So, it's pretty easy to guess what part of the body most women are concerned about re-shaping post-partum. If you guessed "abs," you are correct! There is no prize.
Typically, I don't do a lot of strength work because:
A. I'm lazy. And,
B. I'd rather watch TV.
But, I figured yesterday that I could do a lazy version of yoga with a 10 minute yoga program that I stream through Netflix -- thus satisfying the ab work, albeit lazily and with the TV. I did the 10 minute warm-up (sun salutations, mostly) and then did the 10 minute ab workout. It was hard. I did my best to keep up, but I mostly just flailed about and hoped for the best.
Afterward, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich. Because 10 minutes of an ab workout = a cheesy reward!
I thought I'd be sore today, but I wasn't -- guess I didn't do enough flailing -- but when I started my run, I did feel a distinct bit of tightness in my gluteous maximus. That's right: I had a bit of ass-soreness from my ab workout! Which just confirms my fear that with age + kids, everything heads south.
Eh, it didn't slow me down for my run: Still got 3 miles done in 28:59 on the treadmill.
I keep thinking that life is going to settle down at some point, and that fitting the running in is gonna get easier, but that's probably delusional. I know that somewhere out there, some parent has half a dozen kids, a spouse who's deployed in Afghanistan or something, and they're working a crazy 80-hour a week job and they are still getting their miles in -- but me? I'm barely eeking out 12-15 miles a week.
Today, I had to fit it in at a weird time for me: Noon.
Normally, I don't run in the middle of the day, but that's when it worked best today.
Early morning didn't work for me because A.) I was woken up early this morning at 4, 5:30, 6, and then for good at 6:45, and then B.) We had an early morning PT appointment for Caleb's tilty neck.
Typically, I would postpone the run until after my class, but today, I have to rush home to meet the A/C people because our A/C is on the fritz.
So, a quick nooner it was! I only had 25 minutes before my office hours, so I had to do my best with the time available, but I got 2 miles done in 19:52 and then ran the remaining 5 minutes at a slower "cool down" pace. I think the total mileage was something like 2.4 miles.
Part of me knew that I could have squeezed a full 3 miles in (really, no student is going to be hanging out outside my office door AT 12:30 wondering where I am), but I try to be as diligent as possible in being present in my office as I have posted. So, it was a short Monday run. But it was something. And one of these days -- maybe when the kids are in college (?!) -- I won't be using that ("it was something") phrasing anymore.
Today, I again hit the treadmill and I did my 3 miler today in 28:58! I am on FI-yah!
If nothing else, these days spent on the treadmill sure do help my running-self-esteem.
So, some random treadmill/gym tidbits:
The gym has a "no cell phone use" policy. And, the other day, I actually saw an employee enforce it. I'm kinda curious: Why no phones? Don't get me wrong, it actually pleases me (as an instructor who is frequently looking at a class full of students texting while I'm talking, I am ALL for restricting the use of cells in certain environments), but I really wonder what the reason is. Any guesses? I suppose I could ask.
Most of the gym-users are the college's students, and when I'm in there, I feel as though I'm transported back in time to my college years and using that college gym: There are a lot of people there who seem to simply be there to look pretty and socialize. Needless to say, I see a LOT of flirting. Which, hey, is probably better than picking up someone at a bar, right? (For the record, I totally met Jerry at a bar!)
Each time I use the treadmill at the gym, I find myself "racing" the treadmill users next to me. It makes me feel good to know that I'm clipping along at a faster pace and for a farther distance than people who are (most often) 10-15 years my junior. Like I said above, this is GREAT for my self-esteem!
Today, I got a prime treadmill spot -- near a fan! So, I had the advantage of not only running in the A/C, but I got a fan too! It was glorious. I wonder what the gym sets their A/C at. Again, I'm just curious about the temp advantage of running inside vs. outside this time of year in FL. Outside, this afternoon, it was 96 F; I'm guessing the gym HAS to be at least 76 degrees. Maybe even cooler. Again, maybe I should ask!
This afternoon, I again made a date with the treadmill at the campus gym, and again, I set myself a new post-Caleb PR. 3 miles in 29:15! At that pace, right now, I may as well be the Millennium Falcon set on Light Speed!
