Friday, November 15, 2013

Partnerships that help get it DONE

The success of a business is sometimes as good as the partnership of the people behind it.  If the people don't "partner" well, the business is likely to suffer.  The same goes with my fitness regimen and partnerships needed for it to work.

As difficult as it is to be motivated to start an exercise program and have the energy to stick with it, it is more difficult to (and even tricky) to actually get it done when you have a big family abundant with activities for everyone.  Sure, the plan could be to "ride my bike" today...but with soccer, a newborn, toddler and other logistical issues, those simple three words are tough to get crossed off that to-do list.  That is unless, you are married to my husband.  He tells me all the time "just do it, I'll figure it out".

He is THE reason why I have been able to do Aerial classes or join the Masters Swim class at the gym in the evenings. He is the ONLY reason I can get bike rides in.  I mean, how else do you go on a bike ride with an infant?  No nannies, no housekeepers or maids here...just an awesome husband who will coach, help with homework, make dinner, change diapers, give baths, put babies to sleep, help with the endless loads of laundry and pick up any slack that I may leave to run to get a workout in.  It's his ability to do it without so much a complaint that makes it easy for me to follow through and keep on some sort of program (as erratic as it may seem).

He is the reason why I was able to get a 16 mile bike ride in yesterday.  I didn't want to miss soccer but the timing was such that if I really wanted to get that ride in, the morning was the only time.  He did not hesitate to tell me that he had it covered.  "Just go and do it, you'll feel better and we'll be fine" he said.
I felt guilty but I knew that I needed to get on my bike and get miles in before this du.  I had just picked it up from getting a tune up and because it was my first post baby ride, I was nervous!  I had those pre-race jitters which made me all the more grateful that my friend Rox asked to join me late Friday night.  She just got a bike and is the one who is always sending me races to sign up for (including the Du that we are doing together next month).  Although she has just jumped in and already done a couple of small tris, she too was nervous.

It was a cool and overcast morning which normally makes it incredibly difficult to get out of bed but that nervous energy popped me right out.  I got the bike loaded up and was ready to go and even pumped breakfast for my little guy.  It was nice to not feel rushed about getting back and knowing that I can enjoy the ride and even extend it if I wanted to.  I could not ask for a better ride. My bike felt like new, complete with a new chain and I was stocked up with tubes and CO2 cartridges, just in case.  I pushed hard and got to show my friend parts of the trail she had never seen.  A great workout!  I dropped her off at home afterwards and called my husband, thinking they were well on their way to soccer.  I was envisioning a shower, smoothie and running errands while they were gone when he said they were down the street fueling up.  What?!  I'm back that early?  He offered to come get me and I swear I've never showered and changed so fast!

As much as I could have used a nap or some quiet time all to myself, there is no other place I'd rather be than with my clan.  He picked me up and off we went.  The sky cleared up and it turned out to be a gorgeous Fall day at the soccer field (both literally and figuratively.)  As it turned out, later he and the big boy went on a boy's mountain trail bike ride at Memorial Park with friends and I was happy to return the favor!

I recognize that without this buddy system, staying in shape is way more difficult to near impossible.  Props to you babe.  Thank you.

~V



Thursday, November 7, 2013

6 weeks - it's official!

I'm pregnant! Ha! Just kidding.

It is, however, officially time to get started on a program! Six weeks marks a big milestone in the post baby world (if you didn't have a c-section).  It marks getting the all clear from the doctor to resume "regular", pre-pregnancy type activities.

That means I'm ready to get back in the saddle! Now, the hardest part of getting on a regular exercise schedule/routine is getting motivated and STARTED. I discussed this at length when I first started this blog. It's pretty much my achiles heel. The longer I go without starting, the more difficult it is, the more miserable I feel and more doomed the whole getting healthy thing becomes. This is especially difficult with a newborn now in tow.  Time seems more strained and the needs of every member of the family from me has grown by one more.

Getting fit and more importantly, staying fit, is particularly difficult during this "fourth trimester".  It's this time where we are juggling breast feeding, hormonal changes (night sweats, losing hair, vision changes) and functioning at 100% with sleep deprivation that adding a workout seems a bit crazy.

As soon as I left the doctor's office, I felt motivated.  I had my stats and could now benchmark where I was and where I am now (weight-wise anyway).  I signed up for a race in early December for starters (more on that later) and then, I made sure that I went out for a real run before the weekend was out.  I figured that was enough to get me excited and to start the week ahead with a bang.

Monday and Tuesday came and went, however, and that motivation was long gone.  The thought of working out was SO hard.  Ugh.  I thought about going to the gym.  But didn't.  I thought about going for a run.  But didn't.  Wednesday was looking the same and then I realized that the week was moving along and if I didn't do something, anything at all, I was going to fall into complacency and just give up on this first week.   So, knowing I had little time in my day left before the evening craziness began (kids home from school, homework, projects, soccer playoffs, etc) I decided to pop in a P90X DVD and see how much I can finish.  I got Shoulders & Arms done. Yay!

By Thursday morning, I decided on whim that I was just going to do the P90X workout in its entirety daily with modifications on days that I run or ride.  So, I did Ab Ripper (which I ran out of time for the day before) and moved along to YogaX.  I'm hoping that I can keep it going for the rest of the week. My weeks turn on Fridays since that's when baby was born so on that technicality:

Week 1 PP:
5k
P90X Shoulders & Arms
P90X Ab Ripper X
P90X YogaX

Stats:
- Pregnancy weight gain: 34lbs
- Weight difference from beginning of pregnancy & 6 week checkup: 16lbs
- Immediate goal:  To finish a Duathlon in early December.





Monday, October 28, 2013

5 weeks already?

It's time for a post baby update!

I attempted this post at 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 4 weeks and never got passed the first sentence above.  I am hoping I can get to actually post this before year end!

Right from the get go (after the first few days home), I found I had an extraordinary amount of energy, in fact I was ready to start new challenges and was quickly trying to get into headstands just to see how it felt by the second postpartum week.  Perhaps it was the adrenaline and busy schedule that kept me buzzing about the first week (we went from the hospital straight to the soccer field!).   After holding and cuddling with my baby boy day after day while being home alone with him, it made me...well, lazy.  Even after he was changed and fed, I couldn't bear setting him down so that I can get other tasks done.  I had so many projects that I wanted to accomplish while being home and yet, 5 weeks in and I haven't done any of them.  I can barely keep up with the regular chores.  I have absolutely no guilt about it too!  :)

I know all too well that in no time, I will be back at work and the wheels of life will start turning quickly again where I won't have this one on one time with my little guy.  Before I know it, he won't be cuddle size anymore. :(  It's time that I just won't get back and being he's the LAST baby, well, I feel extra indulgent.

I have been extraordinarily lucky not only to have a fantastic pregnancy but also a great post delivery recovery.  It appears that I have bounced back to my normal body (from what I hear all the time) because my tummy has pretty much flattened out (maybe that ab challenge was helpful!) but I know all too well that the true test of the "bounce back" is whether you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes.  ...and that's a negative. Anything that doesn't have give in the fabric, doesn't fit.  Those slacks and pencil skirts are a far cry from going over my hips but thank goodness for running pants and skinny jeans!

I haven't been a complete couch potato though...I still have those other 3 kids that keep me on the go.  I love being home when the bus drops them off and helping them with homework questions and school projects as well as picking up the car pool for their activities.  These are tasks that along with hanging out with baby, I will miss terribly in a couple of months.  (not gonna cry...move on, move on)

We are fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood that has the best of suburban life within the city. I love that I can walk to my daughter's daycare with the baby and take a few laps at the park and then continue to walk over to the soccer field to pick up or drop off the big kids for practice from home.  I am trying to get a walk in daily to one or more of these things and in the last couple of weeks have kicked up the heels and started running too.  It's seems almost a gift that the weather is in the "near perfect" zone (unusual in Houston where's it usually terribly hot & muggy).

