Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 305

A few of you asked about the iphone app that creates the overexposed artsy photos. It's called Hipstamatic. I used it for the above photo. I like the overexposed look. It hides those pesky skin imperfections, but I digress.

The real reason for the picture is to show off my new toy, the forerunner 305! I'm so excited to use it that I thought I'd wear it to work! No, not really, I just put it on for the picture. I am excited to run with it though. I had it on my Christmas wish list. It's funny a co-worker asked me what I thought I was getting for Christmas, and I told him about the Garmin. He's not a runner, so he looked a little puzzled. And then he asked, "What if you don't get it?" (He seemed to think it was unlikely that any husband would buy his wife a gps running watch.) To which I replied, "Oh, I'll just order one after Christmas." Nick did in fact get me the 305 for Christmas though. He's good like that.

I know the 305 is a bit bigger than the sleeker 405, but I've read a number of complaints that the 405 doesn't work well if it gets wet. And the 305, although older, seems to be the favorite (according to Amazon reviewers anyway). So that's what I wanted. I'm really excited about the heart rate monitor. I've always wondered what my true training heart rate is, you know, without having to stop and take it manually. (And now I'll have an accurate method of measuring it!) I'm hoping that maybe I can start training using heart rate zones. Maybe then I can make sure my easy days are actually easy days. We'll see.

Christmas was good. Well, the whole family was sick, but we had a really low key day so it wasn't too bad. I'm still sick actually. Last week I didn't run much (less than 20 miles), but that's how it goes sometimes. I did manage a 12 mile run at 8:15 pace, so that was reasonable. And I've already run a 12 miler this week too. So I'm sick, but now I seem to be able to run as long as I take it easy.

I hope you all had a great holiday! Oh and what type of GPS watch do you use (if any), and what's your favorite feature?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Asthma & Christmas Decor

On the training front, I did manage another 43 mile week. I also managed to slow the average pace to 8:06. But,(yes there is a but), now I'm sick. And the kids are sick. Sigh. That's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose (whatever that means).

I haven't mentioned my asthma in quite some time. I haven't needed to mention it. I haven't needed an inhaler in over 6 months! Now I'm back on the highest dosage of Advair. I'm also taking my albertol inhaler every 4-6 hours and a steroid nasal spray. Yikes! I forgot what it was like to have a deficient immune system. Stupid immune system!

I've been feeling a little cocky about my whole asthma situation. I may have prematurely added a little swagger to my step. I didn't even need an inhaler for my 5K turkey trot, which was running hard in the cold (two of my biggest triggers). So this week I've been knocked down a peg or two by old friend, asthma. I imagine it will take a couple weeks to recover back to a steady state. I'll let you know how it goes.

On a more fun note, I was reading this post on Chasing the Kenyans and thought I'd add share some of my favorite Christmas decor. The first picture below is a picture of our tree taken with a new iphone app that Nick found for me. Basically is processes the photos you take with your phone in real time and makes them artsy or old and decrepit, depending on your point of view. As a result, you can't really see many of our ornaments. We have lots of typical ornaments in the way of Santas, bulbs, and candy canes. But we have a bunch of Katie geek ornaments as well. I'm a big Star Wars fan and for the first Christmas in our house I wanted to find some of those Hallmark collectible Star Wars ornaments, but with Hallmark you can only get them the year that they came out. So Nick found someone on Ebay who was selling their entire Stars Wars collection for a very reasonable price! It. Was. Awesome! Here's what some of the ornaments look like. We don't have all the ornaments shown in the link (maybe half) and the pictures really don't do them justice but you get the idea...Yeah, I know, I'm a geek of mammoth proportions. (And now you know too.)

The second picture is of Kaylee and I decorating the tree this year. I am serious, when it comes to the tree decorating. So serious (not really I just look really serious for some reason).

Our Tree

Kaylee and I decorating

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Training, Ballerinas, Goucher

Please forgive my complete lack of focus today. My mind in spinning...

First, I ran 43 miles last week! Woo hoo! Yeah, I know, not a crazy accomplishment, but I was pleased. Overall, it was a good week of training. 5 days of running, one long run (12 miles), 4 good maintenance runs, and an average pace of 7:53. I do need to be careful though. Some days I'm still only getting 4 hours of sleep and 6 hours of sleep is a good day. Translation: I'm tired. And realistically, an average pace of 7:53 is probably too fast. I like to run fast. It's not always the smartest way to train, but I'm a sucker for a fast clip. I can easily be persuaded to run slower, however, if I have other people to run with. When I'm at work I've been trying to run with other people for two reasons really. The first being, I love social running. The second being, it helps me slow down. When I run with other people, I don't think about pace at all. So, I had a great week, but I'd like to see my average weekly pace decrease to about 8:15ish to help prevent long term burn out.

Totally off the beaten path, but burning on my mind, is this whole fat ballerina controversy. In case you haven't heard a New York Times critic singled out ballerina, Jenifer Ringer, as having "looked like she'd eaten one sugar plum too many." The picture on the left was taken during the performance he was critiquing. I don't know about you, but it doesn't look to me like she has a sugar plum problem. For whatever reason, this whole controversy is bugging me, which is interesting because I don't usually think much about weight or ballet. Seriously though, look at that picture. That looks hard to do. Some are arguing that because ballet is an art, it therefore means ballerinas should expect that type of criticism. And, I don't know, maybe that's true to a certain point, but look at her...she's not fat. Also, I can't imagine a ballet dancer being able to do what she's doing in that picture and be fat. Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive because I'm pretty sure I'm not as thin as her, and I don't want think that I have a sugar plum problem. (Note to self, no more sugar plums.) What do you think? Does the critique bother you or should it be expected in her line of work?

On another completely random note, do any of you read Kara Goucher's blog? Holy cannoli, is she fast. I mean, I knew she was fast, but reading how she's running 2.5 months after the birth of her son is just nuts! The lady is speed demon! I can't wait to read how she does in her January half marathon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My first long run post baby!

I managed a 12 miler today at 7:34 pace! Being a bit time limited and sleep deprived, I get way more excited than I should anytime I run. Maybe I'm getting extra happy endorphins, beats me, but running makes it all good. I really don't understand. I can't figure out how running doesn't feel like a chore. The setup and cleanup surrounding my runs take almost as long as the run itself. I setup lots of toys and books for the Kaylee meister and I have to drag the swing downstairs to where the treadmill is. Then I have to hope that Emily feels like taking a nap in the swing (it's actually the only time I use the swing, now that I think about it.) Then my run consists of me watching Emily and wondering if she's going to get irritated as well as participating in Kaylee's pretend play as much as possible. You know, pretending to eat snacks that she's prepared for me. Yet, I'm still loving the running whenever I get to go.

I will say my absolute favorite time to run is at lunch time the couple days I'm in the office. I get to go outside and sometimes I even get to run with other people! Cool beans!

Technically I'm in training for a half marathon in February, but I have absolutely no training plan. Well, I have my long runs planned, but other than that I'm flying by the seat of my pants. And you know what, I'm loving it. I'm enjoying running for the pure love of it. We'll see how that works out for me in February. Right now, I'm thinking it will work out just fine, but that could be the endorphins talking. ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Mom breaks 25:00 in the 5K

I haven't been blogging much. It may have something to do with the crazy baby and toddler I have. Nah, that couldn't be it...

Seriously though, things are going well for me, blogging just hasn't been one of my priorities. My running is so-so. The last three weeks I managed to run an average of 30 miles a week. I'd rather be around 45 miles a week, but it's just not in the cards at this point. I'll get there soon enough I'm sure.

I have most of my speed back, but I need to get some of that endurance back too. The long run is where I'm lacking. My longest run since the birth has been 9 miles (at 7:35 pace). My longer runs tend to be faster because I'm trying to get in as much mileage as possible before the baby objects.

