Should you run or work out if you are TIRED?

  
Photo above was taken on the trail this Saturday. 

For some reason, last week I was tired. It was probably a combination of being a busy mom and being busy at work. But I definitely didn’t workout/run everyday the way I usually do. And being tired led to missing workouts which turned into a week of bad eating. (In my case “bad eating” always means not eating enough to support my hard earned muscles. Ayes, ladies to support muscle growth you need to eat.) So let’s just say, I’m thankful last week is over. 

Should you workout when you are tired?

I hear it all the time especially on social media. Moms saying, “Never been this tired, but still squeezed in my work out.” Or… “Up all night with teething baby, but still got up early and got my long run done.” 

This made me think… 

Should you work out if you are exhausted?

I guess it depends on the person and what your goal is… But for me, and my goals, it is a NO go. 

The ideas that doing Something is better than nothing, isn’t always true.

One of my goals is to build muscle

Whether I am lifting heavy, or doing more plyometrics and HIIT, I need to be rested to really kill it in the gym. Because of my busy schedule now that I am a working mama, I cherish my gym/run sessions and make the best of my work out time. Every time I hit the running trail, or walk into the gym, I’m focused and ready to give it my all. However, without adequate rest I won’t be able to lift as heavy or complete those active rest periods or HIIT sessions. 

Also many people don’t know, but you actually build muscle after your weight lifting session while your body is at rest. When you lift weights your muscle fibers get broken down, you need rest time for those muscles to repair themselves. The repairing of the muscle is what makes them grow. For someone, like me, who wants to build strength and muscle, rest is important.

Because I am a runner I always have running goals.

Now that I am five months postpartum, I am finally running like I use to. However, for a runner at my level, sometimes less is more. Sometimes being under trained is better than being over trained. It is hard to judge which is better for you, but as long as you have been consistent with your runs, skipping one here and there because you are tired is better and smarter. When you continue to pound the pavement when you are overly tired you are more prone to get injured. 

Now with all this being said, your body needs rest in order to perform to its best ability. However, do NOT use, “Ugh, I’m tired,”as an excuse all the time. In order to see improvement and change, practice makes perfect, consistency is key. To be a better runner, you do have to run on a regular. To build muscle, you need to regularly get to the gym and lift those weights.

Another thing to ask yourself is… Will a good run, or gym session give me energy. Again it is hard to judge, but sometimes getting your sweat on is exactly what you need to actually get the endorphins sparked, giving you the energy you need. 

True Story

After only getting one short run on Sunday and then to the gym on Tuesday last week, on Saturday I went running on the trail (photo above) and then hit gym after for an intense back and core workout. It felt great. That run was so sweet that I finally felt energized. 

So next time your are overly tired, evaluate your situation. Will your workout give you energy or set you back? Listen to your body, it will help you find the answer. 

  
Happy Running! 

 

Blizzard Running – How to run in the cold.

Last Friday, the East Coast got slammed with a record breaking blizzard. We got 2-3 feet of snow depending on location.

So of course all of us runners were trying to squeeze in one last run before the storm started. And then we were all desperate to get running right after the streets got plowed.

Although, it was a little tricky to find a place to run, right after the storm, I did, and it was awesome. I started out slow, but finally got into the 8s. At 5 months postpartum I am finding every new day I am feeling closer and closer to the fitness level I was before pregnancy.

Anyway, I love winter running. Running while it snows, or surrounded by snow can be very peaceful. During, the winter, the trails are less busy – maybe there are less runners training for spring races, or maybe more people are jumping on the treadmill instead of the pavement. Another great thing about winter running, is that the winter air can feel extremely refreshing, and that coffee post run, even more rewarding -warming you up instantly.

With that being said, still so many runners are still confused on how to have a comfortable successful winter run.

 So here are my top tips for winter running. 

1) Always dress warm enough. 

