Dairy Free Dinners

I’m on week two of a dairy free diet, and so far it’s been slightly challenging to find meals that leave me feeling full and satisfied.

Thanksgiving leftovers, the only dairy I’ve had in 2.5 weeks

I keep feeling like I’m missing something. Not sure if it’s the richness/ taste of dairy or the fullness from saturated fats. I’m not a huge red meat eater so I think I’m missing that…animal fat, I guess.

Foods I’m using to try and satisfy this feeling:

Avocado, on everything

Almond milk (in cereal and oatmeal)

More nuts

More eggs and meat

Peanut butter

Mayo

Tonight I had regular old pasta with tomato sauce, and I didn’t miss the Parmesan cheese too much. I wanted pizza, so this had to do.
Other weeknight meals this week: chicken sausage and peppers and ground turkey and avocado tortillas.

I’m obsessed with Frontera Foods flavoring packets from Rick Bayless. Did you know he’s a fitness junkie?
And hot?

Anyway, with avocado and warm corn tortillas, I didn’t miss the cheese.

I chopped up half an onion, two potatoes, and cooked them with ground turkey then added the simmer sauce. So easy it works with a twenty-minute napping baby.

I’ve also been trying some really expensive dairy free products like this chocolate chip cookie dough. I was just craving yummy baked goods.

They definitely didn’t have the consistency or look of standard cookies, but they tasted good!

Since I’ve cut dairy, Henry seems much less fussy and gassy, but his diapers are still really full of mucus. I know, it’s gross. I’m not sure if I should cut soy next, or if it will just take more time.

Questions for Smart Runners

I posted before about following a real running plan for the first time in pretty much ever. I’ve been glad to find out that I can run almost every day and easily do 25 miles per week (was running three or four times per week and usually around 15 miles per week before this) without injury. BUT I have been really slow.

At least I can do a few of these?

I’m hoping it’s a temporary thing, from increasing miles, and eventually my body will make the gains and I will be faster. This makes sense to me theoretically so I hope it’s happening. I run with the jogging stroller Monday through Friday so I can’t really tell if I’m hitting my tempo paces. On the weekend I run without it for a long run, where I have struggled to hit the last couple of miles at goal pace as my plan calls for.

At least until they sit on my head.

Then the Great Bronchitis of 2013 hit and I had to take off a lot of days. I took off five days, thinking that HAD to make me better, than ran five more than took off three again. Today I started Week Four of my plan for the third week in a row. I don’t want to skip the week since I think I need to repeat it and actually get the key workouts in (tempo and long run.)

Maybe some smarter running brains than mine know the answer – Is it okay to just run with the jogging stroller at a pace that feels the same exertion-wise as my tempo run pace even if it’s almost two minutes per mile slower or is it key for me to hit the tempo pace? If so, I can finagle running without the stroller during the week one day for a tempo run, even if means running at 7 p.m. in the dark (boo.)

Also, is it normal to expect to get slower before I get faster? Or do I just suck?

Don’t answer that last one.

Woman With A Plan

A training plan, that is. This is really the first detailed running plan I’ve ever followed. Last winter I roughly followed a plan for my first half marathon, but it just gave me miles per week/runs per week and not specific workouts with targeted paces. Well, that’s not technically true, I followed a coached plan for a sprint triathlon last year, but it wasn’t running specific.

So I’ve historically never run more than like 15 miles per week consistently. I don’t think I’ve ever run more than 20 miles IN a single week. I just always do three or four runs, one fast and short, one long and slow and maybe speed work if I’m specifically training for a race or something else. I’ve wondered if I could really improve my times with a lot more miles per week. It seems to be what everyone and their motherrunner says: more miles, faster. My body just always rebels against me when I tried to add miles, though, with nagging sorenesses and quirks that I worry might turn into actual injuries.

Maybe I just need to slowly add more miles, get over an initial hump (dead legs, bad runs, a right butt cheek that needs an elbow in it every second of the day, ouch) and then see the benefits?

