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The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

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fitness

Pregnancy Thus Far And A Week In Workouts

This pregnancy has been an up and down of emotions. At times I feel blessed that we made it through such a tumultuous time and have been able to carry this baby thus far and then other times I’m an emotional wreck, feeling guilty about any negative feelings I have towards the pregnancy and how it has impacted my body. I try to allow myself all feelings, but the guilt creeps in at times. I’ve found there are a few things that can help me get through it and I thought I’d share them on the blog so other people who may be experiencing pregnancy after loss (or just similar guilty feelings) can find solace in knowing A. They’re not alone and B. There are things that help.

1. Gratitude. One of the strategies I have utilized to keep a peaceful frame of mind is gratitude. I’m grateful for a. being able to have this baby b. the love and support I have in my partner c. that I live in an amazing city with so many amazing opportunities for myself and my family d. that I have a home e. that I have friends and family that I love f. that I have health care (fucking Trump) g. that I love my job. And honestly the list goes on and on. When I’m feeling down I start running through the list of things I’m grateful for and it really does help.

2. Healthy eating. I feel that throughout this pregnancy I have been able to eat a healthy balance of 80/20. I can’t imagine never indulging in those things that your pregnant body desires (in my case Cadbury egg, popsicles/slushies, doughnuts <–okay this one might not be pregnancy hehehe), but I’m extremely head strong about maintaining a balance with healthy foods. Here are some of my faves so far:

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Avocado toast, banana almond butter toast.

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Sauteed spinach.

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Savory eggy oats.

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Smoothie bowl.

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Whole foods salad.

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Bagel with cottage cheese cucumbers and tomato.

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Brown rice with Kale and egg.

3. Hydration. I’ve also been sure to drink 80-100oz of water a day. This has kept a lot of the negative symptoms at bay and I’m so happy about that.

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4. Finding inspiration. I’ve been inspired by so many bloggers in general during the last 4 years that it was intuition to start finding those who had given birth. I love reading the Hungry Runner Girl, Peanut Butter Fingers, and The Fitnessista. On Instagram I recently found Hayley Bolton’s account and she is so REAL and inspiring. I also follow Knocked Up Fitness on IG (I have her DVDs too), which lead me to really watch out for Diastasis Recti and see a personal trainer when I felt it had happened to me (Thanks Erica!). Lastly, I follow Natalie Jill Fit on Facebook (I’m rarely on facebook now but she has great videos). These women do not sugar coat things, they are women that have worked hard after pregnancy/delivery (with things not always going smoothly) and it is truly inspiring.

5. Hiring a doula. The doula has already been such a great support. I had some pretty intense sciatic nerve pain and she had some great suggestions for how to sleep at night that would help and it completely has! She also gave me an acupressure point for anxiety/sleep, and has shown me some dance moves to help alleviate that ‘full’ feeling that happens near the end of the day.

6. Working out. Ever since my first pregnancy I found that the times I felt the best were when I was working out. But this has rung true even more so during this pregnancy. At the beginning of the pregnancy the nurses/doctors at the high risk clinic advised me to keep my workouts easy (which was a real bummer), but as soon as I hit 12 weeks and went to a regular OB I was cleared to do my normal thing. I’m so proud of myself that I’ve gotten in 5-6 workouts a week and I don’t feel like I’ll be stopping any time soon. My workouts have consisted of: Body pump, Spin, Mixxed Fit dance, Kettle bells, walks, and hikes.  It’s crazy how I can be sitting on the couch and think ‘my hips hurt and maybe I shouldn’t go workout,’ but once I’m at the gym doing it my hips feel much better.

I spoke with my doctor again yesterday and she was very happy that I’m able to engage in this level of activity, she wants me to keep going for as long as I can. A lot of things change during pregnancy and if this can be something that stays consistent and can help me recover afterwards then this is something that definitely makes me happy when I’m feeling down on myself.

I wanted to share what week 32/33 in workouts looks like for pregnant Nicole:

1. Thursday, April 27th was a 45 minute spin class. Forgot my watch, so you get a picture of the bike instead.

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2. Friday April 28th was an hour and a half walk with Dave (prepping for Bloomsday), we got a little bit of jogging in there.

