6 Tips to Get Your Fitness Back

March 29, 2016

We can all officially say that Spring is here, whether you’ve got ice and snow on the ground still or not. If the cold weather plays a big pull in your exercise routine (or lack there of), the snow will melt eventually and it will be time to get back out there into your running routine. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you slip on your sneakers and put away the gloves to get into your Spring and Summer running routines!

6 Tips to Get Your Fitness Back

Run naked

I’m not talking about your birthday suit either – leave your watch at home! As you start running again from an extended break, don’t worry about your time or distance at first. Simply focus on getting up in the morning, or getting out after work to create a routine. The actual act of putting your exercise on your calendar (and getting it done) is definitely the most difficult part. Once you actually start running (or walking) you are golden. You will get it done!

Know your fitness will come back

I distinctly remember after having my first son how discouraging it was going for runs. I was in the most amazing shape before getting pregnant and my come back seemed to be taking absolutely forever. I was going way too slow for my liking and didn’t seem to be making a ton of progress. As soon as I let that go, I started to see my mileage increase and my pace decrease, which made me feel so much better. It took a bit, but I did make progress. As soon as I saw small wins, the big wins followed soon there after and I was back!

Don’t get discouraged

This can be easier said that done, but don’t let a small loss completely derail your success. So had to skip a workout and go to a work happy hour instead. Be sure to get out the next day and get in a great run. If you get sick and have to take off a week, start back up the next week and get back to the great schedule you have come accustomed to. It is easy to make excuses as to why you’ve fallen off the wagon – take the hard way and get right back into it! Don’t lose what you’ve worked so hard to get to!

Marriott World Center Running Trail

Find a friend and team up

Enrolling a friend in your fitness journey makes coming back to running and working out so much more fun. You can take on the journey together and have someone to complain talk to when you have the worst run ever. Schedule a couple of days a week to meet up and run together or take a spinning class at your favorite studio. You will be much less likely to skip out on the workout if you have someone waiting for you at 6am.

Go shopping for some new running clothes

Ok so I know this sounds silly, but it works! How many times have you been so excited to wear something new, whether it is fitness related or not? Go buy a couple of new running outfits and get some use out of them! I’m not talking athleisure either – really go run in the clothes!

Pick a goal to look forward to

Whether you are looking at a race to complete or you sign up for a challenge at your local gym, pick something, plan for it, and stick to it! Having something looming out in the future to keep you accountable makes a really big difference. This is a great thing to get a friend involved in too!

What tips do you have when starting back up into a fitness routine?

Baby Baum #2 – 28 & 29 Weeks

March 25, 2016

I am now comfortably in the 3rd trimester and approaching 30 weeks tomorrow! Pretty crazy that we are now in the single digit weekly countdown!

Here is what is going on with Baby Baum #2 at 28 & 29 weeks

  • The baby is about 3 pounds now, measuring around 17 inches in length
  • Up until his due date, he will be close to tripling his current weight
  • Permanent teeth are forming in his gums

What’s going on with me:

Baby Baum #2 29 weeks

Weight Gained: At my 28 week appointment, I was up a total of 17 pounds. It really is crazy how much weight I gained at the beginning, and then how much it has tapered off. I am pretty sure all the weight I am gaining now is baby – my belly looks like a torpedo!

Workouts: The temperature have not been nearly as cool, so my running has slowed down a bit too. I am pretty much only run/walking now, which I am more than fine with. I’m still getting 3 miles done in a little over 30 minutes, so I am not complaining. I just need to take small walk breaks about every 8-10 minutes.

28 weeks pregnant at Disney

Symptoms: I found out the baby is breach at my 28 week appointment, which makes so much sense given the amount of kicks I was feeling *down there*. It really felt like he was using my bladder and vagina as a trampoline. Luckily, I’m pretty sure he turned because the kicks and jabs are all back to being felt in my ribs and upper abdomen.

Food Aversions: Nothing at all!

Food Cravings: We were out of town for 5 days in North Carolina and South Carolina. I pretty much didn’t say no to any food -biscuits, ice cream – you name it, I was eating it. I have cleaned up my diet since I got home, so I am feeling a little better about my food choices!

Sleep: Still going strong. I wake up around 5 to pee, but otherwise, no frequent bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. We will see how much longer that will last!

Baby Items Purchased: I caved and bought some adorable clothes for our baby boy. Even though we have so many outfits already from Grant, I felt the urge to get this little guy a few outfits of his own. Carter’s was having a 50% sale, and I just couldn’t say no. I still need to get the essentials – paci’s, diapers, etc. As soon as we found out we were having a boy, I went to online shopping!

baby clothes

Miss anything?: Other than the obvious wine and sushi, I am starting to miss some of my old outfits. I am so tired of wearing the 4 workout outfits I have and can’t wait to get back to wearing shorts and a sports bra to run in.

Do you know the sex? YES! We made the decision last minute at the 28 week appointment and found out we are having a BOY!

I feel like I am more and more excited to get to May 31st, the day we are scheduled to have the baby. Maybe finding out the sex did that to me, I dunno. But I can’t wait!

