Monday, August 8, 2011

Preggo Running Update

It has been MONTHS since I've been on this blog, but I'm still here and I'm still out there running. I will include lots of pictures in this post!

Last Rochester Run's with my FRIENDS: I made every group run I possibly could and created a few extra's to squeeze in as many miles with my friends as I could in our last weeks in Rochester. They are ALL greatly missed and will always be a huge part of my memories of our time living in NY. I know I have lifelong friends there and we will be meeting up for future races and triathlons. Somehow I was able to keep up with them while pregnant even for our last runs together. Once I got to WA and further into my third trimester I slowed down, but am so thankful I could keep up with them while I was there! Also thankful to still be running!

Last Saturday long run with my friends. 10 miles at a 9:29 pace. Thankfully everyone runs their long run at an easy pace. These guys are all fast Boston Qualifiers and Racers!!!
(almost 29 weeks preg.)

Early morning and very humid 10 miler the day before I left town. 10.4 miles, 9:36 pace.
(Kathy, Heather, Megan, Steve, me, Sandy, Wendy)

Kim and I before our last yoga class in Rochester.
(28 weeks preg.)

Moving: We have officially made the move from Rochester, NY to Tacoma, WA. It was quite a wild adventure complete with packing, loading, driving 6 days, my husband driving the moving truck towing a car and me driving the SUV with two bikes and two dogs, then unloading and unpacking and settling in...
Rudy and Goliath

Current Running: Since moving to Tacoma, my husband Colin has started running with me for almost every run. He has run 4 or 5 half marathons, his first marathon last fall, and slows down to stay with me. (even though I tell him to go ahead!) He takes Rudy, our 6 year old energetic golden retriever, and runs ahead of me for our short 4 milers through the week. Then for the weekend long runs, we leave Rudy at home, and Colin runs with me the whole time. He easily tolerates my slower pace and frequent RR stops. I'm a lucky girl! It's great to not have to run alone after leaving so many great running partners in Roch! I'm now on a 10:00 to 10:30 mile pace but occasionally run a mile or two around 9:40's and 9:50's which seems crazy fast in this pregnant state! ha! I feel great out there running, some days are much easier than others to run. It's definitely more of an effort to run with an awkward belly and constant pressure on the bladder! I cannot wait for that part to end! At 35 weeks pregnant, yesterday I ran 9 miles with Colin at a 10:28 average pace and had to make 3 RR stops due to a baby on my bladder! But I made it to the end. Glad to still be running 5 to 6 days a week and making it to yoga once or twice a week. On long runs especially, I can literally feel the baby going lower and lower into my pelvis, weird! Here is an overview of pictures so you can "watch" the belly grow!

Almost 27 weeks...

28 weeks

29 weeks

29 weeks
My friend Dawn (and her husband) came from Iowa to visit us in Tacoma and she and I ran 10 miles together. She slowed down for me! 10 miles, 9:53 pace, 32 weeks pregnant

Sideview, 32 weeks

33 weeks, after 10 miles at a 10:09 average pace (with Colin)

34 weeks, after a short 4 mile run

34 weeks, sideview

Summer Weather: OUTSTANDING!!!! If you need a reprieve from the summer heat, you must visit the Pacific Northwest. It's unbelievable great running weather with highs only in the mid to upper 70's and no humidity. You can run in the middle of the day and be perfectly fine or opt for a morning run in the 60's and sometimes high 50's. I'm not kidding!!!!!

Hiking: This state is absolutely gorgeous! There are mountains and hiking and skiing all within driving distance. We were able to get out on several hikes and take in some beautiful scenery. On a clear day you can see amazing views of Mt. Ranier from Tacoma. It's so cool to live where there are mountain and water views all within a mile from my house! We've decided to curb the hiking since I'm more "pregnant" now and would hate to be stuck miles up a trail and have something crazy happen and not be able to get back down quick enough!

During a short hike in the Olympics, 31 weeks...

