{Conquering the Midwest-50 States Plan Update}


A few days ago baby girl demanded to be held while she napped.  Of course I didn’t mind too much. As the end of the year approaches and people start setting their goals for 2017 it had me thinking about mine.  Her napping in my arms and thinking about goals at the same time was the perfect combination to do some race researching and planning.


I learned the hard way about setting goals that were too lofty for me post-baby the first time around.  I both underestimated the attachment I would have for that boy and overestimated the amount of training I would be able to handle while sleep deprived and exclusively breastfeeding.  While I wanted and even craved to run, I experienced a high level of separation anxiety when it came to leaving him.  This made long runs a challenge. On top of that he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 9 months old and breastfeeding and pumping was like a part time job on top of working full time.  I’m not saying you can’t make it work and manage it all, but I couldn’t and stay sane and not feel immense mom guilt.

I had planned to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last fall as my come back from baby #1 marathon (I even documented my training in several blog posts), but as I mentioned above it didn’t happen.  This time around I didn’t make any definite goals while pregnant, but now that she is here I’m ready to do so.  Instead of planning to run a marathon at six months postpartum like last time I’m looking more at around a year.  This gives me much more time to get in shape and get strong, increases the chance for sleep and nears the end of my breastfeeding goal of one year for each child.

When deciding what race would be my first marathon since having kids I assumed I would pick the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon as originally planned.  It turns out it won’t be “the one.”  My husband has his masters class that weekend and it is almost a seven hour drive.  That’s also a lot of travel for our season of life right now, which means the kids would need to be at a grandparents for longer.

So what’s my plan?  My first marathon after baby is going to be not too far of a drive and on the way to a grandparents where the kids can be watched for one overnight.  The kids will be almost 1 and 2 and a half so I’m sure that’s all we will all be ready to leave them for.  A race happened to meet this criteria perfectly and, according to marathonguide.com (I love to use this site for learning about specific races), has really good reviews for 50 state seekers like me.  For these reasons the Sioux Falls Marathon in South Dakota will be “the one.”

The race is September 10 which is a bit earlier than the late fall target time I had planned to race, but a doable adjustment to my training.  Training for this marathon will begin in May hopefully right after a local half marathon.  This gives me 4.5 months before I begin marathon training.

Looking ahead to other races I know my plans must follow a similar criteria. During this season of life I must find a way to balance my goals and the needs and demands of my family.  Two kids under two and a husband working on his masters means I will not be able to just race whenever, wherever.

I’ve outlined my “Conquering the Midwest” game plan below.  I’ve already completed at least one marathon in the following states: Wisconsin (Madison Marathon and Wisconsin Marathon), Minnesota (Grandma’s Marathon and Twin Cities Marathon) , Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Kansas.  I have race reports linked to each state for those interested in reading or new to the blog.  Some are more detailed than others as I didn’t really blog in the beginning of this goal.

2017-South Dakota (Fall-Sioux Falls Marathon)

2018-North Dakota (Fargo Marathon-Spring). I ran the half a few years ago, but want to run a full in every state.  My Fargo Half Marathon race experience was a good one.

Indiana or Nebraska (Fall-Depends on the husbands master classes, but lots of options for races.

2019-Missouri or Nebraska (Spring-It’s a little far out to say for sure on this one.  St. Louis Go Marathon would mean taking the whole family.  If it’s the Lincoln Marathon in Nebraska probably just the husband and I will go.

Ohio-TBD ??

While my kids are young, the nights interrupted, the budget tight and the demands of me great, this is my plan.  I love this phase of life and know how quickly it will pass, so I want my priority to be family.  As my kids get a bit older and more independent I will feel better about leaving for a bit longer and my wallet will be able to afford flights and weekends away.  My training will also be able to target some back to back races.  Until then, I will be conquering the Midwest.

Stay tuned!

