Getting fit, finding balance - where to go from here

I'm not sure what direction I want to go in now with training and running. My goals for 2011 are: spring or olympic distance triathlon with middle distance running (10 milers and halfs).  When I'm running more than 20 miles a week, I feel like there is little time for lifting and strength work since I try to swim 2-3 days a week as well. Where will I fit in the strength - and biking? That is my only uncertainty - the bike - for a triathlon.  I always had 30 miles in my head for my weekly mileage goal for running until I had to stop with Kara. Now I have had one 30 mile week since then - last week with the half. I can't decide if I should start building it up again or taking time to focus on other things so that I don't feel burnt out and that I have to make it to 30 miles.  I think the running group may help me to log more miles if I can ever make their training runs.

Alright, 2 months post baby and I'm struggling a bit with body image and I want to be back to my normal (pre-both babies) size and shape. I want my speed back too.  I'm not patient and it's starting to wear on me a bit. I go back and forth from having no time to think about it and days where I'm pretty bummed about it. I figure I need a new focus.  Since I didn't get back into shape or lose all my weight with Nick, maybe I need running to move down in the list and try other things to get my body back and get fit!?  I'm not sure that I love it when I have to fit in a run - it's more that I feel like I have to do it to burn off calories and keep in some kind of shape.  And I love how I feel when I'm done, but surely now when I'm starting out - I feel like I am forcing myself out there many days.  Lifting feels good - as does swimming.  But I feel I want to maintain some kind of running fitness so that I can race in the spring and get back to speed.

Food - I'm eating whole, natural foods. Maybe I am just eating too much of them. Too much fat from nuts? The only way I have successfully lost weight in the past was from drastically cutting calories.  It wasn't healthy and I won't do it again - but I'm tired of being in a place where I'm always trying to get back to where I was! And also, looking at my genetics.. I don't really stand a chance unless I work at it.  Not sure how to change my eating habits in order to help some weight loss to happen!

I I'd love to know how you balance everything out if you are not JUST running.


  1. You are so determined and I love that about you. I was thinking about what your body has done for you already - allowed you to train hard, to carry and give birth to two beautiful babies. It probably would love some acknowledgment that those were great feats and needs some extra TLC. PLUS, your body is never the same after having kids. There are changes it went through that cannot be undone - but the prize is the fact that you have healthy babies.

    Beyond that, strength training is really the only thing that will make you faster. I would suggest cutting the miles for a bit and focusing on that. Even swimming helps with that. People often think that running more makes them faster - not so - it's the change in the muscles.

    Give yourself a break - you are not in a competition with anyone. You are just trying to be the best version of yourself and that takes time. :D

    Angela/ Pretty in Orange

  2. Invest in a bike trainer. That way you can bike inside while the kiddos nap or in the morning before they are up. That's the only way I can bike during the week. It's boring but if you get a couple of Spinervals DVDs it isn't too bad and it actually helps a lot with bike fitness. It took me over a year to get my old body back. Be patient. You are asking a lot from it and it's been through a lot!

  3. You sound down--and need to turn that around! First, you are still barely post-partum--really, cut yourself a break. Secondly--I have to admit, I was a tri maniac through my first child, and really turned to running after my second. For me, getting in the time for cycling was just too much. I still swim 2x/week and ride a tiny bit (mostly on the trainer). That's not to say you can't pull all three sports off to your liking, it's just what my solution was. Good luck with it all--you'll figure it all out in time.

  4. You do so much already! Good grief how do you find the time?! You just had a baby. Don't get stressed about it now. It definitely takes some time to get your body back after the 2nd one. I have found that strength training is an integral part of losing weight though. I do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength 5 days a week. I am not a runner though...I am just not good at it. Please don't get stressed about it yet. You have some time. Make sure you do what you love to do though and enjoy it. I know I am probably not much help, but it makes me sad that you seem frustrated. I am sure you will get there soon! You have determination and that is a huge part of it!

  5. I agree with the previous comment. You do so much already. I don't know how you do you it. And I have heard that lose the baby weight after #2 takes longer than #1 (I know, I am dreading that too). So just relax and give your body some time. Focus on your children and getting into shape (not completely running or biking or swimming). Maybe have a different exercise for each day of the week. Run 6 miles on Monday, weight train on Tuesday, swim on Wednesday, HIIT on Thursday, etc. You get the picture. Your body and your mind won't get bored and you won't be logging as many hours working out but you will still get the same benefits. GL! We love you!