A view on a day we went for a hike on part of Mt. Ranier.

Baby Prep: We didn't get a single baby thing before our move because the fit on the moving truck was way too tight for anything extra! Since arriving here, it has been a mad rush to start getting the necessities. There are several items still on the shopping list and nothing purchased has been taken out of bags or boxes yet! It's all just piled up in the baby's room! This baby better not come early! Actually I think I'll be late, the baby's estimated weight at the ultra sound last week was only 4.9 lbs and most people are late with their first babies, right??? I'm 35 weeks, due date is September 7 which is exactly one month from today. YIKES!!!!!!! Needless to say I'm nervous about the whole thing but gradually working through and trying to mentally prepare for the pain of labor and come up with plans and strategies of how to handle it! Then there's the whole adjusting to life with a baby-but one step at a time. Here are a few pictures of the baby's room for your entertainment! It is comical how "not ready" it appears to be currently, but we'll get there!

I know, quite a ways to go....

Happy Summer Running to all of you! My next post may not be until after the baby arrives but I promise to post a pic or two so you can all see the new little one! Still don't know the gender!! Any guesses???? The heart rate is always 130's so according to Old Wives Tales it could be a boy...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two for One

Two for One, that is, two races in one blog post. Life is flying past and leaving little time for blog posts but finally making time to recap two races.

March: Spring Forward 9 mi. Race at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Since I didn't look at all pregnant, I pinned this sign to my back just for fun! We had a chilly yet sunny March morning for this hilly 9 mile race. Running attire included tights, long sleeves and gloves! I ran this race with a friend and we had a great time chatting up and down all of the hills. We stayed together until around the last mile and then I went ahead since I was feeling good and I could "smell" the finish line! Honestly, I can't remember my exact finishing time but I think it was around 1:30ish...

May 1: Flower City Challenge, Half Marathon at 21 Weeks Pregnant

This 13.1 miles was an amazing memory because I paced my Mom (Carol), age 60, for her first ever half marathon! Just a year ago, she trained for a 5K and came here to run it. Since then she continued running and entered several 5K's and one 5 miler on Thanksgiving Day. (There was a blog about that one complete with a picture of us posing with a running turkey...) Anyway, I sent her a training plan months ago and asked her to think about training for this half marathon. After deciding to take the challenge and sign up for the race, it was on! Mom trained hard for this one and it was a privilege to stay with her for every mile and cross the finish line together!

Mom and I with our medals after the race at my house.

Cheering for us at the finish line was my Dad, my sister Lindsay and her 3 year old son, Noah. Noah LOVES his Grammie and high fived her just before she crossed the line! Mom was thrilled to have held a 12:00 minute pace after not being sure she could maintain it for that distance, and finished in 2:38 and some change. Lindsay made this fun sign as a surprise and brought it to the race to cheer us on!

A HUGE congrats to my Mom! I am so proud of her for running such a great race! She has already mentioned thoughts of finding another half marathon to run...

Preggo Running Update

Still working, house hunting in WA, house selling here in NY, packing boxes, and hosting visitors but definitely RUNNING! Weekly mileage is 30-33ish and feels great! Actually, my IT band flared up after the half marathon, but it's much better this week than last week and definitely getting better. IT pain slowed down a few runs for sure, but this past week's long run of 10 miles was much improved and I ran a 9:21 pace, thanks to a fabulous running partner who made the miles click by! Still getting to the yoga studio and managing weekly long runs of 10-13 miles so I cannot complain about being pregnant! I still think I don't really look specifically pregnant, more like a girl with a gut! Here are a couple of belly pictures...

21 Weeks, day before the half marathon

23 Weeks, definitely a girl with a GUT, but almost 6 months??? Crazy how fast this is going!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Springing Into WINTER

While the calendar says spring, the weather is screaming WINTER in protest! At least I know that with every day we are somehow closer to the warm weather that has to be in our future somewhere! Last week we got 6 inches of snow which promptly covered our grass that had just become visible in the previous week as our snow melted away. We had two warm days, even up to 60 degrees, and then winter struck again!

