Friday, February 5, 2016

Mama & Baby Yoga

I've been really trying to mix things up with my running routine.  I've been trying all sorts of fitness DVDs from the library.  I was happy to find this yoga DVD that incorporates your baby into your yoga and stretching routine.  I tried this yesterday after my morning run.  We moved the furniture in the living room, put the dog outside and bonded together over this DVD.  I pushed play on Shiva Rea's Mama & Baby Yoga DVD.
We completed the first two segments before she was ready to move on and be fed again.  I am not much of a yoga person, but enjoyed the stretching and felt that the movements and the pace were a great introduction for me.  It felt really good to stretch out my legs, open up my hips and focus on my core.  My body is all out of whack from pregnancy and my body has been getting a little extra sore after running.  Yoga will be a great way to stretch all of these things out and this DVD also gives me time to bond with my baby and incorporate her into my exercise routine.
I loved how movements incorporated your baby.  But the instructor also had babies set on nursing pillows in front of her yoga mat.  This allows you to interact with your baby through facial expressions and the sense of touch.  However,  you are also able to do some stretching and movements on  your own.  I felt that the DVD gave baby enough time to interact with you on a physical level just enough and then you allowed the child to rest by themselves.  When they were ready to be picked up again, you were ready to start the next segment with them.  The instructor also encouraged you throughout the DVD to push pause or pick up your baby as necessary to make them happy.  I didn't feel added pressure to complete the DVD just like the instructor did each segment.
At first she wasn't too sure about what we were doing.  But soon she enjoyed the movements.  It also gave her some tummy time, which is always encouraged.  She also became quite curious and alert as we were moving our bodies together in new ways.  She loves looking around and checking out her surroundings.  This DVD offered her a new way to do that.
I already have renewed this DVD from the library so that we can enjoy it for an extra week!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I am so motivated to say "see ya" to this baby weight.

Today's workout is brought to you by a healthy breakfast that fueled my workout and a happy baby that took a two hour nap this morning. This is my longest treadmill run in close-to a year. It felt great! And I really enjoyed finding that mental toughness again. Sometimes that is half of the battle for me on the treadmill. Boredom and lack of motivation. Running in place for anything more than thirty minutes can be mentally draining. This morning everything felt right on target. I am so motivated to say "see ya" to this baby weight.

Eastern Headbands Review

Ya'll know that I love wearing headbands when I workout.  I love being able to wear my hair down and yet keep my hair out of my face while I work up a sweat.  I don't typically wear headbands when I wear my hair up however.  I love the bright patterns offered in headbands offered by many different companies.  And I always enjoy learning about new companies, especially small business owned by women.
I was contacted by Stephanie of Eastern Headbands to give her headbands a test run (literally).  She sent me a large paisley brilliant blue headband to try.  These wide, non-slip headbands are made from a nylon-lycra fabric.  Like many headbands on the market these are not made of a "wicking fabric".  However, they will soak up the sweat and keep your sweat from dripping in your face - or even worse - your eyes. 

I loved the bright colors and the structure of this headband.  It didn't slip when I tried it during my workout either (I wore my hair down).  It is gathered in the back to prevent slippage.  I loved the wide band and it stood up to a nice six mile (sweaty!!) run.  This headband is going to fit in nicely to my rotation.
These headbands not only work great for running.  But you can also test them out for yoga, tennis, dance, gymnastics or even just running errands around town with your littles.  I also love wearing headbands to the beach or pool.  Match it with your cute swim suit.

Stephanie is currently offering a few different styles in her shop.  She is also offering a nice discount to the first few customers in her Etsy shop.  All you need to do is send her a private conversation and she'll honor the 20% discount.  Can't beat that!

Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Review

Being a first-time nursing and pumping mother (I didn't try nursing with my other two children), I'm discovering this whole new world of products and techniques.  I'm constantly finding ways to make it easier, more efficient and a positive experience for both baby and myself. 
I was excited to be contacted by Undercover Mama regarding their line of nursing tanks.  These snug-fit and slimming tanks are made with two built-in options to attach to any of your nursing bras.  This turns your entire regular wardrobe into a nursing wardrobe.  There is no need to purchase an entire new line of clothing for the period you are nursing. 
These tanks are made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex.  They offer some stretch and comfort.  The tanks are offered in the regular tank style or with a fancy, lacy trim.  These are great with layering with other tanks or under other tops.
The tanks are offered in a rainbow of fourteen different colors, plus one polka dot style.  You can find something to match every single outfit in your closet.  I chose the basic black.

I am typically a 36C and wear medium clothing.  I didn't take into account that my body may be different after pregnancy and while nursing and pumping.  I ordered a black tank in a size medium.  I wish I had ordered a size large for myself.  Check out their size guide to find the right size for you.  I did like the length of the tank, but would enjoy it even more if it were a little longer - especially to wear with leggings.

You can purchase the Undercover Mama tanks for their website or from the Undercover Mama Amazon website.
Sign up for the Undercover Mama email list to receive 10% off of your first order!


CEP Run+ Compression Short Sock Review

CEP​ started selling their line of medical-grade compression products over sixty years ago.  Their compression products were designed to treat poor circulation.  Their products expanded into an athletic line, which I have loved since I discovered running.  I love all of their brightly-colored compression socks.  Match a pair of knee-high compression socks with a cute running skirt and you have an adorable - and functional - running outfit.  My favorite for long-distance runs.  I also like wearing compression socks before, during and after after twenty mile training runs and marathons.  The technology also keeps my legs fresh mile after mile.  Many pro-athletes agree.
Now CEP is offering their technology in a shorter version (two styles) for those that aren't interested in the knee-high variety.  I was sent a pair of CEP Run+ Compression Short Socks to review. 

I wear a womens size 10 running shoe and was sent a size 3.  See the size chart below for the size that will work for you.  I also love the left and right markings on each sock, so that you are guaranteed the right fit.  These socks are currently offered in black, white and red.  I would suggest offering a few more colors, especially for female athletes that like to match all of their running outfits.

I was sent the short version of the socks and realize that I would have ultimately preferred the no-show variety.  They are more my style and more comfortable.  These "mid-size" socks will work best at home on the treadmill or under tights in the winter, when I don't want to layer with knee-high compression socks, yet keep warm.  The length was too high for summer running when you are watching tan lines.  But I loved what the circulation did for me. 
They made my legs feel quick and comfortable over a six mile treadmill run.  I also noticed that my right ankle was no longer bothering me during or after my run.  Perhaps this was because the socks also offer proprioceptive ankle and arch stabilization?

The benefits:
  • Extra-strong compression for maximum performance
  • Reduction of muscle vibrations
  • Maximum stability for muscles and joints to help prevent injuries
  • Proprioceptive ankle and arch stabilization
  • Improved coordination
  • Faster recovery

  • Quality:

  • Seamless toe box or extra-flat toe seam prevents pressure points
  • Each sock is manually inspected multiple times
  • Extreme durability thanks to the use of filament fibers
  • Outstanding workmanship, Made in Germany
  • Custom measurements for optimum compression

  • Function:
  • Optimum heat and moisture management thanks to the use of polypropylene, which does not absorb any moisture into the fibers
  • Minimally padded foot section for a perfect fit in tight-fitting sports shoes
  • Approx. 30% lighter than CEP Progressive+ Run Socks 2.0
  • Perfect anatomical fit for maximum effect
  • Antibacterial, odor-reducing properties


