Thursday, March 20, 2014

Body by triplets v6.almost7

Last month, while seeking a bit of inspiration, motivation, something to get me over a running speed bump, I began to notice a pattern with the running blogs that I occasionally read - none of the bloggers are like me.  So I searched for new running blogs with the following:
  • Female blogger
  • Who is in her late 30s or older
  • With three or more kids (multiples would be a plus)
  • Who works outside the home
I'm thinking that someone who fits that criteria probably doesn't have time to blog because I certainly can't find any matches.

I've been back running consistently since the beginning of February.  Last week, I finally felt that change and it was no longer a struggle to get to 2 miles.  I realize that my motivation now is completely different from what it was 15 years ago.  Or 10 years ago.  Well, not only is it different - sometimes it doesn't exist.

With each passing year, I feel more and more uncomfortable with the way I look.  I don't need to lose weight.  I want to tone up.  I want to feel strong.  I want to have a flat stomach again.  I want the belly button I used to have.  I don't even care about stretch marks.  I would gladly take stretch marks over what I have now.  Unfortunately, some of my wants won't ever be possible without medical intervention and I really, really don't want to have surgery.  Sometimes my mind goes back to how I used to look and how much I used to run and I think that if I could run that much again, I would have my old body back.

Believe me though, I would never, ever change how long I carried my triplets.

Have I ever mentioned how I wear a tank top every day under my clothes?  Every. Single.  Day.  Even in the summer.  The skin on my stomach was so stretched out that now it's super sensitive.  I tuck the tank top into my pants so that waistbands don't irritate my skin.  Sitting down in jeans is the worst and so uncomfortable.  I've spend this entire winter wearing pajama pants when I'm at home.  On the weekends, after I run errands or we go somewhere, I'll walk in the house and change back into pajama pants.  

So let's talk about last week.  I ran three times:

  1. A 2.25 mile run with speed work.  I increased the speed on the treadmill by .1 mph after each song.  The last .75 miles or so was spent going back down in speed.
  2. A 2.5 mile run at a speed slightly higher than my normal running-on-the-treadmill speed.
  3. A 3 mile run at a normal speed.  That's the longest I've run since Thanksgiving.
Accepting that I'm stuck with what I've got is a bitter pill to swallow.  Some of this may be fueled by the fact that I just turned another year older too.  Birthdays just aren't fun anymore.


Leslie said...

I don't have triplets, but I've had two children by C-section and a hysterectomy. Once those muscles have been cut a few times, it's hard to get them back, so I hear you. However, I've just decided that I'll never wear a bikini or tuck in a shirt, and that's ok. Since we didn't think that we'd ever be able to have our second child, it's a price I'm willing to pay. I'd probably wear pajama pants all weekend anyway! I need to get with it and start exercising more like you.

Rebecca said...

Wow this so resonates. I'm a dancer, not a runner, but I also tell myself that if I were able to work out as much as I used to, my pre-twins body would come back. Except I'm way not motivated and there's the diastasis, twin skin, etc etc etc. So "going back" is a myth. But I would love to find a new beautiful.

My skin got so stretched that the opposite happened - I have very little sensation in my tummy. I also wear a tank top every day!

I think your level of commitment to running is inspiring. You're probably working harder now, even if you are doing less, than you had to before kids.

Janelle said...

I'm not sure that any of this will be helpful at all but I feel the same way a lot of the time.
1. I was, at one time, 120# overweight
2. I have 5 children, that are 6 1/2, twin 5 year olds, an almost 4 year old and a 10 mo old.
3. I'm 37… it seems so weird to say that! Aren't my parents still in their forties?
4. I do stay at home with our children but sometimes pumping seems like a job but realize it's not at all like going to a job everyday.
5. I also want to just tone up and be strong going into my forties.

I do need to loose 20-25 lbs but am in the weight range for my height so it just to get to my own personal comfortable weight. My stomach is worn out too and my bum and thighs are not that much better. I'm not a runner but have jogged in the past and would like to try again outside this spring.

I have start the Jillian Michaels workout videos and hope to see some results. Do you think that would help with toning for you? I have a few friends who are runners (10k, 1/2 marathon and marathon status, like you) and for one, she just doesn't use videos so maybe you don't prefer them either.

Anyway, with that all said I'm not sure if strength training video with cardio would help on the days you don't run. I hear you with the tank top wearing! Just wanted to let you know that I am inspired by all you do and understand your fitness challenges! Here's to hoping our bodies cooperate with our efforts and thrive with the little sleep we get each day!

The Swanbergs said...

I'm 5'2" (and 115 lbs pre-kiddos), carried twins for 38 weks, and my torso sounds exactly like yours. I actually smiled to myself at your tank top thing, because I do that, too. Jeans are the enemy.
Like you, I don't want to have elective surgery, but I don't want to live with this for the next 50 years either. Sigh. You're not alone girl.

Rebecca said...

Follow me at

Twin mom to 8 year old twin girls.

Learning to love running.

I document our journey in this crazy world with our twin girls.

We live in Maine.

Anonymous said...

I had zero core strength, well, ever, and terrible posture, until I started taking Bar Method classes. I don't take classes anymore because life got in the way and I also had a baby, but they do DVDs as well and I can't wait to start mine and start to get strong again - while I was taking classes I was in literally the best shape of my adult life, even if I wasn't at my skinniest. And the exercises are developed with physical therapy in mind, so it's also the only exercise I've ever done where I haven't damaged myself somehow. I highly recommend looking into the DVDs if you can, maybe taking a one-off class sometime so they can check out your form.

