Introducing Speed Back Into Running

I’ve been back running now for 10 weeks since I was given my clearance to start up again after having Grant. I started off pretty slow, utilizing the run/walk approach that first week, and running only every other day to make sure I wasn’t overdoing it. From there, I kept creeping up in the time I spent out running, and then finally reintroduced my Garmin into my life. For me, I wasn’t looking to see my speed as much as simply wanting to know my progress.

Speed Into Running

Once I hit the 8 week mark, I was ready to start introducing some light speed workouts back into my routine. It is no easy task, but definitely necessary to reach goals in the future and to start building a quicker base. Here are a few tips to get back into some faster workouts.

Focus on Endurance Before Speed

It’s important to make sure you build your endurance before you build up your speed. If you can’t run 4 miles easy, do you really think you are going to be able to run them hard? Make sure you have a solid base before even considering picking up the pace. If you don’t, your injury rate is going to become much greater.

Start Off Easy

It is important to understand you will most likely not be hitting your race goal pace on your workouts for a while. Get into your workout groove, and simply see where you are – pull a benchmark of your progress. While I was on the treadmill yesterday, I ran 4×400 with a 400 recovery. These 400′s were run at 7:15 pace. Needless to say, I have an extremely long way to go until I am hitting the paces I was a little over a year ago. My tempo runs were closer to 7:15, and now I am huffing and puffing for a 7:15 400. It’s all quite humbling, that’s for sure. Just remember – with hard work and dedication, you will get back to some speedy workouts.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

Is it better to do 8×400 and not hit a single mark you were looking to, or is it better to run half as many 400′s and hit every single repeat on the nose? The latter option is best, of course. Having a quality workout is far better than simply hammering out a bunch of mediocre repeats. Remember this – it’s important!

Distinguish the Difference Between Discomfort and True Pain

You know what I am talking about here. Workouts are not meant to be easy – that’s why they are called workouts, and not an easy run. You should be uncomfortable and breathing heavy, but not unable to breathe. Your muscles should feel tired and fatigued, but not stretched to the point of injury. We can push our bodies much further than we think, however, don’t forget to listen to your body if you do think something is awry.

Don’t Do Them Back to Back

Just like strength training, your body needs a day in between speed workouts to recover. Do one workout a week in the beginning, and then build up to two. From there, see what your body can handle. Do this very gradually to steer clear of over doing it and getting mentally and physically burnt out.

Speed workouts are a fun way to vary up your running routine. Have fun introducing them into your training schedule, but be sure to do it slowly but surely!

A Father’s Day 5k and 1 Mile Walk

One of the best parts of being a parent is experiencing so many firsts – smiles, rolling over, and in this case, Father’s Day! We celebrated Marcus’ very first Father’s Day  all weekend long.

Father's Day Marcus and Grant

Saturday was nice and low key – the guys played golf in the morning, and we had dinner in at night. Sunday morning, the 4 of us woke up for a nice 5k and 1mile run/walk. The Richard’s Father’s Day Family 5k walk and jog started at ended at a brand new restaurant, Ulele, opening later this summer.

Ulele

100% of the proceeds of the event went to the Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration (APCC) at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. We have someone near and dear to us who overcame prostate cancer, so it was great to be able to participate in a race directly benefitting the cause. This was a no bells and whistles sort of race – no medals, timing clock, or even bibs. It was truly just to raise awareness. It was great to make it a family affair – even Winnie joined in on the fun!

Winnie

There was a quick warm-up before we were all given the go ahead to start, and then we were on our way.

Father's Day 5k

We opted for the 1 mile walk since my father in law is still coming back from a foot injury from earlier this year. I always thought 5k’s went by too fast – think about a 1 mile event! It was just a quick little out and back jaunt down the road, and then we were back at the event site.

Eddie and Winnie

The best part of a race being held at a restaurant is definitely the post race breakfast ever. I have no idea how they make their eggs, but they were the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had. Just another reason I can not wait for the restaurant to open up!