Running Around Charleston SC

March 24, 2016

Marcus and I were fortunate enough to get a few days to ourselves over a nice long weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning in Charlotte, NC at our great friend’s wedding and then headed to Charleston, SC on Sunday morning to have some time for just the two of us.

If you’ve never been to Charleston, I highly recommend scheduling a trip. It is extremely beautiful, the food is amazing, and the city itself has a lot to offer. The historical components are incredibly and can keep you entertained for quite sometime. Everything about the trip was amazing! As with anywhere I go, running is always an activity I am sure to schedule into the days to explore. This trip was no different, even at 29 weeks pregnant! Runs these days are more of the run/walk variety, which was perfect to explore Charleston!

We stayed a little bit on the northern part of the peninsula, in a brand new Hyatt House hotel. Marcus stays at these hotels a bit when he travels, but this was my first time at a Hyatt House. I can not say enough great things about the hotel! The location was perfect, as it was a little bit outside of the really busy part of town, but still in what is considered to be the historic district. The hotel itself was only 5 months old when we stayed there, so everything was so pristine. The staff was wonderful too – they gave us great food recommendations and were always super cheerful and nice. We started right from the hotel and just ran straight down King Street to the battery, where the most amazing homes in Charleston sit.

Charleston Map

The jaunt down to the coast was just under 2 miles, so we had a lot to see along the way. It was early in the morning, so nothing was open and there weren’t a lot of people out either. King Street gets crazy busy in the middle of the day, so the minimal crowds was preferred.

Once we got to the water, the views were beautiful at White Point Garden. Living in Tampa, we are quite used to running along the water, but for someone not living in a coastal spot, I can see this part of the run being a crowd favorite!

Running in Charleston

White Point Garden

After we explored the White Point Garden a bit, we headed back towards the hotel, on East Bay Street. Here, we passed “Rainbow Row”, a stretch of homes all painted in bright and vibrant colors (photo from Wikipedia).

Rainbow Row

We kept on trucking back to where we were staying, passing a few more touristy type spots along the way, including the Charleston City Market. According to Wikipedia, it started as a beef market over 200 years ago, and slowly transformed into what it is today – a place to buy goods, and eventually, souvenirs for all the tourists. The vendors were still setting up as we ran, so we didn’t actually stop in. There was a lot of stuff in there though!

The homes along the route back to the hotel were definitely something to look at. There is amazing architecture all throughout the city, dating hundreds and hundreds of years. It really was fun to see!

Charleston Battery

Charleston flower boxes

Charleston Houses

We finished the run about 2 blocks from the hotel, and a little place called Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. What’s a 4 mile run without some yummy biscuits to finish it off!?

I can’t recommend running around Charleston enough if you are looking for a nice site seeing adventure. There are a lot of streets to cross, so it wouldn’t be the best if you are looking to have an uninterrupted run. If you are looking to take in the sites, a run/walk around Charleston is perfect!

Have you had a chance to go for a run in Charleston? What were your favorite spots?


Please Don’t Be Ashamed of Your C-Section

March 18, 2016

Just over 2 years ago, I was sitting in front of my computer, ready to write up Grant’s birth story. I loved reading everyone’s birth story while I was pregnant, and had been looking forward to sharing my experience as well. Strange enough, when I actually got to writing it, I froze. I couldn’t do it.

I went into the end of pregnancy completely prepared – or so I thought. We hired a doula, I was fully immersed in the Bradley Method book, and we had an iron clad birth plan. I didn’t want to use medication and was full prepared to get through this experience. On my due date, I walked into the minute clinic and tested positive for the flu. Great timing, right? The baby was staying put (thank goodness) while I stayed in bed for the next few days, living off soup and ginger ale. When I went in for my NST (non-stress test) Wednesday afternoon, there wasn’t a lot of movement so the medical team then checked the fluid level of the baby. It was low and there was really only option – induction, something I knew would make it super tough to support an un-medicated birth.
Don't be ashamed of csection

I went home, grabbed my duffle bag, and we headed to the hospital. I was quickly moved to L&D once we checked in and the pitocin started quickly thereafter. Fast forwarding quite a bit, after many many painful, pitocin induced contractions, I ended up with an epidural, and then shortly after an emergency c-section.

I was in a complete haze after the birth. I hated what had just happened and had a really difficult time processing it. I really couldn’t talk about it without crying, for quite some time. I made the mistake of watching The Business of Birth on Netflix a few weeks after we got home from the hospital. I had to turn it off mid-way through. It was like reliving a birth I felt ashamed of.

I mentioned in my post on Wednesday that I was not approved to try for a VBAC, so here we are. My c-section is in the books at the hospital and I know the baby will be coming no later than May 31st, which is a huge reason I feel compelled to share all of this. Putting a date in the calendar is a very strange, but also calming feeling. This experience could not be more different than my first go at the whole childbirth thing, but I am oddly at peace with it. After I had Grant, I was traumatized by the whole experience. I know it may sound silly for someone who hasn’t been through it, but it was terrible. I left the hospital feeling like I failed – like I didn’t actually give birth to my son – someone took him from inside of me.