The turkey trot was my first running test. My goal was technically to run around 21:45. Secretly though, I wanted to run 19:58. I wound up with an official time of 20:25. Last year, less than a month before I was pregnant, I ran the same race in 20:19. And this year the course was slightly longer! So I didn't achieve my secret goal, but I'm still pleased with where I'm running. The race didn't kill me. I ran hard without feeling completely wiped later, which is sort of important when there's a newborn around. I feel faster than I did last year, and I don't yet have a good mileage base (for me). My next test drive will be a half marathon in February, where my published goal is 1:40. I haven't decided what the stretch goal should be yet. I will say that I'm playing it relaxed this year. I just had a baby and I'm not really looking to set any PR's. Mostly I just want to run. I know that after the first year (or two) finding time to run and sleep and eat well will be easier, so for now I'm playing the patience game.

Here are my race stats:
Thanks4giving 5K 2010
Age Group: 1st
Female: 4th
Overall: 26/827 (top 3%)

Now on to the important mom did, in fact, break 25:00 at the turkey trot! According to the official results she ran 24:59! She is simply amazing! She's only been running for three years now and she's doing incredible. She'll be running the half marathon in February, but just as a training run because she's running the Hyannis Marathon the next week.

Oh, and I realize some of you might be wondering about post pregnancy stuff. No, I haven't lost all the weight yet. I'm still lugging around 5-6 extra pounds, but last time I was 5-6 pounds heavy until Kaylee was a year old, when breastfeeding was greatly reduced. I'm expecting the same will be true with Emily. Even with the extra weight, I do fit into all my clothes. And obviously it doesn't seem to be slowing my running down. To be completely honest, I'm not trying to lose weight. I eat when I'm hungry and try not to when I'm not. I don't plan to worry about it until I stop breastfeeding. My total weight gain for the pregnancy was 23 pounds. Pretty typical.

There's one last tidbit I'd like to share with all the mamas out there. For some reason, people keep telling me I should have a whole bunch of kids because clearly I was meant to have babies given how smoothly the pregnancy and post pregnancy have gone. People seem amazed that I already look just like I did before I was pregnant and that I'm already running. At first, I was a bit taken aback. All I could think was "I didn't think it was all that easy and I certainly don't look like I did before I was pregnant." Now I've started telling people, "maybe I make it look easy, but it's not."

I know that I don't write about how easy or hard all the pregnancy and post pregnancy stuff might be. I'd like to write more, but I just haven't had the time. I just wanted you to know if you might be pregnant or have a new baby at home and find things challenging, that I do too.

I swear my face isn't as fat as it looks in this pic...

Aren't my mom and dad cute?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

20:27 5K

13 weeks post baby and I ran my first 5K since last Thanksgiving today. My time was 20:27, and my mom's garmin clocked the course as 3.2 miles. I've run the course a number of times and it was slightly longer today...

My mom ran too with a time of 25:02. So close to breaking 25:00! Oh and let's not forget my dad. He ran too. He's been injured for a number of months and just started running again.

Thanks hubby for getting up at 6:00 and watching the kiddos while I ran! And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not pregnant and so ready to run...

Baby Emily, 7 lbs 4 oz, 19.5 inches

Yeah, it's been a Emily was born the last week in August. She's healthy and pretty typical as far as newborns go. You know, eats a lot, poops a lot, doesn't sleep much at night, likes to cry, and is super cute.

The birth was okay. Depending on your point of view, I was either really lucky or not so lucky. I think probably lucky. In case you don't know, my first baby came into this world via an emergency c-section due to fetal distress. I had general anestesia. It was not such a great experience. This time around I planned to attempt a VBAC, but the VBAC success rate is less than 40% at the hospital I was delivering at. The odds weren't in my favor, and I can't even begin to express how much anxiety I had about the possibility of having another c-section. So when my water broke before any contractions had started, I thought I was done for. Doctors expect the baby to be out within 24 hours of your water breaking. Twelve hours after my water broke, I still wasn't having strong contractions and I was only 2 cm dilated. At which point my doctor gave me 3 options; stay the path and hope in 12 hours I could dilate another 8 cm and get that baby out (unlikely), let them give me pitocin and try to jump start labor, or get prepped for a c-section.

I really wanted to avoid pitocin, but I wanted to avoid a c-section more, so pitocin it was. I was going natural, so once the pitocin was given things got a lot harder. I had to be continuously monitored, so I couldn't walk around and the contractions got really intense. I went from 2 cm to 6 cm in an hour, from 6 cm to 10 cm in another hour, and 30 minutes after that Emily was born. It was absolutely the hardest, most intense, and let's not leave out graphic experience of my life. I did manage to successfully VBAC a healthy baby without an epidural though, so yay me. Towards the end of the labor Emily started showing signs of fetal distress. It turned out that she had a knot in her umbilical cord. Like a real knot. They said she must have swam through the cord at some point during the first trimester. Those umbilical cords are nothing but trouble!

The birth was pretty tough, and I wound up with a few tears. As a result, I was told no running for 4 weeks. The first two weeks I had no desire to run at all, but I was ready to go by week 3. I managed to wait 3.5 weeks and then I jumped on the treadmill and ran 3.1 miles. I averaged 7:30 pace, so the next day I was sore. My comeback is slow going. Only averaging 2-5 hours of sleep a day means I can't go back to running crazy miles, but it seems my speed is doing ok. The other day I ran 6.2 miles in 47:20, with the first 3.1 in 22:00. I can live with that...for now.

That's my story. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the day Emily was born I ran 7 miles at 10:59 pace. At the hospital, the nurses kept telling me that walking might help jump start labor, and I just kept thinking if a 7 mile run didn't jump start labor then shuffling around the halls certainly wasn't going to do it...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

38 Weeks Pregnant, Oh My!

Yeah, I'm still here and running and pregnant. My running has greatly slowed down, but that's fine. Below you can see a chart of my paces and a chart of my overall miles run per week during this pregnancy. My weekly mileage hasn't decreased too much, but my pace (over the last three weeks) has slowed by about two minutes per mile. Admittedly, the slow down primarily has to due with walking breaks. My actual running pace is still around 10 minute pace, but I'm also walking, which slows the overall pace. The pregnancy is progressing well. I've gained 21 pounds and with only 1.5 weeks left I don't expect to gain much more. The doctor is pleased with my overall health. So we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that about a week from now we'll have an uncomplicated delivery.

Running has definitely gotten more difficult over the last three weeks. I'm hypothesizing that the baby is sitting on my bladder, and every time I run I feel like I could pee my pants at any second. I haven't though, so that's a plus. I imagine that peeing my pants would make a mess of my beautiful treadmill. Other than my bladder being in a constant state of wanting to release, I don't have any complaints. My back doesn't hurt, my knees and hips are holding up nicely, and I'm breathing easy.

In fact, I received the nicest compliment from Nick last week. We finally had a week where the stars aligned and we were able to go for a four mile run together. It was about 80 degrees and ridiculously humid, but still great to actually get outside. When we started I could tell he was taking half strides, and it looked like he was trying hard to run as slow as I needed to run. After a mile, I was in my running groove and feeling good. We finished the four miler at 9:50 pace. Not even close to my pre-pregnant self, but I was still quite pleased. As we finished Nick turned to me and said, "I wouldn't even pretend to be in the same league as you as far as running is concerned, but it's a bit demoralizing running with you when you're almost 9 months pregnant. You're freaking amazing!" Isn't that sweetest thing you ever heard?

People also keep saying things "you probably can't wait to get that baby out." Truth is though, this pregnancy really hasn't been bad. I don't have too much trouble sleeping. My biggest issue is needing get up to pee a lot. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping because I feel some anxiety. Last time around the birth didn't go as smoothly as we would have liked, but everything that went wrong was just bad luck and completely out of our control. Which is partly why I feel anxiety. It's not like I have any lessons learned to make this birth better. There's really nothing we could have done to change things.

Oh, I do sometimes get swollen feet at night time. I've found wearing compression socks at night does wonders for swollen tootsies! I wake up in the morning and there's no swelling at all! So if any of you are pregnant out there, compression socks are awesome!

Click to view a larger more readable version.