Or maybe I have a decrepit body that responds better to less miles, just more quality workouts? I keep reading that if you try to get faster by just running HARDER you can make short term gains but then hit a a wall, but if you run MORE you can reach your potential over the long term. I’ve already tried the former (and got faster on it) so I might as well try the latter. I can always find my personal happy medium. It’s like experimenting on yourself.

So I signed up for the 10K challenge that Michele at NYCRunningMama put together. I chose the PR Crusher because I want to crush my PR. I’m a little worried about getting there in such a short time (I want to do the Run for the Warriors in Lindenhurst on November 10th, even though the PR plan goes through November 30). Also, I’m not even BACK to the peak fitness I was at when I got my last PR (my 50:02 on the trails). So how can I expect to BEAT that PR? But that’s what I want to do, so I’m going to try. If not now, I know it will happen soon.

So this week my legs feel like crap and I couldn’t even hit my tempo pace on my tempo run, which I was faster than just like week, and I’m blaming Crossfire, the Crossfit knockoff at the gym I did for the first time on Saturday.

I wouldn’t recommend the following workout. Because apparently it makes you look like a man when you’re done.

Because: 150 kettle squats + 120 jump squats + 90 sumo squats with kettle bells + 60 one leg piston squats + 30 handstand pushups + 400 meter run x 3. No rest. Just leg death. (And I used a 25 lb kettlebell.) Yeah, I hurt my quads. Or at least got so sore it was bordering on injury. Like I was swollen for two days. So every run after that kind of hurt, even though I gave myself an extra full rest day on Sunday.

So I’m hoping that’s what it was, and I can hit my paces and tempos next week. I feel so fancy writing that sentence. I DID hit my speed work paces, mostly, this morning. Although I shouldn’t start off with 5:13 pace. Guess that’s too fast. Who knew? Ha.

So here’s to planning. And running more. And less squatting.

Spartacus Matris

I don’t know how to conjugate Latin. If anyone does, please correct my stupidity above. Do I keep it Spartacus Mater? Nominative? Genitive? Mommy brain? I used to know this stuff.

Anyway, perhaps a linguistics exam will be part of my Spartan Sprint this Saturday in Blue Mountain, PA. I wish there were academic portions of most road races and mud warrior events. I would win things! Someone please invent a Mud-Jeopardy-SAT Question-5K.

So a funny thing happened on the way to the Spartan Forum: We accidentally signed up for the hardest of all the Spartan Sprints, the one dubbed “Mini Beast,” and a race that although advertised as a 5K is actually a five-miler. Did someone over at Sparta HQ mix up their measurement systems? Do they not know about the wacky metric systems those Frenchies are using in Commie Land?

Doing this was meant to be a fun family fluke. I convinced my sister, husband and my sister’s boyfriend to sign up. If we expire in mud, they will most likely blame me in their final throes. They are 25 years old and are P90X enthusiasts and although they only started running to train for this race last week (good job, guys) they are young and spritely and innately athletic so I’m sure they will do fine. Me and my husband on the other hand are of advanced age, which has been accelerated by the process of nine months of slow death by sleep deprivation torture (my hair is turning white as we speak. Oh wait, that’s the dry shampoo I don’t have time to brush out.)

Well, really, I’m mostly affected by the baby’s 1,500 night nursings. But my husband is 12 years older than me and only suffers from couch sleep. He is one year away from the Sexy 45-49 year old age bracket (seriously, that’s a sexy damn age group. Check ’em out at your next Firecracker run) and he is worried he’s too old and crotchety and fragile-of-lower-back-vertebrae to make it through all the obstacles. But with my sleep torture, I figure that ages me a decade so we are roughly on par. Also, there are no Instagram or Tweeting or Googling obstacles because then he would be doing burpees for the next year. The man is 44 going on 104 when it comes to the Social Medias.

