Monday, March 13, 2017

That Other Hip

Well, just when I thought I was getting my running groove back... BAM. My hip has started acting up. Not the hip I injured last fall - my other hip. Ugh. And I'm less than 4 weeks out from the first of 2 half marathons I'm signed up for.

The good news is - it's not nearly as bad as my right hip was. At least not yet. And I know the best thing to do would be to immediately stop running to let my strained hip flexor heal. But let's be serious. I'm a runner. And runner's are nothing if not determined (and stubborn).

It started with a tightness in my hip and I knew what was coming next. A soreness all the way around my hip, from front to back. I had an 11-miler on the training schedule this past Saturday. So I spent all day icing on Friday - 20 minutes every 2 hours. It felt ok when I got up on Saturday, so I wrapped it in Icy Hot and headed out the door.



The first couple miles were iffy - the soreness was definitely there. But unlike my hip injury this past fall, I didn't have sharp pain each time my foot hit the ground. So I kept at it.

Once I got warmed up, I hit my stride and felt pretty comfortable. It was a little slower than the previous Saturday's 10-miler, but overall, it was a pretty solid run - 2 seconds per mile faster than my best half marathon pace!


I probably should've bought a bag of ice and taken an ice bath afterward...but at least I used an ice pack! And despite the soreness, I didn't feel overly fatigued after my run, which is a great sign for my upcoming race.

Typically I go out for a "shake out" run the day after my long run, but yesterday, I made the responsible decision not to run. Instead, I focused on low-impact, strengthening exercises and walking with the kiddos.

This is my last week of increasing mileage before I start tapering - yippee!! I have a 12-miler on the schedule for Saturday morning, and then I will throw an 8th birthday party at my house later in the afternoon, because #MOM. 😆

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Adventures of Zombiemom

If I could sum up the past week in a word or 2 it would be - SO TIRED! The little man has had a cold, plus he is teething and learning new things fast and furious. There hasn't been a whole lot sleep happening over here. I've been feeling like Zombiemom more often than not. So thank goodness for work flexibility. I only went into the office one time! Most days I was rolling out of bed late, downing coffee, grabbing a workout in the garage or a run outside, and then jumping on the computer around 8:30 am, unshowered and still in sweaty clothes. This mom life is a glamorous one!

My brain is still a little bit fried, leaving me at a loss for words... but here are a few memorable moments from the past few days...


  • I always workout with weights in the garage in the morning, and take a long walk at lunch. This past Monday I was able to meet the hubby and 2 of my kiddos at Falls Park. 😀 Burning calories and getting some family time in.





  • My Grandpa finally got to meet my little guy! It is always so fun to have my Grandpa around. The kids love him, and he magically turns into a kid again when he's around them

  • The little man started pulling up - all the time on everything!! I was working from home Friday, and I turned away for just a second, and then turned back to find this. Oh, and he acted like it was no big deal, of course.




  • And best of all, I absolutely killed my 10-mile training run on Sunday, despite the fact that I wasn't feeling well the day before. This run was almost a full 10 seconds per mile faster than my fastest race pace - and it even included a 7:50 mile at mile 7! WHAT?! I don't want to get overly confident, but I really think I may be headed for a new PR! The Savannah Women's Half is just 5 weeks away - eek!


Whew! I guess in my constant half-asleep state, I really did quite a lot over the past few days! Here's hoping the next few bring more rest, and more to say. 😉

Goodnight!

Monday, February 27, 2017

10-Miler + Whole30-ish Update

Happy Monday, from yours truly - Zombiemom. Ugh. The little guy is sick and teething at the same time, so there hasn't been a whole lot of sleeping happening around here. It's times like these though that I'm grateful for so much flexibility at work. Today was a yoga pants, no makeup, work from home kind of day.

In happier news, I crushed a major goal over the weekend. I ran my first double-digit mileage in almost 2 years! 😁 And guess what! I ran it faster than my last and best race pace! I see a new PR in my future....

I was out the door at 8:40, just 10 minutes later than planned, which is basically on time when you have 3 kids. 😝 Unlike the previous Saturday's 9-miler, I felt great right from the start. Clear-headed, rested (relatively speaking), and well-fueled. Plus, it was 60 degrees outside already!



My splits were all over the place, and I probably started out a little too fast, but I was quite pleased with my overall pace.

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Remember last week how I said I was going to jump into the vegan Whole30? Well, let me just say that if I was strictly "playing by the rules," I would still be on Day 1, because you are supposed to start over every time you eat/drink something that's not on the plan. Ha!

This morning's breakfast was Whole30 compliant - banana, apple, strawberries, flax and coconut oil
I will say though, I've done well overall. I knew going in I wouldn't be able to strictly follow the plan - mostly because I have a long history of a somewhat unhealthy relationship with food, and I have no desire to go back to strict food rules for myself. Plus, life has to be at least a little fun, am I right?!

