I rarely like to talk about the miles that I log each week or what I do to stay in shape–at least online. I think exercise is personal and what you can and can’t do is personal to you too. There were times in my life I wanted to work out–but couldn’t. There was a period of about two years when I couldn’t log any workouts other than a ten minute one here or there. I had a sick newborn that needed constant care. My oldest was in preschool and I needed to devote all of my leftover time and energy to her. My husband had also started a new job and was flying back and forth to Vegas, Denver and Atlanta on a regular basis. There were weeks when I didn’t sleep at all for a couple of days at a time while my husband was gone. Sleep or exercise during those brief moments of quiet? My body didn’t need exercise. It needed sleep and rest. The demands being placed on it were hard enough.
It wasn’t until after I had my third child that I started to really begin to tackle the kind of hard workouts I enjoyed before my second was born. Because I AM crazy. I like to push myself hard. I like hard workouts. My oldest could watch my infant for half an hour while I left for a run. I could drop the two oldest off at school and take my younger one in the jogger with me so she could get a nap in while I ran. Now I wake up in the wee hours of the morning before all three of them wake up and get a good long run in.
Why running? Running just made sense and was easy to incorporate into my daily routine. The dog needed to get out and exercise, my toddler loved the jogger (I would time my runs around her nap in the fall and spring so she would fall asleep and actually take a nap everday), and I needed a workout. Win for everyone. During the summer I leave the kids for an hour in the morning and I run while they complete morning chores. That way they are held accountable if they aren’t finished by the time I get home and I don’t have to feel that I am hovering over them to get them done.
My workouts vary depending on my time. But I do know that a healthy lifestyle played a HUGE part in loosing the twenty pounds I gained and didn’t take off after my second. Watching my portions, eating at the right times and eating the right foods has also made a huge difference. Watching my sugar intake has probably been the biggest change–no amount of exercise or miles ran could’ve compensated for the mini sugar meals I consumed at nights after the kids went to bed while I sat studying and working. But let me say once again, what I was eating was HUGE! Even when I was running at my peak I was able to loose ten pounds but it wasn’t until I started eating better and watching what I was eating that I lost the final ten. What you eat and how much you eat is important! I also upped my protein (I noticed that I was always grabbing carbs–it had been a habit for so long to grab crackers, a handful of fruit or a handful of cereal while chasing kids that I needed to conciously incorporate more protein into my diet).
So what do my workouts look like? For me, a typical week looks something like this:
Monday: 7-9 mile run, 10 minute abs
Tuesday: Strength training, 1 hour
Wednesday: 5-7 mile run with sprints and hills
Thursday: Strength training, 5 mile run or 10 mile bike ride or hike with the kids.
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Long run 10-13+ miles
That’s it. Just a reminder that this has taken me 4 years to work up to (the last 2 1/2 I’ve been able to train the hardest) and I don’t want you to compare yourself. What you do is great! I love being out on the trail and watching the variety of people out there. Some walk, some walk/run, some skateboard or longboard, some bike and some run. And some really, really, really run. I don’t think I’ll ever be them but I admire them and look up to them.
What’s your pace? Okay diehard runners. (Especially Mr. Silver Sneakers who WHOOPS me every Saturday when I see him up the canyon). My pace is slow….sloooooowww in comparison to you. But every runner loves their pace. My 7-9 mile days I run 8:30-9:00 min/mile, my sprint days 8:00 min/mile and my long runs I slow it down to a steady 9:30 min/mile pace. Although I did a 12 mile run last weekend at an 8:45 pace. Pretty proud of myself. And I paid for it the next day with my IT band flaring up.
Workouts I want to try? I really want to try a Crossfit class or a martial arts class. This also looks intriguing to me.
What does your workout look like? What workouts are you dying to try?