#rnrchi goals + #rockyourhealth with humana

Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago will be my first race postpartum – almost exactly 7 months after having Miles. Like I said Monday, training certainly has not gone how I had planned. Very few speed sessions, little to no strength training, and much slower paces than I had anticipated. I’m not where I was hoping I would be at this point, but I’m definitely not disappointed. I’ve put in the miles that I needed and feel prepared to run two good races and earn my 3 medals. Plus, I’m so excited to have a weekend away from the kids (this mama desperately needs a break) and spend some quality time with my hubby.

My goals all along have been to race the 5K and enjoy the half marathon, and those goals still haven’t changed. I’m ready to be competitive again in the 5K, but in order to do that, I need a starting point. I have no goal time in mind for the 5K. The goal is to run a smart race and see where I’m at fitness-wise to prepare for the fall racing season. I know I am still far off from peak racing shape, but this will just get me one step closer to getting back to sub-20 5Ks.

Sunday’s half marathon is all about having FUN! I’ve put in the miles and I’m prepared to run 13.1 miles. But, just like the 5K, I have no goal time in mind. I’m far from a PR and 13.1’s are not exactly my distance anymore. They are just fun for me to go out and enjoy. And what a better race to enjoy and have FUN than in the streets of Chicago – the place where I ran my last marathon 5 years ago!

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This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago is sponsored by Humana. Humana is all about promoting healthy living and they have a goal to improve the health of the communities they serve by 20% by the year 2020. RnR Chicago is just one way they are trying to achieve this goal, encouraging their own employees to lace up their running shoes and get out and be active!

Humana has a mindset very similar to my own for RnR Chicago: when you make being active and healthy FUN, it is much easier to #RockYourHealth! For me, training for RnR Chicago has been all about being active and health post-baby. I absolutely LOVE running, not only for the physical benefits, but the mental benefits as well. For me, running shouldn’t be a chore – it should be fun! In order to #RockYourHealth, you have to find something you enjoy doing! While I’ll be racing the 5K, the half marathon will be all about the enjoyment I get from being out and pounding the pavement.

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Even though I plan on having the time of my life out on the course, I know it’ll still be a tough race for me, especially that last mile. But, you can help make it easier for me and all the other runners out there by sending some motivational messages that will display ON THE COURSE from mile 12 to mile 13. Head on over to the Humana Vitality Cheer Squad to write out a message that will display on a giant Cheer Board that is synced with each runner’s bib number to ensure we see them during the last mile. How freaking AWESOME is that?! I know I’ll definitely need that extra boost at mile 12 and I know just getting there will help me through the race!

I seriously cannot wait for this weekend! I’m excited to see where I’m at fitness-wise to prepare for the fall, but I’m more excited to run the streets of Chicago again! Can’t wait to #RockYourHealth this weekend!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Humana.

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#rnrchi training: taper time

It’s officially RACE WEEK!  Training hasn’t been the best this time around – juggling 2 kids, breastfeeding, summer heat, vacations, summer classes, and injuries has definitely impacted my training.  I didn’t do nearly the amount of speed work I planned for and weight training has pretty much been non-existant.  But, I consistently ran 5 days each week and got in all but 1 of my long runs.

This past week was by far my best week of training so far.  Maybe it was the lower mileage or the fact that I didn’t feel as much pressure to actually be training since I already had my longest run it and I knew my training wasn’t great so far.  But, I ended up getting in every single run as planned AND 4 days of strength training!  Was every run great?  Good Lord, no.  I wish.  But, I got it in, picked myself back up after those bad runs, and hoped for a better run every day.  I ended the week with 2 awesome runs (some cruise intervals and a long run) that really boosted my confidence and got me excited for both races this weekend (regardless of my lack of PRs that will be happening).

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Monday:  A really horrible 4.82 mile easy run.  I got a terrible side stitch about halfway through my run and ended up having to walk a few times (about 2 minutes total).  I was really defeated after that run, but determined that my nutrition and hydration had been terrible over the weekend.  Average pace = 8:18/mile.  Completed Day 2 of #FromFlattoAllThat.

Tuesday:  4.9 miles easy in the rain – same route as Monday but felt slightly better.  Average pace = 8:10/mile.  Completed Day 1 of #FromFlattoAllThat.

Wednesday:  3 mile easy run in the rain.  And thankfully it felt easy – not side stitches, no pain.  Average pace = 7:58/mile.

Thursday:  Completed Day 3 of #FromFlattoAllThat and then went on a quick 1 mile time trial, just to get an idea of my progress.  Ran it in 6:57, which was 40 seconds faster than I ran it a month ago.  Progress!

Friday:  5 minute warmup, then 6 x 1000m w/ 200m recoveries for a total of 5.25 miles.  Average pace = 7:51/mile.  Completed Day 4 of #FromFlattoAllThat.

Saturday:  7.9 mile easy run with the last 2 miles at my current 10K pace (7:45/mile) – this run felt awesome and was exactly how I needed to finish the week!  Average pace = 8:05/mile.

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Sunday:  OFF

Total:  26.9 miles

Race goals coming at you later this week!  Anyone else racing Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago this weekend?!  Have a great start to your week!

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body after bump #2: 6 months

I decided to try something different this month.  I didn’t take any measurements.  While I did weigh myself (and again after our vacation), I decided that I didn’t want to focus so much on the numbers and more on how I look and feel and how my clothes fit.  Every month, recording those numbers would get me all worked up when I didn’t see the numbers budge.  Should it really matter if I know I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight and I am feeling good about my body (most of the time)?  The answer is an obvious no.  And thankfully, the pictures can do the talking instead.

Body Bump - 1 week

Body Bump - 4 months

Body Bump - 6 months

Oooh, hello summer tan!  I also look A LOT less tired now than I did at 1 week! Ha!

There are definitely some noticeable differences, but I really didn’t need the pictures to tell me that.  Not all my clothes are fitting comfortably all the time, but for the most part, everything fits.  I will admit though, like every other woman in the world, I still struggle with body image and not feeling “good” about my postpartum body.  I think it is human nature to feel that way and sometimes changes take some time to get used to.  I know there is still work to do – strength training has been seriously lacking for the last few months – so I can’t expect to look exactly how I used to pre-baby when there are obvious things missing.

Thankfully, my nutrition has been pretty on point lately.  Yes, I still eat dessert every night and drink a beer (or 2) once or twice a week.  But, I am sticking to the 80/20 rule and giving myself some wiggle room in my diet.  I am eating healthy the majority of the time and I am doing much better on watching my portions.  For awhile this summer, I think I was actually eating too little, especially as my training has ramped up to prepare for the half marathon next weekend and my runs seriously suffered.  I’m still trying to find a good balance between calories in vs. calories out, but I’m getting closer.

My mental health has still been the biggest hurdle to overcome.  There are days where I can’t possibly imagine a better life.  I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, a beautiful new home, a job I love, and we are living comfortably, well within our means – and I know that.  How could I possibly feel that my life wasn’t absolutely perfect?  But, other days I feel the exact opposite.  However, the breakdowns are so short lived – 20 minutes and then it’s back to rainbows and unicorns – that I don’t really think too much about them after they are over.  I am getting to the point now at 6 months postpartum that I think seeing someone about it might be a good option, especially since my emotions haven’t changed too much in the past 6 months.  I am still learning my triggers (mostly stress and feeling overwhelmed) to help keep a breakdown from happening, so we will see where it takes me.

 

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