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!