Getting Fit After Giving Birth – one program at a time

Posts tagged ‘Sports’

5 ways to make your run harder

I have just finished up the third week of the C25K running program.  First of all, I highly recommend it to any beginning runner: if you are already fit through other methods (in my case, aerobics and some weight lifting), or if you are truly a couch potato (or sit and work at a computer all day), it definitely works!  Secondly, I have already discovered a few things that you can do to make your running even harder than it already is, so pay close attention, and try to avoid these things 😉

  1. Bad music.  It isn’t very motivating to be half-way through a jogging segment of your run when Enya starts up.  Due to some technology changes, I had to do a run without any music, and while that was 5X harder than with music, I do believe that bad music would make the run even harder than that.  Don’t do it.  If you need help finding some good music, check out pinterest (just search for “running music playlist”), or I bet google would have some good ones as well.
  2. Improper equipment.  Time and time again I have attempted to run with poor shoes.  Oh man, do my knees hate that!  I’m only 25 years old, and in pretty good health, but if I run with worn-out shoes on my feet, my body is going to be screaming at me in ways that continue to affect me for months after.
  3. Lack of proper nutrition.  Always, always, always, eat SOMETHING 15-30 minutes before you go on your run.  Definitely not a huge meal (you might puke it up), but I have noticed that even with Pixie Dust the dog, if she doesn’t eat a few bites before we go running, she is sluggish and unfocused.  Multiply that for a human.  Also: Always, always, always eat SOMETHING as soon as you can after your run.  Don’t think about it like eating all of the calories that you just lost, think of it as replenishing the nutrition that you expended.
  4. Don’t hydrate.  Or even worse, drink carbonated beverages and sugared sports drinks.  I strongly believe that God created water and there is nothing man-made that can trump that for doing good to our bodies.  I respect that others will disagree with me here (my darling husband being among them).  However you roll the dice, you have to keep yourself hydrated before AND after AND in-between your runs.  Lately, I’ve taken to drinking an entire gallon of water throughout the day, but I’ve also found that ingesting at least one bottle-full before my run is beneficial.  It keeps the side stitches away, and the shin splints at bay.
  5. Forget to stretch.  I don’t believe that stretching before your run is necessary or beneficial in any way (feel free to disagree with me, though, I’d love to hear your arguments for this one!).  However, stretching *after* your run is definitely recommended in my book.  1: It limits your soreness because it gently works out the lactic acid, YAY! 2: Your muscles are already warmed and limber from the run so they are able to stretch a little bit further and this is where you are going to be able to slowly reset their functions for over-all flexibility.  and 3: It adds a little extra in the cool-down section of your work-out without really adding in extra work.

And as a bonus, here are a few things that may make your running even better/easier, and who doesn’t want that out of an already difficult work-out?

  • Cute work-out gear.  It isn’t a necessity, but it certainly helps when you feel like you look great while you are out there sweating.  PLUS, having well-fitted clothing will keep you from getting chapped where the over-sized t-shirts and worn-out shorts just weren’t up to the par.
  • Keep hair and cords secured and out of the way.  I run outside, in the early morning, where/when my music isn’t going to be bothering anyone, so I don’t use any earbuds.  In the past, however, when I have used earbuds, they always fall out of my ears, the cord bounces around, and it becomes more obnoxious and a hassle than I really want to deal with while I am huffing and puffing.  Same concept applies to your hair.  Pull it up (there are a myriad of cute ways to do this, whether you have short hair, longer hair, fluffy bangs…just search on pinterest), pin it back, get it out of your face and off your neck!
  • Add in some variety.  If you normally run at the park, try running on pavement, or if you normally run on one particular treadmill, try a different treadmill.  Sometimes we get bored, so change things up every once in a while.  If you normally run in the morning, try running in the evening (light is different, traffic will be different, weather will be different), if you go in a loop, try changing your direction.