  6. I would echo what others have already said: You're not in competition with anyone, and you have to be patient with yourself. Also, you've done some amazing things both during and right after pregnancy -- both times! Pat yourself on the back for that!

  7. Be patient sister! your amazing.. two little kiddos and still manage to find time to run? thats fantastic!!! dont be so hard on yourself!

  8. I am in agreeance with what a lot of the others have already said! I think you are doing a lot right now and just need to give yourself time.

  9. So sorry you feel bummed - everyone is right - you / we are still so early post partum and it is easy to forget that - I was frustrated about my inability to run - our bodies have been through the biggest physiological challenge possible and things do just take time to heal / return to normal.
    With respect to losing weight through major cutting calories and not wanting to do that again - quite right - you'd have no energy at all for anything let alone your kids. Are you sure you have in mind the correct lower weight? What I mean is perhaps your target weight may be too low and if it is you will either only achieve it through 'unhealthy' eating or constantly feel frustrated. It may be worth thinking about that - everyone is naturally different and perhaps your lowest weight would be the right for someone else but not for you. Does that make sense?

    We have a spinning bike with spinning DVDs and my husband loves them. I plan to try to get on the bike soon but it has been a bit sore so haven't managed yet but that might help with the biking aspect.

    I read an article by Lance Armstrong once and when he was training for a marathon he used to do a longer run every other week so he could get in a long bike ride the other week as to do both was too difficult with other commitments ... well there you go if even he found it hard...

    I hope you find your groove soon, but meanwhile you are doing fantastically well.


  10. i'm with you...the bike is what's holding me back from dabbling in the tris.

    don't stress about the weight. i know it's easier said than done but you look great!

  11. start by fitting in one bike ride/spin a week. that will get you through a tri...and honestly, getting through it having fun is fine! i find that i don't stress about my tri times like i did about running times since there are so many more variables. and for me, turns out running wasn't essential to my weight, since i haven't really run in almost a year. lifting heavy weights is the key. but tough to fit it all in!

  12. I agree with pretty much what everyone else has said on here - no pregnancy experience, so maybe I'll feel different when it's my turn, but you need to give yourself credit where credit is due (and in this case, plenty of it!). It's true that you do need to keep up the running, but for the 1/2 I just did I didn't do any speed work, didn't lift, and most of my miles were for the one long run/week I did just to meet the minimum training requirement. The rest of the time I swam or biked - that helped get me through the times when I seriously had no motivation to get out there and log miles.
    It sounds like you need a break from running more and focusing instead on the bike/swim and maybe taking some sort of class at the gym? Step or something like that, just to mix it up.
    Have you considered working with a trainer for the short term? Maybe the gym, but also google some local ones.
    I have no idea how you make it all work either!! :)

  13. They say it takes 9 months to have a baby, and 9 months to get your body back. Give yourself a little room to recover. You obviously feel great since you are back full-steam only 2 months later, but you have to remember that your body needs time. And I think I remember you are nursing, right? Your body holds on to a little extra cushion while you are nursing and there isnt a whole lot you can do about that!

    Get out there and enjoy yourself. The less you think about how you look and the more you think about how you feel, the sooner you will find your old self again:)

  14. you are so determined!! and you really do so much, it's amazing. great job at your half last weekend! i can't only comment on your blog from certain computers so that's why this comment is a little late. I do tris but my biking suffers. during the winter months i ride indoors but during the summer months i only ride outside once a week. you still swim 2-3 times a week? wow, that;s great!!!

  15. Like someone else mentioned, get a trainer. Also, try to get on a schedule. If it means asking family members to come over at the same time every week or getting a sitter, do it. It's so much easier to fit it all in if you aren't trying to sneak in a run or a bike or a swim here of there.

  16. I agree with what everyone has said. You have done so much and have come so far! Koodos to you for losing all the weight and running the whole way! It is so hard I'm sure with two! Parents magazine had an article on raising 2 under 2 this month. I thought of you! Keep staying will get there!

  17. I was totally obsessed with getting back into shape. In hindsight I wish I was a little more relaxed and just enjoyed being a Mum. I know how you feel, but you're doing amazing. Just having the motivation is admirable.

    Pre-baby I did a lot more cross-training. Now I only have time for running and a bit of swimming. In a way, it's easier working full-time as I try to fit things in over long lunchbreaks.

    You are an inspiration! Chin up :-)