on the road again

Today is a wonderful day! I woke up when Baby A started making sounds and found him trying to escape his swaddle (as usual). He’s going to have the strongest arms ever from this daily exercise. I freed his arms, played with him for a while, fed him then strapped him onto me and left the house. We walked to Velo Rouge for coffee and a bagel sandwich then took the long route home, enjoying the crisp morning air.
Back home, we woke up Dad so I could get ready for work. I had big plans to ride my bike to our last rehearsal in the Presidio. I hadn’t yet ridden my bike post-pregnancy and didn’t feel ready to tackle the climb out of the Presidio with a violin on my back, so I arranged for my boys to meet me with the car after rehearsal.
I checked brakes and pumped up the tires then was off! I felt such pleasure being back on the road again and smiled as groups of spandex-clad cyclists passed me on their morning rides.
The steep hill into the Presidio left me breathing hard but I didn’t need to walk my bike as I’d feared I would. Good thing it’s a short climb! It’s strange that each time I bring back a new physical activity it’s easier than I assume it will be. Somehow I’m still in really good shape! It’s only a matter of not letting my aerobic capacity get the best of my physical body and end up injured.
Speaking of which, it occurred to me in the middle of a long walk yesterday that even though I haven’t run since last Saturday (my knee is still on the mend) all of my walking counts toward marathon training. I’m averaging 20 miles a week, which include one long day, similar to what I’d be doing on a real training schedule. Only, walking is gentler on my body and great for baby naps!

swim hill swim

I added flip turns back into my repertoire this week. It didn’t even occur to me until the end of my swim Monday that I no longer have a big belly prohibiting my body from folding in half! Every one of the Stroller Posse girls mentioned lower back pain at some point during lunch Tuesday and HK suggested using gentle flip turns in the pool to stretch out the muscles. Fortunately, my husband came home from work early twice this week so that I could swim. I tried both flip turns and backstroke to help alleviate pain and stretch out muscles.
On my way to the pool last night I caught a clip of a Fresh Air interview with NY times blogger Gretchen Reynolds. Her new book The First 20 Minutes discusses everything from wearing high heels to not taking ibuprofen as a preventative measure before a hard workout. I can’t wait to pick up a copy!
I think Ms.Reynold’s main concept is “less is more”. My knee is still hurting from my overly ambitious run Saturday. I need to be more careful as I regain my pre-pregnancy fitness. The problem is, I’m always so excited to be out these days that I’m not as good at monitoring myself as I used to be. At least I know walking is good for my body and I can mix up my routes for extra hills.
Yesterday’s hill with stroller was monstrous. I decided to check out the UCSF farmers market but forgot UCSF is up high! Pushing a stroller up one of these inclines is no easy task. I paused in the middle to snap a picture of Baby A looking un-impressed and was rewarded at the market with early season peaches and apricots. At least one thing is consistent with me: will exercise for food!

the workouts:
2 -900 yd swims following pattern- 100 free, 100 breast, 100 free, 100 back until complete

walking & more walking- averaging 4 miles/day


doing his nights

My mother-in-law sent me the fantastic book Bringing up Bébé and I’ve been trying The Pause technique with much success. Last night Baby A “did his night” with almost eight hours straight and I slept only an hour less! After he ate breakfast we dozed side by side then I passed him to my husband and, as my boys exchanged morning grunts, I left the house for a run.
I love being out in the early morning sunshine and grinned ear to ear as I jogged toward a trail. I’ve discovered a few trails in the area by unfortunate accident when I’m pushing the stroller, then need to bump along to the nearest pavement. Today, however, I made it my goal to remain on trails as much as possible. Listening to Zach Brown conjured up happy memories of Albers Trio concerts and traveling in Texas with my sisters. I think that specific trip inspired my Lauratogo blog!
I decided to run off the clock for the sheer pleasure of exercising. Of course I’m so goal oriented I still need to know how long I’m doing what (25 min run, including 2 min walk break in the middle)! My left knee was complaining a little by the end but I suspect this has more to do with crouching down at weird angles to pick up miscellaneous items while balancing baby in one arm than running. I’ll keep an eye on it while exercising and be more mindful around the house too.
I feel like I’m slowly reintegrating elements of my former life into this new wonderful phase!


We had a blow-out yesterday.  No, not a dirty diaper, a stroller tire.  I was walking with the Stroller Posse (six of us with babes and strollers!) in the park and apparently my BOB ran over a nail.  We heard a loud bang and looked down to discover I had a flat tire.  Of all the strollers to malfunction after a little off-roading…!

Fast-forward to today.   Baby A decided, after we’d already left the house, that he’d rather be in my arms than in his stroller.  Luckily I’d brought the Boba wrap so while he hollered from the stroller, I wrapped myself up as quickly as possible.  I slid him into the wrap (no easy task when he’s upset and holding his legs stiff) then hoped for the best as I continued on my walk.  As I suspected, he was overtired and fell asleep almost instantly.  Great, except I had the heavy stroller and a heavy baby strapped to me.  I’ve grown accustomed to pushing only the BOB since it’s much lighter and more maneuverable with one hand.  The Graco pop-up is nearly impossible to steer without two arms!  I could have turned around and walked home but I was determined to pick up a few groceries and a replacement tube for the BOB.  I made it all the way to the grocery store, pushing the stroller with one arm and supporting Baby A with the other, then he woke up.  I almost turned around and called it quits but we’d made it that far, so I popped him back into the stroller and offered his fancy mustache pacifier.  Success!  In the end, we finished our errands and made it home before he turned grumbly again.  I was relieved to sit down, feed him and wait for my husband’s arrival home.