Sarah

{IMM Training-Week #7}

Monday-7.25 miles (counted as last weeks miles)

Week #7 Workouts-

Tuesday-4.75 mile walk with friend, 30 minute upper fix

Wednesday-3 mile run/walk (ran 2 miles, then P decided he would not remain in his car seat in the jogger.  Carried P and pushed stroller home), 30 minute lower fix

Thursday-2.5 mile run, 30 minute Pilates Fix

Friday-off

Saturday-5.5 mile run, 4.5 mile walk with daddy and P.

He just loves to look around.  If he can see, he is happy.  I see I missed some toe jams.  🙂

Sunday-7.3 mile run, 30 minute Yoga Fix (Lots of thoughts and emotions on the run today.  It gets lengthy below.) 

It was a perfect day for a run…except I really wasn’t feeling like going.  P got up 5 times during the night.  I was exhausted.  I had things to do around the house and back to school is near.  Not one to make a ton of excuses or back out on a goal, I set out for my Sunday long run (12 miles) that was scheduled on my training plan.

Along the way I felt the familiar tweak of a muscle that gets painfully sore from time to time since training for my first marathon nearly eight years ago.  Earlier this week I wasn’t sure I’d make it more than a mile into one of my runs.  Some stretching and easy running and it nearly went away.

I’m loving running and working out, but am feeling the challenges of being on someone else’s schedule and balancing all the new mommy tasks. I can’t just run when I feel like it or move a run the way I could in the past if something comes up.  I’m feeling the exhaustion of a baby who has been getting up 3-5 times a night for the past three weeks after getting used to only one feeding a night for the previous five weeks.  To make matters more difficult, when P stopped getting up only once per night, he has also stopped taking a bottle so well.  Day time bottles from dad are usually ok, night-time bottles he refuses.  Last night I got frustrated with P for being awake AGAIN and not letting his dad give him a bottle.  In my head I kept thinking I had a long run planned for the morning and he was making it so hard to get up and run.

And then I thought, who gets mad at their baby because they have a long run the next day?  I immediately felt guilty for thinking it, but the fact that I had remained.

According to the Wonder Weeks app he has been “storming” all month (love this app by the way) and will be for another 11 days.  I counted. He is definitely going through some major development as almost everyday he wakes up doing something new.  One morning he found his feet.  Another day he began sticking out his tongue.  He loves doing pull ups with his hanging toys.  He adores knocking toys off his exersaucer that before he just stared at.   He hates riding in his car seat if he can’t see the world around him.

As I got a few more miles in the familiar tired/weak feeling returned.  It seems to show up near mile five in a run in the morning.  I just can’t figure out my fueling with breastfeeding.  I headed out on a longer route so I couldn’t cheat any miles.  As I turned down a country road that would take me past one of my favorite trees, I started to ask myself why I was out there.  If I’m not loving what I’m doing, then why the push?  As my favorite tree came within sight, I stopped to stretch and think about why I was so eager to get back to marathoning.  When I was pregnant I promised myself not to put pressure on myself to return to running or run to a point that I was overwhelmed and feeling unbalanced after baby.  I have not been holding true to this. I’ve been putting lots of pressure on myself.

As I neared my favorite tree I thought about the logistical problems that recently arose with running this marathon in Indiana.  I registered before our school calendar was out.  We have inservice on Friday, so we are not allowed to take a personal day.  I would have to take an unpaid day in order to get to the Saturday race.  I’m ok with taking an unpaid day if it means a weekend of family fun.  P is, however, not riding or sitting in his infant seat well as of the last two weeks.  A two-hour ride took forever last weekend.  There is no way he can make the 7 hour drive there AND back in two days.  After putting him through a road trip to Boston, we don’t feel it is in his best interest to even attempt this drive, so I will have to run this marathon alone.

This presents another problem.  I fall asleep really easy when I drive and I’m tired.  There is no way I can drive myself 6-7 hours Friday, run a marathon Saturday and then drive the same distance back.  I know myself.  I will fall asleep.  My goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states was always about exploring a state while visiting for a marathon, which I guess wouldn’t happen either.  More importantly, I don’t want to be without my boys for that long.