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3. Saturday, April 29th was suppose to be a Body Pump class, but I got such little sleep Friday night that I decided to sleep past my 7am alarm and do a 45 minute workout from Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt DVD. I love these things, they are a really great work out!

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4. Sunday April 30th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) was a sweaty spin class.

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5. Monday, May 1st was a rest day. I took the boys out for walks, but kept it really minimal because my body definitely needed a break.

6. Tuesday, May 2nd was another great spin session.

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7. Wednesday, May 3rd was time for some weight lifting at Body Pump.

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My goal has been to get 3-4 days of cardio a week and 2 days of weight training, and so far so good. I’m taking advantage of this time when my body feels good and I feel like I can get out the door and do it. If there comes a time when my body says no, then I will listen, but thankfully it continues to love these workouts.

So now you’ve heard what’s been getting me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, hope it’s helpful to anyone having similar feelings.

Be well!

Knee update II

First run with consecutive miles (3) ran last night without knee pain!  I rolled, stretched, and iced afterwards; I will get to 100%!!

What do I attribute my recovery to? Not using the muscle? NO WAY JOSE! I don’t believe that not using something that is injured will fix it, I have been doing yoga, boot camps, walk/runs, elliptical, swim, strength training, and spinning.  Have I avoided things that irritate the knee (e.g. Running consecutive miles)? Yes, I’m not crazy.  I’m just saying that the benefits of getting regular exercise (e.g., endorphins, strength, confidence, etc.)  far surpasses the drawbacks of using an irritated muscle.  

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Of course, this is my own opinion, I am not a doctor so ask yours what’s best for you.

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So then what was it? Well, my thought is it’s a combination of things I did (it never really is just one thing is it?) first and foremost I saw the most change after going to the chiropractor, I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.  I also made sure to do my rolling/stretching, icing (both knees after every work out for 15 minutes), and limiting consecutive miles of running.  I have also been really tuning into my knee during excersices, if I feel something weird I either stop and stretch or give it a minute (sometimes it’s a phantom feeling that goes away in a few minutes).

Back to the chiropractor; I’m currently going to Doctor Micah Hamilton at South Orange County Chiropractic.  We’ve reduced my frequency because of my progress, yes you read that correctly, PROGRESS!!!  So something that they did that none of my doctors in Seattle did was take an X-ray of my hips, turns out one of them was almost out of its socket.  The first adjustment was a little scary and I ached like an old lady that night (I couldn’t even do Zumba), but it was definitely easier the next time.  I kind of crave it now, and I feel like I’m having to ween off (in a good way).

Thanks for all your support along the way!! It’s definitely been a work in progress, and seeings as we constantly have to stretch, roll, ice, and strengthen I guess it’s a lifetime commitment.   I’m just happy that for the most part, I’m pain free 🙂

Be well.

Being human

I have some sad news, my knee is super unhappy with me and I won’t be running the half marathon next month 😦

I decided to come to terms with it after I was having a hard time walking post 7 mile run.  I’ve made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, and I’m excited to find out what’s going on inside my knee (MRI, etc.).  I just want to know if I really do need to focus on my hip/butt exercises more or if there’s something that needs to be surgically dealt with.

Until then I’m sticking with VERY short runs (1-3 miles max), hot yoga, spin/bike rides, elliptical, and body pump.

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PS Body pump is HARD!!!!!!

Dave isn’t a fan of the treadmill (which I don’t understand), but I really need to use it because it’s so hilly where we live (and I think that’s one of the things I need to avoid for the knee sitch.  So this is what I look like when I run on the treadmill and I’m missing my running buddy.

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It’s hard being human, and having our bodies tell us when they don’t like things.  I try to live by the rule of listening to my body, and giving it what I think it may need at that time (and of course asking a professional when I’m not sure).  My thought is, that if I back off running right now, fix the problem and do other exercises, then I’ll be able to run the rest of my life.  If I keep running long runs and continue to hurt my knee then I may do some serious long term damage.  Here’s to hoping it gets better fast!

