Guest Post – Cathy – Running Post Pardum

Because we all love hearing Cathy’s perspective, I bring you another guest post, this time about returning to running after giving birth to her beautiful little baby boy, Theo!

So, here’s Cathy:

“After my first run post baby, Solana suggested I write an update post on how the running experience went. I decided to wait until I’d been running a few times as I hoped to see some progression in the running department…the first run was a bit of a challenge to say the least.

On March 2nd, 2014, I ran my last race ‘with cargo’.  I guest posted about running whie pregnant which you can read here.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant and feeling healthy and strong. I ran the West Van Run 10km race about 15 minutes slower than I usually would run a 10 km. Besides spending a lot of time contemplating which bush, dumpster, or building would work as a bathroom (for the record, I decided to just keep running in the end), I enjoyed the fresh air, exertion, and running in the slush.

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Little did I know, that Theo would make his appearance a mere few weeks later. I was induced due to high blood pressure one week early (March 17th, on Theo’s great grandmother’s 90th birthday, the day she hoped I would have him) and after two days of labour, he finally gave his first coo followed by a hearty cry.

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Theodore Owen Gryski

Born March 19th, 2014 at 4:24am

Throughout my pregnancy, everyone commented on how ‘small’ I looked. I managed to gain 40 pounds though, so I was surprised he was only 6 of them! I’ve been doing a lot of reading while nursing Theo, including working my way through the stack of back issue Runner’s World magazines that piled up during pregnancy.

During this time, I was preoccupied with pregnancy reading material and stocking up on sleep so they sat on my night table. Now, however, it’s amazing how much reading you can get done when you don’t sleep!

After I’d completed Run #1 postpartum, I stumbled upon Laura Fleshman’s article in Runner’s World. The exact article isn’t posted online, but her blog is here http://asklaurenfleshman.com. I’m no pro runner, but I related a lot to her running experiences post baby. She inspired me to a) keep running, and b) write a blog post.

So here I am, two and half months post baby, first run completed at four weeks, and three runs in. Summary thus far:

Run #1: Theme: Pregnancy happens slowly, birth happens (relatively) quickly.
I headed out on a four kilometre loop starting from our house. It was one of my first times venturing away from Theo (one month old), so I told Mark the exact route I’d take so he could drive and meet me if Theo started to holler. I set off back in my old (a little snugger) running duds, ready to work up a sweat…I’d lost all that baby weight, should be easy to knock out 4 kms in like 30 minutes, right?

Nope. What I was prepared for, didn’t happen, and what I was unprepared for, happened.

By four weeks, I’d wrapped my head around the potential for leaking (I agreed with Laura that women share their birth stories with glory, but not many people talk about the postpartum experience, which lasts much longer) and I was pleasantly surprised that things went quite well in that area. I was prepared to feel tired (sleep deprivation and general physical exhaustion after childbirth will cause this), but I forgot that I hadn’t raised my heart rate in a good six weeks regardless of having a baby. I started out a little fast and was shuffling by the time I got home. I was prepared to feel different after baby came out, but I wasn’t ready to feel so ‘matronly.’ My chest jiggled, my knees wiggled, and my hips were shaky. General ‘looseness’ aside, I could barely breathe from the intense side stitches. I hadn’t been prepared for how my stomach muscles would cope with running postpartum.

But for a first run, I called it a win. At least I’d managed to run the whole time and this spring has been beautiful weather wise (Theo timed his birthdate well). I enjoyed the meditative left-right left-right of my feet hitting the pavement and the air smelled of cherry blossoms mixed with freedom. And Theo? He slept the whole time.

Run #2: Theme: You’ll run after baby, but not as much as you thought you would.
I didn’t get around to running again (the same loop, enough of a challenge for now) for another few weeks. The days flip by with baby, and although I walk almost every day, running takes a bit more planning (Theo isn’t running stroller sized yet). I headed off for my second run feeling optimistic that things would go better this time.