Thankfully, I'm still out there running but definitely ready to lose the winter running jacket, tights, gloves, and hats or ear warmers! Yesterday I ran 13 miles at 16 weeks pregnant, took me 2:02 at a 9:26 pace. Temps were in the 20's but more like 7 or 8 with the windchill-yuck!!! I'm really happy to be at this pace for my long runs and I know I will continue to slow down. Oddly I'm okay with my slowing pace because I know it's for a good reason and that it is temporary. My doctor says all of the running and other workouts I'm doing are perfectly fine because of my background. Good thing because if she didn't I think I would do it anyway! Ha ha! My 13 mile run was actually 2 minutes faster than the first half marathon I ever ran back in 1998! Much slower than my half marathon PR of 1:36 which was also some years back. (2004??) I love my Saturday long runs with my friends and I'm truly dreading the day when I won't be able to keep up with them anymore! But until then I'll keep rocking it out and enjoying the miles with them!

Fortunately, I can easily tell if I'm pushing too hard on the run because I'll get a little breathless and I know to back off a bit. It's so strange because I've never gotten breathless running! (unless at the end of 5K or really hard speed workout but you get my point...) It's also crazy how one day my body is just flat out slower and I'll run a 4 or 5 miler at a 9:30ish pace and then another day, like this past Friday, I run a 4 miler at a sub-9 minute pace. My pace Friday was 8:47 and my first mile 8:27. It's nice to have a day like that because it reminds me that this changing body is capable of running faster and after the pregnancy it will all come back.

On a baby note, we heard the heartbeat last week for the first time which was great. Not quite as much fun as the ultrasound but still cool to experience it. Next weekend I'm planning to run a 9 mile hilly race here locally which is a challenging course and a lot of fun. I won't be "racing" it but I'll be out there plugging away! Still out there 5-6 days a week running and logging between 30-35 preggo and spinning too about once a week I'm hoping to drag myself to a pool workout-wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 5: 16 Miles at 13 Weeks...

This past Saturday I ran 16 miles and then for the rest of the day I felt like I had run a MARATHON! I guess that's what happens when you're 13 weeks PREGGO!!!! We just told our parents, siblings, and friends, so it's officially out, baby number one for us is coming sometime around September 9. :)

We are super excited about this and shocked all of our family members with the news. I never said we weren't having kids, people just jumped to their own conclusions on the matter! :) It's no big deal, I always knew sometime before I was 40 I would give it a shot. After being married for 6 years and over-analyzing and re-hashing and processing for years-I'm finally ready! I think??? Seriously, I don't think you're ever ready for this until it happens-meaning the baby comes- but I knew it would be a huge regret if I lived my life and never tried to have a baby. Both of us are very thankful for this exciting new part of our lives and I'm sure it will be more than we an imagine. For now, we're just getting used to the idea that it's for real and praying for a healthy little one!

I've still been running 6 days a week, 32-35 miles total, taking in spin classes here and there, and going to my favorite yoga studios. I love all of that and have been so very lucky to have not had a second of sickness. In fact, I really haven't even felt pregnant, which is so strange! But I'm not complaining! I finally went for my first ultrasound last week thinking I was 9 weeks along. Imagine the shock for both my husband and myself to see an active kicking little baby with arms, legs, hands and feet all over the place! Within seconds the ultrasound tech said "You're not 9 weeks, I'll tell you that. You're more like 13 weeks!" Wow! It was truly the most amazing thing and an incredibly exciting moment for both of us. Finally, confirmation that this was for real! I never realized the impact of an ultrasound before when I've seen other people's pictures. :)

