October 24th, 2014

Post Baby Abs

Hey everyone!

First let me say that if you opened this hoping to see a picture of me and my post baby abs you’re going to be disappointed.  Ha! (However, I appreciate and admire the women who are brave enough to be that real.)

But I did want to open the discussion about our core and abs, especially after pregnancy.

Pregnancy changes our bodies and some women give up on ever seeing their abs again. Personally, my belly is never pancake flat- partly due to appendectomy surgery and scar and partly genetics.  In my family we all have skinny legs but if we gain weight it goes right to our belly.  (Thanks, mom!) :)

So although I don’t expect to see a six pack anytime soon, baby J is 3 months old today and I am ready to at least see my old belly again!

Often it’s the lower abdomen that is most challenging and I wanted to share a few things that may be helpful if you had a baby 3 months or 3 years ago:

1) Start with the basics

Many times belly fat is linked to all the reasons I listed in this post on why runners can’t lose weight- sleep, stress, poor diet, too much of the same exercise, no strength training or toning.

2)Diastasis Recti

For postpartum moms, diasatsis recti is not often talked about but relatively common (2 out of 3 moms who have had two babies have it!).  It’s basically the separation of the ab muscles.  This article talks about how to test for it and simple ab exercises to help close the gap.

It’s important to avoid more intense ab exercises until the gap is closed- otherwise you can make it worse.

Image from mutusytem.com

 

3) Hip/ pelvic tightness

Melissa at Fit N Well Mommy shared her discovery that tight hip flexors can cause anterior pelvic tilt.  It makes your hips tilt forward and can push out the lower belly.

This one is true for me!  I’m never all that flexible to begin with but it definitely got worse through my pregnancy. And anyone with a desk job is likely to have tight hip flexors as well.  I liked the stretches outlined in this article and have been incorporating them (almost) daily.

To be honest, if I had to name a trouble spot my abs would be it.  But over the years I’ve worked a lot on loving the body I have.  Carrying, delivering and feeding a baby is a great way to gain renewed respect for what our body can do! (As can a good workout.)

It’s okay to want to take care of our bodies and look good.  But it’s not okay to think and say negative things to ourself because our body isn’t what we wished it was.

It’s not easy but ultimately I think we each need to find that balance between striving for a healthy body (weight goals or flat belly) and loving the body we are in.

 

Moms, did you have diastasis recti?

How do you find that balance and practice loving the body you have?

 

 

October 22nd, 2014

Maplewood 5k

On Sunday I ran my second post-baby 5k.  I’m technically in half marathon training now for the Trenton half (just 3 weeks away, eek!) but my long run paces have been struggling and I wanted to throw in another 5k to teach myself to pick up the pace.

I had 14 total on the schedule, so I ran 3.5 to the race and lined up for the 5k.

Overall, I felt good.  My goal going into this race was to beat my 5k from two weeks ago (21:58) as I knew I had more in me.  I did beat it, but not by as much as I hoped.  The wind and a few inclines held me back more than I expected, but I’m happy with my effort and progress is progress, right?

No one was there to take pictures this time so all I have for you are a few selfies and a Garmin photo!

Maplewood 5k

Mile one started with a slight downhill before leveling out and I held myself back, knowing that going out too fast was one of the problems of the last 5k.  I might have held back a little too much- mile one was 6:54 (I was aiming for 6:45 overall pace).

Mile two was rough.  There were a few uphill stretches and I could not hold onto the pace.  The wind was also strong on Sunday- I know, excuses, excuses! Mile two was my slowest- 7:13.

By the final stretch, the course had flattened out and I was able to pick up the pace and hold it to the finish.  The third mile was my fastest, which was encouraging, at 6:41.

Fastest post baby mile so far

Fastest post baby mile so far

After a final sprint my finish time was 21:34 (24 seconds faster than my last one).  And because it was another tiny, local race I was the second female.  However, I didn’t get to hang around to see if I won anything since I wanted to get my remaining miles in and head home before it was time to feed baby J again.

So I ran the 3.5 miles home and checked in with everyone.  The baby was still napping so I ran my final 4 miles on the treadmill and pushed the pace (about 7:40 average) to squeeze them all in before she needed to eat!

Maplewood 5k 14 miles total

14 miles done… my longest postpartum run so far!!

The other fun piece about this race was that it was the first local one I decided to sponsor, so it was fun to pick up my bib and packet and see my name on the shirt.  :)

Maplewood 5k sponsor

I am still in this strange place with running where I’m pleased with my progress but disappointed that I’m still pretty far from pre-pregnancy paces.

The baby will be three months old in a week, so I know it’s still early.  I’m grateful that my body felt strong through the 14 miles and that my husband can watch the girls and support my running! The pace will eventually return, right?!

Did you race over the weekend? How did you do?

Have you ever couched a race in the middle of a long run?

 

October 20th, 2014

Dressing for Fall

We had an unusually warm September but it’s starting to feel like fall now and I love it!

I tend to overdress on the first cold morning, and then settle into a more appropriate layering. The first 30 or 40 degree morning feels bitter cold!! But by January, those are the warm days.

I asked [...]

October 19th, 2014

Workouts this week + meal planning

Hey everyone! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

This morning I’m off for my rematch 5k. I’m looking forward to the chance to push myself again, even if I’m not back in racing shape yet. I found a local race so I can run over and back for my warm up and cool down and I’m [...]

October 17th, 2014

#FitblogNYC Tweet and Meet

Did you see the tweets and excitement yesterday around Fitness Magazine’s Bloger Meet and Tweet?

I didn’t make it last year and wasn’t sure how it would work this year with a 2 month old at home, but my husband agreed to watch her and sent me out the door. It was my first all [...]

October 15th, 2014

Some amazing news!

Gah! I have been chomping at the bit to share some updates with you all, and I finally have the green light to do so.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to be part of the Stonyfield team (along with 7 other running, blogging moms) to run the Boston marathon! Um, yes!!

I’ve been [...]

October 13th, 2014

Ready for a rematch

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great weekend. We’re back from time with family and a little more sleep deprived than usual but it was so worth it. I love seeing my sister as a mom and meeting our new nephew. I also got to meet my cousin’s new baby… the babies are multiplying!

[...]

October 12th, 2014

Workouts this week and meal planning

Hello from PA!

This was our first overnight trip with the baby and she did great! She stuck to her regular schedule and slept well. My 4yo, however, always has trouble settling down at night when we travel and wakes up extra early and the trend continued. When will she ever grow out of that?! [...]

October 10th, 2014

What I'm Loving Lately

How is it Friday already? This week flew by for me. We’re heading to visit my family this weekend and finally get to meet my nephew who was born 8 weeks before baby J! I can’t wait to get those two cousins together.

To keep things fun for Friday, here are a few things I’m [...]

October 8th, 2014

Reset Results + WIAW

Hi friends,

How’s your week going? Baby J caught her first cold so she’s been a little sniffly and congested, but it hasn’t dampened her spirits. I knew it wouldn’t be long with a big sister coming home from preschool full of germs every day!

I realized yesterday that I never gave a recap of [...]

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