Tag Archives: running

Diary of a Strong Mom: 3.1 miles in (less than) 31 minutes

30 minutes, 24 seconds, to be exact.

I think I could have gone faster. I started out stiff – we arrived with 10min to spare, so I didn’t have much time to stretch or warm up. I just went and did it. So the first mile was basically my warm up, the second was what I should have been running my first mile, and the third was painful and fast.

But it wasn’t as awful as I had feared and I managed to stay relatively consistent throughout. I wish I could have broken 30min, but I’m happy to have a new PR regardless.

Plus, every time I start to think that I should’ve gone faster, pushed harder, done better, I need to remember how far I’ve come. This time last year, I couldn’t even walk a mile, let alone run three. Six months ago, I was just starting to run two miles again. In the meantime, I’ve only been able to run 2 or 3 times a week. I still weigh 10lb+ over my pre-pregnancy weight.

My fastest 5k before this was 31-ish min, and that was back when I was 20lb lighter and doing crossfit. Before that, it was 32-ish min in high school.

I’m 30 going on 31 and I broke a PR I had from high school. I should probably just let myself be proud of that for a second.

Where do we go from here? Well, I want to break that 30min barrier, of course. That shouldn’t take much, but it’s a nice goal for the next two months.

I also need to figure out a way to fit lifting back into my life. Squats and other strength exercises will help me towards this goal. I just need to find a routine where they fit. And on top of that, I want to keep going to the MMA/punching class. I’m really loving learning how to fight.

One of Dr Lady’s labmates said the sweetest thing when she told him I was learning MMA: “She’s already scary enough.”

Yes, that is indeed my ultimate goal.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: August

What!

Why yes, that is a sub 20min 2 miles. The first time I’ve done that in, well, ever. At least that I’ve been tracking. I am well on track to run my 3.1 miles in sub 31 minutes. Hell, I could have slowly jogged the rest of the last mile and still hit my goal.

So of course, the competitive side of me wants to try to hit sub 30min. My fastest 5k ever was 30min and change, so that would be an epic PR for me. And even more empowering because I weigh the most now (outside of pregnancy) that I’ve weighed in well over 15 years. So to be able to PR my 5k time right now? Yeah, that’ll be the best birthday present to myself.

Aside from running, I’ve also taken up a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts aka Fighting 101) class three times a week. It was largely in response to all the anger and frustration that I’ve felt with the news and a certain president lately, but it was also a present to myself to help me Get the Fuck Out of the House. I work at home and, while this is absolutely amazing and gives me time to work out and write, it’s also incredibly isolating.

So now three times a week, I help get the baby into bed, pull on some shorts, and head 2min down the road to a studio where I’ve been learning how to kick, block, grapple, and punch. It’s a lot of fun, except I somehow pinched a nerve the first week and so had to ditch the last two classes. But I’ll be back tonight. Just, maybe, I’ll take it a little easier.

And for reading all that you get ONE BABY PHOTO because tomorrow she will be 10 months and then you will get ALL THE BABY PHOTOS.

August DITL

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Strong Mom & Blueberries

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First, blueberries.

Ever since I knew we’d be moving to Michigan, I was excited about picking berries. AZ is great for a lot of things – hiking, sunsets, bat watching – but its produce is abysmal. Still, we made the 2 hour trek out to the orchards every fall just to pick apples and pretend it wasn’t 90+ degrees.

July hit and with it the realization that, well hot beans, summer ain’t gonna be around much longer. Last year the warm weather stretched well into October, but I know the north is fickle and there’s no guarantee we won’t get an early frost this year. Plus, berries are only in season for a few short weeks (see: weekends). So we’d better hop on it.

We hit up a patch that was supposed to be an hour away, but due to random construction, ended up being two hours. By the time we got there, the clear day the weather forecasters had promised had become cloudy and misty. We pulled into a muddy parking lot still speckled with other cars and figured we wouldn’t melt and, well, it was better than a hot, humid day.

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Aside from my shoes getting drenched, it was perfect. We took turns holding Lady Jr & an umbrella and picking blueberries. It misted and rained and misted again. There were a few mosquitoes, but far fewer than there could have been.

The blueberries were perfect. Lady Jr kept stretching for the leaves, so I guided her to a clump of blueberries and she pulled one off and ate it. Then she ate another one. And another. She just kept plucking blueberries and eating them and I was so amazed I didn’t stop her. In hindsight, I should have, because she ended up puking blueberries all over my shirt. Whoops.

Chubby baby arm

Oh well. I bundled her back to the car, cleaned us both off, then put her in the carrier. Together we walked up and down the rows of blueberries and she fell asleep with her head back and her arms crossed under her chin.

Two hours later we were home again and I was rinsing off the blueberries (nine pounds!!). I offered one to her, but apparently it wasn’t fresh enough. Fair.

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And now, a strong mom update, because finding time to update in general has been tough, y’all. Mostly I just wanted to say

I ran a 9:13 mile! Aaah!

I haven’t run a sub 10min mile in easily 2 years. I am not a speedy person. I am a lifter and I am tall and I am big. So getting that close to 9min is a big achievement. Now to hit my goal of 3.1 miles in 31min, I just have to do that twice over. Considering I had to warm up with a 10.50min pace and then had to walk for a bit after, I’m still a ways off, but…

That’s what goals are all about, right? Pushing your limits and being surprised at what happens.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stuff my face with blueberries.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: June Recap

Omg Speck, where have you been?? I’m still doing my thing, I swear, just blogging got a whole lot harder to fit into my days. Now I understand how people can disappear for months at a time.