Click to view a larger more readable version.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

34.5 weeks pregnant

I've been on a blogging hiatus, but I appreciate all the comments on my last post. Because I never got around to addressing the comments, I wanted to mention a few things here. First, it seems a few other pregnant runners have the same calf tightness issue as me. I wonder if that's a common problem among pregnant runners and what might actually cause it? Maybe the big belly and the shift in center of gravity? There was also a question regarding if Nick and I run the same pace. And the answer is sort of. He really only runs easy, but his easy pace is what my easy is suppose to be. (If I run by myself I have a tendency to run faster than my paces dictate I should). As result, we make good running partners. Lastly, Michelle kindly offered to read my ultrasound (for the boy/girl debate) if I had the prized picture, but alas I don't. I did have another ultrasound last week though and the technician said "looks like a girl." I tried to look for the hamburger or turtle, but I don't know...I think I saw a hamburger (girl). I guess we'll know for certain in about 5 weeks.

Above you can see a picture of me at 34 weeks pregnant. Wow, I'm 8 months pregnant! That's just so crazy to me. Last time around, I had to stop running around 8 months because I was having asthma issues, but I don't seem to be having any breathing problems this time around. So yay, me!

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I've still been running. The last couple weeks (instead of blogging) I've been in full on nesting mode, where I've been getting everything ready for the baby. Being the engineer that I am, I made a thorough baby to-do list that had 50-60 items on it. Everything but 3 - 4 items has been completed. Yes, we're now ready for the baby, I think. I partly wanted to get things done early because Kaylee's birthday is at the beginning of August and I want to be able to focus on that rather than baby stuff.

Okay, okay, I'll tell you about my running now. I'm getting slower. You can see my progressively slower paces in the chart below. Yes, I make charts of this stuff. People like me do that. Anyway, I'm still super fast compared to my last pregnancy. At this point last time around, I had to stop running, and the month prior to that I was averaging 10:20 pace. Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased with myself. To be honest though, running is actually easy when compared to chasing around a toddler while pregnant. I go to a parent/child Little Gym class with Kaylee and that's harder than running. They want me to hop around, gallop, and touch my toes. I can't even see my toes. How am I suppose to touch them?

Anyway, that's where I'm at...still running, getting ready for the final stretch of being pregnant, and planning Kaylee's birthday. Good stuff.

Training Journal 6/28 - 7/04
Total Miles Run: 50
Total Time Running: 7:40
Average Running Pace: 9:12

Training Journal 7/5 - 7/11
Total Miles Run: 40
Total Time Running: 6:07
Average Pace: 9:10
Total Miles Walked: 7
Average Pace: 16:00

Training Journal 7/12 - 7/18
Total Miles Run: 40
Total Time Running: 6:12
Average Pace: 9:18
Total Miles Walked: 9
Average Pace: 16:00

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dubbed "Bizarro Runner" by Husband

Hmmm, Bizarro doesn't seem very eloquent. I do like being compared to a "super creature" though. You'd probably like some sort of explanation as to why I've been dubbed "Bizarro runner." Here goes...

I run for the love of it. Nick also runs. He doesn't love running though. He runs to maintain his general fitness. We often have debates that center around running, which occur simply because I love to talk to about running and training (and I enjoy goading him a bit too). Mostly Nick thinks I'm crazy, which I take as a compliment. During one our running discussions he dubbed me "Bizarro runner," which by his definition is a "backwards runner."

It's rare that Nick and I have the opportunity to run together, but we do enjoy it whenever we get the chance. About once a week, if we're lucky, we'll get to go out for a run together. We run completely differently though. I start slow, and get faster, and faster. He feels better running faster at the beginning and slowing down later. He finds it incredibly perplexing that I can continually speed up over the distances I run and not die. Thus, my new nick name of Bizarro was born.

Now at almost 32 weeks pregnant, I think my Bizarro runner status is going to be revoked. The last week or so I've started slowing down, and instead of continually getting faster as the run progresses I generally maintain the same pace. Sniff. Sniff.

Speaking of running's definitely getting harder. My legs just feel dead. Sometimes my calves feel extra tight. My heels feel a bit sore too. My breathing is fine, my back isn't sore, and the baby belly doesn't bounce. But my legs feel dead. Stupid legs. To my amazement, my weight gain is still hovering around 16 pounds. When Kaylee got sick I actually lost a couple pounds. I wound up taking three days off from running and ate all kinds of yucky food like Burger King. And I lost weight? Now that's bizarre. Not only is Burger King sort of gross, but it's loaded with salt. Not at all good for the pregnancy bloat factor. Anyway, moving along...

All my prenatal doctor's appointments are going well, and I'm still measuring perfect. But running is getting harder. Not that I'm complaining. I'm so happy to be running! It keeps me sane. I don't worry about gaining weight and I feel like it keeps the crazy hormones at bay. It just means that I might be slowing down more in the coming weeks, and that's okay.

Oh on a completely random note, have any of you ever heard the old wives tale that if the baby's heart rate is under 140, then it's probably a boy? This baby's heart rate is almost always 135. Always. Now, during our ultrasound they said the baby was a girl, but I'm having doubts. What you think?

Training Journal 6/21 - 6/27
Total Miles Run: 46
Total Time Running: 6:50
Average Pace: 8:55

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

7 months pregnant, huge, and still running

I've been on a two week hiatus from blog country. Mostly due to being tired. I'm a fairly busy person, but truth be told I could find time to blog in the evening hours. The issue right now is that when eight o'clock rolls around, I'm a zombie. I blame my zombie state on being 30 weeks pregnant. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, I do have a number of random tidbits to share with all my blogging buddies.

The New Doctor
I met my new OB last week. She's gets the Katie seal of awesomeness approval. It felt a little odd going to see her just to meet and talk, but it was important to me to have a new doctor that shares my general philosophy towards birth. You see, last time around I had an emergency C-section. I'm the 1% that actually needed to have general anesthesia, and I didn't give birth at a backwards hospital. It was Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which is consistently named one of the top 50 hospitals in the country for OB. This time around I'm trying for a VBAC (still at Beth Israel). Not all doctors are thrilled to have patients that want to try a VBAC. Hence my desire to meet the doctor before simply changing over. Our philosophies align quite nicely, so I'm pleased. It also seems that she has a number of patients of who run during their pregnancies. She even indicated she thought running might increase my chances of a successful natural birth. Good stuff all around.

Nike Free Update
Last week I was able to start running in my Nike Frees again. I had to wait a few weeks for that blister on my arch to heal. I don't know how you guys get blisters to heal, but I have the darnedest time. I can't get band-aids to stay on. I even bought a box of band-aids that claimed to be like "duct-tape." And the sticky parts really did look like duct-tape, but even those wouldn't stay put. Basically I wound up wearing the (very large) band-aids at night and going band-aid less during the day, which was fine but it took two weeks before I felt comfortable trying out my Frees again. I've probably run 40-50 miles in the Nike Frees now including an 11 miler, and I'm happy with them. I'm not having anymore blister issues and overall they feel great! I'm not really a Nike shoe fan when it comes to running, so I'm surprised that I like them as much as I do.

New Running Skirt
A week or so ago I received a late birthday present in the mail. A ridiculously cool maternity running skirt! Truth be told, I've had my eye on this skirt for a few months, but after reading this post over on Marathon Mama I was too chicken to buy one. Running cloths have been giving me some major issues during this pregnancy. I get chaffed and cut constantly. It might sound crazy, but the discomfort from my running cloths has been the most difficult aspect of running for me during this pregnancy. Every time I get into the shower it's a shock. And yes, I'm using glide. I've used more glide in the last 6 months than over my entire running career. My regular size running shorts are cutting into my hips, but larger shorts cause even worse chaffing. It probably has something to do with the fact that I run 8-11 miles at a time. If I was just going 4, then I don't think it would be an issue. Anyway, the skirt is amazing! It's a few inches longer than most running skirts, doesn't ride up, and doesn't chafe or cut me. I try to wash it every day. It's my new favorite...

Running Pregnancy Paces
Over on the left, you can see a graph of my weekly average running paces throughout my pregnancy. If you click on the graph you'll be able to actually read it. It's funny, the first trimester is all over the map. The second trimester consistently hovers around the 8:38 per mile line. I'm only a few weeks into the third trimester, but it's clear that my paces are getting slower. From here on in, I expect my pace to drop off dramatically. During my last pregnancy, I was averaging 10:20 pace in my 7th month. I'm expecting that over the next few weeks I'll slow down to somewhere around there.