As I mentioned, the running has truly felt great! I've had a few days where I was a little tired but still felt like running and was able to get out there and enjoy the miles. My long runs have been at around 12 miles but then a week ago I bumped it up to 14 and couldn't believe how great I felt! Easy run, good recovery, 9:30 pace. My pace has slowed down some but I'm really okay with that and I know it will slow more. I've still had several days sprinkled in where I ran fairly quickly though. Anyway, this past Saturday, I decided to bump up to 16 miles since the 14 a week before had been so good. I always meet my running group for Saturday long runs and at the end of the 16 miles I had an average pace of 9:23. For the rest of the day I didn't get off the couch! I slept, made myself eat even though I wasn't hungry, and slept some more! Seriously, I've recovered better from some marathons!!! And I always have an appetite after long runs! Yes, I realize I over-did it slightly and will be more careful on future long runs.

This week I've been really paying attention to my body on my runs. I haven't tried to hit any specific paces but have paid attention to my breathing and not let myself get too breathless. This coming Saturday I'll probably drop down to 14 and not push the pace. I don't know how many more weeks I'll be able to hang with my friends on long runs but I'll enjoy it while I can! There are other slower pace groups that meet at the same place so I will just drop down and meet some new people when the time comes!

I'm hoping to run as long as possible. I've had some friends who ran all the way to the bitter end of their pregnancies with no problems, and others who had to quit at some point along the way for various reasons. As long as I feel good, have the energy, and my doctor gives the okay I plan to keep hitting the pavement! I'm signed up for the Rochester Flower City Challenge Half Marathon on May 1 and will be running with my MOM who will be completing her first half marathon at 60 years old! Her training is going great and I'm just thrilled to see her following the plan successfully! Hopefully I can keep up with her on race day! If not I'll accept whatever preggo pace I'm at by that point. LOL!

Honestly the strangest thing about this is that I'm not planning and training for 3 marathons and a zillion triathlons and an ironman this year!!!!! How will I survive??? Just kidding, I WILL miss the training, (already do!) but I have a feeling as the weeks pass I will be more and more focused on all of the crazy changes I will surely experience and the excitement of a baby on the way! Besides, I already have 2 marathons and an ironman picked out for 2012...and who knows what other races. :) I'll spare you which ones for now, but trust me, I already know the cities and dates for all of them!

For now I'll enjoy this new phase of running and continue to count down the days until spring!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dec. 5, 2010: Dallas White Rock Marathon

Winter time in Rochester...

Believe it or not, I initially hoped to post this race story before 2011 got underway, but clearly that did not happen. I had a great race experience, loved this marathon, and would definitely run it again! This was the last beautiful, warm-weather, sunny day run I've had as I now count down the days of the long cold winter to SPRING!! Although, I did have double IT band pain for most of the 26.2 miles and a slower finishing time than I prefer, I still count this as a great marathon. Obviously, completing an Ironman, a half-iron tri, a marathon, and then another marathon, all within 3 months- is a recipe that equals SLOW! :)

The Weather: Beautiful! Sunny! Cool at the start at around 30 degrees but it warmed up to the 40's and was a perfect sunny run in a skirt and long sleeved shirt. I didn't feel the least bit cold and recognized it would be my last sunny, dry pavement run for awhile since my home in Rochester was getting dumped on that day! (SNOW!)

The Course and the Crowd: I loved the course, it took us briefly through the downtown area, then through several nice neighborhoods where the homeowners were out on their lawns cheering the runners on all day! Lots of people complain about the 9 mile loop around the lake that begins around mile 12, and some years it can be chilly and windy. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this part of the run, it wasn't cool or windy, and since I had never run there before, it was beautiful. The only two hills of the entire race come at mile 20 and are nothing to worry about, not steep or long, over pretty fast. Definitely a course I would run again and hope for no nagging injury pains to get in the way.

ITB: My IT bands started hurting on both sides relatively early in the race, well before the halfway point. By mile 14 I had started stopping at every mile marker to briefly stretch both sides. This helped me run through the pain mentally knowing I could stop and stretch at those places and every stretch helped a bit though the pain never went away. I've had worse IT pain in other marathons and training runs in years past, but it was definitely there and nagging.