ANYWAY

I’m still doing strong mom stuff. I won’t recap every run/lift, but there were definitely a lot more runs than lifts. Last month I managed to run every week 2-3 times. I lifted a total of 3 times. ^^() So far this month, I’ve run twice a week and finally lifted again for the first time today. That has got to change! But June was stressful as heck and running helps relieve stress as well as helps me untangle plot problems, so I just went with running when I didn’t feel like lifting.

But even though I’m beating myself up for missing out on lifting, I really am doing better overall with fitness. Running 2.5+ miles is a breeze. 3 miles is becoming more comfortable, although I’m not quite there yet. In general, I’m feeling more confident about my body.

So much so, that I decided to set myself a new challenge. My 31st birthday is coming up next month on the 31st – what do they call that, a golden birthday? I don’t know, but I’m not letting my birthday pass me by as easily as it did last year. To stop it from getting away so fast, I’ve set myself a pretty big goal (for me):

Run a 5k in 31 minutes. For those keeping track, that’s 3.1 miles in 31 minutes.

I’m currently around 33min for my 5k time, but that’s at a casual, comfortable pace. Can I shave 2min off in the next 5 weeks? I don’t know! But I’m going to try. That’s pretty much a 10min mile. I’m currently riding comfortable at 10:30.

I’ll be happy just to run the 5k and have fun, but it’s also fun to have a goal to reach for. I’ve been running more and faster, now I just need to put those two together. And also hope that Lady Jr doesn’t go through another sleep regression any time soon.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 10 & 11 & 12

There’s an 8 month post coming soon, but that requires more thought. So strong mom diary first.

Omg: sleep. It makes everything so much easier. Now that baby only wakes me up twice a night, I feel like a new woman. And being able to add regular exercise back into my life has me almost feeling like my old self.

Even though I haven’t lost any weight since January, just being able to move my body and feel my heart beating hard and breathing deep makes me feel so much better about myself. When I’m able to exercise, apparently I don’t give a fig about what I look like. I’m passing skinny girls on my runs and giving them thumb’s up and grinning like a maniac and only after do I briefly have a flash of do-they-assume-I’m-only-doing-this-to-lose-weight? But then it’s gone almost as soon as it arrives.

Versus just a few weeks ago, where even walking around in public I felt self conscious. Now I just feel badass.

Fingers crossed no one comes down with any awful illnesses and/or goes through any sleep regressions soon. I just need a few more weeks of this and then I feel like I’ll be able to handle anything thrown my way.

I ran on Tuesday. Since that’s my self-employed free-form day, I decided to indulge in a long run. So I ran my first 5k since easily last January (2016). It was slow, but not as slow as I’d expected. I just wanted to complete three miles, and I did. Not gonna lie, felt pretty awesome/sore after.

 

On Wednesday, I lifted. I didn’t have as much time because W-F are my strict 9am-6pm workdays, but I squeezed in a 5×3 heavy deadlift and a 5×5 set of ring rows. I wanted to throw in a quick crossfit-style workout, but alas. Besides, it’s okay to just keep chiseling at this instead of throwing myself in and getting too sore/too overwhelmed.

 

Another run this morning, this one shorter and faster. Also holy humidity, batman. Michigan has really ratcheted up its SUMMER levels this last week. Makes me (almost) wish I was in AZ. Then I see that it’s going to 115 there all next week and I’m okay with the humidity.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Day 9

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow owwwwwww

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 6 & 7 & 8

Oof. I got started and almost immediately fell off the wagon again, didn’t I? I had… something, because I was exhausted most of last week despite getting sleep. On top of that, Dr Lady had hand, foot, and mouth disease, which not only stole her energy, but her ability to walk or use her hands for a few days. On top of that Lady Jr was going through some sort of leap, because she was super clingy and not okay with anything but being held. And she kept getting up at 5.30am. So like. Yeah.

On top of that, I have to finish edits on my novel so I can turn it in on July 1st and holy shit we’re a week into June already, so every available minute not holding baby (or otherwise interacting with her) has been spent working.

BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE

I did manage to run twice in the last week (woo). And today I (finally!) lifted.

First:

Holy wow! Two of those times are under 11min, the first time I’ve managed that since before I gave birth. Progress, yass. And I could even tell while running that it was feeling easier. Those first two miles felt like a breeze.

Second:

Even better. I mostly look at the first two miles, because mile three is a half mile and I’m pretty much tuckered out and slowing down at that point in general. So I’ll take two more under 11/min miles.

And then today I lifted. No pics because I wanted to get in and get done and have time leftover to pump and drink water before getting back to work. But I did a crossfit-inspired workout. In fact, I modified it from a WOD posted by my old box (here).

For strength:
5 sets of 3 push press, working up to a 3 rep max. I topped out at 85#. I suspect I could have gone heavier, but since I’m just getting back into this I’m okay with 85#.

For completion (untimed):
5 rounds of
10 empty bar thrusters (45#)
6 ring-rows

Aaand now my arms are noodles.

Tomorrow I plan on going for another run. What can I say? I’m addicted to Zombies, Run!

I’m still trying to figure out how to make a schedule. Stay tuned while I experiment with morning runs soon.

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