My Poor Buttercup
At the end of last week Kaylee came down with a nasty stomach bug. Kaylee is almost never sick. Seriously. She's never had an ear infection and never needed antibiotics. Of course, she's had colds, but her only symptom is a runny nose that clears up in a few days. This is the sickest she's ever been. It was absolutely awful. She threw up for 27 hours and wasn't able to eat solid food for almost three days. We thought we were going to have to take her to the ER, but her pediatrician assessed her dehydration status on Saturday and had us stay in the office for a few hours to try and see if we could get her to keep down some juice and Pedialyte in hopes to avoid an ER visit. Luckily we didn't have to go to the ER and she is finally back to her usual self. On the downside, I had three days of almost no sleep and wound up sick (not vomiting though). I seem to just have a cold, which has unfortunately triggered my asthma. The last 3.5 months I haven't needed my inhalers, but now I'm back on them. I'm hoping that within a couple weeks I'll be able to stop using them again. We'll see. On a more happy note, we bought Kaylee her first real pair of sneakers. Now she only wants to wear sneakers and she keeps telling us that "these are my first pair of running shoes!" Yesterday she picked out some crazy polka-dotted shorts to wear and told me that "these are my running shorts for when we first go running together." Nick has plainly stated that I'm creating a monster, but I don't think so. She's so cute!

Training Journal 6/7 - 6/13
Total Miles Run: 56
Total Time Running: 8:19
Average Running Pace: 8:54

Training Journal 6/14 - 6/20
Total Miles Run: 36 (Kaylee's sickness limited my mileage)
Total Time Running: 5:23
Average Pace: 8:55

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

28 weeks pregnant with a race report

Two weeks ago, I had a shock with my doctor abandoning me. Sniff, sniff. And just to make things even better I received a few irritating pregnant comments. Last week, however, was much better. I'm fairly certain I found a new doctor. I have an appointment to meet her; hopefully I'll like her.

Also, there was a workplace fun run last week! It was advertised as a 5K, but the fitness center fellow who measured out the course informed us at the start that it is was actually a 3.2 miler. Then he said, "well, if you want to be technical it's closer to 3.3 miles." Ahhh, non runners are so funny, aren't they? If it's closer to 3.3 miles it can hardly be called a 5K, but that's okay. It was a race to get people out and moving. There were 40 people who ran, mostly men (a number of others walked). It was a lot of fun! I've been looking forward to the fun run because I miss racing and I knew this would be low key. I wound up running 23:37 and being conservative and assuming that the course 3.2 (rather than 3.3) that's 7:22 pace. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really race or run super hard, so I'm pleased with the pace. Plus, I'm packing on an extra 16 pounds now...ugh. Oh, also, I was the first female finisher and came in 6th overall.

Being as pregnant as I am, I did receive a lot of attention before, during, and after the race. To my relief, though, it was all good. Only the company nurse seemed concerned, but she's older and not a runner (so I'm not counting her). Everyone else had fun cheering me on. A guy I passed even shouted out "great job, my wife ran until a week before our baby was born and it was great." I was surprised because like I told Nick "who wants to get passed by a pregnant lady? I wouldn't..." People were surprisingly gracious. Below you can a picture of me running the race at 27 weeks and 4 days pregnant. The guy in blue, who ran with me most of the way, had a 3:20 marathon debut. He finished a good 30 seconds ahead of me, and apparently complained to all the running guys that I pushed him to run faster than he wanted to. (I only know this because Nick was in the locker room and later divulged the information to me.) I don't believe him though. He looked just fine to me.

You see that baby belly peaking from the bottom of my shirt?

Overall, running is still going well. I am slowing down though. My average pace from week 14 - 25 was between 8:33 and 8:43, but the last few weeks the average pace has slowed to 8:46 - 8:48. I would expect that at some point soon there will be another slow down. I'm surprised I haven't slowed more given the extra 16 pounds I'm lugging around. I guess I'm adapting well to being HUGE. Anyway, below you can see my stats. Oh, I almost forgot, I had my gestational diabetes test and I'm not diabetic. YAY! They also tested my iron levels and I'm not anemic either, so double yay!

Training Journal 5/24 - 5/30
Total Miles Run: 50.35
Total Time Running: 7:22
Average Running Pace: 8:46

Training Journal 5/31 - 6/6
Total Miles Run: 46
Total Time Running: 6:45
Average Pace: 8:48

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Running, Random Rant, and Nike Frees!

Last week I had another good running week. Well, a bit slower, but still good. I ran 57 miles at an average pace of 8:48. My fastest run last week was an 8 miler at 8:09 pace, slower than the previous week's 7:55 pace, but instead being 50 degrees it was 65 degrees. I'm not going to complain. I'm pleased with how my running is going.

I had a prenatal visit this week, which has nothing to do with running, but I'm feeling compelled to share my shock. Don't worry, all is well with me and the baby. My shock came when my doctor informed me she'd be leaving the practice on July 18 and her replacement wouldn't be ready until September. I'm due at the end of August so that leaves me with 6 weeks of pregnancy and probably a birth with no doctor. I. was. shocked.

She explained why she's leaving, and I get it. She has a one year old son and had expressed concerns to her employer about working 80 hours a week right from the baby's birth. The hospital sort of tried to alleviate her concerns, but they didn't really, and so a year later she's still working like crazy. I do completely understand her reasons, I just wish it wasn't happening during my last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Oh well. I think I've found another doctor, but I still need to make phone calls and an appointment to meet her.

And to make my craziness complete, now that I'm huge I'm starting to get more comments at work. I work with mostly male engineers, and in case you were not aware, many engineers have a tendency to be socially challenged. Something that usually doesn't bother me. They're nice people, they just have trouble socializing at times. Anyway, I received an interesting question to the affect, "hey have you been drinking lots of beer and eating lots of pizza?" Along with another comment/question that went something like, "Oh my god, you're pregnant, but last week you were running, is that safe?" Honestly, sometimes I'm at a loss with how to respond to such questions. I try to take them in stride, but it just so happens that I received both right after I found out my doctor was leaving, so they irritated me more than usual. I actually think they might have offended Nick more than me. He offered to break some heads, but I declined his offer.

I know many of the lady readers out there have been pregnant. Did you receive any odd/interesting comments or questions during your pregnancy? Do you feel like sharing? I'd love to hear them!

Okay, so that was my random rant for the week, back to some running news. I finally broke down and bought a pair of Nike Frees! I've only run in them twice (a 9 and 10 miler), but so far so good. During my second run I did get a blister on my arch, but every pair of running shoes I've ever owned require a bit of break-in period. You might be wondering what made me finally take the Nike free leap (or maybe you're not but I'm going to tell you anyway). Well, here's the deal. My Mizuno Waveriders are decent and fairly light, but I've noticed that they are extremely stiff, making it difficult to run with a forefoot stride. They pull on my heels. I also have a pair of Nike racing flats that I run in from time to time, but they are so light that running in them is really like running barefoot, which often makes my calves sore. The Nike Frees have a bit more support than the flats, but they are much more flexible than the Mizunos. I'll have to run in Frees a bit more, but I do like them thus far. Here's a picture for your viewing pleasure. I didn't take the picture, but these are ones I bought.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

6 months pregnant and a picture to prove it

Yup, that's right, I'm six months pregnant. Or 26 weeks, but who's keeping track? Right after I posted last week, I was ecstatic to learn that both Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe are pregnant too! Their due dates are one month after mine! It sounds like they're still training fairly hard too. I found this interview with Kara and she mentions doing 1 mile intervals. Not that I plan to go and start running intervals or tempos now, but it's just nice to read that their doctors have okay-ed some harder running. Also, I feel like if they can take time off from racing for their pregnancies then I don't feel so bad missing a whole year of racing. And it will just be fun following them over the next few months.