At first, I walked half a mile and would up the running from .5mile to .80 to 1 and so on.  The walks in between are helpful but I can feel how much I've lost.  My feet feel like concrete blocks.  I can't believe how much effort it takes to run the shortest of distances!  In addition to walking and/or running 2-3 miles around the neighborhood, I am easing back into yoga.  I started off with stretching and to get me into a solid workout, I am working on doing the P90X Yoga DVD.  I have managed to do the whole thing which I am quite proud of.  I spent the hour and half of the DVD realizing how much strength I'd lost in the last couple of months!  I broke a sweat doing was use to be the easiest of poses!

I am finding ways to stay healthy and fit post pregnancy, slowly but surely.  I am thankful that the crazy sweet tooth I developed in the first weeks is starting to taper off.  I was getting concerned...every baked good, piece of candy or dessert that came through the door got devoured (by me!).  I have continued on the smoothie kick mostly because my sweet husband gave me a Vitamix. The thing is amazing & I can't do him wrong and let it gather dust, so I pretty much have a daily smoothis at least 5 days a week. 

Though I am in no hurry, I am looking to devise a schedule that can work best while still at home that can transition for me when I get back to work.  Nothing is fool proof (or predictable with a big active family) but I've been known to roll with the punches.  I am gearing up for my 6 week ob check up at the end of this week where I will get the all clear to get back to my "normal" activities and take a peak at what the scale has to say.  I weighed in at 160 on my last ob appt (the day before I delivered) and I know from sneaking on the scale at the pediatrician's office that a huge amount of the weight is already gone.  Because I'm nursing, I know that I have "extra" weight upstairs so the comparison from pre-baby won't be apples to apples but it will give me a general idea of where I am at.

So....this is my last week to slack off!  Kidding,  actually it'll be time to set some fitness goals.

My good friend is sending me race links semi-weekly..."how does the Diva Half sound?"...or "what about the Du at Enchanted Rock?" or "10k in the spring, Half in the wine country, Tri over Mother's Day???" All of which I'm excited to do but also realistic in knowing that I am physically not even close to being ready (especially for a Du in November!).  I want to pick and choose things that I can properly train for so I don't beat myself up about it (physically and mentally).  It's too easy to overcommit and then not get any of it done.  I also know that signing up for races is the best way to stay honest with working out and give me something to look forward to.  

Just this past weekend we did our first family 5k as a family of 6.  When I signed up, I figured this was the kind of run that is mostly for fun, especially the kids.  And, I was totally right! The Color Run is something that I can see doing annually just for the fun of it.  We all had a great time and I happy to say that I ran a good bit of the way along the toughest part of the course...over and back high bridges (which is also part of the Houston Marathon Course).

I will think about these goals this week and also a game plan on how to get on a regular workout schedule.  I hope to start posting updates regularly to keep me in shape too! (Pun intended!)

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Surprise, surprise for week 38

Who'd a thunk it?  At 38 and half weeks, I  got through my Aerial Tone class.  The only part I skipped was the ab portion for obvious reasons but I managed to do the ENTIRE rest of the class.  I realize that I will probably be unable to blow dry my hair tomorrow but that kind of pain is so well worth it.

I realized while driving after the class (other than how hungry for a cheeseburger I was) how good I felt.  My belly felt less heavy and I had an overwhelming feeling of strength.  Yes, I was sitting at the time but lately, that seems to be the most uncomfortable of positions especially climbing in and out of cars!

{That was going to be the genesis of the post...surprise for capability at 38+weeks & surprise at how it made me feel better to move more - however, a bigger surprise came when the next day after if written the above, I went into labor. Surprise! That's the end of pregnancy fitness updates! Our baby boy was born at 38 weeks, 6 day gestation. Healthy & absolutely amazing, he's got the whole clan head over heels for him. Stay tuned for a quick labor post and what will now be my post pregnancy fitness/health journey back to my old me (and better!)}

My 38 week goal was to get through an Aerial Tone class and one swim workout.  One of two is not bad and in true "me" fashion, the last thing I said before leaving our driveway for the hospital was "I guess I'm not swimming tomorrow". How's that for commitment to the program? Ha!

More to come...

~V

Monday, September 16, 2013

Kicking off week 38

My "weeks" turn on Saturdays and for the sake of these updates and for simplicity, I've been using Monday through Sunday as a "week".  Since I updated 37 weeks twice I figured that I would just start off week 38 with my goals for the week and and update of the weekend (where week 37 turned into 38).

I mentioned here how week 37 turned into a no workout week into a "let's try yoga again" and see where it goes.  As I had hoped, I was able to make it to the pool on Friday and managed a nice and easy 1850M swim.  I tried to lay out and just relax but it was SO HOT!  Sweat was just rolling down my belly after a few short minutes and being in the pool was a quite the refreshing relief I needed.

I started off with my usual 800M warm up.  200 free, 200 kick, 200 pull and 200 one arm drill. I lost track of my laps and ended swimming an extra 50 for good measure.
I wasn't sure what to do next so I pulled my phone and flipped through previous updates to get a quick workout in my head.  I decided on the 5, 3, 5 stroke routine because I knew that would give me a good cardio workout (take a breath after x strokes).  It looked like this:

2x
200 5
100 3
50 5

Because holding my breath for 5 strokes was REALLY hard, I need extra rest so it ended up looking more like this:

200 5
50 EZ
100 3
50 5
50 Backstroke (catch my breath)
100 5
50 EZ
100 5
50 EZ
100 3
50 5

If you do the math, I swam way more! (900M v 700M for a the main w/o) and then I tacked on an additional 100 as a cool down.  I felt fantastic and I couldn't believe how all my aches and discomforts were completely non-existent while in the pool.  Noticed that for the most part of the workout, I had the pool to myself.  There was one swimmer that came later and I observed him using a snorkel.  He came and went while I continued on with my laps.  A few others joined in towards the ends and one guy even asked me where I bought my "tube".  I thought it odd that in the past I had never seen anyone use one (but me) and now I saw one guy and another wanted to get one.  Recall here and here how I discussed my use of this tool and my goals of letting it go.  Just an observation I wanted to pass along is all...

On Sunday, I had to drop one child off at soccer practice while picking up the other since hubby is coaching them both.  He had the joys of dealing with that miserable heat for...almost 4 hours?! What a champ he is!
Luckily for us, the field is about a half mile away from the house so I decided we'd walk there with the baby in the jogger.  We did just that and I continued walking on the track and then walked back and up again and back (because 1.5 miles seemed too short and not something I would consider a workout.  At 38 weeks pregnant.  Yes, I'm silly.)...When I was 2.75 miles in an about .25 miles from home, I decided to run.  You know...just to see how it felt.

At first if felt a little tight but then it felt good.  My calves got that burning feeling when I start off a run (after not running for awhile) and everything just clicking into gear.  Boy did I miss it!  Before I knew it I was home and I was both sad and glad.  Sad because I had a little more in me to keep going but glad because if I did go more, I'd probably regret that this baby would have an earlier birth date than anticipated. :D

So...by normal update standards, 37 weeks & full term allowed me do jump into yoga, do a complete Masters Swim workout and get a little walk/run in too.  It CAN be done!  And I feel great today to boot too.

Let's see what week 38 has to offer but I already feel accomplished and satisfied thus far.  If I had to plan it out, I'd love to go to my Aerial conditioning class and get a swim in on Friday.  Let's see if I make it that far!

Happy Monday!

~V


Friday, September 13, 2013

Self Talking back to Yoga at week 37

My 37 week post from yesterday served as the start of getting my self talk in gear.  Self talk.  I do this a lot. In fact, as a child I remember being "caught" talking to myself and grownups assuming I was talking to my imaginary friends during play.  No.  I was talking to myself.  As an adult, sometimes I catch myself just running through my "list" of to do's or walking through a problem and its solution out loud.