We did track work in the heat once. We’re ready! RAHHHHHHH

I also had the brilliance to not change my training at all in preparation for this race since it’s just for fun! Oh so fun! and now I’m not really sure we are ready. It’s kind of like gym class redemption except I don’t know if I can climb a rope any better than I could in 1993 (hint: not well!). But in 1993 my only exercise was eating Pecan Sandies and drinking Schwepps Dry Grape Ginger Ale inside while reading Jane Eyre for the fifteenth time on 75 degree sunny days (hey, that book was not going to read itself for the fifteenth time). I’d like to insert a shout out to my mom for buying my favorite snacks in the dwindling twilight of our unhealthy grocery years. That was before we had whole wheat bread even.

Now I can do three chin ups and 75% of one overhand pull up! I’m good at brute suffering (carrying things, slogging up hills). I am not sure I am bad at aiming javelins but I suspect I am.

I’m going to run in a sports bra so all the 22 year old Spartans will swear off childbearing and the world’s population will stop increasing. I’m running for a cause. Please donate.

Luckily enough we will be traversing our ski slope gauntlet as a team, and my husband is six feet tall so I’m planning to be boosted over walls like a small child. Walls=check. I’m kidding, I’m sadly and misguidedly competitive, so of course I am going to try to do every obstacle by myself, and my goal is not do any burpees.

We have a three hour drive to where we are staying so that’s sure to encourage excessive daytime napping in the children, which means excessive wake-ups the night before, and along with my daughter hating to sleep anywhere besides her own bed (“I miss my dog!” she wails, as soon as we are going to sleep away from home despite not having noticed his existence for weeks before) I will be adding my own personal, highly advanced, add-on obstacle for my Spartan Sprint test of mettle and looking good in mud test:

Racing up a mountain in 90 degree humid heat after being woken up every twenty minute the night before and every couple of hours for the last two thirds of a year.

Beat that, Spartans.

Speaking of nine months, Henry has been taking his first steps. He started with one the day before he turned nine months old and now is doing three or four. He is nine months and four days old. I’m applying for his Junior Spartan race now.

Spartan Race Recap

This post is not sponsored, and I entered the race the plebian way (I paid) but I will be offering a free race entry to a Spartan Sprint later this week in an upcoming post. Check back and be cool and muddy like me.

If you don’t like to read (you should probably find another blog if that’s true then, maybe one with rainbow text and more chocolate Chobani) I offer you the upfront, immediate, Cliff’s Notes upshot of it all:

As expected, I am good at brute suffering, and bad at gym class.

The long version starts with the most challenging of all obstacles faced over our weekend: Traveling with my baby who hates the car.

That was 1,000 times more difficult than the race. Obviously. I guess I should start with an overall recap though.

The Stats

The race: Spartan Sprint, Blue Mountain, PA. Five mile obstacle race.

The team: Me, sister Jess, husband Walt, sister’s boyfriend Alex

The time: 2:23. So at some point it became clear we didn’t care about our time any longer. I tried to do the monkey bars three times for instance. Other times we watched people try to do things like the javelin before we tried, hoping to benefit from hive mind. My good Samaritan husband held the net climb for like ten people after us. Stuff like that. At one point, Walt and Jess spent five minutes trying to open a packet of electrolyte thingies. I yelled “What is this, brunch at Sarabeth’s on the Upper West Side?!” to the amusement of people who probably didn’t know what I was talking about, as we were in the middle of BumbleCowMountain, Pennsylvania. Maybe they were politely laughing at the crazy lady in the muddy sports bra who was breastfeeding her baby at the starting line earlier.

I figured I could make up for agility and coordination with jokes. A crowd favorite was my quip that the cement pull was like being married (well the one person in the vicinity who was over the age of thirty laughed). I thought Take My Wife Please jokes were apropos as were in the Poconos in some deranged summer camp for the slow. Moving. Slow moving people.

The burpees: Alex was the no burpee champ. He didn’t do a single burpee the whole race. Go 25-year-old good at sports guy! You rock. This was made for you. And also you’re a good athlete. I hate you. Except for the part with the hills (we will get to that).

I did the most burpees: monkey bars (this really disappointed me), the rope climb, the javelin, the transverse rock climb wall, and the stumps. Yes, that’s right, I couldn’t do five obstacles. Not impressive.