Be well.

Valentines weekend

Hello!

The weekend is coming to an end and it was so darn fun that I’m already missing it.

The weekend started with a lovely ‘repurposed left overs’ breakfast

Salmon hash close upI love using left overs in new dishes.  For this one I took my smoked salmon hash from the morning before and added an egg and scrambled it up.  At that point does it continue to be a hash? Or is it now reborn as a scramble?  Either way it was delicious.

After seeing a couple private clients I met up with Dave and we headed down to the court house to get the documents to change our names.  Look out “Paolone-Webb” here we come 🙂

After a few stops (currently only the IRS knows us as the Paolone-Webbs), we headed out to Salish lodge.

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We decided after the last couple of months we needed a treat, so we got the “Romance atop the falls” package and made sure to get a falls view.  It was the most relaxing evening we’ve had in a while. Bath & Dave.jpgSometimes life gets so crazy you forget to just chill and do nothing together, and after a short run to the falls and back that’s exactly what we did, ALL evening.

We exchanged gifts, but this year we kept it simple (the resort was the real gift)

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Dave got me a Groot bobble head.Tyrion.jpgI got Dave a Tyrion Lannister action figure.

Champagna Bath

We decided that when we own a house we will have a bathtub that opens up into our bedroom like this one did, it was GREAT!Champagna glass.jpgI was sad when our stay came to an end, but I was excited to get home and see our boys and for the rest of our valentines celebrations.

I signed us up for an antigravity/aerial yoga partner workshop.  I love that Dave is interested and willing to take yoga classes with me.  He’s taken vinyasa, nedra, hot, acro, and now antigravity/aerial yoga!  I always have fun with him, and I think he’s starting to see the benefits of adding core work/flexibility training to his workout regime.

The best way I can describe the class is a modified acro class, which is so great because we’ve tried acro before (without hammocks), and it’s super hard to get into any of the poses.  The hammock adds the support you need to really get into the poses and then hold them to build the strength.  The individual poses were pretty fun too.

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It was also just fun to be cocooned in the hammock like a small child 😛Antigravity yoga.jpgAfter our yoga class we headed to the apple store to get me a new laptop for my business (OMG, I can open an application in less then a minute finally), and I spent the evening getting it ready.  Organizing satisfies something deep down inside of me, so I thoroughly enjoyed this!

This morning we woke up and continued our half marathon training with 5 miles at a 10:30 pace.  I’m trying to focus on getting the distance in right now, and then later I can try and speed things up a bit.  I’m just happy I was able to push out that extra mile.

RunningValentines weekend just wouldn’t be complete without a donut

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And then there were none

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Altogether an amazing valentines weekend.  It definitely reminded me of the quote “it’s always darkest before the dawn.”  I try to remember during those hard times that there are amazing times just around the corner, but it’s not always easy to do that.  I guess that’s why it’s good to document the good times for future reference.

Be well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping workout

I was reading an article in Shape magazine on staying toned on the road, it seemed like something that I could easily do while camping so Tara and I tried it out.  We really enjoyed the workout and so I thought I’d share it with you.

The first portion of the workout is referred to as the ‘chair routine,’ so you need a bench or chair of some sort.  They recommend jogging in place or jump rope for a minute between exercises to increase the intensity.

1.) Side-Lunge Pulse: 

Side lunge pulse

2.) Push-Up Hydrant

Push-up hydrant

3.) T-Stand Drive

T-Stand Drive

4.) Dip and Crunch

Dip and Crunch5.) Wall-Sit Shift

Wall-Sit Shift

6.) Single-Arm Push-Up

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7.) Split Squat

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8.) Plank Push

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1. Side-Lunge Pulse: Stand with inside of left foot extended out on the bench and right foot on the floor beside it.  Be sure to bend your right leg.  Clasp hands in front of your chest and push your hips back.  First rise up trying to get your leg to hip height, pulse up and down twice, and return to starting position. Do 15 reps then switch.

