Archives for posts with tag: run

Over the last almost 6 years (quietly sobs), I have often been asked the question “how do you keep your workout routine with kids?” This post does not have a one size fits all answer. Because life is not one size fits all. Hell, even my little world isn’t always the same size. Some days work better than others.

A normal day consists of me waking up at 5am on the dot, coffee, then a workout. My workouts vary between Pilates, running, swimming, strength/weight training. On Saturdays I do karate, outside of the house. It gives me an hour guaranteed to myself. By waking up at 5 on weekdays, I ensure that I am up way before my boys (I have late sleepers, I know I am lucky with that) and I am able to usually get an uninterrupted workout in. This wasn’t always the case when they were shiny newborn humans, but as they age, their sleep normalizes.

There are mornings where littles wake up earlier than usual and I have a workout buddy. At this point, Jackson, the 5 year old, can pretty much fend for himself. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes he wanders around the house entertaining himself. Alex, well he is 2 so I keep him with me if he is up. In general, that is how I balance it. They have learned that mommy works out. It is just a simple fact of life here. They have to respect that time for me. I am happy to include them, but I am going to workout. There is no parent guilt in that either. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. You are important too. I am a firm believer in that!

I have been sick for over 2 weeks now. A cold that turned into a nasty sinus infection. I am on the mend. Due to some amazing herbal tea and a black walnut nasal rinse. When I woke up at 5 today I decided I wanted to run. I haven’t ran in over 2 weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to hop on the treadmill. I have a love/(mostly) hate relationship with the treadmill. I decided I would get Jackson off to school and then go running in the forest preserve with Alex. I had EVERYTHING situated to operate smoothly. I spent the time I would usually be working out getting everything together. I even filled the tires on my BoB while Jackson ate his breakfast. I was ready to do this.

Then we were in the drop off line at school. I asked Jackson where his backpack was. It was still at home by the backdoor. He forgot to grab it. School on a good day is 10-15 minutes away. The main road we take is currently under construction. It can now take 20-30. This morning was on the longer end. Meaning now my run was going to be pushed back significantly, maybe canceled all together. I had to drop him off. Then drive home, grab bag, drive back, then hike it back to the forest preserve. That is how today’s workout started. See, not even my days are always one size fits all.

I did all of that. In a little less time than I had predicted. There was less traffic on my second drive to school because it was a bit later in the morning. Some of the work rush was gone. When I realized this I thought “Ok, you can do this. This is working out fine.”

The run started off ok. Not great, but manageable. He complained for the first 5 minutes that he wanted to walk, but eventually I was able to persuade him to stay seated. He had his ipad, snacks, milk, and box (it is a small house he carries everywhere that is filled with his favorite toys. He even sleeps with it). Around the 1.8 mile mark again he asked to walk. We were nearing the park, so I lamented that he stay seated for just a little while longer, we would be at the park soon!

I am a momma of my word, so freedom he had! He enjoyed himself for a bit. Then said he wanted to walk. Refusing to get back into the stroller. No matter how many times I said the word iPad. Which, I suppose is a good thing. But I digress.

There is no running when you are walking with a wandering two year old. I had about 2 miles of actual running under my belt. And about 2 miles to get back to the car. The real adventure began. He had me wander up this cool tree house pavilion area we had never walked up before. I followed his lead.

He is my wild child. My wanderer. My very free spirit. My mischievous little dude. Jackson is a free spirit in many ways. He also has his moments as a 5 year old seeking independence yet still utterly reliant on our constant attention. He has that internal battle going on right now. Such is life at 5, nearly 6. When Jackson was 2, he was not quite so independent. We went on runs all of the time. I cannot recall any specific times he ended up walking. I remember once when he was an infant and I ended up carrying a crying baby home. For the most part, he always stayed put, very content. Alex is a whole different person. He seeks adventure and his curiosity is overwhelming. He has no fear. (unless it is Halloween decorations or the movie Ghostbusters) He didn’t want to stay with me. I tried the trick, “ok mommy is leaving, bye bye!” And I started to stroll away. HE LAUGHED AND THEN STARTED TO WALK INTO THE WOODS! He cares not for my silly bluffs. He knows I am not leaving him alone in a forest. Sigh, he won.

