Run Austin: Postpartum Edition

standard September 25, 2017 Leave a response

I had grand plans of running all throughout my pregnancy. Of being one of those women who made fitness and pregnancy weight gain look easy and fun. Then morning sickness hit. And pregnancy exhaustion. I was pretty much flat out on the couch nauseous and napping for months, well past the end of the first trimester. Everyone said it would get easier after week 12. For me, it took well until week 14 or 15. My last run had been at week 5, so once I had the energy to get back out there, it had been long enough that my body was starting over, confused, heavy, and slow. Which IS OKAY! I accepted this and kept my run/walk routine until it no longer felt good, and I moved to just walking.

I managed to run two races during my pregnancy. One at 16 weeks and one at 24 weeks. I was shocked at how well I did during the first race, having very little training beforehand, due to the abovementioned exhaustion and nausea. And the second race was awesome. But also the last time I really ran, and ran strong. I mostly walked with some sprints after that.

Postpartum, I was not cleared to exercise in any form until 9 weeks postpartum, and even after that I wasn’t supposed to run right away, instead, letting my body ease into movement again. So it was maybe 11 or 12 weeks in that I even attempted a 1 minute on/off plan.

I very slowly started a couch-to-10k plan, repeating days and weeks as necessary. And now, 6 months postpartum, I can manage 5 miles in an hour, though still with some walk breaks. Running with a stroller is no joke! I finally signed up for my first postpartum race, the same one I ran at 16 weeks pregnant, the Run Free Texas 80s 8k. Not sure how I will fare with those hills and a stroller, but we will see! The goal is to beat my pregnant time of an hour, and since we’re still a few weeks out, that seems manageable to me.

I had grand plans of running a marathon this year. But my body isn’t there. My heart isn’t there. My head really isn’t there. Just thinking through the logistics of racing that long with breastfeeding is more than I care to figure out at this point. So marathon plans are on hold until next year. And instead I think I’m going to tackle Decker as my big end of year goal. Maybe the entire Distance Challenge again. But we’ll see how this first race goes first.

The big lesson learned? Listen to your body. Go slow. And know its okay to change course. Our bodies are amazing in what they can do, especially if we give them the love they need.

Anyone else gearing up for the 80s 8k? This is the third year I’m running, and it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite (albeit hilly!) Austin races.

Simplify: Traveling with Baby

standard September 18, 2017 Leave a response

If you’ve ever wanted to simplify your belongings and your life but thought to yourself, “I could never get there” or “I really NEED all this stuff,” then go take a 6 or 8 week trip. There’s nothing like an extended time away from home to make you realize what you actually need every day to not just survive but thrive.

We traveled for 6 weeks with a 3 month old baby. We packed two suitcases, 2 computer bags, a diaper bag, and a car seat. And no, we didn’t even use everything we packed, but it was pretty close. And yes, we bought stuff once we arrived at our destination. Namely, baby necessities and a few household items. Our goal was to make the day-to-day as normal as possible for our daughter, in order to make our lives easier (i.e. NAPTIME). However, despite our best efforts, traveling across time zones and being away during that dreaded 4 month Wonder Week/sleep regression is generally going to be a nightmare. Even our best efforts didn’t do much to help with that, but we survived.

Navigating airports, home rentals, cable car hills, and numerous skipped naps taught me a few things about simplifying travel with a small child. Namely, you really don’t need that much, but the few things you do need, you really will get every penny of use out of.

Top 3 Things to Take When Traveling with a Baby

1. Baby wrap or carrier.

LIFE. SAVER. If you only take ONE thing, take this. Child doesn’t want to nap, and you need to get stuff done? Child is unsure of new surroundings and needs to get used to environment? You desperately need to get out of the house? Babywearing is the way to go.  Especially when going through airport security and a long flight. I prefer my Solly Baby wrap over a carrier, especially at the airport, because I was able to also carry a backpack without the straps from a carrier getting in my way. I also easily got a sweater or jacket on and off without looking ridiculous.

2. Lightweight stroller.

We decided not to lug our beloved BOB stroller with us, just because of its weight. Instead, we ordered a smaller, lighter stroller to be delivered directly to our rental and then flew home with it. And while I missed being able to run on days I was solo parenting, it was really nice to have something that maneuvered easily through city streets and hills without the added weight.

3. Sound machine.

A sound machine was not on my baby registry. It was not even on my radar, until I was reading something online and stumbled upon a blog post that highly praised the NEED for one. I immediately hopped on Amazon and bought that exact one, and its been amazing. It’s just enough white noise to drown out almost anything without being super loud. And no matter where you are, it makes the room your baby is sleeping in sound and feel like home. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without this item right now. Along with my breast pump, it was the only other thing I insisted upon having in my carry on vs checking because I could NOT risk it getting lost in transit.

How have you handled traveling with an infant? Any other must-have items you’ve learned about along the way?

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com.

Be Present: September

standard September 5, 2017 Leave a response

Happy September! August was a busy month with lots of moving parts, and with Fall and the end of the year fast approaching, things don’t look to settle down anytime soon. Last month’s goals were fairly ambitious, so September is about slowing down, simplifying, and focusing on what is most important. Namely, rest, family, and some big work tasks!

August in Review:

1. Clear out clutter.

This started out in one drawer in my kitchen, and slowly took over cabinet by cabinet, room by room. If we hadn’t used it since we moved in 2 years ago, out it went. So much open space everywhere now! Hopefully it stays that way for a while.

2. Start marathon training plan.

I’ve made progress since our California adventure with completing my couch to 10k plan, but I decided to completely forego a marathon this year. My heart just isn’t in it. And the thought of figuring out how to pump or nurse mid-race solidifies the decision to wait until breastfeeding season is over to tackle this goal again. I have signed up for an 8k in October and am now targeting a December 13.1 goal. Training plan is ready to go!

3. Batch cook meals.

This technically didn’t happen until this past weekend, but I am SO SO glad this got completed! I tacked 12 recipes over 2 days. I spent $140 and made over 50 individual servings for meals for the coming months. The last thing I like to do on busy nights now is cook, especially with trying to get a fussy, teething baby to sleep!

September Goals:

  • Read 4 books.
  • Update Celebration Nutrition services.
  • Carve out time for weekly self-care.

What are your big goals for this change of season? How are you slowing down and simplifying as we move toward the end-of-the year, holiday madness?