Tag Archives: training

Training Update – 2 weeks

I was officially cleared to resume “normal activities” almost two weeks ago. First and foremost, I double-checked with my doctor to be sure that meant running, too! Since she said, “Absolutely!” I’ve literally been off and running.

That being said, I’m coming back very slowly. I actually had to quit running back in December after a bout with a nasty cold. After that, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down even doing my run/walk intervals, and I knew that wasn’t good for my pregnancy. So, I kept up with walking about 3-4 days each week throughout the rest of my pregnancy. After that long away from running, I decided I shouldn’t just jump back in and risk injury, so I set some entry points for myself.

runner silhouette

I decided to start with some very short running intervals and increase the time I spend running in those intervals a little bit each week. I’m “running” four days each week and running based on time, not distance. Everyday, I include walking to warm-up and cool down as part of the workout. I am gradually decreasing the amount of time I spend walking for warm-up and cool down as I increase the length of my intervals. Here is what my weeks look like:

  • Monday – 35 minute workout – 5 short intervals, 1 longer
  • Wednesday – 45 minute workout – 8 short intervals, 1 longer
  • Friday – 30 minute workout – continuous running between warm-up and cool down
  • Saturday or Sunday – 60 minute workout – 2 sets of 5 short intervals, 1 longer

During my first few days back, I stuck with a 1:1 run/walk ratio for my workouts. I knew I could increase a little bit after those first few days so I increased my running intervals to 1:30 for short, and 2:30 for longer.

This week, I’m doing 3:00 for my short intervals and 4:00 for my longer intervals. I will continue to increase this by 1:00 each week as long as I continue to feel healthy and strong. Coming back like this is an exercise in patience, but I know I’m doing what is right for my body.

I’m also starting to do some core work. I found a great YouTube video for those recovering from abdominal surgery. I do it on the days I run and give myself a full rest day in between those workouts for now. Eventually, I’ll be adding some more toning and more  difficult core work at least one day each week, but I don’t want to run into any issues with diastasis recti while I’m getting my strength back.

So, that is where I am right now. Like I said, it is an exercise in patience, but I know I’m doing what is right for my body as I work my way back. In two more weeks, I’m going to assess where I am and determine whether or not I am ready to register for a race or not. My hope is that I’ll be able to do a slow 5K in mid-to-late August and I kind of have my eyes on the Growler Gallop.

We’ll see!

Weekly Preview – June 12

It seems like now is a good time to link up with one of my favorite blogs, which I’ve been following for several years, Mommy Run Fast, to talk about what I’m doing for fitness and diet since my cesarean in the form of my plans for the week ahead.

During my pregnancy, I tried to keep up with my running and I was successful for a while. Then, right around Christmas I ended up with a horrible cold. After that, I just couldn’t manage to keep my heart rate down, so I ended up switching over to walking. I resumed walking about 5 days after my surgery at about a 30 minute pace with a quarter mile. Now, I’m walking up to 3 miles between a 15 and 16 minute pace. I’m happy with that progress i less than 5 weeks time, but that still means I haven’t run for 6 months. UGH!

On Thursday of this week, I have my 6 week postpartum visit with my doctor and I’m hoping that means I’ll be cleared to start running again. I won’t technically be at 6 weeks until next Monday, so I’m not planning to start mixing running in until that day, but this week I will continue my brisk walks to prepare my body for running when I get the all clear. I am still taking a rest day very frequently because a cesarean is major surgery and I want to make sure I am treating my body kindly to allow it to properly heal. I’m also leaving out strength training because I am not cleared for core work yet and I get enough upper body work carrying around the baby and pushing the stroller.

Here is how my week will look:

Monday: 35 minute walk

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 45 minute walk

Thursday: REST

Friday: 30 minute walk

Saturday: 1 hour walk

Sunday: REST

I’ve also been taking a bit of a break from meal-planning while I’ve been recovering. I have an amazing husband who has been meal-planning, grocery shopping, and doing most of the cooking since the beginning of my third trimester. I’m working on starting to make that more of a collaborative process again now that I’m feeling more recovered and have another month at home before the end of my maternity leave.