My favorite tree…one of them.

I hate when people back out of commitments.  I never make goals and not follow through with them.  I’ve never signed up for a marathon and not ran it.  I was feeling so guilty at even entertaining the idea of not running this race.  I waffled back and forth for another mile beating myself up with my own thoughts.

As I made the turn towards town and home, I thought about how lately my heart, mind and body have not been so into this training.  The song changed on my iPhone to the Zac Brown Band-Loving You Easy.  I instantly smiled a big, dorky mom smile. I dance with Pierce to this song in the kitchen while I sing the words to him often and he smiles this biggest, heart melting smile each time I sing the chorus to him.  Running along I was flooded with emotion and tears glistened in my eyes.  I missed my baby.  I could feel his soft skin.  His little hand when it curls around my fingers when he nurses.  The delicious smell of his sweet baby smell.  His gummy grin.  The way his whole body smiles when I walk over to him, limbs waving with excitement.  All of this talk in my head on this run was not important.

The decision I’m waffling on is not worth the memories I might miss or the stress I’m putting on myself.  I want to run what I feel like on that particular day based on how many times I was up the night before, how Pierce’s day is going, or around other family time.  I just finished the 21 Day Fix today, and I really enjoyed doing the workouts, but combined with my training it is a lot.  I want to make time for parts of both, not do both.  A run here, a 30 minute fix there.  Balance.  I’m also loving my weekly yoga class that I missed twice since picking up training.

I always believe in honesty and hate how social media often makes life look so perfect and cookie cutter.  Life is messy.  My cookies never roll out perfect each time.  This is just another example of that.  So, I’m 95% I won’t be on the starting line of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon like I planned and thought I wanted to be.  Instead I will aim for the Houston Marathon in January as my first marathon after baby.  I have my sights on a fall half marathon or two since this distance is much more manageable for me right now.

I don’t regret setting this lofty marathon goal only to change my mind.  It’s not a failure.  For the $50 I paid back in December I got my butt moving after having a baby.  I walked a lot so I’d be able to start easy running sooner so I could then start training for this race.  I credit this goal with getting me back out on the pavement and to yoga sooner than I would have without a goal. This helped me remember to give myself some time each day and got me outside with baby early on.

My marathon goal also helped me gain some much needed perspective.  I want to do it all.  I want to be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, runner, teacher, …and on and on.  But, we can’t be perfect at all of them all the time.  Focusing on what is important led me to realize that my goal to arrive at the starting line of my next marathon with balance in my life just isn’t possible right now as a new mommy.

Balance right now means not training for a marathon that will happen in just over two months.  Balance right now means not following an exact training plan and giving myself some flexibility with accountability. Balance right now means a run one day, yoga another, and coffee and serenading my sweet baby everyday.  Loving him is easy.  Making this decision wasn’t at first, but in the end I know I will enjoy this time even more without the pressure I’m putting on myself.  I will be a better mom to P.  A nicer wife.  And that’s what really matters…along with singing and dancing in your kitchen, which is exactly what we did as soon as I got home from my run.   

Cue the chorus!

Look to see a post each week as I continue running, 21 day fixing and working on balance with this whole new mom thing.

Sarah

And, in case you wondered…

     Weekly Miles Ran-17.3 miles not counting     Monday’s 7 miles

21 Day Fix Recipe(s) I Loved This Week aka Yummy, Healthy Eats!

This was so good.  I was skeptical since the flat-out is so thin, but it was delicious.  Minus the vegan cheese-Think Kraft     singles, but so, so much worse.

Flat-Out Pizza 

{IMM Training-Week #6}

Week #6 Workouts-

Tuesday-30 Minute Upper Fix


Wednesday-3.25 mile run (really excited about my pace for this run), 3.25 mile walk, 30 minute Lower Fix

Screenshot 2015-08-12 21.20.32

He does nap well most day!

