Vera can’t seem to shake the congestion. It’s been over a week now, and she’s still struggling to breathe through her nose, particularly at night. This makes everything from eating to playing to sleeping much more challenging for her. To help with sleep, we are putting her in the Rock n Play, which is a ridiculous crutch that we don’t want to rely on for the future, but is totally necessary for any of us to get a halfway reasonable amount of sleep right now.

I also still have a milk blister on my left nipple. Did I tell you about this? I honestly can’t even remember. But yeah, I have a blocked milk pore that is extremely painful. It’s been there for over a month. I’ve been to the doctor twice, and had it lanced twice, once by a midwife and once here at home (with a sterile needle given to me by my midwife). I’ve done everything recommended for at home treatment and it’s just not getting any better and I’ve kind of given up and decided that this is my life now. Breastfeeding is no joke, people. I honestly don’t know what women did before modern medicine.

Additionally, we went for our first family road trip. We went to Pittsfield, MA to meet up with my bestie Mandy, her husband, and their new baby at her parents’ house. It’s basically the halfway point between them in Jersey and us here in VT, so it was nice that we could see each other without either side having to drive the whole distance. It was wonderful to see my friends and meet their baby. Liam was born a little over a month before Vera, so Mandy and I basically went through our whole pregnancies together. The weekend was great, but hectic. Mandy has a huge extended family that is always drifting in and out of her parents’ house, so we were socializing all weekend. Vera had a hard time with the change in schedule and slept even worse than usual, although she thankfully was a champ and slept the entire car rides down and back.

Reading back over this, it all seems very doom and gloom, but that’s not what I intend. It’s simply an honest look at what’s been going on. Thankfully, Ben has been on paternity leave from work since October 8, and has been enormously kind and helpful as far as trying to get me some extra sleep. He generally gets up with Vera every morning to allow me an extra hour or two in bed. And he’s been knocking lots of little niggling home improvement projects off the list left and right. We’ve now got a shelf in the laundry room for our detergent instead of balancing it on a windowsill. We’ve got new light fixtures in both bedrooms to replace the ugly fan/old lady light combos. The cat scratcher is now mounted on the wall instead of kicking around the kitchen floor. AND…

We bought a “new” car. It’s a 1998 Honda CR-V and we LURVE it. We’ve been casually keeping an eye our for a small SUV for a while because Ben’s truck can’t take a car seat. We knew that eventually we’d want more than one car that can transport the kiddo, and we also knew that if we were going to have more kids and/or get a dog like we want, we’d need a slightly larger vehicle. We found this on Craigslist and got a hell of a deal, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it stays road-worthy for us for a few years. I’m just happy because it has studded snow tires and all-wheel drive, so I’ll probably use it as my winter car while Ben drives the Civic. Fun fact, we now have cars from each decade of the 80’s, 90’s, and aughts–an ’87 Toyota pickup, a ’98 CR-V, and a ’08 Civic.

img_6646

So yeah. Life has been chaos. And I think with a baby, that’s just kind of how life is going to be now. We’re just trying to roll with it.

What kind of car do you drive?

Have you tackled any home improvement projects lately?

Advertisements

Training For My First Post-Baby Race

So. Training for the Zack’s Place Turkey Trot 5k has officially kicked off. As usual, I’m using a bastardized Hal Higdon plan. According to The Plan, I’m to run four days a week, maxing out with long runs of five miles.

I have a long and complicated history with training plans. Mostly, I don’t really follow them all that closely. Which is weird for someone as generally Type A as I am. But for whatever reason, I have a hard time sticking to a training plan. I generally do about 80% of the scheduled runs and then wing it race day. Training is already off to an inauspicious start; I only did two of four scheduled runs my first week.

I’m trying really hard to be smart this time. Stick to the plan. Stretch. Foam roll. Keep easy runs easy. I have absolutely zero illusions about hitting some kind of PR on race day, but it would be nice to actually race on race day. To push myself and see what this post-baby body is capable of. But I need to get to the starting line healthy first.

Now that I have a baby to care for, and as the days become darker and colder, it will be even more challenging to stick to a training plan. Thankfully, I have a few things working in my favor. One: Ben started his six week paternity leave on Monday. Because Vera was born over the summer, he didn’t take his leave. Now, we’ll have another six weeks together as a family, meaning I’ll hopefully be able to get more sleep and have more time for running. Two: I now have a treadmill. Hooray for Front Porch Forum! Weather and darkness will no longer be a limiting factor in my ability to get a run done. And I can even potentially sneak in runs while Vera naps.