Normally, the trick is to dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer out. For example, if it is 40 degrees out, dress as if it is 50 degrees out. Your body will warm up once you start running. However, the bold words above say, always dress warm enough and what I mean by that is with accessories. A hat is key. You loose a lot of heat through your head so keep it covered. Also consider wearing a scarf and gloves. The best part of staying warm with accessories is that when you are to warm you can take them off. Also wear the appropriate running clothing. Instead of wearing a sweatshirt actually consider wearing a technical running jacket made specifically for winter running. This goes the same for socks, try smart wool – which will keep your feet dry and warm. Never wear cotton, always wear a sweat wicking material that will absorb moisture and keep you dry. For more information on this check out my blog post on why it is important to invest I. proper technical running gear. 

2) Always be seen. 

One of the hardest parts of winter running is that the days are shorter. Meaning there is less time during the day, less sunlight. Some early morning runs are done before the sun rises and others are done at night, after the sun sets. A lot of runners are running in the dark. So always wear bright colors, reflecting gear, and/or a light. There has been so many cases when runners have lost their lives from being hit by a car. It is super important to always be seen.

3) Hydrate.

Although, you may not feel thirsty the intense way you feel while running during the summer months, you still need to drink the same amount of fluids. This seems like common sence, however time and time again runners end up dehydrated during the winter months. The air is much more dry and wind can also play a role in dehydration. So drink up.

4) Use the wind.  

If possible choose a running route where you begin running into the wind. That way you have a more difficult time when your legs are still fresh. Then as you head home you run with the wind. That way the last half of your run is faster and easier.

5) Always warm up your muscles.

Start out slower and warm up your muscles. Because of the cold, you are actually, more likely to get injured. Once you are warmed up, pick up the pace. If you need to stretch, stretch after you run. This gives your body the opportunity to warm up all the muscles, so when you stretch you can stretch deeper.

So those are my tips for winter running. Now get off the treadmill and let’s run outside!

Happy Running!

 

A Recap: My first run post pregnancy. And the raw honest truth about running after having a baby.

I’ve written a little about my postpartum fitness journey. But I have yet to tell you about my experience with starting to run again after pregnancy.

Well I am back at it, running that is. As I said in previous posts the minute I got the okay to workout again I hit the gym, NOT the running trail. I chose to weight lift and try to build my strength back as much as I could before I went to pound the pavement.

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It is true what they say, if you don’t use it you loose it. I stepped in the gym and belly flopped attempting to complete a single push up – just trying to put in perspective how much strength I lost during my pregnancy. Anyway, it was important for me to put on some muscle gains. I have heard to many times before, woman running hard after pregnancy, ending up injured and in PT. I wanted to avoid this, by getting strong again first.

Anyway after exclusively lifting for 6 weeks at 14 weeks postpartum, I decided I was strong enough to run.

The 2015 holidays approached and I debated on signing up for a family friendly easy 5 mile turkey trot. After much thought I finally decided NO. I didn’t want to be rushing out the door to run a race (even though it was only 5 miles) Thanksgiving morning- the holidays are busy enough. Instead, I would find the time on thanksgiving, on my own schedule to take a short casual run while my baby napped.

This run would be my first postpartum run. This run would be my first real run since the 2014 Turkey Trot. Yep, I hadn’t really ran in a full year. After the 2014 Turkry Trot I found out I was pregnant with Zoe, and from then on and through out my whole pregnancy my fitness goals changed. It was no longer about me pushing hard, taking it physically to my ultimate limit, but rather about us, and making sure I brought a baby girl safely into this world.

So on thanksgiving, I ran my first run post pregnancy. I grabbed my Garmin and laced up my Newton Gravity running shoes. I started my run a little slow, but picked up the pace. I ran my regular 5k loop around the neighborhood – mainly flat- one uphill, one down hill. To my surprise it was pretty easy. I ran the whole way. I felt great. I was running a 9:30 min/mile. Not as fast as I use to be, but not bad I thought.

And then…

I woke up the next morning with the worst knee and ankle pain.

They say the main reason for knee and ankle pain in female runners is usually because of a problem with the hips. During pregnancy everything expands to make room for baby, this is especially true for your hips and rib cage. Hips can even get tilted forward during a vaginal birth because of excess pushing. 

Although I had a c section, I knew my body was different. Could this mean my form changed? Could this mean I needed a different running shoe?

