Friday, February 29, 2008

Log: 2008.02.29

Activity:Running, Core/Stretching Routine
Time: 40:00, 20:00


I ran at the gym today on the treadmill. 16 min running, 4 min walking, 16 min running, 4 min walking. I felt pretty good but tried to keep it conservative as I know I am always very tired after maternity miles.

I did the core workout at the gym and I am sure I was quite the sight. I noticed people looking at my big belly but no negative comments thankfully. Actually I received one positive comment from one of the trainers which was enough to lift my spirits.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blog Shoutout: "Run With Me"

I plan to regularly mention running blogs that I find interesting and/or entertaining. My first selection is Run With Me.

The blogger behind RWM regularly writes about her training and racing. In particular, she does a lot of marathons and ultras and is a pace leader for various races from time to time. I always find her race reports to be thorough and well worth the time.

Also, I've always wondered about the people who become pace leaders so it's interesting to read about the strategies she employs and what it's like running a race to not do your best.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Log: 2008.02.27

Activity: Cycling, Core/Stretching Work
Time: 30:00 (Cycling), 15:00 Core


My knee only had a light twinge so that's a good thing. Perhaps I'll try running on it tomorrow. I'm still trying to get through Persuasion. My book club meets Friday and I still have about 10 agonizing chapters left. The book requires deep concentration which I really don't have much of due to the combination of being pregnant, fried from work and trying to workout at the same time as reading. However, it's just like being on the 5th rep of an 8 interval repeat workout. The end is near, a lot of work is already done and I have to dig in and keep going...

I've been slacking on the core work for several weeks. I'm doing only stuff approved from pregnancy books. However, in the few short weeks since I last did these exercises my belly has grown substantially. I used to laugh at how simple some of these exercises were - now they are down right difficult!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crazy Pregnancy Issues

I have been lucky in that I escaped morning sickness in both of my pregnancies. However, I seem to make up for it with random other issues.

The first time around I experienced the following issues due to pregnancy:
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Gastric Reflux
  • Itchy Skin
  • Heartburn

This time around I am have a lot of joint and muscle aches and pains. Today, my left knee began experiencing painful stabs intermittently. I tried running on it but the pain was excruciating. I could barely sleep because of it. (And of course you can't take any real pain meds when preggo)

I experienced this last month as well. My OB says that your muscles loosen up in preparation for childbirth. This isn't always a good thing as you do need some tightness and stability in places like your knees. She said that for some unknown reason things can get worse the second time around.

I've been relatively injury-free (knock on wood) my entire running career so it always freaks me out when something doesn't work like it should. However, everything I read says that things should return to normal after the baby is born.

Oh, the joys associating with bringing forward life...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My running history: The middle school years

The summer before my 8th grade year my mom challenged me to run my little town's annual 4th of July 5 mile run. I had never run before and showed up in K-Swiss boat shoes and those scratchy wool/cotton shorts that everyone wore for sports back in the 80's. Not exactly performance wear. However, I must admit I was pretty stylish in the K-swiss :)

Well, out of the blue I ran a 42:39 (isn't in amazing how I still remember that time after all these years - half the time I can't remember my own name anymore!) and caught the attention of the cross-country coach who was also at the race. He convinced me to go out for the team and I did.

So I started cross-country in the August before my eighth grade year. Up until then I had the trifecta of dorkiness going for me: 1. I was shy. 2. I got good grades. 3. I liked sports. Not exactly the stuff that puts you at the cool kids table at lunchtime. Especially in a small town where everyone has known everyone for all their life and stereotypes once-set are permanent.

However, on the cross-country team I found a bunch of other misfits and quickly found a comfort zone insulated from the ugly, cruel world of junior high politics. My confidence grew as I found out I had a knack for this running thing.

My first cross-country race was at middle school the next town over. I had no idea about pacing, race strategy or any of that other stuff I study religiously now. I just went out and ran to run. Ah, the innocence of youth :)

This meet was actually an invitational but for some reason they ran the boys and girls together. To this day that's the only race I ran with a combined field (the exception, of course, being road races). Anyways, because of the mixture of sexes I had no idea how I was doing. I just ran and ran until they told me to stop. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was the top finisher among girls.

