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 shot...here 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 crazy...one 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?