    Saturday, January 30, 2016

    Diabetes Results

    Well, I had quite a scare yesterday. A pretty big one. After my third pregnancy with gestational diabetes, I had to do some follow-up testing at the clinic this week. Just to make sure it went away again this time. On Friday morning, I received my electronic lab results. I checked my results and they stated that my fasting results were NORMAL. And they stated that my two hour glucose tolerance results were ABNORMAL. I started shedding tears immediately as my husband consoled me over our morning coffee. As much as I have changed my lifestyle, apparently things were out of my control. And I was going to have to deal with the diabetic diet and finger pricking for the rest of my life?! My doctor had said that after having one pregnancy with gestational diabetes that my chances of being diagnosed with diabetes later in life would be about fifty percent. Now having had three pregnancies with diabetes, my chances were even higher. I felt at a complete loss.
    Not seeing complete results online, I sent a message to my doctor's office for more information. It turns out that my second numbers were actually lower than normal versus higher than normal (as they were during my pregnancies). So, my doctor concluded that my "abnormal results" were actually normal and within a healthy range.
    Thank goodness. What an emotional roller coaster.
    After receiving the results, I decided that I definitely need to continue to work on cleaning up my diet and supplement all of the exercise and running that I do. I also need to continue to push myself and challenge my body. This was a wake-up call that I need to be the healthiest version of me.

    Today at 5 1/2 weeks post-partum, I logged my longest run yet this month - eight friggin miles. Eight miles with 11 additional pounds of baby weight. Eight miles of determination while wearing my new Her Half Marathon & 5K Ambassador jacket. Eight miles with three kids at home that got 100% of my time during the rest of the day. Eight miles for me.

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    A sign.

    This sign is my current motivation to where I want to be physically. I was approximately 20-25 lbs lighter than where I am at the current moment. The photo was taken in the summer of 2010. Little Diva was six. Little Dude was two. And I was running more than ever and in the best shape of my life. I felt really good in my skin, my passion for running grew as I had just completed my first full marathon the year prior, and I loved being a mommy of two. Unfortunately, I was about to go through the roughest patch of my life in the months ahead. But, running got me through that with a smile on my face in the end. 
    This sign has been motivated me recently, as I stare it while running on the treadmill. It really makes me reflect on where I've been, how my life has changed and transformed and where I still want to go.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    Supplementing my Running Routine

    So, I run and I run ... and I run.  This momma loves to log the miles on the pavement or the treadmill.  I know that with my body type that I will never been long and lean.  But, I would like to be leaner.  And after delivering baby number three recently, I would like to work on my problem areas more than ever.  I never want to replace my runs with other workouts.  But, I would like to supplement my daily miles. 
    I have never been much for participating in fitness classes at our local gym.  With my busy life, coaching schedule and the kids' schedules I never can seem to commit to yet another set class time on our family's schedule.  And I never have been much for fitness DVDs at home.  I had invested in DVD workouts in the past, only to waste my money. 
    Our family visits the library weekly, so I decided to check out some videos from Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper as well as a Skinny B**** DVD.  I figured I might as well try to work on my midsection and my arms with some of these workouts.  Lord knows that I won't have the discipline to do it "on my own".  With the library, I wouldn't be out any money.  And, I could make a fool of myself from the comfort of my living room.
    While the baby was sleeping this afternoon, I completed my thirty minutes on the treadmill and logged three miles.  I then rolled out my yoga mat in the living room and a few free weights and tried the beginner thirty minute killer abs workout with Jillian Michaels.  The series of workouts were difficult for me and I felt uncoordinated - but I was also sweating my a** off.  I'm hoping I feel it tomorrow.  And that I feel motivated again in a couple of days to do it again.  Here's to stepping outside of MY comfort zone ... just like I tell my clients.
    Do you have any fitness DVDs that you swear by?

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    Pausing to be thankful

    At my post-partum appointment on Friday, I received the go ahead to resume my long-distance running. The weather was great for running this afternoon and the paths and sidewalks were clear. I took this knucklehead outside for a "short run" - which turned into SIX blissful miles. It felt great to run with the fresh air in my lungs. The pup stopped frequently to eat snow because he was thirsty. I paused and smiled frequently because I continue to be thankful. I am thankful that I have found something to be this passionate about and enjoy how it makes me feel - inside and out.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    4 Weeks Post-Partum: I'm not just MOM ... I'm ME!