2.) Push-Up Hydrant: In the plank position with hands shoulder width apart raise your right leg to hip height behind you.  Bend your elbows straight back (ignore my form in the picture) as you bring your right knee towards your right elbow.  Push back up to the starting position.  Do 10 reps and then switch sides.

3.) T-Stand Drive: Bending over the bench place your right hand on the bench and extend your right leg to hip height behind you.  Bend your left elbow and hold your left hand in front of your shoulder.  Rise up and lift your right knee to hip height in front of you while rotating your torso right, bring your palms to meet each other in front of your chest.  Return to starting position.  Complete 15 reps; then switch sides.

4.) Dip and Crunch: Place hands on bench (hip distance apart) fingers facing forward, with butt just in front of your hands (but not touching the bench).  Begin with toes pointed up and bend elbows as you lower your butt toward the ground.  Straighten your arms as you lift up and bring your right knee toward you.  Lower down to the starting position; repeat.  Complete 20 reps alternating legs each time.

5.) Wall-Sit Shift: To get into the starting position begin by standing agains a tree, wall or in our case a truck.  Lower your body down into a seated position (knees bent at a 90 degree angle).  Be sure to have both extended above your head.  Kick out with your right leg (do not come out of the seated position) and lower your left arm.  Do 12 reps, then switch sides.

6.) Single-Arm Push-Up: Stand about a foot away from the wall, car, or tree.  Lean forward and place your right hand on the wall (heels slightly lifted).  Bend right elbow, lowering yourself toward the tree.  Push back to starting position.  Complete 12 reps then switch sides.

7.) Split Squat: To obtain the starting position stand with your back to the tree and take a big step forward with your left foot.  Push bottom of right foot into the tree and bend elbows (left arm forward, right arm back).  Bend left knee while switching arm positions, return to starting position and repeat.  Do 15 reps; switch sides, then repeat.

8.) Plank Push: In the plank position extend your left arm at about shoulder height in front of you and press hand against the cooler.  Hold for 20 seconds (or longer, we held it for 60) then switch sides to complete set.

It was such a fun workout to adapt to the great outdoors.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Thanks

 

Coming up…I’m excited to share with you a French onion soup recipe that I made!

I’m off to my friend’s wedding (can you believe she’s getting married almost exactly 1 month before me!?) in Orcas Island for the weekend,  I’m sure I’ll have some great stories and pictures to share when I get back. have a great weekend everyone!

Be well!

Nike’s flyknit 2 style

I have been loving my Nike Flyknit shoes!  I’m not usually one to kick around in sneakers, but I love how these feel and look!

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Initially I bought these as my running shoes, but I honestly feel that if you want to do any sort of actual mileage running you need support.  I’m so glad that the whole minimalist shoe craze is dying down a bit.  Now I’m no expert, but I think it might have a little something to do with this:

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My anger towards how ugly the vibram shoe is and how the company is taking advantage of how society loves to jump on health band wagons has been greatly vindicated by there decline in sales (50% this year).  Annnnyways, back to my nike flyknits

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I love how clean they look, and how functional they are in my day to day life (lot’s of moving around when working with small children).  I would highly recommend them for day to day use, and casual walking.

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Oliver loves them as well 😉

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If you’re looking for a good pair of running shoes, I highly recommend the Brooke’s Ravenna.  They have been really supportive (great for my knee).  I got them at Super Jock and Jill (which is an amazing running store in Greenlake), and I can’t say enough about how awesome they are.

IMG_6612The ironic thing about this shoe is it’s the 5th edition and I actually think I purchased the 1st edition when they originally came out, but for some reason I got away from them (shoes change so much one edition to the next – it’s wild).

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and maybe got a run or two in.  Dave and I managed to get out for our long run today and it was glorious!

Be well.

 

PR and my week in workouts

“I’ve been a runner for 10 years now.” I stated.

“But have you always been a runner?” asked Dave.

“YES!” I replied incredulously.