Number Nineteen: Woo Hoo!!! I made it to the finish line of my nineteenth marathon and I realized a long time ago that if I intended to run as many marathons as I can, that they certainly won't all be fast or PR's, so I'm happy to have finished it! And now I plan on triathlons too for the rest of my life, including an Ironman every 2 or 3 years, so I'm going to enjoy every day that I'm able to be out there! But I do plan to focus on speed and get a fast marathon under my belt again. Time will tell...

Will I go back? Absolutely! I loved meeting up with my old running friends from one of my first ever running groups in Arkansas for this race! Also, I have family in Dallas which makes it easy to travel there when I get to visit with them, too, in addition to a marathon. Besides, December is great running weather in Dallas!

View from the front steps of my house...

Winter Update: Since the day I got back, we have had steady, constant snow on the ground in Rochester. There are plenty of days when there is dry, clean pavement to run on despite the piles of snow on the ground itself. There are also days when the roads are snowy and like running in sand even though they've been plowed, not my favorite. If you have to run on snow, the best kind is frozen and icy and you just run right on top of it with that crunchy snow sound all around you. There are also days in the teens and single digits, or days with wind! After that, days in the 20's and 30's feel almost perfect in comparison! I had a blast running a 4 mile snow shoe race a couple weeks back. It was a gorgeous trail run through the woods with everything completely snow covered. Temps were below zero that day, but there was no wind and running in snow shoes is such a workout that I was literally HOT out there! Seriously! I'm just enjoying running, training for nothing, hitting a spin class here and there, a new thing for me, and still making it to my favorite yoga studio 1 to 3 times a week. Of course I still meet up with my fabulous running friends every Saturday for our weekly long runs. Excited for March when we might start getting less snow and warmer can only hope! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Running a Turkey Race with Mom

Mom and I, post-race, we didn't plan to match! :)

Thanksgiving Day 2010 marked my Mom's first time to ever run 5 miles, and she chose a race to meet the distance goal! I decided to skip out on a local 10K race here at home in Rochester, NY, which I've run the previous two years since moving here, and went home a day early so I could race with my Mom.

Turkey Day morning we awoke to chilly temps and steady rain! But of course that didn't stop us from putting on our running clothes and running shoes to head out the door to the race. Along the 20 minute drive from my parent's house to the start line, we were laughing at ourselves for what we were about to experience!

We parked and ran from the car to packet pick-up, which was a small tent where other runners were huddled picking up racing numbers. Race bibs and goody bags in tow, we ran back to the car to wait a few more minutes, hoping the rain would lessen. Up until now we were relatively dry since we had rain jackets on, but I had to shed mine down to racing clothes in order to go and stand in the porta line before the race started. Standing in line, I got SOAKED! Oh well, what are you gonna' do??

Finally it was time to line up at the start, and we did! The race director led a pre-race prayer, which I thought was awesome. This race benefitted a shelter that helped homeless women and children called Hope Alive. It was humbling to think of others with no shelter from the cold and rain that we were experiencing at that very moment.

The gun went off and everyone was running! A half mile in we met our first big hill! I just pushed up to the top and started praying for my Mom to be able to run strong on that hill when she got there. This race was all through country roads and turned out to be full of big rolling hills! What a great course for your first 5 miles! (Insert sarcasm.) However, the rain actually stopped completely by the end of my first mile and it was suddenly great running weather! The only thing cold on me were my hands and after two miles they warmed up and were fine for the whole race.

I finished and then ran back out along the course to meet up with my Mom and run her in. I came to her after about .75 miles, turned around and ran in with her. She was doing amazing! Her pace was steady and strong, she had done fine on all of the hills we'd encountered, and was able to easily have a conversation with me. There we were, running it in, and talking. I'm so proud of her! She ran her first 5 miles ever, and she just turned 60 in August. But what else would you expect from a Mother of 5 and a High School English teacher? She also has always had major bicep muscles even though she's never lifted weights until recent years. (She always used to say "From carrying groceries and babies..." while flexing her cool muscles at our insistent requests--usually at the dinner table.)