Still, I feel duplicitous about the treadmill:
On the one hand: Unbelievable boredom. It's so tough, mentally, to run but not go anywhere. Add to that the fact that I have nothing to look at but the monitor, and I find that 3 miles seems to go awfully slow when I'm watching those miles clip by .1 at a time.
On the other hand, physically, I find it so much easier to run on a treadmill. I spend most of the time fiddling with the speed, and the beauty (or agony, depending on how you look at it) of the treadmill is that you HAVE to go that speed. It's a run-or-fly-off-the-machine situation. So, it just makes me RUN. Plus, it helps that it's about 20 degrees cooler in the gym than it is outside, and that counts for a lot.
Tentatively, I'm planning to utilize the treadmill about twice a week, so perhaps I will just count those runs as "speed work" (I put that in quotes because true speed work seems planned -- using lots of numbers and an abacus, I assume; my version of speed work is just treadmill-style fartleks) since I'm no where close to those same digits in the outside world!
Trust me, she wouldn't give them up willingly. She told me yesterday, "Mine!"
As for MY running, I got a Saturday 3 miler in yesterday morning, and it got me thinking about future running/racing plans.
Back when I was preggo with Caleb, and dreaming of returning to racing, I thought I might be able to train for an HM by late fall. Specifically, I thought I could probably be ready by the time Ft. Lauderdale's 13.1 rolled around in early November (Caleb would be about 5 and 1/2 months then and I ran the Miami HM when Norah was that age). I had been keeping this tentatively in mind, but then I actually looked at a calendar, and...um, nope. That's not gonna happen. I haven't run anything longer than 3 miles. I can't put in the necessary training in the next 8 weeks in order to pull off an HM. And, I just have to accept that this time around, it's been a tougher road in the return to running.
Instead, I'm thinking of running a 10K that same weekend (The Key Biscayne Lighthouse Run on Nov 12). 8 weeks should be enough for me to build up to a 10k, right?
My SIL, Care-Bear, is visiting us for a few days this week. Her trip is uber-short (don't you hate it when people use "uber"? it's so pretentious, isn't it? I uber-hate it!). She arrived yesterday and leaves tomorrow, but we're always pleased that she can fit a visit with us into her jet-set lifestyle -- earlier in the week she met Will Ferrell (and had the restraint to not ask him for "more cowbell"); so by my logic, that makes us comparable to movie stars.
Even though her trip is short, I still took advantage of her eager-beaver attitude about being with the kids, and I escaped for a run this morning. I took Caleb with me so that she was only harnessed with Norah (who L-O-V-E-S her auntie; she follows her around the whole time Care-Bear visits), and we had a nice 3 miler. He fell asleep; I plodded along. It was glorious.
Plus, when I got home she wanted both kids, and I got to shower in peace! I tell ya, she's worth her weight in gold!
Today, I decided to take a rest day. I had run the past 3 days in a row, and for me, lately, that's a significant little streak, and I needed/wanted the rest day. So, without any running to regale you of, I figure I'd share a little glimpse into my life with Norah -- ie, I shall label this anecdote "Naked Narrative."
At 2 years old, Norah is a combination of hysterical cuteness and maddening frustration. This is an example of such a combo:
She likes to be naked, apparently.
She's gotten pretty good at stripping herself and then streaking through the house in the nude. This morning, for instance, I went in the kitchen long enough to rinse out my coffee cup and in that 1 minute or so, I came back into the living room to discover her completely undressed.
Now, on the one hand, I think that a giggling, naked 2 year old is probably one of THE reasons I wanted to have children in the first place. It's just dang amusing. I mean, c'mon, who doesn't find a 2 year old's chubby little butt cheeks adorable and humorous?!
On the other hand, it's funny until you're trying to get her dressed again. I actually would just let her chill out in the buff if she were fully potty trained -- what does a naked kid in the house matter? -- but because she's not fully potty trained, a naked little girl means that, inevitably, pee puddles are gonna be right around the corner for me to (literally) step and slip in. So, once she's naked, it's maybe a few minutes of enchantment and being caught up in her free-spirited charm, and then comes the ugly task of chasing her down and wrestling her into a diaper and clothes.
The best comparison I can give is that it's like trying to stuff a squirming, wet octopus into shorts and a t-shirt: It feels like she has twice as many limbs, and no matter how dry she is, she's a slippery little beast!