We can also plan some slightly higher maintenance mid-week meals right now, because I can typically get a some prep done during the day. If something happens and I have less time, we just switch the planned meal to something a little easier. What has made our meal planning much easier is buying a small dry erase board for the refrigerator. I picked up this days of the week dry erase board by Quartet days of the week dry erase board by Quartet from Amazon for less than $10. It is heavy duty and is magnetized so the dry erase marker sticks directly to it rather than having to stick it on the refrigerator next to it. We tend to stay much more organized with our meals when we use it. We also add when we have special things going on so it helps us to keep track of when we don’t need to plan meals or we need to make some other type of special arrangement. I only wish that the week on the board ran from Sunday to Saturday instead of Monday to Sunday as that is how we plan our meals.

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For this week we are planning to have a real mix of things:

Sunday: Summer Vegetable Risotto

Monday: Big Salad with Tuna Medallions ($6.99/lb at Harris Teeter this week)

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken & Brussels Sprouts with a Shallot Mustard Sauce

Wednesday: Pork Tacos

Thursday: Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

Friday: Cookout with friends

Saturday: Eat out or get takeout

It’s a Two-fer! Meal Planning and Weekly Recap

That’s right! I stayed on the go this weekend, so I never had a chance to sit down and write my meal-planning post for this week. Lucky you, that means you get meal-planning and my weekly recap all rolled into one!

I’ll start off with the good news. My doctor’s office called on Monday and offered me a slot for an appointment the next afternoon. I’ve never been so happy to go to the doctor in my life! At first glance, it appeared that my totally non-expert self-diagnosis was correct; it was a reoccurrence of patellar tendonitis. However, the more we talked (myself, the doctor, and the resident) the more my doctor felt like we needed to do a scan to make sure their was nothing else going on. So, we hit the ultrasound room, where we were also joined by a professor in orthopedics from a local college who is on sabbatical to study with my doctor. They all took turns looking at knee with the ultrasound and what they ultimately found is something called a traction spur. He said it is caused by the tendon actually pulling on the bone. So, the week the pain developed, I had significantly ramped up my squats and lunges (as part of Body Pump and my 30 day challenge for July). He thinks following up those workouts with running was just too much for my body at this point. My tendons are probably super tight from being a runner, so that is something I’m going to need to work on. He gave me some exercises and, the best news, permission to run!

I’m going easy, really low mileage. I’m giving myself 48(ish) hours between runs, and I’m trying to find flatter routes to run (not easy given the area’s geography). But, I’m running! I did 2 miles twice last week, and I’ll start out with 2 more 2 mile runs this week, and then try for three. I’m walking when I need to and I’m just trying to relax and give myself time to heal properly. I’m supposed to go back if my pain isn’t better after 6 weeks.

Our weekend was fun, but busy.  We were in Suffolk, Virginia, for a get-together with Nathan’s family on Saturday. It was a very nice time, but a long day. We managed to squeeze in our runs before we left, but with getting up to run, driving over 3 hours there and again on the way back, and spending a few hours there with everyone, we were spent by the time we got home. We grabbed some dinner at our favorite pizza joint, and called it a night pretty early.

Sunday morning, Nathan had to break down all of his instruments and headed over to Graham, North Carolina to perform at a church service. While he did all that, I engaged in some quick meal-planning and put together the grocery list for the week. Aside from Nathan taking a pretty nasty spill coming back into the house while loading his car, the morning went smoothly. I chose a slow-cooker meal for yesterday’s dinner, so after I shopped I got that prepped and cooked the rice to go with it. (I’ll be sharing more about the recipe tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned for that.)  I also roasted the gorgeous purple tomatillos, jalapenos, and tomatoes a friend gave me from her garden earlier in the week.

IMG_4215Then, I was off to Graham myself for Nathan’s afternoon recital. His recital was lovely, and his new version of “EvenStar” was absolutely beautiful. Our friends that played on the recital stuck around afterwords to help us break his instruments back down and load the car. Then, we were off for a celebratory adult beverage before we headed home to dinner.

What a great weekend!

