Starting from scratch with running

Very early on in my pregnancy I stopped running. It didn’t feel good and I was too nervous to push myself. I’m sure it would have been fine, but I was a first time preggo lady and I was scared. So I stopped running cold turkey. Fast forward to 6 months post partum and I still haven’t run much. I had a long recovery, and have found it hard to get back into running and exercise in general. 
I really miss running and everything that I get out of it. I am a super slow runner, but have run 3 half marathons. I run to push my body and stay in shape, but I mainly run for the mental benefits. Sometimes I zone out and blast music, and sometimes I use it as a time to think and sort things out. I have really missed running, and have started to slowly get back into it. 
Since I am starting at square one, I decided to do the Couch to 5K plan. Couch to 5 k I am on week 3, and while it is frustrating that I feel like I mainly am on a walk, I already feel that I am getting better. I was really sore the first few weeks and now I’m not anymore. I’m excited to continue this program and maybe get back up to the mileage I was at before. I might never run a half marathon again, but who knows! 


A half marathon right before our wedding! 

Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for this year! Here are just a few reasons I feel blessed to have the life that I do. 

Jim

Obviously this guy is my number one reason I’m thankful! He is my partner and my friend. We have so many fun times together. He has been my rock during some really hard times and I am forever greatful for this. I can’t wait to become a family of three with him in two months and navigate parenting together!  

 
Family

Words can’t even express how thankful I am for my family. Both of our families are wonderful and I feel so lucky that we live so close to both families and are able to spend holidays with everyone.  My mom and little brother are two of my best friends and I would be absolutely lost without them. 

 
Friends 

Most of my friends I met in college and we’ve remained close ever since. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we would like, we pick right back up where we left off every time.  

 
My job 

My teaching job is challenging every day, and it can sometimes be quite stressful. I enjoy the challenge and like being kept on my toes. I have an amazing class this year and am so thankful to be in a good school in the city! 

Yoga and running 

Although I’m on a hiatus from running, I still love it. Yoga has been my go-to workout during pregnancy. The combo of running and yoga keeps me healthy and does wonders for my stress levels. If I didn’t work out I would be a crabby, stressed out lady!  

 Healthy pregnancy 

I am thankful to be healthy! It is amazing what your body can do- carry a baby and teach 6 and 7 year olds all day! I am happy that I have had a relatively easy pregnancy and still feel pretty good at 31 weeks preggo!  I am beyond thankful I am pregnant! I expected it to be a long journey to getting pregnant and was shocked by how lucky I was that I happened easily. 

 
Coffee, tea, and dessert

It sounds silly but these things have been my favorites during pregnancy. Many evenings we would have a glass of wine to end the day, but now I have a sweet treat and some decaf tea.  I have eaten a dessert every day of pregnancy. While this sounds crazy, I think it’s all about balance. Sometimes that dessert is a small piece of dark chocolate, and sometimes it is a more decadent dessert. Even a tiny treat makes the day feel happy to me!   

 
This blog

I am so glad I started this blog! It has been so fun to get some words out. I hope to increase my posting in the future. I am thankful for my readers who faithfully read all of my posts!! 
I hope everyone has a great holiday week and takes a few minutes to be thankful this week! 

 

My Workouts Before Pregnancy, and in the First Trimester

I have three types of workouts I love- Beachbody (currently 21 Day Fix and T 25), running- (I love half marathons!!), and hot yoga.

Before Pregnancy 

Hot Yoga

Before I got pregnant, I attended hot yoga burn classes 2 or 3 times a week at  Zen Yoga Garage. These classes were at a local yoga studio that I was a member of, and I would go at 6 am, get ready for work, and tackle the day.  These classes were hot- about 90-100 degrees, and were vinyasa yoga classes with weights and HIIT mixed in.  I was addicted to yoga burn!  The workout was amazing- a combination of strength and cardio, plus all the benefits of yoga-clarity, calm, and my favorite part-savasana.  I knew that when I got pregnant I would have to give this up, because your body temperature cannot get too high when you are pregnant. I hoped to still attend other classes like prenatal yoga and their barre classes that are not heated.

Running

I have like running for my whole adult life.  I have struggled with knee pain, which stems from tendonitis in my knee.  Basically, if I add too much mileage or speed onto my training plan, my knee hurts.  I have learned how to work around this, and have been able to successfully run 3 half marathons in the past two years.  Last winter I trained for a half marathon by myself for the first time (previously ran with Jim), and did almost all of my training before work, in the dark, outside, in the middle of winter.  I thought there was no way this would work and that I would probably not finish the training or run in the race.  However, I ended up loving it!  I ran the half marathon in April, and kept running afterwards.

Beachbody Workouts

I have been a Beachbody customer for almost 10 years, and love doing these workouts when I don’t go to yoga or run.  They are always quick and efficient, and a great way to fit in a workout at home. juliaschachtfitness.com

First Trimester Workouts

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I stopped going to hot yoga.  I continued to run but didn’t stopped fairly early on, because I was spotting. I took it easy, and decided to switch to more pregnancy-friendly workouts like Piyo.  Eventually I tried running again, but it felt weird.  Really weird.  I was hoping be a running pregnant lady, but that is just not in the cards for me.  So instead, I have been doing T25, Piyo, and 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I modify all of them, and don’t do the jumping parts.  My doctor said as long as it feels good I can continue.  The jumping didn’t feel good, so I decided to modify.  I still get a good workout in!  I have also been doing prenatal yoga classes online.  I would like to go to a studio soon for prenatal yoga, because I miss the studio vibe, with good music and positive energy.  I have also been walking.  Each night we go for a 2 mile walk, which is a nice way to digest dinner!  I am hoping to continue with my current level of fitness as long as I can.  I work out for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week not including walking and yoga.  My fatigue goes away for a while after I workout, and it is the time that I feel most like “me”.  It also doesn’t hurt to release some endorphins everyday!