Jess missed the rope climb, the javelin and the transverse rock climb. Walt also missed the javelin, the stumps, and the transverse walls. So they did 30 x 30 burpees and I did 5 x 30 burpees. That’s 150. 150% suckage.

The training: We just did whatever we normally did. My husband was inspired to do some monkeying around at the playground a few times and was following some silly man Navy Seals YouTube workout with pushups, pullups, burpees and squats but since I’m giving him the award for the Best All Around Spartan Sprint Performance, it must have paid off. Alex and Jess ran once or twice. I just ran and did my normal stuff. I thought I was golden because I can do a pullup now again! Wooo! Shouldn’t I be strong enough to do any obstacle? (No.)

The hard: The hardest part of the race in terms of exertion was definitely the first half hour or so, as we ascended the double black bunny star death star diamond rattleback snake hill or ski slope thing.

You can see it kind of in the photo above. It’s where the ski lifts end. So first we hike up a steep hill and it’s a decent hill. No one can run. We were behind some guys who were kind of huffing it already and they thought they had jokes. They need to take it to the Catskills, buddy, because you ain’t got jokes. Also, they were blocking me. Because, you see, I was ONLY good at the hill part. I needed to keep booking it. My husband called up, slow down, pace yourself, since we didn’t know what we were in for. Now that we did the whole thing, we know we should have went WAY WAY WAY FASTER. Nothing after the top of the hill was aerobically very taxing. Yes, it taxed my embarrassment muscles, as I had to do burpees like a little nerd girl that I am, since I couldn’t even do the damn monkey bars, but no, I did not end the race feeling exerted like I sprinted a 5K or something. Walt did 50 pushups at the end to make it a workout. I see why people did it twice. Once you knew what it all was, you knew where to go fast and how to pace it.

We theoretically could have ran down the hill for the second half but I was slipping and sliding just trotting. My Saucony Mirages were kind of slippery. Maybe trail sneakers would help me run? I also tittered like a lady when I started slipping and my sister and I refused to run down the steep slopes, turn an ankle, only to stop at the next obstacle and wait in line. It made no sense. During the little mud lake we all swam instead of walked to try to pick up the pace.

But back to the first hill. I was kind of passing people on the hill part and feeling good. It was heart pounding in a good way. Then we picked up our sandbags for the final ascent. Men had 40 pounds and women 20 although some of the women were doing MAN BAGS BABY. I considered doing a man bag but I figured I only weigh 125 or so, it’s only fair for me to hoist a delicate ladybag. I stuck that sucker on my belly like a baby and leaned forward so I wouldn’t fall down the slippery grass and gravel. People were falling and stuff so it was legitimately dangerous. So here comes my moment of glory. Don’t worry, it was all downhill after this, literally and figuratively. I was kicking ass on the sandbags. 250-pound muscle dudes were stopping and resting, Alex was dying somewhere halfway down the hill and I just kept going. My strategy was not to stop and it worked. Little clumps of guy teams were like Okay, now let’s rest for ten seconds and then take three steps! Only three steps and then we rest again! And so on. And they weren’t muddy so it’s not like they did it already. Maybe the 40 pounds for guys was exceptionally harder even if you were 200 pounds than my 20 pounds of baby stand-in? Or MAYBE I JUST HOLD A TWENTY POUND BABY EVERY DAY FOR A YEAR? AND BEFORE THAT ROCKED A BIG ASS BABY IN MY BODY? Yay for being good at something.

So I got to the top and generously waited for my husband who did great. Then waited. And waited for the rest of our team. We were all team-like and yelling you can do it! If I was alone I would have been way down the hill by that point and then karma would have come kicked my ass when I needed help on the one hard wall climb and no one would have been there. So it all evened out in the end, but it’s interesting that my favorite part was the part everyone hated? I could have done that like three times in a row. It was awesome.

But the bad thing was that we thought there was MORE stuff like that later in the race, like a bucket carry I had heard about, but there wasn’t and so we were pacing ourselves for no reason.

Other hard things were sports.

