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