Ulele breakfast

Of course, we had to be sure to capture the day with a few great photos.

Father Day Marcus and Ed

Thanks to Marcus’ dad, Eddie, for coming to celebrate with us. We loved every bit of it!

Marcus and Eddie

Father's Day Family picture

And because I just can’t help it – I’ll leave you with an another adorable photo of baby Grant ;)

Grant 3.5 months

 

Happy first Father’s Day Marcus. I hope it was the perfect mix of activity and relaxation.

Life Lately

First off – happy National Running Day! I started off my day celebrating in the best way I know how – by running! I even had a great running buddy accompany along my route. Of course, we captured our fun run on Instagram this morning (follow me!).

photo (2)

I am not quite sure where on earth time is running off to. It’s been a week since I was able to blog last and I still don’t feel like I have the time to dedicate to it that I would like. Between working, spending time with Grant and Marcus, and simply taking some time for myself, blogging has taken a backseat. I’ll be checking in as often as I can, however I know that I will not be able to post 3 times a week for the foreseeable future. There are just not enough hours in the day, and my priorities have just shifted a bit. Thanks in advance for sticking around!

Fitness lately has been great. I’ve been getting in some very enjoyable runs, both solo and with friends. I haven’t been able to spend nearly enough time with some of my friends lately, so combining running and catching up is perfect. I’m even lucky enough to have my friend Courtney join me in the wee morning hours at 5am some days of the week. It’s amazing how quickly those miles fly by! I hit my highest mileage week since the marathon last year  – 23 miles. Woot woot! I’m still a little nervous to increase my mileage too high in fear of my milk supply dwindling, so I have a feeling I am going to be sticking to around the 25 mile per week sweet spot. I would love to tack on a little more after a few more weeks, but we shall see. It all depends.

6 mile Garmin run

I have had the most insatiable hunger the past month or so. I just cannot seem to get enough to eat it seems, which I know isn’t true. This has been my eating schedule since I started my full-time job:

Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter and banana

Coffee, coffee, coffee

Snack: Trail Mix

Lunch: Big spinach salad with chicken and loads of goodies in it

Snack: Banana/apple/fruit of some kind and peanut butter

Dinner: Protein of some sort, salad, and starch (usually potatoes or rice)

Late night snack: Cereal, fruit, etc.

As you can see, I’ve been eating quite a bit of calories. I’ve really been focusing on getting in quality food with good fats and a decent amount of calories as well. I haven’t been losing any weight, so that’s a good thing. I’ve been at my pre-pregnancy weight for a bit now, but I still have the 5 lbs I gained to get pregnant. I feel really good and can fit back into most of my clothes, except for my shorts. I never thought I’d fit back into jeans before my shorts – I guess the jeans have more stretch to them ;) My hips are definitely still wider than they were before Grant came along, so we shall see if they shrink back down. I’m sure the 5 lbs is all in my hips, thighs, and butt – for sure! I guess it’s probably time for another body after baby post. I’ll try to get some photos taken in the next few days!

Until then, enjoy a pic of these two hams. They have quite the intense staring contests!

Winnie and Grant

Well, that’s enough babbling for one day to catch you up on my happenings. Have an awesome Wednesday (and National Running Day)!

Grant: 3 Months

The big 3 month mark is here!

I remember right after having Grant, so many people referred to this amazing 3 month mark. After you survive those first two weeks, it starts to get better they say, but nothing compares to when they are 3 months old. I have to say, I have absolutely loved pretty much everything after those first two weeks. Every day provides a fun new aspect and each week is completely different from the next. 3 months is no different.

Grant, you are the most mild mannered baby. Of course, I have nothing to compare you to, but you truly are amazing. You are growing right on schedule, and are getting more rolls by the day!As you know. you were quite the skinny little baby for the first couple of months – I really thought he would have skinny little legs forever. Boy was I wrong! Check out those squeezable cheeks!

Grant 3 Months

Your personality is developing more and more each day. There are days when you will get a glimpse of daddy, and your whole day lights up. I can’t say the same when you look at me, but that’s ok! You give me smiles here and there too – nothing compares to your daddy though!

