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 it...my 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 though...it 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