As far is running is concerned, last week was a good week. The two days I ran outside were about 50 degrees, simply perfect running weather, and I wound up doing one 8 mile run at 7:55 pace and my heart rate didn't go above 120! The other outside run was another 8 miler at 8:01 pace. It's really funny my outside runs are so much faster than my treadmill runs. I wound up running 57 miles last week the average being 8:40 pace, so my treadmill runs are much much slower. I'm not really sure why. I think my stride is shorter making it harder to run faster. Honestly though, it's probably why I'm not injured. I've been thinking about my running and I can't believe that I've been averaging more than 45 miles a week for 6 months now with no injuries! That's amazing for me. It must be the treadmill. That's the only thing that's changed in the last 6 months. Well that, and me being pregnant, but I'm pretty sure carrying around an extra 13 -14 pounds isn't helping me to prevent injuries.

This is a bit random, but running with a toddler around has become interesting. Kaylee makes all these interesting statements that are constantly making me laugh. Here are a few Kaylee quotes:
  1. If she hears the treadmill slow down, I might hear "Mommy why are you slowing down, can't you go faster?"
  2. If I try to pick her up after I run, I'll get the protest "Mommy you're all sweaty, you need a shower."
  3. Sometimes after I run she'll say "Mommy, I smell you..."
  4. More than once she's said "Mommy can you put your socks back on." (I'm missing several toenails.)
  5. She'll do laps around the house and when she's done she'll say, "Phew, I just ran 20 miles."
Okay, below you can see a picture of me 6 months pregnant with my Kaylee meister patting my belly. She's super cute.

Training Journal 5/10 - 5/16
Total Miles Run: 57
Total Time Running: 8:14
Average Running Pace: 8:40

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running pregnant, the good, the bad, the ugly

Thank you for all the great comments to my last post! Obviously I love words of encouragement, but I also love it when commenters share their own experiences.

Admittedly, I've dropped off the blogosphere the last few weeks. Work has been busy and I just haven't felt like blogging. I've still been running though. Just not blogging. Anyway, let me give you a pregnancy update. I'm now 24 weeks and 3 days pregnant and weighing a good 12 pounds heavier. (If you're lucky maybe, just maybe, I'll post a preggo picture next week. I know you can't wait, right?) At my last doctor's visit (22 weeks), everything checked out perfect. Good blood pressure, good baby heart rate, normal fundus measurement, etc. So all is good on the pregnancy front.

It's funny though, the last month (or two) I've been anticipating a running slow down. I'll say to myself, "self, I think this will be the week that my pace is going to take a dive." That slow down hasn't actually happened yet. Well, I'm slower than pre-pregnancy by almost a minute per mile, but I'm still consistently averaging a pace somewhere between 8:33 and 8:43 per mile for my total mileage each week. My pace range is anywhere between 10:20 and 7:40. Yes, that's a wide range of paces. My runs go something like this; the first mile might be 10:20, the proceeding miles continually get faster, the last mile might be 7:40 and my average pace for a 10 miler might be 8:40ish pace. Just in case you're curious, my pulse is generally between 110 and 136, which is reasonable for a pregnant lady. Anyway, as I enter my sixth month of pregnancy next week, I expect that my girth is going to slow me down soon. I'm actually amazed that my pace has been consistent given my 12 extra pounds.

Moving on to the good, the bad and the ugly of running pregnant...

The Good
Running helps me keep my bloating under control. I try to watch how much salt I take in too, but if we go out to eat, forget it, I could be bloated for days. Running also keeps my digestion moving. Pregnancy can cause, ahem, constipation (and yes I realize that might too much information for some, but it's true) and running has helped me avoid that. When I'm running, I don't feel bad about the weight gain that comes along with being pregnant. For even though my girth is expanding, I'm still running strong. And it just makes me feel good in general. I could be feeling tired, then I run, and then I feel better.

The Bad
My legs have no spring. When I explained to Nick that my legs seem to have lost their bounce he sort of laughed and said, "welcome to my world all the time." I miss my springy legs. And although I know it's silly, sometimes I worry that I won't be fast again. Like maybe I won't get those springy legs back after the baby is born. I know it's ridiculous. Six months ago I ran a 20:15 5K, which was post Kaylee so obviously it can be done. But at the same I think wow 20:15 is so much faster than I am right now.

And for the last bad...pregnancy tends to bring out huge amounts of anxiety in me. When I'm feeling particularly anxious, I can't help but wonder, if (heaven forbid) there was something wrong with the baby, are people going to blame it on my running? This has got to be my biggest fear, and for me the hardest part of continuing to run.

The Ugly
Moving on to a less serious note, none of my running cloths fit right, which in turn causes chaffing and cuts. If I wear a loose sports bra I wind up with chaffing, and if I wear a sports bra that slightly too tight I get cut. My thighs chaff, and the elastic around my shorts is cutting me. Most of the time I don't even notice I've been chaffed or cut until I jump in the shower. Then it's very noticeable. I use a lot of glide. But glide can only do so much. I'd be willing to buy some new running cloths, but I'm honestly not sure what to buy to fix the issue. I've figured out which sports bras don't cause issues, so that's good. Shorts though, I'm not so sure about. I've been thinking maybe a larger size of spandex shorts would be good, but I'm terrified of buying a pair only to find out that they ride up and make me look ridiculous. Anyone have suggestions for good pregnancy running cloths?

Training Journal 4/19 - 4/25
Total Miles Run: 51
Total Time Running: 7:19
Average Running Pace: 8:36
Total Row Machine Miles: 6.25
Total Time Rowing: 50:00
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 8:09

Training Journal 4/26 - 5/2
Total Miles Run: 42.1
Total Time Running: 6:06
Average Pace: 8:42
Total Row Machine Miles: 7.5
Total Time Rowing: 1:00
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 7:06

Training Journal 5/3 - 5/9
Total Miles Run: 45.2
Total Time Running: 6:29
Average Pace: 8:36
Total Row Machine Miles: 11.5
Total Time Rowing: 1:32
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 8:01

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After Preggo Race Plan & New Preggo Pic

Holy cannoli, all the Boston madness is killing me! As a result, I've been fantasizing about a time that I can once again be training to qualify. Obviously that won't happen until after the baby is born, but I can still read about training, dream about training, live vicariously through others who are training. Do you see a trend here?

Oh by the way, congratulations to all those who actually ran Boston (as opposed to fantasized about running)! I was stalking tracking about 10 people throughout the day, including a couple people from my high school, one of which ran a 2:40! Go Pat Benson! He finish in the top 250! Just nuts! I also tracked a person from work and approximately 8 blogger buddies. I'm totally impressed with everyone!

Turns out Boston 2012 is on my birthday! When I nonchalantly mentioned this to Nick a few days ago, he just shook his head and said "I guess I know what we're doing on that day." To which I replied, "I don't know...I need to qualify first. But if I did qualify, wouldn't that be the most AMAZING birthday ever!" He just sort gave me this look. Like maybe he didn't agree with my ideal birthday plans.

Then I started thinking about marathon training. I've been running for a long time, competing for a long time, but running a half-way decent marathon hasn't happened for me. Yet. And when I say half-way decent, I don't mean to say anything bad about those who have run slower, but according to my most recent (pre-pregnancy) 5K, 10 miler, and half marathon times I should be able to break 3:20. Yet, I'd be pretty happy just running a 3:40, and even that has eluded me. Shakes fists in futile frustration. I try to remind myself that I've only run two marathons. Nick reminds me that perhaps a fall marathon isn't the best idea for me. I always get sick in the fall, which is what happened in those first two marathons. In my mind though, a spring marathon doesn't sound all that appealing either. You never know what the weather is going to be like in the spring. It can be much warmer than ideal. I think I might try for both a spring and a fall marathon. Give myself two shots at qualifying. (Nick is reading this right now and I'm willing to bet he's shaking his head and has a queasy sensation in his stomach.)

Just a brief sidetrack...Nick, my hubby who claims to despise running, came home on Monday and starting telling me all about the history of the marathon. How historians don't all agree that the fabled Pheidippides ran 26 miles to give that famous victory message. But he did find that before the battle of Marathon, Pheidippides was said to have run 150 miles from Athens to Sparta in two days and then back again to request Spartan aid. More historians believe this run actually took place than the Marathon to Sparta run and that he didn't die. Wow. That's all I have to say. He went on to tell me that often when they want to break the world record for the marathon they have pacers that the leaders follow until around mile 18, where the pacer steps out and the group races the last 8 miles. Pointing out that running a marathon requires more strategy than I've used in the past. I asked if he wanted to be my coach. He's declined the offer. He said there would be a conflict of interest. His interest would be me running less, while my interest is running more. But I digress...