When I have a lot on my plate and am on stress overload or worried about lots of things, self talk goes into overdrive.  It's almost like therapy.  I talk it out and it helps me rationalize and many times, I figure things out and get a lot of clarity by just getting "out".  Now, don't imagine me being one of those people that is having a full on conversation with herself in the middle of her commute.  Usually, it's just a mumble while sitting at my desk or while folding laundry or in the shower.

In any event, I was thinking about my post last night while hubby had a "boys night" and the kids all were in bed by 9:15.  ALL. OF. THEM. ASLEEP! I found myself with idle time and for a moment, I was going to follow the same 'ol routine...running a load of wash, turning on the dishwasher, showering and watching tv until I had to move the laundry.  But as I walked back from the kitchen and in front of our full length mirror, I thought....hmm.  I wonder what the yoga challenge has been lately and if I can even attempt a pose?

I remembered that just earlier this week, my husband sent me a pic of me doing a yoga pose...maybe a month ago? I was in handstand position with my feet on the wall in an "L" shape.  At first, I thought it was a cruel joke.  "Mocking my inability to move, are you?"  Hubby: "Ha! No...just giving you something to look forward to...a few more weeks and you'll be back at it. :)" Yes, happy face and all.  I smiled and was grateful for this type of exchange.  Grateful that he is aware that I want to "get back at it" and how it's not like me to not move around.  Grateful that he was thinking of me while waiting for a plane. It was a sweet surprise.  

Why DID I stop the yoga challenge?  Was I that busy? That uncomfortable? Was it intentional or did it just go by the wayside?  I can't even tell you where I left off! How long has it been?  What's the new challenge called anyway?  It seems like years ago that I was attempting headstands, arm balances and "Wheel".  So...I sat in front of the mirror and attempted the Wheel. Admittedly, I was afraid to hold it too long but my arms were strong enough to get me up there and my back felt good and my toes automatically went into tippy mode.  I felt my calves tighten and it felt FANTASTIC!

So...I perused this month's challenge.  Last month's was...what was it?  Geez.  I forgot.  Anyway, this month it is #MoveYourAsana.  Ha!  Isn't that fitting?  I did a couple of downward dogs and I started working through the days.
Day 1 - Downward Dog Split, check.
Day 2 - Runner's Lunge, check.
Day 3 - Revolved Side Angle Pose, check!
Day 4 - Warrior, check!
Day 5 - Triangle, check!
Day 6 - Prasaritapaddotanasana, check!
Day 7 - Tripod headstand, um. I put my head on the carpet, started to kick up and thought...Pass.
Day 8 - Anjeneasana, check!

At this point, I am thinking...I am doing this!  But I was uncomfortable driving home.  I was uncomfortable sitting with a "bowling ball" on my lap at work all day.  I was uncomfortable sitting on the couch going through the mail.  I am NOT uncomfortable doing these things.  Ok, carry on...

Day 9 - Standing split, check (as best as I could)
Day 10 - Half moon sugar cane?, check!
Day 11 - Warrior 3, check baby!
Day 12 - "Grab your big toe and stick your leg out"...meh, not too great but I attempted it. Half check.
Day 13 - Standing Bow Pose, check!

Most of those poses are fairly easy and that I am grateful for that since it makes me feel so accomplished! ;) The best news of all is that I was moving.  I was stretching, reaching and flexing to get into the poses and my bump (which is way bigger now) did not seem to be too big of an obstacle.  There were modifications of course but more than anything, it renewed the preconceived notion in my OWN head that "I just can't do that anymore".  Heck yea, I can!

And what's even better?  I just got word that we've finalized our big project at work.  Deadline met before lunch on a Friday?  That means, the pool will be seeing me very soon!  Woohoo!

So, self talk served as a motivator for me this time.  I don't carry a whole lot of useless worry or stress as I used to which is why I had to get it back "into gear".  I don't find myself self talking as much and I think in part, I attribute a little of that to Yoga and what it stands for but mostly for insisting on living a positive lifestyle.  I don't sweat the small things and I tend to block negative energy or just eliminate it from my life as best I can.

Don't be surprise to see yet a third installment of week 37 - the week where anything could happen.

Happy Friday and get movin'!

~V



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Full term, baby! 37 weeks!

This is the point of the pregnancy where you say "any day now". Technically speaking, that little muffin is fully baked so if he is ready, he is more than welcome to join us in our family circus. (I on the other hand...)

Exercise has pretty much gone out of the window for me.  Little man has "dropped" substantially, dilation has begun and contractions are a common (but not consistent) occurance.  Needless to say, I am not very comfortable MOST of the time.  This is not to say that I am getting a lot of rest, however.  Rest seems like a luxury that I may just get in...10 years?  Ha, kidding.  Anyway, I don't see it in the horizon anytime soon.

School is in FULL swing and I find myself playing teacher some evenings...whether it's assisting with homework or teaching my kids study skills (which makes me study too...oh, to learn 5th & 6th grade all over again...FUN!) I am working well into the night to make sure everyone is "good".

Now we are adding activities to the plate...so while we had one soccer team to keep up with before, now we have three.  Yes, 3.  My son is doubling up,my daughter is playing...and my husband is coaching both of them to boot! Ah! That officially makes me a "Soccer Mom".  A toddler chasing, very pregnant soccer mom. Get me a minivan.  KIDDING.  (...and not that there is anything wrong with that...it's just not me...and I will fight to the bitter end to avoid it.  Yes, I am that passionate about it.  Judge me.)

There are just a couple days left in week 37 and other than chasing that toddler around soccer fields a couple of times, there are no workouts to be logged in on this update.  There *may* be a glimmer of hope for tomorrow as my BIG deadline at work is coming to a head.  If the timing is right, I may get out to the pool while everyone is still at work/school and see how the laps feel after all this time.  Worst case, I don't swim but at least get some tan/rest/magazine time (even if it's an hour...I'll GLADLY take it).

This week is the week that I finally caught up on reading all those babycenter update emails.  You know, the ones that tell you what to pack for the hospital, how you should be feeling, what fruit size your baby is comparable to and what list of supplies to have at home for your newborn.  This is the same week when I reveled at JUST how far behind I am.  My to-do list gets longer everyday and my days get shorter.  Hospital bag?  Puleeze. (Car seat is still sized for the now 19 month old...uh....yea) :/

I am just thrilled that I managed a pedicure late one evening this week.  I attempted a DIY mani/pedi last weekend with my daughter and let's just say that an over the belly pedi is not something I recommend.  What a disaster and total fail.  I was even embarrassed to walk around the house barefoot.  I couldn't reach my feet to fix it! Good times.

Hopefully, next week my update will include things like "checklist done!" and "rested" and "got another mani/pedi and foot massage"...but if it doesn't, that's fine too.  I am incredibly grateful that this has been such a healthy pregnancy, that I have felt so fantastic the entire way and my husband and kids have been so wonderful.  I couldn't ask for a better family - they make me happy and I love being their circus ringmaster. ;)

~V



Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School Changes at 35 weeks & a bonus 36 week update

I'm nearing the end of the 8th month where it seems at times like I've "given up" on fitness during the pregnancy.  I know all too well that after as little as a few week hiatus getting back in the swing of things is dreadfully difficult.  Week 33 and 34 were pretty much total duds in the exercise department and I was quite alright with that.  I knew that this week would also prove to be difficult with all the "Back to School" hoopla so I wasn't exactly anticipating getting back at it full speed (especially this far along...I'm a little tired and okay with giving in to that).

So, there is not much of a day to day wrap up other than feeling just a little accomplished for getting a nice 2+ mile family walk in on the night that hubby came back in town from a business trip and great 1600M solo swim that I mustered the energy for on my Friday half day off.

