Tag Archives: SUP

Fitness after baby (five months post-partum)

I’ve written a little bit about my fitness journey since having Jasper, but I thought I’d do a full post on just that topic.

I’m working out 5-6 days each week. It’s usually a combo of running, HIIT, and biking (mountain if I’m in the mountains and trainer if I’m in the city).

I took seven weeks almost completely off and am so happy I did take that time away. It was a good break for my body and gave me a chance to recover well post-partum.

So how is it going? Great…for me!

Running
I’ve been upping my mileage at a glacial pace. My longest run has been 1 hour, 20 minutes. Most of my runs are in the five-mile range.

I’m running a combination of trails, stroller runs on the pavement, and a few treadmill runs when Jasper is napping.

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I don’t wear a Garmin, so on the trails I have no idea how far I go. However, I do go slow. I tried going faster one day and bit the dust hard! Over four weeks later I can finally kneel lightly on my left knee.

The good news is I’m running lots of hills and feeling strong. I’m pretty sure I could run forever but I know I couldn’t go fast!

I’ve done a few hills with the stroller and let me tell you, that builds endurance! One hill took me 12 minutes to climb and I hope to incorporate that into my usual running.

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I’d like to continue slowly increasing my run times but don’t want to increase too much when I’m not training for anything since I easily get injured.

Biking
I’m trying to mountain bike once in a while and I’m still gaining confidence. It gets my heart pumping like crazy when I have to climb, and it’s so great to be on the trails for ‘me’ time.

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I’ve started riding the trainer again when Jasper is napping. The good news is I make each trainer ride count and get off dripping sweat. The bad news is I don’t ride for longer than 30 minutes since he’s not a great napper and I never know how long I have before he wakes! (And I prefer to shower before that happens 🙂 )

HIIT
I love making up my own HIIT workouts and kicking my butt. These workouts are the easiest to do since they give me the most bang for my buck! I breathe heavy, my legs and arms are shaky, and I’m toast at the end of a 20-30 minute workout. I always incorporate strength and core into them.

Hiking
I never really used to count hiking as a workout although it can be HARD. Now that I sometimes carry Jasper, I certainly do count it! We don’t go often and we don’t go for long (that darn hot sun!), but it’s so fun and he’s turning into a little mountain lover!

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SUP
I’ve SUPed a few more times and still love it. If I lived closer to a body of water, I’d make it a regular part of my routine.

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Race plans?
I’ve always loved to train, but…I’ve never loved to race whether it’s strictly running or triathlon. (I took almost five years away from racing before with only a couple races on a whim thrown in!) So, I don’t feel a need to get back into it right away.

I hope to run one trail race in September and am tossing around some ideas for next year. For now, I love running to run, biking to bike, etc.

The mental challenge
The only tough thing about this is the comparison trap—comparing to my former self and to others, mostly through social media! (I love baby_fitgym on Instagram, but darn she makes me want to work out all the time and chisel my abs!)

None of my old pants fit. My thighs are a lot bigger. And I’d be lying if I said I was happy with my hips/stomach area.

However, I constantly remind myself that I had a baby five months ago. It’s worth a little extra skin and fat! I’m still exclusively nursing (he’s up to 18 pounds, 14 ounces now!!), and I’ve heard your body hangs on to fat a bit more. I’m not sure if that’s true, so I’m not banking on it!

Basically I’m not satisfied with how I look but am trying to practice grace and treat myself kindly. I love being active and fit and so long as I’m healthy and getting in some sweat sessions, I should be happy!

I’m still working with Jasper to nap more consistently and for longer. Hopefully when (if?) that happens I can start to get in longer workouts. Until then I’m really happy with how everything is coming along and love to incorporate Jasper into some training, whether it’s on a run, a hike, or strength training.

Oh, and Jasper’s learning to love exercise, too!

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The best rattle!!

What’s your next big race? 

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Running through pregnancy – first trimester

In the comments section of my last post a few people asked how running is going, so I thought I’d write about the first trimester.

I would love to run throughout my entire pregnancy. However, as I’m writing this at almost 22 weeks I’m not sure how realistic that will be for me.

Let’s backtrack and talk about those first 14 weeks…

I was just starting to run again after a few weeks off (and a few frustrating weeks before that) due to lingering issues with my hips, leg, and other parts.

What felt good?
I ran 95% of my runs on trails. The forgiving surface, the views, and the constant challenges felt great (or took my mind of being tired)!