Back to post preggo plans. Devising a racing schedule post baby is tricky. For one, I'm going to be tired. And Nick is going to be tired. And racing will mean spending time away from the family. As a result, I've designed a post baby race schedule that only includes 6 races in the first year. All of which are local. The worst one will be the Providence Marathon in May. Providence is probably approximately 1 hour and 14 minutes away (according to Google). So that will mean maybe 1.5 hour drive there, arriving an hour early, running time, and driving home time. Realistically, it's probably an 8 or 9 hour day. My hope is to enlist the whole family for help. Maybe I can get my parents to drive me around, while Nick's parents can help him out with the kids. That's the downside to running marathons. If you have a family, you need to have a strong support system to help you. And you're really asking them to make sacrifices for you, which I hate doing. Maybe I should ask for that for my birthday. Katie marathon day. No presents required, just 9 hours of time devoted to my desire to qualify for Boston.
The other races aren't so bad. At worst, the Hampton Half and the BayState Marathon are half day affairs. I live 20 minutes from the BayState Marathon start line. It doesn't get much more convenient than that.

My racing schedule has been planned such that I should be able to come up with a realistic marathon goal time. The first race will be a 5K taking place 2.5 months after the baby's birth. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from that race. Expectations may vary widely depending on whether I have a natural birth versus a c-section. A c-section will require no running for 6 weeks, so you know...I might not be able to expect much if that happens. At least it will give me a starting point to work with though. Also, the race is 20 minutes from my house, so again, it's convenient.

Aside from just having a racing plan, I need a training plan too. I've started reading Advanced Marathoning and Racing Weight. I'll write about that later though. This is starting to get long, and I still want to tell you how last week went.

Okay, last week...was a good week. A solid 49 mile week. No aches or pains. I actually did one 8 mile run at an average pace of 7:52 per mile, which was a total shock. I ran outside and the weather was just perfect for running. I guess that's what happens when the weather is nice. I'm 5 months pregnant now, and below is a nice 5 month preggo picture for your viewing pleasure. My girth is still increasing. I've gained about 10 pounds now. Apparently all my running isn't preventing me from gaining weight, which is fine. According to all those pregnancy weight gain charts I'm right around normal, not a bad thing. Anyone brave enough to share their pregnancy weight gain?

Not sure why, but I look sort of hypnotized by the camera.

After Pregnancy Race Plan From November 2010 - October 2011 (My goals are WAGs and nothing more at this point.)
  1. Turkey Trot 5K, November (goal 21:45)
  2. Hampton Half Marathon, February (goal 1:40)
  3. Providence (COX) Marathon, May (goal 3:40)
  4. Chelmsford 4th of July 2 miler, July (goal: 12:40)
  5. Moose on the Loose 10 miler, August (goal: 1:12)
  6. BayState Marathon, October (goal: 3:30)

Training Journal 4/12 - 4/18
Total Miles Run: 49
Total Time Running: 7:02
Average Pace: 8:36
Total Stationary Bike Time: 1:47
Total Cardio Time: 8:49

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

20 weeks 3 days pregnant

By the end of this week, I will be half way through my pregnancy. Depending on what time of day you weigh me, I've gained 7 or 8 pounds, I've managed to maintain a fairly decent physical activity level running anywhere from 40 - 55 miles a week, and all my prenatal doctor's visits have gone well. Including my "big" ultrasound, which indicated we'll probably be having another baby girl! Girls rule, boys drool! Just joking...The thought did occur to me (briefly) if we had 3 more girls, I could fulfill my dream of being a girls cross-country coach. There are probably easier ways to become a girls cross-country coach though, right?

Overall, the pregnancy seems to be going well. Oh, and I can still fit into almost all my pants which is always nice (the low waist styles of today can take credit for that). The only thing driving me mad is that I'm not sure if I've felt the baby moving yet. I'm pragmatic enough to attribute anything that could be baby movement to gas. This should happen somewhere between 16 and 22 weeks (the baby moving, not gas). I don't remember when I could feel Kaylee moving around. I'd feel a lot better if I could just feel that kid squirming a bit. I can be seen talking to my belly from time-to-time, "baby can you hear me...hey, kick me in the kidneys already!"

Being almost half-way through my second pregnancy, I thought I might share a bit of my preggo exercise philosophy with the blog-o-sphere. When I was pregnant with Kaylee, I was averaging 9 hours of cardio exercise a week. This was split evenly into running, the stationary bike, and rowing. I kept that level of exercise up until just over 8 months pregnant when I had a sudden run-in with asthma. I didn't know at the time it was asthma though. I stopped exercising almost all together. I simply couldn't breathe, but I didn't understand what was going on. I thought it was just being so huge and pregnant. I did wind up going to the doctor for it and it took a few weeks to get it under control. My peak flow was less than half of normal when it was at its worst. Once I had things under control, I went back to walking and biking for the last two weeks. During my first pregnancy, my exercise philosophy was inspired by The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. A book where the author suggests that exercise during pregnancy was risky, gaining 70 pounds was inevitable, and nobody looks good while pregnant so why bother type of book. It powerfully motivated me to prove her wrong. I also already knew from research and my doctor that exercising (for me) was perfectly fine.

This pregnancy I've had a slightly different motivation. I read Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp as soon as I found out that I was pregnant. Don't judge the book by its ridiculous cover. It's really quite good. Clapp included a number of studies that indicated that running through pregnancy had a number of benefits to both the mother and baby. The studies he conducted found the most beneficial exercise was actually weight baring versus non-weight baring (i.e. running versus biking). As a result, during this pregnancy I've been less focused on overall cardio time and more focused on running, which works out for me because I enjoy running the most anyway. None of Clapp's running subjects had low-birth weight babies. All the babies were within the normal weight range, and all were healthy. He did, however, find a correlation between increasing or decreasing running mileage during the last trimester with birth weight. Basically any increase in mileage correlated to slightly lighter babies, whereas any decrease correlated to slightly heavier babies. Again, all the babies were within a normal weight range. Knowing that, my plan is to start decreasing my mileage somewhere around 30 weeks. I've been averaging approximately 45 miles a week during this pregnancy. During the last 10 weeks I'll slowly cut back to perhaps 35ish miles a week. This, of course, assumes that I'm still healthy and able to run. Anyway, I'm predicting a 8 pound, 6 ounce baby. (Kaylee was 8 pounds, 4 ounces.) Any predictions?

Now that I've bored you with all my preggo talk, I might as well share how last week's running went. Running last week was great. No aches and pains. I had one 8 mile run where I averaged 8 minute pace and it was easy. Not too shabby. The deal with that run was it wasn't on the treadmill. With the treadmill, I feel compelled to be conservative. I almost never average anything faster than 8:30 pace, and often I'm a bit slower than that, but outside I just run how I feel. This almost always happens to be between 8:00 and 8:20 pace. I haven't been outside much though.

So there you have preggo running philosophy and last week's running.

Training Journal 4/5 - 4/11
Total Miles Run: 45.32
Total Time Running: 6:34
Average Pace: 8:41
Total Row Machine Miles: 5
Total Row Time: 39:10
Average Row Pace: 7:50
Total Cardio Time: 7:13

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Mama got new shoes!

Specifically the Mizuno Wave Rider. Ooooh, aren't they pretty! Wave Riders have always been good to me, and they're not too clunky at 8.6 ounces. For a while, I went to the Mizuno Nirvana, a much heavier shoe weighing in at 10.5 ounces. The reason I went to the Nirvana for a bit was because my Wave Riders seem to wear out fast, but after reading Born to Run and trying some barefoot running on my treadmill I really wanted to go back to a lighter shoe. I seriously considered the Nike Frees, but one I was too chicken to try to them and two they weigh 8.2 ounces (not far off from my beloved Wave Riders). In the end, I opted for my favorite shoe. My hesitation to try the Frees stems from the fact that any pair of Nike running shoes I've ever owned have torn up my feet. I can't explain it, but my feet and Nike's just don't play well together. Anyway, new shoes were a must. I've been running in a pair that have approximately 1200 miles on them! Yikes! Not only are they pretty worn out, but they're ripe too. I don't usually wait so long between shoes, but I was having a lot of trouble deciding what shoes I wanted to buy. I was also trying to figure out what size I really am. Since pregnancy I've been having all kinds of toe nail issues. I've lost about half my toenails, including my two big ones. Sigh. I think I might have needed a bit more space in my shoes for swollen pregnant feet, but I didn't want to buy a bigger size and then have them be too big. I did opt for a bigger size this time a round.

