Friday, March 23, 2012

Nice rack

It was supposed to be a simple trip to Dick's Sporting Goods: Go in, locate Gu, buy two packets for tomorrow's 20K race and leave.

In. Out. $3.

Upon entering the store, though, I knew that I could get myself in trouble. Real trouble.  There was spring/summer apparel everywhere. The Nike skirt that I have been pining for since I saw it on a lanky girl in New Orleans and brightly hued tanks. There were patterned shorts and cute capris. And I wanted them. All. Of. Them.

I tried to keep my eyes on the prize but I quickly found myself searching for the youth section. I mean, Miles needs his own Nike shirt. I was then off to find a whistle for another project. Before I knew it, I was flipping through the racks and trying to determine just how much money I could spend without having Mark file for divorce.

That amount? I was guessing zero.

I walked away and found the Gu. I delighted in the discovery that they had the Peanut Butter, grabbed one and then a Chocolate Outrage. I headed to the checkout and was shocked to see that a pair of shorts and tank had leaped into my arms.

What was a girl to do? It's not like you can explain the situation to a store clerk. Fate had decided that I needed them and they needed me. Plus, the shorts were 20 percent off and I only have a few pairs for summer.

Note: I understand that these are obnoxiously bright but they picked me. I swear it.

If you have a better budget than me, here are some other outfits I'm digging.

YMX Elemental Flower Tank and Running Skirts Gold Ultra Swift Athletic Skirt - perfect for a short run followed by lunch

Under Armour tank, Sparkle Skirt, Old Navy Compression Shorts, Team Sparkle Race Legs and black sparkle BIC band - definitely a race outfit. I think it would be perfect for the Martian half marathon next month.

 Brooks Run Happy tee and Tempo shorts - perfect for an everyday run

Under Armour banded tank, Nike capris and Nike Free cross training shoes - perfect for Body Pump

What gear are you eyeing this season? Do you find it hard to pass it up?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scheduling conflicts

It's all about routines with babies.

Or so I have heard.

For the most part, we have operated on the "no schedule" schedule, making Miles adapt to our lives rather than adapting our life to his. It's probably not the greatest of ideas and it's probably why we have been fighting bed time (though I blame the time change), why he comes to bed with us at 2 a.m. and rarely takes naps on the weekends. But whatevs. It works. Sort of.

 Not from today - obviously

There is one thing, thought, that has been constant: our morning runs/walks. Most days of the week, we head out at 7 a.m. to get some fresh air and exercise. All of us - Denali and I, mostly - look forward to it and it does us all some good.

However, after a killer run yesterday morning followed by Jillian Michaels and a light bike ride last night, I was not feeling it. The thought of my planned easy 2 miles was exhausting and all I wanted to do was feed my hungry belly. So. at 7 a.m., I sat Miles in the high chair, gave him is favorite toy (a plastic serving spoon) and made an egg white sandwich. Before I even got a bite, we had big fat crocodile tears streaming down his face and onto his bare chest. I picked him up. I gave him the remote. I tried feeding him his pumpkin oats. He wanted none of it.

What he wanted, as it turned out, was to get outside. I leashed up a more than eager Denali and strapped a fussy Miles into the stroller. The second we crossed the threshold, Miles was calm and I had quiet. For a mile and a half or so, we walked in peace - taking in the beautiful spring colors, admiring the blooming magnolia trees and smelling the daffodils and tulips.

I thought, for a moment, that he had fallen asleep but he was bright eyed and happy by the time we got home. He ate his cereal, played with a brush while I washed my hair and even let me wipe off some boogies. I did kill him about 300 times while I dressed him but even after that he was all smiles.

See, I told you.

What are you smiling about today?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I loved fake winter. I loved running on clear sidewalks and in capris. I loved that it was rarely too cold out in the morning to push Miles in the BOB. I loved not having to shovel snow.

But going from fake winter to summer ... well, it's a bit insane.

I'm not complaining. I'm not. Really. However, these higher temperatures do take some getting used to and are forcing me to do things I don't like to do.

1) Thank God for the higher waist on my athletic Running Skirt because it allows me (for lack of a better phrase) tuck in my belly and run sans shirt.

2) Rethink workouts.

I had 5x800 on tap this week for my speed session, and I thought it would be a great idea to do it tonight as I could do it without my entourage. However, when I realized I would be trying to leave my legs on the track in 85-degree heat, I thought that I might not have to do speed this week since I have a 20K on Saturday. I could do a couple easy miles this morning, I thought, and invite Jillian or Bob to my "Mommy Needs Alone Time" night.

Great idea. Right? Right!