I wanted to swim this evening but unfortunately there were no lap lines during the time I could go!  I thought of getting on my bike but decided rolling my shoulders forward and hunching over a bike was not what I needed after a day of playing violin and nursing my baby.  Next option- running.  Nope, too windy.  At least I’ve got a gym membership!  I felt so normal hopping in my car and driving to the gym like I used to do.  Ironically, I ended up on the stationary bike because my legs really wanted to spin!  I alternated sitting upright and doing standing climbs in order to avoid the hunched over position.  When I transfered to the treadmill, running felt exceedingly easy since my body was already warmed up.  I called it quits after 10 minutes then pulled a foam roller into the stretching area.  I laid on my back and let my arms drop to the floor, opening my chest and releasing all the muscles which shorten during nursing.  I did my legs lifts in this position to work my core, then did a full body roll-out.  It felt so amazing that I’m going to make a point of rolling out my aching muscles every day!  Now I’m going to bed.  My mind is tired and my body is exhausted!

the workout:

2.78 miles walking, carrying baby

15 minutes spin bike

10 minutes running, .90 miles

core- bird-dog, plank, leg lifts from foam roller

bouncing around

I began training for the Honolulu marathon Thursday. No, seriously. I know that is a bold statement but I’ve signed up for it several years in a row and not participated since 2005 so maybe this will be my year. Or maybe not. Who knows?
I had only a short amount of time between my husband’s arrival home from work and dinner plans. I hadn’t worn running clothes since early in my pregnancy so I pulled on comfy leggings and my biggest, most supportive running bra. I was… excuse the pun… literally busting out. My favorite long sleeve running shirt was also uncomfortably small! (I remedied both problems with a trip to Lululemon yesterday. Any excuse to shop!)
My workout began with a quick warmup walk into the park, then I did a few jog-walk intervals. I felt like every part of me was bouncing with every step! Not a comfortable feeling. Walking home, I threw in some heel & toe walks for good measure and concluded my workout un-winded and feeling fresh. The goal as I get back into pre-pregnancy shape is to leave each workout looking forward to the next. So far, so good!

the workout:
5 min walk warm-up, 2 min jog- 1 min walk X4, 5 min walk cool down

hot tub!

I was excused from the house yesterday to go swimming. I hadn’t been without Baby A since the first weekend we were home from the hospital and since I’m returning to work part time next week my husband thought it would be a good idea for me to be on my own a couple times this week!
So, I struggled into my speedo, bemoaning the fact that I’d not shaved since who knows when, packed my swim bag and left the house. Alone. What a weird- and oddly freeing feeling.
I arrived at the pool and took a peek at myself in the full length mirror. Semi-cringe but not horrible. I made a bee-line for the hot tub and, excuse the cliche, felt my aches and pains melt away. Ahh… how long it’s been since I sat in a hot tub! I stretched for a few minutes then found myself a free lane and plunged into the cold water. I barely felt the shock of temperature as I grinned ear to ear at the pleasure of being back in the water. In my giddiness I steered right into the lap lane. Quickly recovering my poise, I swam aimlessly to the other end and continued my laps until I’d completed a quarter mile. Midway through it occurred to me that I was okay without Baby A. I waited to feel guilty at that thought but I didn’t! I enjoyed the silence of being under water and the weightless pleasure of stretching my limbs. By the time I revisited the hot tub I was beginning to miss my baby and although I didn’t hurry through my shower I was pleased to see him, screaming and all when I returned home.

Swimming was my second workout of the day. We’d already done a long walk around the city, running errands and visiting a friend to meet her new baby. Baby A paid his first visit to the opera house so I could pick up music and we walked killer hills in both directions. Going home was a bigger challenge because for part of the way I was wearing my baby while pushing his stroller loaded up with farmers market goodies. No wonder my arms were tired for the swim! Fully recovered today, I await my husband’s arrival home to attempt a very short run then head out with the girls!


baby with a view

I used my gym membership yesterday for the first time in almost two months! I was out walking with Baby A and stopped into the Richmond YMCA to ask how soon I could use the childcare (3 mos. old) then decided since he was sleeping I’d wheel him into the empty stretching room and take advantage of a few quite moments. Why didn’t I think of this before?? After a luxurious stretch and a few core exercises (I’m finally rediscovering some muscles!) we took off for an ambitious walk up 15th avenue into the Presidio. Not exactly hill repeats but still a great workout for butt and core as I tried my best not to carry the weight of the stroller with arms and low back. I wasn’t winded by the time I reached the top and congratulated myself for being on a good path to post-pregnancy fitness.
We continued our walk through the Presidio and missed the exit nearest our block. By the time we finally exited and were inconveniently among only houses and businesses again we had a nursing emergency. I found a random bench outside a closed sandwich shop and quickly opened the buffet, wishing I’d worn a more appropriate shirt!
We eventually made it home after one more outburst. Note to self: don’t stay out so long at one time!

the workout:
Half planks, bird-dog, pelvic tilts & lifts on back, shoulder stretches, gentle twists lying on back, hip flexor stretches in standing lunge, standing quad stretch
4 mile walk w/ 15th ave hill