So. As you know, I’m training for a half marathon. The one I had originally chosen is apparently very hilly, and also it’s a little soon for me to feel great about running it. So I’m still training, but I think I’m doing a different race. Last week, I did some speed work (sprints in the wind are basically the worst) and this past week, my goal was to get really good rest. It’s not going well. Every member of our family is suffering from a “mini cold”. It’s not that big of a deal during the day, but when we lay down, the mucus is out of control, and no one is sleeping that well.
Naturally, I’m more tired than usual since babes are waking and I’m not getting quality sleep because of it. But I’m pushing through! I got 4.25 miles in yesterday afternoon while everyone napped. I’ve still been eating pretty well, and I’ve had less coffee than normal this week (I subbed it for green tea, which has HUGE health benefits). Today was definitely a cheat day-St. Patrick’s Day meant Hubby was playing a lot, coupled with me trying to work a lot but also trying to see him play- it was a lot of on the go. I only had one “real” meal today, at 3pm no less. But at least it was healthy?
So here is my accountability. I am up to almost 8 miles, with a hopeful 8 miles in either tomorrow or Sunday (likely whichever isn’t freezing cold). I’ve been trying SO HARD to keep up with my workouts and good food, so hopefully the last five miles in the training will come easily! Wish me luck!
This past week, I noticed that I was angry a lot. I was frustrated about every single thing, big or small, that might normally just annoy me. It’s really hot outside. It’s really hot inside. We’ve been busy, but not really in a fun way. The kids are messy, loud, and getting on each other’s nerves. I’m not getting enough sleep. The 2yo is acting particularly threenagery (let’s just say that’s a word) recently. All of these things are things I can usually take in stride. But the past week or two, they’ve been building up, clogging my good feelings and just plain stressing me out.
Finally, I realized that I hadn’t been keeping up with my workout routine very well. Now, I’m not an every day-er, or even a certain days of the week-er. Maybe those are the reasons I hadn’t gotten any exercise in. But either way, two weeks of no exercise is not good for me, and I finally realized it. It was time to stop making excuses about my busy schedule and the heat.
You see, I don’t necessarily put on weight or get flabby from not working out. I mean, if I didn’t for a long time, I’m sure I would. But I don’t immediately see the effects of laziness on my body. (Not that a SAHM mom of three under five should in any sense be seen as “lazy”.) But I temporarily forgot that my body, my mind, my soul, all need some exercise.
Working out isn’t something I personally do to see a magic number on a scale, fit into a certain size, or or achieve a certain “goal” (screw the thigh gap). I do it for the way it makes me feel. It helps me work through frustration. It helps burn calories and energy, and exhaust me into sleeping better. It sets a healthy example for my family about the importance of exercise. It is “me time”. It sets the tone for my productivity. It even makes me feel great about that glass of wine that’s coming in the evening. In short, makes me feel good. I don’t need a better reason than that! I do it for me.
Feet pounding the pavement. The rhythmic sound of my breathing. The fresh air, and the birds chirping. The stroller I push is heavy with my two big babies inside. But I wouldn’t trade this hour of my day for anything. The clear air clears my mind, lets me have a quiet moment, even if it isn’t exactly relaxing.
I can’t always plan this hour into my day. Now that I have three children, one of them needs to be occupied elsewhere. (Read: Hubby needs to be home.) But when I can get this time in, my body, mind and soul all feel better and freer. The rush of endorphins I feel is enough to make me want to do it again, even without the other benefits.
Getting back into running after this last pregnancy and delivery honestly wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, especially since I dropped off the exercise train way before I delivered. I was doing only yoga at the end – which is basically zero cardio when it’s prenatal yoga. My muscles were itching to get back to moving long before I actually could; I’m pretty strict with myself about waiting to start everything back until I’m 5 or 6 weeks out. My first run was a tough one, but I managed to get (running and a little walking) a mile and a half without too much struggle. The subsequent few runs worked me up to a little over two miles so far (I’m almost 7 weeks out). And (TMI – beware) I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my bladder seems to be holding itself pretty darn well… even better than a few months after I delivered J. I guess that just shows you how different your body can be from baby to baby.
My fitness goal this time around has changed a little. I’m blessed to be able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly and easily, and back in all my clothes pretty soon. So instead of using those as targets, I want to make a diet change (I let myself eat like a jerk – mostly increased portions and extra desserts – when I’m pregnant/nursing) and build muscle. So, here in the blog world, I’m claiming it: I want to be toned! That’s the goal. Running for cardio and legs (also mental and emotional well-being!), and I’m going to keep up with a little yoga since it’s good for my joints and my core, and I’m going to ramp up the arms. No teacher arms for me!
What have your fitness goals been recently? Have you instituted a diet change along with them? What works for you and your busy schedule?