When I woke up with knee/ankle pain I went to my local running store. They put me in a new pair of Newtons and got me on the treadmill to evaluate my form. Turns out (they said) my form is perfect… Which also means, there was no magical shoe to quick fix my problem. I was slow and just needed to keep practicing. It had been a full year since I moved my body like that and I just needed to get those fast twitch muscles moving again and strengthen my weak ankles.

Now at 5 months postpartum I am finally running more like I use to. The knee pain and ankle pain is gone – a fresh new pair of shoes helped. Also because of weight lifting, my lungs and heart are strong – the endurance is there. The endurance is there but the speed is not (and I was not a super fast runner before – I was average, not slow though.) I can keep going long and far on the trail, but my legs just can’t go any faster. So now it is time to strengthen my core and focus on speed work.

But here is the truth:

Any mama that seems to have jumped right back into it after they had a baby, is full of shit. 

The raw honest truth- it may hurt. It is going to take time to feel comfortable finding my stride. It is going to take time to rebuild, speed and endurance again.

But once I do, I’m going to be stronger, faster, better runner than I have ever been before.

And since we are being honest, I am already feeling stronger and faster.

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Happy Running!

Run 2016 miles in 2016 And make money.

It is a new year, and along with a new year there is the idea of setting a new year’s resolution. As I have said in previous new year posts, I actually love new year’s resolutions. Because, I am the type of person who is always setting goals, I try to make my new year’s resolution totally crazy, out there, a goal with a fun twist.

So here it is my crazy new year’s resolution….

I’ve always wanted to run as many miles as the year. So why not try, this year. I am going to attempt to run 2016 miles for the year 2016. Another fun twist to running the miles is money. For every mile I run I am going to put between $1-$5 in savings. It will be interesting to see at the end of this year the final total in both dollars and miles.

This jar here my sister made for me as a Christmas present. Along with what it does, I’m also going to make it my money jar. 
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Along side of the miles I will be running, as of now I am registered for two races in April, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Parkway Classic 10 miler. I’ll clue you in once I sign up for more races.

Another special thing is that soon I will have a new running buddy. Zoe will be 5 months on the 19th. I am going to wait until she is 6 months to take her running with me in the running stroller. I am really excited to have her on runs with me, plus it will be easier for me to fit my miles in without worrying who is going to watch her. It will be hard work to push the stroller, but hopefully it will just make me stronger and I know Zoe will love it!

Well that’s it for now…

Run Happy!

 

2015 an unforgettable year!

  
(I posted this to my IG acount earlier this week, but decided to share on my blog.)

2015 was the most beautiful, positively challenging, knowledge filled, sweetest year I have ever had. 

As my body transformed from fit to pregnant I began to understand the ultimate strength of the female body. 

Through my prenatal yoga practice, I learned the physical changes were out of my control, and I began to let go and trust.

I spent the year reading, writing, exploring, learning everything I could on a subject I knew absolutely nothing about – babies. In the process, I not only gained knowledge, but also a “mama” tribe. 

And then… after all the preparing, waiting, planning, my sweet little Zoe entered the world in the complete opposite way as I expected, and I became a mama. 

It has been busy, wild, beautiful, amazing, exhausting, challenging, fun, unpredictable… but I can’t stop smiling. 

  

Cheers! 

2015 an unforgettable year!

(I posted this to my IG acount earlier this week, but decided to share on my blog.)

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2015 was the most beautiful, positively challenging, knowledge filled, sweetest year I have ever had.

As my body transformed from fit to pregnant I began to understand the ultimate strength of the female body.

Through my prenatal yoga practice, I learned the physical changes were out of my control, and I began to let go and trust.

I spent the year reading, writing, exploring, learning everything I could on a subject I knew absolutely nothing about – babies. In the process, I not only gained knowledge, but also a “mama” tribe.

And then… after all the preparing, waiting, planning, my sweet little Zoe entered the world in the complete opposite way as I expected, and I became a mama.

It has been busy, wild, beautiful, amazing, exhausting, challenging, fun, unpredictable… but I can’t stop smiling.

image

Cheers!