I don’t know how anyone did the transverse wall rock climb. This was post mud-pits, post-lake swim, post everything wet and slimy and muddy. I couldn’t even grip one foot on the first nub. Some bearded mountain man appeared (I think he lived there and emerged once a year for the Spartan race) and wisely advised us to pull a clump of grass out of the ground and use it as a glove grip. This helped Alex get across, but none of the rest of us could manage. This seemed to be the hardest of all the obstacles, as 85% of men and women couldn’t do it.

The javelin was also hard…maybe 35% of the people got it? It was kind of a crap shoot. I mean, it’s a target. You either get it or not.

I was really, really bummed I couldn’t do the monkey bars. All the guys could and probably half the women. I just could not for the life of me reach the third bar. It was so far away. I think it was in Pittsburgh. My sister is shorter than me and she did it. She is a monkey-like hominid though, so she had an advantage. Just kidding, she’s just really strong, like if we are in a dark alley and strangers accost us she will flex her biceps and they will run screaming. But I still didn’t GET why I couldn’t do it. I made my team wait as I tried again and again and then did my first burpees of the day. It was a bad moment because I kind of realized once I did the first set of burpees, I wasn’t going to conquer the rope climb, and who knows what else.

The easy: The tires were way too easy. Maybe I accidentally picked a way too light one? There were several of different weights but no way to tell what was what.

The barbed wire crawls were easy. I could have done that all day. I developed a (patent to come) half drag, half crawl method, similar to that weird-crawling baby you know, and it worked well. I didn’t get scratched up badly.

The walls weren’t as bad as I thought. I did the girl versions (used the notches) and the one hard wall was tilted toward us, above a semi-deep mud pit. So you had to scramble over it, leaning sort of backwards, with wet hands. Some girls were falling off and landing underwater in the mud. Jess and I did it the girl way, using the brackets holding it up and a boost to the butt from our significant others. That’s the real world in action, folks. Do you think in a real zombie apocalypse I’m not attaching myself to a capable man and eating his underground bunker baked beans?

The ugly: I ate mud. Yup, I bit it on the rope climb. Made it a few notches and slipped right down, no way to break my fall, face under mudwater. Mud on the teeth, and a mouth full of grit. I think my sports bra may have even migrated. I hope there are no race action shots of that moment. Hopefully someone at Sparta HQ will take mercy on me if so.

After my spectacular rope climb attempt, my sister tried it, made it pretty high (halfway maybe?) and then…yup, slid down, huge splash, face under water. I think I jinxed her. We both thought we could have done it strength wise and yet our skillz were a fail. If we ever do this again, I am training on ropes and monkey bars while it’s raining. It’s the only way.

The deep thoughts:

Okay, so from what I understand, the Spartan is the only timed obstacle race. It seems more serious, and I think it is, and it’s definitely a fun, well-made race. It’s challenging, it’s varied in the fitness demands it makes on runners, and I like that there are penalties for obstacles.

But. I don’t think it 100% makes sense for it to be timed, the way it’s set up now. The only way timing makes sense is for there to be a time penalty for obstacles. Otherwise, there’s really no way to know if running to obstacles and doing 30 burpees is faster than waiting in line and doing the obstacle. If you’re running for time, it might make sense to do the former, but then what the heck is the point of that? The 30 burpees were faster than many of the bottlenecks. Besides the elite racers I’m not sure timing means anything. People stay and help people get over the rope climb, there are lines, there are places you can’t pass people, there is no real monitoring of burpees. People could totally cheat and just not do burpees (why one would do that escapes me, but still).

The sleeping: Henry wasn’t horrible. He slept decently (woke up three times or so between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.) out of apparent solidarity with our team. So I didn’t feel extremely tired or anything.

Other obstacles: The cement pull was pretty easy. The net climb scared me at first but was easy. The other walls weren’t bad. Oh, the stumps. Those stupid, stupid stumps.

They were slippery. I have pretty good balance. But slipping was almost like the luck of the draw (or sneaker). The pulley weight was pretty easy but I was so paranoid about being such a spaz that I went really slow so it wouldn’t slide out of my grip. The gloves we wore were so helpful for this one.