It doesn't help that the Laws of Parenthood dictate that such dressing will be accompanied by her LOUD protests, Caleb will chose that moment to start crying, and a FedEx truck will drive by so Scooter will start howling. Such a symphony of noise always makes me immediately lose my sh*t; I typically think of myself as being pretty patient, but when 2 kids are crying simultaneously and the dog is baying, I feel like my brains are gonna explode with frustration.
Then, finally, she's re-clothed and re-diapered; Caleb is soothed, and Scooter is reprimanded, and I'm sweaty and a little psychotic.
Then...a few minutes later, I find the whole exhausting business humorous again!
This morning, I again got to enjoy an early -- but not too early -- 3 miler.
Jerry was home this morning because we had a dr. appointment with Caleb, so I went out for my run at about 6:45, and it really does feel like perfect timing: Temps are manageable (aside from the incredible humidity), sun is rising but not risen and it's nice to not have the sun on me without having to run in the dark; plus, it still gets done early. It'd be great if Jerry didn't leave for work until 8 am because I could do this everyday, but alas, he leaves at 7.
And Scooter would make a poor babysitter.
Anyhoo, in other news, Caleb had his 3 month check up this morning. He grew an inch, 25 inches now (75th percentile), and gained a little more than a pound, 14 lbs, 6 oz (60th percentile). He's growing and developing just fine, but there's still concern over that dang flat spot. He had his skull x-rays on Saturday, and goes back to the specialist in a few weeks, and he's going to be starting PT soon. Aside from those measures, we just have to continue to minimize his time on his back.
I know we're doing all that we can to help his head even out, but I can't help but feel some anxiety over his head shape. And every time I have to put him in his bouncy chair, or lay him down on the floor or in his crib (we can't hold him ALL the time!), I feel guilty -- like I'm just flattening his head out further. It sucks too because he loves those places. When I put him in his bouncy chair, he's like, "Heck yeah! I love bouncing this thing and grabbing these swinging animals that are in my face!" In contrast, when we put him on his tummy or in his Bumbo chair, he's more like, "F you, Mom. F you!"
Oh well, I'm still crossing my fingers that it will even out as he grows, and in time, I can look back and think, "Eh, what was I worried about?"
The weekends are always busy, but because Jerry doesn't have to head out the door early for work, I'm able to fit runs into the morning a bit better. On Saturday, I got up at 6, fed Caleb and he went back to sleep. Norah got up shortly afterward, but she likes to start her days by watching Sesame Street and having some juice. So, she snuggled on the couch with Jerry, and I headed out for a 3 miler. It was cute; before I left, she told me: "No running, Mama. Sit down." She's kinda bossy lately.
Then, this morning, I did the same, except Caleb didn't want to go back to sleep. He wanted to stay up. So, I got him dressed and put him in the BOB, and he accompanied me for my 3 miler. He stayed awake at first, but when I peeked in at him at 1 mile, he was out. Here he is before we left:
Both runs were humid as hell, and when I got back, Norah declared: "All wet!" And then she asked, "Raining?" Nope, not rain my dear, Sweat! This picture doesn't do the river of sweat justice; it was literally just rolling off me! Yummy.
Now, it's time to chillax this afternoon with my one beer and watch some football!
The Vikings don't actually play until 4, and even then, I'm not sure if the game will air here, but still, I gotta wear my Vikings stuff!
And, no, I'm not pregnant again. I just don't fit into all my work pants. It's a sad place to be.
I'm within spitting distance of my pre-preggo weight, but I'm about 26.2 miles away from pre-preggo SHAPE. So, some of my "regular" clothes fit...alright...but I honestly shed them as soon as I get home in favor of comfy sweats. And while some pants and skirts technically button, etc, they do NOT flatter -- let's just say that Pudgy Belly is never "in."
So, this morning, I found myself in my closet trying to find a work outfit that I hadn't already cycled through a few times in the short weeks I've been back at work, and I was coming up with nada that was comfortable. Thus, I reached for these maternity pants.
They are indeed full panel maternity pants.
But I folded down the panel, selected a long tee and called it "good enough." And, honestly, I feel it's a small victory that I decided against a maternity shirt to pair it with -- it was on me and I was trying to convince myself that it didn't "look" like a maternity shirt, but I knew that if I had to talk myself into believing that it didn't look like a maternity shirt, then, well, it was probably VERY obviously a maternity shirt.
