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??

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review - Airia One Running

Out of the shoes that I have reviewed here, these are by far the most interesting.

Airia Running is a European company, and the Airia One shoe is designed to make the most out of every step.  You might immediately notice the unusual toe curvature of the shoe and freak out, but this very design is supposed to help you run faster (see the FAQ section here for more details about that).

When I first opened the box, there was a warning included.  Yes, it's kind of freaky to find warnings for shoes.  However, it simply says that it will take a good 10k to break-in/get used to the shoe, so in other words, don't give up!  I find that there's a similar break-in period for any other new shoe I try, so nothing unusual there.

The curvature isn't really noticeable when you put them on, unless you're really looking.  You will, however, feel like you're stepping on something under the ball of your foot.  Below is me (huge, at the brink of my third trimester) with the "before" shot of the shoes.  Given their white color, I decided this was better than a dirtier "after" shot.  That is definitely a critique of mine, though I am notoriously bad at keeping my shoes clean despite my intentions.  Given its design, some brighter colors would definitely look good (plus it gives the impression of speed, right?!).


I admit that I was only able to actually run a little bit with these shoes, mostly because I'm out of practice and balance due to my growing stomach.  In those few moments, I did feel really springy and light on my feet, which is kind of rare these days.  The width, which I believe was standard, seemed to work with my naturally wide and continuously swelling feet.  Also, I felt the motion control in this shoe, which is something I have always needed.

The rest of my breaking-in period with these shoes were done in walking form, and I still appreciated the light feeling and breathability of these shoes.  I didn't really experience a lot of calf soreness or other biomechanical adaptation pains with these shoes, though that could be based on your weight, how you normally run, other exercises you do, and a variety of other factors.  I can't wait until I'm back to running more regularly so I can put more miles on these and provide an update.

In conclusion, I would definitely try these out if you've basically "tried everything" and are looking for an efficient shoe.  Airia Running has a 30-day money back guarantee.

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of Airia Running's shoes but was not otherwise compensated to provide a particular opinion.