My 4 mile run today turned into a 2 mile run. With a lot of toddler walking. And a nice maybe half mile sprint at the end when I finally got him back in the stroller. Then we headed home. It was after 11am. I had wanted to be home around 10ish. But all of my plans fell apart one by one. I adapted. I didn’t forget to stretch, despite the late time. We headed up to my Pilates Room. I am getting too old to not get a post run stretch in. That shit is for 20 year olds, not women who have had two kids and turned 31 almost 6 months ago. We better stretch our muscles and cool down, lest we want to regret it later.

Which really made my entire chaotic morning worth it. That photo on the right. I can’t! My timing just worked out perfectly. The milk swan. I will be incorporating it into all of my future mat classes! Ha!

The takeaway here? The insightful lesson I wish to impart on all parents looking for a way to stay fit and have tiny humans running around your feet (literally)?

FLEXIBILITY! I don’t mean in the backbend sense. I mean in the life sense. You have to be flexible with yourself and your schedule. You have to be flexible with your children. You have to adapt to your surroundings. If that means that you only run 2 miles, but get a nice 2 mile walk/cool down in, then shit, at least you were moving! You moved 4 miles on your own two legs. Your kid was moving on his legs too! I even threw in a few walking lunges while pushing the empty stroller. Alex stopped in his tracks and laughed, but hey, you are the reason I am doing these buddy. 😉 Get back in the stroller and I won’t look so silly!

But seriously, sometimes you have to workout with your kids around. Squats in the living room. Pull-ups on the play ground. Pilates at 5:45 am and saying “hey sweetheart, sure join me,” when a tiny human waltzes in at 6:15. Sometimes your run gets pushed back by a good 30-45 minutes because of a forgotten backpack. I was annoyed, but hey, I survived and I ran! Shower was later, lunch was later, but I got that milk swan photo, so life works out sometimes.

For more Pilates and Fitmommaboom inspiration, follow me on Instagram Colev25 You can find frequent Pilates videos, my often self deprecating humor, adventures with two male tiny humans, and any other random things that inspire me to hit share.

Recently I was asked how I managed to run so much with my oldest in our jogger. It has got me thinking over the past couple of days. I figured I would share my tips for success here. I successfully ran with Jackson in the jogger for several years. Up until I got pregnant with my second. I am about to start jogging more often with the new baby as well. He is almost 7 months old and the weather is starting to be nice enough. We went once, with Jackson on his scooter. I am looking forward to getting them out there more often! For now, here are my tips on getting in runs with your kiddos and a jogger.

  • Use it as strength training. Do not use the run as a speed run. Joggers are heavy. Kids get heavy. Don’t expect to set a speed PR when pushing them. If you can, well my hat is off to you! But most likely slow and steady will win this race. You are building up endurance. I always compare it to a baseball player swinging a bat with weights on it. When he goes to swing for real, that bat will be so much lighter. When you DO get to run alone you will feel like you are flying!
  • Snacks, toys, drinks, iPhone. Some or all of the above. I always went with the whole shebang. When he would get particularly restless, handing over my phone would give me lots of running time. His personal favorite, Angry Birds videos on YouTube, did the trick. But whatever floats your kid’s boat, use it. And run until your legs are jelly!
  • Be prepared to stop. It is inevitable. You may have to stop to check on something with the little one. They may fuss or ask questions once they can talk. You will most likely have to stop to attend to something. And that is ok. Remember the first point!
  • Talk. Sometimes I would talk to him while running. Hearing momma’s voice is reassuring. You can point out cool things you see. Clouds, birds, etc.
  • Take your time on hills. They can be brutal on an alone run. Add in that heavy stroller and kid we talked about, and they are straight up torture. So, slow down. Shorten your stride a bit. Pull that belly in and up (use your core muscles!) Squeeze your glutes. And never be ashamed to take a walk break up that hill if need be.
  • Try one handed. Sometimes I would alternate hands that pushed the stroller. Letting the opposite hand move back and forth as if I were running without the stroller. I found it helped me stop from hunching over. When I keep both hands on sometimes my shoulders creep up into my ears. This is bad form and posture. Switching hands helps me stay a bit more balanced.
  • Stretch. Be sure to take time after your run to stretch it out. Since it is nice enough to run outside, it is nice enough to stretch outside! Take the little one out of the stroller and have them join you in your stretching. When Jackson got older I even had him stretch me.
  • Bad runs happen. Don’t be discouraged if you have a bad run. If the baby/toddler cries during a run and you end up having to carry them home while pushing an empty stroller. Been there done that. Like us, kids have bad days and moments. It happens. Take it in stride. (see what I did there?) Hopefully the next run will be better. Use your walk home as clocked miles. Heck, you’re still moving. While carrying a squirming kiddo and pushing a stroller. That is a workout too! Shrug it off and don’t give up!