Applying some of the principles of Whole30 has really helped me feel better (no more sluggishness and bloating) and made me much more aware of the mindless snacking and the amount of processed carbs and sugar that had crept back into my diet. I'm not really eating starchy carbs right now (save for the occasional bite of something the kids are eating and my pre-long-run protein pancake made with whole wheat flour - which is a must). I'm eating way more vegetables, and drinking less wine. I've made a lot of good changes, so I'm not going to feel bad about little "cheats" here and there.

Protein pancake with coconut oil instead of vegan butter 😏


I have also discovered the amazing combination that is sweet potato with coconut oil. If you have not tried this, go do it NOW!

And while you run off and do that, I'm going to run upstairs to bed and close my eyes for a few minutes before my little sicky baby wakes up!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Change in Goals

Hey there! I say this every time, but seriously...how is it already Wednesday?!

I traveled again this week, and spent a lot of time sitting in the car, but somehow manage to hit my 10k steps and get at a workout in every day.

I wanted to write a post about why I quit Pure Barre. (It still stings a little to say I quit...) I have raved about Pure Barre in the past, and anyone who's friends with me on Facebook knows that I did Pure Barre religiously (4-6 days a week) for more than 2 years - including my entire third pregnancy.

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Headed to the barre at ~34 weeks pregnant

I really never imagined I'd stop going to classes. I loved starting my day with 55 minutes of me time. The work outs are challenging, but yet you can do them with your eyes closed since they are small, isometric movements. It requires concentration and focus. I also loved the sense of community - seeing the same ladies every morning, getting to know them. Plus, it really tones you up!

So why did I quit?

Well for one thing, it's CRAZY expensive! When we moved to SC for my new job, the hubby left his job and started staying home with the kiddos, so it was hard to justify an auto-draft of $149/month.

But the primary reason I quit - my goals changed.

At this stage in my life and my fitness career, I'm looking to really push myself. I've gone beyond wanting to be toned. My goals shifted to building muscle.

Enter Team Fit!

I got hooked up with Team Fit through a friend, and discovered the Anywhere Workout Plan. I have access to a gym at work, but decided that working out at home with the equipment I already owned (plus a couple new items, like a suspension trainer) would be the best option to ensure that I didn't miss workouts.

My garage gym may not be fancy, but it sure does the trick!

I started the plan at the end of October 2016, and completed the full 10 weeks without missing a workout. And I LOVED IT! I loved it so much, that I have continued to do it ever since, adding reps and weight to continue to challenge myself.

Check out those shoulder muscle gains!

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What a difference 10 weeks makes!!

Do I miss Pure Barre? Sure, I do. But at almost 34, I have never felt as strong as I do now.


I highly recommend Team Fit to any and all ladies looking for an effective workout without the boutique fitness price tag! Reach out to me if you are interested and I'll hook you up!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Highs, Lows & Cleaning Up My Act



Yet again, I let more days go by between posts than planned. This thing called life is really getting in the way! 😀
This guy tends to take up my time. 😃

This weekend went by way too fast, as they all do - but it had its highs and lows crammed into that short period of time.

The high was most definitely my 9-mile run on Saturday! I hadn't run that far since my last half marathon way back in March 2015. I've been adding a mile back to my long run each week for the past few weeks and worked my way back to 9. I had hoped to run an 8:30 pace or faster, but I really can't complain about this:



I really thought I was going to quit on this one - which brings me to one of the lows.  (The rest of the lows I'm not going to get into here. I will just say I am emotionally exhausted...) I woke up Saturday morning feeling really icky. I drank a glass of wine the night before, but chased it with lots of water. But I still had a yucky feeling in my head and my whole body. I feel sluggish. I managed to push through it and get it in gear for my run, but it got me thinking. I've been waking up feeling that way more often than not lately. And then it occurred to me....

It's my diet.

Now don't get me wrong - relative to the general population, I eat very healthy. I'm a vegan, I don't do fast food, and really don't drink all that much. But I've allowed too much sugar and too many processed carbs to creep into my diet lately. And I've also been stressed and anxious at times, which leads to a few more glasses of wine each week than normal. All this together has left me feeling gross and sluggish almost daily.

So, starting tomorrow, I am cleaning up my act. I'm starting the vegan Whole30. I guess it's really the Whole30ish, because by nature of being vegan, I'm violating some of the principles of Whole30. But whatever you want to call it, it's going to be HARD! I'm looking forward to cutting the sugar out and reducing the alcohol (because let's be serious, there's no way I'll skip my post long run glass of wine on Saturdays!). I am nervous about living without oats and rice though - both staples in my vegan diet. Tomorrow night I was planning on making rice bowls with tofu, broccoli and teriyaki sauce. Instead, I'll be swapping out the rice with this:




Of course I have to travel again for work this week, which will be tricky...but I am committed to feeling better every day. Plus, I always love a good challenge. 😀

I hope to get my act together to post more regularly with updates on how it's going!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Postpartum Running: Version 3.0

Good GOD this week is flying by! Normally that's a great thing, but I feel like I haven't gotten much accomplished yet and the week is already half over! I did get to go out to dinner with the hubby on Monday though in (early) celebration of Valentine's Day, which also happens to be our dating anniversary. (18 years this year- what?!?)