One part of the uphill was so vertical that we had to use a rope to climb up. That was fun, especially because the bigger people below me holding it were making me sway side to side. I was riding it instead of climbing it. The lake swim was no big deal, and felt really good. There were two or three water stations and one had electrolyte packs. The slip and slide down the mountain into the lake was fun but Alex got a little hurt on a rock under the slide. The mud pits were fun, getting muddy overall was fun. Our weather was really great. 70s and overcast, no rain. Free beer.

Overall, I liked it, and doing a race as a team was a new experience for me. I don’t truly feel like I raced though. I didn’t feel like I pushed myself to really see what I could do. Now that I have one of these under my sports bra, I think it would be easier to know how to push it. I would practice the skills a lot more before the next one. Rope climbing (while wearing Crisco) and monkey bars.

Me and the monkey bars have a grudge match. And I’m glad to know if push came to shove, I can cart my children up mountains, while the frat boys play their paintball games. Just kidding. It wasn’t like a bunch of guys playing games in the woods. Well, it kind of was. I’m making my team do a straight race next time. One of those pump and runs. Bench press and then run.

I’m a crotchety old racer. I will even demand we run in 1970s running sneakers and cotton. Give me an old fashioned foot race, and perhaps a fisticuffs showdown. It was a great day, and I would do another one, but doing the triathlon I did felt much harder. Much harder to sustain a true effort across three sports and the mental challenge of the open water swim felt like I truly accomplished something difficult and comprehensive fitness-oriented. Take this with the concession that we went really slowly and should have probably pushed it more, but we didn’t particularly know what the hell we were doing. And also, I would have broke a leg going downhill any faster. I need my legs to carry my real life sandbags.

Workouts and Blowouts

Alternate blog title, am I right or am I right?

It’s amazing the gross things you talk about, sing about, accept as routine as parents of little babies. When we change Henry’s diaper, Anna comes running over.

“I want to see his poop!”

Don’t we all, kid, don’t we all.

I walk around calling my poor babies whatever comes to mind. Henry is Henny, Little Henny, Boobie Bear, Big Spitter (this is to the tune of Big Pimpin’, obviously) and who knows what other Mommyese high-pitched utterances that just fall off my tongue.

He’s rightly ashamed of me.

Everyone talks about how different kids are, even siblings, but who knew my two children could be polar opposite poopers? My daughter had, I think, one blowout in her life. Henry? Can’t keep it in his pants.

He has at least one daily blowout. He gets to change outfits like Beyonce on World Tour.

He’s also three months old and being officially administered reflux meds.

Only my kid can rock double chins this cutely. Just saying.

But this time Mommy’s taking the drug-dosing into her own hands and is doctoring over the counter Prevacid to give to him to avoid the hassle and inevitable fighting with docs that goes along with the fun of a refluxing baby. I think I slipped into third-person there because I realize I sound like a lunatic.

But don’t worry, this is not as insane as it sounds. I’ll go into the whole deal in another post. But good news is, I think the medication is working already. And by working I mean he isn’t screaming every time he eats and crying all day.

I’m like an intravenous drug user, getting all my “stuff” ready.

So besides walking around with a fussy baby who pukes on every surface (cleaning spitup takes up a lot of my time, actually, I think something like 47% of my waking hours to be scientific about it) I’ve been trying to work out more.

After my triumphant first three mile run last week my calves were incredibly sore. I chalked it up to being fat and um, out of shape. But they were still sore  five days later, especially my right calf. I tried to run anyway, since I had a babysitter visiting to meet and great the Sweets, and I had to stop a half-mile into the run. Every step was pretty painful and it felt like my calf was seized up into a painful rock hard lump.

I was dressed all fancy, too.

So I replaced running with even more Spin classes, and even pretended I was in my own personal Spin class when I couldn’t make the last Sunday morning class (9 a.m. Boo, gym.)

I still got sweaty. I’m good at that.

No running since. I’m going to wait until my calf doesn’t feel sore on the stairs and then tack on a good few extra days on top of that. I don’t want any more lingering injuries, jeez. Hear that, body? Stop falling apart.