Running is hard.  Don’t ever let anyone (or your own brain) try to fool you into thinking differently.  You have to condition your brain, your heart, your lungs, your muscles, and your mentality to be able to accomplish it.  Ok, ok, one can easily argue that running itself is not hard, after all, my 2, 3, and 4 year old children run constantly!  I am always telling them to stop running, so it can’t be *that* hard.  But, in our older ages, we get lazy.  I don’t know when it clicks, but we forget how to play with nothing, and we lose our flexibility, and we lose our ability to run.  So, it becomes hard.  Hopefully, with these little tidbits, you can work to make your running less difficult, even easier, and maybe more enjoyable.  Keep at it, little people!  You are doing amazing things for the body that God has given for your soul!!!!

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6th week of YMCA excersize class in review

English: TAKEN DURING WIKIPEDIA TAKES MUMBAI 1...

English: TAKEN DURING WIKIPEDIA TAKES MUMBAI 1 PHOTOWALK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When a 24 hour stomach bug hits a family of 5 people, it can take several days for all of us to get over it.  Thankfully, my son didn’t get it, but me and my oldest daughter had it twice.  So this round, it took a week for us all to recover from the most debilitating stomach bug I have ever encountered.  Vomiting, Diarrhea, cramping…it was a bit rough.  So, there was a week long break from working out, and I must say that I sorely missed it!

 

Also a new instructor started this week.  She’s…different.  I like how she’s trying to incorporate her own moves and her own style, so that’s going to take some getting used to.  I don’t like her style: She doesn’t seem like she’s having fun.  She’s high energy, and knows what she’s doing, she’s got a good plan figured out before class starts.  A lot of it might be that she is brand new…not just a new instructor to the YMCA where I go, but she JUST got certified and this is her very first class to teach ever.  So, she’s nervous, and probably doesn’t even know her own style yet.  I’ll give her a few more weeks before making my final decision though ;-P

 

Monday’s HIIT was pretty easy.  I didn’t sweat through my clothes like I usually do, and there was probably just one set where I really got my heart rate up.  Like I said…new instructor…she’ll get there I’m sure.

 

Step on Tuesday I went in planning on only using 1 set of risers.  The new instructor only used 1 set of risers and I noticed that most of the class (whom would usually use 2 sets of risers with the old instructor) also used 1 set.  It was just interesting to note that when the instructor steps it up a notch, so do the students.

 

Slept in on Wednesday, so missed weight lifting 😛

 

Got some new work out gloves specifically for kick boxing Thursdays, and man did it make a difference!  I really felt it in my chest muscles just a few hours later.  I really enjoy slamming my fist into that bag.  Again, picturing a possible assailant and knowing that I could use these techniques to defend myself and protect my children is motivation to really slam that punching bag.

 

In-laws came into town Thursday night and I wasn’t able to make it to the YMCA on Friday morning, which meant I missed HIIT.  I don’t particularly enjoy HIIT, but I know that it is super good on my system, which means that my heart misses it…I miss the work-out that my heart and lungs would get from it.

 

Crazy busy weekend ahead of me, and it’s good to know that I can have the energy to keep up with everything that I need to.  Overall, I am enjoying these daily workouts.  The result that it is having on my body…which as I’ve said before, isn’t my own.  That’s the purpose of working out, to be a good steward of this body that God is loaning me.  Other perks are to live longer, feel better, have more energy, and if the good LORD desires, and easier future pregnancy 🙂

 

5th week of YMCA excersize class in review

English: YMCA logo (international and USA)

English: YMCA logo (international and USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Monday was a holiday, the YMCA was close for celebration purposes

 

I was a bit upset that I had to take a riser off of my step on Tuesday.  Dealing with some congestion that meant it was difficult to breath.

 

Weight lifting on Wednesday wasn’t anything special.  Tried to push myself, but found that my technique was lacking a bit which meant I didn’t work what I was suppose to be working, and didn’t feel it the next day.

 

I was punching the bags so hard at Thursday’s kick boxing that I got and busted a blister on my knuckle.  It was really fun.  I picture a possible assailant and knowing that I will be able to defend myself if I ever need to (and protect my babies), is a comforting thought and what keeps me motivated to punch and kick as hard as I can.

 

Friday‘s hiit focused a LOT on the saddlebag area of the legs and buttocks…again. It was significantly easier than it has been in the past, but I think that the instructor was also taking it pretty easy on me also.

