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Follow This Mother!

Future's so bright, they gotta wear shades: Kia Ruiz and her baby son

Dimity and I were slow to warm up to Twitter, but we’re coming around thanks, in part, to some great women we’ve “met” through it, like Kia Ruiz, 35, of Boulder. I love her candor on topics like breastfeeding her 4-month-old son, living with a husband with depression, and losing weight.

Best recent run: Miles 5-9 of Sunday’s Denver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon that were between 8 and 9 minute miles. The weather was perfect, I was dressed perfectly, and I entered with a great mindset. It was 4 months and 4 days after the birth of my son, and I was already on a tight training schedule following his birth and six weeks of post-partum rest. I lost the month of September due to bad air from wildfires, and my husband not feeling 100%. So I thought the race was going to be a wash but I did a 2:35:41 chip time. I actually tweeted during the event because I was simply going to have fun with it. Miles 0-5 were spent going steady and looking for a bathroom. Miles 5-9 I flew like I had before grad school. At 9 miles my IT band felt tight, and my calves started to cramp. I bonked hard at mile 10 where I was at 1:45, but kept a smile on my face. I want all training runs to be like miles 5-9 of that race.

Yoga mama: I teach Hatha and prenatal/postnatal/fertility yoga. Yoga is a significant part of my life that I’m grateful for. In December 2006, I was in a bad car wreck and spent 15 months in physical therapy getting my back in working order so I could walk and go about my life again. I did not feel graceful with my movements after therapy so I began a yoga teacher training program in January 2009 with the hope the 17-week program would help me regain a functional body I could love again. I had no intentions of becoming an instructor, but I really blossomed during my 200-hour teacher training. The combination of mindful body awareness with my movements helped me use my body better and appreciate it more. My personal practice and teaching philosophy centers around honesty. Your body does have limits and when you really know what they are, you can work with what you have to grow beyond them.

Lost and found: Prior to my car accident, I was in pretty good shape, I was a few weeks away from a Nike One Hit Wonder 5-mile event and the Miami ING Half-Marathon the following month. I had a great functional body that was taken away from me in an instant. I was really depressed after my accident and packed on some pounds in my lengthy recovery (my highest gain was 182). I let the gain linger until 2009 when I was making an effort to get in better shape because my husband and I were planning on trying for a baby (177 pre-pregnancy weight). We were fortunate to get pregnant right away so I entered my pregnancy overweight but determined to have a healthy home birth. I ran 26 weeks into pregnancy and at that time my midwife told me to stop running to give my ligaments a rest. I continued yoga, strength training, swimming, hiking, and walking until the week before I had my son. My first post-partum run was rough--you don’t want all the details--but the second run a few days later was exponentially better. Not perfect but better. I took my major measurements at 6 weeks and just re-did them for 18 weeks and I am down 9 inches between my waist, hips, thighs, and arms. I am in the 160s right now and having fun. I am learning I have to take weight loss slowly now that I am a breastfeeding mom. If I drop too much weight in a week my milk supply suffers, and since that is all my 4-month old is consuming I can’t let that happen.

Half and half: Next on my calendar is the Las Vegas Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in December but after being so happy with Denver I am reconsidering it. If I don’t do Las Vegas, it will be to focus on heart rate monitor training via the likes of Phil Maffetone and Mark Allen to prepare for the 2011 running season. During those awesome miles 5 to 9 in the Denver RNR Half, my heart rate was in the 170s, and I need to do much better than that. My 1st time goal race is the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day. I want to qualify for a sub 55-minute wave and doing it for 2011 seems highly likely after my recent race.

Can’t run without: Polar heart rate monitor. I have an old pale pink F6 from when I was a runner in 2006 and am considering upgrading since you only need to pay the difference when changing models (according to the rep I recently talked to). If I am doing a longer run, I need my AmphiPod RunLite 4 Hydration Belt with a cell phone, water, and diluted apple juice with sea salt or Recharge. If I am doing a night or early dawn run, I need my reflective AmphiPod Running Xinglet Pocket.

Oh, baby: I live in my baby’s world. I am not saying my 4-month old controls my life, but he is my priority. When he keeps me up too much at night, I need to determine if I am too tired to run the next day so as to avoid injury. Also I have to watch my food and activity level to make sure I do not drop too much weight in a week because that does affect my milk supply. I am looking forward to him getting better neck control so I can put him in his jogging stroller and go. I have been stockpiling all kinds of lovelies to hopefully keep him warm and happy outside during a cold Colorado winter. We will see how training goes with him in that contraption. For now I make my training runs away from him as efficient as possible since that is time I can be spending with him in his world. He has been to my two races and I almost cried at both of them when I turned the corner and there he was with my husband or his grandpa who were cheering me on.

Follow this mother at: http://bodhibear.blogspot.com
(She even vlogs—video blogs—about her health and fitness progress on Mondays.)

Kia and her fam with the soon-to-be-used jogging stroller behind them

22 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Kia is a ROCKSTAR!

    She has inspired me on so many fronts since I met her on Twitter. The fact that she does all the things she does while giving her son and awesomely healthy start on life is inspirational!

  2. Added her to my reader feed. I’m 4 weeks post pardum with a c-section. I did not run during my pregnancy and haven’t run in awhile. Planning to start at 6 weeks with docs okay. I’m interested in how to manage running while breastfeeding. I’m planning to train for 2 sprint triathlons next July and Sept.

  3. Nice! I can’t wait to see more of your vlogs! I follow your tweets.

    I can’t run without my Polar HRM either. In addition to adding up the weekly miles, I love trying to get beat my goal of 2500 cals/week burn.

  4. Hey Kia – get a rain cover for your stroller, along with all the warm cozies – use it rain or shine, it will block the wind and create a nice cozy little greenhouse in there for the LO. 🙂 My DD also had really cold feet and hands…socks and uggs worked on the feet and socks on the hands, under her warm down cozie worked on her hands.
    ….two late fall babies and we finally learned how to get out here in VT. 🙂
    You kick butt too!

  5. Great Job, Kia! My husband ran that race and I was there, cheering y’all on (we’re in FW, but made the trip because we love CO – and running – so much)! Maybe next year, I’ll be doing it, too. I’m having a hard time working running back into my schedule after the birth of my son, Sam, almost 6 months ago (wow, time flies!), but every run – with or without him – feels great. Way to work hard and be committed to your loves!

  6. I follow Kia and she’s an amazing inspiration!! I love her vlogs, so everyone should get over there and check them out!!! Awesome job, Kia!! I have learned more about you!

  7. Kia you are fabulous! I had a similiar experience to yours with Yoga – for me, Pilates put my body back together after a serious accident and became my passion. I was yelling and clapping at mile 12 last Sunday morning – pretty sure I saw that smile – even through the pain! RLAMers are the most amazing women!

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