Mirror Mirror on the wall… Who is the strongest of them all…

Post Pregnancy Work Out -Phase 2 Livefit trainer.
I forgot how much I love phase 2 of the livefit trainer. This phase is the one that I normally repeat and always go back to. I really enjoy lifting heavier weights while doing more sets with lower reps. However, with that being said, do not lift heavy if you have poor form. People who have poor form have no business lifting heavy weights, that is why phase 1 of the livefit trainer is crucial. If your form is not on point repeat phase 1 and focus on perfecting your form.
Now that I am almost finished with Phase 2, I am really excited to see progress. Not necessarily with the appearance of my body, although I do see some muscle definition, but rather with how strong I am becoming. At 4 months postpartum I am finally starting to feel like the athlete I once was, before getting pregnant with Zoe. There is still a lot of work to do – Rome wasn’t built over night, but I am happy that I am finally lifting the weight I use to lift. I am hoping in the near future to start setting some new PRs in the weight room. I remember stepping in the weight room for the first time 8 weeks postpartum and flopping on my belly not even capable of doing one successful push up, now I am doing 4×10 and sometimes 4×15… Now that is progress.
Ladies stop focusing on what your body looks like and start focusing on what your body can do. Stop trying to diet and start fueling your body with clean organic healthy food choices that will help you perform and reach your ultimate goal. 
Whether I am running, lifting, doing yoga… I always focus on setting new PRs. I focus on strength. Once I flipped that switch and started focusing on setting new fitness goals, not weight loss goals, it is then that I became an athlete…
And guess what?
One day, when I looked in the mirror I saw one too.


P.S. I start phase 3 of the Livefit trainer today! Can’t wait!

December Goals, Post Pregnancy Workout Update

 
December is the last month of the year. Because of the holidays, December is always packed full. It is very easy for me to get stressed and wrapped up with all of the gift giving and Christmas decorations. But this year, I am not going to let December sneak on by. I am going to cherish this month and really reflect on 2015. I’m going to use it to crush the last of my 2015 goals – it is my last chance to really end 2015 with a boom, as one of the best years yet. 

Things to Do this December

  • Crush Gym and Running Goals
  • Organize closet, out with the old… Have a fresh clean minimal closet for the new year.
  • Stay clean on diet, cook more, meal prep, bring meals to work.
  • Continue to take Zoe on long walks, enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it – Winter will be coming.
  • Decorate for Christmas and enjoy Christmas holiday festivities with Zoe

Update on Post Pregnancy workouts

Livefit – When it comes to my workout routine I am half way through the livefit trainer. Sometimes I feel like working out is hectic because I don’t have a set time I go to the gym, like I use to. However, following the livefit trainer brings me some organization because I am able to have a set plan each time I go. I’ve been seeing a lot of progress in muscle gains and I am lifting at the weight I use to lift, before I got pregnant.  I also have some gym essencials at my house. This helps when I can’t make it to the gym but still need to squeeze a workout in. 

Running has been a little bit slower progress. I am still waiting on new shoes and I am questioning which shoes I should get. I’m definitely planning on a shoe rotation. 

However, there is a possibility that my body has changed because of pregnancy. Hips are a big issue for female runners, but even more so to those who have been pregnant. It is possible that the hips have changed or shifted. They could be tilted more forward or spread wider because of pregnancy. 

The hips can effect everything and is the reason for most running injuries in women. Really if you have knee pain or foot pain evaluate what is going on with your hips. Normally when you have pain it also means something is tight and you may have inflammation- that is why ice is a runner’s best friend. It is also a sign of muscle weakness. That is why I am spending a lot of time in the gym trying to gain strength. The stronger I am, the better my running form will be.  So at this point I have only run 3-4 miles. I am taking it slow and really focusing on running form and cadence. I am also waiting on new shoes that I ordered through my local running store. When they come in, I will have someone at the shop reevaluate my running form and fit me for shoes. That way I can be sure I am running in a shoe that is right for me, at this time in my life. 

I have seen some amazing progress, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have to keep reminding myself that my workouts were totally different while I was pregnant. 9 plus months is a long break from not running or lifting. I’m trying to be patient, stay positive, and enjoy the process.  