Thursday-15 minutes of Pilates Fix.  My sweet boy did not nap well.  Then we had a pool day playdate planned.  Mommy had no workout time!

Friday-30 minute Cardio Fix and 3 mile run

Saturday-Consoling and comforting an upset baby who did not want to ride in the car.  Yes, this is a workout.

Sunday-Trying to get an over tired child to sleep.  Again, this is a workout.

Monday-7.23 mile run

C9 tank from Target is on clearance for $11.98 right NOW!

Week 6 Total-13.5 miles

If you follow me on on Instagram, then you noticed a post last night that alluded to a rough workout week.  I had been doing so well until Thursday.  Missing workouts had nothing to do with making excuses or lack of motivation.  Quite the opposite.  For the first time in a while I had been back on track.  Then life as a new mom sort of just hit.  A child that wouldn’t nap on Thursday.  An out-of-town wedding and a child that wouldn’t ride well in the car meant lots of stops to console and comfort and no workout time on Saturday.  A still over tired child from not napping well and getting up frequently at night over the past couple of weeks and more car riding back home meant no caffeine for mom until the afternoon, a nasty headache and again no time to workout.

We had a great time at the wedding. It was just the getting there and back part that was rough. And to think this kid made it to Boston and back without much of an issue.

Monday I worked a full day at school and came home to cooler temperatures, a well rested boy, and a determination to run and get in a good workout like no other.  After the little man went to bed and had been out for a half hour I hit the pavement.  I stopped home for what I thought was a quick drink of water after 7.23 miles.  I had been feeling stronger than ever and was determined to reach my goal for that day of ten miles.  Except upon arriving home I saw a note on the front door rug.  Someone had been up and was upset.  I felt bad for not being there after being away all day.  My husband wanted a break.  My run was done.

And I’m learning to be ok with this.  My goal was to arrive at the starting line of my next marathon with balance.  Working out everyday is not something that is likely to happen for me.  Finding 30 minutes in my day for 21 day fix has been easier than I thought it would be, but somedays it just may not happen.  I’m learning not to beat myself up about missed runs or workouts. By cross training for the first time ever, I feel stronger on my runs and am hoping this compensates for some missed miles.  I would rather miss a workout here or there than feel the mom guilt of not being there for my son.  Too much time being mommy and not enough working out isn’t good either as I get more impatient and worked up with my son.  Balance.  Learning to practice what I preach.


Earlier in the week before our stormy time with baby I had some time to find the below 21 Day Fix Finds and we made Ziti.  See below for these helpful tools and a new recipe, too.

21 Day Fix Finds-

I’m all about pretty documents to stay organized and prepared.  I didn’t make these, but found them on Pinterest.  Why reinvent the wheel?
Measurement Tracker-It’s all about data! I only did my measurements at the beginning, middle and will at the end. Weight I’m looking at every 7 days.
Container Cheat Sheet -This is on on my refrigerator right now!
Meal Tracker-If you want to be so detailed. I often meal planned in the past so I might use this if I find the time. Could be helpful for others.

Recipes-
Baked Ziti add zucchini to get in some extra veggies.
Screenshot 2015-08-12 21.07.07

This week is the last week of my first round of 21 day fix and it has to be better will be better than last week workout wise.

Stay positive.  Keep working on balance.  We can do this!

Sarah

{IMM Training-Week #5}

This week was my week to get back on track with training and really life in general.  We were done with our road trip and life was going to start to slow down just a bit before it gets crazy with a new school year starting.  This means I will be back to work soon and for the first time since having baby.  The sadness I feel about this is almost too much.  I mean look at how cute he is.


To help distract me from going back to work get both stronger and lose the remaining baby weight I made the decision to start the 21 Day Fix in addition to marathon training.  Often marathon training means letting myself eat extra since I ran all those miles.  It also usually means not so much cross training.  Both of these “marathon habits” are counter productive to my goals so this is where 21 Day Fix comes in.