Now, on to the week ahead. As I mentioned, we’re going to be looking at houses some in the evening this week, so I wanted to make sure I had two meals that could be ready super fast. I elected for leftovers one of those nights and the other night we’ll have a big salad with either shrimp or chicken on top (we have both in the freezer right now). Here’s how it looks:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Lamb Curry – Check out tomorrow’s post for more info on this!
Monday/Tuesday: Leftover Lamb Curry & Grilled Something Salad (We’re flexible on this since we don’t know exactly what these evenings will hold.)
Wednesday: Stacked Roasted Veggie Enchiladas
Thursday: Fish of some sort with sauteed veggies – I didn’t buy this on Sunday since I don’t like to keep fish in the refrigerator that long. I’ll see what is on sale and/or looks the freshest when I stop in at the store later this week to finalize this meal.

On Friday, we’re off to Virginia again. We’re seeing Nickel Creek in concert on Friday night with my mom and stepdad and then we’re heading to Busch Gardens on Saturday. We’re fully taking advantage of our last real weekend of summer!

Weekly Recap: Family Time

At the beginning of the summer, I decided I wanted to make building my weekly base mileage a priority, so I built my plan each week to build on what I had done the previous week. I purposely kept speed work out of my routine to make sure my quads were in good shape and so I could focus strictly on how my body felt as I added on my miles. This week, I hit 26 miles. I’ll end up with about the same next week and then I’ll drop back slightly as I officially start my training for Crooked Road in November.

Here is how my week played out:
Monday: Body Pump during lunch, 1 mile and my full-body challenge in the evening
Tuesday: 4 miles of trail. It was tough and HOT! We ended up walking a good bit because it was just so miserable out there. I also got to add another fall to my vast collection of tumbles I’ve taken. I actually managed to roll a little so I avoided adding more scar tissue to the skin on my right knee.
Wednesday: Body Pump during lunch, 1 mile and my full-body challenge in the evening
Thursday: 5 miles with Melanie. I actually managed to finish this one with a relatively quick overall pace (quick for me, anyway). I did the first part of my challenge, but when I got to my side planks, my shoulders were spent, so I save those and my military presses for Friday morning.
Friday: 4 miles. I managed to do 3.4 without a walk break. With my asthma this was a pretty big deal. Did the rest of my Thursday challenge stuff and also what was scheduled for Friday.
Saturday: 1 mile of laps around our hotel and then hit the fitness center to do my challenge.
Sunday: 10 miles followed by an almost 2 mile stroll. (More on this run tomorrow!)

Overall, it was a good running week. I had two runs that left me feeling like I’m making some good progress. My long run was a little frustrating, but considering the level of humidity as I started, I don’t think I could have expected much more.

On top of all that, we got to spend a great weekend with family. We kicked it off on Friday, by driving up to Cumberland, Maryland. When we got there we met up with my sister’s family and my dad, stepmom, and nephew. We took my dad out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. We haven’t been able to do that for him in quite a while, so it was pretty special.  On Saturday, we spent the day with his extended family (most of whom I have not seen in over 10 years). It was so nice to spend time catching up with everyone and have decided that it will not go that long without me going up to see everyone again.

We decided to drive back to my mom’s house in Alexandria on Saturday night and we spent a couple of hours relaxing and chatting (and planning for our beach trip next week).  On Sunday morning, she made breakfast for everyone and we got on the road by midday to head back.

It was a very full weekend, but very happy as well!

Weekly Recap: Sick

I’ve always kind of wonder how people handle a running streak when they are sick.  In the last week, I got to answer my own question.

I started feeling a little run-down last Monday and since my husband had been sick, I was pretty sure I was going to be the next to fall. By Tuesday, I was extremely tired and had a full-blown chest cough.  On Wednesday, the head congestion joined in. And, by Thursday, the fever came by for a visit.  Thankfully, I woke up on Friday fever-free and with more energy than I had all week. It faded quickly, but by Saturday I was in much better shape. I still have a lingering cough, especially in the evening, but overall I am MUCH better.

All of that said, I managed to get in a minimum of a 1 mile run and my abs challenge every day. My most interesting run was definitely the one I put in on Thursday while I was running a low-grade temp.  It made it kind of feel like their was a disconnect between what my mind and body. The whole thing was kind of a blur.

Here’s how the week broke down.