Not a whole of working out going on around here these days but the excitement of new changes kept everyone on their toes.  Our oldest started middle school (yikes!), so aside the bus schedule, the changes in classes/periods and coming home and managing to stay on track with homework and assignments after school by herself, there was the endless lists of "NEEDS" when I got home from work each night.  I NEED decorations for my locker.  I NEED a new lock, standard issue is subpar.  I NEED a new agenda.  I NEED you to fill out ALL of these forms tonight...and the list goes on. The middle one is in a transitional school campus as his school has been torn down and being rebuilt. We have scheduling changes along with soccer car pool to manage with a new after school game plan to boot. The baby is in a new class too. Scheduled class times, eating at the table, sleeping on mats and an overall more regimented school day (no cribs, bottles or high chairs) make for adjusting how we handle certain things at home.  She is quite a trooper so it hasn't phased her one bit...other than the extra bruises on her shins from being rambunctious during playground time at school. :/

All in all, it was a great week. Everyone made it to school on time, got home safely each day and made it to soccer practice and back too! Success!

Update:  Update to the non-update? Ha!  Well, it just goes to show how things are going on in my world that I never published this.  Whoopsie.  So...I decided to double up!  Hey!

What happened during week 36?  Well...um.  Nothing much as far as exercise goes. Update done! (publish, publish, publish...before I start feeling bad...) ;)

Next week - FULL TERM!!  Ah! Getting ready for the final push! :)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 34...to sum it up

One big fat goose egg. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada de nada. 

Need I say more?

Ok, I will. I didn't have time or energy and even if I had a five minutes for some squats or a plank, I just didn't feel like it. I gave in to the pleasure of doing nothing in the fitness department. 

I felt guilt up until Thursday and then I decided I was ok with going a solid week with no exercise. Perhaps I was ok with it because there were so many other important things happening. 

It was a tough week complete with work all nighters, school open houses, met ambitious self set work deadlines, sick children, doctors appointments, a soccer tournament, a baby shower, moving of in laws, school shopping and a partridge in a pear tree. 

There's much more but thinking about it wears me out. More. 

Hopefully the first week of school will be good to us despite some new changes this year. 

Week 35...here we come. It's a roll of the dice how this one is going to end up. 

Hope yours runs smoothly and you can keep active and moving!

~V


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brace yourself for a grueling Week 33 update

NOT.  ...more like practically nonexistent.

Sometimes schedules and energies must be on polar opposites to make things happen for me.  Schedule is tight but energy high?  I FIND a way to make it happen.  Schedule wide open but no energy? The guilt of having the time makes it happen.  Schedule tight, energy low? Doomed.  It's not gonna happen. That's week 33 in a nutshell (and by the looks of week 34, it too).

M - 110 squats, 1:16 plank, 3 yoga challenges
T - 2mi walk, 115 squats, 1:15 plank, 2 yoga challenges
W - off - M's bday
TH - Aerial Tone, 120 squats, 2 yoga challenge poses
F - 125 squats
S - off - Staycation at Resort
S - 4.2 mi run/125 squats, 1:15 plank, 1 yoga challenge

Perhaps a surge of energy will come this week (34) because the schedule is not looking so good with all the back to school activities, doctors appointments and an overwhelming workload (for both of us) to make this a more active week than last.  It's not looking so good though...wish me luck!

Hope you have better luck getting out there!

~V

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

32 weeks - 8 months!

I'm 8 months pregnant.  That just blows my mind.  I can't believe it's gone by so fast and I can't believe it doesn't feel like it.  I miss my non-pregnant body and fitting into all my clothes but for the most part, I feel pretty darn good.

The schedule was a bit out of whack again but I managed to stay active all week.  The 30 day challenges admittedly are what keep me on track the most.  I don't want to fall behind so they motivate me to squat, plank and pose even in the last hour of the day.  And in many cases, they are my only exercise when I can't get a full blown workout in.

This is how the week went down:

M - 75 squats
T - 80 Squats and Yogratitude Yoga challenge pose for Day 6 & Day 5 Challenge pose for the #30dayyogachallenge - Had a late burst of energy and did P90X KenpoX DVD - great workout!
W - 85 squats w weights for arm exercises, 1:15 plank, Days 6 & 7 of 30Day Challange poses and Days 7 & 8 of Yogratitude challenge poses.
Th - Son's birthday dinner - still managed 90 squats and 1:15 plank before bed (and after ice cream!)
F - 95 squats, 1:15 plank, Days 8&9 of 30 day challenge poses and Days 9 & 10 of Yogratitude poses
S - 1600M Masters Swim (had to get at least one swim in!), 100 squats, day 10 30day challenge pose
S - 2mi walk, 105 squats, 1:30 plank and Day 11 Yogratitude and 30Day Challenge yoga pose

I realize that these updates are getting monotonous but they really motivate me to keep moving and stay active.  By keeping a running tally of what I do (or don't do), I can easily track my activity levels and compare them to how I feel.  The whole reason why I started this blog was to serve as a reminder to myself and to those who always ask, "how did you stay fit while pregnant" or "how did you get back into shape after baby?" It has become more and more apparent to me that people find it very easy to give someone grief for being in shape, however.

Just this Saturday, a fellow female swimmer actually splashed me when she learned I was 33 weeks along.   This very same person that I was sharing a lane with the entire time had no idea I was pregnant until I got out of the pool and the coach told her how far along I was.  She made a snarky comment about how it must be my first...and when learning that it was actually my fourth, proceeded to splash me and tell me that it wasn't fair.  Um.  Ok.  Granted, I have a longer torso and I'm taller than average so genetically, speaking, pregnancy "fits" me differently than most women.  HOWEVER, if you've read this blog for any number of posts, you would also know that I don't sit on my laurels either.  I put in the work so that I can reap the rewards.  Those rewards to me are feeling strong, building muscle, having energy, being healthy, feeling great about myself and giving me the confidence to know that post pregnancy, I will have the stamina to bounce back and manage both my job and growing family...not to mention that I am also setting a positive, healthy example for my family in making these choices a priority.

It's taken three days to for me to actually publish this post.  So many words I've wanted to say but have decided that less is more.  Do the right thing and everything rights itself.

Namaste and happy hump day (and birthday to my amazing husband and best friend!)

~V

Monday, August 5, 2013

31 Weeks - this is happening a little fast, no?

It was a roller coaster week in pregnantville. My usual happy go lucky self felt at times like Violet in the movie Charlie's Chocolate Factory...ready to POP!  I have been pretty nonchalant about what I've been eating because I have never over done it and I felt my portions were a good size.  I quickly ruled out food because of that and also because the incredible amount of discomfort and even PAIN I was in.  I was absolutely miserable.  I couldn't touch my belly and quite frankly, neither could the waistband of my skirts, shorts or pants!  My initial thought was that it was just that "late" in the game where I would be big and miserable.  But oh my gosh...it was awful!  I could barely sit at my desk it was so bad.  This is my fourth baby and I don't recall this happening to me before.  I don't remember being this miserable at 7.5 months at all.  And all this discomfort and pain is after I was already home sick on Monday from what I would self-diagnose as dehydration and exhaustion!  Bleh!

I managed to consult Dr. Google after my husband noted that it was probably something that I ate to see if that REALLY can make you hurt the way this was making me.  ...and he was right.  I learned a lot about how Progesterone sloooooooows down your digestive track and gases can trapped in your body causing incredible pain.  Ahh!! What???  NOOOOOOO!!!  That was my first reaction.  My second reaction was...let's fix this NOW.  It took me a few days but I stocked up on all the "right" fuel and things that were not going to slow me down or blow me up for that matter.  