Christi said...

one of the running bloggers I follow fits *almost* all your criteria: over 30, 5 kids (one passed away at 4 :( ) but I don't think she works outside the home. She is a big Disney fan though and pretty funny.

Have you looked at Another Mother Runner? They do a Follow This Mother post every week. I don't have kids but I really like their podcasts and blog.

Christi said...

I thought of two other runner bloggers. Both are in CT. Both have 2 kids (not 3, sorry!)
Over 40. Two kids. Works outside the home. Ran after a mastectomy and during chemo. Works outside the home.
Over 40. Two kids. Works outside the home.

by Caroline said...

I haven't come anywhere near carrying triplets so I so hear you with the tank top comment! I just feel "fluffy". No tone whatsoever. Love reading your blog and catching up with your girlies. They are precious!

Just the Tip said...

I know you said you don't want surgery but i've seen you post before about having the ab muscle issue. Mine were torn in 3 spots after the girls. I ended up doing a tummy tuck with muscle repair. I will never regret my decision and even with triple stitching put it, i'm still not flat flat. My results were amazing though and it helped my back so much!

Sarah said...

Thank you for all the blog links.

My posture is crap now - my back is all messed up from the pregnancy. And, yup, ab separation.

Just the Tip - I'm terrified of surgery. I had surgery 20 years ago on my jaw and I can still remember how bad it was after. Not pain but I had trouble coming out it and everything makes me puke. I'm afraid to go thru that again.

I appreciate all of your comments!!!

Nicole Sladden said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm not sure whether I would have surgery in a similar situation, but after watching my sister go through similar anaesthetic experiences I wanted to say that if it's predominantly the fear of having such a horrible recovery from anaesthesia that is preventing you from considering surgery, it's worth considering that anaesthesia has changed quite a lot over the past 20 years. Anaesthetists can give agents that are less likely to cause nausea, administer anti-emetics during the operation so you're protected when you wake up, or consider titrating their anaesthetic to your body size. If you were still badly nauseated on wakening, there are much better anti-emetics now than there used to be.

I suppose I'm trying to suggest that, if you ever do consider surgery, perhaps your medical team could let you discuss the issue with an anaesthetist before you had to make your decision? This was done for my sister and though she's not had nausea-free experiences since, they've all been far better than the first one she had (which resulted in her not being able to eat for 5 days).

All the best with your running. I'm sure I'm not even capable of running 3 miles at this point in time, you're an inspiration for me to get out there and try again.

Just the Tip said...

Ah. Yeah I've had general anesthesia alot but the first time I didn't wake up for almost a day, had hives and needed oxygen. Turns out i was allergic to one of the meds. So I understand the fear. I was terrified after that. I now make them give me zofran before I wake up as well and I'm ready to eat instead of throw up all day.

Elizabeth said...

I've been getting into running the last two years and last weekend just finished my 2nd half marathon. I'm not fast (and this year want to spend more time working on getting my miles faster) but I do enjoy how it makes me feel. I used to blog and kind of miss it so maybe I should add more about my running if i start blogging again. I fit some of your criteria (I"m 34, I have 4 kids a 6 year old and 3 year old identical triplets) but don't work full time outside of the home.). I too hate hate hate my belly skin. blech.

Sarah said...

Elizabeth - If you start blogging again, let me know! I'd love to follow.

Thanks for the comments re: anesthesia. Part of that surgery was to place a metal screw in my jaw for a tooth implant. The surgery was first thing in the morning and my mom was to bring me to the dentist after I got out of recovery. After the surgery, I couldn't stay awake for more than a few seconds - for the entire day. At 5:00. they were finally able to get me to stay awake long enough to get me dressed and into the car. The dentist was closed by then. I slept all the way home and all that night. I was tired for days. That combined with wanting to puke - they gave me compazine for that, which did help some but ug, I was miserable.

Nicole Sladden said...

It sounds miserable :(

Niki said...

It's so hard, isn't it? I've heard several times that you can do 2 out of 3: a job outside the home, kids, or train for an endurance sport. I'd include having a thriving marriage too. I've done several marathons and half ironman triathlons since having the boys, but my husband and I have to do a lot of tag team parenting.

That's the main thing that keeps me from training more. I trust others to take care of the boys, and I can do what needs to be done to satisfy work, but there's no substitute for me to my husband. (Ahem.)

I blog, but it's about the boys, with the occasional mention of my own racing. I had a running blog, but it was too hard and I lost motivation.

In conclusion, I think anyone who does anything to take time for themselves deserves a tremendous amount of credit.

Nothing about it is easy.

Jessica said...

Have you heard of the It Works wraps? I personally have not used them (pregnant with my 4th right now) but I've seen some AMAZING results from friends/family that used them to tighten up their stomachs from pregnancy which no amount of exercise seems to get rid of. They didn't have triplets and I doubt it helps the sensitivity, but it's worth looking in to!

The Kriegels said...

have you read Steece's Pieces? quad mom, in her 30s (not sure of exact age), works as a nurse and blogs

yetunde said...

just wanted to say thanks for writing this post Sarah; I stalked all the links in your comments section for new running blogs (I fit all your criteria too except twins not triplets)

Cecilia @ MommiesRun said...

You can follow me! I'm a full time pharmacist, mom of 5 year old identical twin girls, and I've run 6 half marathons and I'm on Day 85 of a 365 day run streak :)

Cecilia @ MommiesRun

Anonymous said...