Monday: 1 mile run – Day 2 Abs Challenge
Tuesday: 1 mile run – Day 3 Abs Challenge
Wednesday: 1 mile run followed by 1.3 miles walking – Day 4 Abs Rest Day
Thursday: 1 mile run: Day 5 Abs Challenge
Friday: 1 mile run – Day 6 Abs Challenge
Saturday: 1 mile run, followed by 2 miles of run/walk and another 1.15 just walking
Sunday: 3 mile run at 7:1 intervals, yoga, and yardwork

Saturday’s long run was super fun! We met up with a bunch of our running friends from the Woo Hoo Crew and the Sole Sisters to run.  I wanted to run 8 this week, but I decided to stick with about 4.5 because I was still coughing lot.  When I got back to the car, nobody else had finished yet, so I walked almost another 3/4 of a mile before others started trickling in.  We followed up the run with breakfast and bloody marys at Sticks and Stones.  It was great fun!

All of the girls before the run on Saturday

All of the girls before the run on Saturday

On Sunday, Nathan had a bike ride planned, so while he did that, I got in my run, yoga, and yardwork.  We have a massive holly bush next to our mailbox that was in desperate need of trimming. It always ends up getting out of hand, so I decided to trim it so it was in more of a tree shape (it is also pretty tall). It looks kind of weird right now, but once I finish the other side of it, I think it will actually look pretty good.  My muscles just couldn’t take any more yesterday. Just as I was finishing, Nathan came home and made us a little cocktail before we got cleaned up and headed out for grocery shopping.  Mahi was on sale this week, so Nathan made fish tacos with homemade corn tortillas for dinner. YUM!

Fish tacos with Napa cabbage, cilantro, lime cream sauce, and fresh avocado

Fish tacos with Napa cabbage, cilantro, lime cream sauce, and fresh avocado

I’m really happy that I’m well and looking forward to a week of regular training! Day 15 of streaking, coming up today!

 

 

Weekly Recap: The Streak Begins

What a week! We kicked it off in Northern Virginia on Monday at the wedding of one of Nathan’s college roommates. We realized about halfway through the post-ceremony celebration that driving back to North Carolina that afternoon wouldn’t be the best idea we had ever had, so we ended up going back to my mom’s for an early bedtime and an even earlier rise so we could get back and go straight to work. Thankfully, we have flexible friends who were willing to come by and feed our cat until we made it back.

Coming back midweek means our normal Sunday grocery shopping trip doesn’t happen. That resulted in us spending the rest of the week eating out like we were still on vacation (at least for dinner).  We had some great food, but by Sunday night it was time to get back on track. Nathan grilled some chicken breasts with an ancho-tequila glaze.  He uses this recipe, but we made it with chicken breasts to give ourselves a slightly larger portion and to reduce the fat content.  We served with one of our favorite salads, spinach, fresh strawberries, and either bleu or goat cheese.  I like balsamic vinaigrette on mine!

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Ancho-Tequila Glazed Chicken Breast with one of my favorite salads!

In terms of my weekly workouts, I can’t complain.  I put in at least a mile every day and my quads were all right with that. I’m still rolling before most runs and stretching a lot throughout the day.  I’m really enjoying the streak! Here’s how the whole week looked:

Monday – 8 mile run along the GW Parkway (making up my long run since it was still the weekend)
Tuesday – 2.6 miles; mostly walking after the first two miles
Wednesday – 1 mile run followed by one set of push-ups and planks
Thursday – 3 mile run
Friday – 1 mile run followed by one set of push-ups and planks
Saturday – 8 mile run at Salem Lake with a bunch of beautiful women
Sunday – 1 mile run followed by Day 1 of the June Abs Challenge

The women before our run at Salem Lake on Saturday

The women before our run at Salem Lake on Saturday

Unfortunately, Nathan was under the weather with a pretty nasty cough and some congestion from Wednesday on.  He still isn’t 100% and I’m getting a little tickle in my throat, so I’m thinking it’s best not to push myself too hard this week. I’m going to keep my two shorter runs right at 3 miles and my long run will probably be right around 8 miles again.  Cross your fingers for me that I manage to stay well!

If I make it through this week well and the soreness in my quads seems to be staying at bay, I’m going to start adding in a little more cross-training next week!