So far I am loving the 21 Day Fix.  I’m not a coach or compensated by the program in any way.  I love that it encourages clean and healthy eating without restricting any foods.  Of course you can’t eat what you want whenever, but it gives you the control to choose when to treat yourself.  A diet plan with no options for wine is just not going to work for me.  I also love that the workouts are only 30 minutes.  I absolutely have no more time to devote to exercising than what I am already doing.  I do not want to cut back on running or my once a week yoga class. 30 minutes is perfect.

I am going to be completing the 30 minute workouts each day while also remembering to enjoy these little baby moments. Some days I may not have time to run and do a 30 minute fix and that is ok.  I’m following the eating plan loosely.  I moved up a calorie bracket because I’m breastfeeding and also will be eating an additional carb because of the running I’m doing. Maintaining my milk supply is number one.  Losing weight and getting stronger is the overall goal, but not at sacrificing more important things.

The workouts are also perfect for all ability levels and include modifications.  I’m weaker than I’ve ever been since having baby, and I love that I can do these in my own home and can make the workouts more challenging as I get stronger.  I highly recommend 21 Day Fix to others looking to get stronger, lose a few pounds and get back on track with their eating while still having a life.  It is also perfect for runners who often struggle to do anything besides run.  I never can make myself strength train on my own; this is the motivation I needed.

Here’s what this week looked like:

Week #5

Monday-3.33 mile run and 60 minute Yoga Barre class

Yoga Barre hurt so good and I was sore for days.  It was a great feeling.

Tuesday-30 minute Upper Fix

Wednesday-5 mile run and 30 minute Lower Fix


Thursday-30 minute Pilates Fix

Friday-3 mile run and 30 minute Cardio Fix

Saturday-30 minute Dirty 30 workout

Sunday-off (family over all day so moved workouts to Monday)

Monday-7 mile run with little man in stroller and 30 minute Yoga Fix 

It was a sweaty workout day Monday, but I swear that it is only sweat. It totally looked like I peed my pants, but I did NOT!

Total Week 5 Miles-18.33

Screenshot 2015-08-11 12.21.28

Another perk of starting 21 Day Fix is trying new recipes.  Ever since getting pregnant I have not wanted to cook.  I’d been lacking motivation in anything to do with preparing meals, grocery shopping and trying new recipes.  I had so many food aversions during the first half of my pregnancy and feel like I’m just starting to like some of those foods again. There are a million recipes that are 21 day fix approved on Pinterest which has motivated me to start cooking again.  The husband and I enjoyed this Mexican Lasagna last Friday.  Regardless of whether you are interested in 21 Day Fix or not give this recipe a try.  I look forward to sharing more healthy recipes with all of you.

Happy Training!

Sarah

{IMM Training-Weeks 2, 3 and 4}

Apparently I write a blog about running and am training for a marathon.  This would be an actual marathon on foot comprised of 26.2 miles of sweat, GU and muscle fatigue.  If you look at my training (you’ll see below) you wouldn’t know it.  In my week 1 post I was all about balance in my life.  Let’s just say the balance was broken, off kilter, kittywampus (I’ve never written that word before) or derailed.

I’m not going to be mad at myself or drone on and on because ain’t nobody got time for that.  I’m a new mom and just returned from 15 nights on the road and out of town out of the last 17 days.  If you follow me on Instagram you saw what I was up to.  I did the best I could with the given situation and the results are less than pretty.  Sometimes that’s life. You can’t go back and change the past so I’m moving forward.

I encourage you to cut yourself the same slack from time to time.  That thing you keep beating yourself up about as if Ronda Rousey was fighting you.  You know exactly what I mean.  Just give yourself permission to move on.  Look to the future.  Learn from your situation.  Your going to lose against her anyway.  That woman can kick some major ass.

Week 2

Monday-Off

Tuesday-Off

Wednesday-3 mile run/4 mile walk

Thursday-60 min. Yoga Sculpt a.m./ 3 mile run p.m.