My husband, again, skeptical of what all I was throwing in the blender thought I'd be causing myself more harm than good.  He always wants me to call the doctor and run and see her (but I'm seeing her on Monday!) Anyway, my research paid off and now I can sit here and type without feeling like I'm going to explode.  Or cry.  I'm hoping that week is behind me because "ain't got time for that"! Haha!

Here's the wrap up on this yucky week.  

M sick :( - I'm guessing the road trip, water slides and being in the sun all weekend far outweighed the amount of water I took in and rest I needed.  I was less than stellar come Monday morning.  I was out of my comfort zone but got my rest in and my bed time, I had enough in me to get my 45 squats in for the squat challenge!

T Felt fine but had a social night off with friends and our big kids at a concert. :)

W THIS is the day.  It started great.  I went to Aerial Tone at lunch and went home to catch up on and practice on days 29, 30 & 31 of the Yogangsters yoga challenge to finalize the month of July.  While I was there and warmed up, I got my 50 squats in too. When I got back to work after lunch....that's when all hell broke loose.  So glad I got those workouts in BEFORE! By late evening, I decided that since yoga is mentioned so often as being something that helps alleviate my symptoms, I decided to go ahead and stand on my head.  Yea, I know. Call me crazy but you know what?  It worked so don't knock it til...I managed a few challenge poses and hoped that shaking my body up was what I needed.

Th A better day but was very paranoid about everything I consumed.  Swimming and yoga helped.  Honest.
1700M swim, 55 squats,1:15 plank, Day 2 Yoga Challenge - #Yogratitude
Had a great break through at swim that I had to share here!

F 60 squats

S 65 squats 1:07 plank swim 1600M
800wu (1st 50 w/o snorkel) HARD! :/
10 x 25 @ 3,5,6 
150 25 alt kick/pull
200 free
200 snorkel free!! (baby steps)

S 70 squats 1:30 plank
Yoga Days 1-4 Growsoulbeautiful Challenge
Day 4 Yogratitude and Day 4 30dayyogachallenge
Saw the Day 5 challenge in the evening and it scared me off but I thought I'd try regardless.  This is never good because I just don't let up until I at least get close.  I did and it's done. Next! :)

All in all, not a bad week all things considered.  32 weeks is here and a check up to see how little muffin is doing is just a few hours away.  I just read that I should be gaining a pound a week right about now going straight to the baby and just how much room that guy is going to start taking up causing things like shortness of breath and heartburn.  Lovely! No worries, here though.  I'll just be sure to pack up my bottle of Tums along with my smoothie and fiber cereal snacks!

Til next week!

~V

Friday, August 2, 2013

I can breathe! - Diary update of a swim newbie Part 3

I just couldn't wait until post baby.  I couldn't.  I have conquered the fear of standing on my hands and on my head and I could tell you a horrific story of conquering one of my greatest fears (roaches), but I'll spare you the Creep Show-esqueness of that story. I probably just really dated myself by even mentioning that movie, didn't I?  Anyway, my most recent (and my husband would say, ridiculous) fear has been traversing the pool sans snorkel.  I guess I've built it up SO much and used the darn thing as a crutch during the pregnancy that the idea of not having it started becoming...well, scary.

Last night, I went to the pool and did a swim workout that I modified from one I found on the web.  I wanted to focus on my legs so I figured a kick workout would cover it.  It looked like this:

Swim Workout #15
Category: Intermediate
Workout Goal:Improve kicks and timing
Total Distance:1800 yards
·         400 yards freestyle warmup 
(choice of strokes)
·         200 yards crawl alternating lengths of pull and kick
(on the first 25 pull only, on the second 25 kick only, repeat -- do not use a kick board)
·         4 x 100 yards flutter kick arounds
(one length each of kicking on stomach, left side, right side and back -- ok to use kick board)
·         4 x 50 yards crawl, resting :15 between
(count 3 kicks per arm stroke)
·         2 x 100 yards IM kick only
(with or without kickboard)
·         400 yards freestyle warmdown
(swim choice of strokes slowly)
Notes:
 On the 200 yards alternating pull and kicks, do not usse a kickboard. Instead hook your thumbs together and hold them out in front of you wilth face in the water. Lift face out of the water to breath as needed.

This workout is a total of 1800 yards and 700 of those yards are kicking. With the exception of the IM kick drill, it is ok to use swim fins if you like. Swim fins can help to strengthen your leg muscles by adding resistance and making your muscles work harder. You do not have to use swim fins though and the swim drills are sequenced so that you alternate some swimming with kicking.

I modified it by changing the warm up to 600M at 200/200/200 EZ/Kick/Pull. I also swam the first 200 kick drills with my head down in the water working on bilateral breathing (because one day I'll need that!). The unexpected and completely unplanned thing I did was that at cool down...I ditched the snorkel!! I should be using all CAPS for that! (Considering how I mentioned it here and here) I figured I would just swim an EZ 200 but I hung there by the side of the pool, I thought...what the heck. Let's tear this thing off and see how it feels. I have been working on breathing intervals the last couple of weeks and I just did the whole bilateral thing so I just figured I'd work off of that. Aaaand it also helps that there weren't many people at the pool.

The first 25 were horrific. I barely made it to end of the pool without gasping or swallowing water. The second 25 were a little better but my breathing was hurried and my timing was off. By the time I got to the end of the pool, I was just pissed off at myself. I was way over thinking this thing.

So I went again. This time I used the same pattern as with the snorkel...one big breath in, hold, 3 arm strokes, blow all the air out and THEN go out for a big breath. Shaky at first but I got the hang of it. The next 25 I started alternating sides to which I would take a breath. It required a lot of mechanical thought which I am guessing was nerve induced and because that first 50 was a mess, I was worn out.

I decided to call it a day...a successful day at that!

So the lesson here I guess is: Don't wait until tomorrow, er, I mean, until after you're cleared to exercise POST-baby to do what you can do today, at 31 1/2 weeks pregnant. Anxiety levels about this have started to diminish which means that I will keep working on that every week until the baby comes so that when I do come back...I can put it in total beast mode. Lol!
Happy Friday all and get out there and stay active!

~V


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

30 weeks & another 30 day challenge

My body certainly *seems* ready for baby but my house? My schedule? My BRAIN??  Not so much.  Time has just flown by and it doesn't seem like many minutes pass between the "publish" click and the "write a new post" click in these weekly updates.

I've managed to stay on top of my fitness throughout my pregnancy and although I've gained more weight at this point than I would have expected (with still 10 weeks to go!), I feel fantastic and overall I am pretty confident that I will bounce back to my normal self in no time if I stick with it.  I don't own a scale and have never obsessed or even thought about the numbers I see there on doctor visits (the only time I know how much I weigh), unless it surprises me. It's really relative though, isn't it?  Our image of ourselves is far worse than what anyone sees so really it should be about how you feel, how your clothes fit and how good you feel about yourself.  The "number" has a tendency to skew that perspective and normally, for the worse.  So why bother with that?  I like to see the muscle tone in my quads when I pass a mirror or a slight chisel in my shoulders in random photos rather than what number pops up on the scale. 

So having said all that, I realized that I wanted to work on that muscle tone some more.  With running and biking coming off of the equation and those two types of exercises being what I depended on most to keep my legs in great shape (especially cycling), I've taken up a new challenge.  What the heck.