I set out for a couple miles and quickly decided that if I was going out for 2 that I might as well do 3. When I hit the half-mile mark, I thought that if I was going to go for a short run that I might as well do it fast. When I hit the park, I thought that Miles and Denali seemed pretty content, so why not just go around and make it 4.

When I get all crazy like that, insane things happen.

1) My first sub-9 run since last month's 5K and only my second post-baby.

2) A MOTOACTV speed record. When I ended my workout, my cute little device told me that I ran a mile in 8:03. EIGHT-OH-THREE. With the stroller. I'm not entirely sure when I did it because the MOTOACTV will allow users to set records between laps (ex: I could have ran an 8:03 between miles .76 and 1.76 but my laps could be entirely different) but even still, my splits were mighty fine: 9:09, 8:44, 8:52, 7:22 (8:40 pace).

I guess I got in my speed session, after all.

Side note: I've gotten a couple questions about my MOTOACTV, especially since I said I'm not going back to the Garmin Forerunner. I'm going to do a follow-up about the device, talking about some things I've learned and other features I didn't get to talk about. If you have a question, ask it in the comments below and I'll include it in the post.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Body after baby: A wrap up, of sorts

I was 39 weeks pregnant when I had Miles, and I knew I was pregnant for about 34 of those weeks. Miles is now almost 37 weeks old, making him 9 months old according to the books but we still have a couple weeks on the calendar until he’s officially 9 months old.

So that means …

Fig, I don’t know. There’s too many numbers for me to deal with. Let’s just say that I’ve had enough time to get my back my pre-baby body.


And the verdict?


Not so much.

My last Weight Watchers weigh-in pre-pregnancy was 122.8 and the last time I stepped on the scale, I weighed 128.4. If you need some help with math, I’m 5.6 pounds away from my “starting weight” and 3.4 pounds from my arbitrarily determined happy weight of 125.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed as I see my “grace period” come to an end. I really wanted to be one of those people who miraculously snapped back after pregnancy. I wanted to be one of those women who see the pounds melt off while they are nursing. I wanted to be one of those mother runners who come back faster and stronger than before.

But I’m not. And I have to be OK with that.

The truth is, after all:

*That I fit into 99 percent of my pre-pregnancy clothes, including my skinny jeans from the photo above.

*I have remained committed to running and been consistent with strength training, and I’m seeing the results.


The first set of photos were taken Sept. 13 and the second set were taken March 17. I’m only about 10 pounds lighter but I feel like I look leaner and narrower, as well as a bit more toned in the arms.

*While I’m still making an effort to lose weight (tracking on MyFitnessPal), I am learning to live and maintain a weight. I had gotten so obsessive and controlling with my diet that I had a hard time enjoying myself. I think I’m learning (note: I did not say “discovered”) the balance between eating, exercise, life and weight.

*Beating myself up will do no good. I am doing what I can, when I can.

*Falling into the comparison trap also won’t do me any favors. I can only be me and this is who I am.

For now.

Looking forward: I want to be a stronger, faster runner. Period. Of course, I hope that my training will help me lose those last pesky few pounds but if not, I’ll live.


After all, he might just be worth those pesky 5 pounds.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things I have decided (+giveaway winner)

*You can only run as far as your mind will allow you. I had 8 miles on the schedule - just 8 nice miles on a cut back week ahead of Saturday's 20K - and I could have done no more. How I ran 11 miles last week is beyond me.

*I would run with a MOTOACTV - even if I didn't get one for free. Reason No. 153: I forgot to turn it off after yesterday's failed second run and I was still able to use it this morning. For all 8 miles. And still had battery to spare. Anyone who has set off only to learn that the Garmin is dead knows just how awesome that is.

*I don't care what the calendar says - it's summer. Or at least spring. If you care to know my reasoning, it's not just the seriously above normal temperatures. It's more that I accidentally ate a bug on my run this morning.

*I am (finally) becoming a better runner because Mark accompanies me on part of my long runs. The little bugger makes me run faster than I should.

*Pushing Miles in the BOB sans car seat adapter is a much more manageable task.

*No matter how comfortable I find Nike Tempo shorts to be, I still think they make me look like I'm wearing a diaper. How do I know this? Well, I like to stare at my reflection in store windows as I pass. And I've seen Miles' butt in a diaper.

*Gu Roctane is not for me. I've tried several flavors, and I don't care for any of them.

*Pancakes, even if they are 7-grain, are the perfect recovery food.

*Making enough pancakes so that you can freeze them for later is much better in theory than practice.

*Biscoff spread is like crack.

And speaking of Biscoff, our winner is ...

Congratulations, Jan! Email (hlthystrides at gmail dot com) your mailing info and I'll have that sent out to you ASAP.

What have you decided lately?