Dave and I were having the aforementioned discussion last night referring to whether or not the frequency or intensity of your running matter when deciding if you are a ‘runner.’  I say no!  No matter how fast you’re going or how frequently you are running I believe you are a runner.  Just believing that I was a RUNNER motivated me to get out the door during times when I might have only run once every two weeks or even once a month.  It’s why quotes like this are motivating:  

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I believe it taps into a deeper part of human psyche, we like to be special, and we want something to set us apart from other people.  It’s funny because at the same time there is a developmentally appropriate part of many people that wants to be a member of something or a part of the collective, so we join groups (e.g., runners, musicians, etc.) or develop common interests.  It’s like there are two opposing forces at work within ourselves, yet we manage to strike balance daily….well most of us 😉

So what got that conversation started was a discussion about my PR last Wednesday.  I’ve been doing my tempo runs on Wednesday evenings and they have been glorious.  While I used to do them on the treadmill (it’s just so easy to keep track of pace), now that I have my little Garmin baby love child I can go anywhere and have suuuper accurate data on my splits.  This week was my best so far!  My plan of action: First mile 8-8:30 pace, after mile one I alternated between doing a quarter mile at an all out (6:30-7 mph) pace and 1 minute of jogging (nothing lower than 10mph) four times, lastly I did one more mile at 8-8:30 pace.  The end result:

IMG_0276This was pretty monumental for me.  It was a PR in the 5k department for me (26:16 if it’s hard to read), and the most exciting part is that all the work I’ve been doing is actually paying off, I’m getting faster!!!!  Also, it was the most amazing high for about 3 hours afterwards, so there’s that!

Here is my upcoming week in workouts:

Monday: 20 min. elliptical warm up, followed by 20 minute kettlebell

Tuesday: 4 mile easy run, split into two segments

Wednesday: 3-4 mile tempo run

Thursday: 3 mile run

Friday: REST (probably a nice long walk after dinner with Dave and the dogs)

Saturday: 9 mile run

Sunday: cross train (bike or maybe a HIIT workout)

Be well!

What workouts will you be doing?

Any recent PRs?

 

 

Highlights from Nonna’s

 

 

Burpee Challenge!!!

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Day 1 = I was the winner.  Day 2 = Daniel won.

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Did I mention LOGAN LOVES DOGS!!!!!!!!  Charlie and Oliver were in heaven, I’ve never met a 22 month old as gentle with dogs as he is, so adorable!

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Mom got a little crazy.  In true Italian fashion she was taking swigs of grappa and then offering it to everyone else.  With a thick Italian accent she would say, “you want a little bit of da juice?”

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Julia didn’t buy it, but we had a good laugh.  Especially when mom’s $17,000 ipad when flying into the water ;P

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Can I just say that this little guy is SUPER intelligent.  Dave had so much fun building a star wars walker out of legos with him.

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It’s always fun visiting nonna, especially when I get to see so many fun family members!

Be well.

#FLashBackFriday … to about 4 weeks ago … SoCal

-Emily got us these beauties from Las Vegas; however we didn’t technically ingest them until SoCal, so I counted them as part of the Cali portion.  Now I’m not going to lie, when it comes to the sweet pastries, I’m a donut person all the way (as you’ll see later in this post), but these cupcakes were AMAZing!!!

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-Soaking up as much sunshine as possible

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-This is the ACTUAL #FBF portion of this post.  I think we spent two or three nights watching old family movies.  Sorry for the crappy photo quality, but talk about guilty pleasures, watching old movies of yourself as a child!!! AMIRIGHT??

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Left: Myself. Right: My cousin Kate, myself, my uncle Neil, and my cousin Jenna

-Then it was my birthday, I went for a run in the morning and my watch surprised me, thanks polar ;P

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-I’m telling you, I. can’t. get. enough.

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-Birthday Beach Day!! Huntington to Laguna and a couple stops on the way.  Wish I would have snagged a picture at dinner which was with a couple of my favorite Californians, Gianny & Kimmy!!

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-It was time to head to Spokane for Blooms day and these guys:

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-I felt proud of my splits

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-So we celebrated with donuts on the way back to Seattle

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Pretty amazing spring break!  Still missing it in a massive way, but reminiscing felt pretty awesome 🙂

Be well.

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