December Goals, Post Pregnancy Workout Update

 
December is the last month of the year. Because of the holidays, December is always packed full. It is very easy for me to get stressed and wrapped up with all of the gift giving and Christmas decorations. But this year, I am not going to let December sneak on by. I am going to cherish this month and really reflect on 2015. I’m going to use it to crush the last of my 2015 goals – it is my last chance to really end 2015 with a boom, as one of the best years yet. 

Things to Do this December

  • Crush Gym and Running Goals
  • Organize closet, out with the old… Have a fresh clean minimal closet for the new year.
  • Stay clean on diet, cook more, meal prep, bring meals to work.
  • Continue to take Zoe on long walks, enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it – Winter will be coming.
  • Decorate for Christmas and enjoy Christmas holiday festivities with Zoe

Update on Post Pregnancy workouts

Livefit – When it comes to my workout routine I am half way through the livefit trainer. Sometimes I feel like working out is hectic because I don’t have a set time I go to the gym, like I use to. However, following the livefit trainer brings me some organization because I am able to have a set plan each time I go. I’ve been seeing a lot of progress in muscle gains and I am lifting at the weight I use to lift, before I got pregnant.  I also have some gym essencials at my house. This helps when I can’t make it to the gym but still need to squeeze a workout in. 

Running has been a little bit slower progress. I am still waiting on new shoes and I am questioning which shoes I should get. I’m definitely planning on a shoe rotation. 

However, there is a possibility that my body has changed because of pregnancy. Hips are a big issue for woman runners, but even more so to those who have been pregnant. It is possible that the hips have changed or shifted. They could be tilted more forward or spread wider because of pregnancy. 

The hips can effect everything and is the reason for most running injuries in woman. Really if you have knee pain or foot pain evaluate what is going on with your hips. Normally when you have pain it also means something is tight and you may have inflammation- that is why ice is a runner’s best friend. It is also a sign of muscle weakness. That is why I am spending a lot of time in the gym trying to gain strength. The stronger I am, the better my running form will be.  So at this point I have only run 3-4 miles. I am taking it slow and really focusing on running form and cadence. I am also waiting on new shoes that I ordered through my local running store. When they come in, I will have someone at the shop reevaluate my running form and fit me for shoes. That way I can be sure I am running in a shoe that is right for me, at this time in my life. 

I have seen some amazing progress, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have to keep reminding myself that my workouts were totally different while I was pregnant. 9 plus months is a long break from not running or lifting. I’m trying to be patient, stay positive, and enjoy the process.  

3 months with Zoe

Every day that goes by…

Zoe is getting bigger, stronger, and even more beautiful and more intelligent than the day before.

Week 10-11

She recognizes familiar sites and sounds.

They say at birth a baby will know her mother. This may be true, but I didn’t really recognize this until week 10-11.

When I hand Zoe off to people, she curls her lip to pout and reaches for me – she knows I’m her mama. When Erik picks her up from her babysitter’s house, her whole face lights up with excitement – she knows he’s her daddy.

Now at 3 months when we leave the room, she follows us with her eyes, and even turns her head in our direction to look for us, or wait for us to return. When she sleeps at night, in her bassinet, she turns her head to the side, to face our bed. Because of this we have been changing up her sleeping position by putting her in her bassinet the opposite way, every other night. It is important to do this because her head and face is still forming.

The other thing she is recognizing is her bottle, and the sound of her milk being stirred or shaken.

She uses her senses to explore.

As a newborn, a baby will use their sense of smell, to determine who their mother is because their sight is not yet fully developed.

But at 3 months of age, the game has changed…

She uses her eyes too…

When I take Zoe for walks, many times she still doses off to nap. However, there are also many times she is alert looking around. She loves the fall trees, the leaves – bright and colorful. Zoe can now see full colors. Did you know babies at 14 weeks prefers blue and red?!

She uses her hands…

Zoe loves to feel different textures. She loves all the textures on her play mat. She grabs her blankets to feel the softness. She loves her silk blanket her great Aunt made her, and even tries to eat it. She grabs on to my hair, clothing, even enjoys holding my hand.