My Weight Loss Story

It was January 2014.  I went to put on a pair of jeans, and I couldn’t physically get them onto my legs.  I knew that I had not been eating well or working out enough for the past few months, but this was my ah ha moment.  I had just gotten engaged and I wanted to get married feeling my best.  I knew this wasn’t my best.  I have never been a person who is overweight, and I was still not overweight at this time.  I never really struggled with weight, and pretty much ate healthy.  However, I noticed that once I turned 30, my metabolism slowed down a little.  I couldn’t just eat wings and fries and drink beer with no repercussions, like I used to.  I had just moved in with Jim that September, and basically ate whatever he ate.  Chips and dip?  Sure!  Craft beer?  Yes please!  Pizza and wings?  Why not!  Needless to say, I wasn’t able to keep that up for long.  Since Jim is 6’2″ and I am 5’4″, I knew I couldn’t eat what he ate on a regular basis.  I also knew that starving myself and using fad diets don’t work for me.  I am not the type of person to try juice cleanses or cabbage soup diets. I went back to my old stand by.  I had completed P90X a few years back, and liked some of the workouts, and the eating plan.  I pulled out my old DVDs and the eating plan.  I started following the eating plan, and doing the cardio and leg workouts.  I also kept going to hot yoga classes.  The weight started coming off!  In January of 2014 I weighed 134 pounds, and by March of 2014 I weighed 125 pounds.  I was so proud of myself!  I added in Insanity to mix things up, and started running again.  At the time of my wedding I weighed 122 pounds.  I didn’t follow the P90X eating plan for long, but it reminded me of the basics of healthy eating.  A protein, healthy carb, and fruit or vegetable with each meal.  Plus 2 snacks a day.  Because I ate this way, I was never starving, and never felt deprived.  I still indulged in treats on a regular basis- either something sweet, or a drink.  I had some dark chocolate instead of a huge dessert.  I had a glass of wine instead of a carb-heavy beer.  One of the most important things I did was to stop eating when I was satisfied.  I never allow myself to get stuffed, because that is when I feel miserable!  I still eat this way, and, for me, it is the key to success.  My workouts have changed throughout the last year and a half.  I continued running and hot yoga.  I did Piyo, T 25, and now am doing 21 Day Fix.  This winter, I was doing Piyo and running a lot, and I added in Shakeology.  I drank Shakeology for my breakfast everyday, and lost 3 more pounds.  Now I have leveled out at 119 pounds, which is a healthy weight for someone who is 5’4″.  I feel great about myself, and I feel healthy.  I am in the best shape of my life!  There was no magic trick, pill or quick fix.  Portion sizes, exercise, and moderation!



Post Half Marathon Yoga

Since my half marathon I haven’t done much in terms of exercise.  I have been walking and doing some light stretching.  Today I put on some tunes, and did a little yoga!  I have not gone to the yoga studio I belong to since the run, because I am trying to take it easy for a few more days.  The last half marathon I ran, I started working out right away and my knee hurt.  This time I decided to do it right, and follow the rules for recovery!  Tomorrow I am planning on doing a longer yoga session and maybe a 30 minute run.  It has been pretty enjoyable to take a few days off of formal exercise and catch up on  Downtown Abbey and other Bravo reality shows that rot my brain!

Post Half Marathon Yoga

 

Half marathon 3

I signed up for a half marathon in April in Chicago! Since I don’t belong to a gym I will be doing all of my training outside. This will definitely be an adventure! I started running a few weeks ago and it was about 20 degrees. After just a few minutes I realized I didn’t have any of the right gear. I have never run in the bitter cold before, so this is all new to me! Since that freezing run, I invested in some cold weather gear, and am up to 5 miles in my training! IMG_8603.JPG

We ran the half marathon!

After all our training we are done! We ran the Rock and Roll half marathon yesterday. This is my second half marathon (I ran the Chicago half in September). I felt a million times better this time! I felt happy and upbeat the whole run and didn’t experience any knee pain until mile 12. I was so pumped that I was able
To run pain free this time. I fully attribute it to doing yoga while training. It kept my muscles toned and stretched. Now we are just 5 days away from our wedding!

Since it was the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, I started out the run without music.  I figured I would eventually put on my earphones when the run got tough.  I have NEVER run without music before!  However, there were so many distractions I ended up never putting on my music.  In the beginning, I was enjoying people watching, and taking in the scenery of downtown Chicago.  Later on in the run, I got lost in my thoughts.  I have gone through a very tough time this year and have found running to be absolutely therapeutic.  Around mile 6 through the end, there was music- either a band or a DJ, and a live drummer to keep the runners entertained.  From mile 10-11, there was a DJ and speakers all along the mile which I really enjoyed!  Miles 11-13 were a little tougher, but I knew we were SO close!  During mile 12, I was starting to have knee pain, but I was really happy that knee pain waited until mile 12.  Last time, my knee started hurting during mile 4, which was miserable!!  We finished the run and were so happy to be done!  We grabbed some of the snacks and drinks, and got on the El to go home.  Later in the day we went to brunch with my mom and brother, and then had a celebratory beer!  It was a great day and I feel so proud that we pushed through and trained during our very busy wedding planning time!

 

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