And better they were! I still had some strong side stitches (time to get going to yoga to strengthen that core), but I started slower and regulated my breathing better. I felt stronger and ready to up the pace and distance. I thought of the walk up the stairs to the car when we left the hospital with Theo (due to my high blood pressure, we’d had an extended hospital stay). It was a small flight of stairs, yet I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the car. Even though I hadn’t run often or far since having Theo, I was still quite pleased with my recovery progress overall.

Run #2 hadn’t gone as well for Theo and Mark. I arrived home to Mark bouncing him up and down saying, “Mommy will be home soon.” Another reason to start small; everyone is adjusting to what I call ‘the new normal.’

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Run #3: Theme: Muscle memory meets postpartum hormones.
Between my second and third runs, my weekly parent group topic was on Postpartum Fitness. The guest speaker was a personal trainer. She informed us moms that recovery takes two years from conception. Wow. That’s a long time. She encouraged us to return to our previous level of activity with caution. Our muscles have memory, but our hormones are keeping our joints loose so start small and build up slowly. She also recommended yoga to build up the ‘trunk’ (extended core) area, and of course, Kegels.

With this in mind, I decided to stick to my usual loop and work on upping the pace if I felt comfortable for run #3. The biggest accomplishment of this run was the absence of any side stitches. In fact, running felt almost normal.

I don’t even remember how Theo fared during this third run, but I sure am looking
forward to when he’s big enough to come along for the ride.

Running goals for this year? Mark and I would each like to run one 5 Peaks Race. So far the start time of the races has been too early to even be out of bed and dressed, so this is a lofty goal for our family. Our weekly trails runs are something that I do really miss…but I know that we will run together again. Possibly along with Theo. Plus, who could begrudge a face like this:

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Grind add-on :

I sent this guest post to Solana but somehow she didn’t see it, so she asked me to do an additional blurb about hiking the Grind last week, so that we’d be all caught up.

Last Tuesday Solana and I set off to hike the Grouse Grind.  The original plan was that Solana would carry Theo and that we’d be a closer speed with her having the baby handicap.  Unfortunately her physio said no to that plan, so it was up to me to be a super mom and carry him up the mountain myself.
The last time I had climbed Grouse was back in September when Mark and I hiked the BCMC and then Crown Mountain as one of our last big hikes before baby came.  As it was, Theo made himself known, and I ended up puking at the top of Grouse before continuing up Crown.
This time around, Theo was on the outside, and did not make me sick!  It was a nice day for a climb, and weather wasn’t too hot, but carrying a baby strapped to your chest is hard work, and I found that I was easily out of breath and getting a bit dizzy.
Solana and I took our time, slowly hiking up the Grind.  I found the hardest things were keeping in a straight path without being able to fully see where I was stepping, as well as feeling dizzy.  I always forget that that first Grind of the season is the hardest and it’s a super tough workout when you’re doing it alone, let alone with child.
It felt great to get to the top of Grouse, and I was really proud of myself for just keeping moving forward and completing the hike.  Theo didn’t seem to hate the hike either, as he slept most of the way up, only briefly waking up around halfway to join the convo for a little bit, before falling back asleep.  Theo’s first Grind, but certainly not his last!

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And now that we’re all caught up, it’s time for the next chapter in the life after Theo book, this morning, Solana and I are going for my first trail run post baby!  It works out perfectly that Solana has to ease back into running, and it so happens that I’m doing the same thing.  Wish us luck!

Anyone have any tips that keep them running with children in the picture?  Anyone have any running stroller tips?  

C

 

Thanks Cath!  And she’s right, we’re off to the trails to test out my foot and for her first post baby trail run.  Awesome!  Hope everyone has a great Canada Day long weekend!  I’ve got Alla’s stagette tonight, so I doubt I’ll be posting for a few days, but I’ll definitely try to update at least on Twitter on how my foot handles today.  xoxo -S 

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was mine and Jay’s 3 yr anniversary since our wedding June 25, 2011 in Parksville, BC.