I think my biggest challenge in sticking to a training plan will be lack of sleep. Vera is still not sleeping through the night. Nowhere even close, in fact. It’s rough. Most days I’m too exhausted to want to do much, let alone go out and run speed intervals. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks, sleep will improve. We’re planning to call our pediatrician this week to see if she can give us some tips, cause both Ben and I are reaching the ends of our tolerance.

So yeah. Long story short, being a mother runner is hard, but I think I can stick with it.

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.

 

Manic Monday Training Recap – 09/24/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery – Week of 09/17/18 – 09/23/18

Monday 09/17/18: Rest
I had hoped to run when Ben got home, but we ended up having dinner with my in-laws instead. They’re about to head off on a month-long trip to Italy, so it was nice to spend some time with them.

Tuesday 09/18/18: 75 minute postnatal yoga class
Once again, Vera was a rock star and let me get most of a workout in without fussing.

Wednesday 09/19/18: 5k run/walk
I was able to sneak in a quick 5k after Ben got home from work. I knew I had a limited amount of time because he wanted to go visit his Grammie, so I picked up the pace a bit from what I’ve been doing. It felt challenging but oh so good to push it a little.

Thursday 09/20/18: Rest
We had a rough night with Vera (thank you, three month growth spurt), and it was all I could do to get through the day.

Friday 09/21/18: Rest
Another rough night = another rest day

Saturday 09/22/18: 5k run/walk
Using 2:1 intervals, this was my fastest post-baby 5k yet. Running more than a minute at a time feels challenging, but I love it!

Sunday 09/23/18: Rest
Vera has really been giving us a run for our money, and after yet another rough night, I couldn’t force myself to do anything other than necessary tasks.

Unfortunately this week didn’t really go the way I wanted it to, but that’s life with an infant. I’m just grateful for what I was able to do.

Going forward in my postpartum fitness journey, I really want to make sure that I’m balancing cardio, strength, and mobility. I once worked with a trainer who said that fitness is like a stool, and cardio, strength, and mobility are the three legs. If you focus on any one area more than the others, you don’t have a very good seat. My intention is to do postpartum core work every day, and a short, focused strength workout each day that I’m not running. And of course, stretching and rolling regularly. But as I said above, life with an infant is challenging and unpredictable, so we’ll see how it goes.

Manic Monday Training Recap – 09/17/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery – Week of 09/10/18 – 09/16/18

Monday 09/10/18: Rest
I decided to take a full rest day to give my knees a chance to feel better.

Tuesday 09/11/18: 75 minute postnatal yoga
Vera and I hit up a lovely postnatal yoga class together. She was a champ and I got most of a workout in.

Wednesday 09/12/18: Rest
I wanted to give my knees another day to rest up after the pain I experienced this weekend, so I took a full rest day.

Thursday 09/13/18: 2.5 mile stroller walk
After Ben got home from work, we went for a family walk on the rail trail. It was a lovely evening, and felt great.

Friday 09/14/18: TIU Lift and Tone Booty Workout + 1.5 mile stroller walk
I kind of hate the TIU Girls, but I have to admit that their workouts are short and effective. In the afternoon, Vera and I took a walk on the rail trail and met up at the playground with my friend Nikki and her son Kalamack.

Saturday 09/15/18: 3.15 mile run/walk
I switched to 1:1 run/walk intervals today, and am happy to report zero knee pain and one happy runner!

Sunday 09/16/18: Rest
I was tired and sore after two days of decent workouts, so I took another rest day. Ben and I went to the Grand Point North music festival and left Vera with her grandparents for the firs time. It was hard, but wonderful.

I’m proud of myself for listening to my body and taking the rest I needed after noticing knee pain, rather than trying to push it. My body simply isn’t as fit as it used to be, and I need to give it time. I’m feeling pretty much 100% today other than a bit of DOMS, so I hope to go for a run/walk when Ben gets home from work tonight.

