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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Return to Running

Whether you are a first time runner or returning to running after a break, starting running is not as easy as “just doing it”.   Sure you can get out there and try the “I’ll just run as long as I can” plan.  What’s wrong with that?  Well it will likely lead to injury, frustration, and you eventually giving up on running because you’re not seeing the progress you want. 
During my pregnancy and in the 6 weeks after I did NOT run at all.  Not one step.  For someone who adores running, adding up miles, and works in a running related job it was hard.  But for my baby and for my body to recover I easily did it.  When I’m starting my journey to running again I am literally starting from zero.  Zero.  Since this is a new experience to me I knew that I wanted to run smart, so I turned to the experts for advice; US Olympian and the creator of the run-walk-run strategy, Jeff Galloway. 

With the Galloway method you alternate prescribed times of running and walking throughout your entire run.  For example – run 1 minute, walk 1 minute for your entire run.  (to find your ideal Galloway intervals use this “magic mile” predictor)I used the Galloway method when I started training for my first marathon in 2006.  I only recently went to “straight” running when training for the Space Coast Marathon in 2013 and it was more a result of my running group.  I firmly believe the Galloway method can help you run faster if you can mentally commit to your walk breaks.  According to Jeff’s website here are some of the principles of the run-walk method:

• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue
• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue
• Run Walk Run is a form of interval training
• Conservation of resources
• Quicker recovery
• Less stress on the “weak links”
• Ability to enjoy endorphins
• Reduce core body temperature

When I emailed Jeff to get his advice for “starting from zero” he stressed the importance of taking it slow.  He added that coming back from having a baby is tough and to be easy on myself.  Here’s how he recommended I start:

·      Run every other day.
·      First day: walk for 10 min at beginning and end, then run 10 sec/walk 30 sec for 10 min, then walk 5 min.  If all is well do another 10 sec/30 for 10 min
·      Walk 30-60 min on the recovery day or rest
·      Second day: walk for 10 min at beginning and end, then run 15 sec walk 30 for 10 min, then walk 5 min.  If all is well, do another 10 min of 15/30
·      Third day: walk 10 min at beginning and end, then run 15 sec/walk 15 sec for 10 min, then walk 5 min.  If all is well do another 10 min of 15/15.

I am not your average runner in that I put extra importance on my 2x week strength training sessions with Kyle.  Typically in marathon training I run 3x week and strength train two.  So I am running/training less then Jeff recommended, but I always run less then other “runners”.  Right now with my schedule filled with work and baby, I am committing to 2 strength training session and hopefully 2 running sessions.  

My “long” run last week was 2 miles with a 60 second run, 30 second walk interval.  I can’t tell you how much the run-walk method helps when you’re slowing adding back miles.  You never get to the point where you feel you can’t run anymore.  The walk break gives you time to catch your breath and recover.  I also haven’t been excessively sore. Yesterday I did the same 2 mile route and got my pace to 9:56.  That was exciting! 
I have roughly 4 months until my first race back, the Space Coast Half Marathon.  My goal for that race is more about completing the training to go 13.1 miles and enjoying being able to run.  The next race on my calendar is the Celebration Half Marathon at the end of January and based on how I do at Space Coast that will be more of a “time-goal” race.  Right now I’m aiming for a 2:05 Space Coast finish and hoping to utilize a run-walk strategy of 2 minute running – 30 seconds walking.  I’ll let you know how my training goes here and via Instagram.
If you are getting back to running or want to run for the first time, I highly recommend looking into the Galloway method.  Jeff Galloway is not only a great friend, but a wonderful coach and passionate about helping other runners reach their finish line.

What’s your next race?
What’s the longest break you’ve taken from running?

Love and walk breaks,

Carissa & Kyle

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Birth Story Part 3

So it probably would’ve been a smart idea to write then entire birth strory at one time…whoops.  Rational thought and I are still working on our new relationship with the baby here....but here is the birth finale! 

Last time we chatted I was in A LOT of pain wondering if I could get an epidural.  Previously I had decided on a walking epidural.  Why?  Not sure. I think it made me feel a little “tougher”.  As we were waiting for our results the nurse told me, “If you get the walking and the meds aren’t enough then you have to wait 30 minutes for the full.”  Nope.  I shook my head.  Give me the full.  NOW.

Thankfully I was given the green light from the preliminary blood platelet results and it was time for the juice.  From other’s experience I know they have had to endure waiting for an epidural, but the anesthesiologist was in the room, waiting for the results, and we got right to business.  Bless those meds.  Bless them.