Before you ask what we did to celebrate, we didn’t do anything in particular, because we’re going out for dinner tomorrow night.  We aren’t really super celebratory people anyways, but this is the perfect excuse reason to go out for a delicious dinner at a fave restaurant, Fable Kitchen.  So, I’m excited for that.

I’m also excited to do a test run on Saturday am with Cath and Nicky (Nicky with a Y not Nikki with an I).  It’ll be Cathy’s first trail run post baby, and Nicky’s first ever trail run!  Both of these factors chosen for the exact reason of keeping me in check and making it a very casual test run on my foot.

Cathy’s written a great guest post about getting back into running post pardum, which I hope to have up on the blog tomorrow for you.

In the meantime, let’s take a step back to 3 yrs ago, and relive our wedding.

xoxo

-S

Whole 30 = Finished!

Well, there you have it folks!  Another Whole 30 is all wrapped up nicely with a ribbon on top.  Kind of crazy that it’s been 30 days with no coffee, no sugar, no treats at all.  Pretty awesome really.

I started Whole 30 on May 26th, and I weighed in that morning at 172.  I was down to 161 last Thursday, but a weekend of a few too many Lara bars and too much fruit and nuts in general and I’m back up to 163 this morning.  Sigh.  Not quite the 159 I was hoping to close off the Whole 30 at, but it’s still 9+ lbs lost, and a whole heck of a lot of good habits re-gained.

I’m not actually going to quite Whole 30 today, I’ve got Alla’s stagette on Saturday, and mine & Jay’s anniversary dinner on Friday, so I think I’ll probably go till Friday night before getting off the train.  And I don’t intend to completely get off the train, because the wedding is in just 2.5 short weeks, and I’d really like to be my lowest ever on the day I stand up beside my friend, who I’ve known since I was just a wee little girl.

I do want a delicious coffee, but, I don’t really deserve it right now, so I’ll wait till I reallllllllly want it, maybe Sunday when I wake up hungover?  Hahah.

Im surprised that I;m not chomping at the bit to quite Whole 30, and part of me is even a bit disappointed that I can’t continue it 100% through the weekend, but life gets in the way, I’ll just be making smarter choice moving forward.

Nothing else to say right now, just wanted to check in and let you guys know I completed my 30 day challenge!  Woo!

xoxo

-S

I need a break…

From Social Media today.

SIGH.  I’ve been handling my month (so far) off of running really well.  Or so I thought, until today.  Aw man, today sucked balls.

It’s the first day I haven’t been swamped with busyness, and I just about lost it.  There was quite a few things happening in the running world – Scotiabank Half, Squamish50 Orientation 37K/47K, KneeKnacker 3/4 run, etc.  And it was a stunning gorgeous day up in the mountains.

But down here at home, I was all alone, and throwing myself a pity party.

When I first decided to not run for a month, I figured I’d be good for 2 weeks and then I’d get sad, but I’d work my way through it.  Surprisingly, I actually was decent and okay for longer than the 2 weeks.  I got to 4 weeks without any major breakdowns.

But then this week happened.

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Guest Post – Chloe & Chantelle Run Whistler Half

Ahhh two of my little baby beasts ran the Whistler Half Marathon together a couple of weeks ago, after completing a training cycle under the watchful eye of their Beast Coach.  You may know Chloe Jr from the Guest Posts she’s done for the blog, but you probably don’t know her bestie, Chantelle.  When I first met Chantelle, she started coming with Chloe to Ladies of the Trails, and her and Chloe would hang out, back of the pack, chatting away the entire time about food.  No joke, the entire run was food based.  Both of them newer to trail running, it was always fun to take them through the muddier sections and listen to their squeals and watch them try to avoid as much mud as possible.