Here are some photos from over the years! I do love my BoB

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Jackson was about 6 months old here

Single handed

Single handed. Notice extra snacks on hand! Not for me. HA!

Pre run selfie with the big guy!

Pre run selfie with the big guy!

Jackson helping stretch me after a run

Jackson helping stretch me after a run

We didn't run together in this race, but he was there in the BoB to cheer me on!

We didn’t run together in this race, but he was there in the BoB to cheer me on! Look how big he was!

The BoB lives on for round 2 kid 2

The BoB lives on for round 2 kid 2



I am starting to get back to my old level of training. I have really started to push myself again. It has been a long year plus since finding out I was pregnant! One of the most difficult things for me to handle was the way my strength changed. It doesn’t matter how much I worked out while pregnant, the bottom line is, your body changes and with it so does your strength.

After baby arrives you are exhausted. If your child is anything like mine, you spent the first 20 weeks waking up 2+ times a night! Alexander has just very recently started sleeping through the night. When I say recently I mean within the last week! Someone or all of us have been sick once or twice a month since Alexander was born in October. Two bouts of strep. Two strains of Influenza. 5 ear infections. Bronchitis. Several colds. A couple sinus infections. Croup. I was still training throughout all of this. However, I wasn’t pushing myself like I used to. I was just tired. Sometimes sick. But mostly just tired.

Immediately after having Alexander I discovered I could barely do a bridge on my Reformer. I was so frustrated. Bridging is a staple in my training. It is a staple in my teaching. I could bridge until I collapsed. I could have a student bridge until they collapsed. I truly love the way bridging works the entire body. Imagine my complete dismay to discover my core strength was entirely destroyed and I could barely get my tail bone off the mat, let alone keep the carriage at the stopper.

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That was then. This is now. Alexander is 20 & 1/2 weeks old. He will officially be 5 months on the 28th. I have started running farther distances. I have started to push myself while doing Pilates. I shake and drip with sweat. Planking is my best friend. I do some kind of plank every single day. My options are abundant with my mat, Reformer, WundaChair, Bosu, and Pilates ball. I could plank all day long if I wanted to.

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On Sunday I ran over 4 miles. I haven’t done that since my first trimester of pregnancy. It felt amazing. It felt amazing because I pushed myself to be where I used to be. Yesterday I did an incline program on my treadmill. It had a nice plateau of incline. I smelled like a hockey player when I was done. I have never been happier! I ran 3.2 miles entirely uphill. That is the sweet smell of my fitness returning.

20 weeks postpartum

20 weeks postpartum

I can be very hard on myself. I pride myself on being and feeling strong. So when I struggle to do exercises that I used to be able to do without blinking, I can really feel defeated. I hear a lot “you just had a baby!” I recently asked my husband “Exactly how long is that excuse applicable? How long do you get to say that? I think you get a couple weeks” He told me I was crazy. Maybe. But I also don’t see anything wrong with expecting more from myself. I don’t see anything wrong with pushing myself to be the best I can be.

Lately I have noticed my strength returning. I am able to bridge much better. I can plank rather well. I can move on my WundaChair with greater ease than right after birth. I have noticed my C-scoop improving. My biceps are looking more toned again. I feel I have a lot of work left to do. My hips. My low belly. It will take time though. I am aware of that. I do feel that as I am getting more rest and making the conscious decision to make sure my workouts really work me out, the strength I want will trickle back in.

IMG_7983It is one of the hardest things in life, growing a baby and birthing it. It really changes you emotionally, mentally, and physically. I have done it twice now. It is not easy. You have to be strong in so many ways. For me, my physical strength and fitness helps keep everything else in my life strong. It is all so intertwined it is hard to see where one thing begins and another thing ends. Feeling strong and being strong keep me happy and significantly less stressed. As I am peeking at the end of the exhaustion tunnel, I can see glimpses of my old life and strength returning. And I am positively giddy about it!

Sunday is Mother’s Day. I am really excited about celebrating it this year. Last year I was too. But I had a 3 month old. I was tired. REALLY tired. He did not sleep at night! I actually barely remember last year. So this year I am super excited to celebrate. Jack is such a ball of energetic fun. He walks, runs, laughs, talks, understands what I am saying. Yesterday if I wasn’t looking at him he would move my head to face him and then plant a big kiss on my face or lunge into my arms for a big hug. He is a charmer. I am just thrilled to celebrate with that little guy!