I received a tiny medal with no-engraving. I thought it was the best prize ever. I still have it. It looks pretty modest sitting next to trophies and marathon finishers medals but it probably still means the most out of all of them because it was the one that started it all...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My running history

The byline of my blog title indicates that I hope to run a 3:15 marathon after I have this baby. I'll give you my running history leading up to this over a series of upcoming posts....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Log: 2008.02.22

Activity: Swimming
Time: 15:00

Notes: I am not sure if it was because I took the last two days off or because pregnancy turns you into a fish but I had a great swim today. I'm a pretty lousy swimmer so for me to say that says a lot. I felt very comfortable and effortless in the water.

Review of April 2008 Running Times

I got the latest Running Times in the mail yesterday and was giddy to see it was full of stuff on elite women runners. The profiles on Kara Goucher and Elva Dryer were very interesting.

The magazine included a sample marathon buildup schedule for Elva. Basically she did an hour workout in the AM and a half hour in the PM. I know her pace for these workouts is probably ridiculously fast, but still... Only an hour and a half a day? I wish I could put in that amount of time and be an elite athlete. I wonder what she does the rest of the day? As much as I dream of being an elite runner it might be too boring of a life for me.

I also found of interest that they listed the top contenders for US Olympic marathon team. Basically Deena and a bunch of others. It did not mention Ann Alynak though. However, she is listed later in the magazine as the #2 American female marathoner of the year. I guess I feel slighted by this as we both hail from the Buckeye State. I will be rooting for Ann this April!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Log: 2008.02.21

Activity: Running
Time: 46:00
Distance: 3.49 miles

This was day one of my new strategy for getting through runs. I did 18 min of running, 5 min walking, 18 min running, 5 min walking. I felt great the entire time. I'm not sure if it is because of the new plan or because I had taken the previous two days off. Either way, it felt great to be feel good on a run again (even if I was as slow as molasses)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Final Countdown

Lisa Jhung writes on her Runner's World blog about hitting the physical and mental wall as she approaches the final weeks of her pregnancy.

I definitely know what she is experiencing. At that point everything is physically more difficult and mentally it is hard to get your self up for something that's not really all that enjoyable anymore.

I ran up to 36 weeks during my first pregnancy. Albeit, it was very SLOW. My husband could walk faster than I was running.

I didn't have much pain but just felt out of sync and sluggish. Part of the problem could have been I put 37 pounds on a small frame.

To get through the runs I alternated running with walking which made it much more reasonable.

I also had contractions while running from time to time. My OB said it was ok as long as there weren't too many. Whenever I experienced a contraction I immediately stopped and walked for a bit.

I ended up quitting at 36 weeks mainly because I got mentally tired of everything - pregnancy, running, being huge, etc. I chose to sit on the couch and be a grump for the final weeks :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Log: 2008.02.19

Activity: Spinning Class
Time: 60:00

Notes: I took it easy during class but still was pretty tired later in the day. I took a 45 minute nap which was heavenly. It was a sad day though as I no longer can fit into my cute, shorty tri shorts. Instead I had to wear my husband's bike shorts coupled with a maternity tank. I looked neither cute nor fit. As I looked in the mirror during class I saw a whale riding a bike staring back at me :(

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Log: 2008.02.17

Activity: Running
Time: 42 minutes
Distance: 3.11 miles

Notes: In the last week or so I've definitely felt the effect of my ever growing waistline. I finally got to the point where I decided it was time to intersperse walk breaks into my run during this workout. I ran for 15 minutes, walked 5 minutes, ran for 18 minutes and then walked 5 minutes.

To keep it interesting I think I am going to shoot to run without breaks:

40 - weeks that I am = Number of minutes to run without breaking

I'll use these formulas to determine the walk break amounts:

While weeks <>
# of consecutive running minutes /4 = walk break

When weeks > 30...
# of consecutive running minutes /2 = walk break

(Can you tell I studied engineering in college?)

So when I am 23 weeks I'll run 17 minutes and then take a 4.25 min walk break (and repeat if I can). At 24 weeks, I'll go for 16 minutes/4minutes, etc. I figured that would give me a goal but still take into consideration the inevitable slow down that is going to occur over the next months.