But, beneath their playful exterior, I knew that Chloe was a super strong runner, and so much stronger than she believed, and as I got to know Chantelle, I realized the besties had that in common as well.  Both of them are beautiful strong women, and that strength has come out even more since embarking on training for this race together.  Over the past few months they’ve put in the work, never questioned or whined or complained, just put their heads down and ran.

And now, the last time we went running, before this half marathon even took place, Chantelle and Chloe were both up at the front of the pack, asking me about a FULL marathon training plan, and how much work and time would go into it.  You could just feel the running love, and how much they’d both grown in their running.  It was a super proud beast moment.

This is the story of how their race went.  This was Chantelle’s first ever half marathon, and I know first hand how meaningful it is to finish a big goal with a friend by your side.  Brings my back to when I finished my first marathon, with Cathy by my side.

Running and friendship often go hand in hand, and I know how close these girls are, and am so happy they’ve also been able to take their friendship onto the trails and onto the pavement, training side by side.

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday

I’m copying Nikki’s post from this morning, because I always enjoy blog posts where I get to do a little babbling and check in…some of my favourite posts are the “if we were having a coffee right now” posts, which is kind of like this.

My first time doing a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post, but it sounds fun, so here we go!

Hmm…what am I thinking?  This is actually hard then it sounds, since my thoughts aren’t very interesting today.  Should’ve thought of that before we started, oops.

I’m thinking that I’m scared that I’m going to plateau at 161 lbs.  I’m on day 25 of my Whole 30, and I seem to have stalled at 161 the past few 2 days.  I know it’s not that long of a time frame, but I’m immediately a bit worried, because I have had this problem of breaking into the 150′s before, and I was so hoping that I was going to blast past it this time, that I had slayed the dragons of my previous lowest weight ever (157/158)

I’m also thinking about how weird it is that JAY is racing on Saturday, and I’m not.  Say what?

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Progress: Slow & Steady with a dash of Yoga.

For the record: I am nowhere near announcing that I am back, or even close to back, but I have been cleared to do some hiking, and to venture out a bit with some updated (harder) physio exercises, and some more exercise in general instead of focusing on icing and resting the foot.

So, what better way to start off my hiking comeback then a trek up Grouse Mountain with Mom, Cathy and Baby Theo?

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From my Instagram

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You’re right, there was no better choice.
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The Perks of Being an Injured Runner

Most of the time, being injured is very “woe is me”.  You feel lonely, and sorry for yourself, and you spend your time trying to avoid looking at all the pretty Instagram pictures, OD’ing on social media, feeling the worst case of FOMO imaginable, and having oh SO much fun cross training.  NOT.

But, I kid you not, there are some positives, some perks of being injured.

Think I’m kidding, I’m not.  And I’ve made you a handy dandy list of what I’ve discovered to be the top perks of running…

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Free Time? Nah, not me!

I thought for sure that I would hate my life while being injured.  Too much time sitting around being lazy, feeling lethargic from not exercising much, and of course the mental challenges of feeling FOMO, left out, or just plain abandoned.

To be honest though, it’s been almost 4 weeks of not running (4 weeks officially on Monday) and I don’t hate my life.  I’m not even really bored, because I don’t have time to be bored!  Wondering if I’ve picked up a new sport to fill my time perhaps?  Not, haven’t even done that.

So, what’s keeping me busy?  Life I guess…

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Whole 30 – Halfway There

Here we are, day 15 is in the bag, and I’m officially halfway through my Whole 30.  I’m sure you’re wondering how I’m doing, especially since I had a crazy busy weekend of race directing the 5 Peaks Alice Lake race, and co-hosting my elementary school bestie’s bridal shower.  And we all know what kind of food you find at showers….

So, how’d I do? First, let’s take a moment to just check out this view.  This is at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola.  We took a quick ride up to the top on Saturday post race and were so impressed.  Definitely put it on the must-do list.

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