Friday-off

Saturday-Dressed in running clothes and entered hotel workout room for treadmill run, but my boss had other plans.  Played bicycle with him as ab work when out of the car instead.


Sunday-5 miles on Detroit Riverwalk.  Most parts of this run were pretty, a few run down, however I found beauty in both.  I always felt safe.  Check it out if ever in Detroit.  

Week 2 Miles-11

Week #3-

Monday-Walked 4 miles on sidewalk/path along Niagara River leading to Niagara Falls.


 Tuesday-Walked around Lake George and Hiked in Adirondack Mountains

Wednesday-Hilly and hot walk on Province Lands bike trail (7.5 miles) in Cape Cod. 

Thursday-Dressed for a run on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  Forgot it was the husband’s birthday for a few moments.  Let this be our little secret.  Remembered, and got us coffee and doughnuts and a cookie dough cupcake for the birthday boy while letting him sleep in.  No chance to run.


Friday-3.25 miles (Finally!  Was close to hurting someone if I didn’t get to run.)


Saturday-Sightseeing in Boston.  Walked undetermined number of miles. 

Sunday-See Saturday.  Moved long run to Monday.

In real current time on Monday, August 3rd at 8:15 p.m. as I’m typing this post on my phone and my son is sleeping in my arms:

It just sounded like a loud car crash and the power went out.  Blog post officially delayed.  Power is out for an hour.  Thank         goodness for the White Noise App I have on my phone that is mostly charged.  My son needs the white noise to stay asleep. Seriously download this if you have a little one that uses white noise.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve used this app.

Week 3 Miles-3.25 (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Week #4-

Monday-7 mile run in Boston (Started in Boston Common, to Boston Public Gardens, to Boston Marathon finish line, to Charles River Esplanade loop, finished with fresh cannoli for the husband and family.  I had one bite only since I’m dairy free for the baby.  Boo!) 

Tuesday-4 mile hike (Hiked Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park) 

Wednesday-Sandy and hilly dune hike at Indiana Dunes State Park 

Thursday-1 mile run/walk, Home sweet home for one night

Friday-2.25 mile run to enjoy the moon

Saturday-off…doing important things like a college friend get together at a lake cabin.  Also first night away from little man.  Tears were shed. 

Sunday-Planned long run, but left running shoes outside friend’s cabin overnight by accident.  During night a torrential rain storm occurs. Only running shoes along are soaked.  I seriously can’t make this up.

Week 4 Miles-10

I said there would be ups and downs in week 1.  You probably just didn’t think I meant coming so soon.  This is the post with the running downs, but the life highs.  We made so many great memories on our road trip I wouldn’t changed the missed miles for anything.  Don’t worry.  This is still a blog about running.  I’m still planning to run a marathon.  Regular training has resumed as of today.  Rhonda Rousey was just after my running the past few weeks.  I’m trying to stay away from her this week.  I suggest you do to!  

Stay tuned for Week #5’s update in a week and some other training news.

Sarah

{IMM Training-Week #1}

After taking a hiatus from blogging during basically my entire pregnancy, I finally feel like blogging again. It was weird, but almost immediately after seeing the word positive on that pregnancy test I stopped feeling like blogging. Then the tiredness hit and blogging was basically done. I’m back to training and consistently running, so it seems like a good time to get back to it. Notice I didn’t say I’m not tired, but that is a given.

IMG_7716

Going for a walk with the Ergo carrier. We love it!

Since having the little man 12 weeks ago I have slowly started running again after doing a lot of walking first. I read a lot about pelvic floor health and how important it is during pregnancy and after if you want to return to running healthy, injury free and not peeing your pants. I’d like to say I did all the pelvic floor exercises they recommended, but then I’d be lying. Why I hate them so I’ll never know.

Hiking at 38 weeks pregnant.

Hiking at 38 weeks pregnant.