My friends are doing a squat challenge that seemed absolutely crazy to me (and my knees would concur). The number of daily reps just seemed like a recipe for injury, in my opinion, and one that my body would not respond well to as I know from experience.  The one I have started is put together by Rebekah Borucki. I follow her on Instagram (that thing again?) and she is quite the go-getter. She's a mother of 4, wife, business owner and mostly a great motivator to get moving in the right direction with healthy lifestyle habits.  She has an awesome website filled with blog posts and videos on meditation, yoga exercises, recipes and basically all things to help get you to a "truly, happy, healthy and fulfilled life" via her "Blissed In Network" Check her out here ---> www.Bexlife.com   This is the squat challenge I'm working on now.

squatwithbex
http://www.bexlife.com/2013/07/30-day-squat-challenge-giveaway-squatwithbex/

So here's the update for the week before another week has passed me by...my hubby (and #1 supporter of my fitness regimen) has been pulling a crazy work schedule so it's kept me away from some of my "normal" routine while he travels.  My challenges have not been 100% consistent but playing catch up keeps me on track where I end up doubling up or spend extra time practicing.

M - Hubby out - Yoga challenges for Day 22 & 23
T - Hubby out - Off - Math and Reading with big kiddos
W - Aerial Tone at lunch, Day 24 Yoga challenge & Master Swim in the evening.
1500M
WU 800 (same as usual)
400 3,5,6 breath intervals
200 BR
100 EZ free (cut workout short for nephew's going away dinner)
TH - Day squat challenge - 25 + 1.03 plank, Day 25 yoga challenge and practice of Day 26
F - 30 squats, 1:07 plank and day 26 practice
S - 35 squats, 1:03 plank
S - 40 squats, Yoga Challenges Day 26, 27 & 28 (forgot my plank! ah!) - spent the day at water park type resort which kept me walking, climbing stairs and lugging my teletubby body in and out of tubes...THAT was a workout (and a quite a sight!)






Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 29 update from all angles

Looking back at this week from memory, I would say "wow, 3rd trimester got the best of me and I didn't do a whole lot".  By looking at my notepad entry of workouts, however, I'd say I did TOO much!  Why on earth I felt like I was a slacker is beyond me but I am thinking it has something to do with the way I felt physically at the end of the week or better yet, at exactly the time I was thinking back (presently in week 30, that is).

I had a strong week of workouts and I even did a better job of eating fairly balanced meals including morning smoothies with all the power punch ingredients I've never really tried before...coconut oil, kale, chia seeds and a host of different fruits.

I ran out of gas by the end of the week which really skewed my perspective.  But by the looks of things, with good reason...I wore myself out! 

Here's the wrap up:

Monday - 1700M Masters Swim
wu 200 free
wu 200 kick
wu 200 pull
wu 200 1 arm drill
WO 200 5 stroke breath int
WO 100 3 stroke breath int
WO 50 5 stroke breath int
WO 100 easy breast
WO 200 5 stroke breath int
WO 100 3 stroke breath int
WO 50 5 stroke breath int
cd 100 easy free
Day 15 yoga ToeKillerAsana
Practice Day 16 (argh) of Yogangsters challenge (Bhujipadasana)

Tuesday - Travelling daddy = fulltime mama duty after work and welcomed physical rest & no complaints. :)

Wednesday - Pulled a double hedging the ominous rain storms...Lunchtime Aerial Tone (so tough after a couple of weeks off) and made it to MasterSwim to find out it was cancelled but I pulled out a saved workout and made my own 1600M swim plan. :)
w/u same as above total 800M
WO 200 br
3x 50k50p100fast (My son came with me and timed these...made it go by even faster and got a heck of a workout...phew!)
Day 17 (easy leaning tree thankfully) & another try at 16 (ugh! probably not the best to try this after Aerial AND swim...my wrists, arms and quads were toast.)

Thursday - Total recovery day...even went to sleep before midnight!

Friday - Rested for the most part but couldn't help but spend some timecatching up on Yoga Challenge poses Days 18 19 & 20 (High Lunge w Eagle Arms, Prasarita (which I ended up redoing) and the awkard Archer Pose, respectively)

Saturday - Decided to venture out for a "walk" which of course, less than half mile in, turns into a 3.5 run.  I ran to the neighborhood park since this was a "trial" run because 1- it was hot and the park offers partial shade and a water fountain 2- it has a nice new padded track and 3- it's near by so I can easily walk back home if I felt too tired.  I redid Yoga day 19 while there and it turned out to be a nice stretch.
Double perspective with the #Dblcam App
All in all, I felt great during the actual run.  I came home to cool down and rest and realized that the run completely wiped me out.  I felt pretty worthless the rest of the day.  So much so that I was dreading a party later that evening because I didn't know if I could handle wearing my cowboy boots and standing/dancing for an extended period of time.  I wanted nothing more than to just LAY.

I managed a short nap and recovered fairly well...enough to boot scoot with my honey and have a great time...(I did reserve a stool to keep me off my feet as long as possible, though)

Sunday - I was going to pass on the day 21 (Koundinyasana II Variation) challenge because it looked too difficult and because I was both sore and tired.  I downloaded a book, which I haven't done in well over a year and had full intention of reading on the couch and veging out all evening.

My daughter on the other hand, was working on her pose when her dad decided to give it a try.  They took photos of each other and I kept hearing "oh, I can do better, let me try it again"...I found this amusing and it made me quite happy to see them doing this together.  I couldn't let this all go down without at least giving it a try.  Ugh.  It was so hard.  I tried one way and then another and when I finally felt something "click" I knew I could do it in some modified way.  My biggest issue with this pose (aside the fact that I have a baby in me and an additional 25 pounds to contend with) was my wrists.  Oh my goodness, I guess I am in the stage of the pregnancy where are all your joints loosen up and open up because they just plain hurt trying to hold my body up.
I finally got into position but getting that leg up and keeping it there was quite the challenge.  I broke a sweat and I can honestly say that I am still sore from this excerise.  My husband and kid continued with their antics and even started doing some acroyoga moves.  I was terrified but they were both having so much fun.  I honestly can't believe my eyes sometimes to see my husband participating in these things.  It makes me happy, happy, happy. :)
Two photographers = 2 angles...ha!  A face plant or two *may* have occured during this process.
I'm hoping to crack that ebook open during week 30 when I really DO slack off! ...unless I am convinced otherwise.
Happy hump day!
~V

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Swim lingo decoder: diary of a newbie Part 2

You can't teach an old dog new tricks they say.  Learning how to read a swim workout is a new trick I wasn't prepared for.  I thought swimming involved nothing more than a large body of water, arms and legs moving simultaneously and breathing. In some sort of coordinated effort. Oh what a simpleton I was to think that!

Once I figured out how to work on that coordination, which by the way I am happily improving on with every Masters class I attend, I realized that there is a shorthand of terms that are thrown about haphazardly around the pool.  I never noticed before because I was busy with the basics or perhaps I was thinking that was a "pro" language that surely I would never have to learn.  I was wrong.

Whenever a coach can't make practice, the weather is bad (it's cold) or if there is a long holiday break when no classes are being held, it is customary to get an emailed workout from the coach.  My first email back when I was pregnant with #3 in 2011, looked like this:


I did not follow this workout. Obvs!  My eyes crossed a little and I gave up on trying to translate this into English.  I just went up to the pool and swam mundanely back and forth, trying ever so hard to not lose count of how many laps I'd put in (was that 19 or 21? Ugh!).  This particular coach is not very consistent with how she writes her workouts up because the next one looked like this:


Oh my goodness.  Whaaat??? I could decipher about a 3rd of that message (and reading it now, there are still things that I don't know!)  So, I passed but going to the pool again and just counting 1, 2, 18, 32, 47 can get REALLY boring.  I started looking into buying a waterproof mp3 player to help pass the time and after a few web searches I instead decided to put that effort into LEARNING what the heck all that mumbo jumbo meant.

So here is a swimmer's lingo translator for beginners.  FOR BEGINNERS.  Which I am still.  I am sure there are bunch of other terms and shorthand that I am completely unaware of and I'll be sure to include that in the Intermediate or Advanced installment of this post (if I ever get there).

First and foremost...laps or lengths?  I thought a lap was point A to B. WRONG.  THAT is a length. Point A to B and BACK to A is a lap.  So...if you swim 20 laps, you have gone the LENGTH of the pool 40 times.