I finished in 39:27, which was 33 seconds slower than I finished a flat 5 mile race last April, but I'm happy with it. Mom finished her first ever 5 miles in 56:21, hills, rain, cold, and all! At the end we posed for a picture with a runner who ran the entire race in a full-on turkey costume, too funny! By the way, this race was called the "Wattle Waddle: Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Race," get it??? The turkey has a "wattle" and we all were going to "waddle" to the finish line? Cute, huh?

Gobble, Gobble!!!

Congrats Mom! I have big plans for her, next up a 10K, and one day a half marathon, and I'll leave my other goals for her unwritten... :)

I did run the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Dec. 5 and totally loved the course, though I had a painful race due to my IT bands. I'll run it again one year and will blog about it soon, marathon #19 was a success!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

October 31, 2010: MCM pics

Colin and I post-race, hooray for his FIRST marathon!

My Thoughts/Opinion: I know it has been weeks since the marathon, but I am just now getting a chance to post some pics after being out of town for awhile. My apologies for such a late race story on this one, seems like it was ages ago now! Suffice it to say I spent the first 7 miles ticked off at how crowded it was and frustrated that I couldn't just settle into a pace! On the other hand, it was a beautiful sunny day and the weather was perfect to me. I found the course very pretty and actually really liked running the hills, it was a nice change of terrain. But there were several parts that got even more crowded, I felt, because of the way they routed us. The "bridge" was seemingly un-ending and I was dying of thirst at that point, not my favorite part of the race! I've done other large city marathons that I thought handled the crowd of participants a bit better. I've never had to come to a dead stop when crossing the finish line. And I've never had to stand and wait in line for a medal. Usually it's all one smooth flowing motion, finishers just walk through and all of those things are taken care of with no stopping. At any rate, it's all in the past at this point and I'm happy to have been able to reach the finish line. Of course I did way too much weaving and my Garmin read 26.75 miles when I finished! My friend Steph cut every corner as tightly as she could and ended up with precisely 26.2, so lesson learned for me! No weaving!

Me with my girlfriends from Rochester, Steph and Wendy. :)

SIGNS: It seems like there is rarely a shortage of signs to read along the course of an endurance race. There were several shirts listing family members who were veterans which were moving to read. There were other more comical ones, like the back of one shirt that read "Dear God, please let there be someone behind me to read this!" And my favorite sideline sign at around 24 miles read "Embrace the Suck!" Oh yeah, that is most definitely the "sucky" time of the race! It made me laugh and reflect on how I should embrace it because is was near the END!

left to right: My Mom's siblings Uncle Mike, Aunt Lisa, Austin (Mike's son-in-law), me, Colin. We were all a little chilly at this point!

THE HILL: All through the later miles in the race I was prepping myself mentally for the infamous hill at mile 26. In my mind that sucker was vertical and huge and I told myself that no matter how bad I felt and how awful the hill was, I would not walk! Not that there is any shame in walking, I just didn't want to walk that close to the finish line. I wanted to power through and reach the finish without walking up that last hill! Let me tell you, building something up to the worst possible thing you can imagine is a great strategy! When I finally got to the hill I'd been dreading, it looked nothing like I was expecting and I picked up the pace a bit and sailed to the top! Of course my overall pace wasn't exactly speedy and stellar, but I did finish and added that 18th notch to my mental race belt. Ahhhh, the finish line.

A few more race day pics...

Some pics from the day after the race...

My first time to see the WWII Memorial which was very cool.

Colin next to his home state at the WWII Memorial.

As close as we were allowed to get to the White House.

The whole weekend was definitely one to remember and to celebrate the gift of being able to run. Getting to share it with friends and family make it even more memorable. Congrats to ALL who ran this marathon and know that I was praying for all of the runners that I knew out there on the course! You guys all rocked it! So proud of everyone! Until the next time.... :)