In the past month, you have really been trying to figure out what on earth your hands do. You keep them balled up into fists most of the time, but when you uncurl them, its like magic. You can grab onto things and touch them, but you just aren’t quite sure how it happened.

You absolutely love bath time – another time you spend one on one with daddy. The water doesn’t bother you at all, even when he splashes you in the face with it. Your favorite part of the bath is at the end, when daddy call it  “hot tub time”. You takes you off of the sling in your tub and puts you in the water up to your chest so you can lounge. Of course, he still holds onto you, but you sure do love the freedom!

Grant 3 months

One of the most fun places to play with you is on your changing table. You are so happy getting your diaper changed, so we usually give you a solid 20 minutes up there to play. You talk and tell us all sorts of things in this time. You are really starting to find your voice!

A big milestone you reached this past month was the ability to roll over! You rolled from your back to your belly a few times over the weekend, and your daddy and I were both so excited. You worked so hard at it, and it finally came! The big smile you had after you did it was unforgettable.

For some reason, the past few times you have gone for walks with Winnie and I, you have wanted nothing to do with being in the running stroller. Crocodile tears ensued, which meant I ended up carrying you for the remainder of the walk both times. That is something we are going to need to figure out, because I have a feeling that you are going to be spending some pretty good time with me in that stroller ;)

We went to the beach over Memorial Day weekend, but you decided it was best we leave early. You just didn’t want to be out in the heat I guess, which was the best decision anyhow. Keeping you out of the sun was tricky, and since you can’t wear sunblock, I was a bit nervous you were going to get burned.

Grant beach

 

You are a champ in the sleep department. You’ve been sleeping through the night since 9 weeks or so, and it is just amazing. We put you to bed around 8pm each night, and you sleep like a champ until 5 or 6, eat, then head back to sleep for another couple of hours. Mornings are your favorite – the giggles and smiles you give us just couldn’t be any better.

Grrant sleeping 3 months

One thing I didn’t realize I would enjoy so much before I had you was the time we spend together when you eat. It only takes you about 15 minutes max when you breastfeed, and those 15 minutes are some I cherish each and every day – even if it is 5am.

I had no idea how much I would love being your mom, Grant. Thanks for being the light of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring!

Friday Favorites 5.23.14

Hello Friday! This week has flown by for me. How about you!? Here are a few favorites from the week!

Salads

Big ones! I can’t seem to get enough salads. I have one everyday for lunch, and most evenings as a side item for dinner. I think it has something to do with the water content – I always feel so refreshed!

Mommi protein powder

The ladies behind Mommi protein supplements reached out to me right after Grant was born to check out a 3-in-1 prenatal protein powder. It is delicious! I had the vanilla flavor (since I am not a fan of chocolate) and it is so smooth. It doesn’t have that strange after taste so many protein powders have either. There are 130 calories per packet, with 5g of fat, 200mg of DHA and 15g of protein. There is also folic acid and other prenatal vitamins essential for lactating women. For me, it has been the perfect addition to my morning smoothies. In June, you will be able to find it at vitamin supplement stores, but for now, you can get the powder online. For 20% off, use the code 3icecream1.

Mommi Protein

Running!

I am finally back to the point where I am truly enjoying running again, and it isn’t a killer each and every time I go out. i am at a very comfortable 5 mile run at the moment, most of them being around 8:50-9:15 pace. It feels so great to have some of this normalcy back!

Scandal Season 3

Marcus and I got into Scandal about a month before Grant was born, and ended up finishing the 2nd season the day before I had him. Last weekend, I got an email from Netflix notifying me that the 3rd season was out, so we immediately tuned in! This show is out of control addicting! We had to make a pact to not start a new episode if it’s after 10pm, otherwise, we will stay up all night and watch it!

Scandal

A certain 12 week old

You didn’t think I’d be able to make it through a favorite things post without including this little guy, did you!?

Grant 12 weeks

Have an awesome long weekend!