Pool distance.  That's another doozy beginner's are unaware of.  How long is the length of pool you are swimming in?  Most people have no clue but in my case, the club owner and the swim director are always willing to stop by and chat and they for sure knew the answer when I asked.  The majority of lap pools are 25 yards or 25 meters.  Bigger fitness facilities or aquatic centers will have a 50M or Olympic sized pools.

So, in a 25M pool, if you swim a "100" you've gone 2 laps or 4 lengths of the pool.  Easy peazy, right?

100M = 2laps = 4lengths

To expand on that for the sake of relativity:

1 mile = 1609.34 meters = 32.19 laps = 64.37 lengths
.5 mile = 804.67 meter = 16.09 laps = 32.19 lengths

Sprint Triathlon - usually .5 mile or 750M (but can be shorter (200-500) & sometimes referred to as a "Super Sprint")
Olympic Triathlon - .93 miles
Half Ironman (IM) - 1.2 miles
Full IM - 2.4 miles (!!!!!)

Easy to see how counting back and forth can be a chore, not to mention incredibly easy to lose track.  In my case, I end up swimming "extra" just in case so I don't short change my work out.  And that's just crazy talk.

Usually a swim workout is structured like any other workout, start with a warm up, have a main work out and then a cool down to wrap it up.  My warm up has consistently looked like this:

200 easy free
200 pull
200 kick
200 1 arm free

That's a half mile warm up right there.  In my past life, I would just call it a day right then! But in layman's terms, this is what that means:

Free - Freestyle swimming or the "Front Crawl"
Pull - Using a pull buoy between your legs so only your arms are activated during your swim.
Kick - Using a kick board so your arms rest and your legs do all the work.
1 arm - I am sure there is a more technical name for this but it basically means swimming freestyle using the right arm only going up one length and only the left coming back.
Easy - or "EZ" not necessarily slow, but a good time to be aware of form.

The main workout can be configured in many different ways to either focus on speed, form, breathing, etc.  I really like that there is a format because the monotony goes away and before you know it, you've swam at least a good mile and probably more in an hour's long class.

What I didn't know until last week that I know now is the "3,5,7 breathing" talk going on in that second email up there.  Since I started drafting this post, I had a workout that consisted of something just like it.  It's a breathing interval workout where (as in the above example) you'd swim 200 (4 laps) using a Pull Buoy (arms only) and every 50 within that (1 lap) you alter breathing patterns by taking a breath every 3 arm strokes, then every 5 strokes for the next 50 and so on. 

As someone (a 29 week pregnant lady) that needs every bit of air they can in a workout, my intervals were more like 3,4,5,4,3 and when things got tough at 5, I'd ratchet down.  The rest of my class this week was going up to 8 I think.  (Also while my workouts tap out at about 1800M theirs usually go to anywhere between 2000-2400M).

Sometimes the workout will say "drill" which means you can choose what drill to use during that particular part of the work out.  I have not been exposed to a whole lot of drills but since you're out here on the internet, you know there is a plethora of information out here with ideas.  I did a quick search a found a few places that have more useful information including drill and full blown workouts...check them out!

http://100swimmingworkouts.com/
http://beta.active.com/swimming/Articles/Swimming-Workouts
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/premium/swimming_technique/2009b.asp
http://www.ironman.com/triathlon-news/articles/2013/06/ironman-101-swim-workouts.aspx#axzz2ZQm8KaAc

This is all just scratches the surface of what all you can do during a swim workout.  It's always nice to have a class to join for the comraderie, motivation and extra push but if you can't and do have access to a pool, there's no reason to make it a fruitful and fun workout.  In addition to the pull buoy, kickboard, swim cap and goggles in your bag (and the snorkel I mentioned here), you can also add some extra gear to make things a little more interesting.   Paddles, flippers, ankle weights and gloves can all work on conditioning and technique...you'll just need a bigger bag! And don't get me started on the gadgets...mp3 players, lap counters, stop watches and watches that track everything from heartrate to distance, pace, splits, stroke rate, etc.  
Photo credit: http://brendanrake.me/2013/02/
For me, I'm keeping it simple and just trying to keep up with the Master Swimmers by doing as much of the workout as possible while still feeling comfortable and not over doing it.  I'd love to swim all the way through the end of the pregnancy and get started back up post baby as soon as I am able. My coach, who has been very encouraging and who called me a "hero" this week, has already been alerted that my goal post baby is to come back ready to ditch the snorkel and kick it in to high gear.  We will do just that and then watch out! Ha!







Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 28 update and a shift in gears

This week marks the start of the third trimester and as important as exercise and fitness has been thus far in keeping in tip-top shape ready for baby (and after), drinking plenty of water, nutrition and sleep are equally important.  I've successfully added plenty of water to my daily intake (thankful for the crushed ice machine at work that makes it so much easier) and this week I experimented for the first time with making smoothies and trying KALE! I've been trying to be more cognizant of what exactly I eat and don't eat and am working on getting a routine on that too.  More on that later...
My first Kale smoothie!
The summer months have always been bittersweet for me.  Having the kids out of school and working full time during these short and sometimes long 2.5 months is a difficult thing to balance.  I want them to have all the fun in the world but I am limited to certain hours of the day that I can do those things with them.  Mainly, in the evening after work.  Our bedtimes have been nothing less than midnight as a result and I found that only sleeping 6 hours a night for several weeks straight (when you are use to 7-8) has a way of creeping up on you.  That endless amount of energy seems to suddenly tap out and it kind of feels like hitting a brick wall. The Saturday morning Masters class is hard to make when you wake up after it's over! Whoops!

My exercise regimen slowed a little this week not just because I needed to catch up on my Zzzzz's some but also because some of my options have been pulled from play.  For starters, my evening Aerial Tone class has been temporarily moved to a night that conflicts with Masters Swim.  Secondly, I've cut out running for the time being because it has been so dreadfully hot at the times when I can run.  Not to mention that the lack of sleep has made me too tired to have the desire to lace up when it's that miserable outside as well.  Thirdly, since I had that flat on my bike, I noticed a few days later that the tire is flat again which means that there must be something still stuck in the tire that I must have missed. To add to that, I had some accident filled visions when I started riding last time...you know, the what if scenarios that run through your head in quick second pictures in you brain (or is that just me?) that cause you to be EXTRA cautious? After warming up though, these thoughts go away and the ride is fine but still, you can't ignore that a bike sitting with a flat in the garage combined with these images is not some sort of sign that long distance solo cycling should come off of the list as things to do at 28 weeks pregnant.  I feel perfectly okay while riding in fact I LOVE IT but I am erring on the side of safety for fear of having a freak wreck because my tire gets stuck in a crack or a crazy squirrel runs out in front of me and I lose control.  Better safe than sorry.

Having prefaced this update with all that I'll say that I do intend to maybe add treadmill runs (although I hate those), spin classes or even ride on the trainer (hate that too) as well breaking away and getting the Aerial class in during lunch.  We'll see how I manage that.

Here is the update for week 28:

M- 1500M Masters Swim:
200 Easy Free
200 Pull
200 Kick
200 1 arm drill
200 Breast (a first for me...awkward but different is good)
400 timed free
2 x 50 25breast 25 free
Yoga challenge Day 8 - Kneeling Crescent (an easy one and a great shoulder, back & quad stretch post swim)
T- Yoga Challenges for Day 9 & 10
Revolved Downward Dog & Head to Knee Forward Bend
These both took a lot of warming up and stretching and I'd say we were doing Yoga for a good hour.
 