In other highly exciting yet highly uncharacteristic news, I’m getting a house cleaner for a day. I’m a cleanliness stickler who lives with the misery of not being able to have my home as spotless as I’d like (my dog is more of a problem here than two kids, by the way). My husband’s family is visiting this weekend and I freaked out at the prospect of cleaning my house top to bottom with that fussing baby I carry around all day in my arms. I priced out some “deep cleaning” offers…we shall see if the cleaning is decent, and if it’s truly “deep” and worth the cost which was surprisingly reasonable. It all feels weirdly sinful and like shamefully luxurious to hire someone to clean my house. The only other time I’ve done it was right after Anna was born and I was, again, totally overwhelmed with a non-sleeping, non-happy-to-be-a-baby baby. Two women spent the two hours vacuuming and mopping. That’s it. That’s all they got to. My house isn’t even that big. I do that shit in like three minutes (I get sweaty). So I swore never again will I be tempted to get a house cleaner.

I’ll let you know how it goes. After my butler drops me off and my stylist blows my hair out.

This is the original kid who drove me batty as a sub-six-monther:

She turned out to be the best child ever. Hear that, Henry? You better do the same.

We’re fans of the Yankees around here. And sheep.

Isn’t it funny how when it comes to dressing a preschool-aged girl, the frumpier the better? Like, the more weird patterns, tights, knits, and mumus you can cram on her thirty-pound frame, the cuter she looks? If the outfit looks like you closed your eyes and grabbed ten things form the old lady rack at the thrift store, it will be an adorable ensemble for a two, three or four-year-old girl? Or a grown female hipster, I guess. Not me, I’m ten pounds and eight gray hairs past the cuteness limit for that.

I love dressing this kid.

But she only loves dressing like this lady:

“I’m in love with Belle, Mommy!”

“Oh, I know…princess train conductor child o’ mine.”

Foundational

I had my six week postpartum check up on Friday! Although I’m now eight weeks post-birth. Anyway, the midwife said, yup, I have a mild rectocele. She didn’t see the bladder prolapse but I know it’s there. BUT, she said she didn’t think there was any reason I couldn’t start running, as long as I try to hold up my pelvic floor while I run, and to keep doing all my strengthening exercises.

If I’m not noticing major resolution by March, she said, I can go see the specialist again. She also confirmed that as long as I’m breastfeeding, I might not see a 100% reduction, but I already knew that.

I went to the gym for only the second time since Henry was born on Saturday. I think I’m going to make Saturday and Sunday two heavy gym days, since my husband is home and I can feed the baby, pump, and then leave for as blessedly long as I’d like. It feels amazing. I might do a weights day and a Spin day, and then take a rest day during the week instead.

I ran a mile. I probably shouldn’t have, since I was feeling a bit heavy in my pelvic floor that morning. Overall, I’ve been feeling a lot less symptomatic though! There are entire days, or at least 90% of days, where I don’t feel anything at all. Much better than a few weeks ago.

I was out of breath running one 8:30 mile. Funny how my half marathon pace of last January is now my quick one mile pace. I guess I really am starting over in a lot of ways. I’m out of shape! I’m also 15 pounds heavier than normal, which really shocked me, since I feel and look pretty close to my pre-baby weight. Everyone I told this was surprised. I’m HUNGRY all the time, too. Between breastfeeding and dairy free dieting, I feel like I can’t get enough food as it is.

I did an hour long strength session after the quick treadmill run.

I’m out of shape strength-wise as well! I’m sure sleep deprivation and breastfeeding hormones play a major role in that, too. But it felt great to BE at the gym and do some semblance of my old routine.

I took it easy, overall, and I was trying to stay conscious of my pelvic floor during lifting. Which I could feel that I wasn’t completely successful at. I could feel it drooping at times. But I’ve read a lot about pelvic rehab, and the next step after doing the basic Kegel type exercises is to practice holding it all up while you do other stuff, like run and lift and cough and move. I’m determined to get as strong as I can down there so I can get as strong as I can everywhere else.

Feels great to be back, even with some limitations.