Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I am so relieved that October is here.  This month is a signal that our months and months of uncomfortable heat [might be] coming to a close soon.  Normally, that means I'd be running more, but maybe I'll catch the tail-end of the cooler weather early next year.  I've been seeing more people running out there, and it makes me feel nostalgic.  Unfortunately, it's going to hit the upper 90s mark again in a few days, but at least it will probably be cool in the morning and evening rather than a 24-hour oven.  People who complain about having babies in the summer seem to forget that people who have babies in the fall have to endure ALL of summer, which in Southern California, is lonnnnng.

Either way, I've always considered October to kind of be the start of the holidays in earnest, cool or not.  It's also the beginning of the countdown to the arrival of our baby!  I naively hope that when I say that we're having a baby next month that we are correct, as I'm getting a bit impatient.

We recently had our baby shower, hosted by one of my good friends from high school.  Since she lives a couple of hours away, it took place at my house, and I had to re-orient myself with crafts.  Although we had a lot of scheduling difficulties just due to timing, we had a great time, and I've saved some of the photos for the baby to see someday.

"The Ukrainian" and I are finishing up our prenatal classes, and with that, our calendars are gradually slowing down.  We still need to pick up a few missing items,  get them ready, make an epic Target run for household essentials, look at a few more care centers, and perhaps get ready for the hospital, but our goal this month is really just to slow down and enjoy the changing seasons.  I'm trying to get some more preparatory reading done, as well.  I think this will also be the month when we finally start discussing baby names.

I can also start populating this book with all the pre-baby information:

Finally (and I realize this is a public blog, but whatever), this is the time of year when things will hopefully START to wind down at work.  I have some peaks during the year, mostly in January, March, April, May-September when taking time off and working through a cloudy baby brain is tough.  I don't plan on taking any real time off since I will most likely (though not definitely) start my leave early around 38 weeks, but at least MAYBE I can start organizing and getting stuff ready for the poor souls who have to cover for me while I'm gone.

Meanwhile, I'm waking up every morning with all sorts of stiffness and feeling like I walked out of the crypt.  The conducive-to-sleep dark mornings aren't helping the case, either, and I keep having to leave earlier and earlier due to traffic somehow getting worse and worse.  Needless to say, my morning workouts are starting to decrease in frequency from 5-6 days to more like 3-5 days a week, though I'm still walking up to an hour a day regardless.  I figure sleeping and resting is probably what needs to happen right now more than anything.  Hopefully this is a sign that everything's going well and that it won't be THAT much longer, although in my head, it kind of is.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My YouTube (Prenatal) Workout Playlist

Ever since I discovered that I could work out to YouTube using my AppleTV device, I have enjoyed working out on a whim rather than hoping that the DVD that I've popped in the night before will suit my needs in the morning.  It sure beats working out in front of a laptop, too!

Here are my current go-to videos.  I'm sure this will change in a few months (and I look forward to a fresh batch!).  I like that they are generally short, so I can mix and match as I have time/energy!

1) Madonna Arms (about 10 min) - This is not a prenatal video, but it's just a good all-around arm toner that can be done during pregnancy.  The last segment is done lying flat on your back, but after a point I started using a stability ball so I'd be up on an incline instead. 

I've been doing this one since early on in my pregnancy, and while I can't say it's a miracle worker, I do notice my general muscle tone is there.  My arms are a problem area for me (I tend to store fat in them more quickly than other parts of my body), even before pregnancy, so at best I was hoping to keep them mostly the same, which is approximately true.

2) Barre3 Arms/Legs (about 10 min) - Also not prenatal.  I must suck, because I can't quite get through all the arm portion on most days.  I love a good barre workout, and though I wish this were longer, I do like that I can do this without hauling a chair out.  For now.

3) Fitsugar Prenatal Legs/Butt (about 10 min) - This is a lower-body focused workout that seemed pretty easy when I first started it, but as with all things has been getting progressively more challenging as time goes on.  I will say that I'm not a fan of the girl in purple throwing in her 53,245 cents about everything when the guest trainer is supposedly showing us the moves.  Also, I feel like she somewhat belittles the girl behind in the aqua, who is further along.

4) Fitsugar Full Body Prenatal (about 10 min) - This is a full-body workout and one of my favorites because I feel like it targets pregnancy problem areas such as the lower back.  There is even an ab portion, which is unusual for prenatal workouts.  It guest-stars Andrea Orbeck (who is also in the first video I linked).

5) Denise Austin Prenatal Cardio (about 20 min) - I find this video pretty old and cheesy feeling, but it's kind of fun in a way.  She demonstrates moves that you build upon in a sequence.  I'm not sure if this is a calorie-burner, but I can tell it helps my circulation from the movements.

6) BodyWisdom Prenatal Fitness (about 30 min) - I really like this lower body workout, because I do indeed feel a burn, and there are modifications shown for each trimester.  It's a good lower body workout when I was too stiff in the morning for barre, and I was once able to do this even after pulling my calf in my sleep.

Well, that's it for now.  I'll probably do another installment in the future that is themed "postnatal with hardly any time."  =)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Will I Ever Run Again?

If you've been reading here for a while, you probably know that I have had some ups and downs with this whole running thing.  As you can see from my "PR Bin" on the right sidebar, my running seems to have peaked in the past, and although I've had some decent performances as recently as earlier this year, I am starting to wonder what kind of future running and I will have.

Recently, I happened to catch a replay of a Kona Triathlon in which one of my television staples, Gordon Ramsay (spotted by me at LA Marathon 2010!), actually completed the race.  To think that this busy older guy could become an Ironman was rather inspiring, as all of the stories are.  Of course, I know by my crampy-cramp-cramp tendencies indicate that I'm nowhere near the shape I need to be in do complete one of those.

But I don't have any ambitions to become an Ironman, though yes, I want to complete a triathlon someday.  Yet before all of that, I just wonder if I'm going to get back into the running game, and in what capacity.  I ran my last marathon in January, as I had sort of decided back last June that 15 would be a good number for now.  I just ran out of the time and patience to train so much and "fail," and not-training and "failing" was just as bad, only more painful.

I did my last race in Big Sur in April, which I barely ran at all because I was pregnant.  I mentioned in a previous entry that my original intention was to keep running.  I was running during the first few weeks of the pregnancy, only to stop due to feeling uncomfortable and paranoid.  I'm not sure if I'll try again before all is said and done, but let's assume that at almost 30 weeks along, I won't.  I've been pretty good about working out most days still, but with certain pains increasing, those days seem a bit numbered.

On top of the new baby, working, the slump I had even before the pregnancy, and all the fitness I've lost, will I run again?

Trying to be minimal, we only got one stroller, and it's a jogging one.  I don't think I'll be running with it (just using it as a normal stroller) for most of the first year, and even then, it just seems daunting.  "The Ukrainian" will probably get more use out of it when the time comes in that regard than I will.

Late last week, we were at an outlet, and I bought a running shirt to replace one of my favorite ones that has been falling apart over the past five or so years.  I couldn't even try the thing on, but here's hoping it will fit again soon enough.  Also, I registered for a 5k that will be taking place in March, which I plan to walk while carrying the baby.  (Please send me good babywearing vibes!)  Although I won't actually be running in that event, my goal is to be able to run/walk a 5k by then in general, which will be about 3 months postpartum.

Around 28 weeks in this one.  Super 3-D!!
I don't know what the future will hold, but my biggest hope is that I will be forgiving of myself in those first months but also that running will naturally fall back into my life as I get used to things.  At least it won't be 100+ degrees outside, right??