 

I’m not losing any more weight, and I can’t tell that I’m losing any inches (at least around my waist), so I keep telling myself that it isn’t about those things anyways.  My husband says he can tell a difference.  I have more energy, and I feel happier most days…I can tell that my depression is becoming more manageable.  I think that alone is a perk worth continuing for!

 

4th week of YMCA excersize class in review

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...

Collage of varius Gray’s muscle pictures by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve made it through three weeks of this crazy new work-out routine, and overall, I really look forward to it. I can’t really say that I enjoy doing it, but I am loving these results. My muscles don’t get super sore anymore…at least not on the daily basis that it was before. They are still sore, but not cripplingly so. So, I guess that means that my muscles are learning how to process that lactic acid more (and I suppose my lungs and my heart becoming more efficient in their jobs).

 

Monday’s Hiit just isn’t too challenging. I enjoy it, I get my heart rate up, break a slight sweat, feel a bit of burning in the muscles, but afterwards it’s just over. I re-catch my breath and that’s is. I think that perhaps my heart and lungs are becoming better conditioned to handle this kind of work out at this particular level.

 

Tuesday was step. I was up half of the night Monday with a stomach ailment (I blame bad salad), but sucked it up and went to the aerobics class anyways. About half way through I had to make a bee-line to the bathroom to vomit. It wasn’t pleasurable that’s for sure. I blame the vomiting on the empty stomach and the way that I tend to gulp liquids even while exercising. Thankfully, I was vomiting just water and not any gross bile or food particles. The work-out itself was a bit more challenging than it has been in the past, but I am trying to keep in mind that I wasn’t at the top of my game.

 

Really tried to push myself on Wednesday’s weight lifting, and man can I definitely feel it! I cranked it up 2, and sometimes even 4 pounds heavier then I wanted to say was the heaviest I could do. So, that was 12, 15, and even 20 pounds depending on what we were doing with them. My biceps and triceps continue to scream at me, but I know it was good!

 

Singer sewing machine - 31K32 (detail 1)

Singer sewing machine – 31K32 (detail 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Slept in on Thursday which meant missing kick boxing 😛

 

Friday‘s hiit focused a LOT on the saddlebag area of the legs and buttocks. I tried to push myself and managed to keep up to pace with the instructor, so that’s some pretty significant progress.  I think we ended up doing at least three sets of curtsy lunges…whew!

 

Another good week down!  My clothing is starting to fit a little bit better.  Some of my clothing is actually getting too big 😦  Guess it will soon be time for some low-cost wardrobe updates, I’m thinking perhaps a trip to Goodwill and some good use of my sewing machine will be in order!

 

 

 

3rd week of YMCA excersize class in review

Greek commemorative coin featuring modern and ...

Greek commemorative coin featuring modern and ancient weightlifting (latter picture taken from Grecian vase). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve made it through three weeks of this crazy new work-out routine, and overall, I really look forward to it.  I can’t really say that I enjoy doing it, but I am loving these results.  My muscles don’t get super sore anymore…at least not on the daily basis that it was before.  They are still sore, but not cripplingly so.  So, I guess that means that my muscles are learning how to process that lactic acid more (and I suppose my lungs and my heart becoming more efficient in their jobs).

 

Monday’s Hiit wasn’t really all that difficult at all.  Yeah I got my heart rate up, and I tried to challenge myself, but it didn’t really kill me like it had in the past.  I was getting pretty excited with the idea that maybe I was really seeing results.

 

Tuesday’s step made me sweat and really challenged me in the anerobic respiration, but didn’t really challenge my muscles a whole lot.  Which is exactly what I want.  I want to be healthy and that starts with my lungs and my heart.  Although gaining more muscle, losing fat, and getting more toned, is definitely a plus.  I know it’s still happening even if I don’t feel it to the extent that I was originally feeling it.

 

Wednesday was weight lifting.  Again, I’m not use to the high weight low repetition idea, but I am definitely seeing some results from this!  I am forming muscles and loosing inches in places that I didn’t expect to, and I can tell.  On a more exciting note, my husband can tell!!!