When’s the last time you went to a concert?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 09/10/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery: Week of 09/03/18 – 09/09/18

Monday 09/03/18: 3 mile walk/run
This was another 3:1 walk/run outing, and despite my stomach being a little dodgy due to running too close to breakfast, it felt great!

Tuesday 09/04/18: Postnatal Core
Vera slept through the time we needed to leave for yoga class, so I did a quick postnatal core workout at home while she was napping.

Wednesday 09/05/18: Postnatal Core & Postnatal Full Body Workout
It was too hot to leave the house, so I did some workouts I found on YouTube: two postnatal core workouts (about 20 minutes total) and about 75% of a full body workout (Vera woke up from her nap and I didn’t get to finish).

Thursday 09/06/18: Rest
Vera had a doctor appointment, and after her shots she was VERY sad and sleepy, so we just did lots of snuggling.

Friday 09/07/18: Rest
Between Vera being extra sleepy and fussy from her shots, and a last-minute visit from my parents, I wasn’t able to get a workout in.

Saturday 09/08/18: 5k walk/run
My first walk/run with 2:1 intervals. I had my fastest post-baby 5k and my fastest post-baby mile!

View this post on Instagram

Before baby, I would have been ashamed of this “slow” pace. I probably would have beat myself up over it. But guess what? This was my fastest after-baby 5k, with my fastest after-baby mile. 2:1 walk/run intervals. • It’s so easy to worry that I’ll never hit my before-baby paces again, but here’s the thing: I truly believe that my strongest, fastest running days are AHEAD of me, not behind. After all, I was only a runner for six years before baby. I have the rest of my life to see what my after-baby body can do! • #runnergirl #vtrunner #motherrunner #womensrunningcommunity #postpartumfitness #postpartumjourney #returntorunning #instarunners #momswhorun #runnermom #nineweekspostpartum #lvrt #hokaahari2

A post shared by Rachel “Rae” Drew (@darlin_rae) on

Sunday 09/09/18: 3 mile walk/run
Unfortunately, some knee pain surface during this run. Both knees. Which is new and different for me. I tried really hard to just focus on using good form and taking it nice and slow, but the soreness continued even after I was done. Boo.

So. Knee pain. I’m not sure if it’s due to the new shoes, lingering hormonal weirdness post-pregnancy, or maybe just irritation because I’m heavier than usual. Whatever the cause, I plan to take a few days off from my new walk/run schedule and focus on mobility and strength. Time to bust out the foam roller!

Any tips for dealing with knee pain?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 08/27/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery – Week of 08/20/18 – 08/26/18

Monday 08/20/18: 2.91 mile stroller walk
Ben, Vera and I hit the rail trail for my longest post-baby walk yet.

Tuesday 08/21/18: Postnatal yoga, .5 mile stroller walk, archery practice
Vera and I went to yoga in the morning, and she did GREAT. Then we went to our buddy Merlin’s house to play with his new recurved bow. After my arms got tired, I took Vera on a nice short walk down and up the big hill near Merlin’s house.

Wednesday 08/22/18: Rest
It was a rainy day and we were out and about a lot, so a walk didn’t happen.

Thursday 08/23/18: Postnatal yoga, 3 mile walk
Vera and I went to yoga again, and after Ben got home, I went for a long walk, with a few bursts of jogging sprinkled in. It felt wonderful, and made me even more excited to get back to regular running.

Friday 08/24/18: Rest
I was surprisingly sore from yoga, and quite tired after two nights of poor sleep, so I decided to just take it easy. Vera and I ran some errands together, but otherwise we just hung out at home.

Saturday 08/25/18: 2.85 mile walk/run
I finally felt up to a bit more running, but wanted to take it easy, so I programmed my Garmin for 4:1 walk/run intervals. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it felt GREAT!

Sunday 08/26/18: 3 mile stroller walk
Ben and I took the new jogging stroller for a spin with Vera in tow. She slept the whole time and we got to enjoy a gorgeous sunny morning.

While this week was a far cry from what used to be my normal, it felt wonderful to get back on the fitness wagon. I’m very proud of what I accomplished and excited to continue making forward progress.

As far as running goes, my plan is to stick to a walk/run plan for a while. I’m going to start with 4:1 walk/run, then 3:1, then 2:1, then 1:1, and then just reverse it on the other side to build up with run/walk intervals until I’m running continuously again.

Do you use run/walk intervals?