Grant's birth

I am at an amazing place with this now. Instead of feeling angry, ashamed and like a failure for having a c-section the first time, I feel great about the months ahead. For me, birth is just going to be planned from here on out and recovery may take a little bit longer. I still get to hold an amazing little baby after its all said and done and I will be leaving the hospital in June with a family of 4. We all have different journeys but the outcome is the same – a happy, healthy baby and a strong, proud mom. I know this now, and wish I could have seen it clearer 2 years ago.

I was going through my  feed this morning, I came across this article, which could not have been more timely. I couldn’t agree more with her outlook. I’m not one to write many posts like this – really and truly sharing from deep inside – but I feel compelled to do it. I just hope sharing my experience can help just one more person that may have gone through a similar situation. I know there are plenty of people that have and even more women that will have c-sections when they planned for the exact opposite. As women, sharing and providing support to each other is paramount. This post is my little piece of support for you.


Differences Between Pregnancy #1 and #2

March 16, 2016

One question I have been asked quite a few times now is how are my two pregnancies different. They have been really similar (hello morning sickness in the first trimester) and also really different too. Here are a few things that really come to mind.

Pregnancy Differences

I was in much better shape going into my first pregnancy

The month before Grant was conceived, I ran a marathon, and ran it pretty well! I trained hard for the race and really pushed it, as I knew it would be the last race I’d be running for a while since we had been actively trying to start a family. Running in the first trimester was a breeze. I had so much fitness left from my marathon that going out for a 5 mile run was no biggie for quite some time.

Fast forward to pregnancy #2, I ran my last race in May, and then didn’t get pregnant until September. I ran a little but, but drastically cut back mileage on doctor’s orders. Then, the medicine I was on (Clomid) caused one of my ovaries to become overstimulated, so I was told I couldn’t exercise what so ever – walking was the only thing that I could do. The ovary grew to be the size of a softball, and then slowly started to shrink when I got pregnant. That lasted for the 1st 8 weeks of the pregnancy. Starting to run after being off for 8 weeks, on top of being pregnant was unbelievably tough for me. I did a ton of walking and really didn’t feel like I was in shape (aka running a few miles without having to stop) until I was approaching the 20 week mark.

I feel my lower back a bit more

I had a very flexible schedule when I was pregnant the first time – I did freelance content work and personal training, so sitting at a desk all day wasn’t in the cards. Now, it is completely opposite. I am desk bound all day and have noticed a big difference in the tightness in my lower back. I get up as much as I can throughout the day (hello bathroom trips!) but I still sit way way too much. I definitely miss how amazing I felt last time around!

Tampa Riverwalk Running

I don’t focus as much on strength because of a scheduled c-section

I found out I would not be approved for a V-BAC pretty early on in my pregnancy. I was devastated as I had a huge huge desire to have a vaginal birth at some point – I’m talking crocodile tears in my OB’s office. My practice had to do an extension incision when they delivered Grant – think of a horizontal line with a vertical line coming from the very center – which increases my chances for uterine rupture. Knowing that I am not going to be enduring a 20+ hour marathon of childbirth has affected my workouts a bit. I’m not doing nearly as many squats this time around and just haven’t been focusing on my pelvic floor nearly as much. I really put a big emphasis on the strength of my legs during my first pregnancy (I wanted to be prepared as possible), but have really neglected that this time around.

I’m chasing around a toddler

This tends to be the most obvious, but I already have a toddler to chase around this time. First pregnancies are amazing because you can sleep when you want to and you are on no one’s schedule but your own. Now, Grant keeps me pretty darn busy! Going to Magic Kingdom last week, walking around, and picking him up countless times was a workout in itself, so I definitely wasn’t scheduling something on top of that. Knowing I am staying active is reason enough sometimes to not lift weights or to go for a walk instead of run.

Grant big bro

I know the weight will come off

First pregnancies, like anything you’ve never done before, can be pretty crazy! There are things happening you don’t know are normal. Your body packs on all sorts of weight – whether its 20 pounds or 50 pounds – and you just don’t feel like yourself. Knowing the weight came off for me last time, and knowing I didn’t have to focus heavily on losing that weight, makes my second pregnancy weight gain pretty easy to swallow. I gained a bit more in the first trimester than I did last time (see the 8 week exercise restriction), and I’ve really tapered off up to this point. I gain a couple pounds here and there, but I am feeling good about it. I’m growing an amazing BABY BOY (!!!) and my body will go back to normal. I know it will. Staying active is great, but skipping some runs in favor of some couch time surely isn’t a big deal.

I still focus on what I eat

Something I have stayed very consistent with through both pregnancies is eating healthy. I know that my baby is fed the same food I eat, so I continue to eat well by filling my body with whole foods, plenty of healthy fats, and of course, the occasional treat. I am not going to walk away from a side of french fries every time or say no to that amazing vanilla ice cream cone, but I’m also not going to eat them multiple times a week. Staying healthy is all about moderation, and I see pregnancy to be no different.

What are the biggest differences you have seen from pregnancy to pregnancy? If haven’t had more than one child, what would you expect to be the biggest difference?