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I was extremely nauseous until about week 15. The only time I felt good was when I was working out. Our summer holidays fell at the perfect time so I could work out first thing in the morning and feel better for the rest of the day. When I was exhausted at the end of a day at work and just wanted to sleep I’d try to make myself get a run or workout in, knowing I’d feel exponentially better afterwards.

What was different?
In the past I never carried water when I ran other than a handful of times. I have been running with water on every single run since finding out I’m pregnant; I get extremely thirsty after a few minutes. I mostly run with my hydration pack (link to a newer version of my bag) but sometimes with a small bottle in my hand.

I had to pee all. the. time. On a 40 minute run, I’d have to stop four times. This was another perk about running trails- lots of trees to hide behind!

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On morning runs I never used to eat beforehand. After a couple runs in, I knew I had to change that. Now I eat before every run. I usually eat a bowl of cereal before a morning run and just time my snacks for a post-work workout.

What didn’t feel good?
The odd time I ran on the road I felt funny, like my form was off or my legs were wooden. Not sure if it’s because I ran mostly trails or if it was something to do with pregnancy.

I was out of breath from the instant I started running right until the end. Although trails are tougher in general, never before would I be out of breath for an entire run!

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We had an extremely hot summer. On the exceptionally hot days I’d run on the treadmill or do an at-home circuit workout in the basement or in the shade. One day I ‘ran’ in the heat and ended up walking the last third. (Typically I love working out in the heat but this just didn’t feel right.)

Everything else
I biked outside on the highway a handful of times. It felt great, but I am definitely more cautious pregnant and didn’t love riding beside speeding vehicles.

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The trainer and I became good friends this summer!

I’ve continued with strength training two to three times a week, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a circuit.

I SUPed quite a bit this summer and made sure to do it at an easy pace. Before I found out I was pregnant I paddled hard one day. My back and chest were so sore it hurt to even breath! Once I found out, I didn’t push it and just did it for leisure.

For hiking I used my hiking poles to help with the steep inclines and declines, and for overall balance. And Kelly was a champ and would pack litres and litres of water!

I have also really concentrated on strengthening my hips, as the majority of what I’ve read about pregnancy talks about the damage it can do to your hips.

Lastly, I’ve been trying to do prenatal yoga once a week. It’s a gentle stretch and feels great for my body and my soul! (I’ve been using the Shiva Rea GAIAM Prenatal Yoga DVD, but I’d love to sign up for a prenatal class at a studio.)

Overall I’ve tried to listen to my body. If something doesn’t feel right I’ll ease off or stop altogether. It has definitely been an adjustment to decrease my activity level (I would get too tired when I tried to do my norm).

If you have any questions, let me know! Once I safely make it out of my second trimester (yikes- only six weeks away!) I’ll write another update. Hopefully I’ll still be running!

Do you carry water when you run? Do you eat before a morning workout?

Three goals

Hello! It’s been a while…

When I wrote my last post, I had no idea how long of a break I would take. Turns out four months away from blogging flies by!

Three goals
I had three main goals for this year when we decided not to sign up for any big races. I am happy to say I achieved all of them, with a few smaller ones accomplished, too!

Goal #1: Visit the mountains often

Lake of the Hanging Glacier

This was a smashing success with 17 weekends spent out there, and 11 days for summer vacation!

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We hiked a ton, and I trail ran and SUPed to my heart’s content.

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I even paddled in my first SUP race in Canmore and hope to make it an annual event!

Goal #2: Heal my injuries/ailments
After taking a break from running, strengthening like crazy, and seeing numerous people, I found a chiropractor who I credit for getting me back to pain-free running!

One day in late July I realized not one thing hurt when I was running, or afterwards. My hamstring, glutes, piriformis, iliac crest, knee, and hip were all quiet.

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I’m still working on my weaknesses so I can continue! However, new aches are constantly popping up, which I attribute to goal three.

Goal #3: Get pregnant
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a couple photos. I am excited to say I am now past the halfway mark of my pregnancy and am due on March 6, 2015.

I’m still trying to stay active with trail running, biking on the trainer, and strength training. Hopefully I can continue throughout!

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We ran a 12km trail race on our sixth anniversary. I was 17 weeks, and have definitely ‘popped’ since then.

Everything else
Other than that, my sister had a precious baby boy at the end of July so I now have an amazing niece and a nephew!

The first year of my garden box was a blooming success.

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And it was our hottest summer I can remember.

What’s new in your world?

Keeping fit on our California adventure

Well, after 28 days of fun in the California sun it’s back to reality.