    I can't express how AWESOME it feels to be running again! Even thirty minutes on the treadmill makes me feel like a whole new person! Not just mom ... ME! 
    I've been trying to time my quick workouts while the baby is napping. I nurse/feed her and then take my crew downstairs for thirty minutes on the treadmill. Then I squeeze in a shower and nurse/feed again. Ocassionally she will wake up, but I think she is use to the the rhythm of my footwork and my running tunes ... they put her back to sleep!
    I'm four weeks post-partum today. Not where I want to be, but I'm on my way. I've been eating cleaner and already feeling a little leaner - and much less bloated.

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Week #1 Back to Running

    Week #1 back to running:
    - Ran 5 of 7 days
    - Logged 15 miles on the treadmill
    - 0 Regrets

    - 6.0 - 6.5 MPH pace
    - No aches/pains thus far
    - Thankful that the pressure on my bladder is gone post-partum!
    - With nursing I am going to need a tighter sports bra or to double-up
    - I freshened up my playlist, but need some new additions

    Goals for next week:
    - the past couple of days I have been working on cleaning up my diet
    - drink even more water.
    First post-partum workout on 1/10/2016 .... 3 mile run .... 2 mile walk .... 10 mins stretching .... one big sweaty smile!!  18 days post-partum.
    My running buddies on Thursday!  They both fell asleep.
    Three mile run; followed by a one mile walk.

    Baby's First Marathon

    This baby girl may only be three weeks old, but she has already completed her first marathon.  Although I have crossed the finish line of dozens of half marathons and ten full marathons - I couldn't be prouder of my finishing time at Grandma's Marathon this past year.  I had started my second trimester in June and crossed the finish line in under five hours with this little peanut in my tummy.  This was my slowest 26.2 mile journey to date.  But I finished with my husband at my side and our peanut in my tummy.
    I actually carried her with me for many of my 900+ miles logged in 2015.  She was my motivation to keep moving during my pregnancy and continue being "me" as my waistline expanded and my body changed.  With my other two pregnancies I didn't run or workout, even after I discovered running.  I gained twice as much weight, felt frumpy in my maternity clothes and felt sluggish and unmotivated.  This time, I wanted to feel like myself.  And, I did.  I wanted to experience a healthy pregnancy not just for me, but for both of us.  I wanted to fight the gestational diabetes that I was confronted with again.  I pushed myself and my body as smart and safely as I could.  I ran until I was 34 weeks and no longer felt comfortable to do so.  When it no longer became fun or enjoyable, I switched to walking the dog.
    I believe that running made my delivery easier and that my body has recovered faster because of my dedication the past nine months.  I was able to return to running shortly after she was two weeks old.  And now I not only have this memorable finisher's medal hanging among the others ... I also have our beautiful baby girl.


    Saturday, January 9, 2016

    Ready for a Run

    I'm ready with three bright new pairs of running shoes! It has been almost eight weeks since my last run. I'm going to take one lucky pair for a spin next week on the treadmill (three weeks post-partum). I received different opinions in the hospital about running since I had a quick and easy delivery and recovery has been easy-peasy, too. Everything from "do what you feel comfortable with" to waiting til my post-partum appointment. I will be taking things slow - but working up a good sweat - something that I have missed desperately.

    Future GOTR Girl

    Yesterday, Baby Brooke received this wonderful surprise package from Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin. I love having such a supportive running community in the Madison-area - especially for women and young girls! Girls on the Run teaches young girls to pursue their dreams, train for a 5K and have fun in the process - while teaching a curriculum around goal-setting, self-esteem, body image, avoiding bullying and so much more. We are raising a generation of confident young women!!

    Wednesday, January 6, 2016

    Introducing Baby Brooke ...