Zoe now has discovered her own body parts. She touches her ears and always puts her hands in her mouth. She uses her hands to learn and explore.

When she was a newborn her hands were always in a fist, and I always had to wipe her hands down because they were full of lint. Now she keeps them open and has realized she has fingers. Now I wipe them down because she is always eating then.

At week 13 she really began to hold objects. I see her holding her pacifier and when I hand her her mermaid doll she holds it.

She uses her ears…

Zoe has always loved the sound of music. Early on, I would sing her Christmas songs, such as Silent Night to soothe her and help her fall asleep. At around 10 weeks I made up a cute song that uses our names, to teach her, that she is Zoe and that I am her mama. The music that plays from her swing stimulates her. She kicks her legs as if she is dancing.

When she was in my belly I used the belly buds so she could listen to music. I played for her a ton of Lindsay Stirling. Now at 3 months she is more playful, I want to play more classical and modern classical music, it is good stimulation for babies.

There are a lot of other noises that she loves. Her white noise sound machine is part of her night time routine. She loves the sound of water, and sits in the bathroom quietly while I take a shower. She also loves the sound of the hair dryer. She loves the sound of the bathroom fan. She enjoys the fabric that makes noise on her play mat while she kicks and plays. The dogs’ barking does not even phase her.

Sleeping

Everyone asks how is she sleeping…

Zoe has always been a really great sleeper. She loves her naps. It is my job as her mother, to make sure she is put down for her regular naps. I came up with a good sleep and eating schedule based on her natural sleep and eating pattern. Although we have a good schedule, we are flexible. On a rare occasion she is off schedule, she will cat nap on her own. (Cat naps are not as deep as her regular naps, but at least it is something.)

When Zoe is tired she tells me by rubbing her eyes and yawning. However, a regular routine is good for Zoe. It helps her attention and memory.

I just finished the book, “Bringing up Bebe.” It is a parenting book about how the French parent. In the book, the author claims, that the main question asked in France is, “Does your baby do her nights?”- meaning is your baby sleeping through the night. Well I am very proud to say, Yes! Zoe is sleeping through the night. I truly believe this has a lot to do with giving her a dream feed. I have found that as long as Zoe has a full belly she will sleep peacefully.

Bath time 

Zoe is loving her bath time. She kicks her legs and splashes hard. It is fun to watch her expressions. She use to scream her head off when we took her out of her tub, but now she gets wrapped up in her towel quickly, and once she is dry I give her a baby massage with baby oil. She is using the Earth Mama Angel Baby products. We love them.

Eating and drooling

Zoe is eating 4-5 ounces at each meal. She is definitely spitting up less, but drooling like crazy – she even blows bubbles. Drool is saliva that lines the intestines and neutralizes stomach acid. It contains enzymes that helps digest food. The body is preparing to take in solids. In a couple months she will be ready.

Talking

Zoe is now talking – baby talk. She spits out her pacifier so she can smile and babble. When I ask her a question she answers in baby talk. I still tell her where I’m going and what I am doing. We have conversations all the time.

This Wednesday Zoe will be 15 weeks. The last couple days she has been the best alarm clock ever. She has been laying in her bassinet happily oohing and aahhing, and squealing! She thinks it is fun! I love it. Loudest baby alarm clock ever.

Exercise

Zoe use to hate tummy time. It is crazy how in just a couple days she has turned into a pro on her tummy. It is a lot of work for a 3 month old to do her push ups. But she is now doing them with out crying instantly.

She loves her tummy time mat. It is important to get babies use to tummy time and getting them to associate this time as play time. She is playing and getting stronger.

Play time and Story time

It’s time for more toys and books. I read many books to Zoe. Her favorites are the pout pout fish and Boom Chicka Boom. We are starting to create a library for her.

We are also bringing out more toys for her to play with. She had a mermaid rattle but I think I might introduce Sophie to her soon.

Life with Zoe Annalise…

Every day with Zoe, I think… this is the best day, but then the next day comes, and she surprises me, yet again with something cuter and more fun than the day before.

She is always smiling, and when I smile at her… she smiles back.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

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