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I’ve struggled to write about our trip because it was so fabulous it honestly left me speechless. In the meantime I thought I’d write a separate post about what I did to stay fit. It’s a long one since I did more than just run!

Running
It’s ironic I posted about working out together while we were away as we only ran together once our entire trip! With Harold along for the month, it was best to let him rest while we took turns running.

It was beyond marvelous to run in shorts in February! The other wonderful thing? Running by the ocean.

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Laguna Beach

I ran the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the beach and ritzy neighbourhoods in Carmel, river trails in Newport, and ocean bluffs and a race in Del Mar.

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Carmel River State Beach

We spent the majority of our time in Laguna Beach. All my runs there were incredible: I saw dolphins playing in the surf, ran into Dana Point, ran along the beaches of Crystal Cove and saw a baby sea lion, worked my lungs running uphill for four miles to the top of the hills (and trashed my quads on the way down), and ran trails at sunrise with Kelly and Harold.

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Crystal Cove State Park

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Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

I embraced every single run and am forever envious of those who get to live and run along the California Coast all the time!

California 10/20
The UT California 10/20 was an out and back 10 mile race starting and finishing in Del Mar and running through Solana Beach and Encinitas. (I found out about the race the day before it after running a speedy seven miles!)

It was chilly the morning of the race and Kelly and Harold walked me to the start about 45 minutes away from our hotel.

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Not really feeling up to ‘race’, my only plan was to take it easy at the start and pick it up throughout. I did a great job of that with my first mile being the slowest and my last being the fastest. I ended up finishing in 1:11:53, which I was more than happy with for a surprise race on vacation!

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It was a great run with tons of bands along the course (that’s what the 20 in the name stands for) and ocean views. It was the first year and over 3,000 people finished!

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
I tried SUPing for the first time in 2008 and fell in love with it. Kelly bought me my very own inflatable SUP (NRS Earl 4) for my birthday this year, and I couldn’t wait to take it out on the ocean in California!!

I was a bit apprehensive, as it’s been a couple years since I last paddled. And I’m timid of surf SUPing; I just like to get out there and paddle.

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It turns out that Laguna Beach is the perfect destination to SUP! The water is generally calm, the ocean life is amazing, and I felt comfortable paddling far out by myself (sorry mom and dad!).

I paddled almost every day we were there (I think I went 11 out of 13 days), went out a couple times most days, and experienced amazing things.

One day when we got down to the beach there was a guy paddling close to shore with a few dolphins alongside him. I was too nervous to go, so Kelly gladly hopped on the board. There were dolphins going under his board and surfacing right beside him. It was pretty magical to watch.

Screen shot from Kelly’s GoPro video

Once he came to shore I was brave enough to go.

The most amazing experience
The dolphins were mostly gone, so I went far out just to SUP. As I was about to turn back towards shore, I saw a huge pod of them swimming and jumping coming towards me. I was about 35 feet away from a massive dolphin highway. There was somewhere between 50 – 100 dolphins from what I could see. I was close enough to hear them breathing. A couple veered off course and came towards me, so I splashed my paddle a bit.

It absolutely took my breath away and I just stood there in shaky awe for at least five minutes watching their natural beauty. It was the most magnificent thing I’ve seen in nature and one of my most peaceful and special moments.

I paddled back to shore, turning constantly to take it all in. I was so happy Kelly saw what happened so I could discuss it with somebody!! (I was also a little disappointed I didn’t have a camera with me!)

On another day there were dolphins swimming under my board and around me. (I had to kneel down a couple times, as my legs got shaky!)

I felt so fortunate to SUP in the ocean again and experience the majestic dolphins. I can’t wait to get back on my SUP this summer in our lakes!

Strength
We each took a yoga mat and one set of weights with us. I strength trained in our hotel room most of the days Kelly ran. It felt good to keep up some strength and core work!

Laughter yoga
This was something I just had to experience! There’s a group in Laguna Beach that meets 365 days a year. I went on a chilly morning and met with four others including the director of the Laughter Yoga Institute, Jeffrey Briar.

It was the most bizarre class I’ve ever attended, but it certainly accomplished what it prescribes: I was joyful for the rest of the day! There is something to be said about starting your day laughing by the ocean with a group of warm, friendly people.

Staying in shape
Despite dessert twice a day most days I feel pretty good. My fitness is definitely much higher than when I came home from China last year, and I don’t have an Ironman to worry about in four months!

What’s your favourite way to stay active on holidays, or do you take it as a time to rejuvenate?