What I did follow though was listening to my body when I was pregnant. I didn’t push the miles. Some days I ran and some days I didn’t. After week 33 there wasn’t anymore running, just walking, hiking and some ellipticalling (yes, it should be a word.) After birth I again listened to my body and started slow. My first post-partum run at 4.5 weeks was less than a mile and was only because the baby wanted to eat NOW and we were not home from a walk yet. But, it felt good so a few days later I went again this time making it 2.25 miles. I never pushed too hard. If my pelvis or lower abs were sore (which they were in the beginning) then I gave myself rest days in between run days.

As for this marathon training cycle I have tried to safe guard it as much as possible. I gave myself 11 weeks to ease back in and run without following a training plan. I started walking at 8 days post-partum when it was nice enough to get outside. Remember it is Wisconsin where I live. Even though the kid was born in April it snowed (flurried) several days after he was born.


After walking for four weeks, trying to always be conscience to engage my core throughout every walk, I started adding in one run a week, then two, then three and so on. Despite having abs that were weaker than I could have ever imagined, I avoided ab work because of having mild diastasis recti (ab seperation) and ab work can make it worse. Instead I did some pelvic floor work and non-crunch ab work. This 12 week no crunch ab workout plan includes planks which some sources I read said to avoid, but I did them anyway. I did not do the plan everyday, but tried to a few days a week.


For the four weeks before I started officially training I consistently ran 3-4 days a week adding mileage slowly and continuing to walk 10-20 miles a week. I’ve done some HIIT workouts, SOME pelvic floor work, and have been going to yoga once a week for the past month. Yoga has really helped with my abs and pelvic floor muscles as I feel how often they are engaged. I’ve been alternating between a Yoga Sculpt class with weights and a more typical yoga class.


With all of this in mind I feel I am ready to start training again. It is so important to listen to your own body and do what is best for you. I’ve read blogs about people racing at 8 weeks and heard from women who weren’t interested in racing until their baby was 9 months or older. Listen to yourself.  My first “race” was at 11 weeks and was not a big distance.  Check out my Firecracker 4 mile race report for more details.

My training plan will be completely different then in the past. Often past training plans had my mileage around 40-50 miles per week by mid-cycle. One training cycle I peaked at running 70 miles in a week. While I’m still proud of that number, my life is different now. My number one goal is to get to the start line of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon healthy and injury free and feeling excited about the race, not burnt out or resentful.

To keep balance in my life the plan includes only four days of running a week, one day of cross training a week, and one 20 mile run in the training cycle.  In the past I’ve always ran 5-6 days a week and often completed three 20 mile runs during my training. Not only do I not think my body is ready for that, but I don’t want to either.

With getting back into a routine of running I’ve really noticed how hard it is to push yourself when you are tired. Sometimes the hardest muscle to work isn’t even a muscle-it’s your brain. I don’t want to be attempting tempo runs, track workouts with specific splits, or crazy amounts of long runs right now. I don’t have the mental energy to hit those paces or the desire. I don’t want that stress in my life right now. Just leaving for a run can be stressful enough.


Some days when I look at my little man it is almost impossible for me to leave for a run. I just want to hold him or stare at him. I want to enjoy being a new mommy and not feel like running is taking anything away from these once in a lifetime moments. I also know I do need time away to recharge and be a good mom. When he sleeps is usually when I run. I don’t feel so guilty then or like I might miss something. Only a few weeks in and already mom guilt!

This plan is longer than some I’ve followed to give myself extra time to ease into training. You can see the marathon training plan I’m following made by Hal Higdon. It would be a great plan for a first time marathoner or someone, who like me, wants to ease into training and keep a balance between life and running. I cut off the first 6 weeks to fit my timeline and did those next first few weeks as unofficial training. The training plan certainly won’t get you a PR or make you feel like the marathon itself was easy, but it should prepare you for the race. Of course, I’m not an expert so take my thoughts as only suggestions based on my experience.

I’m hoping to post each week like I did for the Wisconsin Marathon. I like to document my training to refer back to and to hold myself accountable.  Lastly, losing the baby weight is important to me.  Posting each week will help me stay on track with all these goals.