    Brooke Olivia arrived healthy and perfect on December 23 at 4:20pm after a quick three hour labor and medication free birth. Our bundle weighed 7 lb 13oz and was 20.5 in long. She has lots of dark hair and long eyelashes like daddy. We brought her home on Christmas morning.  We feel so blessed to share her arrival.

    Brooke's birth story coming soon.


    Today's agenda.

    This morning's agenda includes doing the following in our jammies:
    - Holding baby
    - Drinking coffee
    - Holding baby
    - Writing thank you notes
    - Holding baby
    - Filling out baby book
    - Holding baby
    - Blogging
    - Holding baby
    My heart is full.  She is two weeks old today.  Time needs to slow down.  Seriously.

    Monday, December 21, 2015

    2016 Milwaukee Running Festival Ambassador & Discount Code

    I was supposed to run an event at the inaugural Milwaukee Running Festival last fall, but the end of my pregnancy had different plans for me.  I knew early on last summer that I wouldn't be able to run the marathon in the fall.  But, I heard from friends, clients and social media posts that the event was great, well-organized and overall a must-participate-in event.  Every participant I interacted with raved about the inaugural event.

    I'm looking forward to serving as an ambassador again in 2016, and I can't wait to share my experience with you.  I am still waiting to see what my post-partum body allows me to do before I commit to the half or full marathon.

    The Milwaukee Marathon course is a beautiful combination of city streets and parkways, and includes several of Milwaukee’s known landmarks as well as a diverse mix of neighborhoods. The entire 26.2-mile course stays in the City of Milwaukee. The race finishes at Veteran's Park in downtown Milwaukee.

    November 5-6, 2016
    Right now, registration is really affordable, and if you are on the fence, I would suggest committing to a distance before the new year.  The marathon is only $65 ($120 on race day) through December 31 and the half marathon is $55 ($110 on race day). 

    Combine the above savings with the Running Diva Mom discount code:  RUNDIVA2016 for $10 off and you will have a really affordable event on your calendar for next fall.

    There are also 5K and one mile events that you can register for that weekend.

    Milwaukee Running Festival
    November 5-6, 2016
    Milwaukee, WI


    Saturday, December 19, 2015

    Birthing Playlist

    Recently, I read this funny article from Women's Running Magazine, which listed twenty ways running a marathon is like giving birth.  It was funny, it was familiar, it was true.  Even though I am being induced again, it makes me realize that I really can have a third "medication-free" birthing experience.  No epidural needed, because I have done it before and I can do it again.  Just like every 26.2 mile journey I run - and all of the training miles leading up to that point.  My body has prepared me for this.  I have great breathing techniques.  I know where to put my mindset and get in my zone.  I can do this.

    I also recently have been watching The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born on Netflix.   Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein's documentaries have been pretty eye-opening.  They document the journey of women as they attempt medication-free births, home births, work without "medical professionals" to achieve their desired birthing experience.  The documentaries also show how things don't always go as planned, and sometimes mothers just need to adjust their expectations to get the same positive end-result.  It has been a very interesting series to watch.

    The documentary touched on marathon runners several times and compared giving birth to that finish line.  Further, I saw that some women in the documentary were using ipods and calming music to get them through the experience without medication.  I thought - I make playlists all of the time for my long runs.  I run for hours (and hours!) at times to my favorite tunes that motivate me.  Sometimes my playlists are filled with pop music, sometimes rap and hip hop, other times singer/songwriters and rock fill my ears with the most moving and beautiful music that keeps me moving.  It's the emotion of the music that gets me through some of the toughest points of my runs.  Since Mumford and Sons always moves me to tears at miles 20-25 of a marathon, I opted to make a birth playlist that features them frequently.  "Lover's Eyes" and "Below my Feet" are two of my favorite songs that move me.  My emotional playlist includes many songs that strike my emotions and push me beyond my limits.  This includes many from Mumford & Sons, Ron Pope (songs from our wedding), Avett brothers, Adele, Hozier and more singer/songwriter types.  I look forward to seeing what these tunes can do for me and if I can go to "that place", as I do during a marathon.