 

Thursday’s kick boxing totally kicked my butt!  I haven’t decided yet if I enjoy using the punching bags or not.  It encourages me to reach a little higher with my kicks, and throw my punches a little stronger, but without gloves I am also left with bruises.  Plus the higher and stronger is a lot more challenging.  The challenge is good, I know, but it’s definitely harder to keep on pace and keep proper form.

 

Friday‘s hiit was cut short by an interruption from my 17 month old daughter.  She’s had a really hard time adjusting to this new schedule, and with her horrible teething experience…well…she cried all of the 60 minutes that she was in there.  I had to leave my class 10 minutes early to get her and my other two children.  The workout was definitely difficult.  I found myself gasping for breath on several occasions and felt that familiar muscle burn form a repeated action.

 

All-in-all I’d say that it was a good week, productive, and I am forming the habit of sweating every morning.

 

 

 

Beating Down The Judgments

Couch to 5KI am not a thin person.  I mean, seriously, I’ve had three children!  I’ve got a belly pooch that makes me look AT LEAST 6 months pregnant.  Yes, I am *very* self conscious about it.

I run in a very public place – the local park.  There is nothing private about my running.  Anyone can watch me run, they can decide whatever they want to about me.  I am very slow, so naturally there are other runners (and even walkers, I know, how embarrassing) who pass me up.

There is a 123.7% probability that my own insecurities are playing against me, but when I am running, I feel EVERY SINGLE pair of eyes staring at me.  I can sense their probing brains thinking: “What is that fat girl doing running?”  With every person that passes me up I shrink a little bit smaller.  So, just how do I overcome these emotions?  Let me suggest 5 different ways that I have overcome them.

  1. I Love Running.  That’s it.  I’m not running to lose weight, I’m not doing it to get in shape, I’m not doing it for anyone else.  I run because I enjoy it.  If someone else wants to pass judgment on self-enjoyment, then I can totally call out their wine/beer drinking, or their magazine collection, or whatever else that they may do as a means of pleasure.  At least this form of “escape” has some beneficial value aside from mentality.
  2. C25KI’ve just started.  A quote that I read on the lovely world of pinterest: It takes four weeks for you to notice, eight weeks for close friends and family to notice, and another 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice, keep going.  It takes TIME to lose the weight.  Especially after you’ve had a child, like they tell you, it took you nine+ months to gain the weight, it’ll take you at least that long to lose it.  Be patient, you’ll get there.
  3. I’ve had three children.  I know that not everyone can use this as an excuse for their weight.  How about “I went to College (freshmen fifteen, right?)”, or “I’m only 16”, or even “I just realized that I need to do some sort of physical exersize and this is what I’ve chosen”.  Find a legitimate excuse.  Don’t use this excuse as a reason to not get out there and run, just use it to quell those judgmental stairs that you feel as you travel past anyone else on the playground.
  4. How are you going to judge me, when you’re just as heavy/out of shape?  Yes, I’m pulling out the comparison card (which really is a big No No, because you don’t know the other person’s situation).  If just to keep your own mind at ease, go ahead and pull it out, but please, keep this one to yourself.  Just as you don’t like feeling that accusatory stare, so others wont appreciate it from you.
  5. JudgmentHow many people in the world are sitting on their big fat butts, NOT exercising?  Another quote from the lovely world of pinterest:  Doesn’t matter how slow you are going, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.  Again, I’m pulling out the comparison card, but if a person has enough precious time to sit on the couch and watch television then they can certainly find the time to do SOME physical exercise.  Because like I said above, a little is better than none!

So there you have it.  At least the ones that I use to keep me going.  Also, having a good soundtrack should keep you a bit distracted from those non-existent staring eyes, but distractions are going to be covered in a later post (go ahead and subscribe so you wont miss it!).

((If you’d like an invite to pinterest, simply let me know and I’ll send one right over to you, it really is an awesome social site!))