One thing I decided to do, as I have mentioned earlier, is run a race. It is only a 5k but this time it is important for me. I think there is a great chance that I can place in the top 3 females for my age group. I mentioned this before too. However, yesterday I BEAT the time of the 3rd place runner from last year! She ran it in 26:51.

I ran my first mile in 7:06! That blew my best mile out. of. the. water. OUT OF THE WATER! I knocked over TWO entire minutes off of my total 5k time! I ran it in 26:19. Last year 1st place ran it in 25:14.

I was updating my parents about my success last night. My mom is coming to watch me run. It is the first time she is making it to a race of mine. She MAY get to see me win an award at the very 1st one she attends! AND on Mother’s Day of all days! How awesome would that be?

I was telling my dad about how I beat 3rd place’s time. He told me to go for 1st place. I said well I would have to shave another minute off my total time and hopefully my adrenaline gives me a boost.

His response “Then shave it”

I couldn’t help but laugh. I now know where I get my just get it done attitude when it comes to running and fitness. So I guess I just have to suck it up and shave it off.

I want this so  badly I can taste it. It is all I can think about this week. TWO days away. But I truly feel like it is still a week away. I know in a way I am getting my hopes up which may lead to disappointment but I have to set this goal for myself. I don’t know who is running it this year. It may not be the same women. It may be someone way faster. If I come in 4th then next year I wont. I would be thrilled with 3rd. But maybe I will surprise myself.

If I don’t and I do come in lower than 3rd at least I tried and at least I set this goal for myself. The best part is even if I don’t “place” I still have built up my endurance a great deal this year. I have repeatedly knocked my old personal bests out of the water. I now know I can run a 7 minute mile if I want to. I know I can run 3.2 miles in 26 minutes. As cheesy as it sounds I already won in that respect. I am definitely benefiting from all of my hard work, placing or not.

I know I will still be mad at myself if I don’t place. I will get over it and try harder. I will give my little goose a big hug and kiss. Go home and celebrate my day with the most wonderful loving son. His love is unconditional and he will love me and be proud of his momma no matter what. He is the biggest momma’s boy I have ever encountered. I will have that happiness to soak up and lounge around in for the rest of the day. NOW that’s a win!

My little goose and me 🙂

But the very thought of getting an award just makes me smile. I really think I have it in me. I am going to give it all I have, leave it out there on the course, and the rest is up to circumstance.

Yesterday I hit a couple personal best records while running. I am still recovering from some sort of upper respiratory issue. Both my son and I had it. It was not too debilitating but it wasn’t pleasant.

I ran my 1st mile in 8:47!  The day before it had been 8:58. BOTH personal bests but yesterday I blew it out of the water. Then I completed my 3.05 mile run in 28:00 flat. Which means I did 3 miles in under 28 minutes.

I am so proud of myself. Ha! I mean, not to boast or anything. Eh, who cares. I bust my arse to workout and stay fit. This isn’t just something I decided to do one day and it came like nothing. I have been working very hard to get to this point.

I was starting to think when I run a smaller more local race there MAY be a possibility of me placing in my age group. That would be so lovely. I would flip out. Obviously this is a huge dream and we will see. I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen but the idea is nice. I am running a Mother’s Day 5k on you guessed it, Mother’s Day. So in a little over a week.

I just checked last year’s race results. I did not run it. But I checked the top women in my age bracket. The fastest 3 female times in it were 25:17, 26:24, and 27:29. I could do this. It is realistic. Adrenaline will surely help boost my run that day. It always does. I am always amped up at a race. I shouldn’t get myself all worked up and excited though. I don’t want to be let down if I don’t. This is the 1st race where I can sort of taste it so I am going to pause, think of it once more…………………………………….now I will let it go! 😉 Right???

I have gotten my average mile time to well under 10 minutes. Depending on the day it has been from about 9:15-9:34ish.

Yesterday I ran 3 miles with an average of a 9:24 mile. It was (and still is today) incredibly windy out. It has been sounding like Santa has been landing on my roof for two days now.

When Jason got home I went for a run. I didn’t really want to run. I had a million reasons why I could skip it. How incredibly windy it was outside was on that list. But I finally decided that I should just do it.