So much of how I feel is based on how I feel about myself.  This might be stupid, but it is my reality.  So many people said breastfeeding is the way to lose weight after baby, however I have not really found that to be true.  I’ve never lost weight at a slower pace than in the past 10 weeks which is frustrating, but ok since losing weight is not the reason I chose this option for my baby.

Previously I have been lucky so far in life and usually could easily lose 1-2 pounds a week if needed by adjusting my calories based on intake and exercise.  I’ve tried increasing calories to make sure I’m eating enough with breastfeeding, taking the middle ground, and cutting calories and none of it seems to make a difference.  My diet has been pretty healthy considering I’ve had to cut out dairy for the little guy.  No pizza, ice cream or sometimes I swear anything and you’d think I’d lose the pounds a little faster.  I’m losing the weight, but VERY SLOWLY.  I still have 10 pounds to go after all my effort, but I remain determined.  Of course meeting my baby’s needs always comes first.

After a long-winded introduction here is what week 1 of my training looked like.

Week #1 Training-

Monday-5 mile run (last weeks long run got moved)

Tuesday-off, 5 mile walk

Wednesday-3 mile run, 3 mile walk, yoga sculpt class


Caught the poor kid mid-sneeze!

Thursday-3 mile run

Friday-off

Saturday-6 mile run, 2.5 mile walk


Sunday-3 mile run with jogger (Our 1st!)
Running with a jogging stroller is no joke!  This is going to take some getting used to, but will give me freedom to run when the husband is gone. I only plan to use the jogger for shorter runs as my abs are still weak, and I want to make sure I run with proper form for longer runs until I get stronger.

Most sources say to wait until your infant is 6 months or older to use the jogging stroller on a run.  After talking with P’s pediatrician and seeing he’s been holding his head up for a month and a half, I feel it is safe.  He is also in his infant seat and we bought a quality jogging stroller (Bob Revolution Flex-Amazon has best price by like $100).  The kid’s head doesn’t even move. Do what you feel is best for your child!

Week #1 Training Miles-20 miles

Stay tuned for I’m sure many ups and downs as I continue to adjust to being a new mother runner!

Sarah

{Friday Fab 5-Pro Compression Stars and Stripes, Whitewater Rafting, Orange Is the New Black, Chaos…}

My first week of summer vacation is coming to a close. The week was filled with coaching responsibilities, visiting lots of babies and their mommas (6!) and catching up with yard work (it is never-ending).

{#1-Pro Compression Stars and Stripes}

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Believe it or not the 4th of July will be here in no time. This year I have an actual, real race to run (Foot Traffic Flat Marathon outside of Portland, Oregon) on the day, so I’m giving you a sneak peek of my race day outfit. Proper recovery will be essential as I will be running another marathon nine days later.

{#2-Whitewater Rafting}
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I added this to my 30 things in my 30th year list. The husband and I will be going whitewater rafting on the Snake River while in Jackson on our field trip (that actually came to my mind first) vacation west.

{#3-Orange Is the New Black}
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My affinity for dark shows continues. I did JUST learn that this show is based on a true story. This is both disturbing and interesting. Spoiler Alert: Thank God Pensatucky got some new teeth. I cannot handle her teeth, especially at the start of season 2. Brush and floss at least twice a day and stay away from meth folks.

{#4-Celebrate YOUR Runs}
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Summer running and humidity can easily get you down. Celebrate your progress. Hydrate right. Stay strong. One of my favorite cross country sayings is “Autumn holds no secrets about how summer was spent.” Those hot, steamy miles you put in this summer WILL benefit this fall.

{#5-Sneakers Before Stilettos}
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Saw this recently and found it fitting. The true hierarchy of shoes. Although I love both types, my favorite are days when I lace up my sneakers and then slip on stilettos for a fun night later on.

Happy Weekend? Any fourth of July races planned for anyone?