After the darkness of pain washed away, my nurse set about getting me ready and that included my catheter.  She got it in and said (loudly), “Are you kidding me?” Totally not what you want someone to say when they’re up there.  Right? She said that she should’ve checked how dialated I was before she put the catheter in, because I was 10 centimeters.  WHAT?!?! That was fast.  It was go time. 
She also admitted that because I dilated from 5cm to 10cm in about 30 minutes that might be why my pain was so intense.  Maybe she was just saying that,but it felt a little tougher.

I was 10 centimetes and ready to go..but not quite yet.  I sat and continued to contract under the influence of the epidural for about an hour.  My doctor called this “laboring down” and it allowed my body to do the work of labor while I couldn’t feel it.  During this time we let our moms and aunt come up to the room to say hi and chat before the big moment.
Around 2pm we shooed our loved ones away and got ready to go.  The nurse talked us through pushing and told Kyle how to hold my leg.  BTW he was totally uninformed that he would have this duty, thanks babe!  She also said we’d be pushing for about 2 hours so to be prepared.

It was time for the first push.  I breathed.  I pushed.  And the nurse told me to stop.  She could see the baby’s head. 

She called my doctor who was fantatstic and rushed in.  Push again, once more, one more time.  The bear is here!  After 12 minutes of pushing, our little one was here. 
My main request the entire birth (besides not going number 2 on anyone, which I didn’t) was skin to skin.  The laid that beautiful baby girl on my chest and she was here.  After such a long, emotional journey that started 14 months earlier she was here.  Such a crazy feeling. 
Little Bear came in weighing just 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 18 ½ inches long.  She’s small, which is odd since Kyle and I are above average sized people , however we weren’t surprised since she measured small the entire pregnancy.  Kyle was a 6 pound baby and look how he’s grown.

Biggest shocker of the delivery? Her hair!  Check that out!  Everyone was raving over her big head of seemingly red(ish) hair!
After her delivery there were no recovery rooms ready yet, so we actually got stuck in the L & D room for about 6 hours.  We had lots of time for skin to skin with both Kyle and I and some of our family visited.  Shout out to Aunt Laura who epically got peed on! 

I gave birth at 2:42pm and around 8pm we finally got to our recovery room and the family could meet the final babygirl of the cousin trio. 
Great grandma!
It’s hard to put the feelings of giving birth and meeting your child into words.  I think I waited so long to post this, because it was such a special memory and I didn’t know how to give the day justice.  This post just scratches the surface of how the world changed on May 31.  Thank you so much for those of you who have provided advice and encouragement throughout our pregnancy.  Keep that advice coming….motherhood is a whole new world and I’m learning everyday.
What stands out from the day you gave birth?
Advice to a mom of a 6-week old?
Anything else you want to know?

Love and #CBear,

Carissa & Kyle

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Birth Story Part 2

Baby Bear’s birth story continues today.  Not into babies..skip this post and know that I can workout in 1 week meaning we’ll have some great fitness posts soon.

We arrived back at Winnie Palmer at 6:30am on Sunday, May 31.  I knew that my OB was at the hospital that day, so with the events of the day before I felt like it was a good idea to go back in and check everything out.

The wait at triage was MUCH less and within 30 minutes we were having our contractions monitored.  After 30 minutes my wonderful doctor came to check on me and we were 5 centimeters!  We were going upstairs baby!  My contractions were still irregular, but my dr felt it was best to be admitted and get this baby moving along!
We waited about 2 hours for a labor and delivery room to be ready and made it upstairs around 10:30.  Before we went upstairs a nurse came a told me that my platelets were low.  Platelets need to be 90 for an epidural and mine were 87.  They said they would redraw when we went upstairs.  I clearly remember saying, "Oh well if I can't get an epidural, we'll be ok"...ha!  HA!  ha...HAHAHAHA!
Are you really flexing honey?
Once upstairs we started Pitocin around 11:15 and by 11:45 my dr came and broke my water.  This party was getting started.  I was having contractions, but they were still not terribly painful.  I asked my wonderful nurse if I should sit on the exercise ball to help things along and she agreed.  She went to get the ball cleaned up and ready and that’s when it happened.

IT. FELT. LIKE. MY. BODY. WAS. BEING. RIPPED. IN. HALF.

The world went from “let’s get on our sweatyband and listen to Pandora” to me gripping the side of the bed wondering how I could make it stop.  Oh hey contractions.  That’s what you feel like.  You feel like a bad word that I don't want to write on my blog.  The contractions hit me fast and they kept coming.  I’m thinking we were like 90 seconds apart.

Around this time the anesthesiologist came in with her paperwork.  She said a LOT of things that I’m sure were important but I didn’t hear them.  What I did hear was that it was that the lab tech was at lunch and my results weren’t back yet so I couldn't yet get an epidural.  I had a preliminary platelet count that was high enough for the epidural, but we weren’t sure that was enough.  I guess I looked a little worse for wear and my blood pressure was rising so they called for approval for the preliminary results to get me some help with the pain.  In the meantime Kyle patiently let me squeeze his hand and I think I only cursed one time.
Did I get an epidural?
When did Bear arrive?