I know that pregnancy weight takes time to lose and that regaining that pre-preggo body (especially that pre-preggo mid-section) takes time, and I remember that it didn't fully happen for me after Norah until she was about 9 months old. Caleb is only 3 months old. Still, I looked at his cute little mug this morning and thought, "Dude, you've reduced me to this!"
I often go to bed with these grand ambitions about getting up early and knocking it out at 5 am, but then that dark hour rolls around, and I decide: "Nah. I'm gonna sleep!"
Granted, Caleb is sleeping through the night now, so I'm getting more rest now than I did for 3 months, but I'm still tired (my ideal vacation right now would mean taking a weekend away and just sleeping that entire time: beaches? resorts? fancy restaurants? no thanks, I just want to sleep all day and all night). So when it comes to choosing whether I sleep or run, I usually choose sleep.
And who am I kidding? I've never been a morning person, and morning running has always been a struggle for me -- even pre-kids -- so I can't blame them (entirely) for my inability to get out of bed in the morning. It's just that now, with kids, that ungodly, inhuman hour is often my only choice. So, how to make it not my only choice?
I never thought I'd say it: But...I do wish we had a treadmill. I've diligently avoided treadmills for years, but now I am seeing how they may be a necessary evil -- it may be boring, but at least it provides a method for getting it done (especially when it's either too dark or too hot out). The problem for us is where to put a giant piece of machinery like that? We live in a 2 bedroom condo. And with 2 kids, a dog, and a bazillion toys, where does one find the space? I don't know, but I think a side-project may involve somehow finding that space.
That, or I actually have to get out of bed at 5 am. Ugh. Gotta find some space...We don't really need a dining room table, right?
On Friday, Caleb had his first appointment with the baby-head-specialist. Official diagnosis? Yup, that's a flat spot.
He has to have an x-ray to confirm that bones aren't fusing together incorrectly (they don't believe they are, but they want the confirmation), and he was prescribed some PT to work on correcting the torticollis (tilty neck business he's got going on), but other than that, the doctor's gist was essentially: He's young, and as he develops and spends more time off his back, this will probably even out. Still, they want to monitor it, so we go back in 6 weeks. In the meantime, the dr. said we should try to minimize the time he spends on his back; so, we've been trying to make sure he's in a variety of other positions. Like sitting in the Bumbo chair:
Holding the truck makes sitting in the purple chair, on a pink blanket more masculine, okay? And speaking of diminished masculinity...Norah's autie sent her a gift of assorted nail polishes and lip glosses, and barrettes and other girl accoutrement. She Loves -- yes, capital "L" -- them. But, a girl can only apply so much lip gloss to herself, so her dolls all got lip gloss, and Scooter got some lip gloss, and, you guessed it, Caleb got some lip gloss:
He was a sitting duck in that purple chair!
However, the recipient in the household for "Most Unlikely Subject of a Girlie Makeover" goes to...Rex!
Every dino needs some hair ties and bracelets on his tail, right?
So, what else has been new this weekend? Well, Caleb made his maiden voyage in the BOB for his first run! With Norah, I waited until the conservatively advised 6 month mark before putting her in the BOB and taking her running, but after reading/hearing of others who'd put their babies in the BOB as early as 8 weeks, I figured I'd go ahead and give Caleb's brains a jiggle and take him for a test run. It went great! He clearly is big enough/strong enough to sit in there just fine, and he fell asleep about 8.2 seconds into the run and slept for the entire 3 miles.
It was a nice change of pace, since the last few times I tried to take Norah all I heard was "No like it!" "Go home!" "Norah walk!" He gave me no grief and was a million pounds lighter. I think we will be doing this again on future weekend runs.
Lastly, we decided to spend Labor Day at a kickass park that has a water park, etc. We haven't been there since the beginning of summer, so today we packed a picnic and spent about 3 hours there. Norah was so spent from the fresh air and activity that she took an epic nap this afternoon: 2 and 1/2 hours! The time outside wore us all out, and for a bit, we all got the chance to nap this afternoon. I happened to snap this pic of Jerry and Scooter snuggling:
Or, really, I should say this pic of Jerry snuggling an unwilling Scooter. But, that's how Jerry snuggles...it's a fine line between snuggling and holding someone down.