Thursday, March 17, 2011

Out on the Town.

(Note: No hat necessary!!!)


Today, it reached 68 degrees in Chicago!  What a perfect day to get reacquainted with our favorite stroller routes in the city.  We headed north on the lake front path and then headed back through our favorite neighborhood streets and stopped at the local playground.  In the fall, Ryan was too small to do anything, but now he is loving the swings!
I thought a lot about the Staat family and their sweet baby Maddie who passed away 1 month ago today.  She was only 4 months old, and her parents, in the midst of their grieving, have already impacted so many families of young ones by reminding us that none of our babies are immune to SIDS.  Today, we walked/played in honor of Maddie and to show our support for her incredibly strong parents- I am so very sorry for your loss and I thank you for reminding me not to take a single moment with my little monkey for granted.  


-S.H.M.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There's Strength, and Then There's Strength.

When I talk (type) about wanting to be strong, I am usually referring to physical strength; I want to run fast again, I want to be able to do as many push-ups as I could before, I want to get off my bike after a 100+ miles and say, "That felt great!"


Sure, there is an element of mental strength in performing any of these activities, but lately I have been focusing on the sweat and muscle.  


Today, however, I can't get this family/baby out of my mind:


http://kandjstaats.blogspot.com/


I. Can. Not. Imagine.


Now, this is strength. 


-S.H.M.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Get Your Swim On.

Today was sort of a busy day for us, and between work, chores, and the time change, Dan and I were having a hard time squeezing in our individual workouts.  Additionally, with Dan's demanding work schedule, we like to maximize "family time" on his day's off.  We settled on Family Swim at the gym.  


In our pre-baby days, we used to avoid the pool whenever FS hours were posted- those parents + kids take up half the pool!!!  Today, Family Swim was our workout mediator.  


We packed our gym/pool bags and walked over to the gym.  Dan jumped in the lap lane and Ryan and I hit the family section; Ryan and I have been going to infant swim classes and he needed to practice his skills.  In all seriousness, these classes teach the babies to feel comfortable in the water, look for the wall and grab it, and float on their backs.  I guess we are still mastering the comfort portion of the class...


When Dan was finished swimming, we executed a baby hand-off perfectly, and it was my turn to swim.  The boys headed to the locker room and I got to do my workout.  
I swam 1000 yards (an ironman swim is approximately 4000 meters) and felt pretty good.  I always resist swim workouts; I am a land lover and am happiest when my feet are on the ground (or clipped into my pedals).  But, today I was HAPPY to go to the pool with my family.  Dan got to get his swim in, I got mine in too, and Ryan, well Ryan was just happy to be carried around the pool.


You know what they say, a family that swims together...


-S.H.M.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Highs and Lows

Saturday morning was near perfection; Ryan slept at GG's house and Dan and I had a much-needed date night followed by a night of uninterrupted sleep.  Just like the good ol'  days, we woke up to an actual alarm (not too early) and got ready to go on a morning run together.  We met up with the Triathlon club at the gym where I work and headed out for a run through Lincoln Park.  I ran about three miles, and it felt OK.  When I got back to club, a fellow trainer asked if I would perform a VO2max test in front of the tri club in order to promote the new metabolic testing equipment.
  
As an exercise physiologist, I have done countless VO2max tests and knew the discomfort he was asking me to put on display.  Most people have never done this, so I will keep the description simple; you run (or bike) with an awkward mask on at increasing intensity until you FAIL.  By fail, I mean your limbs feel like jello, you see stars, and want to vomit.  


Why would anyone sign up for this?  It is a tremendous training tool, helping to assess current aerobic capacity, as well as pinpointing training thresholds to help maximize workouts.  So...I said yes.  


It was hard and exhausting, but the results were a pleasant surprise to me.  As deconditioned as I feel, physiologically, I am in great aerobic shape!  I'll spare you the nerdy details, and just say- I've still got it!  If my body is a car, I've got a kicking engine. 


Strong. Happy. Mom.


Two days later, I went to see a physical therapist about my SI joint pain.  With in 60 seconds, the PT summed it up, "Your hips are all jacked up."  


Thank you 40 weeks of pregnancy + childbirth.


I was prepared for him to tell me things were tight.  I was not prepared for him to shake his head in disbelief at how weak my gluteus medius and rectus abdominis are, and question, "When is the Ironman?"  I started to tune him out as I went to my pensive place, but I am pretty sure he used the word obliterated.  A few times.  


He handed me the green band that everyone who has ever done physical therapy dreads, and tells me I have a lot of work to do.  After attempting the first exercise, he took the green band away and replaced it with the pink "geriatric" band.  Awesome.  If my body is a car, the wheels are falling off. 


weak. bummed. mom.
-S.H.M.