One more chapter left in our baby story…  

Did you get an epidural?
What do you remember about your child's birth?

Love and ouch!
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, July 6, 2015

Birth Story Part 1

Hi – We’ve been busy!  Balancing baby, running 2 companies, breastfeeding, and life has been A LOT!  A LOT!  I love it, but it’s been a lot and there’s not much downtime or brain power leftover when the to-do list finally runs down.  I want to keep blogging and I will when there’s time…so here…5 weeks later is part 1 of the Bear’s birth story.
As Baby B’s due date approached I prepared myself that she would be late.  I mentally shifted my mindset from the predicted June 7 to June 17.  That’s how my brain operates.  I need to be prepared to wait or I get too impatient.  So I expected a late baby…I was ready for a late baby…but when I found out I was 3cm dilated at 37 weeks my mind began to spin and wonder when she would make her debut.  At 38 weeks I was still 3cm, so I started some of the fun, labor-inducing wives tales.  Pineapple, spicy foods, lots of walk..bring it on!
Last bump pic! 
Saturday of that week, at 38 weeks – 6 days, I did an hour on the treadmill at the gym and then noticed that I had an increase in fluids down there.  TMI- sorry but it is a birth story! I called the triage at my doctor’s office fully expecting them to tell me to keep an eye on it and call back if it increased.  Nope.  They told me to go to the hospital.  So we packed up and headed in…at 2pm on a Saturday. 

Worst. Time. To. Go. To. Triage. Ever.  After 2 hours we were taken back to be seen by a nurse.  They did a test to check if it was amniotic fluid leaking and to check my cervix.  Well it’s wasn’t amniotic fluid (we never actually found out what it was), but I was dilated to 4cm.  Typically hospital policy admits at 4cm, so the nurse said that I probably wouldn't be going far and she’d call my doctor’s midwife since it was a Saturday.
Kyle and I were nervous all of a sudden.  I was having some contractions, but they weren’t regular and weren’t that painful.  We had planned to be sent home, so we were trying to wrap our heads around the thought that we might not be.   Just as we were about to send out texts the nurse came back with the news.  They do admit at 4cm….once you’re 39 weeks.  I was about 8 hours away from 39 weeks so I wasn't going to be admitted.  She told me to go walk for 2 hours and then come back.  Maybe something will have changed. 

Ok.  I can walk…more.  We went to Kyle’s parents house which was about 8 minutes from the hospital and in 90 degree heat we walked.  By the end of Saturday I was up around 6 miles and tired.  We headed back to the hospital unsure of what would happen next.  We were taken back swiftly and checked by the same nurse….still 4 centimeters.  She left saying that she was going to call the midwife and see what to do.  I was just 4 hours from 39 weeks….hmmmm….
Last pic as a family of 2
We anxiously waited…and waited…the next time the door opened it was not the doctor we expected but a different nurse.  Shift change.  The new nurse spoke directly to Kyle and said that I wasn’t proving that I was in “active labor” and that she wouldn't even waste the time to call the midwife.  We were sent home. 
The famous Winnie Palmer cup!
Now I have no problem being sent home.  We never went to the hospital claiming to be “in labor”.  I was just concerned about said fluid and then everything else happened.  But that nurse made me feel bad.  And sad.  So after an emotionally draining 6+ hours we headed home…still pregnant.

After an uncomfortable night, we woke up early and went where…yup…back to the hospital….


Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Baby Bear Arrival Story J

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Giveaway - Core Hydration Water

The heat is on this summer and today we have a giveaway for some of the freshest, crispest water.

Hi Fit2Flex friends!  It's Kyle and I wanted to pop in while Carissa is busy being a super mom and share a fun summer giveaway.  She's working to balance her new job as Mom, her real job, and keeping me fed!
So I wanted to talk about a new product that is perfectly balanced...

Core Hydration water.  I recently had the chance to try it and really enjoyed not only the clean taste of the water, but the stylish design of the bottle.

What is Core Hydration?







It's ultra-purified water that's balanced with electrolytes and minerals to deliver your body's natural pH of 7.4.  This balance helps it work perfectly with your body because it's not too acidic or too alkaline...it's just right!  The stylish package is also recyclable and BPA free.

Want to give your summer hydration a balanced boost? Use the rafflecopter widget below to win a awesome ONE MONTH SUPPLY OF CORE HYDRATION!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
How do you strike balance in your daily life?

Love and drinks for Mommy,
Carissa & Kyle