This Eventide’s Data:

Total Time (From walking on to walking off the track): 23:39.6

  • Warm-up: 3:11.8
  • Run: 1:07.3
  • Walk: 1:37.2 (I got a bit distracted)
  • Run: 1:05.7
  • Walk: 1:30.4
  • Run: 1:00.7
  • Walk: 1:31.2
  • Run: 1:04.6
  • Walk: 1:40.8 (got distracted again…haha!)
  • Run: 1:05.2
  • Walk: 1:42.2 (I’ll admit, I didn’t want to run anymore at this point)
  • Run: 1:10.9 (but I pressed on, and really tried to push myself!)
  • Walk: 4:51.1 to get all the way around the track

Total Distance: 1.5 Miles

Calories Burned: 207

Pace: 15:46

Sound Track

  • Earth Wind and Fire – Let’s Groove Tonight
  • Yellowcard- Way Away
  • Matchbox Twenty – 3 a.m.
  • Weird Al – Star Wars Cantina
  • Earth Wind and Fire – Let’s Groove Tonight
  • Blues Brothers – Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • Tarzan – Trashing the Camp

Self diagnosed with Shin Splints?

C25KDidn’t do so great tonight.  It was a lot rougher.  Didn’t go as far or as long either.

Maybe it was the meat loaf for dinner.  That’s a heavy meal that sticks with you for a while.

Perhaps it was the dehydration.  I’m awful at drinking enough water.

It could’ve been the rougher terrain.  Hail storm a couple nights ago knocked around LOTS of debris.

Apart from the stitch I got in my side (this is a side affect that I have noticed before, when I try to do physical activity without being properly hydrated), by the fourth running segment, I starting feeling a pain in my shins.  I tried to shrug it off, no big deal, pains come and go all the time.  But, as you can see from my times listed below, during the fifth shift of running, it was too bad to ignore.  A pain unlike any I had felt before.  It wasn’t muscle pain, or fatigue, but rather a dull ache right down in my bones.  This pain was present in both legs.  It was so bad that I had trouble driving home.

Talking to my husband about it after I did manage to get home, he diagnosed me with shin splints.  Having no idea what a shin splint was, what caused it, how to keep it from happening again, I did a bit of googeling.  I came across these two awesome websites (WebMd and Medical News Today) which answered any questions about shin splints that I could have, and confirmed in my little head that my husband had diagnosed me right.

Running with Shin SplintsTo save you the tedious job of reading through these websites, let’s just say that shin splints are an inflamation of the shin bone (the Tibia) and my shin splints are probably caused by my flat feet running on the hard concrete.

I haven’t always had flat feet; but being pregnant tends to make your feet go all out of shape.  See, what happens is, when you are pregnant, you have this hormone that causes your ligaments to relax (you’ve gotta be able to get a 6+ lb child through your pelvic girdle, the ligaments stretch).  However, this hormone isn’t focused to your pelvic region, it effects EVERY ligament in your body, including the ones that hold your feet together.  My feet grew a half size to a whole size with each pregnancy and they don’t shrink back afterwards.

What am I going to do to combat these shin splints?  Get inserts for my shoes, for the arch support.  That’s it for now.  If that doesn’t do the trick I might have to try something else, or even more drastic, go to the doctor.  But for now, this is going to have to be enough for me.

Do you have some sort of physical condition that might keep you from physical activity?  How do you combat it and fight through it?

 

Tonight’s Numbers:

Total Time (From walking on to walking off the track): 26:06.9

  • Warm-up: 5:01.2
  • Run: 1:01.6
  • Walk: 1:30.8
  • Run: 1:02.1
  • Walk: 1:30.5
  • Run: 1:02.1
  • Walk: 1:31.6
  • Run: 1:01.0
  • Walk: 1:32.2
  • Run: 0:51.4
  • Walk: 10:01.2 to complete around the track

Total Distance: 1.0 Miles

Calories Burned: 228

Pace: 26:06

Sound Track

  • Reliant K – Must’ve Done Something Right
  • Stepenwolf – Born to Be Wild
  • Relient K – Mood Rings
  • Smashmouth – All Star
  • Reliant K – Must Have Done Something Right (again, played twice?)
  • Journey – Any Way You Want It
  • Switchfoot – This is Your Life
  • Yellow Card – Life of a Salesman

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