Of course, I am sure my little system is going to go out the window as I get huge as a cow and as miserable as a diabetic who works in a chocolate factory...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Log: 2008.02.16

Activity: Running
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.33miles

Notes: Nothing to report. Just a fattie slogging away at the miles...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Log: 2008.02.15

Activity: Cycling (Stationary)
Time: 30:00

Notes: Not much to report - just an easy spin. I worked on reading my book club book - Persuasion by Jane Austen. Not an easy read, especially while working out. Too bad my US Weekly didn't come in the mail today. It's just the light, fluffy read that works well when you are on the bike.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Log: 2008.02.14

Activity: Running (treadmill)
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.27


10min warmup; 19min speedplay between 4.5mph and 6.1mph; 1min cooldown

I got up and ran before work this morning which is something I rarely do. However, I haven't worked out the last two days due to being extremely tired and I knew I would prefer to spend tonight cuddled up with DH than pounding away on the 'mill.

It was pretty rough getting going and it took me longer than usual to find my groove. However afterwards I felt more alert and alive that I do most mornings. It's also great knowing that my workout is already done and not looming ahead of me all day long.

Maybe I'll do this more often...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your mommy may be a runner if...

I have been taking my son to Storytime at the library every week. He likes it because they sing songs, make crafts, read stories, etc. I like it because it free. (Can you believe how much MyGym and Kindermusik cost? You would think you were sending them to Harvard instead of running around and jumping in ball pits...)

At the beginning of the class we sing a welcome song and then do some light stretching. I guess the thinking is to try and get the two year olds to wind down and relax prior to the reading of the books. (No small feat!)

Each child gets to pick a stretch that all the kids do. The kids usually pick something simple such as touching their toes or reaching for the sky. Not my son. He chooses to bust out the yoga moves, including downward dog and butterfly.

Everyone is always surprised except me. Awhile ago I learned that while running makes you cardiovascular-ly (is that a word?) fit it tightens and warps your muscles. This is starting to become a hindrance as I age, I mean mature gracefully.

So I started doing yoga several years ago BB (before baby). I did pre-natal yoga during my first pregnancy and did a mommy/baby yoga video after his birth. He's too old for that video now but he still likes to join me on the mat when I do a yoga DVD. I never thought he retained any of it until I saw him get his Omm on at Storytime :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Log: 2008.02.11

Activity: Running
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.32 miles

10 min warmup; 18 min speed play ranging from 4.5mph to 6.1mph; 2 min warmdown

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Log: 2008.02.10

Activity: Cycling
Time: 30:00

Notes: Easy spin on stationary bike

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Evidence: Marathon running easier than childbirth

If you listen to the baby books and mommy runners, they'll have you believe that running a marathon makes childbirth seem like a walk in the park.

I respectfully disagree. Scratch that. I don't respectfully disagree - I vehemently disagree. So here's why I think childbirth is tougher than running a marathon...

With my first child I went into the hospital a week after my due date to be induced. (LIE #1 - Runners tend to give birth early). I had been walking around for 2.5 weeks 4cm dilated. All the nurses and the doctor said I was going to have a short labor since I was already so far along (LIE #2).

I got hooked up to the pitocin, got my epidural and put my feet up for what was supposed to be a short and uneventful birth.

The first major difference between childbirth and running a marathon is nutrition. During childbirth all you get is water and popsicles (and not even the good juice ones - they are the cheap ones that taste like pure sugar). I would never imagine trying to run a marathon without proper fuel (Gu, Gatorade Endurance, etc). My body is conditioned to take in the proper carb/protein/water balance during extended physical exertion and it definitely rebelled from lack of proper nutrition. I never thought I would see the day when I would kill someone for a packet of Strawberry-Banana PowerGel.

So the hours passed (S-L-O-W-L-Y), my hunger grew insatiable, and I grew very impatient to meet the creature that had been mooching off me for 9 months. What was supposed to be a short labor, drug on and on. It felt like I was running a race where you didn't know the race distance. I would just have to keep running and running indefinitely until someone yelled “Stop!”. How do you pace your self for something like that? Answer: You don't. Instead you just whine to your husband, whine to the nurses, whine to the doctor, and whine to the cleaning lady who comes by to empty the trash.

Finally sometime that evening the doctor said the magic words I've been waiting all day to hear: "It's time to push". I would equate hearing those words to seeing the 25 mile sign in a marathon. You've come along way and you realize for the first time that you might actually finish this thing.

And just like the last 1.2 miles can eat you up and destroy both your body and spirit, so can the actually delivery portion of childbirth. I pushed. I pulled. I twisted. I turned. I cried. I ran out of epidural (which I highly do not recommend). I gave up. I rallied myself. I gave up again (Would it be easier if we took the baby out of my nostril?). I dug deep into my reserves.