I won’t be running today because I have my ballet class. Tomorrow I have an eyebrow appointment at 6. I can go after but it all depends on how hungry my boys are. (For some unknown reason they expect dinner every single day. 😉 Crazy dudes!) Thursday I will run. Friday possibly in the morning, if I have time. I am being picked up around 11 to head to my friend’s wedding for the weekend. I am a Bridesmaid. Saturday who knows. I am still not sure how early hair and makeup will start. Sunday, well I will likely be a bit hungover and I am sure it will be a total no workout day. So I knew I had few chances to definitely get a good run in this week. I had to just do it, regardless of how lazy I was feeling. I did a Core Power Boost workout in the morning before Jack woke up. So this was my 2nd work out of the day.

Like I stated, it was windy! I had some Naked juice shortly before running. I was starving and needed something in my system. So during this run I was fighting the wind and I cramped up pretty quickly since I had drank that juice. As I ran across the boardwalk area that gets very close to the lake I run around, I was hit by a wave of water! YES! The wind was so strong it picked the water up and hit me with it. My left side was pretty wet. My ear phone wouldn’t stay in right because even the inside of my ear got wet. It was nuts.

Despite all of the obstacles I had going against me I managed a 9:24 pace. Not too bad. I was certain I would have a 10 minute pace when I was almost home.

I am working on getting it down closer to 9 flat. I would LOVE to break into the 8 minute pace. But one thing at a time. I am sure I can drop 15 seconds soon enough. I hope to have done that by the end of the summer.

I have no reason to want to do this other than for myself. I am not trying to lead any of the races I run. There is no one pushing me to run faster. I just want to. Plain and simple. I feel like it is this battle against myself. I can run over 3 miles without stopping or walking. I know I can run 5 miles without stopping as well. I did that at the 8k. I know I am strong enough to do these things. I keep telling myself that, even with a stabbing cramp in my left side. Hell, I gave birth with my epidural only working on half of my body. I didn’t scream once. I barely complained. I calmly said once “I don’t like this at all.” I just focused and did it. I can run faster and I can run longer each time I run.

I used to classify myself as a runner. Then I got knocked up and around 7 months I had to stop because his head made my bladder go nutso when I ran. Then I gave birth and nursed for a year. I ran a bit over the summer and into the fall but not like I used to. I had given up the idea that I was a runner. I didn’t do it enough to feel I deserved that title any longer. I did other workouts, mostly at home. So I stayed fit and in shape, but I was missing the running. I am so happy to have gotten back my self appointed title. I have found time for myself. I have remembered that it is ok to be who I am, even though I have a new title (momma). It is good to have time for myself doing something I love to do. I got lost there for a little while. So consumed with my infant. But once toddlerhood began I woke up a little. It is ok to have time apart from him. Even if it is just 28 minutes of a run at 6 in the evening. Yesterday when I walked in the door, and had been gone only about 29 minutes, his face lit up! Being missed is a good feeling and so is running nonstop until you get home to that chubby little face that missed you so.

Yesterday I ran the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k. 4.97 miles. My official time is 48:46! I ran the whole thing. I did not stop for even one quick walking break. I had predicted I would run it in 55 minutes. That time I what I would have been happy with. I am ELATED with this time!

I had been running and running and I just didn’t feel awful enough to stop. Then eventually I got to mile 4. Why would I stop then? I knew if I stopped to walk with less than a mile to go I would be so mad at myself. I ran this far, what is .97 miles in comparison? It is nothing. So on I trucked.

I am not ashamed to say I am very proud of myself. I destroyed my original goal. I did not quit when I could have. I think today I still have some of that runner’s high you often hear about. I know for a fact I had it all day yesterday. I am so excited that I did it. I put my mind to it yesterday and I was not weak. I also walked over a mile there and over a mile home. On the way back I carried Jackson for quite a while. He is no lightweight either. I swear the kid is at least 23 pounds. I just ran that race and here I was lugging my toddler around the city. I felt like a strong momma.

I have been thinking about what other races I can sign up for. This race was huge. About 40,000 people. It was an experience. I am used to Jason being able to meet me right at the finish line. Literally taking a photo as I cross it. He could not do that yesterday. I had a lot of fun though. I may do a smaller race for my next one. I do want to keep doing the longer races. I am doing the Dirty Girl Mud Run in June. I am so pumped for that. It isn’t just a running race. I hope to be able to use the rest of my fitness skills.

Now it is time to go look up some other races in between now and then!

Sorry I have no photos really of the race. I couldn’t find my camera while we were packing up to head downtown and we had to get on the road!

I do have this one before I left to make it to my corral on time. Jackson was eating breakfast and he wasn’t too happy to be interrupted 🙂

Getting ready to Shuffle, he was eating