back in the game

I’m officially no longer postpartum.  Apparently that ends with the 6 week post-delivery visit.  I’m also officially not going to be running for a while because I finally had an MRI and found that I do indeed have a bad case of plantar fasciitis and also a touch of tendonitis in my left foot.  My podiatrist suggested that I quit walking and focus on swimming and biking.  Yeah, right.

When my first son was born we walked for hours every day and it kept me sane.  It was also an easy way to get him to nap.  In the early days there wasn’t much else I could comfortably do and I’d read on the blog of a triathlete come mother-of-twins that the best advice she’d been given in the beginning was to get her boys and herself outside every day.  That became my mantra.  I gradually added back in running, then running with Baby A once he was big enough, then swimming and spin classes once he was old enough to be left at the Y childcare, then eventually the occasional bike ride when I had a sitter or my husband was home.  That was the progression, but first there was walking.

This time my life it busier with a three year old and new baby, but my older son is either in school or happy to ride his scooter alongside me and the stroller, so we are once again walking.  I’ve also added an amazing program I came across when researching how to heal a diastasis recti, the gap that often happens during pregnancy between the two sides of the rectus abdominus muscle.  The MuTu System is “the complete body make-over for moms who want to shift the mummy tummy, heal their core and pelvic floor and get strong, fit and truly body confident inside & out.”  Sounds remarkable, right?  So far I’m finding that it is.

I’m on week three of the program and am taking my time, stretching each week’s program longer than a week and not beating myself up if I miss a day.  I’m making an effort to do my core work every evening and had cleaned up my diet until I discovered the insanely delicious chocolate almond croissant at my neighborhood’s new Arsicault Bakery.

I feel incredibly good, both physically and mentally, and I think my body is pulling itself back together even faster than it did the first time!


ask a bike messenger

Jury duty.  Fortunately I slipped through the cracks last year when Baby A was a newborn, but I’ve now reported for duty three times in the past five years!  Yesterday I hired a sitter and left the house late on my bike.  I raced toward the civic center area then glanced at my summons to confirm the address as I stopped for a red light.  Surprise!  I was supposed to be heading toward the Hall of Justice in a different part of the city.  The same part of the city where I walked to recover my towed car less than a week ago!  I’m pretty good with bike lanes around the city but this was one trafficky route I wasn’t familiar with.  I didn’t have time to stop and call my husband or look up a route so I did the next best thing.  I asked a bike messenger.  He thought about it then told me the best route for sticking to bike lanes and avoiding wrong way one-way streets.  I cruised through the traffic and made it to the courthouse right on time but found the streets blocked by firetrucks and mobs of people outside.  Fire drill or fire?  I’m guessing it wasn’t anything too serious because they had us lining up to go back inside within half hour.  The best part of this (beside extra time on my bike) was that because of the delay, several cases didn’t proceed and I was let go.  Fingers crossed for next year.  IMG_7261

I’m back on a roll with my city riding.  On Sunday, we did our first family ride across the city.  We wiggled our way to Dolores park for asunny afternoon playdate.  My husband’s chain kept slipping and the ride home in low gear was cold and foggy.  We also stayed at the park too long and Baby A was ready to be done.  Better planning next time.

My body is craving a run but when I attempted it yesterday morning I found that my neck was still hurting from last Tuesday’s fall.  My half hour massage over the weekend helped a little but I’m sure the full hour I had to cancel when my car was towed would have been even better!  Although impatient to get moving, I’m being gentle with myself and I even tried a POP pilates for beginners video this morning.  It focused on abs, legs and arms.  I could have done without the instructor’s extra commentary but I learned something about form and enjoyed the 28 minute workout.  And nap time is great for finding quick, free workouts on YouTube!

the workouts:  20 miles of city riding over two days, 28 min beginner pilates video

baby boot camp

I finally got my act together and attended baby boot camp in golden gate park! It is so difficult for me to commit to anything in the mornings since Baby A doesn’t have a regular wake up time or regular nap time. But after two mornings of nap time fights I decided that being out in the sunshine would be better for both of us!
Now, two days later, I’m still sore and when I attempted to roll out my muscles on the foam roller last night, I was in pain! Speaking of pain… walking up steps with Baby A in the Ergo… ouch!!
Our hour flew by with a fast paced mix of running, running steps, wall sitting, ski jumps, push ups, dips, step ups and core work. Wow!
The best part (beside my awesome workout) was that I positioned Baby A’s stroller so he could see a few older babies and they “chatted” the entire time.
This may be my new favorite workout 🙂


Maybe it’s the jet lag but my math skills were non-existent this morning at the gym. It wasn’t until I’d completed my half hour of cardio that I realized it was I’m fact only 25 minutes. Oh well.
We’re back on the east coast and my mother-in-law brought me to her gym because with temperatures in the teens there’s no way I’m going to run outside. What punishment after 70s beach runs last week in Tel Aviv!
My intention was to run for half hour but my body didn’t feel up to it so I warmed up and began on the techno something or other machine that seemed to simulate rollerblading (or cross country ski racing?). I then moved from machine to machine, spending five minutes on each. Techno, treadmill, elliptical, escalator, bike. Yep, that’s five minutes on each to total twenty five minutes!
I then found the assisted pull-up/dip machine and did three sets of each followed by push-ups. Apparently, carrying Baby A around isn’t keeping my upper body as strong as I thought. Finally, I stretched and did a few core exercises using a foam roller & cardio ball.
Back out into the cold.…

The workout: 25 minute cardio circuit- a good workout and boredom prevention, upper body strengthening, core work, stretches


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

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



While I work on my physical flexibility I am also working on mental flexibility.  I have never been the person who easily adjusts when plans change, but I know with a baby on the way, I’d better start improving.  This morning I arrived at the JCC in time for the 9am swim lesson, bags packed for my next two activities (I even remembered snacks) and realized I’d forgotten my swim suit.  Ugh.  I almost felt like crying but decided it simply wasn’t worth it so I took myself (dressed in Crocs and sweats) up to the gym floor and plopped down on an exercise bike.  With my pants rolled up to the knees and feet strapped into the pedals, my makeshift workout attire was fine.  I was really looking forward to today’s water class after thoroughly enjoying Tuesday’s class despite my cold, so it was a struggle to mentally move from water to spin.  However, I found biking to be agreeable this morning and was actually happy to do something different.  My hip felt good and I adjusted the bike seat so that my belly didn’t get bumped at all!  I spun easily for 15 minutes, gradually increasing my speed, then tried to hit a button to see distance and accidentally reset the bike instead.  Another Ugh.  Instead of beginning again I decided I’d take advantage of the extra time before my Hebrew lesson to do some strength training and take a shower.  (Yup, that’s me being flexible!)   I sat on a big exercise ball and rolled around in circles, loosening my hips, then did several sets of squats with 3 lb dumbbells- presses, lifts, curls- trying to be creative and keep good form.  I moved to the bosu for a set of crunches, then did side crunches and a couple sets of bird-dog.  I rounded it out with more hip circles and a quick stretch.  By the end of the workout my hip was bugging me again but after I returned home I realized that not only was I no longer waddling, but my hip felt fine- for the first time in several days!!

the workout: 15 minute bike, 2.6 miles, core/strength training