W- 1500M Masters Swim:
200 free
200 pull
200 kick
200 1 arm drill
100 alternating 25s 3, 5
10 x 25 kick 45RI (full class race) Ahh!!!
6 x 25 alternating 4,5 20RI (the rest of the class was at 8x @ 4,5,6,7,8,7,6,5)
200 easy free
Yoga Challenge - Rooster (I thought this was going to be easy...doing it post swim at a late hour I realized just how hard it was.  I felt like a pretzel most of the time practicing and am absolutely amazed I was able to get off the ground)
TH- Easy stretching and Day 12 Yoga Challenge - Half Bound Extended Side Angle Pose
F- Did some serious Salsa & Merengue dancing at a birthday party with 4" heels. If you don't think dancing is a workout, I'll tell you my quads were still sore from it the next morning.  So yes, it counts!! (plus, waaaaay fun!)
S- Missed Masters Swim but got plenty of sleep.  Hooray! Spent a good amount of time working on Day 13 of our Yoga Challenge - Extended Leg Wheel Pose.  Wow.  What a doozy.  I think I will be coming back to this one quite a bit post baby just so that I can compare improvements.  I got the leg up but only in a headstand position.  I felt like I was pulling a calf muscle so I didn't stay there very long.  (This is likely due to that kick race in swim class).  I was not happy with my regular wheel so I left it for later.

We also got a bike ride in on the new downtown trails later... no one took the mountain bike off the table, right? :)  Side note: I thought this was going to be a leisurely ride but I found that pushing that heavy bike was a heck of a workout especially on my calves (oh, yea...NOW I see a pattern. I didn't realize it at the time, just now as I type it out. Ha!).
Worked on wheel again.  Killing my calves here and hammies too.  Almost felt them pulling while trying to do this again but finally happy with the result (all things considered). I practiced day 14 momentarily - tucked leg Headstand and realized that I was just not into it.  I have zero core control so pushing up and having the wall "save" me was fine by me.  I thought I'd try it again on Sunday.
A little "acroyoga" with the babe while working on the extended leg wheel early in the day and finally happy with a regular handstand Wheel post bike ride. 
S- Slept in and ran errands - complete much needed OFF day. Didn't even bother with the Yoga Challenge. But I did come close to cracking my kid's Fruit Ninja score! Haha! This a challenge that they put upon me the day before that I am DETERMINED not only to beat but also to set a new high score for THEM. :p

Stay tuned for week 29 updates as well as the results of my smoothie experimentation.  I found some yummy and healthy ingredients and recipes I can't wait to share!  Also, stay tuned to find out how this whole Fruit Ninja thing works out.  ;)

Happy Monday!

~V






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

27 weeks and SUP we go!

Nearing the end of the 2nd trimester and there's no denying, I'm feeling pregnant now.  The energy to get up and GO is not quite as abundant, however, I feel that more so when I am sitting for extended periods or with idle time.  It seems more difficult to get up and go DO something when I'm sedentary but once I'm "doing", I feel fantastic!  If I can only figure out that happy medium so that I don't have these wild swings from one end to another. :/

I did manage to keep a little active during the holiday break however, even trying out new fun things that the whole family could enjoy!  I've been wanting to try "SUP" (Stand Up Paddleboarding) for a couple of years now and was determined to get it in this year. Specifically, I wanted to try SUP Yoga - where you take a yoga class while on the board.  I figured I have to crawl before I walk so getting on the board first would be a big accomplishment.  Finding a place that offers this type of class may be a little more challenging but at the very least, I could attempt balancing into some poses (just to see if I could do it) if I can get myself on a board.

Two failed attempts over Spring Break and our early Summer vacation was making feel like it was just not meant to be (too windy or cold).  I knew the 4 day weekend would lend itself to give it another go but I also knew that it would require buy-in from the family (i.e. the other half).  Luckily, my other half is in tune with what I'm thinking and SO sweet and thoughtful that he kept this in the back of his mind and decided to surprise us (really, me) with a getaway to do just that...SUP! YIPPEE!!!  He did all the research on where we should go and even had a game plan (wha-what?)

I was pretty ecstatic particularly because I've been really yearning to be near the water.  Maybe it's the Florida beach girl in me that just equates summer with water fun.  Unfortunately, the beaches around here are...well, let's just say that they leave much to be desired (compared to what I know).  We do, however, have plenty of lakes.  Finding one that offers SUP rentals are few and far between though. We went to Austin where they are making a big splash with trying to get the word out about SUP, pun intended.  And when I say splash, I mean that at SUPATX , they have the largest paddle board fleet in the world!  They have all the boards and they have Canoes and single, double and triple kayaks too!

It was a trial run for us so we had a few boards and a triple kayak that we could switch off into and put the baby on that had a bit more stability (although she really liked being on the board too!) I really thought that I would have some serious balance issues and would end up falling off a bunch but I am happy to report that I never fell!  You basically start paddling slowly on your knees, find your balance and step up to standing with a wide stance and ta-da you are SUPping!  It's a bit of a slow movement but a great arm workout to get you going across the lake.  We pulled over and played in the water for a while.  The kids battled each other off the boards a la American Gladiator style and the baby eagerly jumped off the kayak to get in on part of the action too.  The water was very refreshing and cool on a hot and sunny Texas day and I honestly did not want to go back.  I could have stayed there all day.


My water camera is awful.  I can't believe the resolution is so bad on something we paid so much for. :( 
We managed to get our yoga challenge poses in for the day too (two checks off my wants list!) but before we could get more fun pictures, we realized the wind had drifted us downstream and we had a LONG way to get back. With a HEAD wind!  This is where the workout came in to play, big time.  Kayaking back with the baby was a breeze but keeping track of three very playful kids on their SUPs was a little more difficult.  The current was pushing them back so we were running interference to get them moving in the right direction.   I swapped out and paddle boarded all the way back and by the time we were done by shoulders were burning (oooh, so good!). :)

All in all, a great time was had by all and the next morning I heard "let's do that again!".  So now, I am searching for a lake that is in closer proximity so that we can make this a common weekend excursion throughout the summer.  I highly recommend giving this a try.  I, for one, cannot wait to do it again!

Ah, yes let's not forget our 27 week wrap up (via iphone screen shots):


That pretty much wraps up the second trimester (already?!).  I am really curious to see what the next trimester brings and how active I can stay.  Stay tuned! :)

~V

Monday, July 1, 2013

26 week update

Still keeping at it! I feel great for workouts but the shortest of stairs take the wind right out of me. It must be the triple digit heat. ?

Here's this week's update straight off my notepad. 
Week 26
M - 1350swim
200 free
200 kick
200 pull
200 1 arm
2 x 200 pull
150 free
Yoga challenge - eagle twist
T - plank 1:35
W - AerialTone yogax2 headstand/
forearm handstand/split, plank 1:40
Th - swim 1600
200 free
200 kick
200 pull
200 free
200 1 arm
5 x 100 timed free
100 easy free (hey, that's a mile!)
Yoga challenge - deep lunge
F - bike 13.5m - flat tire at last mile :(
S - yoga - standing split with foot grab (translation: intense ham string stretching & warming up to even attempt this contortionist move) I'm calling this a leg workout considering how sore I still am. 
S -yoga - lotus & final day of challenge. We did it!

Here's a pic of the final #YogainSpace challenge for June. A nice meditative lotus position amongst blue trees. 

I feel like I've come so far throughout the month, testing my physical & mental  ability in working through these poses. 
It's been really fantastic to see that I CAN do it if I just give it a try & work through it.  I'm especially grateful for the bonding time between my 11YO daughter & I. She's really enjoying yoga & is pushing herself daily (hourly) to go further. Hence, why we are embarking on continuing with the July challenge as well (#Yogangsters). This should be interesting especially since I'll be between weeks 27 & 31 of the pregnancy!  

Stay tuned to see my progress & some, what will sure to be, blooper attempts at these poses later in the month. :)

Happy Monday & cheers to a short week!