Reunited with the concept row machine!

For our one year anniversary, my hubby bought me a concept2 rower. I'm a little odd. I much prefer exercise equipment to jewelry. In fact, I don't generally want anything...except exercise related equipment. Nick says this makes it difficult for him to buy me presents, but I digress. I love the row machine! It's such a great workout. Last fall when I wanted to run a 5K turkey trot yet I was still injured from marathon training, I did almost all my hard interval training on the rower. And I did manage to run a 20:15 5K even though my injury wasn't completely healed, so I believe strongly in the rower. The downside is hard! I love that it works the whole core, arms, and legs, but it's so hard! Your entire body is engaged. As a result, I find it difficult to get into a zone. Therefore, since I've gotten my glorious treadmill, the rower has been sitting all by its lonesome self. Until about two weeks ago, when I decided I needed to cut back on running a bit. I tentatively got back on the rower, expecting it to be too hard, but it wasn't! I actually found it to be much easier than running. Weird. I'd like to get my running miles back up there, but my preferred method of cross-training is definitely the rower.

Where I stand with this running while pregnant thing.

I'm over 19 weeks pregnant! And just in case there are any other pregnant ladies wondering, I've gained about 7 pounds so far. As far as running goes, last week was better. My calves feel better. The weird shin splint thing went away. So all I was left with was a sore left hip/butt from a fall that took place with slippery socks on a wood floor. The hip was sore all week. Towards the end of the week I opted to take two days off from running. This was hard for me. Any other exercise I do now seems too easy. I can't even get my heart rate up on the stationary bike with the resistance turned all the way up, unless I do intervals, and I don't want to be doing intervals while pregnant. Even the row machine seems easy, much easier than it's ever seemed to me. As a result, I just want to run, but my hip was complaining. Anyway, I got in 40 miles and close to another 3 hours of cross-training on the row machine and bike. All in all, not a bad week.

Training Journal 3/30 - 4/4
Total Miles Run: 40.35
Total Time Running: 5:46
Average Pace: 8:34
Total Row Machine Miles: 12.1
Total Row Time: 1:35
Average Row Pace: 7:51
Total Stationary Bike Time: 1:25
Total Cardio Time: 8:45

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The old balled up newspaper trick

Here in New England the skies have opened up and we're being deluged with rain. Again. During the monsoon a couple weeks ago, it occurred to me to share a super trick I've acquired to dry out sopping wet sneakers, but I forgot. Sorry.

My roommate/teammate freshman year in college introduced me to the old balled up newspaper trick. At first, I thought she was off her rocker. I was wrong. Balled up newspaper shoved in sopping wet running shoes is absolutely ingenious!

Here's the process. First ball up some newspaper. I usually use two large sheets per shoe, but I'm sure more motivated people could squish in more. Once you have a ball of newspaper shove it into that nasty wet sneaker, and keep shoving in balls of newspaper until the shoe is full of newspaper. Leave it over night, and the next day your shoes will be dry! If they're really wet, you may want to replace the newspaper after a few hours.

I swear by the newspaper method of shoe drying. When I was in high school I'd throw my wet shoes in the dryer. I can't believe my parents let me do that...or maybe they didn't know...anyway, the dryer would sound like it was going to explode. I'd also sometimes stick my shoes on the furnace. Not really a good idea either. They can melt. Of course, in high school and college there was only one pair of shoes to run in. There was no extra pair and so I always knew I had to run in them the next day. Now a-days most of us have several pairs to run in, but the newspaper trick is still great because it helps keep your shoes from being stinky. Did any of you already know about the newspaper trick?

Okay, so I'm compelled to share a bit of my running experience from last week. Normally I'd just skip the narrative, but if there are any other pregnant lady runners out, there they might be interested. Last week was another running flop. I'm now 18 weeks pregnant. At the beginning of last week, I felt like I had shin splints. Something I haven't experienced in over 10 years. It was weird. I took a day off and that helped the shin splints, but I was also having calf cramping when I ran longer than 7 miles. Blah. I started to run slower. Then near the end of the week I fell. Not while running, and nothing serious, but my left hip took most of the punishment and I had to take another day off. I ran yesterday and everything seemed decent. No shin splint pain or calf pain. My hip is still a bit tight though.

I think my aches might be due to a little weight gain spurt. Around the time I had a positive pregnancy test, I gained three pounds, but until last week that was it. Then I woke up at the beginning of last week and overnight I gained four pounds. I'm wondering if I needed a little time to adjust to my sudden additional weight? Just a hypothesis. At the end of the week, I wound up with a total of 38 miles, but I didn't feel too bad about that because I also spent an hour on the row machine and another hour on the stationary bike. This next week is going to be better. I can feel it. ;)

Training Journal 3/22 - 3/29
Total Miles Run: 38
Total Time Running: 5:30
Average Pace: 8:41
Total Row Machine Miles: 8.1
Total Row Time: 1:01
Average Row Pace: 7:32
Total Stationary Bike Time: 1:10
Total Cardio Time: 7:40

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preggo Picture

Ana-Maria asked for a belly it is fellow blogging buddies. Me, four months pregnant. I opted for a photo in work clothes because quite frankly my workout clothes are unflattering. I'm definitely popping out more than I did in my last pregnancy (stupid abdominal diastasis). I'm okay with that though, most days. ;)

Generally I find I'm pretty much okay with just about anything pregnancy can throw at me, as long as I get to run. Running is my meditation. It evens out those ridiculous pregnancy hormones that can make one feel crazy. Oh, you have no idea what I'm talking about? Well, maybe it's just me then. It also makes gaining weight easier to swallow. I still worry about gaining too much weight too fast, but I'm not obsessing over it.

Last week wasn't such a great running week for me. Monday I was a bit tired and after not taking a day off in several weeks decided to take the day off. Tuesday and Wednesday I ran and felt fine, but Wednesday night I got a sore throat. I woke up on Thursday and my sinuses felt like they were going to explode. I had chills and my muscles were sore. Ugh! I took Kaylee to a gymnastics/gym class that requires parent interaction, and when they had me hopping on one foot I thought my head might explode. That afternoon I did try to get on the treadmill. My general methodology for running when ill is to try it. Sometimes I get going and actually feel better. Not so that day. I quit after 10 minutes. I went to bed at 8:30 and felt slightly better Friday morning. I didn't run Friday either.

Having to take two days off in a row leads to other issues. I find I can keep my asthma under control usually without medication as long as I don't have to take more than a day off at a time. So by Friday night I needed my inhaler. Blah! I hate taking my inhalers.

Saturday morning I hopped on the treadmill and did fine. Sunday too. I'm still have sinus pressure, but it's not as bad, and it seems to be the worst at night. Hopefully that will go away within the next couple days. At least I'm running again!

Training Journal 3/15 - 3/21
Total Miles: 40
Total Time Running: 5:39
Average Pace: 8:28

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hynes Tavern 5 Miler RP

I convinced my mom that this Hynes Tavern 5 miler road race would be super cool. So we both signed up. I was a little miffed with the cost. It was $30. Yeah, $30 dollars for small local 5 miler seemed a bit steep to me. I swear I'm not cheap, just practical. The race was definitely worth the price though. Awesome tech long sleeve shirts, a very cool finisher's medal, and clocks at every mile. It's one of the most well organized races I've run. Well organized races are just awesome!

Although the race itself was well done, the weather was miserable. Basically the same weather we were blessed with for BayState. 38 degrees and a lot of rain. It really wasn't so bad though. Bad weather seems more tolerable for shorter distances. I had a great time listening to people banter around us. I have this feeling that only the really hard core runners showed up, and they're a blast to listen to! After the race, my mom kept saying, "there were only lunatics there today!" I pointed out that she too showed up for the race, but she's still not convinced that she's of the hard core persuasion.