It got ugly (it's never good when you look up and see a dozen doctors and nurses in your delivery room) but in the end I got a sweet finisher's medal - a little boy.

Now, back to my initial assertion that marathon running is easier than childbirth. Let's look each element of marathoning/childbirth separately...

  • Nutrition: Marathon is easier (No specially blended power supplements to aid you during childbirth)
  • Anticipation: Marathon is easier - at least you know how long it's going to be.
  • Pain: Childbirth is easier. One word - epidural. They should hand those out at races around the 21 mile mark. The finisher’s area would definitely be less grim if everyone was hopped up on pain meds…
  • Award: Childbirth is better. It's tough to compete with a long sleeve technical tee, but creating a human being takes the cake.

So, we have a 2-2 tie. For the tiebreaker, we will compare my marathon PR with how long it took me to deliver a baby (the actual birthing part - not the all day labor)...

  • Marathon PR: 3:27
  • Baby Delivery PR: 3:45

Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! I could have run a marathon, got a finisher’s medal draped over my head, gave back my ChampionChip, ate a banana, washed it down with lemon-lime Gatorade and cozied up with a space blanket in the time in took me to deliver a baby.

The evidence speaks for itself my friends, marathon running is easier than childbirth.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Salivating over a stroller

Right now I have the single B.O.B. Ironman Stroller and it freakin' rocks. It glides like a champ, my son is nice and comfy and it's easy to fold up. I've logged many miles with it and love it like a member of the family.

However, when baby #2 comes along a single stroller just won't do. Thus I've been eyeing the B.O.B. Ironman Dualie. Rocks as much as my current stroller but room for two kiddos. Of course I would pimp it out with the infant seat adapter, weather shield and handlebar console.

The only drawback - the cost. The Ironman ain't no cheap plastic stroller you pick up at Babies 'R Us:

B.O.B. Ironman Dualie - $479.99
Infant Seat Adapter - $79.99
Weather Shield - $54.99
Handlebar Console - $24.99
A leisurely run on a local bike path with both kids - PRICELESS

In anticipation of this ridiculously expensive purchase I requested gift certificates to for Christmas. I figure that those certificates combined with forgoing Mother's Day and birthday presents should get me close to actually owning this marvel of engineering (instead of just lustfully looking at it online on a daily basis).

Pregnancy Apparel

In Lisa Jhung's Runner's World blog (Running For Two - Great read - you should check it out), she mentions the apparel she's found helpful for running while pregnant.

I haven't tried any of the stuff she has although it sounds interesting. Right now I am primarily wearing Nike maternity shorts with my some of my husband's technical tees. (Shh- don't tell him as he will freak that I am stretching them out). I have a bunch of Nike maternity long tanks but they are too big to wear right now.

Unfortunately Nike stopped selling their maternity line a few years ago. However, I have been able to get a bunch of stuff off of eBay. It's Nike quality which I really dig. It seems like the active wear you get at Motherhood Maternity or Target is designed for the mommy-to-be whose fitness regime consists of yoga and a few strolls around the block. If I am going to be running or spinning for an hour I need to look cute AND have moisture wicking!

The only other wardrobe change I have made is to wear two sports bras. I'm not large chested but have grown some since becoming pregnant. The double protection makes me feel much more comfortable.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Log: 2008.02.05

Activity: Spin Class
Time: 60 minutes

Notes: I took it easy during class and didn't crank up the resistance every time the class did but I still am feeling it now. I've changed the settings on the bike so that I am as upright as a spin bike will allow. However, I still feel some crowding in my tummy and have to stretch every 10 minutes or so. I've noticed my butt gets much sorer than when I wasn't pregnant. We were in the saddle for a long time today and I thought I was going to die from discomfort.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Log: 2008.02.03

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 2.5 miles
Pace: 12 minute miles

Treadmill run; 10 minute warmup and then speedplay between 5.0 and 6.1mph for 18 minutes; 2 minute cooldown

Friday, February 1, 2008

Log: 2008.02.01

Time: 60:00
Distance: 5.54
Pace: 10:49

Treadmill run w/ 10 min warmup; Speedplay between 5.0mph and 6.1mph for 45 minutes; 5 minute cooldown