Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Running Partners

When I first looked into adopting retired racing greyhounds, part of my motivation was to gain some good running partners. Further into my research, I discovered that greys don't actually make the best joggers... they're sprinters at heart and don't have the hearty endurance of other similar-sized breeds. All other characteristics of this breed, however, made them the perfect dog for us. So, the two lovely dogs you see above joined our household and my running routine, if only for the slower, short recovery runs.

An unexpected, wonderful side effect of my altered running routine is that the dogs can join me for more and more of my 'runs'. While sometimes irritating, their frequent pee/sniff breaks are good also, since they force me to take it easy. Even better, as they get used to going with me, they want to go more and more... helping to keep me motivated! I, on the other hand, still have not been able to join them for their 5min, 40mph sprints around the local baseball field.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Angry Calves

Another way pregnancy has affected my running is something I can only describe as "Angry Calves". About once a week for the last month, I've experienced this constant, lactic acid type burning in the calf muscles for the duration of a run.

I have not found a definitive cause (in my 5 minutes of google searching) but, I have noted other pregnant runners speculate that it's from reduced circulation to the legs from belly pressure. True or not, when it happens, it hurts!

So, while the rest of my body was up for a hearty run this evening (lungs - check, belly - can hardly tell you're there) my legs declared a no-go. After rounding out my first 2-mile loop, I decided to call it good and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Last night I fell asleep at 7:30 pm. I woke up at 6:30 am this morning.

Note to self: Apparently, I need more rest.

The one effect pregnancy has had on my running that I wasn't expecting is the need for addition recovery time, even after easy/moderate workouts. Other preggo impacts on running (first trimester exhaustion, minor abdominal strain/soreness, constant need to go to the restroom, slowed pace, etc) pretty much happened on cue.

Coping with these other symptoms has been pretty straight forward. In the first trimester, running helped provide the energy boost needed to make it through my hectic work days. Modifying my pace and running routes/distances was easy enough. As the second trimester progressed, I found that I only noticed abdominal strain if I took too many days off in between runs. As long as my runs were only a day or two apart, my body didn't take notice of the small weight/size differential.

This new post-run sluggishness is a surprise. Wednesday afternoon, the combined effect of my early morning Tuesday & Wednesday runs knocked me flat, literally. It seems that from now on I'll be walking a fine line between running too frequently and not frequently enough. Hopefully, I'll find the balance to keeping my energy level up and my discomfort level down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Honest Beginning

I will have nothing original to say about running. Consider expectations leveled. I’m just your average, unexceptional, recreational runner.

Why, then, start a running blog? Accountability and motivation.

At the beginning, I joined a running club as a way to stay in shape and meet people in a new city. The support offered by more seasoned runners was heartwarming. Having never run more than 3 miles at a time, the sense of pride and accomplishment that came with new pace/distance milestones pleasantly surprised me. I was hooked.

Over the following years, work/school/life interfered with running to various degrees, but running remained my center of health, balance and sanity. While often further apart then I would have liked, my marathon and half marathon times showed consistent improvement and I made wonderful friends with running partners along the way. This was all the motivation I needed.

So, what changed?

I’m 6 months (28 weeks) pregnant.

Thrilled to be pregnant (it’s a girl!)… not so thrilled with the changes to my fitness routine.

My spring marathon turned into an easy, non-PR half-marathon and my fall marathon (I’m due in September) is, well, delayed. Runs through beautiful scenery are replaced with 2 mile loops around my neighborhood, for reliable bathroom access. The endorphin-induced euphoria of the weekly long-run to exhaustion has morphed into just another ho-hum 3-5 mile slog at what used to be my recovery pace. As my girth expands and mileage and pace drop, I’m finding it hard to maintain motivation.

Enter… the blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I hope any readers out there get something from looking at this blog too. Runners at all stages of fitness benefit from shared experience… I know I’ve benefited from others’ in the past. In truth, however, this blog is for me, to help keep me focused on the primary reason I run… health and sanity. New PRs will come in their own good time.