The actual running of the race was fairly uneventful. Mostly wet...and cold. My mom ran well. Turns out she was feeling tired too, so she ran even better considering she wasn't feeling up for it. Our splits were:

Mile 1: 8:30
Mile 2: 8:30
Mile 3: 8:30
Mile 4: 8:50
Mile 5: 7:47

Afterward my mother told me that she was seriously considering stopping at mile 3. And I said, "Hmmm, cold, wet weather is powerful motivation for not stopping eh?" She agreed. Anyway mile 4 was definitely the most challenging aspect of the race for her, and then she was able to kick it in with an awesome last mile! I am amazed that she ran such an incredible last mile feeling tired and yucky. Her PR in the mile is 7:40, so she almost ran a mile PR at the end of a 5 miler! Nice! Our final chip time was 42:07.

Here are some photos from the race. I love them! Everyone looks so hard core!

Okay, I am not disgusted that my mom is drinking water (which is how it looks). I'm really trying to figure out if she wants to stop and walk while she drinks, because I cannot drink from those paper cups unless I'm walking.

Here I look like I'm really hurting, but I swear I wasn't. The cold wetness was a little uncomfortable, but I was actually very comfy throughout the race. It was only at the start and finish when I wasn't running that I had trouble. Oh and yes, I'm now 16 weeks pregnant, which you can't really tell from the picture (only because it isn't a profile shot though). I do have a baby belly now. I have to glide my belly before I run to prevent chaffing. Phew, that was a little embarrassing to admit!

Speaking of running in general, my overall running this week was great. I've been feeling good. I ran a bit faster and longer than last week. Not on purpose, it just sort of happened. Today I was feeling tired though, so I opted to take the day off. It's been almost 3 weeks since I've felt tired enough to take a day off! Before that, I was taking one or two days off a week. That first trimester is exhausting!

Training Journal 3/8 - 3/14
Total Miles: 55
Total Time Running: 7:49
Average Pace: 8:31

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why I'm not racing...I'm pregnant!

15 weeks pregnant to be exact! Phew, it feels good to share that with my fellow blogging buddies! Obviously I'm still running. I ran through my first pregnancy and loved it. Also, my OB is completely on board with my running. Her only caveat was that I should be able talk while I run, and if I can't talk then I'm probably running too hard.

Now that I've rediscovered racing (after taking seven years off), not racing is really hard. That's why I'm living vicariously through my mother. She can race, and I can help her out by being a running buddy. I have a few more races lined up for her. We'll be running a 5 miler next weekend, and if she's willing and available I have a 10K lined up for the beginning of May and a 5 miler lined up for the end of May. That will probably be my last non-race race. At that point I'll be heading into the third trimester, and who knows how I'll be feeling.

During the last two weeks, I've noticed that I'm feeling more energetic. My average weekly pace is getting a bit faster without additional effort and I don't need to go bed at 9:00 pm every night. Also, I don't constantly feel like I'm going to yak, which is nice. It's funny, for the first 12 weeks or so, I felt nauseous all the time, except when I was running and for about 3 hours after I ran. I'm glad I'm past that!

What do you think about running during pregnancy? I'm interested to hear from you all. I've found a number of lady runner blogs that shared their pregnancy running, and was surprised to see that they received a lot of negative feedback. I guess people have strong opinions about such things. I'm not sure what they were basing their opinions on, but it was still interesting to see. I also read Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp. He conducted a number of studies on pregnant runners and the results were all in favor of running. And the runners in his studies were running 60 to 90 minutes a day, so they were serious ladies.

Training Journal 2/22 - 2/28
Total Miles Run: 44
Total Time Running: 6:22
Average Pace: 8:40
Total Stationary Bike Time: 60 min

Training Journal 3/1 - 3/7
Total Miles Run: 52
Total Time Running: 7:29
Average Pace: 8:38
Total Stationary Bike Time: 40 min

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gorgeous Blogger Award

Okay, so I have no idea what it means to be a gorgeous blogger, but I'm still thrilled. In the words of Fancy Nancy "gorgeous is even fancier than beautiful." Yes, I am quoting an imaginary character from my one of my daughter's favorite book series. And no, there's nothing wrong with that! Anyway, Julie over at Julie's Running Blog has bestowed this honor upon me, and as I understand it I am now suppose to share six things that you probably don't know about me. Boy are you in for a surprise!

1. Throughout my teenage years I belonged to a program call Civil Air Patrol, which is an auxiliary of the Air Force. Think of it like the Boy Scouts, but way cooler. I had the opportunity to do all kinds of crazy stuff. I participated in cold weather training. You know, camping in a tent in February with no showers or toilets. I learned how to navigate the woods with a compass, how much food one should carry while tromping around the woods, and what type of equipment is essential for survival. When I was 16, I was one of a dozen cadets selected to fly around with Swedish Air Force for almost a month. It was part of an exchange program and I had the opportunity to meet other teenagers from 40 other countries. During that trip, I even got to visit the arctic circle! Oh, and fly in a jet trainer. It was an experience of a life time. When I was 17, I commanded a drill team that won the Northeast regional competition and was flown via a C-130 to the National Drill Team Competition. I'm sure that doesn't mean anything to you, but it was a big deal. I've also flown in a KC-135, which is a refueling aircraft, and I was in the aircraft when they refueled a fighter in the air! I also participated in Search and Rescue missions. I could go on, but you probably get the point. It was a huge part of my teenage years. Most of my good friends from my teenage years were in the program, and many of them later went on to join the Marine Corp, Army, or Air Force.

2. When I was growing up I wanted to be an astronaut. That was why I originally joined Civil Air Patrol. Actually it wasn't until recently that I decided I didn't really want to be an astronaut. A few years ago my direct supervisor encouraged me to do some more research into the whole astronaut thing. And I did. What I found was most astronauts aren't selected until their late 30's or early 40's, so I still had plenty of time. I also found that they work 80 hours (or more) a week, you have to live in Florida or Texas, and have to spend long periods of time away from your family. None of that sounds at all appealing to me anymore. I think the idea of being an astronaut sounds magical and romantic to me, but the reality doesn't sound so great.

3. I'm an electrical engineer. My specialization is signal processing and communication theory. I am currently working part-time, and my work is focused on satellite communications.

4. I'm an extremely pragmatic person. I never believed in soul mates or needing someone to complete me. During a philosophy course, my professor asked the class why people fall in love. I responded, "it's necessary for procreation and continuation of the species." I'm pretty sure he had never heard a similar response because he was speechless. A few years later I met Nick. And I fell hard. Definitely love at first sight. I can't explain it, it just was. We were engaged six months after we met, and only waited that long because we didn't want people to think we were nuts. We've been married now almost seven years.

5. I was the student speaker at my undergraduate college graduation. I don't know how other colleges select the senior speaker, but at my college if you have over a certain G.P.A. (I think it's 3.6), you are invited to enter a speech for review. Then they go through a selection process. I almost didn't submit a speech. It was towards the end of the semester and I was working late on my senior project the night before the speech submission was due. I called my mother and told her I didn't think I would do it. (I was sooo exhausted.) She told me I would regret it if I didn't submit something. She was right, and I knew it. I stayed up into the wee hours and submitted something the next morning. I found out later that I was a controversial choice. My undergraduate school was Catholic and primarily liberal arts, so they weren't fond of an engineer speaker. I was the first engineer major ever selected to speak.

6. I love to travel! I've traveled to Poland, Holland, Russia, England, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, and most recently Japan. Well, it was actually about three years ago. I like to ask Nick these philosophical questions that drive him day I asked him if he could travel anywhere, where would he want to go. He had to think about it, but eventually he came out with Japan. I told him we should go; I suggested that it be our big adventure before we embark on the adventure of having children. We had a great time, and he still talks about the trip often! He tells Kaylee about it, and tells her that maybe one day we can go back as a family when she's older. Traveling is on hold for now. The thought of traveling with a young child stresses us out, but eventually we'll be off and traveling again.

Phew, that was a lot to share in one post! So, were you surprised?