So this is what downtown looks like at night!
Anyway...I've been wanting to write a little bit about my experience running after baby #3. So here goes!

My running "career" didn't even start until my firstborn was about 14 months old, at which time I was running about a 12-minute mile. Over the next 2 years, before I got pregnant with baby #2, I ran 3 half marathons, working my way from 2:04:58 in my first race to 1:59:38 in my third race.

While I was pregnant with baby #2, I ran until about 20 weeks before I gave up on it. It was too uncomfortable - especially in the Atlanta summertime. After she was born, I was anxious to get back to it though and started running again at about 3 or 4 weeks postpartum, doing a lot of run/walk intervals. It was humbling. I was SLOOOOW! And it took me a long time to gain any kind of speed back. But over the course of 3 years, I managed to get faster. I ran 4 more half marathons, including my most recent, which was a personal best.

Publix Georgia Half Marathon - March 2015
When I found out I was pregnant with baby #3, I was in almost-peak running shape - routinely running 7+ miles every Saturday, and at least 20 miles per week. I swear I started to get sluggish the second I found out I was expecting! But I kept at it. And I beat my goal of running up to 32 weeks, which was a total postpartum game-changer!!

I was back out there 3 weeks after my little guy was born. Sure, I was much slower than that half marathon PR, but I didn't stop once (although I may have peed my pants 😯)! I made it through a full 3 miles and felt exhilarated.

First postpartum run in April 2016
Flash forward to 6 months postpartum, I worked my way up to 8 miles and was starting to run a sub-9:00 pace pretty regularly. (Even throughout my training for my last half marathon, I rarely ever ran a sub-9:00.) However, I was running 5 days a week and ended up being out of commission with an overuse injury in my right hip. 😐

First week of October 2016
I spent most of October, November and December focusing on strength training and just walking for fitness to let my hip heal. (Although I did run an 8k on Thanksgiving Day against my better judgement...) It was SO HARD to take time off from running, but it was definitely the best thing for me.

I returned to running in mid-December, starting out with a couple days of run/walk intervals, then only running every other day for a couple weeks before settling back into a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday running schedule by January, with Saturday being my "long run" day. And a funny thing happened after all that time off - I got FASTER! I'm now consistently a sub-9:00 runner. In fact, a "slow" run for me now is about 9:00 per mile. I'm back up to 8 miles, and recently ran my fastest run EVER! After THREE BABIES!

January 2016
This most recent (and last EVER!) postpartum running experience has taught me that I really can do anything. Having a baby is the ultimate endurance event - and what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger!

I'm so excited for my first half marathon since baby #3. I don't like to put pressure on myself with time goals, but I'm really starting to believe that I can set a new personal best if I keep running as well as I am now.

My 21-year-old, Pepsi-drinking, Hostess-cupcake-eating self never would have imagined being this excited about running! 😂

What do you look forward to these days that you used to think was torture?!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Whirlwind of a Week

Oh, hey there! What a week! I fully intended to post a couple times, but...life!

I knew going in that the week was going to be crazy. I had my first business trip since baby boy was born that was longer than 36 hours. I was gone before the kids woke up Monday and didn't get back until after their bedtime on Wednesday (though the girls were still up when I walked in the door at 8:15).

Here are some of the highlights...

Workouts

  • Monday: 40 minutes of weights at 4am before my early morning flight; walking between concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson; walking to dinner in Savannah
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes of weights in the hotel gym; 4-mile run around Savannah
  • Wednesday: 1-hour of weights in the hotel gym; lots of walking around the airport again...
  • Thursday: 4-mile run in the morning; 30 minutes of weights in the evening
  • Friday: 45 minutes of weights at 5:45am; lunchtime walk around downtown Greenville; 28 minutes of HIIT at 8:30pm
  • Saturday: 8.2 mile run at an 8:23 pace - WOOHOO!
Ready to race again!!!
  • Sunday: The whole day was a big workout! 5.5 mile walk on the trail; 55 minutes of TRX/bodyweight in the garage; 3.1 mile run pushing my 4 year old in the stroller. Ooof!
**OOOH!! And I signed up to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 7 with my uncle! This will be his first half, and my 8th - but my first since baby #3!
 I'm running for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. You can donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/susangkomenpitt2017/fundraiser/emilyblair4**

Work
  • 6 flights in 3 days!!
  • Greenville > Atlanta > Savannah on Monday; worked in the office in Savannah
  • Savannah > Atlanta > Indianapolis on Tuesday
  • Prospective client meeting on Wednesday morning in Indy (#nailedit); then Indy > Atlanta > Greenville
  • Worked from home Thursday after all that travel, then back in the office on Friday morning
Food
  • Tried my best to make healthy choices while traveling but still enjoy myself.
  • Went out to dinner with co-workers in Savannah at The Chart House. Had a fabulous kale salad - and some amazing Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Another amazing kale salad (and more wine!) in the airport in Atlanta
  • Out to dinner again Friday - tried a new place locally called Risata Pizza. YUM! I had the veggie sandwich with no cheese.
Phew - I'm wiped out! Sorry for the lack of pictures...there was just no time!